Narcissists, Marriage, The Other Woman and Misconceptions

I’d opine 99.9% of the time, when someone walks through the doors of NPD Abuse recovery, there is an OW in the picture.  Moreover, I’d say the OW is not necessarily your rival but a tool the Narcissist used as part of the devalue and discard routine.  Whether you’re dealing with a pathological or a normal person betrayal is hurtful; however given the unique journey one takes in order to recover from this type of abuse, I think focusing in on the role the OW plays will be helpful in terms of seeing with clarity how much this really has nothing to do with you or your worth or even the OW.

After we’ve been dragged through the mud, been to hell and back and stood by our partner, forgiven all their b.s. and loved them unconditionally, out of nowhere the narcissist does an about face and begins for no logical reason to project their hatred onto us.  This is not really a hatred per se, but rather how their own self loathing manifests.  They project it onto those closest to them while they run for cover into the arms of another where they can hide their secret from someone who doesn’t have the keys to the vault…YET.

Narcissists never attach or love and so to believe they ‘hate’ us I believe is an error – they don’t hate us they envy us because even with flaws, the one thing we do posses is the ability to love, to attach – to FEEL.  They are trapped inside their own bodies, and only know two very primitive emotions…anger and fear.  I often read blogs and articles and I observe many attach ‘jealousy’ to a narcissist; however, I don’t think that is accurate as when we think of jealousy we might opine (as normal people) that we’re talking about someone’s ego that is a little shaken over the fear of ‘loss’ of an individual’s  love.  I read how some were ‘accused’ of cheating.  That’s not jealousy when we’re speaking of a narcissist that is projection…that is their disclosing what they’re guilty of.  They always have supply but since people are objects to them, they absolutely will project even if they’re the ones guilty of the sin because although they don’t love you…you are an object – their PROPERTY.  It’s important to be clear here to help break the cognitive dissonance.

Narcissists tire very easily.  They cycle through people.  Many will ask:  “If that’s so, then how did I end up married 20 years?”  I can’t answer that with any authority but I have my suspicions.  Narcissists will get married, but not for the same reasons normal people get married.  Narcissists marry because it is part of their image.  It says to the world, “I am normal, someone loves me, I am somebody, I’m not crazy”  they have children not for the same reason normal people have children but as ‘trophies’ and very often go on to devalue and discard their own children once they no longer worship them.  They cannot register that children grow up and have their own thoughts and feelings and will disagree and rebel.  A narcissist sees that as an attack and a loss of property – a betrayal…that is how fragile their egos are and how distorted their minds process normal human development.  There is primary supply and secondary supply and a narcissist will interchange the statuses of the supply stock according to his whims.  A wife becomes secondary supply the moment she says: “I do” she may not be aware of it, high off the happy love fumes, but slowly without being aware of it, she is broken down bit by bit by bit until she is operating within a shell of herself.

I think for many of us as women, we fall prey to this because we are molded to be the caregivers, to love unconditionally, we accept a certain amount of machismo is just how men are wired.  In my case, the narcissist kept very long hours “at work” I did not register this as an opportunity for him to play out his other life I really believed he was ‘hard at work’ and he’d come home in a pretty stable mood.  I had no reason to suspect anything but since they cannot feel they have no guilt so it would have been hard to detect anything strange – they are pathological liars.  If a woman is pretty secure in herself and committed to being a good wife, I can see how easily one can be deceived as with any healthy relationship there is trust – and so you may not have encountered the other life he was living unless and until you presented with some need and stood firm on his needing to be there.  That is when they will buck and rebel, and you will have to be punished for having the audacity of having any true need or expectation.  Sure they’ll take you to the supermarket, or drive you somewhere, spend a little time with you to keep it smooth – they’re not stupid, they’re just not into you – but they’re not into anyone, it’s not personal.  It’s really hard to explain the dynamics.  I can only write about this now with some type of level head because I’ve recovered.  Much of my earlier writing did show an indication of a woman gone mad.  I was the same crazy as his ex wife, and the one before her, and the one before her, wash.rinse.repeat.  I suppose I only made it four years with him because of the distance he was able to maintain throughout the relationship and because being very independent myself I didn’t feel I needed him to fill me, and so I sat on this side of the relationship with one view, while he was out there trolling for a fix.  This does not mean there was something inadequate in me, rather there is something defective in him.  Within a month of breaking up he had a new woman living with him.  What can I say?  This is what they do.  It’s got nothing to do with me.  That is what is so important for a ‘target’ to own.  There was nothing you could do about this.  They’re sick.

So, what does it really mean when a narcissist decides you need to become privy to the other woman?  While devastating to us, for a narcissist, it simply means he’s bored.  It sounds simple but narcissists are simple.  They’re six year olds stuck in an adult’s body…this individual never grew up emotionally or mentally.  They have all the trappings of appearing grown up, they can talk like a grown up, but they really don’t own what they say they’re masters of illusion.  I recall the narcissist’s ex wife sharing he walked into the yard one day and just told her straight out: “I don’t want to do this anymore I want out” there was no ‘working it out’ maybe trying counseling…nope – he simply changed his mind and POOF! Just like that ten years of a marriage down the drain.  NOW, he did justify it with many examples, and yes she did appear crazy, and he documented many a reason for his needing to be out of there, including the indirect suggestion he might have been a domestic violence victim…see how that ‘projection’ triangulation, abuser by proxy thing works?  He was able to smear her and get a group of others in his corner to protect and defend him against this horrible, terrible, ogre of a woman…until the next one is “horrible, terrible and an ogre.”

I remember early on in my process the deep pain the devalue and discard caused me.  I remember being made aware of many of his sources of supply at the tail end, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and it was a descent into the bowels of hell because I could not comprehend how one person could exhibit so many different disguises.  I trusted this person implicitly, I was not possessive, I gave him his freedom, and believed him to be someone he wasn’t.  When that box opened up and all the shit came flying out, it was too much at one time to absorb.  It was as if he was living a completely different life.  Some of the women he was practically stalking.  That sent a chill up my spine because this was not someone who decided ‘the love was gone’ or ‘had a moment of weakness’ or fell to ‘temptation’ – no this was a dude clearly desperate and using anything or anyONE as a substitute for a drug.  It became clear to me why all the women before me were ‘crazy’ and I began my road to recovery.  The discovery that it was also possible he’d hit it up with another dude was pretty much about as far as I could go with this…my mind was tattered in shreds, but the writing was definitely on the wall that this cat was beyond my ability and skills.

