So how does the fact that you had the non-parent similar to my non-mother impact your life?
Just imagine this: you were a victim - abused, sometimes 'used', neglected, maybe beaten - but you grew up without knowing the truth; you are convinced that the person who loved you the most couldn't be your abuser; you don't connect your problems with mental health or addictions to the possibility that you were not loved whatsoever and that you live in tremendous lie, backed by the family, society, church and yourself. And now, you are a grown-up person, making stupid decisions no one with a span of sanity understands.
One of the most ludicrous choices is marrying the person who... doesn't love you. Yet, it is not so ludicrous if you'd know the truth, for this is what you've learned: to see love where there is no love, to search gold in a big reeking pile of shit. You dig and dig, you are dirtier and dirtier, but you don't give up and you find these efforts as a proof for your stamina and strong character.
It's sad. It's pathetic. My heart, however, is full of compassion for these souls, because their feelings, unlike 'feelings' of the narc scumbags, preying on them, are genuine, and the pain is a hundred percent real. I'd like to tell them not to look gold where there only can be dung found.