Melanie Tonia Evans

Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse Story #18 Marla

Written by   Melanie Tonia Evans Permalink 5
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Written By   Melanie Tonia Evans

This Thriver story is one that I believe many people will be able to relate to.



Beliefs can be powerful. 

Doing the right thing can be what we are “trained” to do. 

Many people believed “marriage is for life” … but when we believe that we are supposed to suffer in silence, put on a face to the world, and continue to just “carry one” with our families, our community,  or our church, is this healthy?

Does God really want us to stick it out? Or do we have permission to change our lives dramatically – such as leave a spouse – in order to be happy?

During this interview I have these conversations with Marla, who realised not long after saying “I do” that he changed. Things weren’t the same, and he wasn’t the same man she thought she had married.

As time went on things got worse …

After 20 years and needing to leave Marla discovered two shocking facts, ones that you will discover when you listen. One which meant she would have to completely start all over again. The second discovery was one that most people never have to face.

You will also learn about Marla’s personal journey of acceptance and recovery – and how as a result of working on herself, that she has been able to secure the level of wins in court which are virtually unheard of.

If you would love to learn more about my NARP Program, which Marla used to heal, please join in me in my next Free Live Webinar next week, where you will experience Quanta Freedom Healing first hand.

You can also find out all the information about the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program here.

I hope you enjoy this very honest, candid show, and Marla and myself look forward to any questions you may have.

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Melanie Tonia Evans is an international narcissistic abuse recovery expert. She is an author, radio host, and founder of Quanta Freedom Healing and The Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program. Melanie's healing and teaching methods have liberated thousands of people from the effects of narcissistic abuse world-wide.

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42 Thoughts on Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse Story #18 Marla
  • katnohso@yahoo.com'
    Kathleen
    September 25, 2014

    This women was so amazing. She has great wisdom and a great message for the Christians that are struggling from this abuse. God bless her and you, Melanie. You are both messengers. I needed to hear her story….I related and God confirmed….I am not alone.

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 25, 2014

      Thank you Kathleen. We all need to know that we are not on this journey alone. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I can also be reached on the members forum. I speaking from my heart about my experiences in hope that it will give others hope & strength.

      ~hugs

  • linley.main1904@gmail.com'
    Linley Main
    September 25, 2014

    Really loved it when the interviews were transcribed. Have limited data available to download.

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      September 26, 2014

      HI Linley,

      the interview format was changed to more “free flow’ than “structured” and that is why they are presently not transcripted.

      We are looking at ways to effectively transcript again – and hopefully we will have that available soon!

      Mel xo

  • jacqueline.falcomer@gmail.com'
    Jacqueline Falcomer
    September 25, 2014

    Marla and her story resonated with me. I too checked out emotionally years before I finally had the courage to leave. But it was not so much courage as desperation as I realized I was dying spiritually and emotionally. I had to save myself and made the choice to survive. Now I am thriving. I am empowered in a quiet and calm way. Listening to Marla I was reminded of the gaslighting and the abuse which now seems like a distant bad dream. I am in such a different place today and I am grateful to my former partner for the role he played which helped me get where I am today. When I found Melanie’s website and found words to label the craziness I had been living in I experienced a sense of relief and enlightenment that was like a rocket ship taking off. The ride has not stopped. Thank you Marla. Thank you Melanie. Thank you former partner.

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      September 26, 2014

      Hi Jacqueline,

      you are welcome.

      How wonderful that you have done such a great job of breaking free emotionally!

      I always know when there is gratitude towards the experience and the former partner how real that is!

      Mel xo

  • magmar311@gmail.com'
    Marla
    September 25, 2014

    Thank you Jacqueline for sharing. It is always inspiring & encouraging to be able to hear each others stories. I am so happy for you and the place that you are in right now!

