Are You Dating a Narcissist?

July 7, 2009
Caravaggio's Narcissus

Caravaggio's Narcissus

Narcissus in Greek mythology is a hero, renowned for his beauty. He is exceptionally cruel, in that he disdains those who love him. As divine punishment he falls in love with a reflection in a pool, not realizing it is his own, and perishes there, not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection.

In The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell, narcissism is defined as a very positive and inflated view of the self. Twenge and Campbell make the argument that narcissism is rampant, causing depression and loneliness as it spreads throughout our culture. I’ll reserve judgment on the question of the pervasiveness of narcissism – I know many young people, and very few meet the definition, in my view.

What I found most interesting about the book was the discussion around narcissism and dating. Most of the people you get involved with will fall far short of this full-blown personality disorder, but there are definitely people out there who have  unjustifiably high self-esteem, and they are terrible relationship risks.

What is a narcissist?

  • Approximately 1% of the population is narcissistic.
  • 75% of narcissists are men.
  • Narcissism is a psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
  • A narcissist sees his life as a movie or dramatic story in which he has the starring role. He creates a character, and assimilates the emotions of that character.
  • Narcissists appear to have emotions, feelings, empathy; they cry, laugh, feel your pain, etc, but none of this is real.  They don’t feel it.  It’s not linked to anything internal.  They’re crying at the funeral, for sure, but on the inside they’re wondering why it doesn’t hurt as much as they think it should.
  • They are extremely vain.
  • They are often very outgoing, with a “larger than life” personality. They are great fun in social situations, which makes them popular.
  • Hurting a narcissist does not cause him to feel sadness. You can only make a narcissist feel rage.

Hooking up is perfect for narcissists:

  • Since hooking up is about what you want, rather than what the other person wants, it’s the perfect sexual experience for a narcissist.
  • Hookups move the focus of sexual relationships away from the whole person by emphasizing physical attractiveness.
  • Because physical intimacy precedes emotional involvement, it’s difficult to scope out the emotional character of a guy before hooking up.
  • Narcissists worry about “settling,” and are always on the lookout for something better. Hooking up is the perfect framework for that because no one finds it particularly unusual or troubling if a guy doesn’t want a relationship, but prefers to always be hooking up with someone new.

What are narcissists like in relationships?

  • They are exciting, excelling at the fun and novel stage of a new relationship.
  • They enjoy the passion of new love, but do not develop feelings of caring as the relationship progresses.
  • They are all about feeding the ego; always their own, but sometimes yours too.
  • They seek partners who make them look and feel powerful, special, admired, attractive, and important.
  • They are indifferent to the core qualities of healthy relationships: real love, caring, commitment and loyalty.
  • Narcissists exhibit the same qualities at work and among friends, but their true character is more obvious in romantic relationships, because there are fewer rules for how to behave, and because someone who has fallen for a narcissist will often put up with a great deal that others would not tolerate.
  • Narcissists don’t feel guilt, based on an objective right and wrong. They feel shame, based on exposure.  When they get caught, their answer is always the same: “Wait, that’s not really who I am…”
  • Narcissists regard relationships as interchangeable. If you do not fuel the needed status and self-esteem, he will quickly find another relationship that is more rewarding.
  • Narcissists play games:
  1. They are dishonest.
  2. They give mixed signals, running hot and cold.
  3. They play people against one another.
  4. They avoid real commitment.

Recently I wrote about the Principle of Least Interest. This is one of the narcissist’s favorite games. They continuously seek to demonstrate that they care less than the other party, thereby claiming the upper hand.

  • Narcissists are unable to receive criticism of any kind, often reacting with denial and abuse, sometimes even rage. Narcissists become hostile and defensive very quickly when they feel cornered by criticism.
  • Narcissists get angry and aggressive when they feel that their freedom is restricted, so pressuring them for a commitment often causes them to “flip out.”
  • Narcissists can’t cope with rejection, and will avoid allowing someone else to end the relationship at all costs. Often those dating a narcissist will feel better when he refuses to let go, interpreting his desperation to stay in the relationship as a sign of real “deep down” caring. In fact, it’s about pride and ownership. Narcissists can’t tolerate someone else calling the shots, robbing them of their power.

Why do women date narcissists?

Women date narcissists for the same reasons they date jerks, frequently forcing nice guys into last place. We want it all. We want the challenge and the magic passion with a guy who has confidence, charisma and a great sense of fun. But we also want deep caring, with intimacy and commitment. Narcissists deliver big on the magic, and come up empty on the caring. They save the bad stuff for later.By the time you realize that, you’re often in pretty deep, addicted to that bad, bad boy.

Dating a narcissist is dangerous, potentially destroying your ability to have a normal relationship in future:

  • People who have been burned by narcissists are understandably wary and find it difficult to trust others.
  • They also lose trust in themselves, feeling stupid for not having realized his true character.
  • Victims of narcissists spend a lot of time wondering how they got they way, and rehashing nearly all of their interactions to identify the warning signs they missed the first time around.

What is the best way to avoid a narcissist?

  • Make an effort to identify them based on their history. Narcissists leave a trail of heartbreak, deception and unmet expectations.
  • Don’t let a suspected narcissist talk his way in. They will often try to cover their insensitive and deceitful behavior by claiming that there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding. It is always the other person’s fault.
  • Watch for clues. If a guy tells you, “I am a selfish person,” believe him. He’s not being self-deprecating, he’s understating what a narcissist he really is.
  • Put up boundaries. Be friendly, but not friends. Do not put yourself in any situation where you need to trust them.
  • Reject the temptation to become “the cure.” You cannot identify and treat the unconscious deficits in self-esteem. Narcissists rarely change, especially in relationships.
  • Don’t initiate conflict. Any claims, no matter how true, will be met with defensiveness, hostility, perhaps even violence. In fact, you are actually feeding the narcissist’s needs by focusing on him. He is still the star of the show.

How can you get rid of a narcissist?

Don’t reward a narcissist by making drama. The only way to make a narcissist understand personal rejection is to convince him that he doesn’t exist in your life. Ignoring him or humiliating him by failing to give him the starring role, or any role, is the only way to cause real injury to a narcissist. It also happens to be the best way for you to move on.

The bottom line is this: It’s all about them.

A narcissist values a relationship only if he believes it makes him look and feel superior. Have you been involved with someone who has narcissistic tendencies? How did you get out?


Twenge, Jean M., PhD and Campbell, W. Keith, PhD, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, New York, Free Press, 2009.

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  • Morning_glory

    I did!! Hahaha, but I hadn't realized until now how perfectly he fit this description. The part about how sometimes they also feed your ego was genious. It finally made sense why he was telling me how great I was TO HIM 24-7. Not 'cause he thought I was great, but because he could always get his way with me. We were in a very weird “relationship” for a few months last year, until I discovered he was a manipulative, self-obsessed liar and that he also tried to hook up with other girls behind my back (tried and failed big time, I may add hahaha). So anyway, I told him to get lost, and refused to hear his absurd explanations. Which worked like a charm, because he has being chasing relentlessly ever since, calling and texting me every few weeks. I mean, he's even got a girlfriend, but he insist in “saving our friendship” and sends me messages through our mutual friends every chance he gets. The big loser even told my best friend that he's got me a present for my upcoming birthday. By now it's just pathetic. After reading this, I feel even more sorry for the poor bastard. But he deserved losing me, so to bad for him. Like you say over there: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  • susanawalsh

    Oh Morning glory, you are now fully back in good graces, little white sheep. You are one strong woman with an excellent pair of ladyballs. I know one guy who meets this profile, and what freaked me out is that the woman who dated him has learned, through trial and error, that the thing that gets to him the most is ignoring him. He literally can't stand it, six months later. She's denying him a starring role. I like to think of him turning and tossing at night (hopefully alone in his bed, not inflicting his horrible personality on some new girl). In the end, though, you have to ALMOST feel sorry for these types. They have never known real love, and probably never will. That's tragic, I just wish they didn't leave victims in their wake.

  • drew

    Oh my goodness. This is pretty spot-on. The saddest thing is, even reading this and knowing that my ex-boyfriend was selfish and manipulative, I STILL cry all the time about him and we broke up over 5 months ago….and I broke up with him. During the relationship I felt simultaneously needed and completely disposable–it was bizarre. Hope I can find someone else soon who was half as funny and attractive as he was. Because as of now, I still feel a gaping hole :(

  • susanawalsh

    Drew, thank you so much for commenting and sharing that experience. It really is devastating to fall for someone who is incapable of giving love. I think your description of feeling simultaneously needed and disposable is really interesting – of course, it begs the question of what you were needed for.

    Five months is a long time, but truthfully, many women take longer than that to get over someone they were really in love with. And the manipulative guys are hardest of all to get over, because we saw glimpses of something real and caring, only to see it vanish. We wonder what we can do to get that part of the guy to dominate.

    But guys like that are truly a waste of time, because there are many men out there who are funny, AND attractive AND caring. Can't live without the caring in the end. You have done the right thing. There will be someone else. Always remember these two things are true:
    1. Everything changes.
    2. You will be surprised.
    That leaves lots of possibilities open for you. I've got my fingers crossed.

  • susanawalsh

    P.S. I wrote a series about breakups. Check Best Posts for the Girls' Kickass Guide to Surviving a Breakup. It has stood the test of time, and many, many heartbreaks.

  • playad

    I think you're spot on about who a narcissist is and what characteristics they might portray, however, I can't say that I agree with this line: “Ignoring him or humiliating him by failing to give him the starring role, or any role, is the only way to cause real injury to a narcissist.”

    All I have to ask is – why aim for the intent of causing injury and humiliation by ignoring him? What if you're wrong? Seems a bit cruel to me. Especially if you're wrong in the assumption that your date is a narcissist – ignoring him or her will simply cause you to burn your bridges.

    Even worse, ignoring someone to humiliate or hurt them suggests that previous relationship baggage is being carried over into future dating situations.

    I think for most people the major point I would take from this is that only 1% of the population is a narcissist. That should be a big enough hint that odds are, treating someone as though they have qualities of a narcissist can and will make ending a not-so-great dating experience even more difficult (for both parties).

  • VJ

    I think the 1% figure is the population of clearly pathological & anti-social narcissistic types. It seems to be spread quite liberally throughout the population as far as 'trends' are concerned. And ignoring anyone is the least harmful action anyone might take in any relationship. Eventually they'll get the hint. Often explanations are needless & pointless. The really good & 'pro' narcissists can easily turn every explanation around and offer a very plausible & believable excuse for every point by way of rebuttal for their 'excuses' for inexcusable behavior. It's often very toxic & destructive for all concerned, (enablers, family, friends, acquaintances) as they're often so 'believable' and often attractive on many levels too.

    But 'humiliation' is indeed needlessly complicated and sometimes hazardous. Just try and forgive (yourself mostly) & forget. Or more quickly, just be Gone, and time will work it's magic and you'll hopefully forget soon enough. That seems to work just as well. Cheers, 'VJ'

  • susanawalsh

    Hey, playad, thanks for joining the conversation. I am not advocating causing injury to a narcissist. I was just citing the research that says a narcissist cannot be “touched” emotionally, and can only understand rejection in the context of realizing they have become unimportant in your life. I'm not suggesting that anyone jump the gun and write someone off prematurely. I'm saying that when you are in a relationship who has nothing to give emotionally, the most effective way of moving on is to cut that person out of your life completely and not look back. Because they will try everything in their toolkit to keep you involved, supporting player to their starring role.

  • susanawalsh

    That's excellent advice, VJ. And yes, I agree, the 1% figure refers to the true sociopaths. Many, many people have narcissistic tendencies. Just read “Oh Crap, I'm a Narcissist!” to see what I mean.

  • annie7rose

    Hi. I've spent the last 5 days while my boyfriend was away on vacation researching Narcissistic boyfriends, and I think mine is. Anyway, I pity him and still love him mostly because I love most people in my life, but I love myself and my son more so I believe I have to end it. The first clue for me that got me wondering was how bad sex was. I felt like an object for his masturbation, very robotic and no passion, and he refuses to kiss my anywhere during sex and is just not cuddly or affectionate at any time, but he acts sensitive and seems to feel bad for me for my having been through a bad marriage with my ex Narcissistic husband, who was extremely expensive and would not work, and was always abusive, but put on a good show in public and was always commanding me to smile because “people are watching”. The new “soon to be ex boyfriend” (because I intend to break up with him after his vacation so he can enjoy his vacation) fooled me because he acted helpful even though it has been destructive, and he has been staying with me and not helping with any expenses. My current boyfriend is super cheap, and that's what fooled me is because my ex husband was super impulsive about spending (my money). My current N actually seems to flinch when I try to kiss him and it wasn't his move. He only kisses me by pressing lips together, no open mouth or french, and I have been starving for passion. I did tell him what my concerns were and where he can kiss me to make me melt, but he just won't. I did discuss the finances, and how I thought he was too cheap to be the commitment type, but he says to let the relationship just work it's own way and see what happens. I think he is trying to imply commitment, but not promising so he doesn't look like the bad guy. Anyway, I think I've had enough of this N. Great article by the way :)

  • annie7rose

    OK, there's more, but I was worried all my previous typing would not go through. He is also very vain and you cannot comment on anything that an opposite to what he believes. He is very defensive if I suggest maybe his comb over isn't the best hair style for him now that he is balding on top. It's actually a comb forward so he can have an attempted young man's hair style. I sent him a collage of sexy bald men with short hair to show how sexy bald men could be and he was so affended and cried. If he notices me looking at his bald spot he gets mad, but I was only looking closely because I thought I saw a suspicious mole and was worried it was cancerous, and I'm comfortable with his bald spot. He where very tight clothes to always flash his big muscles. When I met him he was skinny (and nicer) and I was fine with that, but now that he's living off me, he can afford his expensive protein powder and eat dam good. He claims he is just very sensitive, but I think he is very self centered and refuses any input from anyone unless it is in agreement with him. He will just disappear and not talk to family members if they bring up an unfavorable topic. He only talks to people he sees an advantage to knowing somehow, but if there is no advantage, he just leaves the room and says he's busy or shy or they smelled. He can't figure out why people don't say hi to him and it's them not him, but I think now that he's getting older and getting wrinkles, his true self is showing on his face and he just does not look friendly. He likes to watch movies that make me cry because he thinks it's cute, and he cries too, which is the confusing part ince he has so many other N symptoms. Maybe he is mimicing me, which I have caught him do, or maybe he is somehow internalizing the drama which makes him cry. He likes the chick flick and drama more than me. I like comedy, action adventure, and scifi. He says the same thing my ex always said (because my child comes first for my love)…he says “you are a great mom”, but I get the feeling it isn't meant as a compliment and my intuition feels there is a unspoken feeling of he wishes I was a better girlfriend. OK, I could nitpic away some more, but these are the main issues. Thanks for letting my blab away here. My flaw is that I am too willing to go without so those I love can have. It's not good, and I have been so self critical and had on myself and I have to try and be nicer to myself. I've been the perfect woman for a N to keep around.

  • susanawalsh

    Hey annie7rose, thanks so much for commenting. Yikes, this guy sounds like a terrible, terrible boyfriend. If he had a great character and was generous, I would be really concerned about the bad sex and even worse kissing. But he stays with you, doesn't contribute, and wants to “see what happens?” I agree with you that what needs to happen is that he leave. You deserve better.

  • susanawalsh

    Whoa, this guy sounds totally toxic! Honestly, you sound like you are caring and generous to a fault. You need to move on and look for something better. I'm a big believer in therapy – I wish I could carry a shrink around in my back pocket all day. You may want to talk with someone about why you have had two serious relationships with narcissists. Yes, they're out there, but so are much less destructive guys. It's time for you to choose one of them for a change. Best of luck.

  • annie7rose

    Thanks so much for your comments. It is so hard dating in the older fish pond. I am 40 and have been laid off due to downsizing from my job of 10 years, and have a special needs child so even though I am still positive, and very strong, and skinny/pretty, witty, and highly educated, I have had a tough time dating. It's not easy in my situation and so I decided for now I am just going to get my life back in order. Most of the men that are not yet married after 40 are losers. I have had to break up with closet alcoholics (very nice ones), closet pot smokers, and I just cannot get myself interested in a nice obese man so this N came along who is so healthy, smart, no addictions, and charming/cunning so it was very easy for me to make another mistake. For now I am just not going to date. I have to be employed again and settled for me and my son. Most men seem to automatically think us single moms are gold diggers, which really upsets me because I was always the breadwinner. I would love to seek counceling, but as of now I have no health insurance. Anyway, I hate to sound like an excuse person. I am very strong and survived pure hell with my ex. I'll be just fine :)

  • susanawalsh

    I totally respect your strength and determination in the face of very, very tough circumstances, and I admire your dedication to your son. I can certainly understand why you'd take a break from the dating scene. It's so discouraging that there are so few good men out there, but I agree that dating a loser is just not worth it. I wish you all the best.

  • annie7rose

    So I finally/officially broke up with N and he didn't seem to be phased, but I'll tell yah, come bed time, he really poured it on. Played the romantic music, got all sensitive, kissing me like he's never kissed me before. I let him work cause I wanted to see how good he actually could be in bed….all cuddly and affectionate now….hmmm…But I didn't let him stick his penis in me….haha! I told him I decided for my own mental clearness that I am never having sex again until I am married. It just complicates things and fogs the brain. I'm sticking by it, but dam….for a man who wouldn't french kiss or kiss my neck or give me oral…..he sure was a total different person last night…..”Who is this guy and how'd he get in my bedroom!?”. I knew it was an act….he's thinking “Free rent. Free food.” I just have to keep telling myself this because these personality types are cunning. Anyway, I thought it was funny the whole time, but I did cry once because I actually felt bad for him not having a soul, but he thought I was crying for me and he started crying and he said “this is when I love you the most is when you show your true self”. Anyway, I don't see me crying as my true self….I am positive and laughing as my true self, but I do cry for others, but he didn't know I was crying for him. I have broken up with him as boyfriend/girlfriend, and I am emotionally moved on, but I haven't had the heart to kick him out yet. I kind of like to break things slowly to people so I will require him to pay rent. I think he will leave then, but maybe not. But he is not gonna have sex with me. Hope that doesn't sound bad of me letting him spend 3hrs of foreplay…haha…I have a huge curiosity and I just had to see what he would do, what lengths he would go to, but I held my hand over my vagina…well….except for the oral, which he never did before, but suddenly he was so good at it. I guess for me it was just more of a confirmation of what I had thought. I have another bedroom that he will have to relocate to if he decides to stay and pay rent. I am so close to losing my house anyway mostly due to tax increases and job loss so the extra rent can help. I would keep him as a friend as long as he doesn't turn evil on me. I actually pity him, but no longer to my own sacrifice. Maybe I'm bad, but it is kind of funny watching him totally kissing my butt and he thinks I am fooled.

  • brigitte

    Annie7rose I empathise about what you've been through with this current narcissist male. I hope you have broken up with him totally and if not do so pronto. Your priority aside from your son is to put all your time and energy into getting another job, your in your 40's and every second counts regarding your entire future and self respect. Plus you won't get a good man at this age with a special needs son if you aren't seen as self sufficient.Being pretty for your age, bright and nice doesn't count a lot for the standard of partner you aspire to as the good ones can find heaps of females with your attributes and younger than you. A woman who is self sufficient, pay a baby sitter and fun to go out with is what appeals more to the middle aged male bracket of together type males to be with. Even then your not that likely to end up in a marital situation, but a long term positive part-time companion.Until you've got a job, fixed up your life & self, just go out with some girlfriends. Unless he found someone over his holiday, these N types are brilliant manipulators &can recreate themselves (another temp illusion) if you seemed serious about ending it with him, so my bets are he didn't get his final marching order despite your seeing the writing on the wall. It's not your weakness, they are tricky & very, very manipulative. Still you need to get him gone ASAP.
    When I did do my total end with the N in my life, there was nothing to write about why it had to end as in the past. It was horrifically patently clear it had to end and was definetly over.. I now visit these types of sites as a form of undoing & because I've got the things to still do in having my temp intervention order against him to be made into one for a year(with this one it's needed)
    Your narcissistic male will keep you drifting untill you've hardly any positive life options . Wishing you all the best. Also see the “Narcissists Suck” site.

  • Mary

    I was married 17 years to a narcissist, single 5, then spent the past 2 years with another “N,” even worse than the first. I am knowledgeable about the issue, am a healthy attractive 52 years old, and have a full and satisfying life. I am not a doormat codependent, yet I KNEW I was dating a narcissist, and kept doing it. He lost his two brothers in one year, and I made excuses for his victimized, depressed, irritable mood. But he only got more difficult to be around, and of course it's always my fault. In the past year, I “ended it” a few times, only for one of us to start it up again. Within the past week, I finally kicked the habit (if you know you need to stop, it really is a lot like trying to quit cigarettes!).
    I understand my own psychology and why these types attract me. I feel I've hit bottom with two very different styles of naricissist. Like a drunk ready to get sober, I will never forget where i've been, and I pray for a chance at a healthy, lovely relationship in the future. In the meantime, it's greata to be back in my own life, enjoying my home, children, friends, interests, and freedom from mean people.
    I began writing here because i am inspired by the strength and example of people who can see what's what and get out in less than a year. It does not appear brutal or mean, but INTELLIGENT!!! Thank you for your posts.

  • susanawalsh

    Mary, thanks so much for leaving a comment. It sounds like you definitely are ready to be single again for now, and I'm really glad to hear that you are enjoying all the things and people in your life that you love. You WILL have a healthy, lovely relationship if that's what you want, and if you remember not to get derailed by the charming but selfish type. That's a challenge, but I wish you all the best!

  • annie7rose

    Thank you Brigitte. I did break up with him. It's been difficult to get him to move out of my house though. I wasn't looking, but an old high school friend contacted me through facebook and we are now super good friends and a bit romantic, but I have decided to be celibate to keep my head clear and find the man who likes me without sex involved. It actually is a big relief to be celibate, guilt free, and be broken up with the N. The problem is that N won't leave and is supposedly looking for an apartment, but while my new interest is calling to talk on the phone, the N that is here now says I am rude and the new man should not be calling. I figure the N should have been a man and moved is butt out by now so he can't complain….it's not like he has even helped with any bills or anything. It's a bizarre situation, but I think I am being realistic, and for now the new man is a good friend and I like talking with him. It's such a nice change from the N, and I don't mean to be rude to the N, but in a normal situation, the man should make an exit after you break up. He's still trying to be cunning and confuse me, but I am totally turned off by N. N lurks around and listens to my phone conversations with my new male friend and questions me later….it just should not be this way and N has till the end of the month to move out. I should not be so nice to even give N that much time, but I can't help myself…..probably is why those N's like me so much. I think I have learned to be more cautious and the celibacy should really help me weed out the N's….it makes them powerless. Yes, I have to get my life fixed. This economy just is not helping. I do have a Master's degree and once I get settled and get a job, it should all fall into place (finger's crossed). Also, I don't care if I am alone. I am an artist and now will have plenty of time to pursue that interest so I am excited. You are so right. Narcissists do suck big time. My new guy friend does know about N and that I am trying to get him to move out. So I am not hiding anything, and N can't try and sabotage my new friendship with a new guy :)

  • susanawalsh

    annie7rose, I just want to butt in here for a second with my two cents. I'm really glad for you – it sounds like you have really taken control of your life. I totally agree about celibacy – when things are chaotic, it can really help to remove sex for a while. And I think it's great that you are reconnecting with an old friend, taking it slow for now.

    N sounds horrendous. If he doesn't move out soon, I would definitely have him evicted by the police. You really are being too nice to give him the whole month! He sounds like an incredible creeper.

    In the meantime, I'm keeping my fingers crossed too – best of luck with your art, that's awesome that you have a gift!

  • brigitte

    annie7rose it's good to see you are sounding overall quite happy. Your N is in a position that he may realise he has to lift his game, however reluctantly, for a bit in some areas in case a better offer eventuates where a new man will turf him out if your percieved as desired enough.Avoid the N knowing anything about your new friend and the actual level or type of involvement. You haven't achieved a true break up with the N, just your own recognition that the N isn't that great the way he is when other males may provide more recognition of your overall desirability and qualities The N isn't taking your supposed break up as the end of your relationship, waiting, watching and sizing up what he is going to react with and the degree..Presuming he is a true N he will make sure you will be punished for this, and it will happen , it won't be nice,as he is not out of
    your life. It could end up a dangerous situation for you and or your child in the end. you have created a very risky situation. Think as hard as you can with that good IQ after you get some form of free counselling,or better yet explore your situation with a man, best of all a policeman, your opener would be is there anything that I can do legally and fully describe the dynamics of N still there, your new male friend etc..
    And by the way witholding sex doesn't give you more power over most men, they can fill in gaps in various ways while they wait, especially the older they are.Don't be deluded by the begging for it, more to do with ego and control.You give yourself more personal power by witholding sex through not being made vulnerable & overwhelmed by the mix of emotions and lust affecting your judgement with a chance to see what a man really offers or how much he may value you overall. I mean well and want to be tactful though it wouldn't be that helpful skirting around it. If you have the features that parallel ( not saying the full on condition) this link you'll know that as well as the positive descriptors you have the risks for the down that can happen. If ever you've been through that you'll want to avoid it, plus that type is a dogs dinner in the end for a N.… check it out, take care and wishing you and your son the best possible

  • Maja9

    annie7rose, brigitte is correct, from all that I have read and learned. N is profoundly self-centered, and cannot love you, only what you can do for his ego. Whatever abuse or neglect he experienced early on (along with genetics) makes it impossible for him to participate in a mutual, loving relationship. He may even be able to give lip service to the fact that he has some bad behavior, but again — the admission of some responsibility is to con you, give you impression he has insight. He has no intentions for mental/emotional self-improvement.
    My ex-N lives 2-1/2 hrs away and we saw each other only on alternate weekends and some other time when my children are with their dad. N states our relationship has problems because we don't live closer together, and he pressured me to sell my house and buy one with him in my town. I told him if our relationship were healthy enough to do that, we'd be making those plans happily. As it was, I was healthy enough to see that was not a good plan. He was wounded by my refusal to change our living situation, and he got more volatile. I finally lost attraction to my ex-N. He called me yesterday, and although I always was kind in the little feedback I had the guts to give him, this time I calmly told him, “Your life is a train wreck — you look like hell, you act like it, your thinking is distorted — you have nothing for me.” He said, “My life's not a train wreck! … It's a problem!” Can you guess what came next?………… N: “… if you'd just cover me instead of confront me, and give me the help I need, maybe i'd be that nice guy you're looking for… ” He ALWAYS uses his stress and/or my insensitivity as an excuse for his rage.
    REMEMBER, there are reasons for his personality problems and behavior, and it is very, very sad, but NO MATTER HOW KIND, UNDERSTANDING, AND PATIENT YOU ARE, HE WILL NOT CHANGE BECAUSE OF YOU. YOUR REMAINING ANYWHERE NEAR HIM BY CHOICE ONLY VALIDATES HIS DELUSION THAT YOU ARE CONNABLE, that he can continue controlling you. Many of us are attracted only to certain types of men, and your own longing may make you vulnerable to filling that void too soon, with someone similar. It takes time for the true N to break thru the initial charm and “relationship-correct” verbals. GO SLOWLY with new guy, and keep sharing with your trusted girl buddies.

  • susanawalsh

    Maja9, welcome. I just have to say that I am amazed at the strength and support of those of you sharing your histories with narcissistic men. It's as if you have survived a war! Thank you for being there for each other – I don't have the expertise to delve into this issue more than I have in this post, but I'm glad you've all lived to share your wisdom.

    Just hearing what your ex said to you was powerful – I could feel myself getting sucked in! Promising to become that nice guy you're looking for…I can understand how irresistible N's can be, at least in the short term.

  • brigitte

    Maja9 it's good to have you here. When women are dealing with a true narcissist there is no scope for any level of involvement (aside from necessary access of children) that won't be detrimental to them. They will continually be disrespectful, abusive, controlling,draining and the longer they sustain an involvement make any ending as complex as possible. Of course they provide some carrots (better moments) interspersed along the way The carrots seem a lot better than they should as a lot of your world has been pushed out by them. Family and friends end up stepping aside waiting for you to finish the fiasco, though may well return as strong supports once they realise you are serious about ending it with the N and may need their help to get rid of him. I made the mistake of presuming I'd worked out how to make the N go away slowly himself and miss a messy reaction.In the end I just had to say an outright no after his last petty tantrum. Yes I got rage, threats, irrational demands for all kinds of things.Now it is taking the efforts of getting a long term intervention order, my sons time and support because of course he wants to contest it. Unpleasant as it is there has to be a total full stop. In the end I had to ask myself am I that sick that I'll tolerate disrespect, abuse , inconsistent craziness and a person who can't ever care a stitch about me and doesn't even have any stable identity.I'm not. Anyone can get suckered in, frozen in being perplexed and worn by what follows. Eventually you recognise the nasty empty monster driven by his insecurities, projections and envy will always be doing something to bring you down. It may sometimes be through his indifference and self centeredness and as often intentionally to hurt and control you. I found an N cannot even learn to mechanically carry out decent behaviour in a sustained way no matter how much it would be in his interest to become tolerable and realistically hasn't hardly any other options. The thing about an N , he cannot cope with not having more power than you. So no matter how low a bench mark you will allow with minimul standards for him and find ways of living around his limits he will be compelled to up his negative ante. So things just keep declining, any step forward will have 3 steps back by the N. Thus eventually anyone who can even still crawl departs from this. Best to go while you can run or at least walk away. The weird thing is the N behaves as if he is training you, to fit in no matter what.
    N understandably thinks it is working, as you are still there or come back even if you went. The N is in utter disbelief when eventually you've left. The most problematic type of N is generally the nastiest more irritable laziest type. Despite his denials to himself and you about his dispicable behaviour to a woman as a partner, he is aware that he won't sustain or even engage another by “acting” . He nolonger can really remember how to pull off the charming con for long enough. He has spent too long comfortably working on being cruel and inconsiderate. An energetic narcissist often just disappears to a new victim. My cat Phonix when she was only an indoor cat loved her little toy mice, playing with them with great excitement and enthusiasm, nothing gave her greater delight. Each week I had to replace the totally ripped up shreded bits of mouse with a new one. If only you could see that happy sweet face and gratefuly excited cat getting another intact toy mouse. The love a narcissist has is just like my Phoenix has for her toy mouse, and their intent is the same. It is also as “natural” to the narcissist to do what he does to his partner as it is for my cat to do what she does to mice.

  • BB

    brigette – what a great analogy you have give with Phoenix and the 'new' mice she delights in ripping up!

  • Marita

    I am in the midst of feeling torn between my healthy, strong, “real” self, and my old urge to get my ex(N) back and delusion that healing the relationship is possible. It's really not my ex-N I want back, but the chance to “be there for him,” as he really has had some huge things happen out of his own control. I also really miss the sex, particularly since I went so many years without a physical relationship.
    Though I ended the relationship in earnest a month ago, he has been nudging me with little emails to “call if there's anything at all further I want to talk about.” Yesterday I gave in & wrote back, w/ key issues for me, esp. constant blame of me for his feelings & reactions. His terse, one line less than ten minutes later: “OK, thanks. That just about says it all” triggered me to want to get more from him. I'm okay now, but it hurts again.
    Brigitte's words really amazed me in how precisely they describe my experience:
    “….I found an N cannot even learn to mechanically carry out decent behaviour in a sustained way no matter how much it would be in his interest… he cannot cope with not having more power than you. So no matter how low a bench mark you will allow with minimul standards for him and find ways of living around his limits he will be compelled to up his negative ante. So things just keep declining, any step forward will have 3 steps back by the N. Thus eventually anyone who can even still crawl departs from this. Best to go while you can run or at least walk away. The weird thing is the N behaves as if he is training you, to fit in no matter what.”
    N understandably thinks it is working, as you are still there or come back even if you went. The N is in utter disbelief when eventually you've left. The most problematic type of N is generally the nastiest more irritable laziest type. Despite his denials to himself and you about his dispicable behaviour to a woman as a partner, he is aware that he won't sustain or even engage another by “acting” . He nolonger can really remember how to pull off the charming con for long enough. He has spent too long comfortably working on being cruel and inconsiderate. “
    BRIGITTE, your words are an absolute gift from God right now — a perfect reality check, and I am grateful for them. The part of me that has difficulty “waving goodbye” as my life moves farther away toward healthier places feels guilty that he's still on his dis-eased continent. I'm still angry and I'm leaving, which makes me feel I'm judging him and being insensitive (just as he accused me of being).

  • Brigitte

    Marita thanks for your comments and BB regarding the Phoenix analogy, and Marita take heed of that analogy in detail as it is true in every detail. It's his natural state to treat you that way as my cat's was with the mice – Oh, how happy she'd be to have her mouse to play with and shred.
    If you are quite sure he is a N you have to stop seeing yourself as judging him negatively. You are facing the facts of how he has treated you, will continue to subject you to abuse and degridation all with a few pluses thrown in that really have no true meaning and be further damaged.This is an evaluation regarding his past repeated actions, looking at the consequences of his actions on you, not playing God judging him.

    Heroin addicts that have become damaged wrecks want to quit using, but it hurts the initial withdrawal though it is the only only solution. Don't worry about the sex, of course you miss it , but is the context acceptable, how much do you seem to mean to him after such intimacy & great encounter? And I can gaurantee it he'll eventually not let the sex be satisfying if you really enjoy it once he has you worn enough not to get it too soon elsewhere. How much empathy, sympathy and concern does he show about your pain or when he is hurting you?

    You are looking at a person with a condition that will always abuse you, someone who can't envisage or want to be otherwise, content to have such a warped status quo of interactions( it's not what can be truly called a relationship).
    You are actually coluding in permitting him to be more bad by giving the opportunity to be bad with you as that's all he'll be with you.

    Just like anyone on this planet he will have adverse events to deal with and you aren't seeking to bandage every one else in the world who hits this, only those in a truly reciprocal close relationship with you capable of appreciation. He is a N so doesn't fit the excuse to engage with him for compassion.
    Ted Bundy got caught, was facing his legal penalties, was utterly cruely depraved to his victims, but even he was under duress near the end. Would you have wanted to make him feel better?

    Stop the framing as your judging him, you are evaluating his actions and the consequences for you that are not acceptable. You are merely very different types of persons that cannot productively be together. That's all you ever say to him refusing to elaborate, just “we are different and I can't see it working, told you that, that's it,finished”. After that “I said it's finished, bye”, whenever he attempts contact.

    Ask yourself if you want to reach the crawling state waiting to be abused so much more that you end up so sickened and sick you are a pathetic wretch slowly crawling through your vomit and his shit with nothing about him you could miss.

    Or can you realise with your shaken reality and dignity that no man has the right to abuse you repeatedly whatever their problem etc.. AND ACT ON IT NOW!!

    Would you accept prostituting yourself on the shadiest streets for $30 a time and a shot of heroin, the $30 and the drug was good, would the price you'd personally pay be worth it?
    Remaining within contact with a N is the equivalent, selling oneself very short.
    If you let yourself have long enough with absolutely no contact, remembering what he is and does ( no good without something bad following) you will feel glad he is gone and feel so much better.

    There will be the initial void, the psychological uneasiness from the past damage and reorentating from the control he had of you, but its the discomfort that will lessen for having a reasonable life and self respect. Becoming some one your kin and kith can be proud to be with again, relieved for your returning.
    And it is the only chance for ever having the opportunity of a mutualy positive relationship – with another man – when you let yourself become healed again.

    The longer one spends (without necessity like those with mutual children & legal issues for delaying their imminent departure ) with a N, that is before leaving, despite being able to eventually recover, the more you will have reduced the level of your general wellbeing and readier options of the next stage.

    My departure was delayed for too long, some understandable reasons & some my frailties & untill recently lack of others direct assistance. The sister of the N who was overseas having taken in some of my issues with his behaviour in a rare conversation said if he is doing XYZ , run girl run. It is much later I realise she couldn't tell me what she'd worked out he really had become and there was one other comment that I now only know it's true significance in being a confirmation of what he is. I've left at the walking with an unsteady gait, any longer it would've been the crawling – ex N was working on it. I'll recover, am recovering, but have more to recover than if it had & could've been sooner. The price is very, very high in obtaining almost perfect knowledge about an ex who is truly a narcissist, where all understanding through experience, emotions and the cognitive conceptual components are alligned to the degree of a forensic psych dealing with malignant narcissists.Yes he fits every single description and criteria. To be with a N so long that every facet has been demonstrated, most repeatedly and other questinable factors excluded as the main condition is not a healthy safe amount of time to have spent with a narcissist.

    Any man enacting a relatively strong potential of being a narcissist has delivered sufficient indications of providing damaging ongoing degridation and abuse that is seriously toxic.
    Would you continue play with a heap of asbestos fibres that you found only rather irritating once you found out it was asbestos and risk impaired breathing and a painful death down the track or dump it fast?

    Marita you are clearly making a very genuine attempt to get free of your N and are concerned. If you don't yet succeed in keeping with this I doubt very much with what you have expressed that it's a short coming on your part, rather an indication of the disruption the experience of a N has had on you.You will get and keep away from him, hopefuly sooner than later and take, no demand any assistance from others ( councellors, kin & kith) for this if you find it too hard to muster the personal toughness yourself now. You are on “the edge of reality” so if you can push yourself that bit further and just do it, do so, or get help to do so.
    Examine how he has trained you & already reduced your world if he has had such impact to delay a final no contact.

    What comes through from you is that you are dealing with the real thing regarding narcissists, not just the self centered arrested developmental defensively chauvanistic male. The latter is bad news & pointless but doesn't equal what a narcissist will put you through or the risks over time. I have no professional expertise or qualifications about Narcissists or coped at all well with my personal experience with the one I had.
    I do have a background in social work post graduate level and have worked as one. There is something in me that can process from theory & past practice resulting in a feel for things that shapes any stronger conclusions. So while some personal lessons were late for the learning for myself, it is something from this that can give me a sense that feels I may be possibly on to something correctly. Though I'm not presumptious enough to be claiming anything for sure without professional peers to review my views.

  • Marita

    Briggitte, thank you for the continued support. I have spent energy trying to “make sure he is a real N,” not just a “self-centered developmentally arrested defensively chauvanistic male” (great description!). He fits the DSM criteria, but I've wondered, could a true N (1) consistently do nice things with & for me, (2) be aware of his personality issues (I think he knows he's NPD & he admits taking things negatively if it's unclear), and (3) really want to have a healthy relationship, which i think he does?
    I had enough time with him to know he is emotionally unhealthy, and I cannot be myself around him. My truth is not a judgment of his worth – I needn't feel guilty for leaving a situation that is harmful to me, regardless of how narcissistic he is or isn't!
    Your flat out NO CONTACT suggestion is the right one. I ended it last spring, w/ 3 months of no contact. I wasn't ready, so when he made his moves, I responded. The reference to addiction is apt — getting clean and sober doesn't usually happen on the first try. I've had a lot of therapy, and I see the reasons I stayed even when I knew I shouldn't. Getting & staying “emotionally sober” is tough. I'm fine most of the time, but those weekend nites and other specific times when I lack male companionship or help are vulnerable times for me. Planning good ways to spend these times is crucial.
    After ending a 17-year marriage to a scary N, I built a stable, fulfilling life. Starting to date is a challenge. With N, I was “myself” in the beginning, but you're right — he trained me. At first he talked about “relationships,” shared articles on codependency, etc. And he referenced the future. Part of me knew it was manipulative, to “lock me in,” and part of me liked thinking he wanted me in his life and talked about future events that included me. He changed suddenly, which I attributed to the fact that one of his brothers died 6 months before we met and his other brother was terminally ill & died a year after. Could his narcissism be that form of regressive N that can happen to during major life stress? The outbursts became more frequent, more intense, more out of proportion to what caused it, and a lot of times, I did nothing to cause it. It rings true for me that my difficulty resisting contact is an “indication of the disruption the experience of a N has had” on me.
    I also am a social worker, but in my own relationship, I am a civilian. Hearing from you is so helpful. I have researched NPD to death, and your comments seem accurate. Thanks for being there.
    [Note: I am also Maja9, and this might post that way. I got messed up trying to log on a second time and ended up having to give a new name.]

  • Brigitte

    Marita you have described quite an unbelievable number of parallels. I (am 54yo) ,ended up divorced at the same age as you, I'm normally viewed as attractive and the toll of dealing with this N has resulted in my gaining a lot of weight in the last 2yrs (had a few prior fat stages, loose it usually when I get back fully to my world). I ended up with this N 3 months after ex husb & I seperated.

    It was 9 years of this person with breaking offs throughout the time.
    I too had alternate excuses /diagnosis for the N, the shock of his ex abruptly leaving him & monopolising his kids, blaming his ex for her prior abuse of him & ongoing interfearance (his ex wife is a psychopathic PD or the most malignant form of a NPD, yet I'm sure he drove her nuts too) and her onslaught on me + including her kids (they are no better though with such parents what else could they be like), his developed chronic alcoholism, later fits to the level of seemingly temporary periods of brain damage shown, him being isolated from his family o'seas, his having shown a variety of personalities ( were talking about altered facial physiology, voice patterns& accents, not just values & personas), seeming depressed, etc..
    Well he hasn't been drinking for 2.5 yrs and has become a chronic hoarder /compulsive shopper with a rubbish tip of a house oozing with items and at the end of the day he has displayed constant proof of being a narcissist full bore.

    You need to look hard at the reality.
    While there are some reasonable men out there, very few are available.
    It can be possible to find another ,though realistically it's even more likely there won't be another, especially if you leave it much longer.
    (You will, if you want to, always be able to find a friend for sex )
    Ask yourself how intolerable do you find him compared to no man in your life for another couple of years?
    You will only be truly motivated to get and stay rid of him as much as you are more at ease without any man if it means having him around.

    If you continue with him in any way he'll have decided your desperate enough and lacking in self worth to be his subject on his terms. All Ns have the right words at the start and will intermittently come up with sounding as if you matter despite the fact nothing of that ilk will be delivered or improved behaviour sustained. A true mutually caring relationship is supportive and feels positive most of the time with occasional patches of problems.
    So far all of these miserable relationships where the guy does a few nice things and is disrespectful, irritable projecting blame eventually end.
    It isn't even that pleasant for a narcissist once he knows that he will encounter disapproval & criticism( even if don't express it as such) for many of his behaviours with you.N is only left with a greater need of control to enact out and repay you with.
    He already has eroded something of you that having any part of him has become worth the ugly rest

    .By the way most people hit with traumatic loss seem regressed & self proccupied in recovering themselves and getting things done.The capity for empathy, morality & caring are still there, but take a back seat in use while the afflicted is in survival mode.
    There is no thing like a regressive narcissist, just a N who has had their world shaken by an event. So that they who were a true narcissist, in their indignant annoyance of something out of their control impacting on “MOI??”. can't be bothered concealing their true self. So from the charming seductive narcissist, possibly not even noticed as a N, we see a bitter malicious N, far more noticable.

    What do your friends , family and children think of your involvement with this N?
    How desperate are you to have a man?
    Can you really respect yourself if you invent another excuse to delay the final door closing for good? Especially as you have reached the edge of reality.

    Saw this on another site:
    “daughter, instead of a wishing bone , get a back bone” ,
    I should have seen this earlier, that resonated for me than all the abuse info etc..
    Good luck, you can only do what you can and face your worst fears.

  • Marita

    EVERYTHING you mention is parallel. His face has truly changed, he changes with different people, lives in same cluttered, dirty studio apartment for 30 years, is inconsistent with money (e.g., we've been out to dinner exactly 5 times in 2 years), but spends huge money on food at Costco (11 legs of lamb last year — they were on sale) then has to give it away because he doesn't have room for it – an easy investment in N-supply from others rather than generosity. He would never tell me, but I believe he had addiction issues in the past and now is a dry drunk/clean addict, or maybe not. I suspect he is abusing his pain meds for back problem. JUST WRITING THESE THINGS is sobering — why would anyone go to the terrific trouble I have to be with this person?
    I started seeing him just after i turned 50, and admittedly, I had a crisis with that: 50, alone, sex-starved, how much longer do i have for a chance to have an active relationship where we're healthy enough to things together, etc. That's a big reason I stayed with him. Ironically, “doing things” was a small part of our time.
    My state of mind is settling down. I am not desperate to be with a man, but it is something i would like.
    About others' opinions, my daughter & brothers didn't like him, and though my best friend always just supports me, her husband tactfully gave his feedback with “I” statements, such as, “it's hard to have a conversation with him.” My body also tells me the truth. My appetite, sleep, mood, GI system, plantar fasciitis all are calm when I've decided to leave him. They churn up again when I go back w/ him.
    No, I cannot respect myself if i go back one more time. My kids have much going on this fall, and though I don't want to “live through them,” it's important to participate with them, spend time with my few close friends, and cultivate more of my own interests. I truly like & value my own life. N's contacts shoot holes in my resolve, so I have blocked my email to him and am making enjoyable plans with others for those vulnerable times when I feel lonely. He is NOT the answer to my loneliness — no man is. To some extent, that's an existential issue we all must come to terms with. Loneliness is an issue for me, as I was very much alone as a child. Being “normal” socially requires much effort, and I used to have some social phobia. As much as i am social and want to balance social/alone, alone is baseline, becomes lonely. Very. Staying that way and having the loneliness become even more profound is my worst fear. It is something I must face over and over, and continue to work through. I understand the fear is worse than the reality… I have some skills, some faith.
    I appreciate this forum and your ability to present all relevant facts to me. I am strong most mornings, but then weaken through the day and week. 13 and 17 year old kids aer with their dad this weekend. I am making plans. I don't expect you to respond every time, but I likely will be here, checking in, and trying to stay on track.

  • Brigitte

    Marita I can't resist a quick comment, the money, the outings, penny cautious , huge spending to make clutter, but the food shopping, this N too, and I've had this N do exactly the same, quantaties and all like the meat bargain, can't be kept all of it any way, and the rest is not keeping that well in the totally crammed freezer (it can't be that effective so full), some things get put in after quite a delay, plus use now can keep deteriorating even in a freezer, and heaps is buried & God only knows how long – worse goes nuts if I throw out either from a freezer or fridge things going off. When I'd be around I could curb a little of this nuts buying, When I'd keep away for longer, it would escalate further
    And the same comment from some men trying to politely say “He's F_cked”Though it's true about they're being that way conversationaly'.
    I don't need to give more egs they would end up matching yours anyway. I've heard of guys who can be similar, but never to the degree yours is.. Ahh you've had the thrill of sharing with my ex N's identical twin (his age?, this one is 58)

    Similarily, I wouldn't expect constant responses, though in the end it has been good for me & I can see why despite thinking I was mostly motivated by hoping what I shared would improve your chances of not having to go down a similar road as far as I did, if it was at all avoidable.
    The price gets a lot higher the longer spent having anything to do with the N.
    I've been in N site as facing another stage for getting an intervention order.
    These reminders of the things a N “shares” does help me at all levels and realising I'm not the only woman to have been through the experience of a N partner (?)!

    Of course I understood the issues of being single in our 50's, have had similar wobbles but now more at ease with bits of occasional feelings of lonliness & liking more of the aloness and sharing with those that are good to be with. I'll throw in what a friend – same name as mine- shared with me. It turned out to be the same as I'd worked out seperately.
    What my friend Brigitte (from Adelaide) had in a part of an email “…………am pleased with my ability to communicate…on many levels…it's a real joy to have achieved such good english….and such understanding….but alas….often I get hurt….by my understanding…and the irony that is 'life' and our insignificance within it…..understanding something doesnt make it any less tragic/sad nor' does it fix anything…..wisdom can be a sad and lonely place…..but I dont get lonely anymore…..I realise we are alone ……and always will be… lonliness is a nonsense'…..
    I'm enjoying having you……is that selfish of me….it's enjoyable to speak my mind and know you are on the same plane…and my words are not wasted…” (Gitte)

    You are welcome to contact me on myspace (would have given you my email address but maybe not an idea to put it here for any peeved N). The surname is the same as the movie, you know my age , the picture icon is obviously of a pet and the state is Victoria in Australia (not SA)
    I am truly thrilled that you are getting rid of old rubbishman and will have a fresh new life. Congratulations!!!!!

  • Marita

    Gitte — I am enjoying you as well and will try and find you. I''m new to the social networks, finding you is my first endeavor. may not succeed until weekend. Back soon.

  • Marita

    I am having trouble locating you in MySpace, and now cannot even find the blogsite/chatroom for “Are you dating a N?” I am replying to you via email link. I am Marita on Myspace, from New York, 52 y.o. Write!

  • Brigitte

    Marita it's gotten surprisingly late, didn't find you yet either on my space. You can email me on my secondary email address,I'm not that worried about personal security or the secondry address ever being stuffed by a resentful N visiting this site. So try
    The other Brigitte ( Gitte) is a friend on my myspace.

    Excellent news, all the effort in remaining focused (pushed by my supportive smart son), both sons prepared to be witnesses- they saw parts, heard parts, even got some admissions re N – I GOT THE 1 YR INTERVENTION ORDER AGAINST HIM, N gave up and consented (without admission to my claims),

    I'm still recovering from these last couple of months(not counting the long term damages from knowing him before) , but feel free & able to work fully on my life, at last.
    These last 2 weeks of having the need to work on and stay prepared for the legal removal of ex N ( very needed as he was going over to be harrasing, threatening,damaging things, cutting off my water, phone for periods over the day & night & has seriously assulted me in the past, etc & failed to keep his word with my son to stop, police told us 4 times to get the order) had disrupted my sleep patterns via stresses.
    Ending up nocturnal wouldn't be that bad, except there are certain appts etc to get up for and the rest of the time when I should be able to sleep in, my darling cats get and keep me up . It's the start of spring so the cats are zapping up earlier, while in later daylight and the misery of winter we all could sleep in at times.

    I hope all you fair maidens learn from what I failed to do. That is to get away ASAP from an N.
    The consequences are like those of lingering at a rocky surf beach when the tide is coming in.
    I lingered, got caught trying to manage by getting on some rough rocks, still caught by the waves, getting bruised and drowning. It needed then to get very determined to keep up struggling if one was going to have any chance to make it back to the shore & accepted the needed to put my arm up to signal help & for the life gaurds
    The N starts like a great time on the surf beach, pretty rock pools, froth from breaking waves, then comes the darkening sky, signs of the tide coming in, knowing it's prudent to depart now, though it's not that much deeper yet, though chillier, but still intriguing, not yet, of heck, now what?,if I get up high enough on those rocks ?, they are sharp & slippery, & still not high enough to avoid getting washed into the dangerous depths…..

    The writings about the impact of the true narcissist (NPD) on former partners often having significant stress symptoms, lengthy recovery periods are because partners who don't have such disorders are very adversly impacted upon by the type of abuse a N does. Thus the Ns are particularily damaging and dangerous to know. The less of the N experience the less the damage.
    For instance being raped by one footballer for 20 mins & released is awful enough, but a couple of hours of a gang rape by a whole football team untill released, wreeks far, far more devestation – mentally, emotionaly and physicaly.

  • susanawalsh

    I am literally dumbstruck by your testimony! Seriously, the only word I can think of to describe it is SURVIVOR. I am very glad that you have found each other to share support. No matter how wonderful friends and family are, there's nothing like finding someone who speaks the same emotional language as you do. Reading your account gave me goosebumps. I once witnessed a hearing to consider a restraining order against a guy who was stalking and threatening a woman. It had been in place a year, and she wanted it renewed. His attorney fought it tooth and nail. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing up, and I was incredibly relieved when it was extended. At that point, the woman wept with relief, and I understood the power of that man to frighten her.

  • jabjen

    First off, I am so glad to have found this web site. I have honestly been struggling with the break up with my ex-narcissist for 16 months now. We were together for a little over 3 years. We lived together for 2 years. I am a single mom of 2 children. I don't need to go into all of the details to expalin his narcissim ( I know he is one), I have been in therapy since we broke up on a weekly basis and it still hurts. We still have some contact and I agree that NO contact would be the better choice but… you know how hard that can be. My biggest issue is even though I understand what a narcissit is and their inablilty to love and have empathy for others I STILL cannot wrap my head around ACCEPTING it. It is still so hard to wonder why you can't break the shell, to want sooo badly for them to recognize your pain and feeling of abandonment, to want to be proved wrong that this person DID really love you!?!? I feel like I cannot have closure without knowing that he feels bad for my pain or something!?! I know it probably sounds sick. I did truely love him and honestly believed for a long while when we were together that he loved me too. Anyway, I just wanted to get some of this off of my chest. Thank you to any of you listening.

  • susanawalsh

    Hi jabjen, I'm really glad you found me too! I know that the pain you describe is familiar to many women. I do think one of the most difficult things is wrestling with the idea of what you meant to him. But questions of whether he really loved you miss the point, because he is not capable of experiencing love in the way that you define it and want it. I have witnessed a relationship like this close up, and I do believe that man was invested in that woman, obsessed with her, very demonstrative at times. Did he feel something real? Yes, I think he did. But he couldn't sustain it, stick with it, and be generous. I remember saying to her, “He just can't do it.” He was emotionally disabled. It wasn't her, it was all him.

    I am really, really glad you are in therapy. Don't give up, take it one day at a time, focus on your beautiful children, and heal. Yes, I think it will take a really long time. But you are making progress, and you will feel whole again. Then you can be open to moving on with someone new. I wish you all the best.

  • jabjen

    Thank you for your kind words. The relationship that you speak of witnessing up close sounds very familiar. I have the same conversations with my therapist about it not being about me- as a true narcissist it is STILL about him no matter what.

    One of the reasons that it is taking me so long to heal is that I have not been able to remove him from my life. We are still friends (if you can call it that), we speak about once a week and see eachother approx. once a month or so. We have still been sleeping with eachother off and on since our breakup but about 1 month ago I told him that I could not do it anymore. It was too painful especially since he was sleeping with other women as well and I have never moved on with anyone else. He of course did not seem to be bothered or too concerned even though saying the words outloud led me to 4 hours of crying in front of him. He has never spoke of the conversation since.

    I know that I cannot heal and move on with him in my life but I can't imagine cutting him completely out either. I just had this conversation with my therapist last week and she of course explained that it really is a black and white decision and I am the only one that can make it.

    This web site (again) helps as I feel that I can no longer lean on my family and friends. They do not understand and are sick of listening to it. So, thank you.

  • susanawalsh

    Jabjen, I am so glad you find support here. There are other women who have experienced this, and we never get sick of listening. I'm not a licensed therapist, and I'm not going to tell you what to do. I just want to say one thing. I believe that you have already made that decision. You know very well and very clearly what is necessary.

    In the relationship I talked about earlier, there was also an ongoing “friend” relationship, which included talking frequently. Several months into it, the woman discovered that the man had essentially been leading a double life, and had another relationship going while he was involved with her. It was so shocking, and so painful that she said then and there that she never wanted to speak to him again. And she hasn't. By the way, he was not sorry, did not seem to care that she was devastated. He claimed it was a misunderstanding, and has told many of their mutual friends that “there are two sides to every story.” That happened nearly a year ago, and she is still having terrible dreams about it. But she also feels relieved that there are no new injuries being inflicted by him.

    I hope you will find the strength and support that you need to do what you have already decided to do.