Narcissists in many ways know how to survive.  Their inability to attach allows them to prey on people, it’s a sport.  When a woman marries a narcissist she’s going into it thinking this is for life come hell or high water, but she’s not really making that decision, she’s been led to believe that’s what she believes because he’s mastered the ability to appear as a soulmate.  See, Narcissists target their victims and know how to get inside their heads.  They’re able to size you up, figure out where your weaknesses are and play them…you won’t see it but that is what they do.  They can spot fresh meat – naive meat, good hearted meat and usually they make the best morsels.  A marriage provides a home base for a narcissist.  They get a built in housekeeper, chef, social event organizer, they get an unpaid slave and built in sex but they aren’t going to give but so much.  They will give the illusion of giving, they’ll do a couple of things here and there, and they generally will be quite agreeable, rarely might you argue and that is why one is so cluster phucked when it comes crashing down because you would have believed you got along so well.  You might have gone so far as to believe you were soul mates…but that is exactly what narcissists are experts at…creating the fairy tale…UNTIL, they’re bored with the story.  Until somehow he feels threatened.  The threat doesn’t have to be real, he just has to feel it.  Many are working out Mommie issues…if a narcissist tells you that you remind him of his mother…that ain’t a compliment.  RUN! It’s about to get real nasty…

In surfing online I happened upon the following:

Excerpted from:

A pathological narcissist’s perception is that a relationship is not needed. the only thing they desire is the ILLUSION of self-sufficiency, not dependency, which is how they interpret another’s love. they do not love because they believe love is a dependency, an obligation, a liability and a detriment. they require immediate gratification and are not able to stay around for the deeper emotional connection which is derived from a long term commitment. they confuse physical love and emotional love. they cannot comprehend the feeling of emotional love. it is a void for them. when the physical love is no longer excitiing, they believe love is waning and eventually dies.

Sadly, they are pathetic human beings, who do not understand themselves and their behavior. most of them never will, even with years of therapy. however, the best time to begin is during middle age when they see the repetitive pattern in their lives and see no alternative ways to live a deeper, happier, fulfilling life you cannot feel personally rejected by them. you can only feel sorry that they live such an empty existence.”

I remember him in his rage screaming:  “Don’t you see!?  I’m an ADDICT! I’m empty!!! What? You think YOU can fill me?!!!” only now does what he said register…it was disclosure and no, he wasn’t an addict per se, as in actively doing drugs, but he’s a narcissist and his past addiction was more than likely self medicating that dark void.  He’d been clean 20 years…that part I do believe, but there is a difference between getting clean and working out the issues that led to the addiction in the first place.  I’m not sure with his background IF that would be possible without completely destroying him which is why today I don’t hate I can have compassion from a distance…I could not allow that hate to fester inside me, although entanglement with him has left a scar, it’s also brought a gift.

For me, I don’t have enough time in this lifetime to take the walk down therapy lane with a narcissist.  I just don’t.  I’m sorry he suffers, but I love me too much to take a roll of the dice, I was lucky to get out alive and with my sanity intact.  I can’t judge another’s actions, one has to hit their own rock bottom before they wake up and see how depleted they’ve been left catering to the bottomless and insatiable pit of need that is part of the package with a narcissist.  This is not codependence either!

About 1/3 into this journey, the new ‘target’ contacted me under the guise of having some questions.  I reached out to her before that because he owed me some money.  While devastated, I didn’t want the man and so really did not care about anything else other than my property be returned.  My words to her were: “You can have the boobie prize gift wrapped.” and I meant it.   I tried to reason with him, but given he was off on his spite fest, he figured he’d play with me.  The thing is, I have a little of my own defiance and so while hurt, that did not mean I was going to put up with his garbage.  I’m a fighter.  At a certain point I had had enough of his bullshit and I drew the line and told him straight up: “I don’t care HOW you get it, I don’t want to hear your sob stories, you get it one way or another ask the new chick for a check but I want my money or I will SUE you.”  They don’t expect that…they expect you to cower in fear and cry and whine but they don’t expect to be called to task or held to their obligations.  I also warned him since I know how he’s a master at triangulation I’d be letting the new lady know why we were going to court and so I sent her a note as the new birdie thinking maybe she could whisper some sense into his head while getting her sweet nothings in.  She didn’t answer for a few months then out of nowhere I’ve got a message in my inbox and I presume she saw a few red flags and yes, I let it tear I told her everything she might need to know as a new target. This wasn’t to get him back, but rather to try to save someone from devastation.  She tried to 8 ball me, said something like she’d deny the conversation if I ever let the cat out of the bag…poor thing.  She closed with: “He told me he used you” thankfully this was not a revelation…sadly she didn’t quite catch the ‘admission’ was disclosure.  She married him.  We know how the story goes from there…it takes a ‘special‘ person to marry a narc…only the best will do.


125 thoughts on “Narcissists, Marriage, The Other Woman and Misconceptions

  1. Was I married to a narcissist? Married 23 years. He never really settled anywhere. We lived in 3 different countries but he was never happy. He abused alcohol on a daily basis. He did help round the house with chores and even did most of the cooking but he would not discipline our 2 kids cause he wanted them to have a happy childhood cause apparently his mother’s ex partner used to beat him and her. He never wanted cinfrontstion with the kids and would even undermine my word. When the kids reached teenage years he did not like what he had created and he blamed being in this country for them becoming disrespectful. In November 2014 I lost my job and 3 months later he quit his job and announced he was leaving but said it wasn’t me he was leaving it was the country. I should add our youngest had just turned 18 and we had been having problems with him cause if his mental health for a few years. In 2013 he attempted suicide which i still struggle to come to terms with. The thought of losing my baby scares me and I hardly slept wanting to watch out for him as much as I could. At this same time we were having problems with out daughter not bonding with her daughter from an abusive relationship and me doing most of the work where our grand daughter was concerned. I would ask him to stand up to our daughter but he did very little cause he did not want confrontations. So when he started drinking even more than ever and becoming aggressive at times I thought he wasn’t handling all the stress and not coping. I tried organising family counseling but he wasn’t really engaging. I even thought maybe he was going through mid life crisis. So when he said he was the leaving the country not me and that he still wanted the family together in Europe I believed him. I had to sell the family home as I could not pay the mortgage and sold all our possessions to have enough money to pay the house and take the kids to Europe to be reunited as a family. But when we got there we find out that he had been living with another woman all along. In fact he had started an online affair with her in 2013 just a couple of months after our son’s attempted suicide, after telling me he didn’t want us to holiday apart anymore, no more visits to see family in Europe it would be just us. This woman was an ex girlfriend from his teenage years who he had told me had left him cause she wanted to pursue her career. Yet when I messaged her I found out she had left him cause he beat her up on more than one occasion yet she was happy to take him back now. According to him his other girlfriend was a psychopath who stalked him and accused him of cheating and that is why he left her. In the 23 years of marriage there was never really any massive arguments just his lack of support where the kids were concerned, he wanted to be Mr Nice guy. He helped round the house with house chores and did most of the cooking and he was a decent provider. He did work long hours and the last 2 years he was hardly home taking on more overtime saying we needed the money which we did but I think he just didn’t want to be at home and address the problems. When I found out about this woman he is now with he told me he was in love with her and that they had a lot in common cause they grew up in the same neighbourhood around the same people. He said he will always love me but was not in love with me. He says he is sorry and hates himself for hurting me and leaving me homeless with nothing more than a suitcase of clothes but he is staying with her where he is cause he feels better where he is and he doesn’t have to worry about anyone but himself. His words were if I fuck up I only fuck myself up. But in fact he fucked me and the kids up cause we lost everything. He now stays in touch with the kids and sends them money when they ask him for help.
    Is he a narciccist or just a selfish drunk?