    ~hugs

  • Kelhartford@gmail.com'
    Kelly
    September 25, 2014

    Thanks Marla for sharing your story. I am a Christian and also have been recently engaged to a narcissist. By the grace of God, I figured it out and broke off the engagement (even though he tried to rush a wedding with me as well…). He made me think I was the crazy one but am so thrilled to hear others have gone through this as well and there is healing on the horizon. Your story combined with Melanie’s materials have been a blessing of hope to me. I finally feel as if I know what to do and how to stop dating abusive men. I am ever grateful for your stories of strength, and for giving women like me a voice. God bless.

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 26, 2014

      Kelly, I am so proud of you! It takes strength & courage to break off an engagement. You were very wise & humble. I’m not sure I could of been able to do that…… my pride would have been in the way. I am so glad that my 20 years of being married to a N were not in vain and that I am able to share my story with others. I am actually thankful now for my marriage because I have my two beautiful daughters and the experience has molded me into who I am today. God is bigger and He has a wonderful plan for you! ~hugs

  • winnie.ramsey@live.dk'
    Winnie
    September 25, 2014

    Again a wonderful radioprogramme/interview – listened to it on facebook this morning. Great that she found a new good friend who had the overall perspective and could give good advice. You certainly need friends when you break free from an awful and mind blowing experience.
    Thank you both for this valuable insight and best of wishes to you both.

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 26, 2014

      I so glad you were able to listen Winnie. Thank you for your post & make the point about friends. Yes, we all need friends during different seasons of ours lives. I will be forever grateful for my friend and her family as they took me under their wings during this time. I have no idea where I’d be right now without her. You have reminded me of this beautiful poem. It’s a little long, but worth the time if you have never read it before.
      ~hugs

      Reason, Season, or Lifetime

      People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
      When you figure out which one it is,
      you will know what to do for each person.

      When someone is in your life for a REASON,
      it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
      They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
      to provide you with guidance and support;
      to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
      They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
      They are there for the reason you need them to be.

      Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
      this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
      Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
      Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
      What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
      The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

      Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
      because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
      They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
      They may teach you something you have never done.
      They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
      Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

      LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
      things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
      Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
      and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
      It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

      — Unknown

      • winnie.ramsey@live.dk'
        Winnie
        September 28, 2014

        A big thank you to you Marla for sending me this beatiful message – you are a darling person.
        Sunday greetings from an autum day near Copenhagen.
        Bless you.

        And as always thank you Melanie – so happy to have come across you on you-tube with your 3 programmes.
        What an aha-lesson you have given me in so many ways (two sides to a coin)!

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      September 26, 2014

      Hi Winnie.

      thank you! So glad you enjoyed the shows.

      Many wonderful wishes and blessings to you too!

      Mel xo

  • joanie42163@gmail.com'
    JMM
    September 26, 2014

    Hi Marla-

    Thank you for your candid honesty. My story is about the same. Married just short of 25 years. My oldest son knew of his fathers behaviors for (2) years before I told my story. Stayed for the kids sake. How sad is that! Working on my codependency and people pleasing issues. I have been no contact with the narc for 1 1/2 years. Three boys, two that have little to do with him. As you have said its not the gay part…its the lies, deceit, and manipulation I will be forever grateful to Melanie, this group and NARP. I have never been happier! Learned to put myself first..something I was never taught to do! Much love to you for sharing! XO

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 26, 2014

      Hi JMM. Well “Hip Hip Hooray” to you and the others who found themselves in similar circumstances and have moved forward! It’s the children that end up paying the price too. I pray that they easily let it go and it doesn’t haunt them in years to come. Children are wise but they bounce back easier too.
      Looking back at our situations, please don’t let putting the children first bother you. That’s what we did in that season. We did the best we could and that is good enough. In fact, when I knew I was going to move out it was also for my girls. Not only because they were getting the brunt of the verbal/emotional abuse, but I wanted to stand up for myself for once and show them that it is not o.k. to allow yourself to be treated in such a way…..ever!
      I am thrilled that you are learning to honor yourself! It will show in those around you. At times it seems as if it contagious. And I welcome positivity anytime! ~hugs

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      September 26, 2014

      HI JMM,

      so please you found your way with the help of this incredible Community and NARP.