  • Brigittefree

    A huge thanks susanawalsh for your earlier reply to me showing such understanding ( it meant a lot to me) as each reflection you made was accurate and insightful.Family and friends can't fully grasp the “N experience” and why it's had such a depleting affect nor why it could take so long to totaly exit the N for good.This helped me looking more at what was achieved, rather than my embaressment & focus of being disapointed by the reminders of what I still have to recover.
    Jabjen I do understand this painful stage having been there myself at an earlier point with the ex N. Though that stage didn't include my being convinced that he was definately a N. With more time he demonstrated repeated behaviours covering every possible trait of a N. Once his being a N and a malignant form was definative I realised there was no scope to have him on any terms at all in my life unless I believed I deserved & wanted to be disrespected, abused becoming further damaged psychologically, emotionaly, physicaly including my health and economicaly.Unacceptable for myself , kith & kin. The N has been exited though escalated in terrorising me prior to that.
    Jabjen if he really is a Narcissist it precludes him from any capacity to have empathy or capacity to love and care for another plus is driven to continualy respond to those close to him hurtfuly to sustain the balance fitting his personality disorder.He cannot do otherwise over any lengthy period. Nor can my cats resist chasing & killing any potential prey no matter how well fed & sweet at othertimes.Cat can't grasp the best explanation of Buddhist philosophy or my compasion rescuing the bird just caught.

    Have you explored with your therapist your attachment to him in the following light ” Hostages have put up bail for their captors and have expressed a wish to marry them. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger or threat of danger.
    A significant factor in keeping people 'attached' even whilst they know they are being sucked dry or their existence threatened is betrayal bonding.

    Uncontrollable disruptions or distortions of attachment bonds precede the development of post-traumatic stress syndromes. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger. Adults, as well as children, may develop strong emotional ties with people who intermittently harass, beat, and, threaten them. The persistence of these attachment bonds leads to confusion of pain and love. Trauma can be repeated on behavioural, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocriniologic levels. Repetition on these different levels causes a large variety of individual and social suffering.

    Anger directed against the self or others is always a central problem in the lives of people who have been violated and this is itself a repetitive re-enactment of real events from the past. Compulsive repetition of the trauma usually is an unconscious process that, although it may provide a temporary sense of mastery or even pleasure, ultimately perpetuates chronic feelings of helplessness and a subjective sense of being bad and out of control. Gaining control over one's current life, rather than repeating trauma in action, mood, or somatic states, is the goal of healing.” Vanderkolk.This came from another article on Narcissists.

    While you have some say in your N involvements and the resultant incurring of negative psychological consequenses, your children don't. They are totally dependant on the type of care, protection & immediate environment you provide with their mother's condition central to it. They ought to have a happy, positive confident parent shaping their world. A parent only exposing them to positive adult role models demonstrating healthy relationships, especially in their early formative years. There have been studies about how a mothers emotional states have direct impact on childrens' development. Have you explored this in full detail with your therapist?

    Have you checked out for your self if you may be a candidate for medications (eg antidepressants) to assist you if this situation has impacted on you, because if so it could help you cope better & improve your ability to carry out more.
    Good luck through this difficult journey.

  • Marita

    Brigitte —
    thank you for your clear and pinpoint description of the very real dynamics that affect partners and others near the N, and how trauma/PTSD are always a part of sustained contact and attachment to someone with narcissistic disorder. Articles by Sam Vankin at also describe perfectly the nuances and indescribable (to others) twistst and turns of heart and mind that suck us in to confusion, guilt, sadness, with the N in our lives. I have read these articles over and over in order to keep in what I know is reality, and to reinforce my own values and identity. Check it out.

    School and hockey have begun in my part of the world so it's been hectic, but I'm glad to have found this thread again. I believe my ex-N called from his private home # 2 mon/wed/fri two weeks ago, and I know he called from his work # this past wed. No messages. I am okay not calling back, but even this kicks up feelings I must deal with. I am finding fun & confidence focusing on my own, real life, and the friendships that stay with me when I am not with him. I feel lonely often, especially at night, & when I think i may never have a loving, physical relationship with a man who appreciates me.

    Acutely aware of how horrible i feel WITH N, I now say to myself, “It's okay to be alone, you can handle it, you're never bored, just need to trust that life will continue to bring good people and opportunities…. You are not a reject because you are single in your 50s.” So far this is quite natural, because if I didn't believe it, i'd be calling N back for another round of make-believe relationship that leaves me drained and depressed.

  • snapper

    Hi, I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend of 6 months, but known him for 8. It wasn’t until the day I broke up with him, Narcissist was mention to me by a really close friend. She was married to one for 5 years and knew the signs.

    So, I am on day 3 off my break up. And I suppose like any break up I feel like a massive void has hit my life.

    I met my ex while on a ski trip, he was my chalet host. At the time I had a boyfriend, but my now Ex N won my attention straight away, though I did say I was with someone. He seem determined to ‘get’ me. In away, he made me realise my fella back home wasn’t right for me, which I guess I knew deep down, he was a little too dull, but lovely though.

    Bits happened with the N, including actually masturbating over me, which I found a little odd! We agreed to stay in touch via texts, emails and skype, until he returned back to the UK for good after working seasons in the mountains. We spoke for hours and hours and in my eyes a romance was blooming. He even said he was falling in love with me.

    Just before he was due home, I got cold feet and thought, hang on, I really don’t know this guy that well, and tried to call if off. He wasn’t having any of if, and once again charmed me into meeting up. Which I did.

    Things moved pretty fast and with in a month or so, he had moved in to my 1 bed flat, along with the majority of his belongings. Why would I say no?? I’d fallen in love with him, and he told me the same.

    Apparently I was his soul mate and we were meant to be!

    During this time, he had no job and I was paying for everything, bills, rent, food, everything… again I let it happen, well because I’d do anything to keep him happy.

    Until the arguments started, mainly about him sponging off me! Which he always denied. He knew how much I wanted to be with him and for him to remain in my flat. His only other option for living arrangements was back with his mum, 300 miles from me.

    I ended up finding him 3 jobs, the first he was offered but didn’t take, the second, quit during the first two weeks of he trial and the third he took and still has.

    We had arguments, which were more like discussions, every couple of weeks, which all seem to finish with the same conclusion, it was my fault, it was my issue and I should fix it.

    To help prevent arguments, I wouldn’t always say what I really wanted, to help keep the peace, but felt I was walking on egg shells.

    On 3 occasions, he threaten to leave, the first time, I broke down and told him not to go, the second, I called his bluff and he was startled, and the third, well this is fantastic, he said he was leaving, so I began to collect his items from around the house, and make a pile in the lounge, he asked me to stop touching his things, and I ignored him, he said if you do that again, he’ll call the police! So I carried on touching his stuff.

    He dialled 999, next thing 2 cop cars, 3 officers.

    I was detained in the bedroom, while he had full access of my flat, which he paid nothing towards, to take what he wanted.

    After driving away, he was texting, saying he wanted to talk!! And would I go an meet him. I told him where to go!

    He went off to work with a car load of stuff, but then came back in the evening asking for forgiveness.

    He basically had nowhere else to go. Once again, I told him to leave me alone!

    Unfortunately it only took him 2 weeks to charm his way back into my life. The rose tinted glasses went back on, and I began seeing him again. Though I refused to let him move back in.

    he was on his nest behaviour, we did a lot of talking and really thought be had made several break through. I still think today that we did. Which is what I’m finding hard to handle. maybe rather than just finishing it, I should have tried talking, but I could see he was already pushing it towards me.

    He now has his only place and surprisingly can now find the cash to pay for rent etc.!

    Due to actions, my family hate him and have no respect for him, which I understand, but this is what lead me to breaking up with him. He was asking me to choose between him and my friends and family. He said I had to make them like him again. He wasn’t prepared to live with the consequence of his actions, he just didn’t like people not liking him.

    To top off my anger to this, it was my birthday, which he bought me a half price box of chocolates, a book which looked like it came off his own bookshelf or from a charity shop. Oh, and a bottle of wine, which he’d already had a drink from the night before!

    But what gets me about him, is that anything he did which I feel was the ‘true’ him got instantly crushed by his actions from his N side, and that is what makes me think, Have I made he right choice in breaking up with him. He deffo shows signs of N, but not all. I’m trying to be strong. I have deleted all phone numbers, emails, etc… I can not contact him, though he does work and live in the same place I do! I have told him not to contact me and his reply was, if that's what you want. he didn’t even fight to save the relationship despite him saving it wasn’t what he wanted. I still love him and everyone around me are saying be strong, you did the right thing, but all I really want is a cuddle from him, to fix things and move on. Though I know, it’ll move on to more manipulation and control. It’s so hard.

  • susanawalsh

    Oh, snapper, thank you so much for coming and leaving a comment. I know that you are tempted, but honestly? This is a horrible story, and yes, he does show all the classic signs. And he never takes responsibility for his actions. Never once do you mention that he offered a sincere apology. Or tried to change to make you happy. And the birthday gifts? What a cheap, selfish bastard!

    If you take him back now, you will go through another cycle, and you will be back in the same place in the near future. You will repeat the cycle until you have finally had enough. I hope that you have the strength to see this through, and the support of your friends and family to rely on. I hear that you love him, but it sounds more like you are addicted to him. If you can, get a good therapist – I'm a big believer.

    I'll end by asking you if you respect him? Or ever could?

  • annie7rose

    Hello again. I have left previous comments about a Narcissistic Boyfriend whom I broke up with and he was fine until a started seeing a new man. Now my ex N boyfriend is stalking me. He follows me and knows when I have been away from my house. Then he shows up at the grocery store and tries to act like my friend and seems shocked when I tell him he is scaring me and his emails sound mean. He even starts the water works because he knows I am going to lose my house. I'm not even upset about the house; it has been a struggle and I will be happy to let the bank have it. So weird. He has also threatened black mail because I am also in process of divorcing my ex N spouse, and my ex N boyfriend threatens to show up in court as a character witness against me. Also, I did a tiny bit of work under the table to scrape by to pay bills and mortgage when I could and my ex N boyfriend is threatening to turn me in. He is also trying to poison my new relationship and belittle the new man I am in love with. I love my new boyfriend and want to protect him. My ex N boyfriend even showed up and ranted in front of my new guy about a false affair and how insensitive I am. My new boyfriend thinks my exN boyfriend is a jerk and sees me as the sweetest girl so the rant did not work, but I am afraid this drama will wear on my new relationship, and I am afraid to inform the police or get a restraining order because of the black mail threats. I am just being really calm and polite when he does show up and hope he will get bored and move on. Any advice please. I do have a child too and I sure hope this guy doesn't turn violent.

  • brigitte

    Snapper Susanawalsh has described it perfectly. Even though it's a bit too early to tell if your chap is a Narcissist he doesn't give a dam about you, and is a lazy con “boy”, that's how he has gotten by till now doing as he likes. If he has a better side and is in his mid twenties he may grow up and get his act together, but not with you as you don't have his respect. In case you are allowing yourself to be treated as unworthy because at a subconcious level there is guilt about your treatment of the earlier boyfriend , forgive yourself and address whatever led to that. Then stop allowing any contact with this last person and become someone worthy of a positive relationship in the future.Do this fast before you impair your self from the damage he will do and avoid scars, recovery time that will delay a good future. If you can see a counsellor to explore what's going on with you to be in this situation, something is as you let this scammer in when you were in a fairly good situation.

  • susanawalsh

    annie, I have reread your earlier comments, and I'd like to note a couple of things. A month ago, you stated (wisely, in my opinion) that you needed to be independent and celibate for a while. Now you mention that you are in love with a new man. That was very fast! I just don't see how you could be emotionally ready and available for someone new, with this ex so recently in the picture.

    Second, if you have any doubts at all about whether your safety is compromised, you must go to the police now. As you say, you have a child. Any fallout from some under the table work (which is not exactly rare) will pale in comparison to the grievous consequences of his becoming violent. The level of stalking that's occurring now is frightening, and I would most certainly seek a restraining order. The idea that being calm and polite will bore him is not plausible. He sounds very invested in the outcome – as a narcissist, his ego is on the line.

    I'm not a professional, but that's my instinctive advice.

  • brigitte

    Annie7rose it's just as I thought,I did say that, your ex N was going to make you pay if you let him linger and know to much enraging him to see a new relationship forming. As I said in the past, a N will make you pay and can be dangerous. I do think in the past you have juggled male relationships a tad like a southern belle, but not with any of those men being a “Malignant Narcissist,” a true NPD with psyopathic tendencies. He won't rest untill he does destroy your current life, relationships, cause legal problems and extensive damage unless you do one of these three things. One give into him completely exiting current boyfriend to recieve temporary benevolance and deffered slower destruction, two get an intervention order calling his bluff & he still may report you, but be forced to stop doing the other interfearances (still a possibility he may kill you within a year-read about stalkers), three is wether by using womens shelters or on your own move, disappear so he cannot find you. If your ex N cannot cause sufficient damage to you or get you to do what he wants he actually could turn you or your child into a statistic of crime, the victims of grevious bodily harm to death. I had a bad feeling about how things were shaping before, they are right on that path and hopefully it won't be as bad as I think it could be, but I'd rather say what I have to have you look hard at being safe. Don't get anxious but get control of what you can. He is not going to get bored and go away. Talk to women who run domestic violence shelters or advice lines and take their advice. I am not an expert in this area, but worked & explored areas linked to this. I am just saying you are very likely in a seriously damaging situation and need to get the relevant advice fast, and act fast.

  • annie7rose

    Thanks Susanawalsh and Brigitte. I do realize where my issues lie. Brought up in a family where both my parents and sister were/are highly critical, and have serious jealousy issues. They have some great qualities too, and as an adult I feel I have discarded the negative qualities and have kept the good qualities, but the problem is that having been raised in such a way, it made me too tolerant of men who were not treating me decent. I do realize this, and I have learned.

    My new relationship was not one I expected. I was not looking, but an old high school friend and family friend found me. He does not take anything from me. If I have any personal interest or passion, he pushes me towards my dreams. If I say I always wanted to learn piano, he shows up with a keyboard. If I say I want to paint, he shows up with an easel. He “feels like home”. Not the home I grew up in, but the home I always wanted…just that feeling you know what I mean. I know it was fast, and he and I are both taking our time and being realistic. This is the first relationship where I am encouraged to be me and explore my passions. Usually with the ex N's and other ex's it was all them and all about what I can do for them. I was expecting to be just by myself, and my meeting the new boyfriend was completely accidental. I am keeping in my mind always to keep my passions and interests and be realistic.

    As far as the ex N, yes I will go to the police if he keeps stalking me. He is 40 and most likely never grow up. I also know his parents and if he persists, they will be notified about what he has been doing so it will be on their hands too. I have not let them know yet because I do not like drama and don't want to seem the trouble making ex girlfriend. I did research stalking and the statistics and one thing it says is to let everyone know what is going on. That I have done. The only people who do not know is his family, and if he persists, they all will know. Yes it is scary, but I am typically a calm person and I always try and take the peaceful route first.

  • susanawalsh

    annie, I remember your mentioning that high school friend previously. I'm actually really happy to hear that's who you are involved with. He does sound like a very decent man. I'm glad you have let people know about what is going on with the ex, but if he persists, I don't think his parents are the ones you should go to next. I stand by my earlier recommendation to contact the police. Your current bf would support this move, I suspect, and would stand by you through any of the blackmail issues. By the way, blackmail itself is illegal. This creep could be arrested for that. (See David Letterman)

  • annie7rose

    Thank you Susanawalsh. Yes, my current bf says he trusts me to do what I feel I need to. Last time I emailed the ex's mom to let her know he would not move out and that I needed help, and that he was being a bum, her response was concerned but she said to hurry and delete the email like she did and seemed fearful. It was strange. Also, now his accusations are making more sense about two previous girlfriends. One of whom disappeared from the face of the earth and he has no clue where she is…he claims she is dead but has no proof…maybe dead to him in his world only(he thinks he has a supernatural sense of things), and the other decided to travel Europe and he has no idea where she is. I do think he may have had some legal issues in another state. I know which state, but won't say here, but he claimed to me that she set him up and harmed herself. Now I wonder. He has never laid a hand on me though or threatened physical harm. He just twists all the memories to show how evil and dirty I am and how perfect and sensitive he is in the emails, and the blackmail email was for an apology from me because he is so sensitive….how freakin lame. I gave him his apology and it because of a phone call. I think I had to apologize about 50 times by the time he was satisfied. I was in err and should have called him in that case, but I had already apologized 40 times before the blackmail email. I wont contact the parents then, and if he continues, I will contact the police. It's just really annoying right now, but yesterday was freaky when he followed me from my home to another town where I had an appointment. I know I was followed and the vehicle looked just like his, and I dove into the left lane on a three lane and last minute dove and made a right turn, and he followed, but I lost him over a hill and a dive into a residential area. I asked him when he appeared at my grocery store later in the day while I was shopping if it was him and he of course looked innocent and said it was not. I think he is monitoring me and taking notes maybe perhaps to inform my ex spouse? Or maybe for another blackmail attempt? I am on the verge of calling the police. Anymore following me and showing up where I am and that's it. I also have the blackmail email saved.

  • brigitte

    Annie susanawalsh is right, both about contacting the police and not his parents.
    There was no way a narcissist would listen to his parents, a N does as he wants and only legal constraints may restrict them. Unless you have a custody battle involved in your divorce your character is irrelevant, and even then your character is is only relevant in regard to limited areas of your capacity to care for your child so the N is stalking you for his own reasons not to report on you. You should at least be documenting his stalking and have told him in clear terms to have no more contact with you. Your past has still an affect on you as you do not have the capacity to feel what other women being stalked would and be desperate to put a stop to this. You just don't really get it and aren't likely to do anything about it in time. The N is following you to work out your vulnerable times and places if he decides to harm you where it can look like it would be some other assailant, by place or your life style. If I can work out some of your style of dealing with matters and underestimating other things, he has by far more knowledge of all this about you In one way it's a strength your blithe attitude and in another it puts you at risk of losses. Material losses aren't important in the way taking risks with your well being are. While in parallel situations to yours a new boyfriend is sometimes at risk I think your's is safe because you are potentially an excellent target as you can't feel what's probably contemplated to be coming at you. I know you won't act, but your inability to feel the threats does at least avoid feeling overwhelmed by unease and anxiety so it will leave you clear headed in documenting his antics. If you do find it inconvenient enough the N's harrasment to suggest you will call the police on him (even as a bluff) you will have had to told him not to contact you first which the N knows. I have commented because your stalking is a good example for any others who may visit this site to take in issues of risks and possible actions, not because you will change in your ways of dealing with this.I am not judging you negatively in how I see what course you will take as you aren't really able to do otherwise.

  • brigitte

    Just one more thing annie, have you worked out if you do say things like apologising to him or anything else to appease him that he may be recording them if on a phone or even in person concealing a recording device , even just a mobile phone on record, or discuss in full anything he may use as evidence against you etc.. The same goes for emails, writing to him as a N is amazing in what they can use to incriminate you. Just any resonses to his contacts he may later use them as you were harrasing him after he told you to leave him alone. Of course that never happened in reality, but irrelevant to a N making up his case. Reread Sam's articles on this area after a break up.

  • snapper

    Thanks you guys. I spent the weekend with my Mum, away from my home. I felt much stronger, and much more positive. Only to return home and find the ex N, waiting outside my door!

    He wanted to talk.

    Because I felt stronger, I felt I had the 'upper hand' and could handle him.

    Which I did.

    He talked about how things could be changed to improve the way we are together. I explained about NPD and he should take a look. I said his words never matched his actions. I didn't agree to get back together, but I did say, he needs to change the way he treats me, otherwise, I'm not interested at all. I'm not sure what is going to happen. He is calling over this evening for more 'chats'.

    I am standing strong and will not change my mind until I actually see with my own eyes and feel inside that he is fighting for me and prepared to change.

    If I didn't mean anything to him, would he make an effort?

    He's a young 32yrs (I'm 29) and has moved from job to job, before working for 5 seasons in the mountains and Egypt. He has just started a 3 year degree in Acupuncture, so at last he is on track and doing something he has wanted to do for years. Maybe this will help him address issues and change the way he is a relationship, with someone he apparently loves!

    We'll see. Thank you all again. xx

  • susanawalsh

    Hi snapper. Here's the thing: he probably does care about you. In the one case I've witnessed up close, I do believe the guy cared a lot for the girl. He thought about her, was affectionate and demonstrative with her when they were together. He was in awe of her. But these feelings left him feeling off balance, and he sabotaged the relationship with his behavior. I don't think narcissists fail to experience feelings. They just can't process them and reciprocate in a way that is healthy and satisfying for their partner.

    I wish you all the best. I have no idea whether your guy has NPD – a shrink needs to make that call. I would just say one more thing. You mention that you won't give in until you see that he is fighting for you and prepared to change. Well, he is fighting for you, to keep you in his life. But I think you should hold off until you witness real change. He needs to convince you that he is a worthy partner by behaving in a loving and reliable way. I wouldn't let him back into your life until you've seen that happen.

  • brigitte

    Snapper you are the same age as my son & his partner (son turning 30 in April, her 29 february) next year. After an excellent 12 yrs together they are planning a baby for the following year, wedding in May & having a larger new home built to preceed baby. They are aware of recently the findings around delaying childbirth isn't the best much after thirty aside from a keen readiness to have a child.
    If you want to have children you should only be investing in a mature caring male, not someome contemplating moving on to manhood career wise aside from learning about relationship expectations. If he is serious about getting a career now that will be enough of a demand on him to stick with something preceeding what he could then next cope with an offer a partner.Best case scenario he can offer parity in support of a family stage in 3 years.

    I was, like many, fooled by if a male will bother to try and keep a woman in his life asuming it was love. Wrong it can have nothing to do with love, it can be lust, power, ego, practical ( resented) necessity of what can be gotten out of the woman while needed, revenge etc..If it was love he'd have treated you differently before as at 32 he is old enough to know how to show respect if you were a potential long term prospect in his mind.
    You are finding what you wish was there. You can enjoy the burl of an affair with him accepting whatever happens if you have no ambitions to have children and a caring , loving stable partner to share this with. You may think you won't let him move in with you, but he can get portions of material aid out of you in meals, stay overs, your utilities and toilet paper etc.. See what happens if you don't assist materialy in any way. Mr charming may well end up easily anothers gigolo.

    But enjoy him as you can if that's enough for you. I have no idea why he doesn't sound like a full on narcissist personality disorder (they are a severe danger for a womans well being both practically, psychologically and physical health), wether your not seeing that yet to report such signs, but he is definetly narcissisticly self centered and poor partner prospect, though at this stage an exciting affair with some boundaries on his behaviour. If an affair is what suits you for now, keep the boundaries while lightening up and enjoy him for the time he's around.

  • kmf

    I am not sure if he is a narcissist or not. He never showed empathy when I was in pain. He would tell me what I should do and if I did not agree he just cut me off. He was famous for the silent treatment for days on end. He was critical of me a lot of the time. He blew up about things and when I would bring it up he would say he did not remember the incident. He would call me a whore and a slut and say he was joking. When he said hurtful things he would say I was too sensitive. He threw a dollar on the bed one morning and said that was for last night, when I told him that hurt he told me to leave if I didn't like it. He even peed on me in the shower and thought it was funny. I ended it several times but begged him to take me back, that is how lost I had become. We were engaged and he said he was moving in and one point he changed his mind but never told me until I asked what was going on. If I did something for my kids he told me I babied them. I finally gave the ring back after realizing he was nicer to other people than the woman he was engaged to. He never wanted to know anything about me, never asked about my work even when I had something big going on. He expected me to do things for his daughter but he never had an interest in mine. He told me if I ever gave the ring back I would never hear from him again, and I haven't. He would be late but I never could. He once told me I lit up a room in the end he looked at me like I was a piece of dirt. I am relieved I got out but there is this awful feeling that he took no responsibilty and knowing him he feels like the victim. He did spend a lot of money on the ring and I am sure he is more upset about that than anything else. Is this person a narcissist or close to one?


  • kmf

    Sorry I thought of a few more things that he did. He told me he would never change and the way he said it sent shivers up my spine, it had an evil tone, it scared me. I went to ask him something once and I stopped and he said “thats right if you ask me for it you won't get it”. He has a history of cutting people out of his life if he does not agree with them. He does not talk to half of his family. When I first met him he seemed so sensitive and so caring. I know a huge red flag was he told me he loved me within the first month. I did sleep with him too early and he reminded me of that when I broke up with him and I could not disagree. He often said things that left me confused and standing there with my mouth wide open. He told me he should be able to say whatever he wanted to the person he was in a relationship with and it was my interpratation that was the problem. I feel as I am writting this what the heck did I see in this guy? He was very good looking to me and he made me laugh like no one ever has. As time went on I never knew how he would be when I saw him it was like he had so many different personalities it kept me off balance. I no longer could be myself and I became a nervous wreck, I think he knew that and used it against me. He was also very paranoid triple checking to make sure doors were locked and belittled me if I ever left the garage door open. I just left it open when I knew he was omn his way over and found I always had to explain. During sex I was told to be quiet he even once asked me when we were just sitting outside if I ever shut up. I was so embarrassed.

  • Brigite

    With this one kmf there is utterly no doubt he was a narcissist.
    The abusive behaviours don't always mean that your dealing with one, but the strategic use and his responses do, confirmed by the many personalities he'd display. My ex N ( my GP who'd treated him in the past turns out knew he was a NPDfound out after rid of N) did patallels to most you've included, the shifting personalities, the set ups, the type of abuse resulting in traumatic attatchment ( it does end though remaining attatched).
    No he'll, as you've worked out, feel no loss aside from the material (his form of calculated investment to be able to use , abuse you with the goal of destroying you knowing he'd never have to follow through).

    A narcissist personality disordered person cannot do or think or feel for another other than what you've noted. They can have the ability to be charming for a limited time, sometimes longer if it concerns persons they only deal with at a distance.Being close or involved over anything of importance with a narcissist is gauranteed to be a harmful experience. No one on any personal level matters to a narcissistic personality disordered person , just their utalitarian function at the time, only they matter to themselves. Nor can they percieve or react to the short comings of their patterns of behaviour.

    As they age and over time they become less appealing and more distorted disfunctionally in their thoughts and perceptions with new options in partners declining and need to accept other scammers & women who are highly undesirable to eventual isolation.

    In a way you are very lucky to have had been with a narcissist who still is attractive and can appear charming as such will let you go disappearing as if you never existed as you really didn't ever exist to him as an individual of any value .
    The messy situations when narcissists attempt to return ( only to harm again, they don't forgive being told to go despite having no true interest in the former partner they'd already writen of as having no value as a human) when they find they can't get or keep a replacement as their latter boorish behaviours , self justifications have eroded the full extent of earlier social skills with self indulgrence combined to deteriorating their appearance.
    These ones add intermitent chaos and even threats.

    It's an awful sad awakening, incomprehensible that's appropriately since normal persons cannot comprehend them. Just learn what they are and that expecting anything human from them is as reasonable as trying to mate with an alligator or toxic snake wondering why they don't reciprocate your love in the typical healthy human relationship terms.

    Hopefully you've learnt well about what indicates abuse now & any frailties wether from your past or the current circumstances left you more vulnreable. Though don't waste too much time pondering or blaming yourself as narcissists can do most people over if not knowing what they are.

    As you recover you'll be safe if you refuse to engage with anything but men who are respectful of you in your feelings , needs and truly value you as a person consistently. It's what you want your children to learn. Accept nothing less from new persons in your life. Unfortunately our ties with kin may need to tolerate some degrees of abrasive behaviours that aren't usually intended to really hurt

    While I wasn't that good at earlier stages coping with the attempted break ups, imaginining a loss, eventually when I did break free with no further contact I have utterly no feelings of loss, great relief and repulsed by the thought of him completely. And yes I can see the few odd things he very briefly did well or leasrnt from him.Though even those were never sustained or not later twisted to a weapon if he could and often did.

    The pain your feeling is of the loss of an illusory man. The fact is you've lost a monster once disguised. The key for this to eventually have something constructive is that on the first instance a seemingly lovely man errs just once without sharing responsibility caringly and fully, you must show him the door at once. A number of intelligent normal women who have visited this site had found a second narcissist, not so much their failing but narcissists go for them,and these narcissist at first seem like some one who could be truly promising. Thats why the dump pronto on the first sign, easier then than later.

    Once you convey a healthy firm self respect, independance no neediness then you'll attract a truly worthwhile partner or have a fullfilling positive life whilst single.

    Karma may seem slow with narcissists, but due to the form of their disorder it's inevitable they will suffer ongoing losses unable to ever change. The rest of us as long as we don't deal with narcissists have degrees of constructive life options regarding the life aspects that are within our control.

    I wish you all the best over this initially difficult stage. Just keep looking forward and not back aside from confirming what an evil ass he was.

    Remeber that you're not an island, you, your kith & kin deserve a healthy you, uncontaminated by any narcissists or abusers. I believe we ought to give the good we can to others and can't if being drained by destructive relationships. Get as strong as you can on your own two feet and only accept partners that enrich your goodness so you can give positively and will also recieve positives.

  • kmf

    Thanks so much for your wisdom. It helps to know his behavior has a name and that I am not crazy. When I read what I wrote it seems so obvious that he was an awful person, the misleading thing is how once in a blue moon he seemed loving. I did get to the point that I was repulsed to be near him but I was afraid to be alone. I think the being alone is what scares me. I am committed to spending quality time with myself and getting to know myself better. I do feel I should have left a lot sooner and should have listened to my gut feelings.

    I know I will be much smarter the next time around. Things happen for a reason and I did walk away learning a lot.

    Thanks again,


  • susanawalsh

    kmf, thanks for sharing your experience here. I can't tell you how relieved I feel knowing up front that this man is already out of your life. In my amateur opinion, he meets all the requirements for a narcissist. In fact, while many men have some narcissistic tendencies, most would not qualify for an official diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This guy sounds like a sociopath in his relationships.

  • susanawalsh

    Brigitte, I would just like to thank you so much for being here for every one of the women who finds this article and wants to share their story. It is incredibly generous of you to take time from your own life to support these women. Your knowledge and experience on this issues far surpasses mine, so I appreciate the source of wise counsel.

  • susanawalsh

    Kris, it's interesting that you were able to see him more objectively when you wrote your story down. I've said that to women before — write out your story and then read it. If you were reading that in a novel, or seeing it in a film, what would you think? Often, people are able to see their predicaments in a whole new light this way.

  • Brigitte

    Thanks for your acknowledgement. Ironically before I saw this note I'd been ready to respond on the diffs re your thoughts of sociopath vs narcissist.
    With me any thing seen differently is never a criticism , or assume i may be more right, but want to share another angle. Equally am happy to ever hear any variance of views from yourself or others.

    This site is & has been a huge help to me in seeing I'm not alone in what I've been through, so has the supportive encouragement you and others have given, I'm learning so much from what others have shared.
    I'm stunned by how hard it was to get the clarity of what the ex N was, how much it also was contingent on my sons support and the deluded hopes and fears, the same reactions others are going through , the N's obstacle course etc till I really broke fully free of him.
    Critical to it all was, the penny dropping, knowing he truly was primarily a NPD.

    NPD means hopeless, pointless & dangerous with increasing losses every extra moment with an N in all life areas. If anything I do shortens a relationship with a N for other women with one by even a day I'll have achieved something of some good.
    The length of time I was around the ex N did provide demos of everything there is to know about a true NPD. Though the personal cost wasn't worth this perfect synthesis of practice and theory.
    And there are links to my mother in part to how I ended up with him and for so long.She wasn't the real N, but had some covert aspects of it in some familial areas, her responses to my father and especially with me

    By the way you are knowledgable too, but reflect true understanding and mindful sensitivity to those coming here, recognising where women are at and when not ready to hear somethings emotionaly though you don't allow them to risk their safety. Thus in giving what is needed in emotional affermation they can feel safe, accepted anytime and revisit problems further down the track.Plus I've felt your having soothed someone means any of my mentioning some cold hard reality to remain mindful of can be held onto when your recipient is affirmed and feeling better.


    A true narcissistic personality disorder is frequentlY also called a malignant narcissist. Their behaviours do escalate to what you view as an extremely awful sociopath. My ex N did the lot kmf's did, just didn't expect silence in sex but brought in similar dampeners later.
    Look at when criminals are evaluated & deemed primarily a NPD.
    A sociopath while equally empty can actually have a more stable persona with alterations occuring for a set agenda and more consistency in their life patterns. Narcissists are largely a kaleidescope to others and even themselves with less stability in life pathways and relationships, despite their less apparent criminality.
    That's why a narcissist often has no idea of what your complaining about in them not sustaining what they appeared to be before.
    They can disappear and are brutal in their envy in bringing their closest down and in the need of controlling them.
    Some sociopaths can sustain close normal appearing relationships with their immediate family, while victimising others.
    The narcissist can't have anything resembling normality in his immediate family, but may better sustain distant aquintance type relationships.
    Since I broke up with my N, who did all the same stuff kmf's ex did,
    my GP who'd treated the ex N years ago, let me know he'd worked out he had NPD then.
    It helps to read forensic articles and the extensive blog s contained in “Narcissist Suck”, where you can see how truly awful narcissistic personality disorder is from those who had NPD parents. Thus a lengthier time of exposure to Ns by not having the option to quit them after a shorter time or any option as children growing up.
    The narcissist does evil things, though rarely with the actual conscious intent to do some one over- aside exploiting a target for most often material gain justified by his sense of personal entitlement.
    The narcissist enacts evil , can plan some to sustain his balance re control , issues from envy, all impacted by his distorted justifications. This is mostly without it having many alternative components of thrills or amusement in hurting the victim ( N is doing it for neccessity).
    This happens along the way of being dissatisfied by partners & family members.
    Sociopaths are well aware of what they can or will or want to do to meet their needs, to whom and generally why.
    Sociopaths don't privately care about being good.
    Most narcissists are self righteous , feel entitled and feel their victims are the blame deserving their derogatory valuation and treatment.
    Both will publicly attempt justifying their conduct and lie about their culpability, though the narcissist tends to believe his own lies far more.Some narcissists have ended up serial killers, but most would be hopeless compared to the sociopathic ones. Their shifting selves could forget the type of victim, killing style etc,. failing to have an identifiable pattern. Narcissists can't sustain most tasks, aside from a few compulsive obssesive behaviours of shopping, hoarding & addictions,
    The odd sociopath can make a good husband functionally wheras no narcissist can ever for any lenth of time.
    The N is underlyingly chaotic in nearly everything, totally impossible in close relationships.The N is actually crazier and more dangerous to have on your side than a sociopath.
    If the sociopath deems you to be on his side, and sees you as that you'll be ok. Not the N, on his side & close to him he needs to push you away yet control you and any acceptance of the N's demands means they aren't enough unless you end up a truly empty shell & then too pathetic for him.
    At least a sociopath knows what he wants from some one & in the type of circumstances etc..

    What can complicate things is that there are often comorbidities in personality disorders.

    What's fascinating about those with NPD is how similar they are to one another, their behaviours, patterns and traits. The only variations amongst them occur is in their capacity to obtain new supply in how they react to old supply. And even these are predictable.
    The hard thing to work out is the next exact trick they will try and format around their chosen discrete reactions during and at/after the end of relationships, as they can defy logic .
    Though once you expect that, you are on the way to decoding an individual N's likely macro responses, not the micro ones as the N often has no more idea himself untill near the event sussing out (even unconciously) the most disturbing response in an interpersonal interaction.

    AHH memories of the things said and done by the dear old Ns of days gone by (thankfully)…………………………………………………………………………
    I'll admit a sadistic psychopath that decides you're his victim is the ultimate scary, he really knows what he wants to do, that's when consistency isn't good at all for a victim.

  • kmf

    As I read the other posts I am confused on the fact that my ex never tried to contact me again. Another thing is he has held the same good job for 17yrs and comes across as a shy quiet man. The creepy thing he did was once his daughter and I got close, and he bragged about that to others, all of a sudden he did not want her close to me. He was also cruel to his daughter, he would call her moron and retard. I feel so sorry for her, after I broke up with him she called me and begged me to come back. Even if I had wanted to go back (and I didn't) he would never have taken me back. I think he knew I was very unhappy and he became even meaner to me. My family thought he wanted out of the relationship and did stuff to force me to end it. I don't know, and it is sort of funny I really never knew what he was thinking. Is another symptom of these people if you say black they say white. It even seemed like his opinions flip flopped. I really have to say I was so shocked by his behavior. Funny thing my kids caught on before I did that he was no good. I will never do that to my kids again. I hope it is okay to keep putting my thoughts out here I still can tell I have some questions as I read what other people have wrote.



  • Brigitte

    kmf it's good your putting down your thoughts and questions. That is both for yourself, writing does clarify what one's been through and what was not acceptable to endure then or ever again. At the same time for us others who read your contributions learn a lot as well, strengthening their understanding of the impact of dealing with a narcissist entails.
    What is amazing is how alike true narcissists are in their behaviour and tactics of abuse as well as the impact they have on the non narcissist partner.
    In the end I've found that one has a truer grasp of what are narcissist by hearing from real women, positive bright caring ones like yourself and most that seem to end up on this site in combination with factual/clinical etc descriptions about them.
    Narcissists abuse has a stranger impact than the damage done by the self- centered male who is not a narrcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

    A person with NPD has so little of any sustained anything inregard to a personality, values, actions or capacity to bond, or empathise with another. Attatchment potential to another human being is also zero

    They cannot stand another having any level of happiness or stability in their lives with it only creating envy to eradicate whatever was positive or acceptable in their partner's life. Their increasinginly getting briefer moments of pleasantness are only to retain the services of the other that in some way they need to take back by a following cruelty as the partner is not meant to keep feeling happy. And every attempt a partner makes at keeping the relationship workable is a problem for them.
    The horror of the implicit two way street for them (only being comfortable with a one way), as then arises the frustration of feeling their controlling everything is undermined if they need to meet anothers expectations equally. Then can come for the narcissist one of the most disturbing triggers the ensuing fury they will feel if they were directly told some behaviours of theirs are not appropriate in a relationship & requiring correction.
    This last one is seen as requiring punishment in some form and is never forgiven or forgotten.

    Then there is their unceasing projection of all their faults on to the partner. Furthermore they are never ever wrong and all problems and issues are the 100% fault of the partner. And most of all you don't exist as a person to them with the slightest concept of your having (or worse still the rights to express these) your own feelings, preferences , thoughts & relationships to others. Bring these before the narcissist you'll at best be ignored and next disparaged from , crazy, twisted to evil for sharing & expecting some acknowledgement.

    The rest of the time they will lie to you about most things and deny anything that can suggest any inconsistency or impropriety on their part no matter how clear evidence for such things can be.

    Another problem is that to feel secure about themselves looking good they need to bring you down in every way by hurting you at every aspect of your being, mentally, emotionaly , physicaly & socialy discrediting you. They will already be be doing this even during the stage you are apparently very much in love with them.

    It is very difficult to describe how & why, to others as well as ourselves, how we could be so intensly attatched and devestated by a narcissistic partner when having seemed to endure a ridiculous amount of appalling behaviours from them. I think the bit below (taken from another site and writer)contains the explanatory elements:

    “A significant factor in keeping people 'attached' even whilst they know they are being sucked dry or their existence threatened is betrayal bonding.

    Uncontrollable disruptions or distortions of attachment bonds precede the development of post-traumatic stress syndromes. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger. Adults, as well as children, may develop strong emotional ties with people who intermittently harass, beat, and, threaten them. The persistence of these attachment bonds leads to confusion of pain and love. Trauma can be repeated on behavioural, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocriniologic levels. Repetition on these different levels causes a large variety of individual and social suffering.

    Hostages have put up bail for their captors and have expressed a wish to marry them. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger or threat of danger. “

    If you are still able to or want to you might see if and what points I included were ever carried out by your ex Narcissist. Yet don't try this if you feel that such recollections could activate feelings of strong distress in yourself and your safer in not thinking much more about him .I don't want to have suggested an interesting exercise that could be fine at one point is overwhelming at an earlier stage or unsuitable for some. That I don't know for others. I used to find it actuallyconsoling getting a better picture aside from being sickened by it at the same time. Confusion was always more distressing than being horrified and sickened by most truths for me .
    On the otherhand, others can only cope with knowing enough, that is to to accept he & the supposed relationship were really badly screwed, stuff why, just work on recovery & moving on.The latter is also a very sensible response.
    Hope your feeling better & stay kind to yourself.

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, your description does something I would have never thought possible, and that's make a sociopath look good, relatively speaking.

  • Brigitte

    kmf it's good your putting down your thoughts and questions. That is both for yourself, writing does clarify what one's been through and what was not acceptable to endure then or ever again. At the same time for us others who read your contributions learn a lot as well, strengthening their understanding of the impact of dealing with a narcissist entails.
    What is amazing is how alike true narcissists are in their behaviour and tactics of abuse as well as the impact they have on the non narcissist partner.
    In the end I've found that one has a truer grasp of what are narcissist by hearing from real women, positive bright caring ones like yourself and most that seem to end up on this site in combination with factual/clinical etc descriptions about them.
    Narcissists abuse has a stranger impact than the damage done by the self- centered male who is not a narrcissistic personality disorder (NPD).

    A person with NPD has so little of any sustained anything inregard to a personality, values, actions or capacity to bond, or empathise with another. Attatchment potential to another human being is also zero

    They cannot stand another having any level of happiness or stability in their lives with it only creating envy to eradicate whatever was positive or acceptable in their partner's life. Their increasinginly getting briefer moments of pleasantness are only to retain the services of the other that in some way they need to take back by a following cruelty as the partner is not meant to keep feeling happy. And every attempt a partner makes at keeping the relationship workable is a problem for them.
    The horror of the implicit two way street for them (only being comfortable with a one way), as then arises the frustration of feeling their controlling everything is undermined if they need to meet anothers expectations equally. Then can come for the narcissist one of the most disturbing triggers the ensuing fury they will feel if they were directly told some behaviours of theirs are not appropriate in a relationship & requiring correction.
    This last one is seen as requiring punishment in some form and is never forgiven or forgotten.

    Then there is their unceasing projection of all their faults on to the partner. Furthermore they are never ever wrong and all problems and issues are the 100% fault of the partner. And most of all you don't exist as a person to them with the slightest concept of your having (or worse still the rights to express these) your own feelings, preferences , thoughts & relationships to others. Bring these before the narcissist you'll at best be ignored and next disparaged from , crazy, twisted to evil for sharing & expecting some acknowledgement.

    The rest of the time they will lie to you about most things and deny anything that can suggest any inconsistency or impropriety on their part no matter how clear evidence for such things can be.

    Another problem is that to feel secure about themselves looking good they need to bring you down in every way by hurting you at every aspect of your being, mentally, emotionaly , physicaly & socialy discrediting you. They will already be be doing this even during the stage you are apparently very much in love with them.

    It is very difficult to describe how & why, to others as well as ourselves, how we could be so intensly attatched and devestated by a narcissistic partner when having seemed to endure a ridiculous amount of appalling behaviours from them. I think the bit below (taken from another site and writer)contains the explanatory elements:

    “A significant factor in keeping people 'attached' even whilst they know they are being sucked dry or their existence threatened is betrayal bonding.

    Uncontrollable disruptions or distortions of attachment bonds precede the development of post-traumatic stress syndromes. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger. Adults, as well as children, may develop strong emotional ties with people who intermittently harass, beat, and, threaten them. The persistence of these attachment bonds leads to confusion of pain and love. Trauma can be repeated on behavioural, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocriniologic levels. Repetition on these different levels causes a large variety of individual and social suffering.

    Hostages have put up bail for their captors and have expressed a wish to marry them. People seek increased attachment in the face of danger or threat of danger. “

    If you are still able to or want to you might see if and what points I included were ever carried out by your ex Narcissist. Yet don't try this if you feel that such recollections could activate feelings of strong distress in yourself and your safer in not thinking much more about him .I don't want to have suggested an interesting exercise that could be fine at one point is overwhelming at an earlier stage or unsuitable for some. That I don't know for others. I used to find it actuallyconsoling getting a better picture aside from being sickened by it at the same time. Confusion was always more distressing than being horrified and sickened by most truths for me .
    On the otherhand, others can only cope with knowing enough, that is to to accept he & the supposed relationship were really badly screwed, stuff why, just work on recovery & moving on.The latter is also a very sensible response.
    Hope your feeling better & stay kind to yourself.

  • susanawalsh

    Wow, your description does something I would have never thought possible, and that's make a sociopath look good, relatively speaking.

  • collegegirl1

    I keep commenting! I'm learning so much from this site, so I want to say thank you. I plan to first catch up with articles that interest me, and then continually keep up with the blog.

    Ok, so here it goes.

    What is the best way to avoid a narcissist?

    * Make an effort to identify them based on their history. Narcissists leave a trail of heartbreak, deception and unmet expectations.

    I feel like in college, this could be hard. At least with the guys I've been with, they've had previous relationships in high school, and it seems like they are still friends with those girls. If I meet them, it's hard to find out about other girls they were with in college, because I'm not going to ask them outright, especially when my college is very large and it's hard to meet everyone. If I don't know their previous gfs/hookups, I have to figure it out on my own.

    * Don’t let a suspected narcissist talk his way in. They will often try to cover their insensitive and deceitful behavior by claiming that there was a miscommunication or misunderstanding. It is always the other person’s fault.

    Ugh. Ok so I was with this guy and we were walking back from a party and it was FREEZING. He was wearing a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt while I had on a halter top. I've been hooking up with him and IIII had to be the one to ask if I could borrow his sweatshirt. He said no, and then the next day when I asked him why he was like, oh it was just a joke, if you would have asked again, I definitely would have given it to you. I promise!! What a JERK! You don't joke about that when it is below freezing in upstate NY at 3am and you have on LAYERS. I gave him one more chance. He let me borrow his sweatshirt the next time, but when I was done with it I texted him saying I would give it back. He never texted back, so I assumed things were over and gave it to his roommate who I sit next to in class.

  • susanawalsh

    collegegirl, I love all your comments! I am so pleased that my posts resonate for you.

    It can be very, very hard to know the reputation of someone you've had no previous connection with. If you meet someone at college, or afterwards, who is completely new to your social circle, you may not have any information about their prior relationships. In that case, you have to observe their behavior very carefully. If something doesn't feel quite right, or if they seem selfish, pay close attention. Go with your gut feeling. A narcissist will focus on getting their own needs met without a lot of attention to yours. You should see signs of real caring and empathy from day one. If you don't, stop wasting your time.

    Re sweatshirt guy: Douche! That is so rude. Talk about a lack of chivalry! He should have offered, not refused! I'm glad you assumed things were over when he never texted back. Next time, I hope you will decide things are over when a guy treats you poorly. Regardless of how he is feeling, you have every right to make a decision that you're done, no matter how he tries to laugh it off later.

  • EmotionallyUnavailableFemale40

    WOW….I've finally found a site that surrounds my dilemma. I dont even know if there is enough space to illustrate my saga. I met my ex-N in 2008 while in a training class for work. I'd never seen him before in our agency, and I'd been there for 21 years then. We exchanged business cards, and the whirlwind began. I was swept off of my feet, I'll admit. OMG…..I was completely WOOOED by, sweet texts, phone calls, emails, he cooked for me, had bubble baths waiting for me, catered to my every need, dinners at expensive restaurants, eves of one-on-one basketball at the park….just good times. Trusted me enough to leave me in his house, when he left for work. I was blown away. He asked me where had I been hiding, cause he's been waiting all of his life for a woman like me; even told me he loved me, and asked my ring size approximately 1 month of dating. Although he kept in constant contact with me, I can recall several occasions of not being able to reach him via both of his cellphones; he didnt have a house phone, and was a delay in responding to my text. Once contact was made, it was always an excuse or explanation. Red Flag#1 that I ignored. Then more attention came, then the disappearing acts always reappeared. I found myself always expressing my frustrations about not being able to get in contact with him. I had suggested ending things several times, but he always was able to weasle his butt back in my good graces. Me, a very strong and independent female who has the reputation of not putting up with anyone bullcrap, just couldnt get this man to understand that I was not for his mess. I had contstant notions that he wasnt being straight up with me, and possible was involved with other women. However, I wasnt sure, but his actions were not corroborating what his mouth was saying. So much uncertainty was coming from him, where I really couldnt believe anything he was telling me. There were times he was a now show at my house, after conveying he was coming after work; then I wouldnt hear anything from him til the next day; where he would candidly say he was sleep and didnt hear his phone. He was very persistent with not allowing me to end things, and ignore his phone calls. On one occasion he called me 48 times, back to back on my cell phone, house phone and work phone…..and wouldnt quit until I answered. Instead of thinking, Red Flag, I believed that he must really care about me. So, approximately, 6 months dating, he disappeared and I wasnt able to reach him by phone, I rode over to his house; and guess what…..he wasnt home…. 3 am in moring. When he got my email the next morning and I let him know how pissed I was that I wasnt able to reach him , he apologized and said he was tired and had fallen asleep. Then I let him know that I came over to his house and he wasnt sleeping at home, and to leave me alone bacause I cant stand a liar. This is when the traits of NPD began….. He became upset and everything became my fault. I was wrong for popping up at HIS house, HE's not a child and dont need a babysitter, HE doesnt appreciate me coming to his house, violating his personal space, and so on and so on…..Im insecure, I shouldnt be checking up on him, I've emasculated HIM, I will not treat him like HE's 12, and dont ever pop up at HIS house again, unless Im invited. I had never been subjected to the amount of BS this man offered. I then cut him off cause I wasnt going to allow him to disrespect me. Then I was crazy enough to let him back in, and then I let my guard down, and for some reason that Ive yet to understand, I fell in love with him. And when my actions and expectations revealed that….all I got from him was distance, disappointment and heartache. Whenever I asked him after not seeing him for bout a week, if we could go out, watch a movie at his house or mine, or just get together like normal couples since he was off, and (since he worked crazy hours)…..all i got as a response was…”I'll have to see, I have somethings I need to take care of.” If I asked like what? It started by him just hanging up in my ear, leaving me completely in shock that he'd be so rude. After time, the rages appeared, the disappearing acts continued, and the distance grew greater. But he always wanted/had to know where I was, what I was doing, or my pending plans, ect..ect.. No more being treated like a queen, infact, I was wondering why the hell does he want me in his life, and why the hell am I still here. I was beginning to lose it….constantly crying, questioning my judgment, wondering what happened to me, as to why I dont see the writing on the wall. The let down of work always coming before me, excuses of why we couldnt be together on his days off, secrets, lack of respect, constantly blaming me for everything that happened when all I was trying to do was bring us closer. Not to mentioned he never introduced me to his parents, who were seperated and he never wanted to accompany me to any functions, or family gatherings at all. He could never plan anything in advance, everything always had to be last minute. I hated that. Always had to see what his work schedule was looking like, and would never check. When asked again, he still hadnt checked, and said again he would let me know, and then he decide at last minute that he cant go, and most of the time, it wasnt even because of work. It seemed to me that he just enjoyed seeing me disappointed and hurting. Our sex life was practically non-existent. And when it did occurr, it was short lived, (3 minutes at the most) and without passion. And every encounter ended with me going to my GYN a week later for a BV infection. This is So embarrassing, but Im glad I have somewhere to write about my feelings and emotions that have been stomped and ignored by a person who didnt deserve my love. But he wouldnt allow for me to move on. I then found out that he had dated another co-worker who worked in the same office as I did, infact found out that he had dated several females within the agency, but didnt care to share that information with me. And when I asked him about the past relationships, his response was always defensive, and directed towards me checking up on him. Then that would lead to him not communicating with me for several hours or days. This man would lie to you in the face, and expect for you to believe him. If you didnt, and questioned him, or prove that he's lying, he would throw a temper tantrum like a out of control child….hitting walls, dashboard of my car, slamming my car door, kicking my shoe boxes, and just yelling and spitting….saying he gotta get away from me before he does something to hurt me. For some reason, his threats of physical abuse didnt scare me, and when he realiZed that, he tore me down emotionally, verbally and mentally. At this time, I had no idea what NPD was. I just figured this man was scared of love, and afraid of being abandoned like he says his father did to him, his brother and mother. But I realized that wasnt my fault, and wondered why he continued to treat me like I was trash. But, I really wondered what was going on with me..I was losing time at work because of sleepness night of crying and arguing….couldnt concentrate, I was a complete mess. Nothing I did was good enough. Wanted to plan a weekend getaway for Mother's Day. I knew he was off because of the Unit I work in at the agency. He became upset because he felt I was again checking up on him, and when he was off was his business. He then refused to tell me where he was going, or who he was going with. Said he needed a trip alone to award himself for all of the long hours he put in at work. When I asked, “What about me wanting to go away with him?” He said that this trip was for him. He did the same thing to me for Father's Day when I wanted to take him away. He went into one of his rages, and began screaming and hollering on the phone, hangup….call back scream and hollar so more….hang up, and come to find out, later in the week he had left town without telling me. I was completely devestated then. So I called his brother who I had known for sometime, and explained to him what I had been enduring with his brother. And he told me, “I thought you were what he needed, a strong woman who could handle him.” He said, “Dee, I love my brother, and I'll never say anything bad about him, but my brother isnt worth the pain and torture I hear in your voice.” “So look at this day, and put it behind you, and Run; you deserve someone who's gonna do right by you, not gonna hurt you.” I then found out he had been driving another female's car, when his was in shop, and after I offered mine to use. When I approached him about that, it was my fault that I found out, and it was none of my business who car he had. He once ignored my cries for help when I was sick, until I was hospitalized, and he appeared right away. He said that he thought I was trying to get his attention by saying I was sick.

    The most scariest thing that made me realize that something was definitely wrong with this person Im in love with is when I noticed the lack of communication, distance and constant disappointment was wearing on me and taking its toll. I wanted to talk, seriously, and make a final decision cause this relationship was ruining me and my spirit. So I called him on phone. He said he was at work and couldnt discuss our relationship at that time. I just needed to have some closure, so I pressed on. He suddenly hung up on me, and then refused to answer when I calleded back. And against my better judgement, I went to his office. Once he saw me in his office, a look of disgust appeared on his face. He asked why was I there. I explained that I needed to get some things off of my mind. He leaned over the desk, and he stated, ” I should punch you in your motherfucking face, (balling up his fist) for coming over here to my job with your drama!” I then continued to explain to him my position, but his focus was about me coming to his job. At that time, a co-worker opened the door, and my ex switched like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, right before my eyes. He put on the demeanor in front of his co-worker like we were haveing a happy and decent conversation. I was so in shock about my ex's tranformation that my mouth had dropped wide open, where I couldnt even speak. I then walked out of his office, and havent ever returned there to this day. He immediately began texting me telling me that I had destroyed the rest of his day, and I had no business coming to his job (even though I always went there, as we work for the say law enforcement agency.) I was devestated when I returned back to work, and a friend of mine stated she was tired of seeing me go through this, and I needed to be informed of something. Later that evening, after several horrible text messages and voicemails from my ex, I was contacted by another co-worker who informed me that she had been in a relationship with my ex-N twice. Once approx. 10 years ago, but ended when he was cheating on her with 2 other women, and most recently, while he had been involved with me. She stated that when she found out about me, she had been back seeing him for approx 17 months. So he had been seeing us both for 9 months that Id been involved with him. That explained a lot. After getting drunk and drowing in my sorrows, I called him and left a nasty vm on his phone letting him know that I knew he had been seeing me and the other co-worker. He called about 20 times, but I refused to answer my phone. So he left several vm messages, saying I was stupid for listening to her, misery loves company, and that I can keep on listening to my co-worker, and to love her since I listen to her so much and believe what she says. Everything was my fault. He never once took responsibility for any of his wrong-doings. He once told me, that he has never done anything to cause problems in our relationship, and he also says, “Im not perfect, but Im the closest thing to it.”