    • Patz,
      So sorry it took me so long to respond, as you can see from the dates of postings, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. I am sure that this experience is devastating; however, having some time under the belt, I realize it’s of no service to label someone anything lacking any professional mental health credentials. I can only offer peer support. Here’s the thing…we ALL have a touch of narcissism, it’s part of the human condition. Where it becomes a problem is when narcissism is all pervasive in an individual’s personality. I cannot diagnose anyone. You share that your ex has a drinking problem. Any substance/alcohol abuse will definitely have some impact on personality. Oftentimes we will witness very selfish self serving and manipulative behavior. Is he personality disordered? Could be, many have walked through these doors with all kinds of horror stories and part of the story also involved substance abuse. Despite that…here is where I am on the topic today…Does it matter? Does what we call it matter? Is it enough to understand narcissism and be able to make a determination as to whether someone has enough of the trait to where it’s toxic? I think that is a fair middle ground. Here’s the other thing…Whether he’s a substance/alcohol abuser or a full fledged narcissist or both…nothing YOU or anyone else can do about it, so it becomes a situation where the best way to salvage your sanity on either front is to accept you are powerless over it, and can only dictate, heal and maneuver the outcome with regard to your life moving forward. I realize healing from this kind of thing is hard. Betrayal even absent all the other factors is hard, substance abuse and possible Axis II Cluster B symptoms only complicate things. I am very sorry to hear your child is struggling with mental health issues. I do hope that there is healing on that front. Given the synopsis you shared on your ex’s childhood etc…I know most who struggle with substance abuse are also medicating a huge amount of pain. I also know the literature seems to support this theory that in some cases when abuse is involved, in order to survive the child will take on a ‘false’ persona, and so narcissism develops almost as a coping mechanism. This is a slippery slope for a victim because if there is compassion and empathy, it tugs at the heartstrings and in reflection sometimes creates this ‘sympathy’ which turns into this desire to ‘heal’ the wounded child. DON’T GO THERE. I think my final answer on this having had this experience and years under my belt and far past it…ultimately from this side of the fence I can tell you in the end, what we call them really doesn’t matter. We have to be able to clearly identify unhealthy behavior of which certainly this situation qualifies. I got myself all worked up following those who came before me and of whom I appreciate tremendously because I had no concept of narcissism at all and how damaging it could be, I misinterpreted very selfish behavior and gave many excuses for it because I was not aware, and for a time, normal people showing a few normal traits would trigger me. Today I feel my radar is much more fine tuned and so I can spot someone selfish, self serving, manipulative and a host of other toxic behaviors pretty quickly and know when it’s time to exit stage left. This saves ME time, energy and headaches. Recovering from this will be a journey. Since you share children, you will still have to have contact with him. If you suspect he’s a full fledged narc, or even if you just conclude he’s toxic and screwed up, your best line of defense would probably be to understand the behavior, recognize if he is afflicted, it’s not personal, get a grasp of how he operates so that when the behaviors present themselves you don’t get yourself all worked up but rather expect it. Once you have a firm grasp and get past the cognitive dissonance and understand that truly damaged people exist and they’re not leaving this plane anytime soon, the faster you will be able to deal with them, even if you don’t care for them too much. Where I think people get tripped up is they forget you cannot reason or rationalize with them, so it makes no sense to fight them. If he really is on the spectrum, your best bet will most likely be to agree to as much as you can that will not put you on the other side of a disagreement. If his ideas need to be the best one’s – so be it. If he has to let you know how much better his life is, even if you see him neck deep in shyte…no need to tell him. His reality may have nothing to do with reality, but the more you try to fight him on issues, try to make him see something he refuses to see because maybe he can’t the harder it will be. Anything that is going to put him on the defensive, and sometimes it’s the smallest silliest of things…AVOID it if you can. Make sure the kids are safely under your wing and understand clearly you’re the one running the ship. That does not mean alienate them from him, but rather it is typical for narcissists to try to triangulate and kids are prime targets for this operation, and so you will have to have a very open and candid relationship with your children WITHOUT badmouthing or ‘alienating’ them from him, even if you can see clear from here to Africa he’s not all ‘right’ in the head. That does not mean he won’t try to play the victim and turn them against you, but you will have to be five steps ahead. If you were to ask me how I turned the corner…being new, and all of it hitting me all at once, it was very hard to process, it took me a long time to ‘get it’. I was angry, as I am sure you are too; however, peace and forgiveness are not things we give to them, but instead we strive for those things for us because to deny it only eats us up alive inside, they keep on going. At a certain point, I had to look at the whole thing, and I had to realize that this person was damaged and it had nothing to do with me. I also had to learn to forgive myself for not seeing and not knowing what I didn’t know, and then I chose the path of compassion examining his troubled childhood and how difficult his life must have been feeling so unloved and empty as a child that he had no other choice but to escape into this whole other world of the false self of which he never recovered from. I thought about how much the ‘illusion’ of happiness he fights so much to front must be tearing him up inside, and I learned to be thankful that the pain showed me I could love, that I wasn’t pathological and my pain was a normal response to being human, and with time I was able to release him. It takes a long time to get there though and in the newness of it, this may all seem like gibberish, but at a certain point I had to pick myself up one way or another and that does not mean I then went on a mission to comfort him, save him, bring him into the light, go to counseling…there was none of that, he made a choice and his consequences were his to own, he had every opportunity to be responsible and he made his choice. I had to humble myself and eat the crow I wasn’t gonna win this round…but I look back today and realize I absolutely did because I ended up free of a lifetime of suffering. YOU can and will survive and you will rebuild and when you get to the other side of this, you will be amazed by your resilience and strength. I wish you blessings, strength, wisdom and serenity as you travel along this journey. It’s an opportunity to also learn so much about yourself. I look back at the experience and I am grateful. I think you will be too, just give it time and try to maintain balance. Love you, be good to you, be gentle and kind with you…
      All the best,