      I ADORE that you have never felt happier – because that is what is available for all of us when we do the inner work!

      Yay! Just gorgeous 🙂

      Mel xo

  • ks@karenstrickholm.com'
    Karen Strickholm
    September 26, 2014

    Wow. This was great! Thank you for being so candid in the interview. I suffered for many years from narcissistic abuse from my mother. I am 56, and am just doing NARP now. Thank God for NARP!! It gives me such solace to know that even in my 50s, it is possible to heal and thrive. Thank you!

  • ks@karenstrickholm.com'
    Karen Strickholm
    September 26, 2014

    Thank you so much for this interview, to both of you! I am now 56, and have FINALLY discovered the wonderful NARP program. I was narcissistically abused by my mother for all these years, emotionally abused, and sadistically abused. I am, at last, moving forward as a survivor, on my way quickly to becoming a thriver. It is amazing how much stuff comes up to be healed, even in Module #1. Thank you!

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 26, 2014

      You are welcome Karen. I am so excited for you that you have discovered Mel and the NARP program. This is a wonderful supportive community and we are here for each other. Keep up the good work. Because you are moving forward, you are already a thriver in my opinion! ~hugs

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      September 26, 2014

      Hi Karen,

      you are so welcome. You are TOTALLY on your way to Thriving, it is plain to see in your message and your energy shines through loud and clear.

      I agree with Marla – you are Thriving now!

      Mel xo

  • kimbshield@yahoo.com'
    diane
    September 26, 2014

    Thank you Melanie and Marla, hearing a survivor story is validating and it gives hope. when feeling so low with abuse, hope is the most wonderful thing. the validation of the pattern of abuse is amazing, the circumstances are different but the words of abuse and the way of abuse are the same, the belitting until you shrivel all so he can feel good, the inability to recognize you as a person in your own right, the looking good to the outside world and being so negative when out of sight. the pattern is so real that it is almost eerie how it can happen in all walks of life. Melanie, thank you for NARP and thank you Marla, for sharing your story.

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 26, 2014

      Yes Diane, I agree. The same story plays out for us just with different details. When I discovered Mel and all her information it also confirmed that I wasn’t crazy….. (he almost had me convinced). It was also comforting knowing that there were others out there who knew what I had gone through the minute I mentioned narcissistic abuse. There is something calming and relieving when you finally know that someone “gets it.” The days of shriveling & pain are over and soon you will actually find things that you are thankful for. (Feels weird I know). This community is growing and I am dedicated to getting the word out. We are blessed to be of this generation that have the internet! ~hugs

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      September 26, 2014

      Hi Diane,

      I agree hope is so important, and that is what I love about these shows, and how they can inspire.

      You are so welcome re NARP Diane.

      Bless, hugs and healing.

      Mel xo

  • theonedewey@hotmail.com'
    Clarie
    September 26, 2014

    I really enjoyed the show! I got so much out of Marla’s experience, how she handled it and how it worked out. It was very encouraging, very down to earth. I appreciate your openness and candor Marla. Thank you. 🙂

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      September 26, 2014

      You’re welcome Carie. It’s all about being “real” now, (true to myself) and speaking up. It is what it is. I can’t change the past but I can sure take charge of my future. I am so glad that you were encouraged! ~hugs