    I know this is long, and theres plenty more torment that Ive endured that I can continue writing about, including finding out about 2 other women he had relationships with during the time I was seeing him. But I hope this give a vivid picture of the last almost 2 years of my life. I have tried several times to break things off, so that I can escape his wrath and regain some normalcy in my life. Im currenty in therapy every week with a counselor, in hopes of regaining my self-worth, cause he has destroyed me. I have currently began No Contact, and its still hard for me, but Im determined to WIN! But it hurts so bad. Just cant believe an individual could break me down like this. Ive always been strong, independant, and respected by family and peers, then to be hurt by this man I gave my heart to who turned out to be so cruel and vicious, and would never show an ounce of remorse. Any feedback is appreciated. Sorry that its so long.

    An Emotionally Unavailable Female

  • Kris

    I am so sorry for what you went through, I can relate. Please try with all you have to never make contact with him again and if he tries to contact you please stay away from him, that is when you will start to get some of your power back. I actually made the mistake of getting engaged to mine and it has taken me 7 months to finally smile again. I swear you will find yourself again but it takes time. When you have been so caught up in crazy persons world you forget what normal is. I will say I had to work really hard to heal but I refused to let him take anymore of me. Please hang in there and take it minute by minute until you can take it day by day. It will get better but be kind to yourself and don't blame yourself. Normal good people never imagine that there are people like this and you can't believe what you see them do or say, it's not human. One day you will thank your lucky stars you got out. Read as much as you can and read it over and over because it reinfoces that you are fine and they are not. I wish you the best.


  • susanawalsh

    EUF, thanks for sharing your story here. That is a terrible, terrible tale and I'm very sorry you lived it. He sounds so toxic. PLEASE work hard to have no contact, don't give in. He will destroy you if you give him the chance, and he will have no remorse. He is incapable of it. Seeing a counselor is great – keep up the good work, and rely on friends and family to support you.

  • brigitte

    I really feel for you in having been so unfortunate to crossed paths with a narcissist when you did.
    A huge part of the problem they pose is the type of attatchement that results from a period of involvement with them “traumatic bonding” that seems to include even bio chemical imbalances from the stress-it's cited from another writer in some of my earlier replies here- the explanation helps you stop blaming or questioning how you could be so attatched to one like him who repeatedly maltreats you. Obviously as a consequence of that you'll find yourself having remained or re engaging after break ups for a length of time that surprises yourself and former kin & kith.
    Though eventually you know enough to realise you need to get away and stay away from him, utterly no further contact of any type.

    You have really done well to go at this time, better than many others as it seems its around then it is a tougher time, long enough to know go but a bit too long to be in good enough states to do it as decisively as needed.
    Your getting counselling, and support was smart, just refine” your no contact”, and revise/reframe your outlook a bit more. You want to make the most of every counselling $$s.
    So in future do not even to tell him that you found out the specifics of what you or blind Freddy could tell before, that he was seeing another woman.
    A narcissist is so bad that you get utterly nowhere that will end up constructive by trying to do anything about him – to him – or by discussing him with others (who he knows).
    The only exception is any statement -just once- interpersonaly for establishing or protecting the no contact needed, then legally if he persists.
    If ever another woman tries to talk to you about him, avoid it if you can, aside from where it's obvious she needs the support of confirming some facts and a bit of compassion if clearly hurting.

    From now on shut him down as ever having existed, as the man you fell in love with was never there, just this an alien illusion.
    The realisation that he is a Narcissist really ends all further questions around how could he or why did he treat you so and any more tears about anything to do with him. What he is as a narcissist explains everything in what he does in relationships as the level of compassion a starving giant crocodile would do with you in a swamp.

    Your left with the shock and healing from the damage done to your nervous/ endocrine etc. systems from the stress endured dealing with him.
    I've no idea of your life situation and I'm only guessing that underlyingly you may have had some touches of occasional uncertainty of what life had for you from 40, especially regarding relationships – very normal- and collided with a predator scenting the touch of vulnerability.
    There is no need to be emotionaly unavailable to others as long as you become aware of any slight frailty you may have wether be it situational or from the past, the eitiology matters not that much but what things can make you vulnerable to live outside of your value system expectations.

    Just please don't ever call him, email him, sms him, reply to him, discuss him with others linked to him, avoid, ignore and thank God for your release in his very overt expressions in not valuing you( none are valued ever at any stage as individuals ), even much as narcissistic supply. For he had other supply options around.
    A few years down the track as his hunting ground is ongoingly the same it catches up the knowledge about him with less narcissistic supply options.So he'd be as awful, but more focused in trapping and damaging you before discarding.
    Narcissist don't appreciate a partner more when they get harder to replace just have more energy to put into whatever they will do to a partner and it won't be nice..
    The best thing from an individual stance about the betraying multiplle partnered narcissists, is their cruelty is scattered amongst more and will let you go without being overly threatening & intense in any of his pursuit ( not from love but from controll so he can do the dumping) .
    I hope what I've put is understandable and may add to anything of any use.
    Wishing you a healthy speedy recovery.

  • peacelovecj

    Oh my goodness I am so glad I found this site. Everything said here describes perfectly how I feel. I have looked at many many many articles about narcissists, their traits, stories, experiences, and information and this site definitely hit it head on.I truly believe my boyfriend [soon to be ex..] has this psychological disease. It is so hard because I know deep down he is a really good person [i'm sure there are many things going on inside his head that i don't know and could alter that decision]. It all seems so scary to me.

    We worked together and fell in love @ a coffee shop [was blinded by his then love and passion] he had a girlfriend at the time but we were just emotionally attached, he then broke up with her after about a year and went straight to me [another sign i've read– needing to be in a relationship]. I know this was not a good way to start a relationship but we were in love. 2 weeks after starting to date I had a stroke (@ 19, crazy I know] and he was by my side [although, a rough start to our relationship]. He was there by my side through it all. Then things started changing, very slowy, but they did change. I didn't realize it at the time. We were getting in constant fights, I thought it was my fault- that I was crazy. But I now know that isn't true. Anyway, he got different- I have always been an independent person [don't get me wrong, we spent a lot of time together, we live together, which makes this even harder} A lot of people see traits like this of James and mention them to me, they of course don't connect him with this disease– but I see the traits and It makes me reassured even more that this is true. My being independent must have affected him: he suddenly didn't like my friends, didn't like my hobbies, turned very needy.

    Also, I forgot to mention that he has told me that he grew up in a family in which he always needed to be perfect and it bugged him. Now knowing his family, quite well I see MANY characteristics of this disease in his mom.

    I wish this break up was going to be easier, it's our one year anniversary tomorrow which makes it even harder. He has been distant lately- like he knows its coming. I need to do it sooner than later. I have a counselor appt. on Tuesday so I am on my way out…Wish me luck. Send some good karma my way! Best.

  • susanawalsh

    peacelovecj, yes! Good for you! I'm glad you're not writing this after years of heartache, as some other women have done. You were smart to find a counselor – you will need objective support. Best of luck, we'll be thinking of you. You can do this!

  • brigitte

    peacelovecj it's good to hear that this forum is stimulating you to recognise when a relationship isn't constructive for you and recognising behaviours of a man that isn't ready to be in one having unresolved issues resulting in negative reactions, especially discomfort with the others independence.

    I think there are two valuable aspects coming out of this forum:

    The first being the problems, dangers and confusion experienced by women involved with narcissists who will never change – at least for the better. Involvement with narcissists very frequently ends up being highly damaging from the multiple forms of abuse they enact with their partner so it's important to facilitate the recognition of them and understand the only solution is no contact. The sharing and support in this forum can be invaluable as I have found at any stage of the “narcissist experience”, the start , the middle, the ending phase and consoldating recovery when it is over( that's when we have kept up seriously no contact despite the narcissist's attempts at odd pop ups).

    The second valuable aspect is the affirmation of the unacceptability of enduring any form of abuse and disrespectful treatment from any partner who may not have a narcissistic personality disorder through whatever their cause. Wether it's simply not realy loving or liking the woman, immaturity, substance abuse issues, warped cultural or familial views of a womans role that allow cruel responses or other psychopathological conditions. Narcissistic abuse is so extreme ( even when parts appear subtle) and multifaceted they cover the whole spectrum of abuses possible with the absence of empathy or concience with the pain and damage becoming very clear consequences after the initial confusion. The way women wake up to commence recovery is by looking at each discrete abuse the narcissist did and acknowledging how painful and innapropriate these abuses are to be done to them and equally to tolerate them therby he has to go.No contact for a real narcissist while that may not necessarily need to be so with some other unsuitably badly behaved males needing definetly a full clear break up for good.
    The healthy thing is that you like some others who are in a negative abusive relationship are troubled enough by this -and should be- start exploring looking for affirmations of your healthy relationship expectations and recognising pathological relationship behaviours of partners who are not prepared or able to treat you well, rather disrespectfuly abusive and themselves self centered. All forms of abuse in relationships are harmful and unnaceptable. Also relationships where there is no true compatability and where either party is just staying around where their partner is just a gap filler end up frustrating ,resentful, conflictual and will end up abusive in some ways especially as their isn't any mutual respect for the partner or self for hanging around.

    You could find susanawalsh's writings on relationships in the rest of hooking up sections helpful in getting and having positive relationships as well as understanding the pros and cons of choices in the dating game. I think her writings are excellent. Perfect for your new begining.

    I think for a young woman you have wisely worked out this relationship needs to end. It is seriously impaired and potentially damaging. He may not be a narcissist but he has started to show signs that indicate he is not ready for any healthy relationship with you or most likely anyone. Men who have emotional relationship issues and are younger ( immature) will parallel narcissistic behaviours, especially if they are not ready to cope with a relationship. His neediness ( very worrying regarding consequences of controlling a partner) is what seems to drive him to involvements beyond his capacity to cope and not find the level of just interacting socially with women until he's learnt more about himself and dealing with women. It isn't helpful to remain with him, it's only pushing his faults further by his negative reactions to dealing with what he isn't equiped with.

    Most break ups have initial sadness and loss as their usually were some good parts and even some love shared ( not with a real narcissist though who never loved the partner, only the partner who had loved him or what she thought was him) . But break ups happen because “its broken” now and at least one party realises this, like a crystal glass landing on a tiled floor you realises can't be repaired. (Break ups re broken allusion borrowed from another writers excellent book title)

    Glad your seeing a counsellor who can be good for consolidating your choices, clarifying and supporting you.

    If your hunch that your boyfriend has something like a personality disorder by feeling there is something more extreme than immaturity take a look at borderline personality disorder. Has a number of parallels to a narcissistic personality disorder but they are the more needy, prompt relationship getters and react very badly to percieved abandonment while similarily selfish and abusive etc.,Plus they don't ever get better either and are hellish to be with.
    Narcissists are generally more aloof and are after “narcissistic supply” and some other forms of attention/admiration can suffice between relationships. If they are suggesting devestation around relationship ends they are usually acting to manipulate so they can control and dump. Their only pain is the shock of underestimating the partners pain and frustration plus remaining sanity to go.
    Bordelines display neediness. Narcissists will get critical of the partners friends and activities but are too up themselves to follow that with frequent displays of needy behaviour where a bordeline has no hesitation with that, well actually is so a lot of the time. Wheras a narcissist they will sabotage daily life looking as if they are in control so the partner cannot keep up with their friends and be eventually too exhausted and ashamed by the chaos they are in to keep up with past contacts. The narcissist will usualy try to pal up with some of your friends to disceredit you in what way he can to consolidate your being isolated.
    If you find that he looks more like a bordeline ( they are similar)
    I think that the sites on coping with narcissists are actually better still to stick with as most of the sites on borderlines are more desciptive about the bordeline and not as definitive about how to view their pointlesness to relate to or how to cope with them and abuse in general.
    Understanding personality disorders is useful in recognising the problematic people who cannot ever realy improve compared to the people who have developed defensively poor behaviours but would prefer to fix these so they can have better relationships. The latter fixables are relevant only in an established relationship especially with children or clearly a close relationship which is already mutually loving bar specific problems. Wheras the personality disorders are needed to be left regardless of children as in fact it's protecting the children from damage via exposure contamination of a personality disordered parent.

    Also be careful regarding your personal safety as some of these types of men can end up becoming violent if they realise you mean over is over. His being quieter may be a sad helpless resignation from sensing the end or keeping to himself what he has in store for you if you do dare go.

    If he hits the suicidal gesture thing,( doesn't matter if it looks like just threats or only acting out a gesture at worst ( gestures can go wrong and suceed inadvertantly) or chance of the real thing, remember that it's not or ever would be your responsability – his choice.
    But, still the second he suggests that, or looks like he may try, you immediatly refer him to psychiatric services to be assesed promptly with no further involvement. The services can work out his risk, if any, and if so the services are responsible to contain that, NOT YOU EVER.
    Borderlines are more inclined to go for suicide gestures unlike Narcissists who never do and very rarely suggest they may only if they believe their partner is extremely sensitive to being overwhelminly distressed by it and give in to anything, even then it's too beneath them , often even to conceptualise this.Still report to a psychiatric team even if your positive it's a narcissist not likely to do it as he'd be so humiliated ( shouldn't have said it) he'd never try that again.
    Where in a few areas suicidal gestures were thought to occur with narcissists they were not primarily a narcissist but had another disorder.

    Hopefully he may choose to do what he did with the last girlfriend and go to another. He may have one already being interacted with and contemplating his prospects with her since you don't look like you'll do his bidding anymore.

    Wishing you the best of luck in reclaiming your freedom for a better life and future relationships that are mutually positive.

  • peacelovecj

    I ended it today. I couldn't take it anymore. It is our one year but it has been a long time coming. He won't admit that though (of course). I feel so horrible doing this but I know I need to. His comments to me were at first how we could make it work but I stayed firm- now his comments are, “you don't even know what love is” and “I don't even want to look at me”. I feel crazy- these thoughts are running through my head “maybe I don't really now what love is” “maybe he really isn't a narcissist” [even though deep down I know, I don't want to believe it”. We are in college and I am moving out today. I have seen better days…

  • peacelovecj

    I didn't read your post brigitte until after I commented below. I know he is either a borderline or a narcissist [all signs point to it] and I have documented many things over the year. So glad I did so I see that I am not crazy and it really is him. This was my first “real” relationship. I don't think I will enter the dating game for awhile, I need some time to myself so I can truly heal from all of this. When I do though, I really hope I find a mutual love. I deserve it. Thanks for your response. It feels so good to let it all out. Also, luckily, my parents are very supportive and have noticed signs too. I am moving out today. Here's to a new chapter.

  • peacelovecj

    Also, I connected with this site 100% :

  • Whit84


    I just stumbled on this website after months of being completely confused over my relationship that ended in October (at least officially). I should note first that I am in my mid 20's and this was the first dude that I fell in love with. I also grew up with a narcissistic father, so I believe that this has played a hand in the guys I have chosen up to this point.
    Anyways, about a year ago I met this guy through my roommate (college buddies). He was staying at our house for the week and had previously returned from a year of traveling in South America. We hit it off instantly and ended up having this intense week long affair. He seemed so genuine, traveled, worldy, and sensitive that I thought I had found someone out of the ordinary. After he left to go back home (he lived w/ his mother and was unemployed) we kept in touch for a few weeks and he invited me to come up to his place for the weekend.
    The weekend was magical and I felt a really strong connection to him, but I started noticing a few red flags. First, he and his mother had a strange, overly dependent relationship. Second, he seemed like the world owed him a job even though he wasn't making much of an effort to find one. Before I left I asked if we should keep seeing each other despite the distance (a few hours) and he said that if we did continue I'd end up hating him and that w/ no car or job he had little to offer me. I was sad but accepted this.
    A few days later the contacted me to tell me that he was going to Vegas and would be stopping in LA for a week to save money on his flight (?). I was just about to start my student teaching but agreed to let him stay. The week was very intense again, but then he left w/ no response. After asking him what was going on, he sent me an email stating that it wasn't that he didn't care, but that he had some roadblocks in his life. 'Feel free to call me and idiot”, he said, “you wouldn't be the first”. I was devastated, especially since we had ended up sleeping together for the first time.
    We continued to talk for about a month and a half and when he sensed that I was losing interest, he asked me if I wanted to drive up to his dad's cabin up north for my spring break. I agreed, but we actually ended up going on a week long camping trip throughout Utah and Vegas, as well as spending Easter together. We were inseparable and I felt like he was my soulmate.
    When he left he agreed that we'd meet up soon, but after that he got stand offish. He informed me that he didn't have the money to see me for 3 months (he knew I was student teaching and was very busy). I found out though that he was going on wine tasting trips and other such things. A friend of his that I had met when I visited him, called me up out of the blue and said that he was crazy about me, but that I should protect my heart around him. I ended up telling him that 3 months was unacceptable and I didn't want to see him anymore. He freaked out and after finding out that I had talked to his friend, NEVER spoke to her again, blaming her for everything.
    So we stopped seeing each other for over a month and then he called me one day in late may to inform me that he was flying down to attend an alumni related event and could he stay at my house. He basically hovered around me the whole weekend and I stupidly ended up hooking up w/ him again.
    After that I ended up visiting a few times. I got to know his family very well, but he still refused to call me his girlfriend. Everyone knew we were together and he didn't hide it but he had a myriad of excuses as to why, even though he claimed he wanted it more than anything. I invited him to meet my friends/family when I went home , but he said he had no money. Instead, he bought a ticket to South America to go to a wedding there.
    After I got back, I went on his family vacation w/ him. It was still fun, until I criticized him about something. Then he gave me the silent treatment the next day. We ended up getting in to a committment argument and he said that if i didn't move closer to him it wouldn't work, but that he wasn't ready for me to move closer yet. He said that I might get to be his gf 'one day', even though he wanted it very much. Nonsensical. At this point, his reasoning started to get weird. I almost left his vacation, but he got super sweet and clingy, and I didn't want to embarrass him in front of his family so I stayed.
    Right before he went to South America he promised that he'd commit when get got back (he went for 2 months!) During that time he rarely talked to me. When I called him out, he said it was a misunderstanding and that was very busy. He also didn't invite me to his sister's wedding and got mad that I wanted to go saying, 'Well it was YOUR responsibility to tell me that you wanted to go'.

    After he got back, I dumped him for good. He blamed me for the breakup saying that I didn't give the relationship a chance. But then I heard nothing from him. When I did see him shortly after he wouldn't even look me in the eye and treated me like I wasn't a person (even though he'd send me couples pictures randomly). He rearranged the story saying 'I didn't make him happy, and that I argued too much and that it would've have worked had we lived near each other'. I know who he is now, but it still haunts me and makes me feel like I failed somehow. I wouldn't have stayed so long if he didn't have some great qualities: he was fun, charming, affectionate, good with his family, etc. But very lacking in empathy. After the fact all of our mutual friends told me that he was 'bad at relationships'. I wish I'd known before. Why do I still feel so raw though?

    Sorry this is so long!

  • brigitte

    Well done peacelovecj. You do most likely know and have the capacity for real love and therefore had the wisdom and courage to end a futile relationship. Truly loving relationships are full of mutual concern and consideration. A constructive relationship is for most of the time is happy, secure with feeling that you can count on each other supporting and building each other up. When there is constant fighting, especially in the first year it is a futile negative life. When people are young they very often can have relationships that end as you learn more about them and realise there is no good future. He may well be a narcissist or borderline, but even if he isn't it didn't work and wouldn't. Forget the lets work on it offer as he didn't care enough about your feelings when he had you willingly with him ( that is not love doing that) and is only coming up with better offers when your going – too late.
    Any way as you haven't yet met the man that is a suitable partner you don't or can know how fully positive love can be with the right one. You at least know what it could be and what it isn't through him. So stay positive and don't carry his projections and problems on your shoulders-they are his to deal with. It's inspiring to see your progress.

  • susanawalsh

    whit84, i am so glad you came here and so glad you ended that relationship! I'm not sure whether he was officially NPD or just a total DOUCHEBAG but either way, you are well rid of him. I know it hurts, you feel terrible, but here's what you need to do: heal so that you are ready when someone capable of love and commitment appears in your life. That is your job right now! You deserve better – I know that you know that. I wish you all the best.

  • Whit84

    Thank you for your support. I know it'll take some time, but I believe that this had to happen for me to realize that I deserve more and that I will get what I accept. I was left super confused at the end of the relationship because he was very passive aggressive, denied things that he had 100% said, and pretty much rewrote much of the history of what happened. This left a bad taste in my mouth and a lack of closure, but I'm ready to move on. I have to. Thanks again.

  • susanawalsh

    Your head is obviously on straight, I can see your strength in what you write. That is a very good thing. So many women stay in situations like this for years. N's are so charismatic and compelling that it's very hard to walk away. I congratulate you for having the perseverance to do that.

  • Whit84

    I guess the problem is that now despite all of it, I still miss him and feel depressed, like something is missing in me. For most of the year, I became very dependent on him and let him determine how I felt about myself. If he was giving me attention I felt great, and if he was being distant or playing head games I felt inadequate. I left feeling that if he REALLY liked me, he would've been more caring. But I guess if he's an N, he cares more about himself than anyone else. Now that it's just me, I find myself having some separation anxiety, even though I know he's not good for me. He ended up coming down to LA to see some friends this past weekend and it stirred up a bunch of emotions for me. Hopefully I'll feel better soon.

  • susanawalsh

    Whit84, that is so hard, I know it is. The thing is, N's are so charming, so good at making you feel good (when they want to). Of course you would miss that! He made you feel special and fantastic, and then he could wipe that good feeling away in a moment with one emotionally distant or abusive episode. It's hard to wean oneself away from that kind of reinforcement, I understand.

    But he has nothing to offer. Nothing. At the end of the day, you are unhappy, and lonely. Let him go, knowing that once you are able to move forward, you will be open to love with someone else. Staying in the destructive cycle he's perpetrating is using up your precious youth and beauty, not to mention your fertility.

    Don't be the 30 year-old woman with sad stories to tell. You can do this.

  • Anonymous

    You’re right. It is a waste of my precious time and energy. Last thing I’ll say: I guess I was ashamed to say this, but I might as well: When he came down over the weekend (which was exactly a year from when we met), I drunkenly hooked up w/ him (he was completely sober). Out of weakness, I asked him if he wanted to give it another shot. He was hot and cold to me the whole weekend, and said he was too busy to talk about it, but to give him a call when he got back. I did and he said that he ‘still had feelings for me’, and that he was usually impractical when it came to relationships, but that THIS time he’d draw the line and say no more b/c I was too argumentative and he couldn’t make me happy. He led me on the whole weekend, but I am mostly upset because I was so foolish. I feel like I let him ‘win’, when in my right mind I know that he’s no good for me. I was just feeling lonely and sentimental. I just feel terrible knowing that things turned out this way with me losing respect for myself. I hope I can forgive myself.

  • Whit84

    I guess the thing that keeps me upset, is the idea that he'll treat the next girl he's with the way I wanted to be treated. He made it seem like I expected too much from him and was unreasonable, implying that if it I was the 'right' one it wouldn't be this difficult. I'm ashamed to say this, but when he came down last week (a year from when we met) I drunkenly hooked up w/ him (he was completely sober). To be fair, he was unsure of whether it was the right decision, but preceded to be hot and cold to me the whole weekend. Due to sentimentality and loneliness I asked him he he wanted to get back together, knowing in my right mind that this was ridiculous. He said he was busy and wouldn't be able to talk about it until he got back home. He then said that he still had feelings for me, and that he is usually impractical when it came to relationships, but that this time he'd say no for a host of reasons. I'm really mad at myself because I didn't need to do that, but felt compelled to. Although I was the one who originally ended it, I had to go back and let him reject me. I thought I knew better. I just don't know how to forgive myself.

  • susanawalsh

    Oh, sweetie, you have to stop beating yourself up. This is NOT YOUR FAULT!

    First of all, pity the next girl, because he is EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE. And that's not going to change, most likely ever. From what you've written it's clear that he is incapable of empathy, much less love. I'm sorry you did set yourself up for that final rejection, but maybe it was the nail in the coffin of this relationship. Sometimes embarrassment or even humiliation are useful – they keep us from making more mistakes. Those emotions evolved in humans for a reason. It feels terrible, but use it. Forgive yourself, know that you needed to do that one last time, and feel terrible as you do to move on. Now that you know there is no possibility, you won't be wondering “what if.”

    Narcissists make us feel as if we are “not enough.” That is so toxic to your well-being. Nothing you did could ever be enough for him. He will always need more. More of everything, and the minute you aren't feeding his gargantuan ego what it needs every day, he'll be restless and looking for that validation somewhere else.

  • Whit84

    Thanks again. I'll take your advice and actually start moving on now.

  • brigitte

    Whit84 good on you for moving on and taking susanawalsh's excellent advice.
    Before too long you'll be feeling a lot better. Starting with your own self respect, not having confusing slights to endure or the stress of trying to explain the obvious of how appropriately connected partners treat each other and some time later meeting another worthwhile. Forget about him except to keep the lessons you learnt about the type of man showing any disrespect and immaturity regarding his total life style to be dismissed fast.A guy one develops a relationship with at your age needs to be well into his work ethic and stable so as a team you can build a future together with. Life needs, like purchasing houses and having children is costly and both parties these days need to be stably employed as well as emotionaly balanced with mutual reciprocal caring to happily be able to cope with unavoidable pressures. He has a personality disorder to be so entrenched in his behaviours and responses. Never feel upset that he'll move on to another girl treating her as you wanted to be as it will only be for as long as you were in spurts with the same relationship deficits played out on her, torture, just feel pity for the later victims. He lives by breaking normal rules.Charming and intensly involved that most males reserve for someone they are serious about.The ordinary guy wanting a hook up may be charming etc., for an evening or so to get action, but won't dare to pretend or even can much beyond the first sexual encounter. This man is like an adolescent approaching his mid teens before understanding the adjustments needed for maturity in all life areas except his development is seriously arrested through a personality disorder. Personality disorders they are finding have slightly altered brain structures and uptake problems of chemicals ( seretonin, dopamine, norepherine etc.,) as yet largely untreated. Let's face it we wouldn't expect to build to a relationship with someone new once we realised they have dementia knowing they have deficits in processing plus it will only get worse and it's the same with personality disorders.

    AS you are doing your course so well you are familiar with accepting deferring instant self gratification or denying some fun indulgences for the bigger picture and it's really the same with coping with the moments of withdrawal of the biochemistry buzzes you experienced with him.
    You will keep developing for the better as long as you stay away from those like him and one like him over the years keeps getting worse.

    This isn't that relevant to you, but a sign how their cognitive limitations can go over time as well as a chance for me to share my update of what I've kept away from.
    My ex N with whom it even ended up needing a restraining order is going worse than ever. I had to report him restalking my place to the police, he lied and denied and found out from the police he's still expressing great negativity and misconceptions about me ( no surprise).
    My younger son had taken a friend to sell him an unwanted Xmas present and he turned out to be out. His junk hoarding had gotten so much worse without me (or any significant person) in his life my son decided to go in to check if he was still alive.Back door wasn't locked. Not there, but next day phone call check by him answering shows he is alive, not that disgusted son could bother then speaking.
    N's hoarding from rubbish and compulsive buying meant only an arm chair( so can watch his big screen TV) and a computer chair in another room were clear( pc for purchasing more and more on ebay and dating sites-BDSM type porn again too by now??) & actual bath empty, the rest of the place was totally cluttered and rubbish inches deep every where. Not even the bed was clear but he'd bought a considerable number of very sharp knives, swords and bayonets of the type he used to consider earlier at the overly lethal illegal level. It confirmed my recent feelings of him becoming more dangerously violent and my need to maintain being extra careful security wise, especially at night.

  • Whit84

    brigitte, you make a good point about normal men using 'charm an intensity' when one is serious about someone. My problem was that I could never tell if he was serious about me or not because his behavior was all over the place. As a result I internalized it as meaning that he didn't care, b/c I wasn't 'enough for him' (whatever that means). The confusing thing for me was that I assumed that him taking me on vacations and family outings meant he was feeling serious. And sometimes he'd say that he was serious and wanted the same goal as me: a committed relationship. Other times though, he'd make it seem like I had to 'earn' a relationship from him. He'd constantly bring up ex-girlfriends/lovers and either criticize them, tell me I was better, get oddly sentimental about them, or talk about his sexual history, which I felt was inappropriate. Like he was trying to make me know that I was not 'the only one' to keep me off-balance. Last week, after the we hooked up and talked about getting together (big mistake in retrospect), he said “We had SOME type of a relationship, I mean, we were seeing each other I guess, but it wasn't A relationship. I only call someone my girlfriend if they live near me and I like them a lot”. Mind you we were in an exclusive long distance relationship for almost 10 months and he thought it was outrageous that I wanted to be referred to as a 'girlfriend' instead of a 'friend'. All of his words and actions contradicted each other so much, it was quite crazy-making. Typing this though, I'm seeing how dysfunctional it was, and that all I wanted was a healthy adult relationship w/ a person NOT capable of it.

    In your case, congrats for continuing to keep away from the dysfunction. For someone relatively new to this, it's very helpful to see examples of people's strength in staying away from these people.

  • exnavymid

    Thank you again for this forum. Am I allowed to write on here? Because I am actually the male who found the narcissistic female – but I can definitely relate to all of these stories and I feel bad for ANY victim of NPD.

    I could write a book alone on my experiences with the mother of my three children who I now know has narcissistic personality disorder after a therapist I saw in 2008 in the early stages of my separation saw the signs in our discussions. I wish I never knew what this disease was. I guess I was naive for a long time. I took the blame for 14 years as I was held accountable for every one of my mistakes – and every one of my wife's mistakes as well. I made enough mistakes of my own, so doubling up on responsibility was an arduous task. I lived in a bubble where people don't use other people while simultaneously saying they love them. Now I know I was possibly used from the beginning of our relationship some 16 years ago.

    My kids are the three most amazing children in the world. My sons are 9 and 11 and my daughter is 15. People ask why I was there for so long – and it was for them. I was one of those NPD enablers who would take abuse to a certain degree, and then eventually blow my lid in anger. I went to marriage counseling for 4 years, and each week my wife would explain how “He just doesn't get it”. Indeed, I didn't get it. Neither did my therapist as NPD was never even mentioned despite the fact my wife never took responsibility for anything. I even felt crazy as hurtful statements she would make to me would be brought up in counseling by myself – only to be told in front of the counselor “Oh my God, I don't know who he thinks he was married to as I would never ever say anything like that to him or anyone.”

    My wife was pregnant at 17 years old – I was 18. At the time I was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, which was the dream school that I had always wanted to attend. I was recruited for football there, and I had graduated high school in the top 10% of my class to get my appointment. We began dating shortly before I left for Annapolis. While home for Christmas break, that is when she got pregnant. She was raised Mormon and abortion wasn't an option – a fact I later found conflicting with her smoking and drinking and truckdriver mouth and need for superficial things. I kept the situation quiet at school for the first 8 months. During that time we also got married at the request of her parents (again in secrecy as midshipman are not allowed to be married or have children while at school there). It was supposedly “the right thing to do”. Trying to be honorable and at this point only 19, I did what she wanted to make her happy. I eventually told the academy when the question was poised to me and they subsequently made me resign my commission. At 19 years old, after working my short adult life to get in to that school, I had to give it up. I don't remember being resentful because I always wanted a family and I accepted that I would just get it earlier than I had anticipated. Our marriage was rocky of course. Money was always tight, but other issues that mature adults shouldn't have to deal with also came up constantly. I take a lot of the blame for how I was in the beginning. I really didn't know my wife when I married her and I don't think I was really pleased when I learned of her religious upbringing and the way she blatantly disregarded some rules while adhering to others in the Mormon church with little or no consistency. I would say it took me a good 5 years before I even came to know who I was. I would say most people don't develop an identity until they are about 25 years old on average. At that point I had already been married 6 years and had my 3rd child on the way. I found a comfort in my own identity and I am a person who values honesty and integrity above all things. I'm a cheeseball and the class clown – always making myself the butt of my jokes. But my wife – I still did not know who she was and now of course I understand why. I could also understand how threatening she found it when I would be out and people would laugh at my jokes – but I think she partly liked it because I was something of a trophy husband in her view. Behind closed doors she made sure she kept me in line.

    Giving up my naval career, I worked on Wall St in finance. I didn't have a great job, but I made OK money. Somehow it was never enough. At 25 years old, my wife would demand $45,000 SUV's and while only making about $75,000 I would of course try to get her to be reasonable. She would throw temper tantrums and not speak to me for weeks and eventually I would give in. I would work an extra job to make the bills because she would tell me “it's my fault I don't make enough money” and try to compliment me by saying “but I think you are worth so much more than you make and you should try to get a job like this person has” – referring to a friend's husband 20 years my senior and his high six figure income and their lavish lifestyle. I had a very supportive family throughout this, and they are an upper middle class family as well – helping us buy a house and taking us on family vacations – even sending us to Europe at one point on vacation. I realize now that my ex-wife may have seen me as a meal ticket, even at 18 years old – and maybe planned this all along from the day she met me. I think she didn't know that I never cared about money (I don't know many naval officers who do it for the money). Thinking back to our roots – she told me she loved me and slept with me on our second date. I had known her as a friend for a year or so before that, so maybe I wrote it off quickly as true affection.

    Things progressively got worse. My wife would sleep til 1pm on weekends. She had no involvement with her kids lives. I would leave for work at 6am and she would wake up late on school days… to the point my daughter was late to school 40 times one school year. Not just driven to school – but marked as tardy. The bus stopped outside the house so this was ridiculous and I thought she was maybe depressed? She rarely came home at night and if she worked (as a nurse's aid in private residence with odd hours) she would always make plans to go out afterwards. I had my kids all this time so it didn't matter as much as it should because all I wanted was them, but eventually things became unbearable. In the period of about 2 months in early 2008, she was dropped on my front lawn at 1am or 2am, drunk as could be, by the friends she was out with. Then she quit her job citing it was too stressful and they didn't want to give her another raise she demanded. Then she joined a gym that cost $1200 for 6 weeks (she felt entitled to a very lavish lifestyle – and I was still making about $80K at the time), she decided we were getting a new dog (a 175 lb Newfoundland that would not fit in our 1/5 acre 1500 sq ft home), and continued to go out. My income went down as the country was in recession and eventually the stress got to me. I lost it. I called her out on her activity. She could not believe I would criticize her and got in my face, screaming at me. I told her we are not getting a dog. She responded “I'm not asking you, I am telling you. If you don't like it – there is the door.” Oh boy did I lose it. I walked out of the room and she followed me, berating me more. I turned around and looked at her as she screamed at me in the nastiest, most demeaning and uncaring way I have ever been spoken to…. and instinctively that's when it happened – I slapped her in the face.

    I take full responsibility for doing the completely wrong thing. I do not consider myself a violent person by any means. I did slap her in the face 14 years earlier in the first year of our marriage and couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I just knew after that incident that no matter what – that was no an option. Twice in 14 years it happened.

    I have gotten over the guilt of it at this point. I have of course been labeled in her stories to family and friends as violent and abusive. I was so guilty at the time, I moved out of the house and in with my parents. I took my kids every weekend and went to therapy because she told me I had “anger management issues”. After a month, I invited her to therapy too – but she refused to come. For 4 months out of the house I went and invited her every week – but she said I am the one with issues and maybe, if I can fix myself, she will take me back. I never wanted her back – I wanted my kids back. She was just the unfortunate price I would have to pay in order to get them back.

    But during the counseling I became more educated that I in fact only played a 50% role in the demise of my marriage – not 100% as my wife had always told me. Again, I had at times thought I played the majority role, as much as a 70% because I would get angry and do something to justify the mistreatment from her that I would feel. So it was enlightening at first to not feel the guilt, and then to eventually see the pattern and learn about character disorders and specifically the evil that is narcissistic personality disorder.

    I gave up my life for this woman, and in the end – she took everything I ever wanted. She legally manipulated about $200,000 my parents had given us and handed me $40,000 of credit card debt that was incurred only because I gave in to some changes in the house – changes that I actually made so she could have granite countertops and the $80K kitchen she felt she deserved. Man… now I know why my gut always said “making demands that our not in our budget is wrong” – but my desire to appease her to make life tolerable for myself and my kids always won out and I always gave in.

    Where am I now? About 20 months in to the divorce…. a divorce that can only be done on her terms of course so it's not going very far. She is holding out until I make more money because “I am worth more than I make” still. I lost more than I care to say, but I do have my peace of mind. I still do not care about money and I did meet someone who I would say is the complete opposite of my ex-wife. I never had much relationship experience so being in a healthy relationship where both my girlfriend and I matter and where we both put each other first – well sometimes it just makes me cry that I was so weak, such a pushover – for so long. I just felt so naive. So blind. So used. So manipulated. And my ex-wife continues her problematic ways. My kids question why and how she goes to Florida by herself on vacation – ON MOTHER'S DAY – in the midst of a divorce to add to it. How she describes herself as a phenomenal mother but does nothing for them (even weekends when she does have them she tells me “I have plans, so if you want them they are here – otherwise they'll be home by themselves”). She's had 2 guys move in for 30 days and 6 months in 2009. The last guy was actually nice – and on disability. When he got his disability settlement from the state – she coincidentally dumped him within the week (it wasn't as high as he had liked – so I can't imagine it was as high as she was expecting either). He treated her like gold and I have literally had to counsel him on NPD and why she said she loved him for 6 months (she moved him in within 3 days of meeting him) and then one day changed her mind.

    It has been brutal. So I fill a lot of my free time reading these boards – and worrying about my kids. What will happen to them? Thankfully, she views having them (she manipulated a very hard chance at me getting custody as well) as a paycheck from me each month, and I do have them more days than she does regardless. I treat my kids with unconditional love. They see the madness. They saw how she mistreated the last boyfriend (they grew attached to them as he was primary caregiver in house while she still went out constantly and left him with kids).

    So my last questions after my long venting – is how to I go about the education and care of my children in regards to their mother? Do I say nothing and let them figure things out? Do I give them subtle hints or try to talk to my 15 year old about NPD? Do I send them to a therapist now or set aside money for when they are in their twenties? I am scared for them suffering as many of the women on this board suffered. What do you recommend?

  • susanawalsh

    Exnavymid, you are most welcome here. This thread, and my blog in general, is for men and women both. In fact, I love it when men join the discussion, because I think it promotes understanding between the sexes, which is often in short supply.

    I find your story absolutely heartbreaking, and I really appreciate your willingness to share it. Just your name alone is so moving – after getting into Annapolis, you were forced to give that up. That is a tragedy, and I commend you for your resilience and your positive outlook even after everything you've been through. You sound like an incredible dad and it's great that you have found a woman who you are enjoying a relationship with.

    I have to agree, your wife sounds incredibly insensitive and selfish, which, of course is typical for NPD. As I've said before here, I'm not a shrink or NPD expert in any way, and others on this thread may have more specific advice, but here are my amateur thoughts anyway, for what it's worth:

    1. You have suffered at the hands of the U.S. legal system in your divorce and custody proceedings, which are often extremely unfair to men. There is lots of Men's Rights information online, which you may already have tapped into, but I encourage you to seek support from other men who have had similar experiences. This might be a good starting place:

    2. I would not talk to your kids about NPD if your wife has not been formally diagnosed by a mental health professional. She will only deny this, and it puts the kids in the middle. It would also be very disturbing to children to hear such alarming news. Obviously, they are aware of her faults as a mother, how could they not be? Still, NPD is a very scary thing, and I wouldn't throw that term around if you don't have rock solid backup. I do wonder whether your lawyer might be able to request a psych evaluation for her? If you could prove this, you might be able to get a better custody result.

    3. I think you should send your kids to a therapist when and if they exhibit difficulties of their own. However, if there is consensus around your ex's condition, you could certainly initiate family therapy for you and the children together. Or you could go for family therapy to work on your relationship with them, but it wouldn't be appropriate to make her the central issue, I wouldn't think, unless she was present as well. I know it must be really hard to be there for them when she isn't and not judge her harshly. And if they complain to you about her, it's got to be very difficult to keep your mouth shut. Certainly the eldest may be reaching the age to decide where to live in the next few years.

    4. Re setting aside funding, I'm not sure how necessary that is. Insurance would be likely to cover therapy, so if you've got health insurance, you'll probably be OK, with a small copay.

    Overall, it sounds like you are totally there for your kids, which is great. Whether you wish to undertake a legal battle re her parental fitness is another matter, but I would think it's the only real way of explicitly dealing with her as a N.


  • exnavymid

    I truly appreciate the information. The divorce is something that gives me that queasy uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach – so as much as some people tell me to fight, I still almost prefer to give in most of the time. I have offered her premiums in dollars but the amount she wants is more than I take home some months (I work partially on commission), and I can't make a life for myself if I don't have any positive cash flow. The disagreements we have are actually comical – I tolerated her two men living in the house but the last break-up was VERY traumatic on my children, especially my 11 year old son who had bonded with the 6-month live-in boyfriend and his 10 year old daughter. For that reason, I am keeping my legal right to deny cohabitation to her and her boyfriends. Moving a guy in within a week of meeting him is an example of the poor judgment she has. My girlfriend didn't meet my kids for at least a month of us dating and I really didn't make her a stable part of their lives until I realized I loved her and a year later I can say my decision has worked out – because my 9 year old loves her so much he proposed to her (I want to propose to her too but the divorce isn't final!!)

    The other issue she won't settle on is she wants our divorce documents to state that when my children reach 21 years old, the child support automatically resets higher. In NY, you can go to court if you need more money, but as I have already offered her more than I am required by law, I don't understand how she feels entitled to more in the future. But alas, that is the nature of the beast.

    I had no idea a psych evaluation could be requested. I may talk to my attorney about that idea. Since I am new to this disease and my education about it, I wonder sometimes if my ex-wife is only narcissistic towards her romantic interests in her life – maybe not her children. From what I have read, narcissists use whomever they can use, and those they can't they tend to just avoid.

    I am grateful for these communities and blog forums. They help so much. As I stated, I have been in weekly contact with the ex-boyfriend since he was dumped in October 2009, mostly because he had no idea about NPD and how he got used for such superficial reasons like a disability settlement. Oh, by the way, in the 6 months – she had him sell his house, sell most of his possessions at garage sales she helped him run and then give away most of the rest that was leftover, and basically give up a fallback lifestyle. After this was done, he told me she sat down with him and said “I need $5,000 a month for you to be with me.” I remember those sit-downs. She works, but hates that she has to work. She married me under the premise that I would provide for her whatever she wants (not a discussed premise – this is just how she viewed her entitled life). She expects to have a nanny to raise the kids, receive child support from me that goes up as my salary goes up, and find a man who will fund her daily partying and life of entitlement – not because such a man exists but because she feels that is what she is worth.

    Again, I could write a book about my years of marriage. The cleaning lady service she hired even though she was home and in the early years of our marriage was paid to clean houses and yet we couldn't afford. The spending on lavish dinners almost weekly. The shoplifting sprees she used to go on that now make so much sense. Even the getting arrested for shoplifting but somehow getting out of it without a problem (too bad, maybe a court would have liked to hear about that). The illegal diet drugs she sold for a few years and made tremendous amounts of money on, almost operating above the law, and used to hold over my head as the big earner that entitled her to make the financial decisions in our household, as well as entitled her to vacations by herself whenever she wanted.

    I have learned for the most part just to pity her, support my children, and of course most of all – set up boundaries. For example, I do not answer my phone when she calls me. I wait for a message and then process what she wants, which sometimes is just as simple as talking to the kids when I have them – and then I dial her number and hand them the phone. Manipulative text messages that challenge my parenting or my integrity are funneled through my dad, and we patiently respond as a family instead of allowing them to get my blood boiling. I do not attend events with her. I have basically ended any mutual friendships or kept them very basic and peripheral. I have essentially started my life completely over. My girlfriend has dealt with her type before, and she is my strength and inspiration. In a way, being in a narcissistic relationship for so many years, if nothing else, can make you truly appreciate love when you find it. That, and my children, are the two positives that have come from my first marriage.

    For those who don't see it yet…. there is redemption. Just keep mindful of the warning signs so it never happens again. There was no narcissism in my family that I was raised with. I just got married really young to a person who hadn't developed and never actually will.

  • exnavymid

    And yes – I did say shoplifting and drug dealing. She will create parking spots where none existed. She has talked her way stageside at concerts without even showing up with a ticket. And I doubt she uses sex or her sensuality to get these things. She was always overweight through our marriage and since I moved out she has probably put on 30-50 lbs. I would guess her weight now at 5'7″ and 220 lbs.

    I think her overweight looks work to her advantage because what guy would assume a woman in her physical condition is narcissistic? I think there is a misconception that narcissists feed off their own beauty. It's not about physical beauty. Before I knew about narcissism, and while I was interviewing divorce attorneys (p.s. I tried to go to mediation but my exwife had already hired an attorney almost a year before I moved out – which again proves to me she had planned the divorce for a while) – I would describe my ex-wife in one statement. “No one thinks higher of her than she does.”

    I described some of her characteristics as a mother. She sat down with me this year and when I challenged some of her parenting, she told me “I am a phenomenal mother” as if criticizing her in the smallest way was the biggest insult she had ever received. It reminded me of an interesting time in our marriage, long before many of these problems had arisen but during many of the early warning signs. She showed me an episode of Oprah that she had taped (the days of the VCR) about “Super Moms” – and they were giving out awards for these tireless women. My wife showed me the video and asked me to nominate her for this show. I only remember seeing this one mom who had won the award – and she was a single mom who worked a 10 hour a day job while raising 3 boys. She left the house each day at 6:30. Before she did, she would get up at 4am – spending 30 minutes individually with each of her sons, bathing them, reading with them, spending quality time with them. Then she would prep dinner. She would go to work from 7:30 til about 6pm. She would pick the boys up at day care and bring them home and eat the dinner she had prepped in the morning, then would spend another 30 minutes individually with them before bed. She was tireless. She did more than I think any one person is capable of. She loved those kids and wanted them to feel they were loved just like they had a mom and a dad – even though it was just her. I saw this video, and at the end, my wife asked me to nominate her for the award. At the time, we only had one child. Our house was a mess. I commute about an hour and forty-five minutes each way to New York City for work each day. At the time I was working from 7:30am to 5pm, leaving my house at 5:35am and coming home around 6:40pm. I had actually made some complaints that when I get home, I would love to start having dinner together as a family (we are married about 4 years at this point) and my wife at the time was home. In 14 years of marriage, I think my wife cooked me 20 dinners. Even commuting I cooked most of the meals. Towards the end of the marriage, there were weeks where she would be home M-F night, and I would come home to 4 days in a row of her ordering pizza. She didn't skimp either – spending $50 a night on this pizza. The place was 1/4 mile away – she would still pay for delivery. She had been home all day. When I asked my kids a couple times why we are having pizza again – they would say “we were hungry and mommy was on the phone all day”. She did love that phone. She loved to gossip. Loved to stir the pot and start the drama – or at least squeeze some lighter fluid on the drama fire. I remember many of my emotional beratings, screaming at me at the top of her lungs – and then the phone would ring. And she would pick it up, and be a completely different person. Didn't matter who called – she was their best friend the moment she answered.

    I swear I have been to hell and back. I promised myself when the divorce is final I will get a little tattoo somewhere on my body that only I can really see… and it will be a chinese symbol for “Karma”. God I pray that karma holds true and this woman learns who she really is and how much pain she caused OR I get proven wrong and she actually wins Oprah's Super Mom Award (at least the attention will get her off my back for a minimum of 48 hours I would guess).

    Either will do.


    I have been reading and reading and apreciate any !!! advice.
    My story has left me with disbelief and questioning who the person is. After 25 years I reconnected with a very close childhood friend while visiting my family abroad. The most intense immediate connection and incredible feelings being in his space. He shared his unhappy marriage story and as he met me restarted a divorce… our relationship was not based on the physical altho somehow every boundary was erased and I trusted implicitly. He continued to contact me abroad evry day saying Im the love of his life and was moving forward with a divorce… and wanted me to move to be with him . I felt the exact feelings and was so grateful !!! that I had met one in a million – the love songs and beautiful letters and calls reassured me …and I had no doubt. I never questioned the divorce and was watching wanting him to do it for hmself giving no guarantees as i needed him to get divorced for himself not for me …. after 5 months of constant contact – in which time he had flown and met my mum and told her and evryone that he wanted to marry me and had met the ONE , i asked about the divorce to hear it had been pt on hold at which stagei cried and asked him not to contact me until he was divorced or geting divorced or i would reach out once my heart had healed. i truly felt this was the man i was going to spend my life with and to get G-Ds blessings was not prepared to commit adulry … For 7 months I did not respond to him yet he still reached out assuring me of his love… I decided I had to see him again and after 7 months let him know I was going to be coming abroad to see my family and needed to see him . I prepared myself for any outcome and was prepared to meet his wife if he had not restarted the process as that would have put it all into perspective for me and kept it honest. Immediately as I wrote to him he responded saying he has moved out and lives alone…. I was so proud of him as I knew ho emotional this all was and as a childhood friend was happy that he had done it alone… he continued to say how much he loves me and that I am THE ONE and that he will let life show him the way …. As I was boarding my flight I got a text asking G-D to protect me and how excited he was to see me… I was flying 48 hrs to see him and was so excited … what lay ahead nothing could have prepared me for… Ive never dealt with deceit and this being a close childhood friend now have no idea who he is … I landed and called him ..he said he was in a business meeting and would call me back ..he never did… after 3 weeks and no contact I was with a mutaul friend who told me that he has a live in girlfriend and is moving state with her… I was shocked !!! I saw him 3 x in 6 weeks and he still continued to say I AM THE ONE and that he is not in love with his girlfriend … There is so much decit that was uncovered to write it all down but I am amazed at his lack of empathy and ability to manipulate what transpired… his words and actions were not aligned …I am very empathetic and was also amazed at how he had aged in a year ..his face is lined and wrinkled and his behaviour is not that of anyone I would have fallen in love with… First time I have really fallen in love and for some reason i would have removed all !!! boundaries with him … I trusted him altho others were dubious of him. Sexually he ignited a desire in me that I have no comparison to. It wasnt acted upon but I feel such a loss. In retrospect thru all my tears I thank G-D for protecting me and have cut contact. At first he begged me not to then manipulated everything around with no phone call and only emails saying I am trying to make him look like the bad guy. This is a 42 yr old … who I still do not know if he is divorced he has a live in girlfriend 15 yrs younger who he assured me hes not in love with and called her trailer trash. my Gosh what a ride …. I have always had a question mark wether he was bi sexual from childhood and when I asked him it made him angry …all I ever wanted was the truth and guess I am naieve as regardless of someones truth I cannot process decit nor undertsand it …I appreciate any response and there is so much more to this story about decit and lies uncovered


    I need to add that I have never ever felt such an intensity before … and had no doubt it was real !!! he repeatedly told me that he could never be with another knowing he had found me after so many years … I have experienced an incredible heartbreak thru the deceit and having flown abroad believing he lived alone to find out he has a 6 month live in girlfriend and altho he says I am still THE ONE he is not able to assume any responsibilty for his deceit and instead manipulates saying THAT IS LIFE and had I have been there and not left him when he put his divorce on hold things would have been very very different. I feel like my head is spinning as nothing makes sense I quetion all he ever shared and realize none was true … after i reached out and aid i was going to travel abroad as i owed it to myself to see and understand this dynamic …he seemed so excited and i had no doubt of his love for me again overwhelmed with a gratitude at something so powerful and proud of myself that altho not a day or night had gone past in a year that he wasnt on my mind and in my heart ,I had walked away and cut contact the day i heard his divorce was on hold. This is a childhood friend who when i asked for truth and questioned his lies told me i was attacking him and putting pressure on him… where is the kind loving person i believed him to be … i was so supportive thru all his chaos a complications and i only asked for truth… which he is unable to give me . the indecency and feeling of disrespect from a man i have grown up with and felt such beautiful indescribable feelings for hurts much much more than the loss to another woman . i will be strong …i will move on …my tears will stop and i do thank G-D but i do not understand !!!! why !!!! from a man who repeatedly claims to be a very sympathetic individual… phew !!!! what a horrible horrible first time falling in love experience

  • brigitte

    DEBRADAVID you are a truly remarkable good woman, a star amongst the rest of us inmanaging to hold onto your principles and the suggested guidlines of insisting that the man is clear before fully giving yourself to him, and you managed to hold fast in your conduct with a real full blown Narcissistic Personality Disordered man. Amazing, you are one of the few who do fully sustain living by their beliefs despite the temptations. And yet that evil thing still got hold of your feelings causing turmoil and hurt. You will recover soon enough though. This is so scary to see that the impact of Narcissists is so bad that your ethical caution and conduct if you didn't work him out to be a Narcissist is not enough to prevent you as a caring women being drawn into in to that extent emotionally.

    The quickest explanation and answer to give to you is he could and would do what he did to you (as he has to others and will whenever he can to more people)
    is because he has that narcissistic personality disorder.They don't and can't ever with anyone have a true relationship, one that is a two way street. They neurologicically , psychologically are wired differently. They have no capacity for caring empathy, people are just objects and items to be used to serve their short term purposesThey need adultation and attention to feel alive, referred to as Narcissistic Supply (NS) and devalue resentfully those sources of it.Their personality/identity isn't truly stable and can flicker through being anything at anytime to have the novelty for stimulus, hence Mr Grand Passion with you at one moment ( sometimes a calculated ruse or other times he believes himself for a few hours) and not the next as shown by their next actions ( ranging from derision of you or being with anyone else ).
    Psychopaths and Narcissists are extremely similar. The serial killer Ted Bundy was a real charmer, but having been caught and his actions identified we don't ask how could he betray girls he got by being so charming asking them to help due to a fake injury. We don't ask our cute sweet cat why won't you not be so cruel to the little mouse you caught torturing it so before killing it and listen to this lovely Bhuddist philosophy of respecting all life, we grasp that is their make up and nature. So it is with a personality disorder like Narcissistic PD. They won't and can't be otherwise. This man is beyond poor early learning resulting in crass treatment of women ( a few of them if younger, under early 30's are willing to change), he is a narcissist demonstrated by calculating lies , evasions, unjustifiable excuses and selfishness with utter inconsideration shown of your feelings. Resposability for how hurtful his actions are to you is outside and irrelevant to his conceptual framework. Excluding the power kick, controlling you aims to meet his needs to feel more powerful or in irresposably get his immediate needs met your suffering utterly unimportant.

    “It is much easier to make good (wo)men wise than to make bad men good.” Henry Fielding, 1749 Therefore learn what a narcissist is and understand what they are, they cannot ever be made better or different. This quote is taken from the” Narcissist Suck” sight.
    Visit this site and those by Sam Vaknin is one to start with.
    After that look up things about narcissists and going “No Contact” (NC) and why that is essential in all forms( do it – no explanation or anything you need to say will make a difference except to your disadvantage) and then sites with suggestion regarding your personal recovery as well as continuing to share here and other places to facilitate your personal recovery. Encounters where you get involved with a narcissist have an amazing degree of impact on any caring feeling human so never feel weak for hurting from it. Just ignore him and never respond again to him or answer to anyone he gets to inquire for him – aside from once only to him and any other- that you decided it wasn't going to work with him, your reasons are personal and you want no further contact or reminders as you are moving forward. Then adhere to it. Any way you didn't commit adultary with him, he has with his other girlfriend while conning you, so why would you entertain ,but not dismiss an adulterer and lier, you are better and worth more than that. It looks like so far you have been the greatest lesson he has encountered in standing by standards of morality despite your capacity for love being a foot in the door and he knows that now you know enough if you are really true to those standards ( not just a really cunning game player uping your intrigue for him which is what from his mind set h'd be assuming and presuming to beat) you have to say bye & no contact giving no explanation or asking for one.He knows he has done enough to cross you if you are really authentic to your standards and faith it is goodbye without explanations (rubbing a narcissists nose in his dirt only enrages him for justifying vengance, gives him attention- NS and is never proccessed meaninfully as they won't get a single complaint with any constructive outcome.
    Good luck in your journey and healing. Write here again if you feel like it. susanawalsh one of the moderators of this site is wonderful in cher understanding and compassion for anyone at anypoint. You'll probably soon get a response from her anyway.