  2. Wow! This information was great. I’m still at a total loss because of a malignant narcissist. He was in upper mgt. and my ex manager. Not only did he cheat clients continually, cheat on his wife, sexually grope, harass, degrade, demean multiple women, he tried to ruin tons of lives. He said women are only good for caretaking and sex. He made fun of peoples hair, weight, clothes, cars, houses, age, education level, just a real peach. He thought everyone around him was a loser in life. He screwed over multiple business associates, owed everyone in town, didn’t care who, what, when, or how he got what he wanted when he wanted. I never experienced such chaos, disgust, and anger in my entire life. They stress of it all caused me PTSD, an eating disorder, issues with trust, I view 99.9% of all men as selfish, evil, two-timing and immature only wanting to use women. It had me questioning everything in life, my faith, my emotions, my sense of peace, right vs. wrong. He basically said his wife was useless as two tits on a bull that once women go through the change of life, what good are they other than helping raise kids or cleaning. As long as she kissed his a** everything was kosher. He said women need to know their place either in the kitchen or on their knees. He would make comments like that all day long!!! It made my blood literally boil. Do some of these men grow up in houses that…that is how their own fathers or grandfathers acted? Or any male around them acted? How do they think that is appropriate behavior? It was so disheartening being around that kind of mental abuse. I thought they were hiring me to do administrative work, accounting work, or help the company out. What a joke! Oh my God, the finding Jesus card too. All those men were cheating on their wives, dishonoring contracts continuously lying to clients only to make a buck, abusing their own families money to fund multiple business deals and then they would project to the whole world what GREAT upstanding fathers, husbands, and men they were. What a damn smoke screen to evil selfish behavior behind the scenes. Instead of manning up they would screw off at others expense. Con, exploit, coerce for their own gain. If some of these men don’t want to be married then by all means don’t. Give your wives or women you are with a chance to go find true happiness, true honesty, true love instead of being circle jerked and just used and abused. In the end we all want trust to feel safe, to be able to be vulnerable and share with someone, not to be jerked around. Life is way too short for all the BS!

  3. This article is unbelievable. I married a crazy narcissist but only recently did I realise. 12 years together and 2 children yet 3 months into our marriage I find out she has been having an affair all year with one of my best friends, also married with 2 kids. He was at the wedding, he was at my stag do yet I find a picture of his penis in her email account.

    I have been through hell over the last 2 years which culminated last night with a massive panic attack on the underground and being seen by a paramedic on the platform. I am crippled by anxiety and feel so lost.

    She has managed to blame me for pretty much everything. When I don’t do anything she wants she threatens to block access to the children and remove them from my influence yet after the separation I changed my job so I can have them 50 / 50. I take them on adventures every weekend, I have taken them on holidays and to a whole bunch of festivals. She has been on 4 holidays with her new boyfriend and to 3 festivals with him. She never takes them away yet makes out that she is the better parent.

    The only holiday she has been on was the one I organised to Thailand which she came out 2 days into it. We were meant to be making another go of it but she carried on seeing her boyfriend behind my back again and then dumped me again.

    She is completely disorganised, late for everything, late for drop offs, late for collections but rages at me when I say it isn’t acceptable. When I don’t give her money when she wants or conform to her she calls me a control freak.

    She is an impossible nightmare of a person and has ruined me. The guy she has dumped her family for is a serial cheater, he cheated on his wife all the time. She has trusted herself with this guy, who apparently is more of a man than me.