  • Kelhartford@gmail.com'
    Kelly
    September 26, 2014

    Marla,

    Thank you for your kind words… You inspire me to heal and I am thankful God has used your story after all you went through. You and Melanie are my heroes! And it seems strong to leave an engagement but my “strength” didnt seem so in the way that I did go back to my ex fiancé (the N) twice after I broke off the engagement thinking now he “gets it”. Nope, this last time it involved another woman and I couldn’t believe it. If anyone is still considering, don’t go back!! My N was so “nice” and had been my friend for 13 years, my fiancé, and a church goer besides, as was his (now I realize) narcissist family. I couldn’t believe the disrespect that came from this N and family when you just aren’t expecting it. Totally replaced in a second and I never would’ve thought that could happen so quickly, just like yours switched with you Marla after your marriage. Long story short, I have kept him blocked for a month now since the final breakup but it’s difficult since he is already been with someone else probably before we even broke up. I have to remind myself that it isn’t something wrong with me and that I deserve to be whole and happy. I am in my 30s and desire a healthy relationship and now I know it starts with me. I am so looking forward to true healing. I want to look into this narp healing you had talked about but also don’t want to compromise my faith so I am reading about it all and learning 🙂 Thanks for showing me how to be open minded. Thanks also to Melanie for these opportunities to heal so many women. I am grateful for women like you who boldly share their story. Hugs back.

  • magmar311@gmail.com'
    Marla
    September 26, 2014

    Kelly you are so very welcome. Please don’t look at your past with any guilt. You did what you thought was best at the time, & you are not alone. And, like me, we were way too “nice” and now we know. So please keep a clean conscious. And I too am very disappointed with his family (but not surprised). They were the family that everyone wanted to be “a part of”. Grandma played the organ for the church for 40 years &…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 😉 They were very manipulative and the family had this “unwritten code of conduct” that I picked up on right away. And, if you point out the elephant in the room they would lash out at you for doing so. I get it.
    I am so pleased that you have found this community, Mel & the Narp program. And yes, you will have questions as you get deeper into the healings. Please feel free to keep in touch during your journey. I am here for you, even if it is just to toss around some questions & beliefs. Here is my e-mail.
    magmar311@gmail.com ~big hugs

  • drmallikagoyal1@gmail.com'
    mallika
    September 29, 2014

    Dear Marla, Great story… it was almost like I were the one telling my own experience of a little over 20 years. The verbal abuse is what the bulk of our relationship was all about. For me too everything snapped when he started abusing our son regularly and I was not even permitted to question it..more raging, violence, accusations if I brought it up… his family abetted him all these years ,and I looked the crazy one making ludicrous accusations that he denied and his family supporting him…finally, like you, I needed the proof of infidelity to actually out him and put end to everything.. so I hired investigators and got the evidence I needed to get his parents and him to shut up…for now, though I am still under the same roof as him, but on my terms.. our son has left for college so I do not have to deal with him on a daily basis.. I am practically no contact with him.. and healing..I do worry for my son, specially since an abused son is likely to grow up to be an abuser himself..

    • drmallikagoyal1@gmail.com'
      stronger
      September 29, 2014

      Melanie, can you change my name in the post above to distraughtmom please

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      October 2, 2014

      Hi Malika, thanks for the post. Us moms need to stick together. 😉 That “Mama Bear” in us is a powerful force. We’ll do anything for our children. I am glad that you were able to get the “proof” that you needed. My N still smears me with his family. But actually, just recently, my daughters have reported that he has burnt the bridge with his family too.
      Although your son is away for college, our children have a way to sense our strengths & weaknesses. When we empower ourselves it flows over & empowers our children. They bounce back quicker than we do most times. Just hang tough for him, be there for him and continue to work and take care of yourself. Have you listened to Mels shows on how to empower our children? It helped me out tremendously.
      Blessings to you and your son during this next season! Things will be getting better.
      ~hugs

  • Conniesq@yahoo.com'
    Connie
    September 29, 2014

    Marla and Melania,
    Thank you both for sharing. Like others, I could identify with parts of your story. Like you, I struggle with balancing my belief system and what is God’s will truly. Thank you, Marla, esp. for your encouragement at the end. As helpful as my Pastor has been (counseling us) the Narc is beyond what the Pastor (or I!) can do and I do need something more. The Narc will not be held accountable and refuses professional counseling. He’s active and well liked at our church. Yet, behind closed doors he’s a different man. I gave him an ultimatum and he refuses and now I’m painfully going through the process of following through with leaving him. I’ve alienated my girlfriends because of the Narc so I feel alone (even though we are taught God is always with us.) I also know everything happens for a reason and God uses people, things, etc. to speak to us. Having listened to your story, I know I need to and can move on regardless of what the Narc says or other people think. God bless you and your daughters and your continued journey, Marla. Thank you again. God is good all the time!
    Blessings,
    Connie
    P.S. Pray I have the courage (and funds) to begin the NARP program…