    Brigitte thank you SO much for your response… My actions held onto principles but my heart and soul and prayers and empathy were with him constantly.There wasnt a day that he wasnt the focus of my heart,never for a moment doubting that we would be together. I knew it and felt it with my whole being … Here are some of his words to me … which is all I believed to be true…

    “I love you and adore you,want you to know that I will be proud to call you my wife one of these days, you look gorgeous my darling”
    “I am crazy about you Debs” and “I will always be next to you and together !!! we will overcome the curveballs that life throws us”
    “Baby trust me I am so in love with you…… and am just glad we have what we have, and look forward to the future!!!!!!! “
    “The thought of spending the rest of my life with you, and growing old with you, feels like the most unreal realization I have ever had………..”
    “One of these days I will be with you, and then its forever baby……”
    “I want to have the opportunity of being with you and feel strongly that we will be together ,I dont understand why I feel the way I do, I just do……”
    “Debs never ever forget how much I love you……. I feel it deep within me, its amazing!!!!!!!! I think you are such a classy lady, and I will always treat u as such! Gxxxxxx”
    “Love intensyfies as it matures baby, real love that is, its amazing, when it is true love! I feel it with you, and will not !!! let it go, I believe it does come along to often in life, and when you realise it…… you make the needed sacrifices in order to nurcher it!!!!!!”
    “Debs Being in love , can change! as one falls in love, you can also fall out of Love, Real and True Love is when you have a profound connection, that extends beyond any known boundaries, and where you have feelings for another , that are far greater than the feelings you have for yourself, they are your world, and when true, life is meaningless with out that person in it………U feel unforfilled when they are not with you and it hurts, you share and do what you would normally not do with any other, they inspire you to greater heights, pick you up when you are down, they focus on what is good in u, and disregard what is not, they choose you for who you really are, life shared with such a person will always be rewarding especially when it is resiprecated……… I love you !!! angel and am in love with you”
    “Do you think it is at all possible , That you could be making a mistake? Because I dont! I love u G xxxxxxx “
    “Hey baby, I have come to a little coffee shop, hoping to connect with you and have a chat, and realise the time there……. just to let you know I so understand your frustration, and wish I could be with you so badly. I am missing u so much, and working hard top get to a point where, this will all be over. Bbaes a question, please explain , not wanting to make a mistake to me? If I even thought I could be making a mistake, It would change everything for me, I have never once even thought that this in any way could be a mistake, I am frustrated yes, overwhelmed yes, but I am determined, I know inside me there is no way this could be a mistake…….? I just want you to know how I feel, and that I have NO doubts what so ever, and hoping that this gives you the needed imput to help you deal with what you are dealing with? I love you Debbs!”
    “I cannot even imagine being with someone else, not with you in the world……. Just not concievable! You to have rocked my inner core, and changed the way I look at love……”
    “U amaze me, love your deepness, and your mind, u really are a special lady, I am so greatful to u for coming into my life, thank u Debbs.”
    “we will take it one step at a time, they can gossip about how happy we are and how right for each other we are”
    ” I am always thinking of you , and am so greatful for all that is, and hopefully will be. I feel such an incredible closeness with you, and have done since we met. Love u, sleep well baby.”
    “Baby it is hard, but feel that we are also close to the point where u and I can start really planning for us going forward, I am feeling the excitement in my self, in terms of embarking on a new life with the person I most want to be with and so in love with. I really am missing you and blown away by this fact, as u really have made a huge impact in my life in terms of how much I feel for someone, thank u, I Love you “

    “debbs I to will never give up, and want to be with u for the rest of my life ! I am just so grateful ……… I love our song! Once in a lifetime !!! G xxx”

    “Debs Im also batteling with the seperation aspect of not being with you, as there is so much I want to do with you and share with you in person.”

    “I dont want us to fall into the trap of becoming friends as a result of what we are going through, and want you to know this, you are my Lover and partner. I hope that comes out right your end, I just needed to say it. I love you babes.”

    “Debs you are in my every waking thought – Ive never been like this, ever !!! need you in my life”

    “Having met you has shown me what I truelly want, which I believed I would never feel, G-D has given me another chance, and this time he has given me what HE Knows is what I need and have always been looking for….., I just never knew it was u, or that it would happen to me….”

    “Baby please don't be nervous , you have nothing to fear, ever with me…… I will always only be good to u and I will also always protect u.”

    “I am a humble person, but very strong in my conviction, and ultimately will always decide what's right for me, I make my own path in life, and will always accept the outcome of my decisions, as they were my decisions, with no outside input……… I have equal concern for others and repect there opinion and or belief, that is life……..G xxxxxxxxxx”

    “remember baby what ever challenge you face, we as a team can overcome……”.

    When we met after 25 years . The feeling of being in his space was not one I can describe. It was incredible. I hid my feelings until he shared he was not in a intimate marriagege and was not nor ever had been in love with his wife and slept in seperate bedrooms, had tried to get divorced before but didnt have the strength as it was too difficult leaving his 5 year old son. When he met me he restarted the divorce process. I was sexuall with him twice and only pulled back the day he told me he had put his divorce on hold. I only did it out of ethics and becoz it was one of the 10 commandments … I loved him with all of me !!! and altho he continued to write and express his love – I never responded until I decided I had to travel and face whatever was… at which point he seemed so excited to see me – saying he has moved out and lives alone…Not for one minute did I expect him to be living with another woman.I was feeling such incredible empathy knowing how hard it must have been for him to leave his son and how emotional he was. I believed !!!! in him more than Ive believed in any person. The sexual desires he had ignited in me were unacted upon but I still find myself under a control altho I have cut contact. I did not know what narcissism nor persoanlity disorders were and spent many many many hrs looking online and am grateful to have found this blog. I hate to think he does have neurelogical issues but yes he was a child and teenager with very low self esteem…. He is very good looking altho his face has completely changed in the past year and aged and wrinkled. I only got back to the USA 4 weeks ago and have reached out to him many times with a heartbreak asking for decency and an understanding of why he lied and why he let me travel across the world to see him , I operated from heart . I do not have my clarity and never got the decency nor respect from him. His responses confused me more and not once did he pick up the phone to reach out to a woman who is broken. He repeatedly says I am the love of his life. That he is trying to protect me from critisism and that hes made many mistakes he needs to fix. That I am his dream and that this is not about me but about him . Then he will say that had I have not walked away( lets remember he chose to put a divorce on hold) things would have been very very different as I was his rock and he needed me… Does a man like this intentionally have a plan to hurt … did he ever love … I felt it !!! was it an act !!! I felt I had truelly met my soul mate. Sexually he has gotten to me and ignited desires I have never had. He did say to me once that he not only wants to control the way my body reacts to him but also the way my mind reacts to him. I thought it was sexy as he did say visa versa. His prayer for me as I boarded my flight asking G-D to protect this precious woman and how excited he was to see me left me no inclination of the sadness and shock that lay ahead. Being a close childhood friend I would have supported him if he as reconciling his marriage and happily extended a friendship to his wife… She knew about me as he had shown her pics and had spent every day with me for a month last Dec/Jan. We have many mutual childhood friends … which is how I found out about the girlfriend… I cry non stop and not just at the loss as I thank G-D for protecting me but at the loss of someone I was so excited to reconnect with and am sadenned at the deciet and lack of decency as I believed him to be all that he isnt … I have told him I was researching sociopaths and borderline personality disorders in a quest for clarity … I guess I did rib his nose in it Brigitte …I never knew what I was doing as I honestly feel like Im in a tumble dryer and the cycle is not on gentle!!! I can respect anyones truth but do not remotely understand someone not capable of Truth. Aman who 4 weeks ago looked me in my eyes and continued to say I am THE ONE and he is IN LOVE with me … nothing makes sense. I try to surrender and ask G-D to remove my tears and embrace what is …yet I long for him and know that he doesnt exist.
    Again I am so grateful for your response ..THANK YOU !!!!

    • Agie

      I feel ike i was reading my own story. Not exactly, because i am this 15 years younger gf. The guy was never married. But the rest is same. During our relationship he was dating woman his age. He is 43 now. But finally after I have broke up with him, as i couldn’t stand his cheating he immediately moved into the different relationship with 20 years younger girl then him, who has kid and is not even yet divorced. This sweet meaningless words! Be happy you never got deeper into the relationship with him. I read a lot about NPD and it really helps me to understand that i am not the one who is to blame for the break up. And he is not the one to be blamed to – he is sick and i can only feel sorry for him. I wanted hurt his feelings but i have realized it is mission impossible. Now I am just feeling sorry for this empty person he is. Sorry for my English but I am from Europe :)


    Back in October when i decided I needed to travel as I was not prepared to go thru another year of longing … I reached out and was responded to with enthusiasm. He told me he was going away for the weekend with his son alone. I responded for him to have a great great time and to send me pics… he sent me an individual pic of him and his son. I said he looked great and he thanked me saying his son had taken the pic…

    I never ever expected that to be a lie !!!
    I was abroad battling to sleep not knowing if he was with his wife – divorced or with his girlfriend and still getting constant texts that Im the only one and all that I feel he feels its just very complicated for him …
    Intuitively I logged onto Face book and looked up his girlfriend ( who resembles me) …she had an unprotected site and I could see her albums. THERE I see fun weekend away … I see him at the same table – the same chairs and the same clothing as the pic he sent me … I started vomitting !!!!! and when I approached him and expressed that a con artist is a very very convincing person and that all I had ever asked for was truth .He said Ive never lied to you baby … when I mentioned the pic he said last minute his sons mum wouldnt let him go … I waited for him to continue the lie …and then packed up crying and told him that theres no need to lie anymore as when I had commented post the trip …on how good he looks his response was THANK YOU BABY JOSH TOOK THE PIC … Josh didnt take the pic …Josh wasnt even there…. He asked if I was finished attacking him … I reminded him that my brother is conected to all the top investigators in our country and that it would be interesting to do a background check on him … but that he neednt worry as he has nothing to hide… brigitte I did rub his nose into it … but with love and absolute heartbreak … at one point I even wanted to contact his wife as I did not commit adultry – yes I fell in love with lies but then thought she has his son and I would hurt her by my honesty. I so want to believe he is a good guy going thru a bad cycle …but his lack of decency or respect to me shows me hes not. My brother and father saw thru him the day they remet him … I was furous with them and never go on others opinions… I felt what I felt and had never ever ever felt something so strong before …EVER !!! I thanked G-D for him every day … Its a terrible feeling when you realize you were in love with a man who isnt who you believed he was and I do not know who !!!!! this man is … again Brigitte thank you so much for responding


    Brigitte I did explain myself to him with truth as again I was unaware of personality disorders and was researching them . I left him with a prayer and explanation why I was deleting him from Face book and skype … He is very much a part of me and I know I will be ok in time ..but as a 42 yr old gosh it hurts to have lost what never was…here was what I left him with …
    Almighty G-D
    You know every hair on our heads and every tear that weve shed. It is only when our hearts are cracked open that we release the toxicity and pain and new spirit enters …Please hold this precious man in your hands and comfort him. Protect Gareth from danger and from his own emotions, remove addiction , fear and deceit from his character. Guide him and Show him that he is NOT ALONE and that he is LOVED !!! Let him surrender to you and when he does please answer his prayers as you can see his heart and you know what is real. G-D please guide him in making the correct choices and decisions on his life path and learn the lessons you want him to learn. I pray SUCCESS – HAPPINESS and TRUTH into Gaz soul . I pray that he has an ability to turn every negative into a positive. I Love him very very much and Ive seen his brokenness and cried many many tears for him and many tears over him. Please G-D strengthen me thru this prayer and fill Gareth with an abundance of LOVE !!! PEACE !!! and FAITH !!! to fill the void and emptiness that he is feeling.
    Let him operate in Faith Truth and conscience and stop running and in stillness be the man you created him to be . A warrior of LIGHT !!!
    Thank you Almighty G-D . Amen.

    He knows I saw thru him yet continued to reach out with love which is kind and caring … I also pointed out all I had discovered as the 2 individual pics he sent me from his weekend alone with his son, which his son wasnt even there were 2 differnent dates and that only came to me by discernment and prayer by looking at the 000img numbers I prayed dates would be revealed and had no idea that the middle digits are the dates… Those dates didnt match .He was that manipulative to have sent me a pic of his son from a month earlier and him from the weekend … I dont understand why !!! he didnt have to be with me ..I would be happy for him if he had met someone as sad as I would have felt it would have been a lot easier than this … and why !!! did he beg me not to delete him and that the very least we could be was best friends and that he needs my words of wisdom to help him get back on his path …and then an email saying all I have done is attack him … Is asking for the truth and clarity an attack ? I guess again I didrub his nose into it as I did say that as kind and loving as I am he must never underestimate nor undermine my intelligence… and that I see yet I love and forgive but noe I need clarity and my sympathy cards for him are done … so hard to share a rollercoaster of a story on here but I thank all those whose stories ahve helped me and hope mine helps others… Truth and Closure is all I wanted not a man who cried and continues to say he is protecting me and needs to deal with the complications he is responsible for in his life … and then goes as far as to WRITE ON face book that he is very happy !!! none of it makes sense …


    Brigitte after reading more and more posts I am wondering of he is borderline personality disorder ? I find it so hard believing he has any disorder but he did say last year he suffered incredible guilt ? – his new year resolution is not to lie ? and that he even considered “checking out” I wanted to be supportive through such incredible hard times for him as I am empathetic and intuitive but the lack of decency I received makes me put my sympathy cards aside. He is very needy … he does exagerate who he knows… but he was incredibly loving and warm . I fail to understand how a man who has met THE WOMAN of his DREAMS could be so unempathetic and kind. He was Kind and protective !!! and loving !!! and strong … this person is running and hiding and weak and does not have the character of the man I fell in love so deeply with. Another question ? do borderline personality and narcisstists have a sexual magnetism like no other. I am alarmed at the control and desire within me and altho I have cut contact .It remains… I have cried more than I have ever cried in my life … I again am grateful for divine protection but it was too good to be true and I fell so deeply in love and altho I walked away I knew with no doubt we would be together… and even seeing him now with his tears and my direct conforntation and expression of all that occured I still felt that connection … to trust so deeply … and be a recipient of deceit and disrespect and cruelty is hard to understand …that is not love !!! and yet to hear the words I love you constantly doesnt make sense. Here is a song he sent me many many many times calling it our song and how grateful he is for all we share and looks so forward to spending our lives together and I believed every word …none is true !!!
    My heart is sore !!! I am grateful and have no doubt that G-D is in control but gosh my head is spinning and my desires that were spoken about but unacted on are always in my mind and more than anything I miss my friend and a man I would never ever ever have hurt and only protected as a friend or partner. I adored !!! him

  • seancunningham

    Hi All!

    I'm a guy that fell for a guy. He was funny, charming and wooed me like there was no tomorrow. Finally I found someone who liked to laugh. I was CONVINCED he was the one. He was in the process of breaking a 10 year relationship and I understood his situation. They were sleeping in separate rooms and were still living together. But I wasn't allowed to go over to his place…which again I understood. He said he just got bored with the ex partner (red flag #1). He said he was lying to him to justify the time he was spending with me (red flag #2). It made me wonder if he was going to lie to me someday….more about that later.

    He was coming over a lot. We'd have sex or we'd watch tv and just enjoy one anothers company. I actually said I Love You first. But he couldn't say it back. He kept saying that he knew it bothered me, but he'd say it “someday.” After I said the L word, we stopped going out in public together. He would just come over and we'd hang. One day, I just began to feel that he wasn't there anymore. He just seemed to have gotten quieter and more distant. He came over one night and announced that He DID love me and wanted to spring it on me as a surprise. Deep down, I knew it was the beginning of the end as it wasn't sincere. Why would you wait? Weeks went on. . I actually got the opportunity to go over to his place as the ex was away. The house was OVERLY tidy. There was no clutter anywhere. He even had a shrine to himself in his bedroom (red flag # 3).

    The devaluing came slowly and subtly. He made a snide comment to me as we made out. I was surprised to say the least. It came from nowhere. He didn't apologize and it cut me like a knife. Next night he cancelled his plans with me. I guess to make me atone for questioning him. I then proceeded to break contact, because I was really getting bad vibes. He came over and said that maybe he really didn't love me and we should start from scratch. I agreed.

    I left for Christmas break and called him a few times. He said he missed me and longed for my return. When I returned he was like a new man. He was attentive, loving, and like he was at the beginning. I was totally in love again. We talked about moving in together and life was going to be soooo very happy.

    Then BAM. He became cold and distant again. I tried harder to keep things going. We were eating a meal together and I asked him if he wanted ketchup….he accused me of stalking him. I was shocked and embarrassed. Next night, he sneezed and I got him a tissue, and he said I was smothering him. I was like, WHAT GIVES? We were suppose to be together the next night and he called it off. I was put off because we both had the next day off. He didn't call until 6pm. He asked to come over and we had sex. I felt like a booty call instead of a boyfriend. I ended it the next day.

    I made a few attempts to try to work things out but was rejected. I was a bit sad that he didn't want to work on things. But then it occurred to me that if he really loved me…he'd do whatever it took to make things right.

    I was getting false praise emails from him…and thought it was a sign he wanted to get back together. He said he didn't. I told him it was good closure. I instituted no contact and it's almost hitting 3 weeks –YAY!!!

    I still see him out and about and he's like alive now. He always seemed depressed when he was with me. He sucked the life out of me and now he's living off the NS I fed him. I appealed to his vanity and his ego.

    Run but never forget. They are master manipulators. They hone in on your vulnerability and then use it against you. He projected his depression onto me. I was targeted, as he mistook kindness for stupidity. I am just now coming out of the fog of confusion and regret for the time wasted. It's not about us…..It's ALL about them. They are ice-men. Devoid of feelings and emotion. They live for their next victim. I wish I had known about this website. I never knew that there was a disorder like this. I am now aware and vigilant of people like this! Thanks!

  • susanawalsh

    Sean, thank you for sharing your story. The most encouraging thing about it is how strong you are. Yes, you wasted time and gave him the benefit of the doubt too frequently. That is what we do when we fall in love. But you're 3 weeks in with no contact – clearly you are going to be totally fine. I hope that next time you will meet someone who is emotionally healthy enough to receive all the love that you have to give.

  • seancunningham

    Thanks Susan!! This website has really been my moral support. Each day I feel more empowered and lucky to have gotten out with just my feelings hurt. I've discovered that I'm not a victim, but a survivor. We all need to say that to ourselves. We are not the broken ones….we are the strong. If loving someone unconditionally is co-dependent, then I'm guilty as charged and proud of it. I CAN care, feel empathy and emotion…that's my strength. I didn't see love as being a war, where one wins and the other is defeated. I can only say that I feel only pity for someone that feels threatened by being loved. Very sad when you think about it. Thanks again! Sean.

  • susanawalsh

    I encourage everyone who comes by here to read Sean's words here. He is in such a good, strong place emotionally. Love should not be war, and dating should not be combat.

    You are so right that narcissists deserve pity, they are hollow shells who don't have the normal and healthy range of emotions. It's perhaps too much to ask, but at the very least it should help us say “Good riddance.” Narcissists are toxic, they poison everything good and earnest with their total lack of empathy.

  • Brigitte

    I meant to get back to you sooner DEBRADAVID but had been flat out and spun out taking in this Keith Urban song. Went through it line by line and could explain what a perfect song for a narcissist -then lost it as it went beyond the word limit for You Tube's comment section where I was doing it. It's in my favourites , not by liking but a lesson in horror.
    Here is my current You Tube comment “It sounds seductively lovely, but I think it's actualy the antithenem of what it purports to be. Was sent this by a girl being played by a narcissisit personality disorder type bewildered by his cruelty and sending her this “lovely song”
    Analysed it, and yes it only realy promises what a narcissist will deliver and how they do. Chills down my spine, scary type. Hate this song greatly. The song writer is probably a narcissist, but a very clever one. Dump guys who send you this as a love song ASAP. “

    Yes- he will love you like nobody loves you – think about it….who do you know in the past & present that you know have real love for you ever played you so cruely
    Steal your attention like a bad outlaw – yes will take your attention like a crim..
    Speak the language in a voice you have never heard- a narcissists outstanding feature, and already you've heard so many lies, inconsistencies, avoidances, cruel dismissals….
    I'm going to be there for you from now on, you kind of know this- yes not for good and he does keep trying while lying..
    You've been stretched to the limit but it's all right now -It is for him, not even saying how he is fixing it, needs you that way to do you over…
    There will be a new day coming your way- sure will for the worse and narcissists are so inconsistent you actually get a new day nearly every day…want more of this??
    He'll make your world LIKE A SILVER PIN – sounds pretty, but THINK sharp penetrating potential and otherwise ludicrously meaningless.
    Lots of clever use of blending words and images that are of the old worlds we romanticise and yet often cruel truths entwined.
    Do things like that in NLP & cults too. I could keep on with more lines from
    this song… but enough of it.
    Hope your seeing this song in another light, or questioning more.

    In regard to letters he wrote: I had worked as a social worker in a prison and MANY of thee inmates, especially the seriously impaired pathological ones, while incarcerated wrote counless letters – just like those you were sent. These inmates did such letters to hang on to the partners they'd abused & disregarded when on the outside. The same for virtual strangers they wooed. If such an inmates partner was REALY finished with him, in a few weeks he could write the same way to any other female he thought he may interest.
    It was one amazing feature I noted about inmates, marvelling about how widespead this talent was. How such romantic words could flow from some of the most crude depraved males!??- Was it prison food , the air?? Back then I didn't think that much about personality disorders. Yet most stable truly loving husbands don't or even can come up with that stuff. Nor would pretend to have the way of loving that women dream, about mirroring a woman.
    Psycopathic/ narcissistic types lure their prey the putting out bait of what they recognise they desire,… only untill they have trapped them. May do it again briefly, that is if the prey had escaped so as to recapture.

    And guess what the girlfriend has probably had much the same lies told to her with no less passionate intensity, and there will be many others too.

    My ex N once slipped up.It happened when re telling me about the conversation he had with the person he picked out at his school to counsel him (not his role staff- kids were) when dumped by his wife- a more pathological level of the same or similar disorder as him.
    Counselor had asked N what he thought love was. He had responded with
    “love is when they believe your lies” and once he processed my dismay overthis being his answerand all the implications he then tried claiming he was just joking.
    He hadn't been, as he'd just indicated being perplexed by his counselor not seeming to get it, as if there was something unusual or missing from his reply expecting further clarification on this. Remeber this definition as given by a narcissist. Revealed only because he got temporarily sloppy from recently being exited from a 20 yr marriage of an even more extreme ilk, plus drinking heavily then ( probably not even fully sober at school then either).

    When I was involved with the ex N in the early stages I was in very much the same emotional psychological state you've described,Plus I was then with full on even physically involved24/7. I lacked the sense you had to restrain more involvement despite warning signs.

    It is one of the most painful experiences in trying to leave them then, so confusing and in some ways seeming so logicaly necessary.

    These days I really “understand” him. So I'm just repulsed by him. He is patently so pathetic and am aware of how capable of any evil.
    There is nothing I miss about him ( just the cats there are missed).
    I don't even wonder how can he, how could he. Irrelevant questions and concepts as he has NPD. I, as all other women. meant no more to him than any ant in his yard and pray he forgets me completely, I wish for himto find his soulmate – from hell , like he had in his ex wife.
    Currently he lives on an online dating site. I check now and then ( not on it or any of them myself)to see he doesnt hit the “no recent emails batch”. No attention there for N is when he has ended up stalking my place very late at night & does petty bits of damage to the outside of my house or fences. If suspect my exN stalking odds are I illuminate areas , leave certain curtains part open, or remove or obscure items of temptation.He is busier and less stalkier & soon won't bother checking. Its boring plus hate having to do anything about him. After he had overdone stalking me, I did then indirectly guide him on that site once( very brief pseudo pofiles that went ASAP). Got the result I needed with him decreasing his restrictions for his goody profile, hence more site generated matches for him. Unbelievably stupid N in not figuring it out in thefirst place!
    Any way everyone is advantaged. He should have found others to stalk locally & regained the confidence to do this over by now from police chatting to him years ago noting his funny night walks

    Once he was one I thought I loved more than any others before. Yet now I can't understand now how that weird, evil incompetant creep I see with eyes really wide open -7 mths of no contact gives amazing clarity- could EVER have been the object of my delusions, Regardless of what cracks were in my make up ,or from impairements of early stage past relationships, pressures of divorce etc.,
    It did happen and realy only an N could do it.
    I'm recovering myself and life, but the cost psychologicaly, emotionaly, physicaly, economicaly and socialy was high, way too high.
    Unfortunately for you it will hurt. Though keep as clearly away from him in contact of all types. Think as little about him as you can and if you do, keep very clear about what he is really like. Especially how you don't or ever will mean anything to him more than many others, all being fed parallel lies, often at the same times.

    Don't waste prayers on him, read the “Narcissist Suck” blogs re where Christian's ought to stand with Narcissists. The writer is a savy, good devout Christian herself & I completely agree with her. In all other situations I take Christian values of loving others and compassion seriously, trying to live by them.

    You will feel better soon enough ( depite any current pain levels, yearnings etc.,) and realise that you've learnt lessons that will later be of value.
    All the best and good luck in your recovery.

  • susanawalsh

    Debra, please forgive me for not responding sooner. The blog is getting a lot of traffic, comments and emails and I am falling behind in trying to respond!

    I am so sorry that you wound up in the crosshairs of such an amoral person. The thing about narcissists is, they have zero empathy, they can lack a conscience entirely. Your misfortune was in trusting this man based on the fact that you had known him since childhood and he seemed so sincere. I think most women would have responded in the same way. I cannot believe you went all that way to see him and he stood you up! That is so rude, so unkind, so selfish. He was willing to go to any lengths to prolong the deceit.

    The bottom line is that this man is absolutely toxic for you. I don't think you can remain sane and whole if you have anything to do with him. I admire you for cutting off all contact, and you must stick to it! I know you fell hard for him, but there are other men out there who are NORMAL, who will not take and take and refuse to give anything. Just be glad you're not his wife – think how she must feel.

    I do think it's interesting that you have wondered about his sexuality, and that your suspicion about this goes back to childhood. Repressed sexuality, whether straight or not, is powerful and damaging. If he is bisexual or gay, he may be dealing with his identity in ways that are manifesting themselves in extremely destructive ways.

    Whatever the case, it's clear that you are well rid of him. I know it's very painful, and that you think you won't find that with anyone else. Just keep reminding yourself that a man like this could destroy you, and that you deserve better. It does make me wonder about his history with other women, and whether you are the first woman outside his marriage who has experienced this kind of intense but destructive relationship with him.

    You are a good and trusting woman, and you have conducted yourself with flawless character. Only a small percentage of people suffer from NPD, so you can be reasonably sure it's unlikely to happen again. However, I hope you will heed the warning signs. Lying, evasiveness, extreme emotional intensity from the start, many promises without corresponding actions. I'm glad you have cut off all contact, and I urge you to never speak to him again!

  • Kelly

    I will keep my story short, because it is true–narcissists are very predictable in their personality disorder traits–and all have been pretty much touched on in the above comments. BUT–the narcissist I had the unfortunate chance of getting ‘hooked” into for a little over a year was completely locked up in his past life with his first wife (she was 14 years old when they met). The N is now 55 years old. Within a month of our relationship I was meeting the “ex”, with her husband; however deciet was already in the works–both the N and his “ex” did not identify themselves as “ex’s”–just that they were good friends. I had to figure that one out on later that evening through conversation (sneaky); the following months were more meet-ups with the “ex” and sometimes her husband (they lived out of town). ONe evening after being on the lake all after with the “ex” he asked if she could come over and watch a movie with us (9:30 p.m.). Here is where the lack of empathy comes in…..Explaining to him that it was uncomfortable his continual talk of the “ex” (and he also frequently talked of ex-girlfriends as well) as well as just plain “wrong”. His response: “I’m not doing anything wrong” You are just insecure in our relationship (projecting their feelings on to you). All I can say is ALWAYS listen to you inner voice–it is for the most part 99% right…..Narcisists are predicable and yet evil. If your heart has the slighted inkling of a flag, be it red or yellow—take that as a warning to RUN not walk away

    • Susan Walsh

      Kelly, I agree completely that it’s important to trust one’s intuition. I feel that as women we are very good at avoiding what we don’t want to see, or rationalizing. You know what’s really weird about your story? The role his ex played – why on earth would she still be hanging around like that?

    • Kelly

      Ooops—that “anonymous” reply is from me, Susan–sorry, I’m new at this = )

      It does help those of us that have come into the grips of these evil N’s to seek professional help. To us, normal, emotional people–we can’t fathom how N’s can be the way they are and the good thing is we don’t need to–it’s there sickness. What’s important is that we have to go through the grieving process–I did and it hurt like you know what. But–allowing yourself to feel (something a N cannot do) moves us forward and we’ll be better for it down the road. An narcissist never moves forward, stuck in an emotionless world of turmoil–they don’t change. Just knowing that helped me to move on and leave this piece of work right where he belongs. They hate abandonment and that’s exactly what he got from me.

  • Anonymous

    Susan~~very good question! they fed off each other. I was told by both–“we’re like brother and sister”. A recent counsellor I spoke with about this stated it seemed incesstuous. I believe them both to be dysfunctional and complete “N’s” with no empathy for anyone but themselves. I have no idea why the “ex’s” husband even stays with her for that matter. I believe he just plays stupid to their little infatuation/ego stroking game. We had a south padre trip planned for mid-may, he wanted to invite the “ex” and her husband and even perhaps stay at their place one night since they lived close to South padre. last year I took the “N” with me to a Port A family/friends couples weekend and we were talking about bringing another couple–he suggested the “ex” and her husband. I ended up inviting a couple that were my friends. On the trip, my friend said she responded one time to the N’s continual talk about his “ex” with the statment: “Boy I hope you don’t talk about your ex’s to Kelly–I’m sure she would not like that.” N’s stay clear when they are discovered–believe me my whole family and circle of friends thought N was a complete idiot and creep. My mother said within the first 10 minutes of speaking with him she knew there was something wrong with him (she’s a social worker and very good at it).

    • Susan Walsh

      Kelly, you raise an important point. If friends and family don’t like your guy, stop and think about that. They love you and they hear alarm bells going off. It’s a real red flag. As for abandoning a narcissist, that is the only real satisfaction, a kind of sweet revenge. They cannot stand not having the last word, so moving on is not only best for you, but will make them even crazier. Unfortunately, they’ll just move on and hurt someone else, but that is not your problem.

  • C.R.

    I think what happens with narcissistic men and people is that they are soooo good at pretending. They read you like a book then give you everything you want. They seem too good to be true at the beginning – that’s the main “tell.” My mother is a narcissist and I’ve dated one as well. Narcissists are like drugs – in the beginning they’re great. But little by little, you end up feeling crazy and insane. They know how to rationalize ANYTHING and make you feel like it’s all you. I really think narcissists are only a few steps away from being sociopaths. The only reason they aren’t is they’re too self-involved to orchestrate killing someone else. They just feed off your energy til they get bored, then they move onto somebody else. Horrible people really.

  • Cat

    I got out by taking my therapists advice to ask for some space after a bad episode and him lying and being verbally and emotionally abusive to me. At the end of that week, he broke up with me but wanted to hurry and be friends. He played a lot of covert games to put me off balance and I finally told him I needed no contact for a good while before i can be his friend. He still called and I let him and then the last time I saw him, when he insisted on bringing something over of mine, he tried to give me a kiss goodbye before i went on my road trip. i resisted and was a bit aloof because i’d had enough pain at this point and just said thanks and bye and left him standing there. I never heard from him again and I don’t expect to. I hurt his little ego and he knows he can’t expect me to not have boundaries anymore. Good riddance. I hope he never calls me again.

  • Cat

    Susan – I agree with you. The best revenge against them is to just move on and pay no more attention to them. I am so angry at times at how I was treated and that I let it happen. It’s hard when you get some distance and see how fundamentally unfair it’s all been to be in such a situation.  when he broke up with me, he blamed me for a lot and never once mentioned anything about his part in the dissolution of the relationship. I know he never heard what I had to say and it just angers me. I hate this man so much now. BUT, the good thing is that I did not give him what he wanted in the end – to breakup and try to stay in control as a friend. I said no way and I did not cave to his little manipulations and I did not break down and try to get back with him like last time. I am SURE on some level this has to eat at him just a bit. So that is the only satisfaction I get, but at least I get to move on to better things and never have to deal with him again. I even have his email on block.

  • Susan Walsh

    Cat, thanks for leaving a comment. You sound like you are going to be fine – you did a great job of taking control and standing up for yourself. You were fortunate to have a therapist to guide you through the process, and I encourage any and all people in relationships with narcissists to get some support while trying to get out. Narcissists HATE not having the last word, and will keep trying to dredge up the old connections. It’s great that you realize that and feel strong enough to not look back. You do deserve better, and I’m glad you know that.

  • Rachel

    The worst part about being in a relationship with a narcissist is that it can last for such a long time.  The guy (monster) I fell for was a master at knowing my buttons and how to reel me in just at the brink of telling him to get lost.  On and on for 3 wonderful/torturous years.  I finally broke it off for months and gained some self esteem back before allowing him back in for yet another round of use and discard abuse.  This off and on again break up (It was always me that misunderstood him) went on for a good year but each time I retained a little bit more self esteem until finally I realized “IT’S NOT ME IT’S HIM!” It has been 5 months and I am still trying to pick up the pieces and be healthy. 

    Now starting a new relationship I realize how damaging the narcissist was to me.  Turning a way a healthy man in order to sit by my phone for a sign from a mentally ill man.  Over time I have realized that even if the mental case did contact me there is no way I would want that in my life for one more minute.  He stole some of the beauty in me, denyed my hopes and dreams, and for that he owes me my freedom.

    • Susan Walsh

      Rachel, I’m so sorry you had the misfortune to fall for someone who had nothing to give. Your description of your time with him as “wonderful/torturous” is typical – and it really tells the story. The highest of highs and lowest of lows. No one can live on a roller coaster. I’m glad you are moving forward in your life, and are determined to hang on to your hard-won freedom. Any contact will set you back ages, so stay strong!

  • A MAYE

    I dont know if the guy i am dating is a narcissist or a player?  I do know he is obsessed with his appearance and asks me all the time if I like his body.  He makes comments that people at the gym check him out.  When we started, he pursued me and did so full force. Too quickly infact. Sending me emails and texts and it wasn’t long before he said he loved me and promised a story book life.  Things were great for about 2 months but it seems like the minute I bought what he was  selling , he pulled back.  He started making empty promises and would tell me he would call and sure enough he wouldn’t.   Then he would flat out stand me up and come to me the next day like nothing had happened and even act mad at me for being upset.  He likes to have the upper hand in the relationship and now it is to the point where if I dont “chase” him he gets mad at me.  He insists that he loves me more than he has loved anyone in his life and then ignores me…hot and cold all the time.  I feel like I am going crazy.  We have ended things many many times and get back together again.  When I end things he seems almost like it didn’t happen and tells me he just needs time to sort things out and hates to see what he is doing to me. Then he comes back saying he misses me.  If he hates to see what it is doing to me why does he keep doing it?  I know he has broken hearts and has been married and left that wife when he met someone else and immediatly moved in with the new woman.  He told me the wife was devastated and showed up to his job begging him not to leave her. But this is the oddest thing.  When we break up and talk a few days later he asks me if I miss him and almost seems amused when I am upset about missing him….Not to the point where he laughs but I a smirk for sure and I thought,”What the heck? That is weird!?’ but assumed I imagined it.  I work with him and have seen him get really angry when a coworker criticized him.  Every conversation we have circles around how stressed he is and how people at work are clueless and one day he will quit and mangement will see how worthless they are.  But to everyone else he seems very likeable and the few people I confide in would have never believed he would do some of the things he does.  Now he is telling me  that he is modeling and cancels lunch dates every now and then to work out. He definately messes with my head and will almost lure me in so he can dissapoint me over and over again. Obviously there are issues..but is he a narcissist? 

  • DiaryofWhy

    I see your characteristics of what defines a narcissist, and to me it reads, “sociopath.” Is there a difference, in your opinion?

  • Anonymous

    I love this article but the interesting thing for me is I was duped…by a friend, who is a woman (we are both married to men). This “friend” is an alcoholic and her husband is a recovering addict. I have been beyond manipulated over and over again and I never realized it until a friend showed me this article. These traits are her, to a tee. I tried to do everything for this friend to make her happy and yes, our whole entire friendship was about her, never once about me. I always justified it by saying, she needs help. And I am strong. Then when her husband came back from rehab (who, is also a narcissist) decided since I was his most outspoken critic, she was not to be my friend. I tried for months to stay friendly and understand why she was turning on me like this, and I just got silence and now I realize it was control. I regret trying to so hard to save our friendship because I thought I was saving her and she needed me, deep down, even though her husband tore us apart. I was such an idiot and I regret all those times I pleaded on her behalf. Like you said, she was the star of her own show, still is. She couldn’t care less how her betrayal has affected me, she is so calculating, she knows exactly how her silence has/is affected me.

    These are some points that explain to me what I was dealing with:
    =Narcissism is a psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
    =A narcissist sees his life as a movie or dramatic story in which he has the starring role. He creates a character, and assimilates the emotions of that character.
    =They are indifferent to the core qualities of healthy relationships: real love, caring, commitment and loyalty.
    =Narcissists exhibit the same qualities at work and among friends, but their true character is more obvious in romantic relationships, because there are fewer rules for how to behave, and because someone who has fallen for a narcissist will often put up with a great deal that others would not tolerate. (Even though we were not romatic, this is how our friendship was)
    They are dishonest.
    They give mixed signals, running hot and cold.
    They play people against one another.
    They avoid real commitment.
    =Narcissists can’t cope with rejection, and will avoid allowing someone else to end the relationship at all costs. (Everytime I said, don’t ever talk to me again, is when I was guilted back into holding on to when she was ready to be friends again, which was never).
    =Often those dating a narcissist will feel better when he refuses to let go, interpreting his desperation to stay in the relationship as a sign of real “deep down” caring. In fact, it’s about pride and ownership. Narcissists can’t tolerate someone else calling the shots, robbing them of their power.
    The bottom line is this: It’s all about them. (150% I realize now)

    This “friend” has knowingly and purposely kept me in a state of perpetual angst, knowing that all I’ve ever wanted was an expression of remorse, apology, explanation, or appreciation, and has never, ever given me the closure (that I’ve asked for) that I need to move on. I’m hoping my “silence” will be effective in getting control back. Although I’m afraid I spent too much time feeding her ego that my silence won’t have an affect anymore. Hopefully it will though. This person is also a co-dependent and probably fits the bill as inverted narcissist as well.

    • Susan Walsh

      Waiting for closure, or for anything else from a narcissist is a failing strategy. You’ll never get it, which is one of the ways they keep you around. You need to be prepared to move on independently. If it’s any consolation, know that narcissists are always trying to fill themselves up, because they never feel good enough. It’s not a life I would wish on anyone.

  • Susan Walsh

    @Diary of Why
    Sorry to be so late responding. Just working my way through my inbox and realized your comment had slipped through the cracks.
    To be honest, I do consider NPD to be sociopathic. Obviously, there are degrees of narcissism and sociopathy. But in general, I think a lot of people have some sp tendencies, and that population is growing. I wrote a post recently about whether casual sex is destroying empathy. That’s obviously very simplistic, but I do think that the more no-strings interactions we have the further we get from empathizing with the other person. It is just about our orgasm, our ego boost. I think it’s creating new narcissists every day.

  • John

    I know this site seems to be more about male NPD but I had my experience with a woman that definitely fit in that 1%.
    I had lost both my folks in one year, my Dad passing in Sept and felt a new beginning in my life although I didnt know I was still not done grieving.
    I met a beautiful and intelligent woman one night after hooking up on This person, I will call her K had just left her longtime b/f because he wouldnt marry her. She made it an extremely fast paced relationship, wanting to see me every day. I was swept off my feet, as a man in my early 50’s I never thought I would ever meet anyone like her. She was smart, two masters degrees, sexy, fun, athletic and the most beautiful woman in the world to me. Two weeks after we met she said she loved me….as time went by she promised me the world, told me she had been waiting her whole life to find me..her true soulmate.

    Long story short, one night she lied about where she was and then made up a phony excuse about needing to work on her life..she dumped me in a 3 line email. I called her a couple weeks later and she calmly told me, she never loved me and didnt even miss tears, no emotion at all.

    Found out later she had gone back to her b/f…..side note…she had an affair with him for 24 of the 25 years she was married. ..Months later she would call me late on her way home from her b/f’s and cheated on him…..I saw her a year later in a parking lot and she coldly said “excuse me…do you mind?…I dont even want to speak to you…so cold!

    I went through major depression, lost 35 lbs in 2 months….a therapist told me that K was a narcissist and explained that K built me up so high so that I would give her back what she wanted. Once I was no longer a “source” for what K needed, then I was no longer basically alive to her. As one door closes, another opens for narcissists. I truly consider her a sociopath of the worst kind for the “joke” she played on me about grossly lying about her feelings over and over to me. I still think of her every day unfortunately..its been three years now.
    Because of her I lost faith in relationships and in myself. I used to wonder if I would ever marry, now I doubt I will ever let anyone get close again because I cant ever go through that kind of loss and rejection again. A word of advise…..If it feels to good to be true then it is…listen to that voice inside

  • Susan Walsh

    I’m sorry, that’s a terrible story. Narcissists are dangerous precisely because they feel no empathy and will lie and manipulate you without any pangs of conscience at all. It really is about their needing their next “fix.” By the way, female narcissism has become an epidemic, and the M/F split is quickly becoming 50/50. I hope you are able to move on and meet someone else. Obviously, you will want to take it very slow.

  • Susan Walsh

    @A MAYE
    I can’t say for sure if your guy is a narcissist, but it sounds like it. He is toxic for sure! Seriously, run don’t walk away from this man and never look back. He sounds selfish and dishonest. There is no way you can ever be happy with such a person. You deserve better, and you should respect yourself enough to end it.

  • brandnewday

    Hello…..i am 24 years old and have been with my N for 7 years…and i think, no i know he is one of the very worst cases of narcissism for someone so young in history….i just want to make sure this site is still active before i post my details and get feed back from you guys. thank you!

  • Gabriela

    I have dated a narcissist, the teresting thing is that I did realize there were behavioral traits that seemed weird, and his lack of committment would drive me crazy. The funny thing is that I have a cousin that would keep telling me that he was just manipulating my mood to gain attention, I refused to listen until I had enough, he would always blame me, or say he did not mean to do anything wrong, often becoming the victim…but after reading this article everything is clear, I did decide to ignore him once and for all, he got angry at first…but he’ll manage! Thanks!

  • 4815jl

    Well I have been reading alot on NPD. Not even sure if I have came accross it. But this site has cleared alot up for me. How I came to know about NPD was by initially looking up men with bouts of rage and their tempermant. Then the work N came up. I would read things like ” if they have five of the traits listed then they have NPD” My N would only fit 3 at most. So most recently I started to come to the conclusion that maybe I just came accross a selfish man that had been hurt and being 47 set in his ways. I am 45 and have been in quite a few relationships and none of them healthy. BUT THIS ONE WAS DIFFERENT. At the age of 45 I pride myself in not ever being married. I thought I held out for the right one. I have always stayed in unhealthy relationships but was always the one to leave. I suffered slight heartache from these relationships, but nothing like I have just experienced thats when I knew something had happen to me mentally. I thought it was because I was always the dumper and not the dumpee. I meant my N last April after a relationship I was in for seven years. I felt like I had healed from my previous relationship and I wasnt looking for anything serious. I never believed in the fairy tale, love at first sight and all that. When I saw him I had never experienced the look we gave each other. It was a few seconds but I shook it off. And I mentioned to my friend of 20 years that its a shame he left. Well he came back a few hours later. And after a few drinks I approached him. He had long hair down to the middle of his back. I asked if I can touch it and he responded rudely “no why its all dry” I persisted and he let me touch it. As I continued to talk he said “your high maintenance arent you?” I was offended by this but continued to conversate with him as we made our way to the parking lot. He told me to get in his car so he could get my number. And then it all started. He told me he would call me when I got home and he did 3:00 am in the morning. In this conversation we spoke as adults and talked about sex. He told me his favorite thing was oral sex. When he asked me what I liked I told him intercourse. And under his breath he said all you women like to be f—cked.
    As it was a chore. (red flag #1). After this he would call me at least 7 times a day. Sometimes we hang up and he would call immediately after saying he just wanted to hear my voice. Finally i asked him “what do you want” and he said he didnt want to be involved. (flag #2) when I said ok he was a decent enough person just to hook up with then he changed his tune and said he wanted to take it slow. When we would talk on the phone he would listen to everything I said. Claiming that this had never happend to him meaning things were going so fast and felt right. He would want me to tell him I loved him in the first month in a half! Luckily I didnt. We saw each other alot and had great sex. Things were intense for the first time in my life I believed in the fairy tale. And one of my girl friends at work teased me because I would say there is no such thing as true love. I remember telling her I see wedding bells. He is a serious pool player so we would always be at the bar. This was an issue for me because of the alcohol involved and I explained to him that drinking had been a problem for me in the past. So at the beginning we would have little spats when I drank to much and he told me three times he was done with me. Just to hear me cry (which by the way I had never cried for a man) I would always say ok and he would retract. Then one night we had great intercourse and he dropped me off and called me and I was in the restroom and I told him I would call him back. When I did he told me he could not talk to me as much because he was caring for me too much. Then it started the very next day. The communication was non existent it went from on average 5 times a day to once a day. It got to a point were I would hear from him once a day while he was driving to work at 2:00pm and he would just talk about himself. Never asking anymore about my life. When I would confront him on his lack of effort, communication, and intimacy, he would give exuses and sometimes turn it around on me. Keeping me in the relationship thinking he would try. Now it was I who tried to break it off with him three times. He would call me “drama mama” making me feel as though I was one of those needy women. In the beginning when we were communicating like human beings he would tell me about every ex he had. Explaining to me that he didnt care about looks it was how they treated him. He told me he broke up with one girl because she was good to him but mean to other people. He was living with a girl for nine years which he claimed as being married and he said after the divorce he lost 30 pounds never gained it back and stepped into a bar and never left. The thing is that everyone that I came into contact with that knew him would tell me he was a great guy. This was the first person I felt comfortable with like I was with him for a lifetime. I thought he has been really hurt in the past so he has his walls up. And this is why it was hard for me to except that he had NPD. When the devalution started I was confused, unhappy, constantly blaming myself for every little thing. Going over and over in my head to why we were at this point. My pride let it continue, until one day I was really sick and up every hour on the hour and for once I reached out. I new he was at the bar so I texted him and he blew me off. The next day I emailed him breaking up with him. He called me three times that day and on the weekend nothing. I was so upset I left him a message crying, begging him to just call me so we can talk. I wanted to remain friends. Nothing. He text me on Wensday asking me how I was he talked about fixing it and then for nine long days of agony, no call, text or anything from him. I broke down convincing him to see me. We meant and that night I felt as there was that connection again. I went to his house and we got into some arguement over some texts he was receiving at 11:30pm were he referred me to “someone a friend” when I confronted him he called me an idiot and was very angry. I tried to ignore it but I couldnt. After crying on his floor for two hours and convincing me to take me home. He yelled at me at the top of his voice all the way home. I cant explain the power that came from within when he was yelling. The next day I pleaded with him in text and he said we were not right for each other I was able to talk to him shortly after on the phone but he got angry with my pleas. And critized my family and friends. He didnt even meet my family. This didnt sit right with me. Through the whole thing I found alot of things weird. I contacted him for the first week and then I tried to go no contact for two weeks. After two weeks I was always the one contacting him for two months but he was responding. Finally I broke down and asked for another chance. He didnt respond. So I finally decided to move on. After two months I decided to go out were I had meant him. But I text to make sure he was working that night. I really didnt want to see him. He sensed it and did everything to get off in enough time to make it down to were I was. This confused me but I took it with a grain of salt. That night towards the end of the night I saw him. I was with my sister someone he had never meant before. He hugged her as if him and I had been together for years and was elated to meet her. He gave her his jacket like a gentlemen because she complained she was cold. He told her I was high maintenance. And then beg the two of us to stay the night at his house. Luckily my older sister said no to me and said we are not going to make it easy for him. When he couldnt convince her he abrutly ended the conversation with her and wanted to talk to me.
    Then he preceded to ask me to come stay with him. But it was as if he was forcing him self to ask me. I didnt. I was so confused. How could someone for two months be so caluis and not contact me but reply to me only. So I thought to myself well he tried so I will make one last attempt to see him. That week we started talking again on the phone but it was just about his work and pool. I texted him asking him if I could meet him at the bar. No response. Finally he came out at his usual time 11:30pm. I admit this time I was happy I acted like nothing. I was talking to everyone and being affectionate with him. Towards the end of the night he asked if I needed a ride home. I said yes, went to tell my friend he was giving me a ride home, stopped to talk to some guys that we were all talking to in the bar towards the end of the night. And when I went to his car, he was gone. I called my friend and she left her phone at home. I ended up walking home at 2:00 in the morning. I text him, called him, nothing. I demanded an explanation, nothing. That same weekend I called him, I was broken down like nothing I had ever experienced, I left him a message crying from my soul telling him I just wanted to be friends. Nothing. Then I got angry and called him 11 times and texting and still no response. That was a month ago and have heard nothing since. No sorry, explanation or anything. I was so messed up mentally. My friends and sister would receive several text messages from me daily. I resorted to low income couseling. I thought this person was the answer to my life. I thought we would have a long, loving, happy relationship. I thought this person was genuine, and had a good spirit. When I was with him I almost lent him $2000.00 for an rv he needed but I retracted the money. I didnt here from him for a whole day. I was suprised he would even take it from me. And he was the nicest guy to me even claiming he told someone I was his girlfriend. He would do nothing with me unless I paid. He didnt spend my birthday with me and I thought it was because he was working. I spent all the holidays by myself. My sister said something isnt right he must have something else occupying him. I didnt want to believe it was another wormen and until this day I dont know. On three different occasions he has just taken off. And I encountered his rage on three different occasions. It was like a child throwing a fit. The sex after the idealization was non existent. He just wanted oral sex performed on him. This didnt bother me to much because I was not using protection and I thought this is why he wouldnt have intercouse with me. But when I mentioned condoms he laughed. When he meant me he told me he was seeing someone for 4 months but they would just have oral sex because he had his needs. He immediately broke it off with this girl and told me everything she said to him. She was hurt. He told me she said “I thought you didnt like girls that smoke?” and asked if we could not go to the same bar she went to for “date night” . I remember him telling me about an ex that would slash his tires and go into his apartment and rip up the girls clothes that he was living with. And he told me he picked her up and threw her over a fence. In the town were I meant him he had only been there for a few months. After the two months that we didnt see each other and I was able to see him again. I remember sitting back and taken a back by how many new friends he made at the bar. It was like he was god like, is was as if they were all standing in line to shake his hand or give him a hug. That didnt sit right with me either. I am coming out of the fog. I have no desire to contact him. But I still wake up thinking about him everyday. I am at the revengvul angry stage. And I want him to make contact so I can ignore him and be vindicated. But this is why I am going to counseling. After a month of reading the boards this is the first time I have left a post. And I thank everyone for listening to my story. I know I sound like a rambling idiot, but I think I am still mentally confused and damaged. But it feels good to tell someone and I’m still not sure if hes NPD.

  • Kim

    I was married to a narcissist for 24 years. The first 3 years of the relationship was great (till I found out he was cheating and lying the whole time). I broke it off even though he cried and begged for me not to. Within a week of breaking it off I found out I was pregnant. I was not going to tell him but a situation occured and he found out. He cried, begged, and pleaded for me to “take him back.” Scared to be alone and pregnant I, against my better judgment, took him back. We married and a wasted life of Hell ensued.
    The cheating and staying out all night began after the birth of my daughter, litterally within days of her birth. He denied me money, a car, and any way to see my friends and family while he went to work, came home to shower and leave again, not to return home till the next morning in time to go to work again. A friend of mine took me aside and told me that he had a woman that he was “hooking up” with that was “bragging” about their affair in a bar. I packed to leave and once again the begging and empty promises started. It really got bad when a male friend and I became interested in each other. When I told him I was leaving because I wanted to be with someone else, someone who was capable of loving me and my kids, the rage started. I was a whore and “ruined his life. I ruined everything!” mixed with bouts of crying and pleading for me not to leave. I was accused of taking his little girl away from him (he obviously cared so much for her)….not. Once again, like a fool I thought about my daughter not having her father to grow up with and the guilt it imposed on me and I decided to stay, once more.
    We bought a home and for a short time it looked like life would be better…ha. Because he viewed me as “the unfaithful one” without one thought of what he had done by cheating and lying, and started to treat me bad and talk to me in a voice of disdain constantly. I became a “non human” object. This continued as did his cheating while I was trying to raise my daughter and get her through school.
    By now, sex had become the source of my depression. When we had it, it was so cold and disengaged emotionally that I would afterwards hide in the bathroom to cry and be sick (yes, I would throw up). Insults about my looks, my age, my intellegence, my weight were constantly being hurled at me along with how “no normal man worth anything would look at me twice or have anything to do with me.” I was only 20 when I met him and I was 5′ 5″, 110 lbs., Irish-Native American which gave me a beautiful mediterranean looking skin with bright blue eyes and near black hair that had a natural soft curl and was mid back length not to mention that I am a college graduate and have two degrees in Education. By the time we split I believed that I was a grotesque, worthless person. There were obvious severe marital problems which I was seeing a counselor alone for because “there was nothing wrong with him and besides…it was ALL my fault after all.”
    At my lowest point I decided that the only answer was suicide. As I gave away my sentimental belongings, said my goodbyes, chosen my method, and drew bathwater he knocked on the bathroom door. Hmmm…maybe he really did love me? (way deep inside). No, he just wanted to tell me, “don’t make a mess that I will have to clean up after you’re gone.” I guess you could say this was what actually saved my life. Hearing those words made me realize that I had lived a total lie for 20 + years married to a man who not only did not love me but never actually cared about me and that I was a good, compassionate, and loving person who deserved to be loved and cared for back. That is the moment I came up off the bathroom floor fighting for my life and the right to exshist.
    It was then that I started living for me and my children and grandchildren. He even tried to use my kids and the grandkids against me. As he started losing control of the situation he became uglier and more violent. I had a critically ill 6 year old grandson. I spent nights at the hospital sitting with him as they prepared to put him on life support and the call I got from Mr. Narcissist was, “You had better quit spending so much time with that “kid” over there and start worrying about where you are going to be living. You are going to come home and all your s**t is going to be in the yard.” All I could think about was the words “that kid.” It stuck in my soul like a burning poker. A little boy just old enough to lose his first tooth having the man he knew as “grandpa” say that with no regard for him. See a pattern here?
    After the grandson pulled through and started on the mend I went back home to find out that he had emptied the bank accounts, the savings, taken the equity out of the home, which after 20 years was substantial, had all the utilities switched in my name without my consent and proceeded to quit paying for them, and rented a “new home.” Of course I had quite enough by then. I demanded he leave and …..What was that?…..RAGE!! How dare I tell him to get out! It took 3 police officers to drag out a man that was planning on moving already. As he was being dragged out of the house I asked for the key so that he could never return again. This caused a slurrr of profanities. As he looked at me with hate, he suddenly smiled and laughed. The last things he said to me was, “You can’t hurt me. A person has to care to be hurt…and I don’t care about anthing or anybody.” He also informed me that he had quit paying the bills to take care of himself and they were about to shut off the electricity, water, phone, and cable to the house where my children and I resided.” And his last remark…..” I just think I can get younger and better than you. You got old.” Yes….my last sin was I had turned 44.
    So you ask how you get rid of a narcissist? Very painfully and determined. I don’t believe you can without permanent battle scars. Let’s just say this, you MUST remember that no matter how much he begs, cries, or pleads, no matter what he says or does… 1) He does NOT LOVE you. He does not love ANYONE. 2) He will have any and everyone else believing his lies…even you if you aren’t wise, but you BETTER BELIEVE….He IS a LIAR. He lies about everything. 3) He will only appear to be happy when you are ripped to shreds or destitute. 4) Your vulnerability and pain brings him power and great joy! 5) It is ALL about power and control.
    Now if you are truly ready to leave him, make sure you have police and a male family member or friend there with you when it is time to kick him out. DO NOT (NOW LISTEN THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT) let him know before hand that you have any plans of leaving or getting him out. That is when you are in the most danger. Expect him to be furious but with other men present the likeliness of violence is slimmer because, after all…he wants to appear to be a “good guy” above all else. It’s part of his self dilussions. I hope this will help someone that is going through what I did or stop you from ever going there altogether!