  4. Hi, I was Google-ing “my ex husband narc has nothing to do with me but still is in contact with other ex’s” and this article came up. I think I need some plain old straightening out. I am engaged to a wonderful man, but Ex-N somehow has been popping into my head the last few days. He D&D’ed me and our two boys about nine years ago. Well, actually…after hoovering me to take him back for the nine millionth time after various affairs, criminal behavior, physical and mental abuse, and substance abuse I took him back. But the conditions were, and he helped me come up with them, that if he “used” again, or had any funny business, or didn’t come home for the night, or had women calling his phone, I could ask him to leave, because basically he was choosing his way of living over us. Well, that is what happened, not coming home, women calling his phone, meth use, etc. But of course I was crazy, and he used a lot of gaslighting tactics etc. I doubted my sanity. I told him to leave. Though his probation officer wanted to give him one last chance at a treatment facility. Unfortunately, his mother thought the state was “doing him wrong” etc and they were going to sue the state, so she gave him a ticket to Maui, along with a place to live and cash etc. to “start new,” away from me who was a “witch of a woman.” I didn’t hear from him for months but when I did, he called from a blocked number begging me not to divorce him and that he would be back home, turning himself in and doing the right thing. The second night he was there he met some gal from a convenience store and she was his new love interest…but I didn’t know this and he would still call me, send me emails and letters telling me how much he loved me…trying to keep me on the back burner. When I found out about her and told him I was filing for divorce he went in panic mode and begged me not to, saying that him and this gal were over, but really they weren’t. She was pregnant with his twins. Of course she would contact me and tell me how happy they were and how well he treated her and how that she had what it took to “keep her man happy.” Long story short, they had their twins taken away, put in protective custody etc. A caseworker called me to ask me questions about my past with the ex narc and she said how lucky I was to have gotten away from him. Trying to divorce him was hard though, to have him served, for he would tell me that he wanted the divorce and to have him served at his place of employment (of course while he was with this new gal and when she was around he would say this..) but when I would have the process server try to serve him, he would never be at his place of employment. Needless to say, she left him, and their twins were adopted out to some other people. He has been extradited back to our state from California (where he lives now and where he is from) for criminal non support and owes over 50,000. He has never paid a dime, asked about his boys and neither have his parents or family. No cards, letters or gifts! Three times he has been extradited back here and been in jail. Each time he has sent me hoovering letters from jail telling me how much he still loves me etc. Whatever…sure, 3 years, 4 years, and 6 years after you left me and then brought back up here for not paying child support, I am going to believe that you still love me and our kids?! When he was back up here in 2010 he actually buffalo’ed me. When he got out, I felt sorry for him because he had no place to stay after he got out of jail and supposedly he was going to stay around here and find a job to start paying support…but he would start the whole poor me, thing…I have no place to stay, no food, no transportation…and I would give him a ride here or there, I would give him food or buy him a hotel room. He always tried to get me to go to bed with him and say those words of how much I turned him on still, but I had a new boyfriend, and I just felt sorry for him. He really would only text me or call me if he needed anything. But if I tried to get him to see the kids, he wasn’t interested. And all he would talk about was us working things out, or lament about the other girl he knew from Maui that he had the twins with and how much he missed them…and tell me that he didn’t love that gal, yet he was in contact with her constantly though she and he had been separated for about 8 months. He always talked about her and those twins but not give a rip about our kids or ask about them. I don’t know if they had been legally married or what? He said they were and then he said they weren’t, the story always changed. Finally, the stick that broke the camels back was, while he was up here, our youngest was hospitalized with pneumonia and almost died. When he called and I told him about it, this is what he said, “man, you know what is a bummer? my backpack got stolen from the transit center.” Nothing about our child. Something clicked. I let him have it. I never stood up to him before. I told him that he never loved me or our kids, didn’t know how to love anyone, was a bad person, was a pathological liar, a manipulator, a user and told him to never call me again for anything…and to start paying his child support and that I would hunt him down til he grew old and gray to get it. I told him how angry I was at him for the 5 or more or who knows how many affairs he had on me, I told him how angry I was at him for walking all over me…for hitting me, for pushing me around, for threatening to kill me and putting us in danger, for neglecting us and for abandoning us. And he was so taken aback…he said, “what happened to nice Tanya, my friend…? The one who always loved me and took care of me no matter what?” I told him he wasn’t my friend and to stay away from me, I hung up the phone and changed my number. I think he left the state again for Cali, and was extradited one more time in 2013? And when he got out of jail he came to my house really late drunk asking why I was ruining his life and throwing him under the bus in court. And I told him I wasn’t ruining his life, I just wanted child support…he tried to tell me that I was his wife, and his kids were in the house, etc and that he still loved me and I told him that I wasn’t his wife anymore and those kids aren’t his, they are mine…and then he switched it all around and said how crazy I was and that he never loved me. It was so crazy. Lots of mind games that I didn’t get into. I had to come have someone escort him off my property because he refused to leave; he kept insisting we talk about “us.” Now I hear he is with a woman 15 years his senior…and I have heard they are married, but that could be just in their heads. He was a talented mechanic, and through my expert detective skills I have found that she has opened a auto mechanic shop. The state hasn’t been able to find him to get money from him, but I have found out lots of info on him, that I have given to them. After sending him a message on Google+ like two months ago, he responded back two weeks ago to me, with his phone number wanting me to call him back. When my texts or phone calls to him are strictly regarding our kid’s support, he won’t answer or his responses will be, “will start sending payments soon.” Our oldest son tried calling to talk to him, leaving him messages, but he hasn’t called back or texted him back. His new sugar mama responded to me after I sent her a message asking if she knew his whereabouts, though I sent her messages months ago. She responded a couple of days ago, stating that she doesn’t talk to him much anymore, that he is irresponsible and can’t sacrifice for anyone…and to check the porn/dating websites to find him. Hmmm, I think she is lying to me, because I had called their auto repair shop a few weeks back pretending to need a car fixed (blocking my phone number because they would know with my area code that it might be me) and the sugar mama, stated him by name as their master mechanic who works on all the Bmw and Mercedes’ that they own and drive. Wow, must be really nice. So tonight, after both her and him don’t respond to my Google+ accounts that they originally responded back with, I decided to look up facebook. I see that he has 4 accounts. They all have the same profile picture, and basically the same friends…but the new sugar mama isn’t one of his friends though she has a fb page….and the gal from Maui, the one he had twins with, he is a friend on all of his fb accounts. Yet, when I or my son have tried to be friends with him on facebook, he never responds. Why, would an ex narc be in contact with some ex’s but not other ex’s? Sorry this post is so long! I just had to give some background but I barely scratched the surface on the horrible things he did to me and my boys while we were married for 8 years. It isn’t killing me to have an answer, I am doing so much better in recovery than I was say, 5 years ago. I was diagnosed with PTSD from all the crap with him and have had lots of counseling and EMDR treatments etc. I feel really detached. I just wondered if you might have an answer for his question…plus I have been really wanting him to be made an example of to all those deadbeat parents out there who live it up…yet don’t pay child support. Thank you.

    • Dear Tanya, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond…and sorry that we’re meeting under these circumstances, I am so very glad to hear you got away. I believe your question is: “Why, would an ex narc be in contact with some ex’s but not other ex’s?” I don’t have a crystal ball, but if you are familiar with a Narc’s need to play the sympathy card and triangulate…it seems you did a great job of ripping the mask off. I also agree with your hunch that “Sugar Momma” is covering for him, they have this uncanny ability to con others so well. Perhaps she fears the dollar amount of back child support owed will threaten her investment. My best guess, you’re a threat even when not trying. You’re the ace in his pity card, the one he uses to garner sympathy and get all these women lined up supporting his many causes. I do hope you reign victorious in the support arrears, but honestly, (and sadly) not sure if it’s worth the aggravation. At the end of the day, it seems he’s not worth much unless someone is carrying him, and I surmise while these women are willing to subsidize him for a lil touch of the love rod, even the saintliest and naieve of women are usually shrewd when it comes to money, and I doubt there would be any court in the land who would order the spouse or live in partner to pay for the arrears. If it were me and I could afford to, I’d block and delete, you have to weigh the monetary value of your peace of mind…the other option is to continue to engage in a battle that more than likely won’t end with a bang but a very long drawn out frustrating fizzle, although if it is any comfort, I do know of ONE case with a woman who went after the deadbeat decades later…today he’s toothless and broke but they do take a nice chunck out of his measley Social Security every month…of course it’s up to you to decide how long you want to hammer this out. Regardless of your choice I wish you well. Really sorry to hear it’s been such a nightmare…

  5. I am laying awake at 4 in the morning, wondering how I could have married a narcissist. A man who coldly and suddenly told me I had to move out of the house in 4 days. A man who paraded me around like a piece of meat and said the words “I love you” dozens of times a day, as if it would convince him he had that capability. A man who went immediately onto a dating site after kicking me out and listed himself as 17 years younger than he is. What kind of woman marries such a creep? Your post has been revelatory. Thank you so very much.