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      October 2, 2014

      So good to hear from you Connie. You are doing the right thing by following through on your ultimatum. That is often the first step to our empowerment journey & new season. I am thankful that your pastor was willing to meet with you both and that he actually see’s the N and his damage, slyness, evil, etc. Our pastors didn’t want to see the truth because he was such an asset to them & the church. Because of that I had to let go of a lot of circles of friends. Please don’t feel alone during this time. Feel free to e-mail me at
      magmar311@gmail.com anytime for anything. I’d love to help & support you during this transition. I know how lonely it can feel. I am proud of you for taking the steps to move forward. No-one should stand for being treated that way. My continued prayers going up for you. ~hugs

  • ndiwa98@yahoo.com'
    Kim Hall
    October 4, 2014

    Who Does This, But God!!! We serve an AWESOME God!!! LOL!!!

    • magmar311@gmail.com'
      Marla
      October 4, 2014

      Yes Kim, so so so Amazing!
      ~hugs

  • LogSmithy@gmail.com'
    William Lasko
    August 5, 2015

    Frustrated.

    My NARC is my wife and we’re in a divorce now. She’s using the adversarial court system to handily exact as much confusion and punishment as she can. I can now see she’s had this NPD for much of her life. Our pastor, when hearing she’d accused me of it being all my fault that her adult children and grand children are not in her life, just shook his head saying this has been a problem for many many years with her. We’ve been in relationship since October 2012 and married since 31 December 2013. I’m frustrated because of the seemingly obvious disconnect between personal healing and growth and dealing with the courts and her lies and manipulations now. There is not time to go through the healing process before this must be dealt with.

    So, how do you “win” in settlement with a hostile NPD? I’m sitting here without money for an attorney or employment trying to prepare for a final hearing in less than 28 days. You get so off balance in the midst of the abusive treatment that it’s hard to know where to begin in presenting the real truth. At this point, I’m thinking the best thing is to break down several statements made by her and her attorney in court on July 15th – accusations and things to put me in a bad or unfavorable light. Purely lies none the less. So, I look to prove each of them to be just that – and thus the real truth. For instance, when her lawyer is stating that I haven’t even lived together with my wife since January of this year – that’s to make it sound like I have abandoned the marriage and her – but we indeed lived together right up to about a week before she had me served with divorce papers. I performed several improvements to the property, made maple syrup during the season and tilled and planted the gardens right through the 3rd week of April and I was served the papers away from home on May 1st. A simple, dumb lie and easily proven as such. She tells her lawyer what she wants to and he sets out to push it as if it is real. Her and her attorney insisted, in court, that I had not worked or contributed to the home since we were married 31 Dec 2013. Again, a simple and dumb lie. I have earnings statements for work I did for a client, expense receipts for getting that work done as well as work done and the purchasing of materials to also construct a commercial kitchen at home to start a pizza business. She handled all finances and kept it all to herself. Immediately after we were married, she told me the next day she was quitting her job – when I didn’t have one. She had a 2 year old 140,000.00 mortgage and quit her good job and walked away from health insurance without discussing it or making a plan first. That was a huge amount of pressure to place on a new marriage. In court her attorney and her completely changed the details of her Financial Statement to go from claiming $4387.00/mo income to $545.00/mo at this hearing. She claimed she retired (when her financial advisor explained she could only get $231.00/mo.) She rolled what she had into an IRA – and pays penalties and interest to use any of it because she’s too young and is taking it out too early. After she headed out on this hell bent notion to “retire” (quit her job before she pushed some escalating anger issues with a co-worker and her supervisor too far and was fired), I came up with an idea to start a pizza on the farm business with a commercial kitchen being required and outdoor wood fired masonry ovens. She agreed to this for a plan for us to make ends meet and build up her 401k for actual retirement. She had an intense battle going on with her adult children and one obtained a Harassment Restraining Order against her 10 months before we were married. During the drama of all of all that, her kids hated that I stood up to them to protect her from their nasty and hateful behaviors towards her. (I was new to it all and it seems way over the top – I had no idea yet that she’d provoked such horrendous wrath in her adult children.) That daughter was cut off from her rented home (old family home on the same property) by her having the door locks re-keyed while she was away at work one day in March of 2013. She took a brown paper sack and placed some medicines and a few of the kids clothes and handed these to her daughter where the driveway had been blocked, kicking her out. The police were called and ordered her to hand over the keys.