    • Susan Walsh

      That is an awful story. He sounds like a terrible human being! I’m glad you lived to tell the tale, and you seem to have come out of it with your sanity and dignity intact. I’m glad you have your children and grandchildren, which obviously bring you great happiness.

  • Kim

    Thank you, Susan and yes they do! I have found a great source of strength and joy through them. I would like to say…even through all this…my two children are both college graduates, well employed, and happily married. There is hope!

  • Kim

    The unfortunate thing about being involved with a narcissist is that they are very deviant and have a huge power over you. How do they gain this power? By being good to you only long enough for you to become emotionally involved with them. Eventually they will start to build themselves up by tearing you down. If you are not wise or lucky enough to get away from them early in the game they will have you in disbelief that you are “pathetic” enough to put up with them which lowers your self-esteem even further. I was an extremely well educated and good looking woman and I am still in disbelief that I would ever allow myself or my children to live through that. If you cannot “muster” up the strength to do it for yourself, think of your children. I was fortunate! My children were able to rise above it in the end and I thank God every day for that. However, all too often, it does not end up so well for the kids. I do not know what kind of lasting effects this will have on my undeserving (now adult) children and who’s to say what lasting effects it will have on you and your child/ren. Of course, a “true” narcissist will most likely “walk away” from a child because they are incapable of feeling love for anyone, (and yes…this means any children, too) and do NOT want them. I am in agreement with Susan. If you believe you are involved with someone like this…RUN…don’t walk to get away from them.

  • Kim

    I am so sorry for so many posts but I thought I would mention. My ex was diagnosed by a very well renowned psychiatrist in the St. Louis area as being a narcissist. I didn’t come up with that on my own. He also refused to see him further as he said that a narcissist can not be helped because it is a PERSONALITY disorder and they DON”T WANT TO change.

    • Susan Walsh

      No need to apologize! I’ve read that NPD is being taken out of the diagnostic manual for that exact reason. It’s not a mental illness, and cannot be treated.

  • Just stunned

    I am stunned at this description – it wasnt until a dear friend of mine whom I talk to about my boyfriend mentioned this term that I even started looking into NPD. Now that I look, I have to admit that I am confused because he doesnt have all of the traits, but many. Please. If I can list the behaviors, can you help direct me if I am on the correct path?

    1. Way too good to be true in the beginning of dating. I mean, I had never been swept off my feet like this before – completely charming with tons of attention. Calls/texts every day and he told me things that Id never imagined hearing before, like romance from novels.

    2. Really wanted to get to know everything about me, never learned much about him.

    3. After time, he started drifting away. Calls/texts came less frequently, hot and cold attention behavior. Told me he wants to hear from me, but never initiates calls. I laid back a bit on the calls which got him really upset. Hated being ignored. When I asked him to call me once in a while, got angry, called me insecure.

    4. GLorified his sexual encounters. I mean really bragged about his skills, what he had done, how great he is.

    5. Overly concerned about his appearance, all the while still making me feel like a princess, wanted, needed….

    6. Strange behavior that really baffled me.

    In the end, this relationship started off with him sweeping me off my feet and slowly over time, left me wondering what was going on from one day to the next. Has me thinking I am nuts, and I need to pay attention to him. Weird thing is….he isnt overly attractive, but all of the love and attention he gave is what attracted me to him. THen, when he had me, it all stopped. Theres more, but wanted to just start here. The more I read here, the more identifiers show up. Thanks for any help.

  • Lindsay

    Wow, reading your stories was eye-opening for me. I’ve been dating a man I met at church of all places, and at first, he seemed perfect, almost too good to be true. So much so that I wouldn’t hardly give him the time of day for the first six months I knew him. I was just suspicious: he appeared to be faithful; he’s a prime time news anchor in a major market (first clue!), he goes to the gym daily and ‘pitches’ food half-way eaten for fear of getting fat (seriously); wears a Rolex and his Harvard class ring everyday; etc. But of course, he is charming and funny and very popular with everyone, and he kept at me. When I finally agreed to a date, we had such an awesome time that I could have kicked myself for keeping him at a distance all that time.

    But once he had me hooked, his selfish behavior came out, subtly at first, but it’s caused me a lot of pain and confusion since. I know he LIKES me, but he is so detached that it hardly seems he’d ever be capable of loving me more than he loves himself. I never really know where I stand with him, either. And he’s said things straight up about how he is!! I just didn’t understand the clues. When we had a disagreement one day, for example, he told me that I was ’emotionally volatile’ and that he was pretty much ‘anti-emotional.’ That stuck me, but hey, he’s a guy. But then we were on the phone one night discussing what new car he was gonna get and the whole thing revolved around the perception! He really wanted a Porche, but thought that looked like ‘trying too hard,’ and he also liked the new CTS-V’s, but that doesn’t say ‘baller’ like the Benz would. Honestly, I just told him to hell with what anyone thinks and to just get the car he wanted. But in the same conversation, he said, almost jokingly, ‘Yeah, but I’m a little selfish and narcissistic!!! Hmmm… that was a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been patient and understanding with him and all his emotional issues for five months now since that first date, and believing his explanations when his behavior toward me didn’t match his (oh so smooth and understanding) words. If not that, I get the silent treatment for even daring to complain or be unsatisfied with him in any way. What a crock of sh*t. Well, last week, I finally had enough of his ‘hot and cold’ treatment and told him the relationship felt like ‘friends with benefits’ via text and he goes: “We will never do that again.” What?? Now he’s punishing me by withholding sex? He toned it down by following-up with: “I’m sorry you feel that way. Seriously, let’s just take it off the table. I just want to get to know you, we’ll be friends and take it from there.” Oh really?!! I let him have it why I was upset and he wouldn’t answer the phone when I called to discuss. I gave it one more try later that night, and he writes: “I’m probably not in the best emotional place to chat right now so I hope you understand.” Why was HE upset? It wasn’t until I realized that I inflicted a narcissistic injury by even THINKING his intentions toward me were messed up (even though they must be) and he was licking his wounds. So I said I wouldn’t reach out unless I heard from him… and he gave me the silent treatment for a week!

    Anyway, I do like him and I know he likes me, and cares as best as he is capable, but God, does the world ever revolve around him!! His wants, his needs, his way… and I’d better comply and with a smile, or else he’Il ‘deprive me’ of his attention and presence! In terms of a real, loving relationship, I’m standing here all by myself… but the sad thing is I still want him in my life!!

    • Susan Walsh

      I know it feels really hard but it isn’t complicated. You have just listed all the reasons why this man is a terrible, negative influence in your life. He makes you second guess yourself constantly and is not loving. Then you end by saying you still want him in your life. Think carefully about why that is. What is it that you are getting from him? What’s the long-term outlook?

  • Susan Walsh

    @Just Stunned

    You’re correct that there are lots of red flags here, and it’s good that you are able to see them now. There’s nothing wrong with a man being really attentive and sweeping you off your feet if that’s how he really feels. And of course it’s easy to get swept away during this phase. As you learned, though, you must keep your guard up in order to make sure that his actions match his words, and that he is consistent.

    It was nice that he took the time to learn about you, but intimacy isn’t possible in only one direction. It is odd that he shared little about himself – often narcissists have secrets. This is because they want to maximize their own pleasure, and though they have no empathy, they are aware of what society views as bad behavior. So they pretend to be good, believing they are above the rules that apply to everyone else.

    Hot and cold behavior is a dealbreaker. Boasting about sex with other peoples is a definite dealbreaker.

    It’s hard to say whether he has NPD, but he sounds like a selfish, i.e. narcissistic bastard. You don’t say whether you are still in this relationship, but it’s clear that all the early love and attention was just a show, or at least something he is not capable of maintaining.

  • 4815jl

    I recently left a long drawn out comment. I have started counseling. The longing for the man I fell in love with is subsiding. I still think about him daily. I have not heard from him now for about 3 months. It baffles me at times, when I think about the idealization phase and I dont understand how someone can cut you out of their life after, what I thought were intense feelings. From a positive point of veiw this man has brought out every insecurity that I never new I had. And has made me taken a hard look at myself. I still have to much resentment to ever admit this. For I know now he is the lost one. I tried to make short contact thru text twice. One letting him know how I was still upset about his behavior the last time I was with him. We are humans, they are not, and I have to go thru all the necessary stages of a loss and sometimes I slip. My feelings have shifted and the hurt is not about him so much (I fell head over heals for the first time) but is about the mental abuse that has made a long lasting impression on me. Through this ordeal I am force to deal with some deep routed issues within myself. I have to move on regardless and I dont want to be damaged. For the sake of my future and my sons future.

    • Susan Walsh

      Thanks for coming back and checking in. I’m really glad you have started counseling – what you are going through is a very difficult path to travel alone. It sounds like you are doing really well, and your love and concern for your sons is a strong motivator. In time you will heal, but I’m very sorry that you had the bad luck to have someone like that enter your life. Good luck.

  • Heather

    My ex has none of the abusive, manipulative, controlling tendencies, but ALL of the self-centred ones. He was an uncomplicated, fun, sexy guy who I fell for like a ton of bricks despite him being much younger and from a very different background (which is what I blamed the problems on, for a long time). I loved being with him, he seemed to love being with me, and the early days were pure magic; but the relationship was a trainwreck. He totally pleased himself, at the expense of everyone around him. He only thought about himself, only talked about himself, (esp when he’d been drinking!) only wanted to spend his money on himself but expected me to support him when he wasn’t working, used my car even if I needed it, took the household money, didn’t take me out, didn’t bother showing up on my birthday (we were living together!), didn’t want expectations, wanted everything without reciprocating. Even sexually. I couldn’t rely on him or trust him, ever. His behaviour was totally thoughtless all the time and he just didn’t seem to get it. So frustrating! He literally behaved like a teenager still living at home, not a 26-year old adult in an adult relationship.

    We broke up after 14 months of non-stop problems. I told him he was treating me like a sugar-mama and he walked out on me 2 weeks later. Since then he’s been ignoring me, which doesn’t seem to fit the pattern. After he walked out he told me he loved me, didn’t want to call it quits, needed to sort himself out, wanted to be friends – then wouldn’t meet up again, wouldn’t talk, texted for a while then cut that, and when we meet at sport now he won’t even acknowledge me – and yesterday he blocked me on Facebook, which was totally unnecessary because we had no direct contact on it anyway! Really struggling with that last one. I stopped all attempts at contact about a month ago, finally – and I know I’ll get over it – but boy is it hard! This was the first relationship I’ve had that I wanted to last, ironically. I don’t want anything to do with him anymore but I still miss him, I still cry about him, there’s a massive gap in my life still. How can one person hurt you so much?!

    Thanks to everyone, esp Susan, for both the information and the blogs. I don’t know whether my ex is a narcissist or not but it helps to know others are struggling with these things too and to think there might be a reason and wasn’t just my inability to have a relationship!

  • Cat

    It has been almost 8 months since my Narcissist ex broke up with me. Just know that after not too terribly long, you will reach a place of indifference. In my case, I have reached a place of indifferent compassion – finally. I don’t care what he’s doing, what he did, or what he can do to hurt my feelings or my pride anymore. I see him as a sad person with a real lack of relationship skills and an overblown ego that he will die with. But I don’t really feel all that bad about it. Just like, I am glad I don’t care anymore and yet I feel slightly bad for him and all the crap he did to lose me. I now totally see that he fucked more than I thought I did or that he lead me on to believe I did. I don’t get angry anymore when I think of how he would do tripple takes at other women in front of me and when I said I didn’t like it, he would act like I was full of shit and get angry and throw me out of his house even. I just feel sad that I put up with all that and have really learned my lesson by now on the wrong kinds of men. It took me to the age of 43 to do it too. I have more compassion for myself now and totally understand why I am hardly interested in going on a date, let alone jump into some toxic relationship again. In a way he did me a favor even and I don’t think he got any learning from me. Such a pity but it’s not my problem anymore after spending months feeling angry and confused about my feelings about him. That place of indifference will be reached and filled with just a memory of the cliche narcissist more than the person you thought he might have been.

  • Heather

    Thanks, Cat, I do sometimes have moments of almost not caring, so I see what you mean and I hope it happens soon! Thinking of him as a narcissist with relationship problems does actually help to make it all a bit more objective and a little less personal, somehow. Like many others have said, just finding out about it and knowing that’s probably what I’ve been dealing with, makes it easier to come to grips with emotionally. I guess I’m at the same stage as 4815jl, above. I certainly relate to what that person said.

    There are so many stories on here that match my experience. It’s sad but also reassuring! We all fell extra hard and fast for these guys(girls), we thought it was the real thing, it felt like they loved us yet we never seemed to quite be a priority and their behaviour was utterly selfish and strangely indifferent (or even abusive) which confused the hell out of us; we know it was a disaster but we still want them, we struggle to accept it won’t ever change, we’re angry, hurt and totally confused, we just want them to hear what we’ve got to say but they either won’t or just don’t get it; and we’re all now trying desperately to deal with the rejection, the hurt and anger and confusion. And don’t trust anymore.

    Seems we’ve got all the normal issues of heartbreak and rejection after a breakup to deal with, combined with a whole lot of extra stuff because of their narcissism and treatment of us!

  • anonymous

    I’m just coming out of a violent, controlling, abusive relationship with a narcissist. I only just discovered the term, but it is so uncanny how well he fits the mold. I’m seeing a counsellor who is helping me rebuild my life and stop blaming myself. I’m very angry at him now that I can see it all so clearly. He took my power away from me and only started the abuse once he knew I was trapped (I fell pregnant). After marriage, kids and 5 years together he found out I wanted to leave and just found another girlfriend within a week. This other woman has just left a 14yr violent and abusive relationship also. He’s in complete denial and is lying in almost every breath trying to blame me and shift responsibility, and unfortunately for me he wants the kids (probably as that would be the thing that would hurt me the most).

    I’m now going through the court process but it’s difficult because I obviously spent 5 years hiding this from everyone, and he is just as you describe: an outgoing, fun, spontaneous person. It’s hard to imagine him being the way I am describing, especially when he’s so “spiritual” and “moral”. I think the scariest thing for me is the fact that he believes his own lies, this leads me to believe he is capable of anything by the most irrational justification. I’m really scared of him and want him out of my life. I feel trapped still by him though because he’s the father if my kids and I’ll have him in my life forever :(

  • anonymous

    …I was also prevented access to the car without him knowing where I was going, and not allowed to access our money without asking. I had to ask permission to do anything, he controlled who I could be friends with.. I was like a prisoner in my own home. He controlled everything in the household too and although household duties were “my responsibility” nothing was ever done to his satisfaction. I was always the one who did everything and he constantly accused me of the things he is himself: selfish & lazy. Plus he was nice enough to tell me on a daily basis how I was “stupid” and am only studying law to prove myself because I have such a low self-esteem. I did not have the strength to fight him or even voice my opinion, it was just easier to go along with him and keep my mouth shut. I think if I had of stayed much longer i would have had a break-down. I was incapable of doing anything, I wanted to leave but was physically not able to make the decision to do so. My family had to come and help me escape.

    Now I’m left with nothing but my beautiful kids, 2 bags of clothes and his continual attempts to hurt and manipulate me.

  • Donna

    I am an intelligent and progressive woman who is still in therapy after dating a narcissist five years ago. He was very charming and very intelligent but what I found was that he spoke only of himself (for hours at a time). He thought the whole world wanted a piece of him. He thought the whole world wanted to be like him. He had visions of grandeur and made himself out to be a legend, but he told stories of his success based on the fact that he was a published author, but apart from one book that he had written, he worked full-time as a writer and fed the story that he already had a publisher lined up for the book he was working on. His book was not even a bestseller and although I would admit that he was a talented writer and very intelligent, something was not adding up. I dug into his background because I could see no evidence that he was as successful as he was making himself out to be. Intelligent yes, but successful no. I had healthy self-esteem and was highly regarded and respected in my professional and personal life and what I noticed (in hindsight) was that he may have felt threatened by me and he started to chip away at every aspect of who I was as a person. He criticized me at every turn. He put me down and dismissed my thoughts or opinions. He belittled my choice of career. He called me the most vicious names when I tried to stand up for myself. And …… when he felt that I was not submitting to his “glory” he physically abused me. His first attempt at physical violence was to attack my face because he had heard it too many times that I am regarded as “very beautiful”. He constantly told me that he did not know what the hype was about me because he did not find me at all that attractive. One night I was supposed to meet him and some friends at an event and he told me up front that I should not be concerned if I saw women fawning over him at the event. I showed up and no one was fawning over him, but all the men were after me. This infuriated him and resulted in his first physical attack on my face (as mentioned above). Other incidents included: He bit my face, he pulled my pony tail until he was left holding a clump of my hair, he spat in my face and called me the most vile names, he threw a full water bottle when I wasn’t looking and it struck me in the back of my head.

    I knew that I needed help when I was driving down the highway one morning and having been stripped of everything that I thought I was I swerved in front of a tractor-trailer that was barrelling down the highway because I wanted to end my life. He had finally convinced me that I was as worthless as he said. I knew I needed help and I headed straight to my doctor’s office where I was referred to a therapist and I was helped and guided out of the situation.

    Our last encounter was a series of fluctuating emotions on his part: anger, tears, fear, love, pleading! I realized that he is a very very sick individual. My only words to him were: “You must leave my home immediately, the police are on their way.” They were spoken very calmly because I was afraid of his reaction. He tried everything to get me to change my mind but I feared for my life. It took me 4 years before I stopped feeling the gripping fear of having him show up at my door. I have never been able to have another relationship. I believe that I may have convinced myself that I am okay being alone. When I told the friends who had set us up for a date what had happened, years had already gone by and they could not believe what I was telling them.

    It is not worth it, if you see any of the signs mentioned above, PLEASE cut your losses and leave.

  • jay

    Hi! i’ve read the article and it’s kinda hard to accept that there are people who are just like that– a narcissist. Much worse is if the person we choose to love turns out to be that kind of person. I don’t want to have a relationship with a narcissist. That’s why i will keep in mind the tips that were written here. I am single right now and because of this i will be more careful in choosing who i am going to be with…

  • Cat

    Once you figure these types out, it become easy to spot them and avoid them or keep them in perspective in the future. It’s been almost 9 months since mine broke up with me and I got some space enough to pretty much be over it. Then he saw me out and wanted to smoke some weed with me which I declined, ending the conversation first. I was performing that night and I think I impressed him in some way with how I have gotten it more together art wise since our breakup. I was so dependent on him to supply me with gigs (mostly performing with him,) and now people are noticing me and asking me all the time. Then I actually decided to suck it up and perform at an event he was performing at but not running. He was further impressed and said so and then offered to help me out with my box of video gear. Then he wandered off and I walked right by him with the heavy box but he was more into giving some folks his CD (new fans and narc supply) than to help me. It hurt me and brought up more feelings of never having been cared enough about. Then I realized just how out of it and unconscious he really is when it comes to the needs to others. Why would I be hurt? I figured that’s the last time I have to deal with him. Then he emails me a couple of weeks later and invites me to perform with him. Since they are paying me, I agreed to do it and because I really am trying to get myself out there as that seems to lead to more things and me getting better at my craft. But I noticed in his email he is all about dropping bragging points about himself wherever he could in the subtlest of ways. Instead of saying, I have to of these kinds of gigs, he has to mention he is doing it with author so and so. And then that he is doing a project with this one person though he was working with larger bands. Why would I care? It’s really quite pathetic, though I can’t help but still feel some measure of total disgust, being that it all affected me so badly. As well, he seems worse about it than ever. It’s as if his self-esteem is plummeting that he needs to keep this bolstering of his ego up. I feel like saying, Hey, dude. It’s me. You don’t have to impress me with that shit because you know what I really think – You are killing yourself trying to prove something all the time rather than take some time out to take care of your health. The man turned 59 this year and he looks worse every year, but is charismatic and charming to many people, as well as popular and well-respected as a DJ/ electronic music guru. But it bothers me he would lay that crap on me like I am someone he needs to impress in that superficial kind of a way. No one else sees it really. I sort of feel like I have no business taking this gig to help him look good, but I always did enjoy performing to his sets and his music and it is of advantage to me. We had great synergy that way and I felt like that is all I wanted out of this thing in the beginning. So long as I keep reminding myself of who he is, how he is, and that I don’t want him back, I can use it to my advantage. As long as he doesn’t start playing stupid games with me that will upset me. For instance, he offered to show me something with the DJ software I got from him but made a point to make sure he says he can do it right after the gig and before we all pack up – like don’t get any ideas, Cat – I won’t offer to take any personal time to get together with you to do it. That shit always struck me as lame when we’d be going through a breakup or after it. After all he said about wanting to be friends. Now that I think of it, I have no idea why I am doing this. I guess because I want the money, I want to do my art, and in a way, I want to show him and myself that I can do it and not let him get to me. Mostly him too. I admit there is a part of me that wants to beat him at his own game and he can see what he lost even further as I have come a long damn way in the last nine months with myself and my art. But if it bothers me in any way, I will not do it again. Probably not. I don’t want that narcissistic crap of his and all the resentments in my head again – or if I feel he is playing subtle games to make it look like he’s above everything by now, which I have a feeling he is not, since he never processes anything, just runs out for more N supply and booze, etc.. In the end, I have to see him as a wounded soul really. Narcissism is just how someone’s personal wounds manifest and they only hurt themselves in the end. You really can’t it personally – once you get enough distance from it or keep them in their place.


    Oh my, Beware of Narcissist. I don’t wanna be stuck in a relationship where he only cares about himself and doesn’t want to be involved in a commitment. I’ve read the experiences of others and i will be more careful in choosing who i want to be with. I will learn more about that person so and find someone who is more deserving than a narcissist.

  • Jenny

    My narcassit died in january 2011. After 10 years of an on and off relationship. I found out he cheated on me 14th months before he died. I questioned him about the affair about 3 months after it happened.He lied, she was a friend. I took care of him while he battled a horrible cancer. I gave up 14 months of my life to care for him. I would have walked away if I knew he cheated. I left him many times of the 10 years because he was sucking the life from me. I found out after he died he did cheat, the woman told me how they met in a bar lobby and went to his hotel room. She said she really wanted to move to be with him. She met him for a few hours. I wish I would have known , she could have spent that 14 months with him. he sucked the life out of me. It was never enough! I am a nurse and He told me 2 weeks before he died why was I so stupid why couldnt I save his life? I said if your Doctors cannot why are you asking me. He was mean and angry because i couldnt save him. I sat by his side the last days of his life and he told me 100 times i love you. Please really i love you. He asked me to help him die. I had his black sweatshirt on he was screamng at me to take it off because they were coming for Him. I asked him who he said death is coming for me take the black sweatshirt off! I held him and let him die in peace with alot of meds. I gave him dignity to only find out 2 weeks later he cheated on me. It has been very hard. One day i’m mad and hurt. then the woman he cheated with felt it necessary to FB me with all the dirty details of their 4 hour affair, and tell me how they stayed in contact until 10 days before he died. All the while I spent 8 nights sleeping next to him in the hospital. What a loser!

    • Susan Walsh

      That is a terrible story. It sounds like he was a cancer in your life. I hope you can now feel free to move on to something better.

  • lolasoul

    I’m astounded by the repetitive themes in the narcissitic relationship. In some of these stories, I’ve seen so many similarities that I’ll start to scan quickly to see if we’ve actually been dating the same guy! In many cases, I guess we have..he just had a different name, job and home… I have reached a place after my involvment to be thankful for the experience as I have NEVER learned so much about myself from any other relationship. I too ended up in a counsellor’s office for the first time after my experience with N. I was truly convinced that I was losing grip on my own sanity. I couldn’t understand what kept me magnetized to this odd fellow who gave me nothing but grief (okay..maybe some stellar sex too). I was all out addicted to him. At one point I actually BEGGED him to never contact me again because I knew I didn’t have the strength to leave him completely alone myself. His solution with a sly chuckle was for me to change my number. I was pretty darn weak after 6 or 7 months with him and I just couldn’t piece it all together until I stumbled across what true narcissim really is. I would dump him every other day over his cryptic disappearances and behaviours and he would chase me down and I would let him back in. I took his inability to let me go as love. I have my own issues and tend to run away in fear. Other men have let me go..and this one finally wouldn’t. must be true At one point I left signs taped to walls and mirrors all around my home stating “HE IS KRYPTONITE”…because that he is. I was almost over the “bonkers edge” by that point. He found a new victim awhile and left me alone for a few months (broke my heart actually). And then he came round again and I let him right back in. But this time…his behaviour grew tiresome and tedious very quickly. In short, the relationship bored me. He bored me. I’m guessing…no I know..that somewhere along the line I learned to love and respect myself. I’ve dated some difficult ones but for the most part they have had way more to offer than this sly, cunning halfwit did. Our relationship was less than a year in length but its gifts were worth it. Red flags must be heeded. By the second date I was asking myself “is he for there anyone actually in there???”…I was bound and determined to find out (and paid the price of horrendous pain for my curiosity). In my own oblivious arrogance I truly thought I could love him all better. I thought I could fix him. Well hell’s bells if you think you can fix anyone, you need a little fixing yourself! Oddly enough, his bad medicine was what I needed. But I know I am still not impervious to his odd ways. I booted him out of my life for the umpteenth time only weeks ago and I truly thought the spell was broken. I actually spent an entire week wandering around my own interior emotional caverns revelling in the fact that he was no longer haunting them. He was gone… until I received an email on a social network from another woman. Then I was angry and needed to text my anger to him. I actually enjoyed it to be frank (but it’s never wise to poke a monster). We hurled angry insults via text for awhile but then he did a Jekyll and Hyde on me..told me he never once lied when he told me he loved me. I let it be. I met someone else shortly thereafter and when he contacted me again last weekend I was actually amused and engaged in communication with me. He told me that I just didn’t realize how much he liked me and that I could hurt him. Okay..that hit my heart..and for the next 48 hours he was back in the caverns..but its passed. The lesson was I cannot be in contact with this man..even when I THINK I’m strong. There is something desperate and insidious and magnetic about these vampires when they are looking for a feed. Like some many others, I was previously desperate to know I mattered..that he cared..that he loved me. I gave him my self worth to twang like a banjo. It was not until I accepted that I meant nothing to him that I found some freedom. It was not until I accepted that even if he was emotionally available he wasn’t good enough anyways. Do I want to succumb to his sense of entitlement any longer? Do I want to foot the bill or be subjected to demands for sex and blowjobs at his every whim? Do I want to spend my time wondering who he’s with when he’s not with me or answering his phone or texts? Do I want to be asked for “dirty pics” for him to do “whatever he does with them”. Do I want to pick up the phone and hear “Do you want my big hard c**ck inside you right now”? Do I want his immature antic and tantrums? Do I want to take the blame for everything wrong in the relationship? Do I want someone who won’t commit to plans or breaks them at the last minute? Do I ever want to feel like I’m not enough one more freakin minute? NOOOOOO.
    A resounding no. I know the pain of the intitial of a break from the N. I know the loneliness and confusion and the unanswered questions. I know the illusion I bought into. I know the need to feel loved that can only be answered within yourself. Yes, somehow the N prompted a feeling of love within me that I find unexplainable but the fact is….it was within me…and he really had very little to do with it.
    When the clouds pass and the sunshine returns..I hope that anyone still feeling the pain of their emotional assault will recognize the gifts they can bring to you as well. Bad men have a way of showing you how to love yourself.

  • Maryland

    After reading the posting about the N relationship with his ex-girlfriend. I knew I had to post. I ended it with a N myself.When I first met Mel, I had just heal my broken heart after a eight year relationship another story.Mel treated me right did and said all the right things. For almost a year we talked, had fun, laugh. Then things started to change just like the other postings. His ex-Rose slowly started to come into the picture. Every time I would call his home his phone all sudden was very busy. One night he had stay on the phone all night long. I had tried to call him till 3.a.m. When i finally got a whole of him the next day when I asked who he was talking
    to he got piss and told me. Next thing he told me right out. She my friend, we went out, and I will never give her up.

    Well fool me didn’t say another word. To add to this mess, Rose, and Mel used to work together before I came there. He had a crush which everyone know on a woman name Karen. She wants nothing to do with him but play a game. Matter of fact around xmas he had asked me to a show and a week latter asked her. Which she turn down.

    Now here comes {the N} feelings Nothing. When I had asked about when you talking me to the show. He gave me a blank look of”Oh Well.”
    Mel had defended Rose of the time. Exp.Oh she such a nice person, why do you say that.(Get the point) has told me right out she my friend you really was nothing more then a nobody….

    The finally end can starting Feb.14. We had a great time then afterwards i didn’t see him again?. When I had left stuff on his truck. To say thank you for a good night. Well didn’t here from for almost two weeks. {Another upper had trick} When I did call him and asked did he get the stuff he told yea and I didn’t like what you done.?????? Power thing going here right. I started with the atutited and said excuse me????

    Then the finally end came. I saw him and Rose together going to a Wal-mart in his truck. I was so up-set, I gave his stuff back left it in a bag besides his door. I called him comforting him about that I saw him and Rose. His reply was Debbie your seeing things. He drive a big F-150 truck. You can’t miss someone being in his truck. He wasn’t worry about that I was up-set he was worry about that i left the stuff he gave me outside. Not once did he ask if I was ok….

    After reading all the posting Mel fit right into then all. I latter learn Rose is just as Bad she know everything because he tell her. But instead of moving on she hang on. Mel even told me at the end. They stay talk about having sex with each other. He would have sex with me and go home and call her up and well. Maybe another N.?? But it was time to end it. The sad fact is where we work a lot of women thinks he so nice. After reading the ex posting I knew I needed to tell my story to.

    what makes me mad or sad. Mel knew my heart was hurt before. I told him right out if you Rose have a thing going on. I go because i dont want to be hurt no more. Welll duh me believe what he told me.He would not.

  • Maryland

    After reading cat blog about the guy who still wanted to be a friend; I wanted to filp. The lasted thing Mel had said to me was: Since things didn’t work out for us can’t we still be friends…. Mind you he didn’t once say Deb even those I lie to you didn’t want to tell you the truth i want my control. This was me,They

    lose trust in themselves, feeling stupid for not having realized his true character..

    I had beat myself up for falling for his B.S. I sure have saw the flags. I was the perfect victim. I had came out of a relationship(8 years) was took for grant it at the end. I put my heart out there and I’m ready to help. I had even told Mel that I must have been wearing my F.. me over sign. He thought it was funny and said nothing. But I did telll him what goes around comes around. His reply was I dont care. I just keep moving on.

  • Lisa

    I’m a little confused and find the blogs posted very helpful and informative. My story is a little different but I’m finding the lasting affects the same. I had just ended a roller coaster relationship with this guy when I was reacquainted with a childhood friend. I wasn’t interested in another relationship because I need time to myself. He and I became friends and our conversations were limited to getting caught up to date on each other’s life. At first he was funny and we shared similar interests and our friendship was harmless. Once he made me the object of his desire all that changed. He became obsessed, demanding, pushy and overly emotional. He tried selling the “fairy tale” on me and I wasn’t buying. I repeatedly told him I wasn’t interested in a relationship but that didn’t stop him. We live in different states but I did manage to meet him over two different occasions. I enjoyed his company and even thought I might like him or at least like to see where our relationship might go in the future. He said all the right things… you are so intelligent, funny and beautiful. I was told on a daily bases how perfect I am and how all he wants to do is take care of me. Although those words are every woman’s dream I was very strong and very adamant that I needed time to myself. I wasn’t interested in a relationship and each time I told him he would get overly emotional and start calling me selfish, cruel and heartless. Each time he said those things to me I would ask if I am all those things why do you want me. As I had done over the course of 5 years my ex-boyfriend and I started seeing each other again and that sent the N over the edge. He was constantly telling me I need to pick who I’m going to see and each time I said my ex because he wasn’t overly emotion, pushy nor did he call me names. After a few weeks of this I found myself feeling anxious, confused and drained of energy. No matter what I said or how I said it the N wouldn’t stop. He was convinced I was the love of his life and he wasn’t going to stop until he had me. I knew his behavior wasn’t normal and I fought against all his demands but for some reason I kept talking to him. Finally once I realized he hacked into my email I became suspicious. He is a self proclaimed computer geek so I knew he had the know how and the desire. He wanted me to believe he was so connected to me on a psychic level and that he knew what I was thinking at any given moment. I started noticing a pattern that he would question me about something after I would send an email requesting information. He made it sound like he was getting a vision or a vibe. He wanted me to be impressed but instead I wouldn’t validate his accuracy… I could tell that frustrated him. Finally when I felt I was pretty confident I baited him with a fictitious email and within 24 hours he was questioning me. In the email I made it sound like a guy was visiting me from out of town and how much I was looking forward to seeing him. I didn’t send the email instead saved it as a draft. He swore he saw a vision of me on the beach with a guy and a drink in my hand and accused me of seeing another guy. I denied it and he became irate. That’s when I confronted him and of course he turned everything back on me calling me paranoid and insane. He never once acknowledged that the only way he would have known was if he hacked into my email. I haven’t heard from him since and after doing some research I have realized that once the N is confronted and the fantasy shattered they move on. Even though I wasn’t in a full blown relationship with him and even though I fought his “crazy making” I am still left with a feeling of confusion. Nearly 2 months have passed and I don’t know why I’m still feeling the effects of him. It’s like I can’t let go because I’m trying to understand and make sense of his behavior. I am glad that I listened to my gut and didn’t get into a serious relationship with him. I know my outcome would have been the same as all the stories I have read… the fairy tale would have ended in heart break.

  • lolasoul

    After a few weeks of this I found myself feeling anxious, confused and drained of energy….
    Hey Lisa..that’s the Hallmark of these individuals; crazy-making energy drains. I know for me I simply had a hard time wrapping my brain around the insanity of it all. I just couldn’t comprehend the “unreal” behaviour. I wanted to make sense of it..and I wanted to believe there was someone actually “in there”…not the immature emotional vaccuum I was dealing with. Even after all is said and done, I still think it lingers awhile as we struggle to understand..and try to empathize with those who do not possess empathy or inner reflection. It boggles the healthy mind : )

  • Lisa

    Iolasoul, you are so right. My communication lasted over 8 months and when I think of the things that were said and done I’m left perplexed at how I allowed it to go on as long as it did. I reread your blog and you hit the nail on the head… he became some type of addiction for me. I can honestly say it took everything in me not to contact him over the last 2 months. That’s after everything he did to manipulate me. I would love nothing more than to demand an explanation from him regarding the email hacking. I want him to admit it but then I found this web site and I realize he’ll never admit he did anything wrong and I have to accept that I know the truth. Now I actually look at the email hacking as a gift because I would probably still be battling with him to this day. I see it as a blessing because otherwise he may still be draining the life out of me. You are also correct in saying this experience will teach me about myself. I have learned my instincts are accurate and I need to always listen to my gut. I also learned I need to react much sooner and not allow bad behavior drag out too long. There were red flags flying shortly after he and I started talking and I should have ended it immediately. He explained his emotional outbursts and need for constant reassurance as a result of being creative and artistic. His personality was quite a contradiction. He would tell me he is insecure and needs constant praise but when I would call his behavior desperate he would tell me he’s the best at everything he does and is the most confident person I’ll ever know. He loved telling me that I have never really been loved and that no one will ever love me like him. He was even honest with me from the very beginning when he said he’s good at saying what people want to hear in order for him to get his way. I called that manipulation and told him I’m not easily manipulated but in the end I was. I allowed his behavior to negatively affect me much longer than I should have. So the lesson I am taking away from this is; 1. to feel confident in my intuition and 2. to end bad relationships as soon as it goes bad. I also learned I was wrong thinking he and I could be friends once he became obsessed. I realize now that not everyone is going to respect my needs for personal growth and when they don’t that means they don’t respect me as a person. I am now rested, my anxiety is back to normal and I’m enjoying spending time with family and friends. Slowly but surely he is becoming a distant memory.

  • Heather

    Lolasoul, your post of june 23 really helped. My relationship with an N was short too but I was equally addicted. The way you felt about him, the confusion over his behaviour, and the loneliness and confusion afterwards – yes, that describes it. I KNOW he’s damaged goods and doesn’t think or truly care about anyone but himself – I experienced it every day for months – but months later I still can’t get him out of my head. I thought I’d be over him by now, but no. I still suspect if he came back (he’s cut all contact so I doubt it) I’d take him. I’m scared he’ll contact me because I might not have the willpower, yet I’m also still utterly hurt that he hasn’t! (Unlike you and Lisa, I’m not glad I had this experience. It’s done too much damage.) I’m a reasonably intelligent woman with my life mostly under control; I can’t believe that I know what he is and remember how much I hated his behaviour, yet still can’t get over him. It was really encouraging to read that you let him back in but just found him boring and tedious. I almost wish mine would come back so I could experience that too, and move on.

  • Lisa

    Heather, don’t get me wrong I think of my N everyday which is what causes me the most confusion. I am reading a book called Narcissistic Lovers and it’s helping me make sense of it all. I have found that learning and understanding the N has helped me heal and move forward. I recommend it to anyone who is trying to recover from the effects of an N.

  • Robert

    I dated a female narcissist for about 6 months long distance and it left me as an emotional puddle for months. Am only just getting past it now, and still only at the beginning stages of that recovery.

    The promise was enormous and the delivery was literally nothing. That includes sex, gifts (that was supposedly bought for my birthday, but I never actually received anything – in fact not so much as a card, and it was a “big” birthday, for which she failed to turn up to even at the last minute) …

    Here are a few highlights:

    She’s insanely beautiful in the most natural way. She always made a thing about not doing her hair as if that was a badge of honor. The thing is she was still stunning even without making the slightest effort.

    The promise of sex was like from a porn film, but the delivery was nothing – using lines like “We’ll never get this (innocent) time together again if we spend the rest of our lives together”

    She claimed to have had anorexia, though who know what to believe. She later also claimed to have been raped, but again, it’s difficult to know what the truth was. Certainly it would explain much of the behavior, but it was also apparent that her dad was a broken man and her mother (and maternal grandmother) were ball-breakers of note.

    She was obsessed with male impotence, claiming several men had been impotent with her, and yet she was so lovely to look at I couldn’t keep the thing down! This is something that seemed to surprise her, saying things like “Confident, aren’t you?” … which is a strange thing to say to a guy on reflection – I mean, why on earth wouldn’t I be.

    Persistent secrecy, evasion, avoidance, half truths, never answering questions properly.

    Always talking about men, ex-boyfriends and male friends in terms of how wonderful they were.

    Being very defensive when questioned after rank bad behavior.

    The list was endless, but suffice to say my confidence took the biggest hammering while I was with this girl who could never finish with me despite my asking her several times where she could have done it with dignity and ease.

    In the end I simply had to ignore her birthday and our “anniversary” – something I’m sure she probably didn’t even notice as there were bound to be many other dudes hanging around her.

    The only thing I can suggest in hindsight is that there was a distinct lack of empathy for her fellow human beings right from the outset, and these people do leave clues … however small. I remember she once said her sister wouldn’t introduce her to men any more because “she knows what I’m like” … I took that to mean she was probably a bit fussy … now I know better.

    So much more to tell, but this gets a bit off my chest … beware fellas, there are narcissist women out there – and they’ll be disguised as sweet beauties.

  • Robert

    PS … I visited a homeopath to help me sort this out and eliminate the N-woman from my mind – I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

  • Anonymous

    Well when I left my N. Or should I say he left me in the parking lot. I was devasted and ended up in therapy. I couldnt wrap my mind around human beings treating someone the way he did me. The ignorance, the rage and anger, the unwilligness to communicate. He had a hard time dealing with anything. I felt as though I had gotten better and because I felt as though I had made alot of mistakes myself (immajurity, games, desperateness, no self respect) I choice to contact him and stay friends. Right off the bat he started making sexual advances (which I think is common for bad men not just the narcissist) and hit me up for a loan. As soon as he got both his attitude change. He kept reminding me of just being friends. This time around though I saw him in a different light. I saw the women he was associating with. Women with no jobs and addictions, also married women. I was apalled to say the least. So I backed out hurt, wondering why? I’m a great catch, a loyal person, loving and caring person. This time I set out for what I wanted to do. I had to make sure all the mistakes I made (not worrying about his actions) I rectified. I grew, matured, and spoke my mind in a positive way. As it stands now I left it as friends. But when this man is in my life, all my goals and ambitions seem to disapear. I am in a state of confusion and depression. It still hurts (I love this man) and I told him this time around. But Its been less then two weeks and I am not nearly as devasted as I was the first time. I couldnt fuction, I fell into a depression so deep and black something I had never experienced before. I read the signs of a narcissit and he really doesnt meet even five of them. But I believe he may be a somatic narcissit (if that is correct) it just concerns relationship with women? Because hes not into his appearance, nor does he seem arrogant. So now I’m confused. This most recent time though, he opened up a little more and here are some of the things he said. “I feel numb inside” “Sometimes I wonder if I even have a heart” ” I cant take any more heartache” “My soul cant take anymore hurt”. Wow this man has some deep routed issues. Do I love him? Or do I want to heal him?

    Thanks for listening

  • Freya

    I’m not sure if I am scared or relieved to know that I am not the only one to have gone through this with someone. Relieved to feel less crazy but scared that there are so many N’s out there.

    My recent experience has been relatively short lived but I feel damaged. I have also just discovered that I am pregnant to this guy (who I am no longer seeing). I actually think that he made a point of trying to get me pregnant from the start.

    I honestly don’t have the energy to relay the whole story right now but suffice to say..this person is a clinical psychologist working with very vulnerable adults. It worries me because he is a dangerous person to be in such a position of power.

    He fits the descriptions of a person with NPD exactly. He never stopped talking about his achievements and how good he was at everything, would send me pictures of him naked completely out of the blue, put me down in every aspect of my life, from my profession to my personal relations and sent me endless abusive messages. As far as he is concerned I am the one with all the problems.

    Its left me feeling awful. Really awful. Now I have to pick myself up and deal with the current situation.

    I take courage from these stories though and I will hopefully never fall for such a character again.

  • Freya

    Thank you Lisa for your suggestion of the book Narcissistic Lovers. I’ve just ordered a copy.

  • Heather

    Robert – I was interested to read about your N partner not showing for your major birthday. Mine did exactly the same thing to me, also for a major one. Went off with his mates the day before, didn’t show up when he said he would, and when I got upset, didn’t come home at all. Told his mates we needed “time out”. On my birthday!!

    I’ve been split up from mine almost a year now (he walked out, seems he’s good at that), and I’m still struggling with the rejection he’s dished out. He won’t have any contact, not even face to face at sport where the cold atmosphere is pretty horrible, so I texted him recently to ask if he’s ready to be civil again yet, only to be told it is all my fault – because I’d deleted him on facebook! I was gobsmacked! I spent the first 6 months trying to keep some – any – sort of contact going (weak I know, but I wasn’t in any way over him), while he stood me up to my face, wouldn’t talk to me, turned his back and walked away at sport, and stopped sending even the superficial texts that he sent for a few weeks, or answering mine. So I took him off facebook. And as soon as he noticed, he then blocked me on it. And he’s blaming ME?! He seems totally unaware of his own behaviour, only mine. Seriously, these people are emotionally dysfunctional. You can’t deal rationally with them!
    I wish I’d never met him. And I wish I could just let it go…

  • dumbfounded

    I understand that this blog is not focused on narcissism. Yet, someone suffering in a relationship with a partner who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder might stumble across your post and have an “aha” moment. It may be difficult to imagine, but in some extreme cases living with a NPD person can be very dangerous, even fatal. Typically, a person in such a relationship will be very confused, neurotic, and self doubting. Also, friends, family, and even mental health professionals will have difficulty understanding. If one of your readers believes they might be in such a situation, feels isolated, cannot see a way through, and wants to learn more – one of the best places to start is the following book:

    The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists
    Coping With the One-way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
    Eleanor D. Payson M.S.W

    If you are confused, hurting, and believe you might be in such a relationship please read this book. The author understands what you are going through and has written it in a way that will bring you clarity, awareness, and a path to a healthier life. I do not plug books, I rarely post on the internet but this is THE book – it is a life saver.

    • Susan Walsh

      Thanks for sharing that resource, this article still gets a lot of hits, so I know that people are searching for this information and reading it here.

  • Britt

    Sorry this is so long. I sent this directly to Susan, but I wanted to give everyone who encounters this website a chance to read my story.. I met an “amazing” woman in May of 2010. Honestly, this type of behavior is prevalent in same-sex relationships. Most  people think it’s just them being difficult because of being hurt. That’s what I thought. Anyway. Initially, I didn’t like her in a romantic sense. She got on my nerves, but it forged a unique friendship. She had everything going for her. In college, working a full-time job, and basically the works. My family was like she was quite charming and seemed really nice. In June of 2010, we became a couple. She seemed like a Cowgirl Casanova. Romantic, flirty, charming, witty, etc. Until about June 18 all was swell, but then she got upset about me shutting down emotionally because I was grieving for my great-grandmother . On a social media website [Twitter], she decided to call me a man, started calling me Brett/Brent, and her followers on Twitter started doing it. I forgave her for that. i figured she acted out of anger or hurt. To this very day, she has never apologized for it. Every time we broke up, she initiated it and it was ALWAYS my fault. When she sought new relationships/conquests while with me, it was my fault, too. She described me as amazing, perfect, and the true love of her life. Yet, she was always looking for the next. In August 2010 we broke up again. Reason? It was because I wouldn’t show the birthday gift (a $400 Coach handbag) to friends during a video chat. She flipped. I mean like “Snapped” TV type irate. We got back together later on. On September 23, she broke up with me for another girl who was my polar opposite. I was a college and grad school graduate, independent in every sense, and heading to medical school after leaving a lucrative finance career. This young lady was unemployed, lived with her parents, and knew about me. She always and currently still goes for the opposite of me. All of her exes were codependent and needy. Financially, I didn’t need her. I needed attention, love, and I was good. She could not handle me being financially stable and well-off without her. I remember one night she said, “I could never marry you because of your level of wealth.” I knew at that moment something was way off. After a month of “playing” with and using the young lady , she dropped her and came back. I accepted her because at that point I was still head over heels in love. (Think Beyoncé “Countdown” type of love.) We were good until December when she broke up with me b/c I was possibly going to miss NYE with her. I chartered a private jet, so that I could land a bit after 1 AM. Do you know that I spent hours on a flight, and she did NOT appreciate it or even acknowledge my effort? I severed ties with her after that. In January, she dated one of her followers for a minute. We started being civil in February 2011. I was supposed to see her the 28th, and the airline cancelled my flight and rescheduled for the next morning. The same evening, she was bragging about being with a new chick and how she was done with me. Three days later, she was sleeping with her. She stuck with her for a month, and we maintained a civil level of respect. First part of April, enter another follower on Twitter. She started another relationship/sex thing only. It drove me to spend two weeks in London to try to breathe and recover. All the while, she was texting me about how much she loved me, missed me, etc. Mind you she was in the girl’s bed, house, and overall presence doing this. Fast forward to May/June/July, she started ANOTHER no strings attached relationship. When the young lady started to develop feelings, she kicked her to the curb faster than the speed of light. She talked about her so bad after the demise. One day, we were on Skype. The girl was at work, and she was Skyping me. Yes, in her house while she was gone. We got back together in September 2011. She asked me if I minded her having female friends. I was like no. I asked her if she was trying to get to know someone on that level, and she refused to answer. She sent a text after abruptly ending the call. She was like, “I met someone a few weeks ago, and I could see myself liking her.” Mind you guys only  a mere hours before she was like, “I stopped looking for someone the day I met you, and you’re the only one for me.” But she was getting to know this new person on a potential romantic level. Cue the fireworks and hell. We argued, and then she cited she couldn’t do a long distance relationship–even short term–after just 11 days of being back together. The new young lady lives 5 or 6 hours away, so I call BS. She’s rubbing it in about talking to her and blah blah blah. The new girl is obviously dense b/c just hours before she was professing her  love for me publicly and privately. I guess she’s OK with knowing that my ex is still in love with me. My ex is a Narcissisistic being, and I wish I had known in advance. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Nothing I did was good enough or right. Nothing was appreciated. She doubted I loved her. She showed no empathy. I could cry in front of her, and she would continue eating or doing whatever she was like it wasn’t happening. She carried on with her no strings attached things, and she knew she was hurting me. She didn’t care. Even with all of this, I still loved her. I made excuses for everything. With the birthday gift thing it was “maybe she feels like I’m not happy with the gift after she spent time picking it out.” With the girl she left me for…it was “maybe I wasn’t there emotionally.” I made so many excuses and exceptions. I’m not a low self-esteem having woman. It was something about her that I loved. I saw the good in her. I saw the side that only I got to see…the side that I loved. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. It’s been up and down since June 2010. The number of people she had been with sexually has doubled or tripled. I would have been number 13 back in 2010. Now? Well, into the 20s, and it’s still climbing. She’s only 23. She uses them with no care or concern. With one, she used her for sex and because she cooked for her. She uses these weak women as place holders because she swears no one can ever have the chemistry or sizzling heat that we had. She said things like, “I want to marry you,” but then proceeded to break my heart knowing it hurt me every single time. To an outsider looking in, we had an amazing relationship. Minus her flip outs and Dr. Jekyll/Ms. Hyde side. Our chemistry was noticed by perfect strangers. Out of all the women she’s dated or whatever, I’m the only one who has never had sex with her. I saw how she treated them after sex, and it was repulsive. She swears that her exes–including me–are the reason every relationship has failed. She can’t see fault in her ways. She’s incapable of doing it. If you have questions, feel free to ask. I hope your guys get something out of my story and avoid making the same mistakes. It’s now a lesson learned. Things are bad right now. Post most recent break up. She has threatened to post my private pictures on Twitter to blackmail me. I have hired a couple of attorneys, and I am taking out an ex parte Civil Harassment Order of Protection to prevent her from blackmailing me, contacting me, or even speaking of me. If she violates it, she will be in contempt of court. It’s a drastic measure, but she believes she can do what she want and always get away with it. Readers if you get nothing out of this story, please get out of the relationship unless you are with someone who is willing to undergo therapy. It will save you from riding on this endless roller coaster and experiencing the greatest pain you’ve ever known.

    As far as signs, to the public, they are so charming, sweet, and just all around grade A people–until the other side comes out. You begin to question your sanity. Am I crazy for thinking he/she overreacts to everything? They feel no empathy. You can cry, whine, moan, and they will have no response. She used every positive adjective to describe me, but she was always looking for the next or something better. They cannot take fault and feel no remorse about embarrassing others. You will go crazy because you will be forced to censor your thoughts/feelings to avoid constant arguments or senseless break-ups every other week. You always feel like you’re walking close to a bear trap and tip toeing around it. Narci’s will flip on you in seconds flat. One minute you’re the love of their life, and the next? You’re the devil incarnate who can burn in hell. They hate criticism and never tell them they have NPD. There are two sets of rules. She could have female friends and sleep with everybody in/out of the relationship. If she found out I was talking to someone while we weren’t together, she became insanely jealous. They are very controlling even when you aren’t together. They promise things will be different, but they will never change. It’s detrimental to your overall health. There is no way to win.

  • Marie

    For almost twelve years, I have been married to an abusive alcoholic.  I have tried to leave, but have gotten sucked back in over and over.  A few nights ago, I found out that he met a woman while deployed and started a relationship with her.  He continued to call her for months after he returned back to the states.  I only found out because I looked at the cell phone bill that he usually pays.  After confronting him, he didn’t deny it, nor did he show any remorse for having the relationship.  He actually informed me that he has no plan on leaving me, nor does he plan on giving her up.   I know he is in the relationship with her, even though she is clear on the other side of the country, because she feeds his ego.  He likes to talk to her because she thinks he is a great guy.  Of course, he is a charmer.  He is also a narcisist.  He refuses to accept the blame for anything.  He spends an excessive amount of money on whitening his teeth and dressing snappy for work.  He constantly tells me how good looking he is for his age and checks himself out in the mirror on a regular basis.

    Now that I know he is having another affair, I plan on leaving him.  He has been trying hard to get me to “show him passion”.  Three days ago, he wouldn’t even touch me.  Now he is groping me, telling me he “loves me” and trying to get me to stay.  However, he is continuing to talk to her on the phone.

    For years he claimed that I was the abusive one because he would make accusations and point out flaws and when I defended myself, he provoked the defensiveness and I would lose my temper.   I realize now that this is manipulation and his way of maintaining the upper hand.

    God willing, I will be a survivor of his abuse.  I really feel for his next victim.  I weas wife #3.

    • Susan Walsh

      I don’t know if you have a support network, but I urge you to get some real support. You recognize the need to leave, and you must see it through!

  • help wanted

    I can’t figure it out, but I think my husband could be. i’ve been misera ble for years. need help.

  • Lauren

    I’ve never dated a narcissist, but I was raised by one. My mother fits this description PERFECTLY. If you have children with a narcissist, do yourself and, more importantly, your children a favor and GET OUT.

  • Pat McClendon

    Thanks for the article. I started a blog this year after surviving a narcissist:

    I still cannot believe that I didn’t see the “red flags” or ignored them! Good luck to the survivors and those trying to escape! — Pat


  • Cynthia Cornall

    I just got out of a relationship with one a few days ago… he left me though. He said he need to get his self together, then we can be together.. Even though I know he was one, I still find it VERY difficult to get over it. It was a very unhealthy relationship, but I did love him still.., Let me tell you I been through the ringer with him! I seen it all and I been threw it all.
    While is was reading this post, I related to every single thing. The said part is i let him know that I felt and my mother felt he is one, but he laughed it off like its no big thing, he was interested either… I need help recovering and getting my self back to the way I was before he cam in and stayed for 11 1/2 yrs :(

  • Tara

    My uncle is a narcissist and so is my Grandma. Our family is pretty messed up because of their behaviors over the last few years. No one knows how to deal with them or talk to them anymore (my grandma might be going demented as well but she definitely has narcissistic tendencies: the older i get, i notice). It’s like living a fake life around them. what do you do when your family members are narcissistic? I love them and want to help them but they both will never listen to reason or accept others opinions. They are always right, lie, manipulate and overreact to the point of not speaking to people for months and even a year. It is extremely stressful to the point that our family is falling apart. Can a narcissist ever change? How can i help bring our family together again..or can I? The behavior is so ridiculous that if they weren’t family, I would choose to never have them in my life because the selfishness is so beyond comprehension and normality. Help!