    • I am so very sorry you had to go through this experience Kristin but please believe me, there is LIFE after a narcissist, and you will be incredibly grateful that you got out…in terms of “How you could have married a narcissist?”…They’re very good at what they do, and there was NO WAY you could have known, even if there were little warning bells early on…NO WAY you would have been able to imagine. My hardest battle was getting over the anger at myself…don’t do that to yourself, they use charm, manipulation and all other kinds of tactics…therapists throw their hands up and get taken quite often…be blessed along your journey sending warm vibes of peace and serenity your way…

  6. This is an amazing story, much like my own. My exnarcissits had done in mentally. I never married him after s
    20 years off and on again relations. The only thing that broke the cycle was when he secretly tricked the woman before me into marriage. It hurts to have allowed such abuse, but now Im in recovery. It was hard to get away because this man called himself a man of God. I thank God fordeliverance
    from that demon. Later on in my career, I met women who had been tricked by him also. One in particular had married him andwas

    married to him for 4 months before she
    divorced him.
    Thanks for your posts. It makes recovery better knowing that someone has experienced such discovery.

    • Emma,
      So sorry that we’re meeting under such lousy circumstances. I wish you well on your continued journey…I still find myself very thankful I escaped getting locked in…

  7. Betty,
    Today I almost lost it. I want to end my life. I am so sad and ashamed knowing that my partner is seeing someone that comes to my house when I’m at work.
    I feel like I’ve lost everything. When his drank he wakes me up in the middle of the night to buy him cigarette. The last time he pulled me out of bed and drop me down the floor which almost vote my neck caused I refused to get up. Last year he pleaded guilty of an assault which almost end my life he tried to suffocate me and caused an internal bruising of 3.6 inches. He was charged of assault and given best behavior bond for 12 months. He beg me to come back home and promised to be good but the abused continue. 3 months after sentence was imposed he lost his license for driving a range of 0.207. Few months later he twist my finger and put a dent in my brand new car during my on line exam cause I wouldn’t give him my keys to the car. The list goes on. He also cut my clothes to pieces on random when I’ve hidden his card so that he couldn’t buy more alcohol. He was diagnosed of 6 months to live in 2011 but I’ve nursed him to health with 2 hour massage very day when I get home from 8 hours shifts. He couldn’t even bought me a card on my 50th birthday and he was intoxicated.. tell me why can’t I live this guy. I have looked after him since the day one and he promised that one day he will get a job but it never comes. Betty I am so very tired I had to give up my children so they can be safe. I am feeling that I need to rest now.

    • Maria,
      None of this is easy and the abuse starts out very subtle it’s a slow campaign. Addiction is a very complicated matter and there are no easy answers; however, while you are not to blame for any of the abuse it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of enabling. Personally I don’t buy into the co-dependence label but the reality is and most have a very hard time seeing it in the early stages – it’s more of a mental trap than it is physical outside of the obvious financial considerations. Oftentimes individuals offer advice and say “LEAVE” but it’s not that easy without a solid plan in place and a support system. Change will not happen overnight but certainly I am sure you know this is not healthy. I do not wish to broadcast your personal business over the cyber waves – my offer to talk more in private still stands and I must also disclose and make very clear I am not a mental health professional but I implore you if you do not have a therapist or counselor that you try to find one as it will be important to have someone you can share with face to face as you explore your options. Under the section on top of this blog entitled “Resources” is a site “Good Therapy.Org” you may be able to find information there to help with your search and if one therapist is not a good fit don’t give up. There is also on that site a list of criteria you should look for. Maria, these types of relationships leave us depleted but there is hope. Don’t give up and if I can help you further, please do not hesitate to contact me at one or both of the links I provided.

  8. Hi there,
    My name is Maria and for the love of god why can’t I leave my partner of of 5 years. Mark is a classic example of what narcisicist man is. A woman comes to my house all the time when I’m at work and leave things for me to find, but my partner denied all the objects I’ve found at home that aren’t mine.
    I am so tired and feeling so low.

  9. I was the OW. I pray for his wife every day. I didn’t think it would be an affair, I thought we found each other from within our unhappy marriages and were going to make things right. D&D came shortly after. If it’s any consolation to the wife, I paid for my sin by being in a spectacularly painful relationship. Used, abused – I feel like I deserved it for my lies and betrayals. I was able to leave him – had to block him completely, etc., but I feel for that poor woman stuck married to him every single day. God bless that poor woman.

  10. Wow. I now understand many things. My husband has been unfaithful to me about 5 times. He has left the house with other women twice and all this time I thought it was me the problem. I’m so unhappy and now I don’t know how to get out of this relationship. We’ve been toguether for 18 years and have two sons. He’s all I’ve known but my feelings for him is more pitty. He’s not working which is a consequence of his cheating. Worked at a company for over 6 years and he quit because the OW was his boss. He wanted to come home, so he said because he felt lost without us. I gave him a chance but he still comunicating with her and here I am the understanding wife still with this codependancy feeling I can’t live without him. When I’m with him I see evil but when I’m not with him I feel miserable. I don’t know what to do or how to end this. I wish I could close my eyes and just have him out the house. But then I feel responsable for him and I know I’m not. I don’t know how to explain these feelings. I pray to God every day because he is my only hope and I know that he is the only one that can make a change. But Gos knocks on my husbands door everyday and he has never invited him in. God gives us freewill and until he actually lets him in he will never change and I realize that. In this type of disfunctional marriege you either live with hope or you get out and run for your life but throughout the years I know understand that it never changes.

    • Linda,
      I am so sorry you are facing this storm, I trust the Creator will stand beside you and carry you as you continue to travel this very difficult path…if I can ever be of any assistance, feel free to reach out.

    • Dear Linda, my heart goes out to you:((((. I too was 18 years and have 3 sons. I ping pinged too:((. Same senerio… But in the end I did wake up:))). It took an understanding of narcissism to begin that journey; but that was the beginning. I know it’s heart breaking; but I can reassure you God has plans to prosper you and plans to give you a hope and a future:)))). I’m glad you found this website and are starting to see the realities you have been dealing with:(((. The truth sets us free…. Even if it is a painful truth… Im 3 years out now and way past the eye of the storm:)). You too will be one day:))) Keep doing what your doing by clinging to God:)))). He’s very near to the broken hearted….