    She got herself cut off from her grandchildren and her adult children. They said some things regarding how they don’t ever want to see her again, adding, especially if I am in her life. This divorce is now about her reconnecting with the daughter who got a restraining order against her – choosing to seek forgiveness while blaming me for everything that had happened. The daughter was also turned in for welfare fraud and busted – has to repay $$ to county – so hates her mother for this as well. Now, two Narcissists are playing each other for Narcissistic Supply.

    Seeing our marriage fail would be most pleasing to the daughter so very tempting to use a carrot and stick to get that to happen – all the while consoling her mom, pretending to believe that the problem has been me all along. My wife will get hurt in a much much bigger way than any of the times in the past – but she just will not take any responsibility for her choices or behavior – nor will her daughter. She seems as willing and apt to discard me to get what she wants without having to “earn it” as a person fraudulently obtaining credit cards or writing bad checks to get what they want, or feel entitled to. No conscience, no remorse – nothing. It’s as if she’s dead to real feelings and the truth.

    I’m actually quite happy to be away from them! I’m just having quite a time getting ALL of my personal property that is mine – I want NOTHING of hers, and to be fairly compensated for half of the value of the improvements I made to her property. A NPD thinks in terms of all or nothing and if you give an inch she’ll (mine) take a mile. The judge hearing this divorce is the same judge that listened to the case for having a Harassment Restraining Order – which was requested for both of us, but the judge saw then that I was merely caught up in the middle of an ongoing upset and declined to place a RO on me. So, – that’s my plan – to not try to sort out every conversation of weird behavior but pick a few (maybe a dozen) lies and expose the truth associated with them.

    For us people having to heal AND endure a war in court with our NARC – we need clearer guidance on how best to appropriately expose the lies and controlling behaviors. Healing will require distance from this experience – not during the heat of it all.

  • lovemekids8@gmail.com'
    Shaz
    July 7, 2016

    Wow. I’m early days in separation with 8 kids. In protection, With backlash of christian culture.
    Trauma so evident and a narc.

  • 77hbee81m@mail.com'
    Hawk
    July 21, 2016

    Yo, that’s what’s up trlhyfuult.

  • 8q0lokb40el@yahoo.com'
    http://www./
    December 26, 2016

    These are the types of polishes that Essie is known for but I usually don’t like them so much because there is still VNL after 3 coats. It is pretty but I probably wouldn’t wear it.

  • barbykelly1@gmail.com'
    Changing
    June 17, 2018

    Thanks Marla for sharing. Glad to hear you and your girls are doing great. Well done! Big hug.

  • pparrish2@comcast.net'
    Patty Parrish
    July 6, 2018

    This was my life. Thank you for telling your story.

  • cwlarry@aol.com'
    Marilyn
    April 13, 2019

    Thank you Thank you so much!! We also were in ministry and I struggled so much with failing God. This is so my story as well. Thank you for sharing your story. It lets me know I’m not alone. So not alone.

    • Melanie Tonia Evans
      April 13, 2019

      Marilyn,

      You are so welcome.

      I’m so pleased you don’t feel alone.

      Love and blessings to you.

      Mel 🙏💕❤️

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