  • JRT

    Sorry for the long email but I desperately need help from someone who has experieneced anything similar having dated somewon with this disorder!! I have been dating a guy for 8 months- he’s been struggling with severe depression since before we met and perhaps I used this as an excuse for his most bizarre behaviour. Ive fallen in love with him but after doing some reaserch I have realised that he has full blown NBPD (Narcissistic Borderline Personality Disorder). We started out having a ‘casual relationship’ as requested by him. I was coming out of a marriage and he used this a the reason as to why after 5 months he had still not developed any feelings but continued to see me and be intimate at least once or twice a week. I (stupidly) continued to see him in the hope that he would develop feelings as I had. After finding out that I had met one of his friends who was now intestrested in me, he marked his claim saying that he had finally developed feelings and wanted our relationship to be more serious. He was always emotionally distant, finding it very difficult to be affectionate or cuddle (even when I was pretending to be asleep and he tried to rub my back or shoulder, I could feel his unease), he is obsessed with himeslf and his life before he got depressed (he claims that it was caused by a chemical balance from taking too many party drugs in his party days) – always telling me how he used to wear designer clothes, had any girl he wanted- he has slept with over 200 women and cant rememeber half of them, suddnely doesnt feel good about his body like he used to because he had’ put on so much weight from his anti-depressant’ but he eats like a pig.) He is a specilaist Doctor so he is sucessful but cant get on with anyone at work and always blames the other party- saying that they dont like him because he is Jewish or because he is so successful etc He even gets into arguments with his psychiatrist and believes he is always right. He has told me that he is in love with me but when things become too comfortable for him suddenly he becomes distant, wont respond to my messages, feels nothing about ignoring me for hours- he breaks up with me all the time, when he feels insecure, when he feels like my life and (minor) day to day issues become too much for him to handle. Once he even broke up with me because he said that he didnt like me point of view and it was off putting (it was around something completely unimpotrant). When he breaks up with me he makes a point of telling all his friends, then he removes me from facebook and a phone messaging application and tells me to ‘lose his number’ if I try contact him. I am always to blame for our problems, he says that I am self centred meanwhile I bend over backwards to accommodate him and his illness. He cuts me out regularly without even a moments thought and doesnt feel a thing. He call me his ‘trophy’ when we go out and only when I pull back and he feels insecure does he send me messages and showers me with a minimal amount of affection. When I have other plans, he tells me to cancel them and come see him because I should be his no 1 priority but he will never cancel to accommodate me. He is very defnsive if I try and talk to him and if I raise any issues about his behaviour, he asks me to leave his house because Im upsetting him. He is almost like a 3 year old child, impossible to reason with. It always about what he feels upto doing, what he wants to eat, where he wants to go. He is currently taking time out ‘to think about things’ and when I tell him that I love him and want to make it work, he tells me that he hwas wissened up to my manipulative ways and has come to expect it from me. He is so set ion hos ways and will pass wind and do things without any regard. Most men I know are relatively private about this until a more comfortable stage of a relationship. He says that he has commitment phobis- he is 34 and has had 2 girlfriends in his life with his longest being 4 months (before me). Everyone calls him wierd and my best friend who has met him tells me he is creepy but I cant let go of him. He is very serious and I try make him laugh and make things light hearted, I try keep him busy and make every occassion special for him. He is very set in his ways and will not take anyone elses opinions or feelings into account, ever. Please help and tell me how I get out of this, he is like a bad drug!

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  • Jeff

    Interesting, the statistic that 75% of narcissists are men; as a man whose every relationship has been with a female narcissist, I must be a rare bird. The latest literally says, “It’s all about me” and wonders why I can’t be as happy as she is with the way things are. I love her. I seem to attract these women. Look at the dating sites – most of the women’s profiles (in my area, anyway) scream narcissism. The ones I’ve met over the years are even worse than their profiles. If there are “so few good men out there,” I suppose those of us who are genuinely good are just out of luck because we won’t tell women what they want to hear just to get them in bed. I won’t date either, anymore, I don’t think, once the current Hurricane has passed. It’s just too much effort. I really believe narcissism is increasingly rewarded in our culture, thus a new narcissist is born every day. Sad.

  • http://www.Facebook Maryland

    I adgree with you. really believe narcissism is increasingly rewarded in our culture, thus a new narcissist is born every day. Sad. Today it becoming it alll about me NOT you. Like me you get draw to people like that because you want to fix them and thier problems, I dont it to many times now.
    My N would tell me just give it time for us.All long he was still asking his ex-for sex and then running after another woman. I kick myself right in the ass. Then he would say Oh were just friends. Then the night i caught then out togther he did try to turn things around and made me look like the fool. Like someone said.I know I will never get the truth from him.But I know what the truth is.I look at that night as a farewell to me And best of luck to me finding someone who Not a N. Have I learn my lesson,YES!. Do I still wish I had say something yes I do.Next person comes into my life and i see the red flags.I gone.I had stop fixing people issues.

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  • Cattleya

    Yesterday I tried to write but I lost my page after writing one page. Anyway I want to share with you what I have been through lately. I have so much to say but it would reuire to write a book. I will try to make it short. You are talking about 15, 10, 5 years, me I want to tell you what I have seen within the last 3 weeks. I met this Narcissitic guy online. Then we move to phones calls and finally we met. It was about 12 months ago. However, as we spoke on the phone, I knew something was wrong but I was not sure what. He always called me and said “ do you want to see me.?” Or do you want to see papa today” “ come see me” He never said “ I want to see you.” However I thought that it was a mistake , he wanted to joke and was hoping that he had some feelings. I tried to keep my distance because he was talking to me but by the same time he was with another girl. I told him that I do not like to play games, to see if he will make a decision and leave her as he was saying that he was not happy, but he did not do anything. Each time he went back to the girl and would disappear for 1 month and will come back again. I was dreaming of true love and hoping that he will come and say “ I made my decision I want to be with you. But that N man does not know what is love. He cannot live without anyone who loves him. He wants to find someone first before to leave you. I kept asking him :
    “why you go back if you are not happy|”. He never gave me the answer. About 4 weeks ago, he contacted me , talking negatively about his ex and saying that it was over. He even moved and found a place near my home. Then he started visiting with me. 3 weeks were a hell to me . I got the chance to see who really is that man. He is not working now and when I went to work he would text or call me like 10 times to tell me that he was bored!!! Imagine a man who actes like a 5 year old kid. He even asked me to go home early or tell work that I was sick so that I could go see him!!! I was confused but sometimes thinking that he missed me. The first incident was the first weekend. I had to go to another city to visit my daughter in a college. Before that, while talking about things, I told him that my kids are my priority, I told him that he was doing wrong not seeing his 10 year old son, but spent time with his ex girlfriend and her kids when none of them are his. We are in February but he did not give his son Christmas gifts yet. Anyway he knew since 5 days that I had a plan to see my daughter. When came time to leave, he turned red, he almost cry saying that I do not want to spend time with him… I could not understand anything. Then I promised him that instead of spending the long weekend away I will be back the very next day. And that was what I did. Once back I tried to contact him and he ignored me. Finally when I saw him after 3 days he told me that he did not get back to me bse he wanted to focus on his life and his son and not being worried about women. He was saying exactly what I told him and what I did with my daughter and was making it his idea. He refused to talk and we separated, after 4 days he called. I told him that I did not need him. He kept leaving messages and saying that he did not mean anything bad ,that he only had a hard time because he was not healed yet from suffering cause by previous relationship. Finally I was tired of his calls and decided to hear him. He came to my place but believe me he did not explain anything. He did not apologize he was telling me that it was me who was acting crazy! I gave him another try again but the more I listened to him the more I noticed that I do not exist in his life. He was telling me that he did not want serious relationship because he wanted to heal from the wounds caused by the ex , but he wanted to have sex with me!!! and controlling me. He was not happy if I have to stay at work for 30 minutes to finish my job, or to have business meeting at a restaurant after work. He wanted to control me but by the same time did not want me, or love me. He started putting me down. He never gave me compliments and I am a very nice looking women, my appearance is very important and I get compliments everyday from coworkers and friends. That N man never said anything positive about me. One day he told me “ “did you go to school”. And I tell you that I have a college degree and he does not. I have a job and he does not. I have a home and he does not.
    He never paid attention to me. He asked me questions and would give him answers and will ask the same questions again the very next day. I am older that he is but that is not a reason to keep asking me how old I am??! He does not even know who I am, my back ground. I try to tell him but he did not want to pay attention. I come from a different society and culture and we had a tragedy and my husband died, when I explained what happened to my country he did not show any empathy, he said like I was telling a boring story “ you are stupid why did you accept to be killed, why you did not get up and defend yourself?
    He always has cash on him. Hundreds dollars bills and money will be gone the very next day. I believe he does drug too. He called other people losers, and when he is not happy about some one he will say I am going to kill him, I will take his head and smash it all kind of bad things. I do not know what attracted me , maybe it was because he kept coming back and was hopping that it was about love. Also he would ask me to spent time with him but forget maybe who I was and start telling me who he wanted to date!! How he wanted to join I thought that he saw me as a toy or doormat. Also sex was horrible. He only kissed the first time, other time he wanted sex without a kiss. He could not hold me when sitting together on the couch. I saw the ending coming quickly. He wanted to take a trip but he did not want to pay. If I want to buy something he would tell me what to buy, the expensive one and will add “just buy it for me!!!” My children never met him yet but they know that he does exist. The biggest mistake he made was that he sent friendship request to my daughter on facebook after that I told him no. He thought that it was funny!! Last weekend was the horrible for me. I told him that talking about other women was a proof that I was nothing to him, I told him that I have a heart and that he should respect out relationship. He started saying that it was me who had issues, that he was kidding and that I never know when he is joking of not. I told him that I had a heart and he responded that he had a heart too and pointed at his chest meaning the organ not emotion. Gosh , He went to his place, I called him and told him that I need a man to be there for support and not to use me until he finds other women. He said that he was kidding. He never meant that, I told him that I am older enough and does not want to waste my time with him. I told him to move on and find someone else or go back to his ex. He did not contact me since last Sunday. But believe me or not, I am sure he went back to his ex. That N man cannot live without a woman with him!! But I am sure he does not love them, He does not have a heart. He does not have friends he always talk about how nice he is to others and how his buddies want to be with him, but I have found that he does not have friends, except 2 female friends who are married!!! And they met when the husbands are not there!!! Very strange. I hope he will not contact me again!!

  • Christine

    Thank you so, so, SO much for writing this. My ex fits every sentence of this article exactly. He hurt me so badly that I went into therapy and almost failed a class because of how devastated I was. He treated me awfully, my friends wanted to beat him up, but I was so caught in the web that I couldn’t leave until he irreconcilably hurt me.

    Later I found out from a mutual friend that he actually has a secret trail of women he has hurt in the same manner, but his manipulation skills mean that very few people know the wreck he is inside. He is good at acting very charming and “normal” but inside it is an empty hole. Plus, victims are often afraid of say anything in fear of causing “Drama”.

    Slowly but surely I am getting over him, but after a year of psychological distress it has been a highly difficult process. Thanks again for posting this.

  • Cattleya

    Thank you Christine for reading my comment and adding yours, You know girls we should get together and support each other. N people do not have a heart. Let me tell you what is funny and sad, I ended the relationship on February 20th, he went silent and I was chocked to see that he called me on February 28th!! I did not pick up the phone, but still, what does he think? That I am stupid? He did not leave a message I saw a missed call. I am determined to let him go find other victims; I hope he will not show at my door one day when he will realize that I do not want to answer his phone calls. It is unimaginable how hard it is to live with someone who wants your love but does not love you back!!!!

  • Marie

    I thought I would follow up with my post in November. I finally had enough this past week. I tried to convince him that the children and I were worth more than his alcohol and his mistress, but realized that nothing was changing for the better, so I finally filed for divorce. I also got a temporary restraining order on him so he had to leave the house. He refused to move out after repeated requests and I couldn’t take one more night of abuse.
    My children and I started seeing counselors a few months ago. I feel validated by her identifying him as a Narcissist, based on what I have told her. That has helped my self-esteem quite a bit. I had believed I was the bad guy in our relationship for so long because he made me feel like my anger at his abuse was the problem, not the abuse he dished out.
    I am dreading the next several months – going through the divorce. I am hoping that he moves across the country to live with his mistress, but I doubt that will last long. Regardless, I am glad he is out of my life, but the lonely feelings are difficult to deal with. I wanted to be married for life… not a divorced woman in my 30s.

  • http://www.Facebook Maryland

    I understand about having those lonely feelings.But for know you have push thought them. Fix your self first before you let another person come into your life.You dont want to be carry those issues with you.

    Here what Christine blog. (He is good at acting very charming and “normal” but inside it is an empty hole. Plus, victims are often afraid of say anything in fear of causing “Drama”.) This was how my N acted at work. When the truth came out about him everyone went. No way.! he such a nice guy. I to didn’t want to the Drama because it would had made me look like the fool. Why I kept sticking around. So your not alone.

  • Bobby

    My girlfriend I was going to marry last year fit all these traits, I couldn’t figure out why she did some of the things she did, Know I understand. Know the two major things she did was we planned on having a baby, when the relationship got rocky she went out and aborted our kid without me even knowing. The second thing she did was threw the 5k rock in a field full of snow, and showed no regret. When i had her leave the house for good was the only time she showed regrete. She was spoiled and daddy had money, so my question is this. Do you think she was narcissistic, or just spoiled. The other trait was suprisingly she always needed dadd’ys approvel, even though she had a masters degree, and 10 years in the teaching profession.

  • Cattleya

    Bobby ,

    Sorry about who happened to you. I cannot believed she aborted just because the relationship did not work. Not sure if she was narcissistic but the studies show that some N were the result of being spoiled when they were little. And when you spoiled a child, who continues to behave like a kid in adulthood, it is not easy to stop spoiling him/her. The N man I was in relationship with, he always called his father, or would say “ my dad gave me this” ‘if I need money I call my dad” One day I asked him where his father finds money to give him?? What I can tell you Bobby, it could be spoiling or not but I am sure the family of N knows that they have problems. If I have one more chance to speak to my N man I would ask him if his family never told him that he has a problem. I am sure their families know and they wish that they can keep a relationship longer. And this is why when they have a little problem, they come running (mom or dad) and tend to spoiled them, probably because they know how their (N) son or daughter behave when they have issues , or parents are afraid that the situation become severe and will not know how to handle it. My N man always said “ I am going to tell my dad” like a baby who depends on his parents…. Believe me their family members know everything and keep it as a secret, spoiling them, hoping maybe that one day it will work!

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  • WarmWoman


    Wanting daddy’s approval could also just be a sign of being co-dependent or the caretaker of a narcissist. I’m not sure if her dad is a narcissist, but a lot of adult children of N’s have a lot of self-doubt and crave for their parent to love them.

    The fact that she threw out 5K with no remorse and got an abortion behind your back sounds vengeful…If you feel like she was a narcissist, she probably is.

  • Drew

    Wow… this article was really insightful. I recently came to terms that I am a narcissist or have NPD (Narcissist Personality Disorder). Everything that was mentioned in this article resonates with what I have been recognizing in my patterns and has caused my most recent relationship to crumble… It is hanging by a thread is even that.

    With that said, I’ve done other research on this and found that this is an extremely hard thing to treat with counseling… As the disorder states, it is also something that I don’t necessarily feel bad about to want to change… logically, I want to be happy and I want to do what is best, but I don’t know what that is.

    On one hand I left my girlfriend go because of selfish reasons of wanting to seek other attention and praise, but also because I recognized that in the long run I would be unfair to her. A part of me wishes that I didn’t feel the way I did and didn’t have the urges that I did, but that isn’t the case.

    This article focuses on how women can avoid narcissists, but is there anything to help narcissists curb their mindset and perhaps develop better behaviors?

    Even in writing this I feel conflicted as I am happy with who I am, yet not…

    Perhaps someone can offer me some insight that I haven’t yet gathered from friends an family to help me understand my thought process and why I don’t feel like I truly know what I want.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Since I told him that it over.He went silent for 2 weeks, the he tried to contact me, i did not responded. He called, left messages, txt me but i never got back to him. One day he showed up at my door and refused to let him in. He went back but did not give up. at least once a week he send txt message. He even called me left a message crying but I did not respond. Then he sent me a pic of him. Each message is different hoping that i will change my mind. I know he is sleeping with other women but why do he continue to play this game? I do not want him anymore, but why he does not get it. He likes to txt Monday night or Tuesday. He is a strange man. How can stop completely him from bothering me?

  • http://www.Facebook Maryland

    Stay strong, I read your posting he wont leave you alone. My N contacted after three months. So I thought I wanted to talk to him in a different frame of mind. Things started out good, laughing.Then it turn to the dark side.He went on to tell me,That he went on to tell me I owe him the big A-and a I’m sorry,.I said for what, for talking bad about him and telling people about him. Hum N can’t handle the truth.

    So I went on to explain how i throught he owe me a I’m sorry. Well he told me he didn’t think so. (NO KIdding) That telling me about another woman all the time and telling me why I could like her was ok in his book. After that I wasn’t mad I just told him good-bye and that I wish him well. N do not chnge at all. This is the lesson I have learned for this. Last I heard the woman Rose is still hanging on because she can’t get no one else.

  • http://www.Facebook Maryland

    Drew, at least you knew that it was unfair to your girlfriend. The best thing you could do was let her go.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Thank you Maryland, this is why I keep visiting this blog to remind me how bad he is and that he cannot change. God I wish I could penetrate his thoughts bse sometimes I think that he thinks I am stupid. But I know there emptiness in his thoughts, even his txt msg are bizarre meaningless. it is like someone who keeps knocking on the door hoping that u will get tired and open.Thank you, let us stay strong.

  • http://www.Facebook Maryland

    I can understand where your coming from. Your welcome, Your not alone, I guess i went to talk to him thinking he would suprise me and say Hey I’m ready for you.But I releized it was nothing more the a game. I to throught the same way,”Was I that needy, haveI really lost my self-esteem. Now I told him I need to move on and find that special someone. I even told him He has Rose who hang on..

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    I don’t see any new post here but I am going to add something anyway, maybe someone will read. and will understand what I have been through . It happened! As I said before that I will let him know that he is a N. He contacted me numerous times and I ignored him. Then last Saturday I went to the bank, just a15 min before the bank closes, he was there. He found me there! I am 100/100 sure that it was not randomly that he found me there, I am sure he saw my car and decided to come to the bank. He told me to wait for me outside, I did bse I want to tell him that I know who he is. Then it was like nothing happened or that we spoke lately , he asked me to go into his car and go to the park. I refused , told him that I do not have time for him anymore, that I don’t want to waste my live and time to someone who wants other to love him and never love anyone. Then he said “yes I love.” Then I asked him who do you love? Or who did you love? I was surprised that he could not tell me who he loved. I don’t think he ever experience love. It was sad. He did not have any remorse or shame. He changed the topic quickly, telling me lies, that he did not c the former ex since last time he saw me, and I am sure it was not true. I told him that he plays sick games and needs therapy. Then he started laughing, this kind for sarcastic laugh about therapy, I tried to explain, I am saying trying to explain because he was avoiding to listen. I told him that he has issue , a problem called Narcissism . Then he laughed again and pretended that he did not understand, he kept repeating Nicessism? Nicessism? He made me sick. I am sure he knows his problem and that was why he was denial and avoiding anything I said. Then I went into details to tell him that N tells lies, grandiosity , belief that he is right and other are wrong, thinking that he is the best , above other and we should follow him whatever he does or said , his way. Let me tell you what he did, he laughed more and showed me again his superiority and grandiosity buy saying that he is happy that I told him that he thinks he is superior, he even said “ THANK YOU:!!!!> he totally dismissed my point . Not sure really if he did not get the point ,or it is always his game. Anyway it is so sick when a man cannot have a serious conversation and face the truth. It was so sad… However I have a strong feeling that it was not the fist time he heard this , and that he was not happy to know that I unveiled who is. No more text since that day, I hope he will not text anymore, I am sure he is in his silent treatment maybe he will start after 2 weeks or 2 months but I am not interested, I want to move on. What do you think, about his attitude that day, if you happens to read this please write something.

  • Maryland

    He was testing you,once again. My N would try to call me and act like nothing happen. Then one day I called him asking him why,he did the things he did.Such as throwing a another woman name in my face.His reply was,” I dont see a problem with that.” I went on tell in also he need ed help with his N.He laugh, told me ,I was mad because he wouldn’t let go of the other woman. The sad part is he really throught that was it.
    Your right those,I’m sure it wasn’t the first he was told that. Because if he wasn’t he would had text you once more. It is sad.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Thank you Maryland, thank u for being there for me. I don’t care anymore that he ignores me, but i am happy now because i know that he knows that I know who he really he is.

  • Marie

    In less than a week, I am moving to a new place. My soon to be ex-husband has not been allowed to talk to me and I have had NO desire to talk to him. He uses our kids to get to me, but I am learning to ignore his pathetic attempts to make me angry. He has done everything he can to try to make me look like the “bad” guy for divorcing him, but I just don’t care. I had a long conversation with his ex-wife (wife #2) and her story was almost identical to mine. That made me feel so much better. There hasn’t been a minute that I regret leaving him. I will miss the financial aspect of being married (as my income will be dropping significantly with this move), but I know getting away from him was for the best.
    He actually tried to force me to go to counseling through our parenting plan, but I refused to allow him to manipulate the situation to appear like it was my fault our marriage failed. He made several false allegations against my family and me and has even asked for spousal support (because he purposely took a low paying job four months before I filed for divorce, despite making more than me every year of our marriage). It is scary the lengths that a N will go to in order to maintain control. As it is, the longer he delays the divorce, the better it is for him. He gets off paying next to nothing for child-support and I cannot touch his military retirement until we are divorced. So, it saves him about $700 a month for every month we are not officially divorced.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    TO Marie,

    I happy for you, please be strong and ignore his calls and contacts. N are manipulative. They have patience in everything, he may continue to contact you hoping that you will change you mind so that he can tell everyone They do not get it or they cannot accept to not be in control. It is not easy to deal with someone who does not want to accept that there is something wrong with them. I don’t think he is a good person to be around your kids as he cannot give caring and nurturing home, as he cannot give a good example to the kids. Stay strong, it is hard when you deal with financial issues but there is always assistance place that could help you until you will get back on you feet and move on. Be happy that you are no longer with him. I wish you the best. Be strong!

  • Emily

    Hi…I have been looking at some of these posts and with awe and amazement saw the relationship I just came out of in almost every post! I came across a N male in a bar one evening…was fresh out of a divorce…or actually contemplating one at the time. Thinking back…all of the necessary red flags were apparent…but I was so hungry and vulnerable at the time, I put up with substandard behavior that I would have never tolerated from another human being…much less someone who professed to “care” about me. This crazy dance went on for almost a year…meeting him on his time schedule…putting up with comments about his other love interests (after all…he had convinced me I was the one who was married and miserable…didn’t have the guts to get out…so who was I to question his life or what he did?). I practically bared my soul…had sex with him a number of times…but expected nothing back…answered back some version of a compliment every time he sent me some text of his body and private parts…convinced he knew me…cared for me…and if I was just around him enough and cared for him enough…then he would see that i was a great catch…and fall for me. I have now been to a therapist…and have seen and accepted my part in playing the victim…wanting him to “save” me…when I needed to save my own self! In retrospect…I see that I was as much to blame as he…for we both served each other’s purpose as I have identified myself as a codependent and was in crisis…he picked up on that and took full advantage of my heart…and looking back…I see now that he fully knew what he was doing and enjoyed it…it is going to take some time to get my self esteem back in some kind of order…but I am doing alot of reading and exercises to build myself back up. I am an educator of 17 years…and I really do believe that educating oneself is part of the healing process. I had to accept my part…forgive myself…and him…because he was made…not born. I wish all of you on this blog success with your endeavors to self love….Godspeed to all!

  • Snowflake

    I have just ended a one year relationship with a Narcissist. I feel fortunate to have gotten out relatively early albeit with some emotional scars that will take time to heal. It feels horrible. The really sad thing is, I tried to end it on many occasions but got caught up in the “magic” and the image that he so cleverly presents to the world (ex fighter pilot, Harvard grad, fun, caring, successful, etc.). Each time I would tell him I was done – he found a way to pull me back in. Convincing me that I was being silly and that he truly cared for me – all the while exploiting me emotionally. The warning signs were there. Constant fixation on himself and his appearance (he is very average looking at best). Fixation with younger women. 45 and never married with few long term relationships in his past. No empathy whatsoever, no remorse (always excuses) for his bad behaviour. He ended up giving me a STD as he was sleeping with other women – most of these losers are (although he never took any responsibility for that either – saying that maybe I caught it from a toilet seat….SERIOUSLY?). He then said it was a one time thing with an old friend. Turns out that old friend lives in his building and is a hookup buddy he can have access to pretty much on demand. Ick! All I can say to other women out there who may be reading this or living this….run, run as fast as you can away from the NARC. They will never change and no matter how well educated and how well principled they appear to be to the outside world – inside they are broken, manipulative and hungry to retain their power over you and others. This site has been very helpful and a source of comfort and education. I will not lose the lessons I have learned. I look forward to finding true love with an emotionally healthy person.

  • alison smyth

    After six weeks of dating I realized what a selfish jerk the guy was and ended it. Of course, he sent an email back as though he had ended it. I didn’t realize until recently that he has strong narcissistic tendencies. Reading about this condition has clarified a lot for me. Thank you for an excellent article.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Please help me and tell me what to do, the N is back, he wants to be back in my life again. I know it is risky but I do not want him in my life anymore , You wonder now how did it happened. I continued to ignored him, his texts and phones calls to m, it was over. However I did not know that it was not over yet! About a week ago I was not around, I had a trip to NY city, then he sent me another message via phone,. It was a pic of his face. His face was bloody, bruised, swollen, it was horrible and I felt sorry for him. It is something I cannot discribe. I felt empathy and msg him back asking what happened. Then the whole thing started. He txt me saying that he wanted to see me. I told him no . He said he wants to c me so that I can tell him what do with his face. Then he called . I was playing a good Samaritan and told him to go to ER. I believed he was drunk and fell. At least that is the story he gave me. I told him to seek medical attention. After 4 days he followed me from work and pulled over in my driveway. He showed medical report. He is seriously damaged. He almost lost one eye. I told him that he could die. I advised him to stop drinking. Now he wants to hang again. When I said no. he does not listen. I told him how his lack of empathy, inability to have a normal conversation and being emotional distant push people away. He said that he wants to have a conversation with me about this. He bombarded me with tex and phone calls. Finally I gave up. I want to hear what he had to say. I saw him. Not at my house , we had a talk but it was me what was talking, showing him how it will never work as he is like 6 years old kid. But this time he was different, he pretended to listen, he was not very defensive, but I know that he was playing a game probably he wants to get back in my life and he even asked if we could meet again this weekend. Any thing I reminded him , bad things he did and said to me, but he said that he was joking he never meant to hurt my feelings. I told him no , but he does not accept he is going to bother me again. Please Snowflake and other survivors you understand that it happened to you too, you tried to run away many times and finally you succeeded.I am proud of you. I want to stop him from contacting me again but he is not listening and he is very close in the same small village, he will continue to bother me. I am sure he wants to manipulate me and control me until he will discard me like he did with others. I am proud of you each one here who ended the N relationship. Let me know what I can do.. It is birazze the way we ended up talking again after 3 months just bse of his accident.. Sometimes I wonder if he did it to himself to make sure I talk to him!! God I hope not. The reason I say this is bse a week early before that facial accident, he called me again and txt saying that he has food poisoning, and I did not reacted. I do not know what to believe anymore, it is hard to deal with someone who does not tell the truth.
    Thanks all!

  • Maryland

    Your like me, you have a very big heart. He, the N know it, If he called you with all those issues.He needs prof.Help not your help. He slowly sucking you back in. Change your number,block those texts. My final time (slap in the face)came when My N had gotten a call from the other woman( Rose). I heard her ask who were out with dinner with. He said nothing, I just stood there. After awhile I had sunk to the bottom. I allowed some ass to come into my life and use me. Stay strong.

  • Maryland


    Parts of your story, was me. I was very vulnerable to letting someone treat me with sub-human mamer. Yes,I to would run every time he called. Hell I even let him put me down with other woman. It took time and still taking time to get over the crap. But you were so right, I was looking for someone to save me also. I wasn,t the victim, I was the co-depent. After he got a call one night from the other woman I finally relized how I was made a fool of.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Thank you for your advice. Not sure if it would work to block his phone calls, I told you that we are in small town. I believe he stalks me. Yesterday I stayed at work for 3 hours to avoid him. when I stopped to get groceries , the minute I entered the store he was there. I am not sure how he could know where I was, maybe he pays people to call him when they see me. Anyway, he asked me if we could talk after that I was done with shopping. I asked him what he wanted to talk about but he could not come up with an answer. I knew he wanted to find a way to come to my house. I told him that we do not have anything to talk about , so I need to go home and get some rest I had a long day. He was made, he txt me several times telling me how rude I am; that he never treated the way I did… He does not know that he hurt me all the time. He even said yesterday ” I was trying to be nice to you” but you were rude to me.!!! I dont need anything from him. I hope he will not contact me anymore. Thanks again for reading this.

  • Snowflake

    Cattleya-I feel for you. He probably will try to contact you. Dont cave. I am fortunate in that mine lives in DC and I in Canada. That said we work for the same company so am sure our paths will cross again. One thing I have learned and read, over and over, is that if you cut off their supply they eventually move on to someone else. While I hate that thought of another woman getting sucked in by these monsters….there is no other way. Cut them off and they will go find another. Hopefully sites and blogs like these will help raise awareness for others so they can avoid. Do whatever you can to cut off all contact. If you feel in danger or afraid, involve the police. That sounds extreme – but it may be necessary. They will always try to find a way to make you feel bad and make you question yourself. I did it so many times with mine and each time I believed him and went back it got a little worse and you sink a little lower. Dont give up. It does get better and easier with each passing day and he will eventually move on. I ended up making a list of all the things I could not stand about this guy (right down to his snoring, ugly feet, the way he stabbed his food….hahaha). It seems trivial but it helps. Keep reminding yourself of all the reasons you can do better. The best part is that we now have the knowledge and the power to never find ourselves in this place again. We will have our antennas up. There are good guys out there. Ones that are able to love with their whole heart and treat us like human beings and the wonderful women we are.

  • Pickle33

    Well I’ve got an issue with my sons girlfriend!!
    She fools everyone but me and a few others who
    Have been burned by her promises. I’ve not seen
    Her violent, but she doesn’t live close by.
    My son is in the military and plans in purposing
    To her in 6 months! He only known her 1 yr!
    And half the time he’s been away!
    Truthfully I think she likes it that way. But she
    Acts very innocent and acts like she doesn’t
    Know anything…she acts like te victim all the time
    When the #%@ hits the fan ( she caught in lies)
    She tells enough of the truth to get away with
    This. I had to have no contact because she’d play
    My son and I against each other. Now she wants
    To get along for his sake!!!! We’ve been down this
    Road before. If I don’t volley back and agree I
    Know she’ll tell him ” I tried but she won’t talk to
    What do I do??!!! Frustrated here

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    sorry to hear that you are going through this. I know i have a son and I would not with him to spend his life with someone who is not good for him. I do not know exactly the problems she has. Telling lies and breaking promises could happen but not necessary having a serious issue. However if you suspected that something is not right you are probably right. What you can do is to tell your son to delay the proposing and get to know her better, if you thinks she is a N , read the NPD and understand the behavior and maybe it will help you to know who she is and let you son check it out himself before to be engaged. Be strong and good luck. If we can help you with more advices keep in touch here and let us know what is happening and what that girl does that make you think that something is not right. Be strong.

  • Pickle33

    She says she wants to get along for his sake. But her and I have been down this road before, it’s just a front. She is all the above with an exception of a few things I’ve not seen. She acts like she has feeling but she is dishonest .
    She uses people to get what she wants. I believe she needs professional help. She will never communicate by phone unless it’s a txt message. She only wants to talk to him ( my son) . I believe she is a manipulator as well. I have not answered her txt. I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do since I’ve been down this road with her before .
    Any ideas?

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Yes there is something wrong if she does not like to communicate. Usually txt are for people who do not want to talk or avoiding honest conversation. txt is not bad all the time but it used when you cannot talk or you are in hurry. also it is used when you do not want to talk. If you suspected that she has issues and needs professional help, talk to your son. He is the only one in charge here as it is about his life. Do not tell him to stop loving her, but tell him that is an advice you give him so he can make his decision as it is about his future. be careful as if she is manipulative as you say, if she knows you want to talk to your son about her, she will make sure your son will not believe you , or she will tell him to not listen to you and may make your son your enemy. Manipulative people are very smart.
    Here is the link you can visit and ask questions you may get more responses from many people:
    Good luck , my dear.

  • Snowflake

    My former N communicated most often by text…..he hid behind this and having to waste his precious time actually talking and expressing himself. He texted when he felt like it. Would often go long periods without returning messages and ALWAYS had an excuse (fell asleep, phone off, etc.). As I have come to learn, he was not responding most often because he was entertaining his other sources. If someone does not have the common decency and respect to speak to you when the matter is important or return your call as a courtesy….they aren’t worth your time. Full stop. Humpty dump them and let them play their sick control games with someone else. It is all about them control when and how they will speak to you. Remember…..they are so much more important than the rest of us!!!

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Yes N like txting. mine would txt me 100 times in a week. and if I did not reply he would txt more, but most of the time it was bse he did not want me to ask questions. Pickle , I believe that girl is avoiding honest conversation. A girl who is supposed to be part of the family should have the minimum of politesse and call and speak. She acts like immature person, childish, and this is selfishness, and N.

  • LOST and Confused

    Hi Everyone

    this is my first time posting. I have read this article and the comments and I have to say that the person i was with might have been a Narcissist. The most frustrating thing about him was that he would say something and then never follow through with it such as: Yes i agree we need to talk. And I would say: Great call me after work, he would say ok and then nothing. Then maybe a few days later he would text and be like: Hi are you working today? I’m off and wanted to see if you wanted to spend the day with me. I would stop and think to myself am i living on another planet from him? So I would respond with: What happened to our phone call? And he would say: I’ve been working. And When I asked again– ok well I feel more comfortable if we had a conversation about what happened before hanging out with you– he would again respond with “ok” but never giving a time or a place and then simply not following through again. Is this typical of an “N”??? What is he trying to do? What is this all about? Does he know that he is doing this or is he so disconnected that he actually thinks this behavior is normal? I must say i feel so lost and confused. I also feel extremely worthless and invaluable and unimportant. He knows im upset about something that happened but yet he doesn’t take the time or make the effort to call me to talk through it or work things out. I get so tired at times that I just say forget it and just let it go because its so much work (not to mention degrading) to try to get him to talk. Is this about control?? I know i cant “make” someone do something they dont want to do but i almost feel like this little child who wants and needs him to hear me! I get angry and frustrated that I feel the way i do because he has so much power over me. I want to just not care whether he actually responds calls or breathes for that matter but im having a hard time just trying to understand myself. To a certain extent i feel like my mind and emotions are being played with.
    Can you please help??
    Thank you so much for your site!!

  • Maryland

    Lost and confused your not alone.What he has it power over you,he is testing you to see how much you will put up with. My N did the same thing I would say;Oh let’s go and do something.”Guess what his excuses were the same Oh I forgot or I’m busy.

    Do your self a favor and get out now because he not going to change.If you keep hanging on, all you will be is that child that stomp there feet waiting for him to look at you. Also you just letting things fall by the waist side and him know You wont do nothing about his ways.You might as well call it quits.
    Dont wait to long, my last straw was when his ex called him and he answer the phone.Why because he thought he had the right to .Since I had let him get away with soooooo much he honestly thought I would had said nothing. Bottom is he wont change so.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Lost and confused,
    That is narcissism. N does know how to work things out. They avoid a talk most of the time because they know they are wrong and do not want see the reality or they are not capable of seeing the reality. I never resolved problems with the N I was trying relationship with. He did bad things to me. He promised to help when I need him and did not show up and 3 days later he txt 5 AM , I asked him why he did not tell me that he will not come to help so I could find someone else. He told me that he lost his phone. I asked him “so you lost your phone until 5 AM,?” That was one of big lies he told me. He never apologized. When I did not want to talk or to see him, he would say “ can we talk?” I accepted thinking that we will talk things out . but guess what, he would come and sit and when I asked a question he would quickly say something else, he avoided my questions that it made me very sick. I was very drained after 3 weeks with close relationship and I ended it. I could not take it anymore. They do not have any feelings, no empathy for others, they only think about themselves. Let me tell you. He would call me Sunday or Saturday bse he wanted to hang with me. My response was I am busy with other things I planed for a week. He would be upset. N man did not have a plan. He thinks that u will be always available to him, when he wants , expect u to follow his plan and he never follow yours. Mine when he was off he called me and asking me to leave work early bse he is bored. Think about it! Can he leave work to make you happy ? No. All is about himself. N people see others as objects that they can control. Trying to make a sense of what he does will make you crazy, and will destroy your confidence more. They show us that they need us, but they don’t love, they only need our love. B careful because since you are in love you hope that he/she will change . But they cannot change. Please keep writing and get more inputs to help you to get out this relationship otherwise you may end up in therapy. They are manipulative, and show good image of themselves to others but are rude to people who love them. I hope you will write again. Be strong.

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Lost and confused

    Maryland is right. the more you stay , the more he will bother you even if you decide to leave him. How long do you know him? they never mean anything they say unless it is about them. They train you in the way it will be hard to get out the relationship. They keep relationship with ex, and if you are upset they go back to the exs. and will come back to you again back and forth. They avoid responsibilities and blame the others for when it is proven that they are wrong. Please write more we will give you more ideas. Be strong.

  • LOST and Confused

    First and foremost thank you so much for responding Cattleya and Maryland. Its so good to know that there are others out there that understand what i am going through and talking about because people that have not been in a relationship with an “N” just dont understand or think im the one making too much of a big deal and I get the: Just get over him already– drop him, whats the big deal? I wish this was easy to do and regardless of what i say i just sound like im some kind of martyr or victim :(
    I have known the “N” for a year now. I started off with what i thought was a very healthy self esteem on my end. I am a positive very resilient person who went out there looking and hoping to find someone to get to know and hopefully turn into something special (a relationship). I never in a million years would have thought i would be where i am now. Everything has been so bizarre that it has been very painful and frustrating to try to understand the WHY of it all.
    I think i have lost a lot of myself– my self confidence, I question my judgement, I sometimes think im so hypervigilant thinking that everyone is an “N” and overall am just in a very dark place right now losing faith even in all human kind. What I once thought isn’t anymore. I am working on getting my old self back and recovering from what seems like a nightmare.
    I have come a long way from where i started with him. Trying to break up many times in between, every time getting stronger and every time educating myself even more so that I could understand and arm myself with the tools necessary to begin my way out.
    The last incident he had invited me to a BBQ for fathers day. When the day came and I tried to contact him he never answered my texts or my phone calls until late in the day. I was soo hurt and upset. The least he could have done was respond. Instead i got: RELAX! whats your problem?? I was busy cleaning because everyone was coming over”
    REALLY?? cleaning for 6 hours not to mention the audacity that he had to mention that he still had the BBQ. I dont understand why he couldnt have just said: I’m sorry– im not comfortable with you meeting my friends yet or something. Any type of response would have been acceptable. And that was when i told him i didnt want to hear from again. His answer was simply: “Ok no problem” That alone stung like hell. How easily he could let me go without a fight– with out even saying Im sorry or admitting that he had hurt my feelings.
    Needless to say there were many other times that he would say he would come with me somewhere only for me to have to get in touch and have him cancel. I took all this personally. Like something was wrong with me…
    Why was he so secretive? In the one year that i have known him– i have only known his 5 year old son. He keeps everything else so secretive it seems (although i must say he doesn’t have that many friends) he wasnt the type to go out all the time… a bit of a recluse acutally. Keeping more to himself. But whenever he would speak of family in Florida, he would never mention their names (as if i was going to search for them or something) he would say more like: My aunt, this uncle, my boy cousin, my girl cousin. And when i asked can you atleast tell me their first names because im getting confused his response was: You dont know them, what do you need to know their names for? (What the?? Its a normal question… it seemed so ludacris to me, still does)
    -He wasn’t affectionate. It seems that any time i wanted to talk about “emotions” or how we felt about one another he would simply ignore it, change the subject or get defensive. I tried being sweet, caring, understanding. It seemed the sweeter i was the less he would respond or react (example: I would send him a text telling him I missed him or was thinking of him or that I loved him and he wouldn’t respond. Yet if i texted 15min later with something else like a question or something he would respond to that.)
    – Towards the end I even felt that he was witholding sex and affection from me. The more I asked the less he seemed to cater to what my needs and wants were
    – you are so right Maryland. He would call me to tell me he was off from work asking me to leave early or take the day (and i did a lot of times) but could he did he ever for me? NEVER In fact he never did go out of his way for me or do anything that would make me feel “special” in anyway. It always seemed as though I had to chase after him. Things always on his terms, when it was convenient for him without once even thinking of me.
    – it seemed that any demands expectations or anything pretty much that I wanted was discounted, ignored, OR he would agree to it that moment (I guess to shut me up) and the next day it was back to the same old thing. THis angered me so much to the point that I would cry because i felt i couldnt get through to him, make him understand no matter how hard i tried. The worst is to say you will do something (and me rely on your word) only to be so quickly dissapointed)
    – He never yelled or hit me. But isn’t still abuse when someone witholds affection from you? Acts of expression? Sex, etc?? For my bday– i didnt even get a bday card. It feels almost as if he does these things “Intentionally” and i cant for the life of me think of why someone would do this?
    – His lies were also worse than what a 5 year old would come up with. Similar to what you wrote Cattleya. I lost my phone, or I forgot it in the car. Ive been busy all day. REALLY?? does he really think that those reasons made any sense?
    – I sometimes doubted myself because there would be moments when I would see that he could be Kind. He is a great father — always being affectionate with his son. Always wanting to be with him. Was this just another source of supply for him? This is what would make me think the most that it had something to do with me personally. The fact that he could be kind and gentle and affectionate to his son…. but why not to me? This is why it felt it was “intentional” and i took it very personally.

    Well after this last incident (the BBQ) it has been about a month. I received a text from him last week saying: “I Miss you”. How I wish those words were true. Is he manipulating me again? I did respond and said: “Thank you for letting me know you miss me. How does this make the way you treat(ed) me ok?” His response: It doesnt. We both have faults. I just needed to let you know how i felt. I told him to call me………i am yet to receive that phone call although he did text me Monday asking me if i was off (because he was) and he wanted to see if we could hang out. I was working so i declined but asked him what happened to our phone call and that i would still like to have one. He said “ok”. But its Wed and still no call…..
    I just dont get it??? Does he want to see me in person instead? Why is he so passive aggressive? Is he trying to avoid having to “deal” with having to explain why he did what he did?
    I’m still learning about these types. I’m glad that based on everything you have both helped to validate for me that he is an “N”. Although it doesnt take the pain away– it helps to know that perhaps it isn’t me. That perhaps dealing with these types is not like dealing with Normal people.

    Any other stories/suggestions/advice or input is greatly appreciated. This is the only place I feel safe coming to right now where others perhaps have been through what im going through. I am here to gain strength and understanding– not pity. I am here as just another tool to use so that I can find my way completely out. I still love him, I still want to see him. I have to see what happens…..

    If an “N” is looking for love and admiration and “supply” why did he constantly ignore and devalue me? Why does he withold? Why do i feel I cant get through to him no matter how hard i try?

    Sorry for the long post.

    Thank you all again!!! :)

  • Maryland

    cattleya, I could have not said that any better. Lost and confused your already starting down that path of,”why does he fell he needs to treat me this way?. We been there and it will make you wonder over and over again-Why do I let this guy make me feel like trash-Reason being he dont care about anyone about him self.

    If you keep staying this relationship find a good Dr.because you will wonder why did I let this guy treat me like sh@@T. He already found one of your weakness and that is you just blow things off intsead of making this man step up to the plate. Save your sanity,cut you ties and move on.
    Lost and confused it still hurts. I just found out my ex-N has a P.O Box . In Feb.He let a woman friend that he never disrespect. share his P.O box.Now if I ever saw his mail he would call me noisy.
    Get my point, and he was having a sexual relationship with me. I know how you are feeling, I to use to make so many excuses forhim,such as Oh things are going to get better.Turning my cheek the other way many times.
    But at the end nothing really change.So after my final slap in the face, I knew it was time. I’m alone now and some times I think about are good times but then I start think about the bad times. Since then I found out the Woman he alway run back to is a very needy woman will to do anything to hang on to him. Another reason why I left since they are sleeping together you dont know who else she sleeping with. Stay strong

  • http://whyhekeepscomingback Cattleya

    Lost and confused,
    I am glad you can write something here. You think that it is a long story. Not at all! Also we are not surprised because it is also our story. We have been in similar situation . At certain point I thought that we dated the same guy you and I. But I know he is not the same because of the age of the son. Also, my N does not like responsibility, he does not see his son. He started seeing him bse I pushed him.
    You see now that we have been there. u are not alone. You say he is secretive. Yes my N is secretive too. Sometimes he does not remember his cousins names, bse he stay away from them. He does not have friends, because of his arrogance and grandiosity pushed people away. Also he is afraid that he will be uncovered. With my N , he tried for a year to get close, but I refused. But you know that they don’t get tired. Also, they never know that they are doing wrong, no they only think Me, me,and myself in their mind. My N told me lies that even now when I see him in town or when he txt bse he is still txting I don’t believe in any word he say. He lies without any reason! The house he bought and paid it all, and 2 months later he forgot what he told me and said “ my dad is going to sell his house, I need an apartment.! That is who they are. They do not care really. Mine wants to c me because it makes him happy not because we should be happy together.
    When we are on and off, he would contact me bse he does not have any one else and he is bored easily. Me too I wanted him back, Maryland advised me to stay away but they way N keep insisting, I was curious to hear what he had to say, Also bse he seemed wanting me so bad, stalking me at the stores, because we have a loving heart we always hope that maybe this time, he changed. But he cannot change , he came back and was nice for a week. He helped me with different things around the house, but I was cautious, he told me that if I do not want serious relationship anymore we can still be friends. But he has so many female friends, and I know there is sex involved bse some are married women! He is always on phone txting them , online telling women “ get your ass out here; his phone is full of graphic photos of women he met online. And on the top of this he continues to say that he wants relationships with me. That is sick. He cannot be happy because when he does not get enough attention, he has other women he calls and would tell me” I am going to help my dad” ! big lie! Most of the time with silent treatment, they are also busy seeking love and attention from other women if N is a male. It is easy to tell you to not let him come back because they have a way to take our love without giving us any. I suffered after telling him that it was over. Then I accepted to listen to him but I found that he never changed. Now I decided to stay away. No more contact. I see N in every man I speak to but don’t give up. There is hope.

    Lost and confused, you can try again with him if you want but be sure that, the more you accept him back, the weak he thinks u r and will always play the same game. I can accept to love someone, and try to ignore how bad he is but N does not stop there, because he devalues you, he is rude, he is insane and does not know that he/she has a serious mental problem. Instead if u continues to argue with him/her, he will make sure people who know you will think that the problem is with you.

    Remember that you do not have any problem, you are fine, he is the one who had problems , serious problem as he will never accept that there is a problem, Lost and confused, human being needs love always in order to survive, how could you live giving all your love to someone who will never love you back, who will never care. My N is a type of N who is looking for a another lover while staying with a woman. U can check if he does not have any other woman and now he misses your supply. Please do not end up in therapy. Remember nothing is wrong with u. It is him. If you let him back in your life, it will be for short time, they know how to manipulate. In N mind, we belong to them. He is surprised that u can dump him. But he never think of you as someone who needs love and attention. My N never gave me a gift, unless taking me out to dinner, bse he will eat meal with me. He never wished me happy brtday, not mother’s day. He waited until it I over to text me :How was your weekend.” Not even asking how was your mother’s day! They hate gift, unless they receive them, He used to tell me, why don’t u take me to NY city with u? or why don’t you buy big screen TV? For me?” and it was my house. So everything exists to make them happy.

    Be strong , u can make your decision but be vigilant , he is going to hurt you again. Whatever you decide, it is fine. But remember that nothing is wrong with you, he is the one who has issues.

  • Maryland

    Lost and confused, I do understand where your coming from. Right now your asking yourself-How did I let my self get here. Was i so needy of a man I just put out the welcome mat for just anyone. I’m at a place where I want to get even. BUT on the other had I want the truth. My best friend had told me just leave it alone because he will get his in the end.
    So I did the best thing put him on some sites like Cheaters and others. I did do one thing I put a ad on the Baitmore Sun paper trying to find Rose a ex-Postal co-worker;But still no reply. Maybe a friend saw it and didn’t want to tell her because she problem did not want to face the truth.I did it I guess to find the truth. I have been told I shouldn’t because I wont want to hear what she has to say.
    I to wanted to find that one person that would lead into a realtionship. I had coming out of a eight years relationship with a broking heart when I met my ex-N. I had told him this to, which was a mistake or in my part a weakness.Because after that he show me all kinds of kinds where I to started to feel close to him and soon as I did he started to run the other was and pull out all the rude things he could. I do know what your saying about thinking that everyone is a N. It will be hard for me also to trust again. But I’m making the baby steps and just like you I’m getting the old person back. The sad part that still get to me and I have asked my male c-worker this is: The night I was with him and Rose call he never told her he was with me. I wonder if he evey told her about me. My guys friend had told me No. If he had been honest with you and her there shouldn’t had been no problem tell her…..

  • hank

    i recently broke it off with my N girlfriend. throughout the entire relationship, it felt as if i was walking on eggshells. and sure enough, i was walking on eggshells. i helped her through her depression. i was there for every step of the way..then recently, i started having anxiety problems. ended up having to take medications. she wasn’t happy about that at all. she blamed it on herself and said i was just like all the others finding happiness at the bottom of a pill bottle. i told her that it hurt to hear those words coming from her mouth..especially from her. she said that she’d expect the same from me..didn’t sympathize one bit. she’s not capable of it. then, it took her 3 days to apologize and give me false hope that she wanted to fix things. instead, she ended up pointing out more faults in me. accusing me of not knowing what i want..telling me we didn’t deserve each other. insisting that our differences would get in the way inevitably just like they have in all her previous relationships. it was at this point that i realized she was a narcissist. she said she’s “hurt” all of her past bf’s, and she didn’t want to do what she did to them to me because that was inevitable too. she’d find more faults in me, she wouldn’t accept them, and then she would end up hurting me…thats what she told me. she said she chooses not to ever love anyone in her life and she is not ready and wont ever be ready to settle down (a few weeks back she said the complete opposite). she was so focused on finding a fault in me, just as she’s done with past exes, and i ended up having simple anxiety…and she blamed it on herself. made me the victim…made me feel like my personal issues contributed to her depression and to her well being. my issues are my issues though..and if she doesn’t support my issues, i don’t support her. way i see it now is, i did deeply care about her and a part of me still does. she didn’t care for me the same way though. so there’s no place for her in my life. and i wasn’t rude nor did i hurt her ego. i only ended up telling her not to always blame herself for things and not focus so much on her shortcomings because she does have the ability to make people happy. she tole me we didn’t deserve each other and i agreed. but i told her that she still deserves the best of the best. my guess is she doesn’t really know what to make of my words, but i meant them. and i want nothing to do with her anymore (in a romantic sense) because she was very selfish though. a couple of days ago, she was a very different person than she was 6 months ago. entirely she was wearing a mask this entie time to feed some sort of twisted desire. but at the same time, i still care for her…and i won’t ever deny her. i told her if she ever needed a friend, that i would be here for her. made it clear as day. so that’s that…

  • Cattleya


    It is not right what she did to you. Nothing is wrong with you; the bills you are taking are because she led you into depression and that is what N does. I understand your problems, please get out of this relationships before you become crazy. Also, I encourage you to cut the relationships totally. Staying friends with her will not help you at all. Because what N does is to manipulate you if she stay around. She will check on you just to devalue you or devalues a new girlfriend or your friends. N people want their victims to suffer and will not be happy to see you happy. She will find a way to hurt your feelings each time you see her. Remember they do not care, It is all about themselves. Please cut all relationships, otherwise she will make you miserable all your life. They like to see other suffer and fail and they enjoy it. If she continues to be around, even as a friend, you may not have a good life as she will continue to drive you crazy as she does not care of have any remorse. Good luck and stay strong.

  • Debbie

    Hank,cattleyais so right,it better to cut it off no contact. Because she will come in and out of your life. The worst thing you will have to do is stay strong and take one big breath. Hank we all been there. The next months you will keep going over and over why did you get mix up with her. The part of you talking about wearing differnent mask is true.
    When I first met my N we had great times made me laugh.AS time when on the other mask started to show it face. Finding fault in what did or said. When he broke he leg, he had told everyone else but me.The he would only come around when he felt like it. SOOO….
    I decide it to find the other woman. I put a ad on the Maryland sun paper with her name Rose. WEll I got a reply, She a N herself. Now when I put the ad in there I put a picture of his truck and his name. She sent me a e-mail with her cell # . But at first I had said I dont know if this is the right Rose and her reply was yes it was. Come to find out her name wasn’t Rose but Roslia. She went to tell me everything.Then at the end she said oh we must be talking about to different people. ?????? so I just let it go
    And what was worst me and my N .talked and told me I had no right to contact her. So hank, I know it hurt but now you need to work past this. Because if you dont and go back you will be back on pills. TOO add I to walked on eggshells.

  • hank

    you all are right. we did break it off for good. it took me a couple of days to realize something; but i figured it out. i was just a pawn in her little short-term game. it hasn’t even hurt me that bad. i feel free. i get to see my friends now. when i was with her, at the beginning i was always myself. towards the end though, i was always trying to make sure i didn’t say the wrong things to her…i would agree with everything she said. if i didn’t, she would start talking about our differences and why we shouldn’t be together. any time i had an opinion, it was always wrong. her opinion was always right..according to her. in her head, her opinion is still right. she always told me that i didn’t feel the way she thought i was supposed to feel. she always thought for me..even at the end. truth is that she didn’t know what she wanted at all. i knew what i wanted all along. and now that her true self came out, i know that i don’t want it anymore. nothing to do with it. i do wish her happiness though, and i hope she finds it…i still want for her to be happy and i hope she ends up happy because i did see the good in her. i just wish she would see it. maybe she won’t ever see it…but she does deserve to be happy just like all of us. even if i don’t want anything to do with her, i still wish her the most happiness in her life. she deserves it. thank you guys for your support.

  • Cattleya

    I am happy for you, you made the right decision. Just be careful with her. If she is a N , remember that N never have friends. They pretend to be nice but their only goal is to use others, to find supply and admiration., to get something. If she is N she will try to get back with you . Each time she acts nicely, you have to think twice, ask yourself what she wants. By my experience , my exN always keep trying to be back, and each time he is nice, I know that he heard something good about me and want to show other that we are friends, that maybe he knows I have something he will try to get. They are manipulative. Be nice to her but not friendly. Good luck Hank!!