    • Dear Linda,

      I am so sorry that you have to go through this process. And it is a process. Pretty much the most horrible roller coaster ride that you go on without even wanting to ride. For me 25 years, 2 children and a lifetime of wondering what I was doing wrong. He moved in with his affair partner 18 months ago and moved out of state. As painful as that is, what a blessing.

      I used to wonder how God could let this happen. How he could let my family be destroyed. And finally, a week ago (yes, took that long – guess I am a bit slow 🙂 it finally occurred to me, he did this FOR me. He has given me the opportunity to see my value, to be the best mother I can be, to work hard at my job. To understand that every success and failure is of my own creation. I have now been given the ability to see how I allowed my ex to live the “married, but single” life and how he was never there for us in any way more than financially. And I finally saw that if I was still constantly reviewing everything that I was never going to be able to move forward. So I got in bed Saturday night and said to God, “that’s it, I don’t really care what he does anymore, he is all yours”. Because I knew if I couldn’t control his behavior when we lived together I certainly couldn’t now.

      The next day I was told by a mutual friend that my ex’s affair partner seems to be on the hunt again (she apparently likes the married man catch and release program). He is miserable. She controls everything they do. They are blowing through money and the source is about to dry up. I couldn’t be happier.

      Today our daughter graduates from high school. I will leave a ticket behind for him while the rest of our extended family goes to dinner and takes pictures. He will enter alone and potentially sit alone amongst all of the parents he has known for 12 years and are aware of his cheating. He will watch his child walk across the stage knowing how much he has injured her by his actions, how much he screwed up his life and how it is too late to change it. And I know (being an N) that this will only last for a split second, but I relish that second. I have been waiting for it for 18 months now. Maybe this is what God had in mind all along………

  11. Its 1am and here I sit reading all the posts, and I am overwhelmed by the pain and grieving and how it hits so close to home. My relationship started out so magical, (Name Witheld) showered me with attention, words of love, devotion and commitment. We quickly became a couple and within 6 months I moved into his house. I felt like the most important, loved person in the world. 11 years later I am so broken and hopeless that I have days of uncontrolled anxiety and depression… Reading your information was like looking at my life written by a stranger…(Name Witheld) has from the beginning had some intimacy issues, we have never had a great sex life, and yet I accepted that because of his physical short comings and because that’s what you do as a wife, you don’t abandon your spouse because of an ailment..I was comforting, tried to not make the lack of sex an issue and just loved him for him. I would take all the love he would give me at the time and live with that. (Name Witheld) has been dealing with compulsive gambling for many years, I knew this when we met, however he was controlling it well, never lost more then we could pay out and then,,,,,,,,,,,Two years ago, he starts having an affair…with a Vietnamese waitress and completely leaves me emotionally. He begins to buy her things, so therefore he begins to gamble again and this time heavily. He is trying to juggle buying her gifts with the gambling winnings, but, things go terribly wrong and he loses everything we had saved..the entire 401K, the savings…we’ve paid off debt on loans…and he is still with her…I feel so worthless, feel so trapped and lifeless…its as if I can’t financially get away, nor can I emotionally get away. I ask him, why don’t we separate, you can explore your feelings for her and I can have some time to heal,,his response is that he doesn’t love her that they are just friends…I am such a fool. I should have known better, he has a pattern of infidelity, he has never been faithful in any of his relationship or marriages. Even writing this makes me want to just crawl into a hole and die. I have gone to lawyers and I realize that I can probably win a settlement to recover on the tens of thousands of dollars he’s spent on this other woman….but all the money in the world will never truly fix my heart. I so see him now for what he is….he never took the time to love his own parents, his sister, he didnt love the money or the house, yet he latches on to these other women and discards the ones who love him most. I feel like an old favorite worn shoe…you really don’t want to wear it, but you just can’t throw it away….Thanks for giving me a forum to just let it out on…I have tried to keep this inside so long, how do you tell your family, your friends what a failure you are in marriage…..Good luck to us all in overcoming the cycle

    • Catherine,
      I am so sorry to hear you are in the midst of the storm. I know it’s very painful to come to the realization. Right now I am certain is a very dark period for you; however, you are not the failure in marriage, your partner simply cannot due to the disorder live up to the terms. It’s a very hard reality to grasp, you work hard and do all the right things and you get slapped in the face with a bucket of ice water; however, I want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This is something you could never fix, and while it’s probably not much of a comfort, the fact that you loved is not a crime. No one can tell ahead of time what we’re dealing with when it comes to those on the spectrum. Add to that an addiction and your hands were/are tied. Walking away and letting go is hard, but any survivor will share with you that healing and recovering from this is possible, it’s just going to be a rough ride in the interim. Find good support systems, try to find a therapist that is skilled in trauma and abuse. The level of distress we endure coming out of these relationships is extreme given we’ve been victims of covert abuse, and so on the surface we might report: “He took off with so-and-so” but it runs much deeper than that and it will be hard for a therapist to understand why your feelings and reactions are so much more intense in comparison to someone who is going through a “break-up” it’s because of the abuse. You need a safe place to get it out, and by all means, continue to learn what you can about the disorder only so that you can come to own none of this is your fault and there was nothing more you could have done. Being perfect around the clock is so very depleting, even if the abuse was ambient. Try to take things moment by moment. You did not deserve this, do not own blame or shame for any of this. YOU are not an old shoe. We tend to feel that way because that is all part of their machinations…the idealization, devalue, discard. They all work the same. Be kind, gentle and loving with yourself and please do not view yourself as a failure. The best of the best in the mental health industry throw their hands up with them, no way you could top the experts in this, so don’t be hard on yourself. I wish you well in your continued journey and if I can help in any way feel free to let me know. May you be blessed along the path. Healing will come, ride the waves and please be further validated that there isn’t one emotion you shared that any of us haven’t felt. We have managed to survive and I am confident you will too, trust the process and be patient with yourself.

  12. I came across this online and wow. My husband has been seeing some woman for the past 5 years. He would tell me he’s ended it. Them start seeing her again without me knowing. Recently I found out he’s been seeing her all along and that he’s been lying to me all along . I’m gutted . He now wants me to accept that he will never stop seeing her and he wants me to stay. I recent quit my job to be able to be home more for my family but that was before I knew it was all on again. I am so hurt and lost and feel I may end up on the street .?what can I do ?