  • Victor

    OMg stumbled on this post after being heartbroken from a women I didn’t know until today was a narcissist.. She was attractive but only really hot with all this makeup on and how she wore her clothes that always were falling off her body.  She was 25 I’m 30 I’m a good looking man with my own place and job and have a lot going for me (although I never admit I am in shape and am attractive,). I always hated the spot light and strayed from it. Anyway I met this women and I fell for her she was into me I was into her I used to tell her that I was so into this It was a great feeling I’m 30 and never felt this way in my life! I was on cloud 9 I been with a bit of women in my life but just would get bored or i wasn’t into it. This women felt like the void I needed filled. Things were great at first I waited a month to have sex I felt like she was perfect. Then I started noticing things that caught my attention like how she treated her family like total crap. And how a lot of family decisions went thru her( she still lives at home has a college degree but is a waitress and only works a few night a week) slowly Ive noticed how she always needed her makeup(she put her face on she would say) and had bleached blonde hair and hair extensions from all the killing of hair from chemicals I would tell her I loved her natural beauty she didn’t need makeup etc. she didn’t care she wanted to look beautiful all the time. We go out she would flirt with other men it was in the beginning I never said anything she was attractive and I just thought she was getting hit on a lot. So we started spending more time together a month goes by we had sex it was great then she started to act very strange and selfish and things started to change. We went out to eat she ordered a 80 dollar bottle of wine and said she hated cheap people, I’m a young man trying to make it that’s all i learned is how to save money, so that was shocking the bill came I paid and she kept making sure I tipped the waiter well it was so annoying she asked me 10 times finally I told her next time she wants to know about the tip she can pay it she was PISSED didnt talk to me the rest of the night. Went home we had no sex and it was suppose to be a nice night out I spent  250 on the dinner tip and wine…..This was in month two she didn’t talk to me for 2 days finally chewed me out and during our argument about how “I came at her neck” I told her she was ungrateful because she never even thanked me for the night we had. This ended up being a huge fight. Fast forward a lot of nights of her complaining to me about my faults what I dont do why is my driveway unpaved, why is my washer and dryer in the kitchen why is my fan so loud, it started getting to the point I couldn’t please her, I felt like dog $#*t.  We would go to concerts I’d pay she wouldn’t ever thank me, like it was expected. I started telling people I think I’m getting depressed because my girlfriend isn’t happy with me we re not having a lot of sex anymore, I’ve noticed she’s been distant. And it hurt because I kept trying to make us happy and it was an empty feeling finally we hit the 3 month mark, I was in a bar to see my brother on his birthday he was a bartender. And my girlfriend just comes in I texted her earlier that day and she didnt respond for a long long time then i see her in this bar all dressed up and she was being So loud with her friends i never saw her this social and loud and it was weird, she finally came over to me and i said “i didnt know you were going out tonight” she told me she didnt know she had to tell me her every move i was PISSED just because for 3 months we always wanted to do stuff together and let each other know what was Happening. After a few drinks I went Back over to her pulled her aside and said If you don’t want to be with me then let me know so I can move on.. This may not have been the time and place but I was drinking and it just came out she was really upset not that I thought that way but that I would bring it up here at the bar lol I couldn’t believe it. That night I left and she left and it was awkward she wrote me a text saying we have to talk tomorrow  I responded with “don’t bother”! She went ballistic called twice and sent some nasty messages I didn’t respond I mad and didnt want to say anything if regret ( I was done at that point anyway looking back at all I have been  giving this one sided relationship ) so 2 days go by I give in and call her and figured we work it out or something. Then on the phone i said she has been distant she went crazy mad called me needy and that she needs to be able to do what she wanted and she needs space from time to time I hung up the phone and we haven’t talked in a week, so a week later I called she hit ignore and I left a message like its been a week we haven’t talks guess its over take it ez.

    She called back later that night I was asleep she texted me with sorry youre unhappy I should be around tomorrow if you want to call if not take care.  I never responded or called  back 

    Now it’s been a week and a half since
    we talked I was waiting it out until until she called again “no contact” guess she moved on but then I found this site and now I think she Is a narcissist and feel like it should be over with but I hurt it’s been 4 months about and I thought everything was great although she unappreciated me and never thanked or did anything to make me feel good about our relationship I’m just messed up thought she was it! How could she not be calling me I’ve done everything in this relationship everything!!!
    Sorry for my grammar and lack of punctuation. Any advise out there??? 

  • Debbie


    That is a N, Start out great(Same here) then come the other mask. I know you like me, so your Not going any place. Let me tell you, Your going to hurt. It better to let it happen.Next your going to feel that’WHat the hell was I thinking to let myself get treat it this way.
    Why she hasn’t call .It because like the rest of us. YOU woke-up to what happen to you, and she know it. If she did call you. Victor you would look at it as a different person. :The would be no more 250 dinner_Right?
    Same here, I was the nice person trying to change ny ways. I wanted the relationship to work.I saw him when he want to see me.Hell I even let him flit and talk to his ex-what in front of me.(DuH) One of my male friend call it putting out the red carpet.
    Victor , you didn’t mess-up. You got taken by someone who has issues. The sad part is the next guy will face the same issues. I even call him and asked why?, Still no return call. Stay strong. Because if she does contact you, nothing will change you will go back,walking on egg shells.

  • Cattleya

    Sorry about what happened with your relationships. First do not apologize about typos. English is a 3rd language to me anyway and I am sure people understand me. We never judge people by spelling, it is the problems that we want to share. Let me tell you something. You are dealing with N woman, she will drive you crazy if you continue relationships with her. I know it hurts since you were together for 4 months, however, me it was only 3 weeks very close, but these 3 weeks left me all drained, I was crazy, I could not sleep and my work was poor. Oh gosh victor $ 80. for wine, 250 for dinner in one night?!!! N people like excitement and get bored easily. They like money too. My exN used to show me money in his wallet, so much money, he never had debit card!! But it was done the very next day!! Wherever, he was spending time until I come home from work, he would spend it all. They think money is solution to love!! The story of your driveway reminds me how my N used to criticize my house. I was always nervous, trying to arrange the house and organize everything, because he was saying that I have junks in my house, I have to clean it. But I have a normal house like other people. I have many things in the kitchen but it is normal kitchen like you see in Reba show, they are not junk, they are things I use all the time. He would tell me that my TV is small. And asked me to buy a big one, for him.!!!! So it is all about them. I know you are confused because it is hard to understand how a person who pretend to love you change so quickly but, that is how N people are. You cannot argue with them bse they never understand. The more you try, the more you will be crazy and will end up in therapy. Be careful bse one day she will tell people that it is you who has issues. Better to end this relationship now since she will never change. What do you expect from a girl who does not think you deserve to know what she is doing. What kind of relationship is that? N people coach us, train us to accept them the way they are. She want you to let her come to you when she decides and do what she wants whenever she chooses. I am sure it came to the point you did not understand his behavior, you were asking yourself what it wrong because she was acting bizarre , even a 10 year old kid is more logical and could use good judgement than N people. The biggest problem, only people very close to N know really the true N, otherwise, other people still thinking that she is normal, nice , girl!! Do not get trapped in that trap!! It sad to hear how you say that you never feel that way with other women!! That is true. My N was so good with me at the beginning, he was a dream come true!! It was before I saw the other face of him. But I ended the relationship because it was not healthy. I was getting sick and sick everyday , my mind was going crazy and was tired of roller-coaster. Being nice one day and the very next day, he seemed not remember the conversation we had before. No love, not commitment. Victor, I hope you wants a woman who will love you, but remember that N people DO NOT LOVE, instead they want other people to love them, to admire them. Why should you stick with her? And no contact is very Nstic, that is how they are. Also, do not beg too much bse she will thinks that she is important and she will make you more miserable. My advice to you is to end the relationship. Good luck and come back and let us know what happen. Be strong, one day you will look back and laugh and be happy that it is over.

  • Ashley

    So many fabulous responses. Susan Walsh, love the term, ” ladyballs.” A red flag from my NS was during our second date, while having diner at a restaurant. I have a medical condition that kicked in and started chocking. He just sat there and looked at me. Didn’t hit me on my back to try to clear the food that was lodged in my esophagus, offer to walk me to the ladies room, or even suggest that I go there. I did run to the LR, and cleared the problem. A few days later he said, “That condition is something I don’t like about you.” Absolutely no empathy! (I’ve since gotten the condition under control.)
    He was soooo charming at the beginning, acting as though he really cared about me. He said that he wished he could spend every day the rest of his life with me, and asked for my permission to call me “Darling.”
    I started to notice a coldness about him. When we kissed there was no passion. We’re both seniors, and I had to teach him how to French kiss. Once we started having sex I noticed no passion; sweating, etc. There was no emotional connection. Also, once we started having sex he came by just for sex; booty calls. I was feeling as though he was using me as a blowup doll. When I asked about going out or doing something else, he just shook his head no. I put up with this nonsense for about a week, then sent an email message to him saying I would no longer be treated that way. He sent an email back saying he felt as though we needed time apart, indicating he’d be in touch with me later. Foolishly (not at that time realizing he was NS), I sent a note back saying, “I’ll be here.” My intuition told me I wouldn’t hear from him again, and I haven’t (this was over two years ago). I’ve since made no attempt to contact him.
    When we first met (through a web dating site) he told me that was the only dating site he had ever used, that he had just been in it for a few months, and that I was the only woman he had met through it. A few weeks after we stopped seeing each other I went back to that site and checked his profile. At the bottom of the page was something I hadn’t previously noticed: a list of about eight comments from women he had been seeing. One of the women stated that he was salacious ( definition: lustful or lecherous). Some months later I can across his profile in another dating site showing he had been in that one for over three years.
    How do we protect ourselves from NS’s? Speaking as a senior woman, can just advise to go slowly with all possible relationships. If a man likes a woman, he’ll keep seeing her if there’s no sex. If he’s getting it elsewhere, so what. Besides, it’s in their DNA to chase; let him pursue you, and WATCH FOR THOSE RED FLAGS!

  • Kierran

    You guys just demonstrate how judgemental humanity can be.

    I have been diagnosed as being a narcissist. The reason why I am the way I am is because between the ages of 0-4 I grew up with an alcoholic depressed mother (who also happens to be narcissistic) and her ex con druggy boyfriend. Me and my 2 brothers were bullied, abandoned, witnessed things that no child should witness, and eventually were was given away to my Grandparents as my mother chose her boyfriend over us. At this same time my dad got remarried and moved 200 miles away – I didn’t see him for 9 years.

    This trauma that happened to me during those 4 years and the abandonment turned me into a child who wanted to do anything but feel and relive what I went through.Walls were firmly built. I grew up and went through school being antisocial and somebody who could not connect to people. It was only at the age of 16 when I started to learn about myself that I learnt to be an actor and fake my emotions and friendships (without fully realizing what kind of person I was)

    Did I want to do this? No. I was a confused teenager with an outgoing personality but unable to open up to people and let them in to qualify as a real friend/or girlfriend. Did I want to open up? Dam right I did – I just didn’t know how. I didn’t have it within me to tear those barriers down and to let somebody hurt me again. I have never been hurt in my life since the age of 4 (something which most people would love to be able to claim)

    My life has always been a battle. I dragged myself through school then University. In the meanwhile suffering from panic attacks and periods of depression (now I realize it is down to my deep insecurities) During my last year of University I got into a serious relationship with someone (my first real relationship for obvious reasons) Pretty much everything from the above applies to me. She was a very attractive girl with a great body and a very sensitive personality so that fit my high standards. The relationship was a game to me in hindsight (again, didn’t realize this until recently) I manipulated her feelings, I was never in the wrong, I appeared to deeply care for her to the point where she was deeply in love with me, I came across as outgoing and fun, and I craved her approval and admiration all of the time. Eventually I let my walls down and I told her about what I went through as a child. This left me vulnerable – she sensed that and over the following few weeks exploited that. Ultimately I ended it to avoid feeling as vulnerable as I did. But I came out of that relationship feeling broken and questioning what kind of person I was? It highlighted a great deal.

    A few weeks later I arranged relationship counseling. After a number of weeks it became apparent that I am a narcissist. Finally after 23 years of feeling different and alone I understand the what and the why.

    I am writing the message because a lot of you on here are coming across as extremely judgemental and malicious to narcissists. I am not a bad person and I haven’t made the choice to be the way I am. I was dealt a hand of cards so I have to do the best with it. I still have regular counseling with the sole purpose to put into action behavioural changes. I am a narcissist and will be for the rest of my life. I can never feel emotion or love in the conventional sense. But I can try to recognise every aspect of myself and control the way I act towards people and avoid manipulating people and emotionally destroying them.

    Point is; I have a choice. You have a choice. A lot of you have your own issues (daddy issues tend to be a common theme these days) your own insecurities led you being used and manipulated by a narcissist. Should we laugh and berate you? or should we pay you the respect of having your own issues that led to this happening. Us narcissists pay our price – most of us are depressed and end up dying alone unhappy. Your judgemental views result to nothing but you avoiding your own responsibility for what happened in a destructive relationship. I can guarantee that your ex boyfriend/husband KNOWS he had a large part in the failure of your relationship and that he will carry it and look back with and regret. My relationship with Kerry ended very badly and I refuse to speak to her or apologize to her to this day. But every few weeks when I am on my own I am overcome with regret and remorse for what I did in that relationship and how I hurt that beautiful woman. Unfortunately when my walls are back on I cannot/will not contact her to give her the answers she needs.

    I don’t expect most of you to understand. But hey, there’s my side of the story.

  • Cattleya


    First let me congratulate you for your post, also for your courage and desire to know what happened to you during your childhood and to learn about narcissism. This is the courage narcissist people usually do not have. I wish other could do what you did, maybe we could understand them better and accept them they way they are…

    However, you are thinking that we are judgmental because we do not know or do not understand the cause of narcissism. Believe me, everyone who posted something here read and knows what narcissism is. We also know that N is not a choice and there is no cure. But also we have been victim and suffered from narcissist abuse.

    It is hard to love, or accept someone who always blames others for anything, who always wants to devalue others, who never love you back but requires constant admiration, I do not know if you could understand how this kind of relationship is exhausting! You recognize that you hurt Kerry. Also, you indicate that you REFUSED to apologize to her. I cannot imagine how her heart is broken! That is when we feel victim and wounded. It takes long time to heal; it may take the whole life to forget. I am happy to hear an N person having remorse and regrets, I wish others could do the same, maybe we could try to stay with them, and this is what we want to hear, and that is what Kerry wants to hear, but if it does not happen, that is when we are hurt, and I don’t understand what you expect from a heartbroken person who is not asking anything else than love.
    I am sorry to hear what happened to you during early childhood. I see that you are aware of the problem; you know what others expect from you for a good relationship. I am sure you have some will to make an effort to make at least a small change. If the will is there, you will get there. I wish other N could be like you, and accept to know the problem; maybe this will make a difference.

  • Kierran


    Agree with what you have said, makes sense. At this stage in my life I am fully aware what effect I have on people I am friends with or girls I am in a relationship with. It’s my person choice to try and consciously do something about that, if other N’s dont do that then that is a shame.

    My main point that I wanted to get across is that we do feel. I do feel emotion and I do feel love. Just not in the conventional sense and not in the way that you would call love. It’s just when that love is cut off ie. with Kerry. The defense mechanists slam in quick and the walls go up to protect getting hurt. A lot of people think N’s are bad people (some people even say evil) I don’t feel like I am a bad or evil person and I’m sure a lot of other N’s aren’t bad or evil either.

    Having said that we have to take a large responsibility or the way relationships work out. So women who are collateral after a relationship I do recognise that it must be extremely difficult for them to get over something so destructive.

  • Cattleya


    I know, I agree with you. Like I wrote before, I am very proud of you. I wish the N I was in relationship with could be like you .I tried and retried so many times to explain to him that he has problem, that I can help him to find help to learn what is going on in his life and to learn how to cope . He did not want to hear anything and he mocked and told me that it was me who has issues. I wish he could accept that he has problem, maybe I would stay with him, accepting him that way he is. But N has different types and he is too proud and does not want to change or at least to listen. He did not want to hear anything. Thank you again for your explanation and good luck in you life. Happy holiday season!

  • Wildflower

    I have been reading all the stories and there are many similarities to my own. I have just finished a relationship after a year and a half. I am weary of expending effort and during this relationship I made it a practice to observe carefully, feel my feelings and speak up. I met my ex at dancing thinking he was a student. I discovered that he was Cuban, extremely handsome with an amazing body, and he had an amazing smile. He was also black with dreadlocks. He is a world-class dancer who defected from Cuba and now lives here in Australia. Right from the beginning, he wanted to be in my life and we spent almost every day together. He works as a kitchen hand but is getting only a few shifts because he is frequently late for work. He has now been put on notice. He lives in a small room that is impoverished. I began to observe that he would drink a bottle of 40% proof alcohol like vodka like it was water. He also smoked heavily and smoked dope. He would sit in a chair with me in one nearby and he would share all manner of details about his life but ask little about me. He was charming and would make nice comments about me and say from the beginning how much he enjoyed my company. He very quickly asked if he could move into my home and live with me. I have never allowed that! I did not sleep with him straight away but when I did, I was shocked. He never engaged in foreplay, likes the woman on top doing all the work, will not do oral sex and does not like to show physical affection. I have never experienced this before. He also likes the woman to masturbate while he is inside her. He frequently could not get an erection either. However, he is very funny and we laughed and shared things that made us laugh. He is also a brilliant natural dancer and everyone wants to dance with him. Part of his attraction, unhealthy though it is, is that women fall over themselves to dance and be with him and he is so charming! The first Tim we went out, he asked if I could help him financially and I told him no! I wanted a kebab and he asked me to buy one for him too. I don’t pay for dates so said I’d share mine with him. In a year and a half, he has never taken me to a restaurant, bought me a birthday or Christmas present. Our dates therefore, because I would not pay , consisted of sitting in his room with him getting drunk every time and me sipping on one beer. Eventually I allowed him into my home and discovered that he would eat all the food and not offer to replace it. Same with the gas , Internet and electricity. Very quickly, I began to hide the food and when he asked what there was to eat, I just shrugged, said ‘Nothing’ and walked out of the room. When he was starving, I suggested that we go shopping and share the cost of the food. He looked at me as if I had two heads. He would cook, mow my lawn and tidy up which went down well and continue to ask if he could live with me. As soon as he would walk into my home, he would make a beeline to my hi-fi, the tv or my guitar and become engaged with them. I felt as if I had a teenaged boy in the house. He loves Bob Marley and that is all he likes to listen to. I am so over Bob Marley. When I was listening to something and insisted that I continue to the end, he got annoyed and couldn’t wait for it to be over. He never really asked me anything about me and after a difficult work day, he showed no concern. Once I was vomiting and really ill for 4 days. I had to drive the car home and his main concern while I was vomiting was about whether I could stop at the bottle shop to buy him alcohol. When we got home, I went to bed and he sat drinking alcohol and playing music very loudly. When I ever complained about the volume, he would snarl and become angry and ask what my problem was. It seems like my job description was to be kind and loving, provide for his comfort, provide sex, allow him to use all my things and act as free transport. Once he wanted to go somewhere and I demanded he pay for the petrol. He said he would pay me back but had no money. I told him I was going home and left. I had just driven away when he rang me and said he would pay. He gave me the money and off we went. The next day he had a show and I demanded $20 for petrol. He said he didn’t have any more. I said we wouldn’t be going. Then he said he could give me the money but I would need to drive him to an ATM. I said I would, then miraculously he pulled out a $20 note from his pocket. Once I accidentally found some emails because he had been using my iPad and had not closed off his emails. They were fascinating. There was a series of emails from an ex-girlfriend who was demanding that he repay $2,000 that he owed. This conversation was between the girlfriend and his ex-partner with whom he has a gorgeous little 6 year old. I discovered many things about this man including why his relationships ended. He was always the victim. One series of emails was between him and a woman he met whilst dancing in Japan. He met her there and apparently fell in love. This series of emails between the, covered the first three months of our relationship and he was planning to go to Japan in April of 2012 and was going to meet her there. She was also sending him money for the fare. I was livid and confronted him. He denied all until I told him names and dates and told him that I had emailed this woman in Japan telling her about his betrayal of both her and me. He was very angry at being caught out but, interestingly, did not care that it had hurt me a lot. So, inch by inch, I have slowly put more boundaries in place to protect myself and have withdrawn emotionally. I have noticed that as I have stopped being a very nice, patient accommodating woman, and have started confronting him with my very justified feelings, he has changed and is now withdrawing more, saying that he can’t handle the conflict that is of course, all my fault, according to him. He takes no responsibility for his part. Some of the latest things have been my inability to handle the impossible loud music which reverberates through my home, which he treats as his. So, one night, I crept out of bed, saw he was busy drinking himself into a stupor, and crept around to the front of the house and turned off the mains, went back to bed where he found me and asked what happened and how to fix it. I said there must have been a power failure and I would see about it in the morning. More recently, I pretended that a valve had gone, but in reality had just flipped a switch on the amplifier and removed the plug. I have banned alcohol from my home so he is now very bored and it is also my fault that he is not having a good time when he is with me. I have also refused to drive him to the bottle shop and have told him that if he wants alcohol, it is his call. I refuse to do something that feels wrong for me. He has no money, will not be pro-active in seeking well-paying work and it’s not my job to bail him out. This is not a nurturing relationship where he is capable of meeting my needs. I have seen enough and all along I have kept my work, social and recreational life going. He is becoming more verbally abusive and is beginning to damage my property. I feel sad, disappointed and tense, anxious and scared, but mostly very, very sad. The last straw was last Friday when I confronted him about his flirtatious with other women at dancing who he swears are students wanting lessons. I drily pointed out that they dance well and do not appear to need any lessons. He denies that there is any more than friendship involved. I do not believe this in light of the woman from Japan. I think he is lying and not doing a good job of it. The final straw was when we were watching a DVD and I fell asleep. I woke because he called me to get food so we could eat and rewound the DVD to the place where I fell asleep. When I came in he was winding it to where he had got to. I was angry and told him I wanted to watch and it would be considerate to allow this. He was verbally abusive and said we were just friends who f….d. I said that if this was the case, it was finished between us. He went to leave, taking one of the DVD’s with him. I demanded it back and he wouldn’t give it. He collected his things and went to the bedroom, put his earphones in and was listening nonchalantly to his iPod stating that he would just sit there all night. So I came in, closed the door behind me, and sat in front of it and told him we’d sit it out! I also told him that if he didn’t give it back I would email his employer and inform them about the DVD and about money he owes me for damage to my property. He quickly said that if I would not do that he would give me the DVD and leave. So that’s what happened. He contacted me the next evening, apologetic and anxious to see me immediately. I told him to come the next day so we could talk but he insisted on coming then. He got to the train station around 11 and demanded I come and get him. I told him no, I was in bed and did not want to. He got angry and wouldn’t see my point of view. Eventually he said he would go back home. I think he will just disappear now because the game is up and he is getting no joy. I also imagine he will now be looking for another woman to use. For me, it has been a valuable learning experience and no more of my things will get damaged. My home is peaceful once more and through my association with him, I have learned what I truly need in a man, so I can thank him for that. I feel very sad and miss him a lot because there were good things in our relationship. Over time though, I can see things getting more abusive and painful. I am intact and so is my self-esteem and I feel safe and free from anxiety once more. He cannot really love and only knows how to use people. I am very sure this is true. It is him who has the problem and I am fine. It is New Year’s Eve and I am going to a party with friends and am choosing to focus on nourishing myself and giving me the care I was giving to him.

  • Cattleya


    Happy New Year, I know you are in 2013 there already. Here in US we have 2 hours before we start a New Year, OHH my!, I cried reading your post. It is what many of us have been through. Please be strong and do not let him coming bank. He is a N. He never love you, He was using you. N does not get it. It is about them. They keep chasing women because they are never happy, as they keep chasing their dream when the excitement is over. Like a kid, he wants women to love him but N do not love, they get angry only. He is lying to you, and N tells lies without any reasons. Be strong, we all suffered when we decided to break up with them, but you have to remember that most of N people don’t have ability to recognize that they can have problem. They think that other people have problems and that they are victims. He is also manipulative, be careful, he will find a way to try to get back to you. It may take months but he keeps trying when other women will be tired of him after discovering who he is.
    I understand that you miss him sometimes. I was the same way with my N ex, but in the other hand the damages and anxiety that N causes is big and is not worth to keep trying to save the relationship. No worries I guaranty you that one day you will think about it and laugh. Do you know that he will never find a woman who will stay with him, he will keep moving around from a woman to a woman, and the same way he does with jobs. Talking about sex, I never experience pleasure with mine! It was violent, no feelings, no kissing, and it was horrible; I told him that I did not want his sex. I think there is something wrong in their sexuality. Please do not let him back. He will drive you mad and you will end up in therapy. They are manipulative, liars, do not have any remorse and sometimes enjoy other people sufferings. If you show him that you miss him, he will be happy, it increases the attentions and supplies he needs. I cut all contact with my N. I blocked him on facebook and telephone. He went dating online and was chasing women. When the holiday season was close, I spotted him in town; I am sure he tries to contact me but cannot because I blocked him. I gave him many chances but each time, he destroyed me more. He is messed up. He wounded people who love him and does not even care. Good luck my dear. No worries, we will heal slowly.

  • Wildflower

    Thanks for your caring feedback. I am noticing over the past month as I have taken away things that were hurting me like the loud music and not allowing alcohol in my home, that his cruel comments and actions have escalated. I have deleted all his msg’s from my phone and have sent him several new texts since last Friday giving him firstly, feedback about his impact on me and my feelings in regard to the last couple of weeks. I sent one text to him yesterday telling him that I was going to the party last night without him. In that text, I told him that I recognised that we wanted different things and respected his decision not to get married. When he said that last Friday, i was shocked because one if his baits has been to suggest that we will be getting married. In his anger, he let slip that we were only friends who f….d. After all we have shared, I felt really hurt to think that I mean nothing more than this to him. I sent the last text to him this morning telling him that I have moved on, that we want different different things and I am moving on to a more caring relationship (with myself, but I did not say that). By sharing that information, he will know that it is completely over. I have not heard from him and don’t think I will again. I was in a lot of pain last night at the party, which was made worse because the band was playing salsa, bachata and merengue music and I kept remembering last New Year and the fun we shared dancing together on many occasions. It felt painful for him not to be with me last night. Today I have spent in meditation and clearing the pain and have reached a place where I am feeling peaceful, calm, loving and happy. I have removed the addictive peptide cellular impact from my brain and body and my home is so very peaceful once more. I am not feeling anything about him. I will practise No Contact and fortunately, during our relationship, I did not give up any of my existing life. Since he has no car and I live 3 kms from the train station, I do not think he will try to come to my home. I have been remembering all sorts of the harmful, destructive and painful events and have had time to realise that he gave me nothing. I am also clear that it is quite possible that if I don’t close him out now, this roller coaster could go on for more destructive years. Better to face the pain now and let him go. I have done some reading and more than ever, I am aware that I was his source of supply for heaps of things; not money, but he used the things in my home, we used my car and things like that. I also realised that he wanted my availability at all times and sometimes stopped me from sleeping just because he wanted to talk. So, in 2013, it is a new slate and over January my dance school has a break. I will have a relaxing holiday from school doing things I want to do. Once dancing starts again and my work starts, I will get enough sleep, unlike last year, and I have brought out all the food from my cupboards now. My life is getting back to normal and there will be no more damage to my property. I deserve a much more nurturing relationship and eventually, once I have healed, will have it.

  • Cattleya

    don’t be worried you will get there one day. I was sick when I broke up with the N . everything reminded me about him. However I knew that better to suffer alone than being with him. He destroyed me to the point I prayed God asking why it was happening to me. Like you, he was telling me that he did not want a serious relationship, but by the same time, he wanted to control me. He was getting upset if I am 5 min late from work. One day I told him that he played with me like I don’t have a heart. I told him that I do not want to sacrifice my life to him when he does not care, that I will live with some one who has me in his plan for future. He did not get it, because he never had plan. Sometimes we would sit together and he would talk about his future girlfriend , how beautiful and wealthy she will be!!!!, I never had a serious conversation with him, about anything, his mind was a mess. He could get mad if I asked him a simple question. I never received anything from him as a gift. Only things he did for me is to buy food, not groceries but order in! he likes to eat out and was thinking that it was a big dear for me. He hates Christmas, valentine day because it is a time people exchange gifts and he does not want to give anything. I told you that I saw him in town, I know that it was him, because it was holiday season,( he did not want to give gifts to other woman he was with , I know he cannot live alone for one day, he needs a woman to survive, he is afraid to be alone, so he does not want to give gift, so he came back in town hoping to see me or other women here (frankly I don’t care anymore)so that he would spend time with me without having the responsibility to buy a gift until the holiday is over then he would go back again to where he was for 3 months.. and so on. That is how he is and he does not think that other people can know that what he is doing is wrong. So I do not want him anymore, I had enough with him. I know I will never forget him, but thinking of him does not hurt me anymore. Be strong and good luck with dance class. We have a heart that loves so do not get discouraged. HUGS!

  • The Rebound Girlfriend

    Cattleya, “I know he cannot live alone for one day, he needs a woman to survive, he is afraid to be alone” we are discussing this phenomena in the comments on the latest blog entitled ” 7 Reasons Women Reject Eager Men”.
    Seems there is not a small number of people like this.

  • Wildflower

    Well already I’m feeling better. I have found a wonderful website that describes the narcissist personality to a T. Apparently they start out very charming so they get you hooked but eventually their plan is to degrade you and destroy everything good in you and to damage your self-esteem. The author if the website became psychotic and nearly lost her life. She is a kinesiologist who designed a programme that heals people from the inside and offers a free twenty minute clearing session. After doing it I felt so much better. Apparently, if you do not give them any energy and you go away, that makes them continue to come back so they can suck off your energy. The end result though is intense conflict that gets worse every time they get back together with you, until you are destroyed. That is unless you get out before it escalates and maintain No Contact. She gives a really good free e-book that describes No Contact in great detail. What we all need to understand is that these people are empty and are incapable I true relating. They can be loving, giving and charming but it is a false self. I frequently was surprised that my boyfriend seemed to show two completely different sides. One side was loving, funny and giving and The other was cold as ice, scary and vicious. Apparently the nice side is the false one and the vicious side is the real one. So I am now getting a clear picture of my boyfriend that makes sense of all his strange behaviours. I have terminated the relationship, deleted all his information from my phone and computer and have begun No Contact. Another thing I have learned is that I attracted him because of something in me that was unhealed. I am now only allowing those nourishing people who have one thing to offer me something, into my life. Whatever I allow in, I need to take complete responsibility for and find out why I allow such destructiveness. So I’m on my way. Today I have been for an 80 km ride with my friend Howard and 3 of his mates. They are all very respectful and caring of me and we had the best time. I am beginning to see how this is the kind of man that I need. My boyfriend has served his purpose in my life, which was to teach me how to love myself better.

  • Maryland

    You could’t had said it any better. The last part was the besT,when you talked about how your N serve his pupose taught you how to love yourself once more. My ex-n serve me, the last night we were together. He had answer the phone to his needy ex and throught nothing was wrong by doing it. His even try to make me feel I was in the wrong.
    I do beleive we are missing something in our lives to make the choice we did. I think we all have so much love to give we just havn’t found the right person just yet.
    The the craxy part is when I got the e-mail from the other woman she was also A N. She started to tell me everything then at the end she start to say I have the wrong guy.(duH) Sometimes I wanted to post then here to get what people would think , But I have move on.
    You are right,they start out charming making you feel great.But afterwards the fall starts. Last I heard he and her were still talking to here.It like they play the N game. Power Players.

  • Wildflower

    Thanks for your response. I’m only glad that I left now instead of in 10 years. By then I would have lost myself completely. Even now, I feel as if I lost some of my joy and energy and I read a note to myself I wrote last week. In it I said that I feel like u am in a prison and didn’t like who I was becoming. Slowly he was eroding my sense of well-being and controlling my behaviour. I am very intuitive but could feel that I was beginning not to trust what I was picking up. Today my home is peaceful, the food that I buy is exactly here I leave it and there for when I want to eat it. No more stress and tension or anxiety ; just peace. I have an appointment next week to see a kinesiologist so I can deal with the underlying core belief. This is what caused me to attract him. Really, he was just my teacher; it’s me who got caught! Once this clearing work is done energetically I won’t attract guys like my boyfriend any more because there will be no energetic key to attract him. Really, it has to be about us taking good care of ourselves and learning to set good boundaries so when these guys come into our lives, they don’t get past first base. The rest of my life is wonderful and I’m looking forward to a solid and l’m looking forward to experiencing a loving and mutually caring relationship with a compatible man. If you’re interested, a great website is melanietoniaevans. She has been through all this and her website has heaps of positive information that we need to know; both about narcissists. No Contact and regaining our lives. Do have a look.

  • Wildflower

    Thanks for responding. I am currently experiencing a lot of flashbacks about the things that happened in our relationship but now my home is peaceful and I have had time to process my feelings. This is still going on. I am feeling better each day but still have some bad days. I am going to see the kinesiologist this morning to find out and clear the reason that I got involved with my boyfriend in the first place. I am sure that when this hole in my soul is healed, then I won’t be attracting any more N. I have also written a goodbye letter to him via email expressing why I am saying goodbye. It doesn’t matter if he reads it or not. The point is, I have got it out and expressed it and that is the end. He has tried to contact me by phone and text and I have not responded. This is how it will continue. I am enjoying my home again and not feeling anxious and tired all the time. I also am finding that I am not thinking about him much at all. He really gave me nothing and is a user and loser and I do not need such people in my life. I went dancing last night and had a wonderful time. I intend to engage in more activities like this that make me feel happy.

  • Wildflower

    I can empathize with you and understand how you were deluded by this man. Narcissists have no conscience or empathy and are not like ordinary people. You cannot reason with them and they are incapable of caring for you, supporting you or loving you. It might take a while for this to sink in and you may be very focussed at the moment on what he did or did not do. While that sort of thinking is understandable, it is not going to help you recover and get you the life you want. We allowed them into our lives and kept them there and did not set the necessary boundaries. We hoped they would ‘get it’ and change. They never do and never will. The only thing I could do with mine was get him out of my home and go NC. If you make contact, you will set yourself back to square 1. It just goes like a rollercoaster and gets worse each time they come back, and THEY WILL to HOOVER you if you let him. Mine has been banished and is not allowed any contact. My home is peaceful once more. I’m onto him! He doesn’t love me but can put on the charm and almost make me believe that he does; as soon as I began to feel like he was really nice, he would begin to show his true colours again. Don’t worry about the new woman; if it wasn’t her it would be someone else. He will have another one after her, then another and another until he can’t get any more. N are very difficult to treat and many have tried and wasted their lives trying to get from them what they can give. There are a lot of better men out there and when we are the love we want from them, the right loving man will appear in our lives.

  • Cattleya

    Yes I likes this :you cannot reason N. no matter what you do, what you tried, you cannot reason N. The best way to cut relationship with them is to go no contact. Don’t even send email or text; also do not receive any mails, emails or text from them. I cut all communication with mine, and now I feel happy. I am very much released to think that he knows that I don’t need him anymore. Also, it is the only way to heal and move on. Otherwise, it is a waste of time to expect love from someone who will never love you.

  • Kierran

    If I can give you some advise to save you paying for counseling.

    Take control of your own life and the relationships you are in and accept responsibility for your choices and actions. The Narcissists you were with have plenty that they have to answer for and most Narcissists will live out miserable lives regardless of who they are with. But you all have to look inwards instead of blaming the other person as that isn’t going to make you feel better in the long term and isn’t going to help you in the future.

    Ask yourself how you allowed yourself to be vulnerable to the point of letting someone take advantage of that and destroy your confidence and self esteem. Own your choices, and make sure you aren’t that vulnerable again.

    Sorry to be blunt but 99% of you are just feeling sorry for yourself and blaming your N instead of taking any responsibility for your own actions and choices.


  • Wildflower

    To Kierran
    I couldn’t help but respond to your post. I agree with you that I got hooked into this ‘relationship’ with my ex-boyfriend because there are some patterns in my subconscious that allowed me to get hooked and I take full responsibility. However, I chose to continue with this ‘relationship’ and learn as I went along and my eyes and ears were fully opened. I learned how to set boundaries, felt what it was really like and was able to connect a lot of dots. I have finished with this person now and am a lot richer for having known him. This is because he has shown me where I still need to heal and I have already been to see a kinesiologist and we are getting to the bottom of my destructive pattern. So my ex-boyfriend was a necessary gift in disguise. Without him, I may not have known what inside me still needed to heal. I have also learned a lot about how N operate. My life is totally together in all other aspects and I am a very fortunate woman with an excellent profession and work that I love, an amazing group of really close friends and a good support network, I live in a wonderful place and have a very rich and full life and I have almost paid off my home and am financially independent. Sadly, I compare my life with the life of my ex-boyfriend whose life is one I would not choose at all; it is an impoverished life with no regard for other human beings and his working prospects are poor due to his lifestyle. We also had fun together as I observed how he carried out his daily existence. I am not really hurt because I realise that it is not about me and I did not change anything about my life as I engaged with this man/boy. I just included him in my life and am not resentful because I chose to give what I did to him. I have now moved on with a lot more self-knowledge and the unhealed part of me is getting healed. So now I can look forward to a much more nourishing relationship in the future.

  • Kierran


    I am genuinely glad for you and you are clearly an example of someone who, like you say, has taken responsibility and used your experience to make yourself stronger in the future.

    My original point is that people on here need to be more like you so that they can move and and build their lives back up,

  • Wildflower

    To Kierran, I understand your frustration, however you are a guy, for a start. Women are wired differently and because of that, N usually affects more women than men, although men do also get involved with N women. My ex, many years ago was a very destructive N and at that stage, I had no idea what I was dealing with and it took several years, much rage and impotence on my part to actually begin to get free. The ‘relationship’ with him nearly cost me my life. What made it worse is that people would say things like you have and it was not helpful at all. Not only was I completely stuck, but in order to get free, I needed the loving support of several key people who did not tell me what to do. What really helped, was them being able to accept where I was at the time and encourage the efforts I was making. This encouraged me to keep going. I had enough shame to deal with and I thought that his behaviour was about me. It took a long time to understand that it was his problem and nothing to do with me at all. My issues went back to early childhood and insufficient care and attention that may have enabled me to take this strength into adulthood. Not all women get hooked by N, but those who do, usually have unresolved self-acceptance issues that need healing. So, although you mean well, your non-acceptance of the struggle that most people on this site are dealing with, doesn’t help them. It is very scary to have a man who is much bigger than you, attack you physically and N can be extremely manipulative. The problem with most women is that they find it very difficult to understand how there are men who actually cannot relate, have compassion, empathy or a conscience, since this is so different from the way that most women relate. That being said, there are men who also get caught in the vicious web of the N. Just some thoughts about the other side.

  • Kierran


    You’ve kind of highlighted what I’m trying to get at. You, like many women on here have had issues during childhood or some justifiable reason as to why they are mentally very vulnerable.


    So has a narcissist. 99% of us have gone through terrible experiences in our childhood that has shaped the people we are. So why are we being called evil and disgusting people with very little understanding that most of us are just as vulnerable as you but have had to put coping mechanisms in place so we don’t get consumed by the emotions that we don’t want to feel at all costs.

    I agree a lot with what you are saying. I just get sick of women going on about N this and N that. How disturbed, how sick, how evil, how selfish, and how manipulative “my N was” and how he nearly destroyed my life. The reasons you are vulnerable in the first place is the route cause and the main reason why you are so vulnerable to people (narcissist of non-narcissist) being able to affect your life so much. Whether that be childhood issues or whatever it may have been etc.

    You deserve to be helped and be given support like anyone who goes through the experiences you have. But so does a narcissist who is as equally vulnerable as you but just in a different way.

    That’s all I have to say anyway and that’s my opinion. Just as you are entitled to your opinion and feelings.

  • Wildflower

    Hmm. Well I understand what you are saying, however, how would you feel if you were manipulated in such an underhanded and dishonest way, out of money, possessions and if you had to deal with someone who lied to you on a daily basis, abused you verbally and emotionally, and this was someone you thought you could trust. It is all about honesty, openness, transparent=cy and accountability. The impact that N have on the lives around them is often devastating and so destructive because they have the ability to destroy trust in vulnerable people. Added to that, most N do not even acknowledge that they have a problem in the first place. I have observed my ex boyfriend steal from me, lie about it and look for opportunities to take more. I have seen him destroy my property in a fit of anger and take no responsibility for his actions. He chooses to live an irresponsible life and attempt to get others to see him as a victim while he makes no attempt to better his life. I do not need such a person in my life because it does me no good. Not only that but he has no capacity to give out of himself and it’s all about him. He has no capacity to relate or empathise. After a while it gets really boring. That’s why I had enough and I would rather be around people who I can trust, people who are interested in me, people who do not steal from me and destroy my property. Since most N do not seek therapy to sort out their woundedness, they go through life as victims and seek people to use and do not deal with their issues. So that is why most of the people who have been damaged by the N in their lives have a lot to say and need healing. The difference though, with those people who have been affected by N, is that they do not destroy people’s trust, can relate and feel, and do not cause destruction of other people’s lives. Maybe you are one of the few N who has sought assistance to sort out your childhood issues. Perhaps you are one of the N who has mad compensation for all the things that you did to other people so they have some redress. I sincerely hope so! So that is why the people on this site say what they do; they have been further damaged and hurt by people so manipulative and they have had no defences against such people until now they are seeking to find ways to heal.

  • Kierran

    The simple question is: Why did let him get that far? at what point is the line drawn in a relationship? You have to accept that you are both responsible in different ways. If you were secure at the time and didn’t have any issues yourself you would have cut him lose long long before he was able to hurt you verbally and emotionally. Instead because of your own unresolved issues you wanted his approve. You wanted to give him chance after chance. You didn’t want to let go.

    I am careful to point out btw that he did and the way he acted towards you was completely wrong and unjust.

  • Cattleya


    I am sure you know that N has different forms, Like i wrote to you before, I have a respect and admiration for you. You are a good support for us here, at least we know that there is someone here who understands what we have been through from a different angle. However, you are asking us to accept out responsibilities, it sounds like we played a big role being in destructive relationships. Maybe we have something that attracted N, which is normal since in a normal relationship, there is always something that encouraged mutual attraction. But, there is no way we could not avoid the relationship, or the attraction. If you are N, you know better than me, how manipulative N could be. Some people live with N for years before N show their truth self. If we talk about N , it is not because we do not want to forgive and forget, but it is because some N hurt us very hard without stopping, and they seem enjoying it! And they do not care. They do not accept help, and keep devaluing those who love them. They damaged our trust. It is hard to avoid a relationship with a N , because it does not show up at the beginning. , Also because N know who they are, they mask their behavior until they feel comfortable. This is how we call them evil, even if you say that they cannot help it, or change who they are, but most of N people women or men, use their N personality to victimize others. We are here on this site because we suffered and want support. I am quoting Wildflower “ they have been further damaged and hurt by people so manipulative and they have had no defenses against such people until now they are seeking to find ways to heal.

    Blaming us women who survived N relationship and abuse is like asking us to be quiet, or telling us that we deserved it. Let us put N and love aside. Let us say another man comes to you , nice looking, with a nice car, he wants to be your friend, he has money or at least you see that he has money, since he takes you out in a fancy restaurant, he has business partners who call him all the time, then one day he asked you to borrow $ 2000 to replace his windshield because the bank is closed and wont cash quickly. Then you give him money, because you know he is a rich man and will pay back. Then once you want you money back , he does not have money, because he does not have the car it was a lie, it was his father or a girlfriend’s car, he does not have any business because he ask his friends to call him to pretend that he has a business, very much his nobody. So how are you going to fell? You are going to say, “oh I forgive him, I should know that the fancy watch or car was not his?” This is how most N are. This is how it is hard to forget how manipulative they are and they do not stop!! And this is why we are here and talk about them! Believe me Kierran a victim suffers more than the assailant. It is like a wound. If someone stabs you, even if he said I am sorry, the damage is done, you suffer the wound and stay with the scar!!

    However, like Wildflower is saying, we learn from this bad relationship. It is not easy to heal, but we have to be careful in our next relationship

  • Wildflower

    To Kierran. You are right. If everyone was ok with him or herself, they would certainly put a stop to relating to the N in their life. However, this process often takes years. Hopefully, people eventually ‘get it’ and do what is necessary to address the issues and move on. So, are you one of the N who has learned to address your issues, or are you still likely to use and abuse potential victims just because you know you can? Just curious!

  • Wildflower

    Oh, I forgot to say. I guess that I am at a point of scientific curiousity where I am noting what people do and say to see what they actually do with their behaviour and I find it fascinating. I guess though for me, I am able to set good boundaries. Interestingly, the N still do the same things as they always have, but when they can’t get through the boundaries, I am left feeling extremely sad that there is no possibility to relate except at a distance, because now I am aware of my previous lack of good boundary setting, I see that there is no way to connect, because the N cannot get their acts together and need others to help them just make it through life; a bit like allowing a Pre-Primary child responsible for his or her own life and letting that child loose on the world. Same with the N; they are just very little inside but have the ability to fool people initially through their deviousness because they have had many years in which to hone it sharply. Looking at N as if they are little 5 year olds makes it easier. Unfortunately for the adult version, their lives are usually train-wrecks when left to their own devices, and once they grow older and less attractive, I anticipate that they will end up with no assets, no ability to pay for bills or accommodation and maybe end up on the scrap heap of life, and usually with some sort of substance addiction; very sad!

  • Kierran

    Cattleya – To be honestly I completely agree with what you’ve just said. For want of a better example I would just say that the N’s that you have been with are 90% responsible for what has happened and in a fair world just feel the pain and anguish for what they have done to you (unfortunately with most N’s that wouldn’t be the case) however I guess I’m just getting at the point where you are perhaps 10% responsible for giving the N the chance to get that far into your head. But like you say, it’s not always easy because we can be very manipulative (if smart enough) so you might not have known until it was too late.

    Wildflower – Ermm it’s hard to say really. I have a therapist that I see regularly and have been for a year with the aim to change my behavioral patterns. I genuinely want to fit into society and be “normal” but the facts are that I just don’t have it in my arsenal to feel like most people or enjoy life like most people. The aim I have set myself is just to minimize the colateral as much as I can so I don’t hurt other people. Hence why I have been single for about 8 months now. I just don’t trust myself with other people. The sad thing for me is that I agree with what people say, we are a bunch of pricks. But I am the way I am because of what happened in my childhood so I guess on write on hear hoping to prove a bit of insight so me and other N’s can at least receive a better understanding.

  • Wildflower

    Thank you for sharing so honestly Kierran and for being aware of your process. Whilst I acknowledge the deck of hands that you got when you were really young, and appreciate that you are now in therapy to see if you can change your ways, I would also like to add this. There is a very famous autistic woman in the US called Temple Grandin and she designs all the cattle grids for cattle going to the abbattoirs. She was asked how come she could act normally as if she could feel emotions like other people when she, being autistic, really couldn’t feel them and never will. Her response was to share that she learned to observe the behaviours that others exhibited and followed suit. So although she looks authentic, she actually cannot feel emotions normally like the rest of us. I guess that there are two things I would like to say. The first is that if you cannot feel emotion and want to act appropriately, you will just have to do the actions. At least that way, you will be acting counter to your impulses. The next thing is this; how much do you want to heal? My childhood involved a lot of emotional trauma and the development of a false self. I experienced a crisis that sent me into therapy and my facade crumbled and I was left with a tiny baby me who had no idea about who she was. I then had to learn all the steps right from the beginning, including accepting and feeling my real feelings for the first time in my life. These were very dark feelings that I had hidden from myself and others and facing them was excruciating. The good thing about it all is that once I experienced those feelings, they diminished and I then went on the journey to learn how to love myself the way I really am. For many years I did not enter any relationships because I needed to learn how to care for myself and feel my vulnerability and not use anyone to get what I needed. It was very hard work to face the fear inside and get what I needed in an honest manner and fight to learn how to support myself and my daughter and obtain my university degree. Being a fully authentic person who gets needs met honestly, and being a person who has learned to care for the inner child without expecting someone ‘out there’ to do it, takes courage and time, but can be done. I think that you will have to really be determined to be utterly honest with your therapist and go into all those dark places from your childhood that you have avoided, and face them and heal them. Then, I think you can learn to nurture your inner child and begin to feel all those painful feelings that you have avoided. Once you can do this, you can become a feeling person, but it will mean that from here on in, you have to be brutally honest with yourself and you will have to feel all of your feelings, even the hard ones, for the rest of your life. Just some thoughts.

  • Cattleya

    Kierran, I sincerely wish you good luck with your therapy. If you have a will to understand your problem, and I am sure you do, then you will live a happy life. I like that you want to learn how to not hurt others. I know it will be hard to always think of what you are doing, but you will not be rejected by others. Also, do not get discouraged because , in life we have other problems too that are hard to fix or to accept. But life continues and we cope and move on.

    To Wildflower, I like what you said about living with a 5 year old kid. I have children and I know when they were 5 and teen, they needed my love my attention and I love them unconditionally. However, they knew what is wrong, they could apologize, and even 5 year old kid can show compassion. also you can reason them and they accept, they can even have a good discussion., they do not lie or manipulate people , But a grown person with 5 year old mind, as a N, it is hard to understand, and accept., sometimes it is hard to describe the N i was in relationship with.

  • Wildflower

    To Cattleya, when I think about placing my ex-boyfiend in an age-range, 5 years old is where he fits. He is very like my pre-primary students; except not the lovely little ones who do know right from wrong and care about others. Even very small children can offer empathy to others when they sense that someone is hurting. I have had children in my class who have problems relating and they are hard work. Some of them come from deprived environments but are basically nice kids. There are some children though, who do not respond to love, discipline and care, and learn to apply what is learned across contexts. I am dicovering that if I think of my ex-boyfriend in this light, it is very clear. I do not expect my 5 year old’s to meet my needs and I do not expect them to have the capacity to empathise with me. It is my job to meet their needs. So, my ex-boyfriend is an adult but has the behaviour and responses of a damaged 5 year old. When I think of him in this way, it is easier to let him go.

  • Kristina

    Hi I’m stuck in a rut. I absolutely hate that this certain guy I for some reason love is a N. I almost can’t and won’t admit it and actually do anything about it. He’s 40. I’m 26. He also has no real job, debt beyond fixing, no drivers license, no education, severe issues from childhood, and 3 kids, 2 diff. Moms that he doesn’t support.
    I have stopped talking to all friends mostly because of his severe controlling issues, and even after HE broke up with me once,I got involved with a new guy and he was my new bf and N comes to his house and jumps out to fight the new bf. of course new bf doesn’t want to deal with drama, so right back into the N’s arms i fall.
    Basically he gps-es my car, intercepts my cell phone, lies to try to catch me cheating or something, and constantly says I’m a slut and too immature and evil, none of which are true. Then he tries to use this info against me even when none of its true. Then he ll tell me to shut the hell up then if I say it and for good reason, “don’t talk to me like that” ! What are you serious? Talk about driving a person crazy. And he s my one and only he has made me and I’ve chosen to make him my only person to talk to, to go to, and so that is why I think I’m so dependent on him.
    I love him but he really is terribly troubled and mixed up, yet I’m the young stupid one who thinks she knows everything, when I know I don’t. Whenever I try to explain something to him, he says, ” what are you talking about?” And thus the conversation ends.
    He constantly does things that I don’t think are appropriate yet I accept them over and over from him, which makes me disgusted with myself. I’m just so committed to him and think about what’s best for him all the time, yet he won’t even support me in the least by asking how my day was, in fact hell give me more problems or use me as a ride or something,
    Then he’ll just be so hypocritical, and that really makes me pissed, but I find I can’t give up for some reason, after investing so much of myself Just to get a crazy stalker in return, a stalker that cares more about the hunt than the person he’s hunting, how lame. I just really needed to vent and some of the posts here seemed to make it an appropriate place to do so.
    My N never changes or works on his problems, only repeats them everyday and I obviously accept them, resent him, thus causing a vicious cycle of not getting along, or moving on or growing. He’s so freaking insensible and whatever suits his fancy in that exact moment is what he believes or stands for, constantly changing his reasoning and rationality if there’s any…but what makes it worse is that I’m a true lover, giver, martyre, wants to save the world, yet can’t save myself. I’m so comfortable living miserable in his controlling, unstable company, than being without him and doing what I believe in and that’s not accepting bullshit like that…. I need help badly, he’s my favorite person, and he pisses me off more than anyone on the planet and disrespects me like no other, gosh I’m sick. Ugh, I’m afraid to ask, but any advice or input. It help to be able to get it out without him curtting in with his bullshit, throwing it into a tangent. Anyway thanks for reading or any time spent on it. I’m exhausted just writing and thinking about it!

  • Cattleya


    I like what you say “ a stalker that cares more about the hunt than the person he’s hunting, how lame”. You get it right. What you have to remember that N does not care about anyone else. Mine wanted to see me so bad, he would drive around and call me , txt me so many times until he sees me, and then what? Nothing. He would not say anything. Not even sorry because of the fight we had , that pushed me away. Anyway, He controls you , stalks you, not because he cares or love you, but because he thinks that you belong to him as an object, and he wants to keep you around because it make him happy. Whatever he does, it is for him, not for you. He is proud probably of having you, not because he loves you, but because other people will know that you are the gf.
    I remember the N i was in relationship with, he was proud to be with me, because people would ask him, “ oh so you have a ….. (my race ) gf? It made him happy, but I know he never loved me.

    I understand you problem, it is hard to leave someone once you loved. But living with N is very damaging and tormenting. Any way you are young, I know you admit to be codependent and loving him. Love is a beautiful thing. However, I am afraid your N is not capable of commitment, since he does not support his kids. I doubt he will not leave you one day, when he finds a new woman, you will be heart broken. Also, other things you may consider, N do not change, No remorse, they live the present, they do not care about what happen yesterday, they never plan for the future, so if he leave you, he will not remember you.

    What you can do now if to compare what you get from this relationship, and what you get if you break up. Then make your own decision. The problem is he is damaging you emotionally and most of victims end up in therapy. I am not asking you to leave him now, it is up to you since you says that you still love him. But ask yourself if the damage he is causing is worth to stay with him. I encouraged the N to find help, I was ready to help him. But finally he ended up calling me a bipolar. This is a strategy they use to brainwash a partner, to lower gf’s self esteem so that he can control you. I never had any conversation with him, his mind is twisted. It could not take it anymore, I was going crazy , could not sleep, was losing weight, I was afraid to end up on med because of him. Since I cut all connection with him, I feel great.

    Think about how you are living now and make a decision before it is too late.
    Please come back and let us know how you are doing. An other advise is to keep posting something here, friends here will support you and believe me it helped me. Good luck my dear!!!

  • Wildflower

    Hello Kristina. I notice that all your focus is on the N rather than you. One question I have learned is quite useful is to ask myself ‘Is this serving me?’ I have been away from my ex-boyfriend since just before New Year 2013 and life has settled down and I have begun to heal from that relationship. N will always continue to attempt to make contact and that is why it is important when you are beginning to heal, to delete all email addresses and information from your phone so you won’t be tempted to contact him. N are very manipulative and will promise you the world or your version of what works. You believe him and then suddenly he is back and it is even worse than before. Unfortunately, this is a ploy to get back into your heart and life. N can’t sustain intimacy at all and can act as if they can for vary short periods. That is why we get caught; they are extremely manipulative and convincing, but it’s all a lie. N are very sick individuals, are very needy and do not have the capacity to meet your needs. I hope that you understand sooner rather than later that there is no hope with this person, unless he chooses to undergo therapy which will take several years at best and may not be successful. The problem as I see it is that you are attracting someone who is like a key in your lock energetically speaking. That is why you are vulnerable. If you were really healthy, you would not attract, or be attracted to such an individual. Narcissism is deadly! If you continue to allow this person into your life, it will continue to impact on every aspect of your life and ultimately destroy you. When you have had enough and realise that you need to stay away, you will hopefully seek some help so that you can go on to have a healthy life and be able to choose more wisely in a partner. Do yourself a favour and remove yourself before he cleans out your home, your bank account and completely destroys your life and self-esteem.

  • sue

    We hit it off right from the start and I felt no one ever swept me off my feet that hard. But after a month, I found out he was dishonest with his past relationship and every week I found more and more suspicious acts. He was an amazing lover (of course), but when he wanted me so much to go out with his friend, without him, I just couldn’t believe it at all. Right there, I knew, if he’s getting cold, again, I’d take it as my exit, my way out to disappear, without any energy spent to explain or argue or cry.. Two weeks later, on Valentines day, he texted me to have a great time with my boyfriend, whom i don’t have, but I knew he was just gaming me.. So I said, thanks ! I never heard anymore from him..a 100% narcissist, divorced parents, truly matched the profile.. I had deleted all his texts, photos and I felt no regrets at all, just a numb feeling and relieved it’s over shortly..

    To all married women with boys children, please raise them right, please consider everything before divorces, please don’t fight in front of them, please wait until they reach 18-20, nobody wants to be born and then feels insecure when parents are separating, it’s parental responsibility and commitment to raise and prepare them as decent human beings as long as you live, the cycle to create another narcissist needs to stop..

  • Maryland

    I had learned a lot from him. One thing is, you can’t change no one, Male/female. They have to want to change. Because all you will do is drain yourself trying. Yes, you were’re about having the walls up. I guess was just so dumb-struck; how someone can come into your life and leave. What I meant by that is, laugh, go places together, ECT.
    I will never do this again, it taught me to stop givng so much in a realtionship.
    He did call me after some time had passed. I decide to listen with a different ear this time. I could here the coldness in his voice. That he thought what he did was ok. This is talking to another woman right in front of me. When I asked, did you not think of me and my feelings. He had no real answer. Then when I asked him about me writng something on his truck window. He got up-set because he was worry about Rose would see it. But for me ,”oh well.” Again no real nothing in his cold voice.
    So when I brought up Rose and if he was still seeing her he told me , oh yea. Futhermore, with a cold tone he told me they have this Friends with benefits thing. No ring, no nothing. He never plans on marrying her or being with her. It just a deal they had. Tell you what kind of woman she is, All this with a very cold tone.
    Now time has passed, I’m making myself happy. I feel less stress because there no more game, no nothing. He called again, I didn’t answer this time. He just wanted something from me nothing else, Click.

    This is why I tell anyone,to listen. If the man/woman tell you something like, I just want to play the field, take it to heart. Your not going to change then. All you will do it bring yourself down. Wish them well and move on.

    Kierran, we learn from are exp. with being different people. I’m a person who gives way to much and I know that now. Thatwhy I was just blow aways when I started to see him act very distance. Why he hang on to another wonan,. But now I know what to look for and not to try to change then

  • lee

    I was dating a narcissist for a really long time. It s been over for a few years now, I ve met someone else. Yet at times I am still confused about it all. I do find it hard to trust and I constantly seem to expect the same behaviour from the current man in my life.
    At first it was intense, romantic, a real whirlwind. He lied and cheated, shouted, bullied, manipulated, isolated me. It all happened so slowly though, against a back drop of expensive holidays and gifts, intially my family and friends loved him. Yet if I m honest it all felt a little empty at times. The only thing I know for sure is that he never stopped lying to me from the moment we met, till the moment I cut contact 8 years later. One thing that upset him most was during a therapy session I told the therapist he did sincerity too well, he started looking for someone new, pretty quickly after that.

  • Cattleya

    Lee we all trust issues after being traumatized by a N . By little ny little may b the trust will come back again if we found a loving and caring person. I just pushed a wAy a guy a was daying bse i was afraid it is anoyher n man , u c , u r not alone. Stayed strong .

  • Renae

    Wow this is pretty dead-on! Women be warned that they appear to be very charming in the beginning with dates, flowers, shopping sprees, long phone conversations (I had’t talked to someone on the phone for 8 hrs straight since high school!). But that’s where the warning signs should have flagged my attention. It didn’t take long to realize these lengthy conversations were purely focused on him, his stories, his exaggerated life….on and on. there were many time he wouldn’t let me get off the phone. The lies became more apparent and sometimes so ridiculous that i didn’t even bother questioning him. I also quickly learned that asking questions or inquiring about details enraged him. First few weeks of dating he was always spontaneous….cute at first then it was beyond annoying. he would NEVER tell me where we were going or what we were going to do, thinking in his narcissistic mind “she enjoys my surprises”. But I didn’t and told him frequently. Even out of town trips were usually popped on me after a previous day of him raging out of control for no reason. One thing I picked up on is that he never had success with relationships and was ASHAMED and feared LONELINESS. He preyed on vulnerable women because these would be easier to control and manipulate. His ego was through the roof and even violently defended himself when this was pointed out saying he had a right to be arrogant…felt he deserved to be so. He felt he was entitled to lay up in my house even though he would never tell me where he lived (said I acted to stupid to know). He even once broke into my house because I wouldn’t answer the phone one early morning after he got off his late shift….i knew he just wanted to come lay up in my house for the remainder of the day. I was awoken to him standing over me in bed screaming why weren’t you answering the phone! He literally picked my front door thinking he had the right to enter, claiming he was worried about me. WTF? RUN ladies, RUN! My final straw was he took my car late one night while I was sleeping, was gone for several hours, then told me I was acting stupid for getting so worked up about it….although he had his own vehicle that I never was allowed to drive. Overall he was secretive, a major liar, more self absorbed than I can describe, violent, and tried to be demeaning when tried to pull away. RUN LADIES, RUN!!

  • Cattleya

    Yes Renae, WTK! You are right, thank you for your post. People who never got the chance to see an N will never understand. Living with a N is traumatizing . It is sad to be with someone who does not want to know the problems he is having , and does not accept that there is a problem. I was done with him after he called me a bipolar because I was asking him to seek help after finding out he has serous issues. He told me that he bought a house and a car and paid cash!! After 3 months he told me that he totaled the car, and he got out without a scratch!! It was hard to believe. I Never had a normal conversation with him. He does not have friends, he cannot keep a job. I blocked him of FB, phone and did not hear from him since last august. It was a huge relief when finally he was gone I do not know where I don’t even care.

  • john

    I fell in love with a female narcissist. And the description in this article fits just as well to her as to male narcissists. For more than a year I have been struggling to get out but since I am a really caring and actually a very nice guy I have had such difficulties to just walk out the door and leave her. Probably because I still love the character she created for me, although I see her true self nowadays.

    Everyone I talk to about it says the same that I have to turn around and run, but everytime I try she cries and leaves a black hole in my heart. I KNOW this is just manipulation as everytime I stay it gets a bit worse.

    When I stop giving her anything she gets violent, biting me, hitting me. I have wanted to strike back, it is not that I am not “man enough” to do it, but I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of pushing me over that edge – because I KNOW (again) that this is something she will use against me.

    Hopefully I am not that far from walking out the door leaving her. We do not have anything in common as I have been trying to protect myself for some time.

    But how do I get the strenght to just get out? How do I get the strength to understand that whatever it is that she gives to me (in sporradic emotional feedback, which always is bittersweet since I everytime realize that she does not do it for me) can be found with someone else? Someone who really cares.

    The saddest part of it is that she has a kid in a previous relation and I feel soo bad about leaving this relaitonship as this little boy is so happy about me being there. I have understood that this is because he gets a bit of freedom when I am there. But I can’t save everyone, can I?

  • Wildflower

    To John.

    I can really relate to the stuckness you feel about knowing that you need to leave this relationship and being unable to do so. There are good reasons why you are stuck and you would probably need to explore those through work with a good therapist or a kinesiologist so that you can heal.

    The final straw for me as I was going on this merry-go-round of knowing the need to leave and not being able to do so was when I picked up his jeans one morning and what should fall out was my emerald and diamond ring. Some other jewellery was missing also and it was fortunate that I discovered it before he took it and sold it.

    It took that for me to finally get him out of my life. You know that you deserve a lot better. The child is not your responsibility either. Yes, it is very sad that there is a child involved. Your job is to live your life fully. For us who are addicted to the N, unless we do leave, we will get sicker and sicker until we either get a terminal illness or act in a way that is destructive to ourselves; some people commit suicide or homicide. Please get some professional help for yourself to rid yourself of the N and to deal with your addiction to her. You know deep in your heart that you need to move on. I am shocked at how easy it was to move my N on once I discovered the theft of my jewellery. I only miss the illusion he created and when I think about how it was when the actual man was in my home, there was not one thing I wanted from him. The fantasy man who would meet my needs was the one I wanted.

    The truth as I see it is that you now have to give yourself all the things she was creating an illusion about; all the loving talk and the fantasy that she created. The N is a master actor and illusionist. My suggestion to you is that when you find yourself wanting to contact her and feel bad, make contact with a caring person who can talk with you so that you get back on track. Find a way to create or become part of a good support network and heal yourself so that you have the possibility of one day meeting a person who won’t be perfect, but she will be loving and real and together you can create a great relationship that is based in reality. Best of luck to you.

  • john

    Fortunately there is one person that I do trust and can confide in without a sense of guilt. Someone special who always in some sense watched over me.

    I am glad that I did not cut all the bonds with friends and relatives (despite N demanding that from me. Even though she changed the meaning of her demands when I had started to distance myself from my family).

    I have been reading a lot about N’s the last year (after a friend said that this woman I dated sounded a lot like her narcissistic mother). I got 25 statements which are true for narcissists and out of these 25 I could easily check 24. At the time the last one was not what I believed about her, but today I would check that as well as I am not as naïve anymore.

    It is this “void” inside that draws me back, I know. But I have started to realize, as you say, that I need to find a way to get this loving talk, affirmation elsewhere. But how?

    I think that the most important thing is that if I don’t miss this when I walk out the door it will be over. At least for me. She will find another slave for sure, but as long as it is not me I should be happy, but I do care too much about everyone else.

    But when all is said and done I hope that I have learnt something. Even though the price has been very high, stealing almost 3 years of my life – sure we have had a few great moments, some good memories but that is what they shall be. Memories.

    One thing that I have wondered about is why only the “letdowns” are remembered by N. Something positive will never be recalled in any way. Never acknowledged after some time as “but you did this nice thing”. Only “you did this bad thing, and it was a year or more ago”

    Anyway, I think talking, writing and reading about it will help. I have a few contacts with therapists that I could talk to about it, and I have been meaning to for some time. Maybe I will get going soon. :)

    Thanks for the feedback :)

  • Cattleya

    John, sorry to hear that you are dealing with a N. Like Wildflower says, please leave before something bad happened. N make people who love them miserable. She will take all of your wellbeing, your love, your everything until you become a shell. Remember that no reason to stay because, she does not care. If she finds someone else you will be forgotten in a second. N do not have empathy so one day she may leave you without any remorse. Dont try to make excuses, just find support and leave her. She will cry, threaten to kill herself and other manipulations but, it is manipulation. You only exist for her, to make her happy, like a thing she owns and not for mutual love. Sorry you will not have many people visiting his site. I want to give you another site you can visit and will find good supporters every day. Please check it out and listen to them. Good luck, I am sure you can do it. It is hard, it hurts, but you will recover, DON’T STAY!!
    Please come back here and let us know if you find the site. Maybe I will see you there and we will continue to support each other.

  • Monica

    I’m really confused on if I’m currently in a relationship with a narcissist. My therapist reccommended that I do some research on the topic as she brought it up as a possibility. I’ve been in a relationship with a guy for just over a year and love him with all of my heart. I met him when I was just getting out of another relationship and he knew that so even though timing wasn’t perfect he told me he wouldn’t give up and persued me. In the beginning it was amazing, he is a very attractive and has achieved a lot in his life. He was a pastor and ran a charity where he traveled all over the world helping kids and giving motivational speeches, he has received lifetime achievment awards in different countries for his work despite being under 40. He told me that he was divorced and was helping his sister to raise her 5 kids. I just thought he was the most caring and selfless man I’d ever met. He was extremely complimentary and attentive, but not clingy or over the top. But that didn’t last for too long. After about 5 months of dating I found out that he was using a fake name and the 5 kids he was raising were in fact his from his previous marriage. He cried and became very emotional when confronted with this and explained that due to his position (he is pretty well know) and the fact that it was a faith based charity he couldn’t risk the backlash of me exposing our relationship. He said he was trying to protect his children. I can’t seem to make it make sense, but when he explained it it all sounded so convincing and that he actually was this amazing person and father. After that I took a step back to examine the relationship and at that time he layed it on thick, explaining how convinced he was that we were the perfect match and he wanted to marry me. By that time I was already hooked, and although I was upset with the lies I think he knew when he got away with that that I was his. From then on things have gotten so hard. He definately makes me feel amazing at times but then detatches and makes me feel crazy for not understanding why the man who is supposed to love me doesn’t care if he doesn’t talk to me for a few days. He is also constantly talking about how much everyone loves him. He is the most charasmatic man I have ever know so he does get a lot of praise but it seems too important to him. A few months ago he was at my house in the morning and he received an email from someone who was looking into his finances with his work…Long story short he was embezzeling money from his charity but again although he admitted this was wrong he justified it as necessary to keep his 5 kids in an appropriate lifestyle. I know he wasn’t living large and I do believe the millions of dollars he was raising mostly went to the right place but he also wasn’t stealing to keep him or his chidren fed, it was more for the extras in life. Since then we ended things as the feds were investingating but he never fully left me alone, and in all honesty I didn’t either. Now despite my anger I can’t seem to stay away and he has such a way of convincing me he was innocent in all of the wrong that he has done. His case was just dropped as long as he agreed to never work in fundraising again. He still makes me so happy when we are together and never rages as this article points out but a lot of the other characteristics ring true. He is detached in many ways and places so much emphasis on status and looks. I wouldn’t consider myself a trophy wife however I am good looking and more importantly my job is something that he finds extremely appealing. There are probably only a couple women in the country who do what I do but it is in a very popular medium and I run an organization that the majority of the people has heard of. The buisness that I’m in is by far his greatest passion and I find that when he introduces me to people he quickly lets them know what my position is and that it is so schocking that a hot younger woman runs the orgaization. Its almost like he is more valueable because his girlfriend has such a “cool” and ususual job. I tend to shy away from talking about my professional life with strangers because it is all they want to talk about once they find out but he loves it. He doesn’t seem to care much about the hum drum of my day but is very interested when I have a meeting with famous people or big names in the industry. When I mention spending times with friends who I’m close with in my personal life he is indifferent but when its someone he has heard of he will find a way to make it work. I have dealt with this in my private/personal life before but never to the same magnitude or for as long. Usually people are impressed in the begginning but then when they see how normal my job really is in many ways it losses the appeal. At the same time I’ve connected with this individual on so many levels and enjoy him so much, I just don’t want to sign up for a life of constant drama or never feeling completely validated in my relationship. I’m torn because no one has ever made me feel as complete as he has in some levels but no one has ever been so hot and cold with me. I know he loves me but I don’t know quite how much of my “status” and “connections” plays into his feelings for me. I’m in no way extremely wealthy just found a way to work in an exciting job that few women are involved in. I don’t think he would ever date a woman that he didn’t feel other men desired for one reason or another but I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. I tend to date attractive men who have reached a level of success or power, mostly because I’m attracted to passionate people who work hard and thus excel at their chosen profession.

    He can be cold but never mean. He certainly thinks a lot of himself but also has dedicatied his life to helping others. He doesn’t seem to have many close friends but everyone he meets loves him. He is supportive of me but much more so when its “exciting”. He says he’s insecure about things but always points out his good looks and how much people like him. He is distant when I want him there and not there when I want him around. If he had his way (and with motivational speaking and being a pastor he was frequently) he would be in front of a crowd with all eyes on him all the time but he also loves that I am to a lesser degree the same way. He makes me so happy but it has been the hardest year of my life because of him. He preaches honesty but has proven to be a liar. He is such a good dad but tells me he takes no pleasure in it at all and wishes he had made different choices. So many things about this man confuse me and I wonder if it is just a complicated relationship or if he is an “N”

  • Cattleya

    N do not love, He is with you and will never leave you alone because it makes him proud. He does not love you because of who you are, but because people will see him and think, oh he has a nice, beautiful girlfriend, very smart and with good business and so on! He thinks he has to keep you around like they keep a fancy car so people will admire him. It all about him, and admiration, not about you. N participate in charity organization, volunteer activities because he wants people to know him, to be popular and center of attention.

    Lying about his kids is unforgivable, Living with a man who pretend to be who he is not is dangerous. A person without love, does not care. There is a reason you are here. It is because something is wrong and you see the signs. My advice is to end the relationship. He will survive some how without you. If you want someone who cares, it will not be him since he will never changes. Do you know if he left his previous girlfriends or they left him. Usually N likes to dump people. Once he is done with someone, he leave out warning. Be strong and Good luck.

  • Monica


    I’m just not completely convinced. He has had a very tough year and I don’t want to turn my back on him if its just the stress of life. I’ve read many of the stories on here and although I relate to aspects of them, my relationship has never been that extreme. He is a very functioning member of society, has always paid more than his share and never mooched off of me or been emotionally abusive or even raised a voice or called me a name in a year. I am more concerned about his ability to detach at times, his desire for such a grand lifestyle and surrounding himself with people like that, his vanity, and his dependence on outside approval. I do think he has many aspects of an N but like everything else I think its a spectrum and he may not be as bad as so many of the people on here have experienced. I just need to figure out if its too much or something we can work on.

  • Plain Jain

    “He was a pastor and ran a charity where he traveled all over the world helping kids and giving motivational speeches, he has received lifetime achievment awards in different countries for his work despite being under 40.

    He told me that he was divorced and was helping his sister to raise her 5 kids.

    After about 5 months of dating I found out that he was using a fake name and the 5 kids he was raising were in fact his from his previous marriage. ”

    ^^^THIS!!!!! ^^^
    Huge Red Flag!
    Not a red flag, and RED COUNTRY!!!!

    “He cried and became very emotional when confronted with this and explained that due to his position (he is pretty well know) and the fact that it was a faith based charity he couldn’t risk the backlash of me exposing our relationship. ”

    No. Just, NO.

  • Wildflower

    Hello Monica, I read what you wrote with great interest and think that over time you will become clearer about your relationship with this man. Just the fact that you are seeing some information on this website that rings bells for you means that you are unsure on some level and are seeking information. As I read what you wrote, I took some notes. It is true that to some degree we humans all have some narcissistic tendencies but usually not to the degree that we are toxic people; we are human. N are usually imcredibly charming in the beginning and make us feel unlike anything we have felt before. They pull out all the stops to gain their victim’s trust and like to tell stories all about themselves. If you pay attention, you think you are having a conversation and with a N it will all be about the N. You will listen but when it comes to you sharing about you, it is a different story. N are dangerous chameleons and if they need to be a great listener to draw you in, that is what they will do and when they have you, their listening skills will disappear. They will do whatever they can to hook you. Once they have your trust, they then begin to show their other, more nasty side, then comes the dismantling and discarding. Over time, they suck all your life energy out of you and you get more and more exhausted until there is nothing left of you. You become someone who is drained, who has lost confidence in herself and has nothing left to give. This does not occur in the beginning but over time, bit by bit, the N will destroy you of you do not set strong boundaries and take good care of yourself. These are the things that you wrote that are red flags; he gets lots of attention from his work (N love attention; either positive or negative), in the beginning he was amazing, extremely complimentary and attentive (is he that way still; if so, great!), he is a pathological liar about several different issues including his children, he has grandiose dreams that are not based in reality (N are notorious for the grandiose dreams), he is very convincing, he blows hot and cold, he loves attention, he is charismatic, he is manipulative and unethical, he has no empathy for others and does not care about the impact of his behaviour on those people, he is a thief and has stolen large sums of money that were not his to take, he has a sense of entitlement, he is engaging in sociopathic behaviours that are against the law and law enforcement agencies are investigating his actions, you are addicted to him and cannot remove yourself from him, you make him look good and he prefers to engage in activities with your social and business connections that allow him to benefit, He prefers to engage with these people who he gets something out of but prefers not to engage in activities that are beneficial only to you, his life is filled with chaos and drama, he is insecure and needs to puff himself up to feel good about himself using his shallow persona, and finally you say that you are confused. Confusion in those who are narcissitically abused is a hallmark of the disease. So, let’s do a reality check here. Would you have this man as close friend if he was not your lover? Would you like your child to turn out like him? Do you respect him and what he stands for? Does he reflect your true values? Is he a man of good character that you are proud of? Is this man someone who will make you feel secure and happy in 10 years time? Can you create a stable and happy home-life with this man? There are usually 4 outcomes for people who are narcissistically abused and narcissistic abuse is more destructive than even something as destructive as alcohol or heroin and harder to get free from. Victims can decide they have had enough and leave when it gets really bad (that is the best outcome). Victims get discarded, victims get serious physical illnesses that can lead to life-threatening illnesses, victims commit suicide because they have had their sense of self-worth demolished and can see no way of living. The other thing to consider is that once you leave the N, if that is what you decide, the only thing that works effectively is to go NO CONTACT. This means delete all sources of communication such as email addresses, phone numbers, old text msg’s; anything. It is common for victims to get drawn in again and again and each time the honeymoon period is shorter and shorter and the grief cycle starts all over again. NO CONTACT means just that. I hope for your sake that your man is not a N, but if all the things that you shared are true about him,I don’t like your chances.

  • Cattleya


    You have right to love and stay with your man. I am sure you love him because you have a loving heart. It is not easy to stop loving a person you used to love. I have been there, I was depressed but stopping the relationship was the right thing to do. I know it is hard, you do not even know how to start. I know N could put you in his web and you are trapped. I know you want to know if there is a way he can change, but it is hard to tell. N do not change, He may accept to learn his problem, read and try to control the way he behaves or how to avoid hurting others, but it is very hard for them to change. Remember N do not love, they only want to be loved.

    – Did you talk to him about the issue? Does he accept that there is a serious issue? If yes at least he can learn his diagnosis and accept help.
    – Where are his kids now? With you both? If not, would you like your kid to be raised the same way?
    – You are talking about your therapist, you do not have to explain why you are receiving therapy ? But if it is related to your relationship, you are a victim already. N works on people in the way to make them think that he is ok, you are the one who have issues!! If you did not feel that way, one day it will happen. And it may be too late.
    – How many good friends does he have? Maybe they can help you both and help you to built a good relationship?

    Ok you say “ I think its a spectrum and he may not be as bad as so many of the people on here have experienced” Are you sure? If a man tells lies about his kids, and 5 days later he tell me the truth, I would understand. But you had a relationship with him, you dream of future together, you love him, you find about who really he is after 5 months! Did he tell you? NON! You find it out yourself! I am not telling you to leave him. But let us put aside, Narcissism, even a woman or a man who could tell such lie to some who supposed to be a lover, significant other , longtime lover , husband or wife, does not have moral. No remorse not guilt!! If it is me, I cannot stay with such person. Also, you talk about him like you know him. Fake name and 5 kids, Imagine if you did not find it you! I am not trying to be rude or mean, I know you love him , but you do not know that man. You do not know what other lies he hides from you. You do not know what he is capable of. It took some spouses 5, 10, 15 years to leave N husband or wife, but they all regret that they did not leave sooner. Like Widflower says, if he is N , wait one day he will show you his true himself. You do not have to act now, but start thinking, talk to friends, do not let him control you, have some distance and start to think of the future, what you want, in 5 , 10 years, how many friends you will have, kids? Lifestyle. If you do not have your job, your business, if something changes in your life, is he going to stay with you? I Doubt!!!

  • john


    Thanks! I’ll give it a go :)

  • john

    After being off and not fighting or in any other way acknowledging this woman I more or less have been living with four two years now she tried to initiate drama. Over and again. Provoking me to fight her. It ended with me grabbing her hair to force her to look at me. (Not any harsher than we did in bed I have to add…)

    She took this as a cue to start a great fight where she almost clawed my eyes out, literally. I have three deep lacerations in my face. It hurt quite a bit but I walked out. I blocked her phone number and spam marked her email. Haven’t had any contract since yesterday. I decided that this has to end. On daily strength I will write the full story if anyone is interested. In either case it will be great therapy.

    Now I just hope that I will be strong enough to stand back. One problem for me is her birthday on Monday. I feel so guilty for not being there for her on her day. Especially since I know that she is rather alone (parents and brother moved back to her mother country (iraq) and as she believe that she is better than everyone else she does not have many friends)

  • Cattleya

    Be strong dont go to the party if u want to be done with her. If u go, u know she will manipulate u again. That woman is dangerous u may end up in jail bse of her! Why do u care about her bday? Unless u want to get back together!

  • Maryland

    John, I think being strong it the hardest part in letting go. I did the same thing. I kept going back thinking things would change. Boy was I wrong, the only thing I was doing was making my self look needly.

    She will be fine,everything take time.It will take take for you, to relized you can’t fix something that has been broking.She has to figure things out on her own.She might even go to her family. It it help write it down,If you write it down you will look at it and grow even stronger.

  • john

    Writing down stuff every day. Getting stronger and stronger alone. It feels pretty good even though there are some weak moments when I fall back into self pity wondering what the h-ll I did do wrong.

    I am starting to understand that I was never loved. What I did to put her on a pidestal was what she loved, making everything about her.

    The last month when I have tried to back away has been quite interesting as her true colors become very very obvious when I am not acknowledging her, when I even don’t take the fights.

    It has felt good to reject her even though I have some work to do to finish it off completely :)

  • Maryland

    John,stay strong. I think the hardest part is taking that step back and looking with a different pair of eyes I still think what if,But them I realize I’m loosing faith . What I mean by that is,I can’t find anyone else.Someone treat me well. I’m so in need of someone in my life I over look being put down.
    What funny about it is.Not even two weeks ago I met my ex-n.So I decide to have lunch with him.As I set there looking at him all he did was to complain about everything. His problems. Mind you now we hadn’t talk in almost six months. When he did talk about us it was like I was a 3 party.All he would says is I didn’t like what you said. After we talk, I could honest say I was over him.

  • Maryland

    Writing down stuff make all you feel come-out, Cuz, when you go back and read it maybe six months from now. John, you will wonder what kind of frame of mind you were in. I to an a nice person,maybe to nice. I try to fix things (men) that always broken. I realize this is something I need to stop doing. Someone told me once I need to stop putting out my sign: ALL MEN WITH ISSUES THIS way.
    After my lunch with my Ex-N and him not evening asking how you been. I’m sorry things didn’t work out.All he could do when he wasn’t bitches about his problems. was reading the sales ads. Tell me he didn’t like the things I said about I’m sure about his ex-. All I kept thinking was, why did I ever get mix up with him.
    After reading some of your posting it sound like your almost there. The hardest part will be is starting to date once more.Because you’ll away for now have your wall-up.

  • Sally

    I think I’m in love with a narcissist! I’ve been dating a guy for the past six months who I absolutely adore, however I’m afraid he could be incapable of having a real, mutually-respectful long-term relationship.

    He has a lot of signs of narcissistic personality disorder: He’s charismatic, and fun, and can sometimes be manipulative… but so far in a non-harmful way (like, acting like he cares about something when he doesn’t!) He does not respond well to criticism. He cannot be wrong in an argument — he will change his stance mid-way to make it as if he was right all along. He is extremely outgoing and needs to be the center of attention – he’s a ham for the camera. He is extremely insensitive, even though it doesn’t seem like he does it on purpose. For example, he raised his voice at his sister over something fairly unimportant. She started to tear up out of frustration and he said sternly without an inch of compassion “Why are you crying? I need to know xyz.”

    He’s told me about his failed past relationships. He’s been told by numerous exes (he has way too many for his age!) that he’s incapable of love. He’s has many relationships ranging from a few months to a bit more than a year.

    All that said… I think I read somewhere that narcissists are not supposed have anxiety… but my guy is very anxious. He’s constantly worried about things and often has a negative outlook. (Worried about his job, finances, family problems — even though things are actually pretty good!) Is it possible to have a combination of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Generalized Anxiety?!

    Also, with my guy, some things are not in line with your warning “clues”. He’s big on birthdays and valentine’s day and stuff like that, but I almost get the sense he does it out of perceived obligation (I actually don’t care much about that stuff at all). My guy is very reliable, and communicates with me constantly. He is somehow commitment phobic and needy at the same time. He once told me he doesn’t love me, or anyone. He warned me toward the beginning that I should get out of the relationship because he “will inevitably do something to piss me off,” because that’s what always happens with him. But he makes an effort to see me almost every day. When we are alone, at first he was a bit awkward in non-sexual intimate situations (being next to each other on the couch, for example), but the more time we spend together the more affectionate he is. In social situations he is inconsistent in terms of paying attention to me. I think it has to do with the company and how confident he feels. He usually hams it up, circulates the room, flirts and chats with everyone and lets me do my own thing at the party. But, other times he doesn’t leave my side. He also often makes plans without letting me know what’s going on. He just assumes I will just be up for whatever (which I usually am).. but it’s like pulling teeth asking him to make set plans in advance.

    Despite all his quirks, I still adore him. There’s really something special about him. He’s one of the most clever people I’ve ever met. We have great long talks about philosophy and politics and our work and our families. In some ways the relationship fulfills me a lot. But, while we’ve yet to have any real conflict, I sometimes feel that it lacks emotion. He’s never told me how he feels about me in a straightforward way. Now he shows me lots of affection.. but he always leaves me feeling a bit unsure. I’ve tried to communicate this to him, but he takes it as criticism — like, he’s emotionally inadequate – and he gets defensive. He ends up telling me that if I’m not satisfied, we should break up (which he doesn’t mean at all, and the next day he’s twice as affectionate). We often have great, deep conversations about a number of things, but we can never venture into territory where he doesn’t want to go.

    Anyway… are people like him a lost cause? I can’t find advice on how to help a narcissistic lover, or how to manage a good relationship with one. Everybody says to just run away. Is that the only answer?!

  • John

    Maryland: Thank you for very kind and in a sense lifting comments.

    I am almost there as you say. Still having a major difficulty saying no to her face.

    I did fall back a bit hanging with her last weekened and I have more or less tried to have her throw me out trying to act like she does.

    But I did reject her and this was so nice you can’t believe!

    What happend was that she was upset with me for whatever reason saying that I should keep my distance (playing the role of the one who cares the least) and took the liberty to make other plans as I actually have realized that I can make my own plans :D.

    In the evening the same day when I had had a beer with one of my closest friends talking about everything but N (it was nice talking about something else) she called me. Reluctantly I picked up as I knew she wanted to have something she felt entitled to.

    “Can you get over here? I want to spend the night with you! Bring cigarettes!” (mind you, this was at 11 in the evening, 15 miles away and I had been drinking – and I do not drink and drive)

    I thought: “You don’t want to spend the night with me! You just want to have those f-ing cigarettes, that will happen when hell frezes over” so my reply was: “Hey, I have been drinking a couple of beers with Eric, and I can’t drive so it is not possible.”

    “Take the night train, it’ll take you about 45 minutes from now (obviously knowing the time table)”

    “As I told you I am already in bed, and I will not travel across the city to get you cigarettes in the middle of the night”

    She got pissed and more or less only said “forget it, I’ll get my own cigarettes tomorrow” and hung up on me.

    She said she wanted something else, but the only thing it was about was the smoke. I felt so good after this discussion. So good I got up and made myself another drink, some snacks and celebrated being alone and happy about it.

    Sally: What you are seeing is what I saw a long time ago. I was really head-over-heals in love with this narcy woman. I believed that I could save her, change her. But narcissists rarely do change. Especially in relationships. That I have learnt.

    One important thing to think about with N:s is that they are usually covering a very poor self esteem with this pretend-to-be-so-strong facade. Staying in a relationship with a N will break you down, bit by bit. I learnt the hard way. The best thing you can do is to listen to advice (even if you don’t follow it now) because this advice will help you when you realize what you have been told all along :)

    Make sure that you keep maintaining your contact network with other people even if you continue dating this guy. Because you may need them to support you when you one day realize his true colors.

    You have seen them already but you have not understod what it actually means.

  • John


    “He also often makes plans without letting me know what’s going on. He just assumes I will just be up for whatever (which I usually am).. but it’s like pulling teeth asking him to make set plans in advance. ”

    This has been one of the things that has been the most difficult things for me in my narcy relation. I have always been expected to show up, regardless of situation. When I was 12000 miles from home on a business trip I was expected to go home in the middle of the week because she “needed me” (I didn’t and I have been held accountable for this on countless occations). My plans are always in the open, but her plans are subject to change on a whims notice.

    But this is one of the things with narcissists. They will claim to be honest and straight forward, but in fact they are neither. Leaving you in the dark always leaving you second guessing everything.

    And when you guess what they want or need your guess will always be incorrect. Because they are vague in the communication leaving room for interpretations so that they will never be wrong if you confront them.

  • Cattleya

    I was away for awhile and did not have access to the internet. As I read your comments I want to you to know that I am very proud of you. I was afraid that the woman you used to love blinded you and that you will never have the courage to see that she is playing you. Stay strong, I know the wound will not heal soon, but with baby steps you will get there. Be strong. Courage!

  • Cattleya


    Sorry to hear what you are going through. But this is what happens when you deal with N. They give mixed signals and you get confused and end up thinking that N is right, and you blame yourself. I do not know what to tell you. But by reading your post, I conclude that behind that love you said you have for him, there is a big issue. I see that you know that everything is superficial and you are afraid one day he will leave you. You want to stay will him, it is your choice, but if he is a N, one day he will have enough with you and will go chase his dreams. So if you want to stay with him and keep trying, be prepared to suffer, to be in constant therapy and even ongoing antidepressant medication. We all want to love and be loved, but it is tough with N. We all tend to justify N behavior because they are successful they can hold discussions sometimes, however we forget that what human being needs above that success is love and N do not love. Also, he cannot change because, if you ask him to change, he will conclude that it is you who has issues!! They cannot see it! They never get it!
    He has little compassion if you do not continue showing him admiration, you will pay the price!! So if you stay with him , be ready to give love and love and give more and you will not receive anything back. I mean here, love, compassion,. Google it, watch youtube and see what other people say. Good luck.

  • Maryland

    Sally,C is so right,it your going to stay and hope he will change. I wish you nothing but luck.;because he wont.You’ll start hoping everything your with him your’ll see change.Then your go back to square one,if stay a little longer he change, I know he will. Trust me we all be there.

    My lasted meeting with my N, I had no regrets. As we talked he had told me he had no feelings none what so ever. I and the other woman in his life was nothing more then hobbies. Pretty sad wasn’t it?. when he got broad with his life he would call one of us up. C, it right start blaming yourself,How did I get myself into this…. Get my point. If you keep seeing this guy u to will be writing here. talking about what happen to you,Trust me.

  • Sally

    Well.. I guess I thought as I get to know him better he will eventually open up to me. But he remains emotionally closed off… and we’ve been dating 9 months. I still really have fun around him.. but I feel like I’m investing a lot of time on him and I’m not sure where it’s going. We spend almost every day together, and he treats me quite well. It’s just there’s this feeling there’s something missing in the relationship. That makes me feel unsure, and it seems like he wants me to feel that way because it would be really easy for him to say the words “I love you”, “you’re the one for me” or “there’s no one else I’d rather be with.” He just won’t. I’ve never been with a guy before who is so interested in me, wants to spend so much time with me, and yet never expresses his love. I’m not 100 percent he’s N… but he definitely has some kind of issues that I don’t understand. Sometimes I feel like he’s not worth it.. but then he does something sweet that keeps me around. Sigh.

  • Sally

    Actually… maybe it’s anxiety that’s making my guy act the way he does, not narcissism. Does that mean there’s more hope? This really sounds a lot like him.. from the author of a book about anxiety called “Monkey Mind”:

    “An anxiety sufferer can feel as if he too is imprisoned in his own mind, but with the demonic twist that his mind can think of nothing but itself. Anxious thoughts are radically personal thoughts. Their central concern is what affects you, what threatens you, what you need, you regret, you dread, you fear. Anxiety is a condition of near-total self-absorption, made only worse by the fact that the sufferer typically realizes that he is being self-absorbed and grieves over his sad inability to see past himself.
    You can see how this state of mind affects relationships by looking at the biographies of well-known anxiety sufferers. An anxious lover tends to toggle between desperate need and strenuous rejection. He or she can never decide whether being in a committed relationship is a source of comfort or humiliation, joy or pain.
    The most dramatic example I know of this is Franz Kafka, quite possibly the most incompetent lover of all time. Kafka spent five years alternately wooing his unlucky sweetheart and trying to eject her from his life, using all the formidable logic and literary skills he possessed to convince her that he was a “sick, weak, unsociable, taciturn, gloomy, stiff, almost helpless man” with whom life would be an utter disaster.”

  • Wildflower

    To Sally

    I read what you had to say about the man you are with, with interest. He may or may be a N but there was something about what you said that made me think that it is really not about him at all. He is who he is and the fact that he does what he does and does not do is not the important thing. What is important is who you are, how you are feeling and what you want out of a relationship with a man. It sounds as if you spend a lot of time together and it is mostly productive and enjoyable. If you are looking to spend your life with someone it is important to be really clear about what it is that you want. If you are not really clear and living in your integrity, then you will get all sorts of things. If you are holding on to a man because you don’t want to hedge your options, then you might end up being really disappointed. If this man has not told you after all this time that he loves you, or demonstrates that in his own fashion, then that says a lot. You mentioned that you are having some feelings that are not comfortable. You mention being unsure and that something is missing and you mention that you are investing a lot of time in him. One rule that I always follow is to never invest more time in a man than he invests in me. That way, you can be sure to find out just how much he is invested. You also mention that something is missing with him. In a lifetime love relationship, this should not be the case. You will never get the perfect man because he does not exist, but you should have someone who is as invested with you, tells you that he loves you at least a few times every month and someone who is talking about your future together and moving the relationship forwards. He does not seem to be doing all this. I am wondering, since you mentioned that you spend a lot of time together, who is making the arrangements for you to spend the mutual time that you are sharing. If it is mutually agreed then it sounds as if you have a nice friendship. If he is wanting the time, good, but if you are making all the arrangements, then perhaps he is not as invested as you. I have also learned to live in my integrity and to make a list of at least 5 things that are non-negotiable in a life partner. They will be different for every person, but there will be at least 5 things that you absolutely must have and are deal-breakers if not present or are violated at any time. The important thing is to be aware of how you are feeling and that is what will tell you if you are wasting your time on someone who is not ever going to commit to you and simply sees you as a great friend. If you are searching for the right life partner and really mean business, then sometimes it is critical to let the person you are currently pinning your hopes on, go so that you have the opportunity and the time to be available and to date men who want exactly what you are wanting. Then you will be happy for a lifetime. The other thing that a lot of people want is someone to fill in their emotional holes so they do not have to feel their aloneness and there is the hope that the other person will meet unmet childhood needs that are still present but never met. We have to be the person we are seeking. If it is loneliness we wish to avoid, we need to fill that need with other people, not just a life partner. If it is security, we need to find that within ourselves. To the degree that you are a whole person, that is who you will attract. Water seeks its own level and you will energetically attract a person who is at the same level energetically as you. So, whatever you want from this man that he is not supplying, learn to supply it for yourself out of your own inner resources and do not seek this from him. If you haven’t yet got whatever it is you are seeking from him which may be a sense of love that you are trying to get, you will have to learn to be the love, the connection. All relationship begins with us. We are the common denominator in all our relationships. All the best.

  • Wildflower

    To Sally

    Just a couple more things. You mention that you spend a lot of time together. N always like to make sure that their source of supply (which is all that partners, girlfriends and wives are to them) around. It is for their benefit only, not yours. They are master actors and can feign any emotion you want so that you remain hooked into them. When they think they are going to lose you (their supply) they instincively know exactly how to hook you again and that is why it is so difficult to leave. It is like being a yo-yo. Since N cannot truly relate and have no empathy, you will never be able to get emotional openness with one if he is a N. Even if he isn’t, do you really want to be with someone who is that emotionally unavailable for the long-term. To my mind, that is just creating more disappointment and dissatisfaction; not want you might want for the long-term. He is always going to do something sweet to keep you around because that is in his best interests. You know what! I hear you spending lot of time trying to figure out why he is or is not doing and being who and what he is doing and being. That is an enormous expenditure of energy that will go nowhere. All you really have to do is focus on you and what you need and what you are feeling. Placing the focus on him is a sheer waste of time and you will never truly know why he does what he does; it is all fantasy. If he is a N, you need to know that they are compulsive liars and have the capacity to look you straight in the eye and lie and you will never know. If you catch them in one of their stupid lies or even a more serious one they will always have a plausible excuse and sound believable. Every woman and man who has posted on this site knows exactly this. Being involved with a N is an addiction on our part and it is very difficult to get free. So, get help if you need it and discover what you really need and want and continue to work on you. Then you will be free to make the kind of choices that are in your best interest for the long-term. Be aware that many women have stayed with their N for many, many years to their detriment and they also have children with them. By the time they finally realise how destructive their relationships are and how damaged they have become, they are mere shells of their former, vibrant, selves. The ones who realise early in the piece that their relationships are truly destructive and have enough boundaries and healthy self-esteem to terminate the relationship before it destroys them, are more fortunate. Take care.

  • Sally

    Hi Wildflower,
    Thanks so much for your thoughtful responses. I think you’re right… if there’s something not right in the relationship it’s something I have to take responsibility for. I can’t expect him to “change”… but I can at least tell him how I feel and I shouldn’t be afraid of somehow damaging things by doing that. I guess there must be a way of expressing my feelings and concerns about the relationship without coming off as pushy.. And.. if we can’t have a real talk about our relationship after 9 months of being together there must be something really wrong.. after months of doing almost everything together he still doesn’t call me his “girlfriend” with one exception of one awkward introduction to a work colleague who he introduced me to simply as “Sally” and then after much conversation the guy finally said “oh, so she’s your girlfriend” to which my guy coyly responded “yes” and then made a somewhat deprecating joke.
    As for who initiates spending time together – he does, always. But it feels like it’s on his terms. I am starting to feel like my life revolves around him and his friends and his hobbies, and he has made much less effort to get to know my friends and learn about my interests. Actually, when we first met, he took up me up on invites to cycle various places.. but after just a few short week his interest in cycling plummeted hehe (I have to say this is pretty normal, in my experience though! My ex used to go to parties and ham it up with me in the beginning, only for me to learn later that he was a huge introvert and hated parties!)
    Anyway… the fact I’m so ingrained in his friend circle is also a consequence of circumstance. I met him shortly after moving to a new city. He already had a big friend base, and lots of activities and I was starting from scratch. But, he’s a big social organizer, so he’s always planning things and he expects me to take part.
    Anyway.. I just exercised a personal boundary. He invited me to a dinner at his house tonight… he invited three of our friends, and then told me just a few hours before. I told him I really need the night off from socializing… but the truth is I was annoyed he didn’t let me in on the planning process (although, he did apologize for telling me so late) – plus, I’m tired of socializing with the same group of people all the time.
    I actually made it a goal recently to spend my time on people who really matter to me, and spend less time on superficial socializing. I found that I’ve been doing a lot more of the latter since I’ve been with this guy… it can be a lot of fun, but it’s starting to get old for me.
    Anyway.. of course I’m focusing on the negatives. I wouldn’t be with him if I wasn’t super attracted to him and didn’t care a lot for him. And I can feel he cares a lot for me too, he just doesn’t express it as much as I’d like.. leaving him wouldn’t be as easy as it sounds!

  • Cattleya

    Wildflower, good to read from you again! I like what you wrote here, I agree with you. If N do good things for others, it is for themselves. Even if they give you something, do good things for you, it is because it makes them happy to see that they are in control of the situation. Also, they will not hesitate to tell you, if you ask about love, “I do this for you, I took you to… I bought this for you… what else do you want?” Also N tend to be attracted to people who need them and not to people who love.

    Sally, some N are aware of their problems , due to previous experiences they are afraid to be rejected, some are afraid to be alone, or die alone. But they do not know how to fix the problem, they don’t get it, They do what is possible to keep people around, they change a minute to make sure you stay and it does not take too long , they forget everything and the whole cycle repeat. Sorry you are going through tough situation. You are here for a reason, always trust your gut. Good luck

  • Wildflower

    Hello Sally. You say some things that are red flags. The first one is that N will never change and I know that you said you realise this. The important thing is to take note of what feels strange and learn to trust and respond to your intuition. If you repeatedly do not pay attention to it, it will get blunted. It is the one thing that can keep you safe! Note what it is that makes you unsettled and either act on it or tell the person what is wrong from your feeling self. I notice that you said that you set a boundary with him when he made plans that included you but did not consult with you. You did not express your truth to him but told him that you were socially unavailable. This did not give him accurate feedback about his impact on you. When you begin to set proper boundaries with a N, or anyone who is impacting on you, you will quickly find out who they are and they will either get very upset with you, or if they care about you, they will try to modify their behaviour so that the relationship works well. That is what happens in good and caring relationships. You say that you are fitting into his social life but his involvement with yours at the beginning terminated very quickly. This is a red flag indicating that the relationship is not healthy or reciprocal. A man who loves you will make allowances for you as you do for him and will participate equally in things that are important to you.
    You mentioned that when his friend asked if you were his girlfriend, he did not volunteer any information and only responded when the friend actually asked him the question. If, after all this time, this man is not moving this relationship forward, he does not love you and does not see his future with you, N or not. He has not asked you to be his girlfriend at all.
    In a healthy relationship you should be able to discuss matters of concern and do it openly so both partners can grow and learn. It does not appear to be the case with this man. You cannot damage a relationship by expressing your truth. Sometimes we do not share honestly because we are afraid of the answer that we know we do not want to hear. The only thing that can happen by sharing your truth, is that it will expose the true nature of what is going on. The fact that this man made deprecating joke when discussing your girlfriend status in front of this friend is a good indication that he does not value you as such. A man who loves a woman is proud of her and lets everyone know that he loves her and values her and people KNOW that she is HIS girlfriend.
    The N will always initiate time together and will want a lot of your time, all the time because you are his source of supply; that is all you are to a N. They are incapable of love and never will understand what it is. They are very good at pretending to know and they are the consummate actors.
    Of course you are attracted to him and want more with him, but it does not appear that he is demonstrating any wanting to meet your actual needs. They are suuperficial charmers and very socially skilled and often the life of the party. However this is not who they are underneath.
    It appears that you do not have strong boundaries and they know all about this too. Once you put an actual boundary in place, you will know exactly where you stand with this man. You will see the true person emerge at all. When I was with my ex-boyfriend it was a lot of fun at the beginning but I got tired of it all being about him and his needs all the time. When I stopped doing what I was doing, he became extremely angry and the dismantling and abusive behaviour began in earnest. I tightened up my boundaries and began to use more of my energy on myself and what was important to me. Interestingly, he would sabotage outings; he would say ‘Yes’ to them and then when we would go, he would make it a horrible and disappointing time, or he would pull out and just not go. In the end, I made my own arrangements and left him to himself. The other thing that N are very good at is recognising when you are planning to leave them. Then they become wonderful again just until their supply is ensured. Once that happens, their negative behaviour continues. It is a constant cycle of grief that is like a merry-go-round that a person finds it difficult to get off from. If you leave, it is best to go No Contact because with every time they reel you in for hoovering, there is a honeymoon period that just grows shorter and shorter and more destructive each time. THE NARCISSIST IS UNLIKELY TO EVER REALISE THEIR PROBLEM AND HAS NO DESIRE TO EVER CHANGE. THE LIKELIHOOD OF THEM BECOMING NORMAL LOVING HUMANS IS ABOUT 1% if that. They do not want to know. There are only 4 outcomes. The victim realises that they are being damaged and they leave first – best outcome. The N discards the victim. The victim contracts a serious illness. The victim commits suicide.
    If you can find an energy worker like a kinesiologist, that person can get to the source of the old conditioning and the old patterns and remove them at the core. If you do not work on strengthening your boundaries and making yourself your top priority, you will always be a magnet for N.
    I read that you cycle. What sort of bike do you ride. I ride on my own most days and with my peloton on Saturdays. Cycling is a great sport.

  • Wildflower

    Hi Sally. I have read your last post and wanted to respond. I have tried to send this post and so far have not been successful due to w-fi problems. I will send this and if it works, will try one last time.

  • Sally

    Wildflower, it worked! I look forward to your next post :)

    Cattleya — wow what you said about ““I do this for you, I took you to… I bought this for you… what else do you want?” hits home! I remember (a few months ago) I tried to ask him how he felt about our relationship and he acted like I was putting too much pressure on him.. and said that obviously I’m special and important to him because he’s let me into every part of his life, and he does xyz for me and, basically, that I should stop breaking his balls. But, still he has never dropped the “L” word. I don’t understand why he has to make things so complicated.It would be quite easy to make me feel at ease and it’s like he wants to keep me at arms length because he doesn’t want to feel tied down. At the same time, he doesn’t want to lose me. I guess if I gave him an ultimatum he might tell me the things I want to hear.. but it would be such a mess… and I don’t like conflict :-/ Anyway… I just got back about a week ago from a two week vacation with him… which was quite good and romantic, but since we’ve been back he’s stepped back a bit, saying he needs time to himself. I guess that’s why I’m feeling insecure again. But.. this weekend we’re going camping together with some friends.. and I’m sure it will be fun and I’ll forget about my worries for awhile again 😛

  • Sally

    Hi Wildflower,
    I know you’re right, but it’s hard to accept. Anyway.. while I do think he can be selfish, to be fair to him, I haven’t really expressed that to him. I think the logical thing is to really talk to him about my feelings, and if we’re not on the same page, that’s when I’d have no choice but tocut things off.
    The thing is.. we have so many (short-term) plans together, and so many mutual friends, it would really suck to cut things off! It’s like.. well, I’ll wait til after the vacation, I’ll wait til after the camping trip, I’ll wait til after my dad visits, I’ll wait til… and it goes on. Maybe at the end of summer it will be easier 😛
    I really wish he would just have a sentimental moment with me and volunteer the information… but I’m starting to feel that moment will never come.
    Anyway…. my bike! I have a hybrid roadbike I use to commute to work, and a cruiser for going around the city :)

  • Sally

    PS I don’t think I’m a magnet for N… this is the first time I’ve been with someone like this (after about a decade of healthy relationships). However, I’m a widow and this is the first time dating someone since my husband passed away, so maybe I was in a more vulnerable state than before.

  • Wildflower

    Ok. I might have to send this in parts so it sends.

    You mention in your last post that this guy doesn’t say the L word. If he has not said it by now, don’t hold your breath. It is not likely. If a man really loves you, he will tell you and he will be proud to tell others that you are his girlfriend. Interestingly, when his friend asked him, he only said that you were his girlfriend when pressed to respond and he did not respond lovingly. This should be a red flag to you.

  • Wildflower

    Ok. next thing. You mention that you are heavily invested in him and his friendship network. Where are all your own friends? It is critical that we develop our own friendship network so that our boyfriends and husbands are an integral part of our own lives, but not the totality. N are very good at keeping us around for their own purposes. We are their sources of supply and this is not a loving thing although we may interpret their wanting to be with us a lot as love. THIS IS NOT LOVE but dependency! It would be healthier for you to spend some time with him and develop a lot of self-nurturing things that nourish you in your own life. Do the things that you now do for him and spend that energy on yourself. He is an adult and is more than capable of learning to meet a lot of his own needs, not rely on you to meet them.

  • Sally

    Yeah… well.. he has used the word “love” but not straight up said he loves me. Like, after an arguement, about something silly a bit later he said “I hate that I act the worst around the people I love the most” or something to that affect. And another time — when i tried to have the relationship talk – he said “he loves me a lot” but in a way that meant he cares for me, not that he’s deeply in love with me… anyway, at any rate, i shouldn’t have to analyze his words so much. he definitely has not been clear on the subject, but I’ve been much more clear about how I feel about him.
    Also, in case you didn’t notice, your previous long post showed up. It seems there’s a delay on the posts because an admin has to approve them!

  • Wildflower

    Hi Sally. I understand where you are coming from and I also understand the wishful hope that he will express what you want to hear. However, by your post, I can see that deep down you can see the writing on the wall; it is just hard to let it in fully and act on your own behalf. The important thing in life is that you don’t even have to say anything to this guy if you don’t want to; you simply take action on your own behalf. It is the actions that speak loudest; words are cheap and people can say anything you want to hear. That is our downfall; we often make something out of the words that suit us. I know that it sucks to give up all the life you have entwined around this man. I found it really hard to not be a part of the group that my ex-boyfriend and I were part of together. I missed the social contact, the daily connection and flow of our lives together, the having of a boyfriend so that I was part of a couple again; so many things. However, being together was slowly eroding who I was and destroying me. Finally it came to the point of making a decision. It is normal to vacillate over and over again. You will eventually get there but it takes time and sometimes you will go back and forth. I miss aspects of being with my boyfriend and also realise that I deserve so much more and I must always be my first priority no matter who I love. Please get some support for yourself and begin to create a life of your own, separate to this man. I at least had my own established network and life and hobbies and activities so he slotted into my life and I gave nothing up. When I finished with him, it was sad and painful, but I felt better and better with each day apart, and life went on. It will for you too but you must find a way to make yourself the priority. All the best. I ride a Trek Madone WSD 4.5 road bike.

  • John

    And it is so difficult to realize that everything is based on a lie. Every single feeling displayed by the narcy has only had a manipulative reason. To make you feel. So, not only do you have to cope with loss of a loved one (as you probably love in a way that a narcy never will grasp). You will also have to cope with feeling betrayed, made a fool of.

    I have since a while had a “friendly not being friends” relation with the narcy woman I did love and a big part of my heart still loves her – or at least the image of a perfect woman that she created for me. But not a day goes by without me feeling betrayed and wondering what I could have done otherwise.

    The only thing I realize is that the only thing I could have done was to leave earlier. But I was not strong enough and I am probably still a wreck. But a little bit better.

    Finally, I read a very good line today about leaving a narcissist or psychopath:

    You will never hurt a narcissists feelings by leaving as there exists no feelings to hurt.

  • John

    My name is John. I wrote on earlier about my gf narcy and how she destroyed me emotionally by making me fall for her and when she was done she walked away with absolutely no remorse.
    This is an update. I have gotten much better and wiser in my old age. Its still a mystery why she picked me as her next “victim” and how it seemed real to me but now I realize it was just a cruel game for her or as my sister says..”a romance vacation” at my expense.

    Anyway, awhile ago she walked into the coffee shop where I was waiting for my meal. She didnt sit at one of the many open tables but sat one chair away from me at the counter and happily ordered her breakfast. We were 3 ft apart. I never once looked at her, I asked for my food to go, got up paid my bill and walked out without ever looking back. As usual, I felt the nervous rush of adrenaline but it passed within hours instead of weeks. I was soooo proud that I didnt even acknowledge her or speak too her. I am glad she knows she has lost her power over me and she had amazing nerve to sit next to me. Its all a game for narcys and they HATE loosing!

    I will close by the same way I did in my last post….If it feels too good to be true it is!…Dont ignore that lil voice in you that is telling you something is wrong!

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