    • There is no easy answer Tanya, it’s going to be a process, right now under the circumstances, I would sit tight and be tight lipped about any plans. Less talking, more listening. Learn all you can about NPD, and take a look at the videos on the side “Divorcing a Jerk”…at this moment you need to catch your breath, I am sure it’s a blow. Many will sit on the other side of the computer screen and immediately shout: “Divorce his ass, RUN!” and while I agree, it is not something that should be done without having an iron clad foul proof plan as best as you can orchestrate. Money is an issue, divorces cost money…plot and plan on the quiet, don’t let him see you sweat and plot your course carefully. Feel free to share more via private message on the Facebook page. I try not to display victim’s details in a public forum. Your questions are helpful for others but I do believe in the privacy of victims as this is a delicate matter. All the best to you and just try to keep your wits about you. We’ve all survived this and you will too…

      • Thanks for ur reply . I really don’t know where to start! I have a 16 year old son who is in his last year of school which makes running difficult .,I have a small amount of savings but not enough to simply drive away . The problem that concerns me the most is thAt his other woman is a working hooker I’m so scared he has possibly jeopardised my health. The house we live in comes with his job so it’s me that’s got to go. It’s a small town and the closest other town is to expensive for me to live in as far as renting a place is concerned especially without a job. He went and stayed with her last night, and wil be home soon. I’m worried my son might become angry and violent as well BecuAse of all this. So confused really don’t know if I can sit here and wait but have no family or friends to help me either .

      • It is for those reasons Tanya I suggest that despite the turmoil you sit tight, stay mum, don’t rock the boat and explore your legal options. In the movies and on social forums behind screens it’s easy to suggest you give him an ear full and make your dramatic exit; however, we know that isn’t the reality, you have to have a good exit strategy which includes the best legal protection you can find, perhaps spousal support and if you’ve been married a certain amount of time depending upon where you live you may be entitled to it (not sure if you’re in the US or abroad), and of course a divorce decree which stipulates he’s responsible for college costs and any and all other protections you are entitled to so that you can be stable when you sever ties. BUT it is wise not to even let him know your plan of attack because once he’s on to you of course he too will be playing to win…so keep your wits about you, I really recommend you take a look at the video on the right side of this blog “Divorcing a Jerk”…especially the part about if you are in a smaller town, try to get a consult with as many lawyers in the town as you can because if you go through them, they can’t represent him because it becomes a conflict of interest…build your fence slowly and deliberately, not for the sake of war but self preservation. Sending a prayer your way and get tested.

  13. I’m married to a narcissistic man., I kept waiting for proof he loved me …. As soon as I asked him to prove his Trust to me.. stop cheating the more worse he got. I kept pressing separation in hopes he would change n maybe realize he has wife n kids. After all forgiveness I’ve done after all the bad things I’ve put up with he turns around and gives me a divorce and says he can’t take my shit anymore and we don’t get along. When month ago he says I’m amazing person when I’m not bitch ing. Knowing how devastated I was n hurt he starts asking fur sex more then ever even went phone n went nuts when he saw I was speaking to guy friends n showed one a sexy picture of me. I ess honest with him that he’s pushing me away n making feel worthless… I kept telling him how I felt then he was m judging me etc forgetting about the hundred hundred times he’s more then betrayed me….. Found it strange how AFTER seeing all that he still wanted sex n acting super jealous then ever before really confuses me

    • Stephanie,
      Narcissists cannot attach or love they lack empathy and remorse. At the end it’s about devalue and discard. After seeing everything he saw, you are right, he was ‘acting’ super jealous and went in for the final ‘hurrah’ before the devalue and discard. This was intended to do exactly what it did – confuse you. We typically equate sex as a physical manifestation and expression of love. They don’t. They never did, and never will. Do not be too hard on yourself for getting it twisted, we all did, but don’t be confused…this is what they do.

  14. Why does the Narc seem to get away unscathed while we are left emotionally battered and scarred? Why do I care so much? And how can I let that all go and start healing myself from all of the anger, hurt, and intrusive thoughts about him and what he did (and I permitted him to do) to me?

    It feels so unfair that I am suffering and reacting so terribly from his crazy-making behavior, whereas he is living the high life and claiming and appearing to have done so much internal work and healing that he is now “at peace” and feeling the emotional best he ever has.

    I genuinely don’t wish harm or damage to innocent children but I know that his kids (plus his money!) are the only thing that he genuinely cares about and loves so it kills me to watch him get loads of joy, admiration and adoration from them when in fact it should be the opposite and he should be punished for being such a lying, cheating, cruel man.

    How can I stop feeling so much pain, rejection, and jealousy plus stop having such a strong need for revenge and for him to own, apologize, and show remorse for being so hurtful to me?

    • Ellie,

      I am sorry to learn you are in the midst of a breakup. I am not sure if the individual you are referring to is actually a narcissist because you share that this individual does love his children (and his money)…I surmise you witness some action on his part that indicates an ability to love? True Narcs can’t love anyone, and in a genuinely afflicted individual, even children are used as trophies, so I am not 100 percent certain but will answer your questions based on an assumption that he is in fact a narcissist. I’d like to emphasize that many have narcissistic traits, in fact we all do and that does not make someone a narcissist so it will be important to learn what you can about it. Ultimately however, the efforts of learning about the personality disorder is not so that we can be well versed in pointing out their flaws and failures, but simply to understand and connect how we might have been powerless in our taking inventory. In healthy relationships it is natural, normal and expected that we might replay some tapes and review in order to learn something from the relationship that was severed, to perhaps not make the same mistakes with someone else and gain insight and clarity. When we are discussing legitimate cases where NPD is a factor, it’s done for another reason; however, I caution individuals to be very honest with themselves as while it is comforting to hide behind the shield of labeling someone as suffering from a personality disorder, if we are not honest with ourselves, we will just continue to make the same mistakes. Assholes can also present as narcissists but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s so.

      That being said…you ask:

      “Why does the Narc seem to get away unscathed while we are left emotionally battered and scarred?”

      Narcissists do not bond or attach to anyone. Normal people do. The emotional abuse was going on throughout the length of the relationship, the severing of ties was just a formality. Long term crazymaking and abuse will come with after effects. Because they never attach, there isn’t anything stopping them from starting over with someone else or totally reinventing their lives, with no emotional investment on their part, it’s natural for them to get away unscathed….

      “Why do I care so much? And how can I let that all go and start healing myself from all of the anger, hurt, and intrusive thoughts about him and what he did (and I permitted him to do) to me?”

      There is a distinction between ‘caring so much’ and having feeling attached to the experience. If you accept this individual is disordered (provided that he is but even if he isn’t the relationship is toxic) then you will soon come to realize that it’s not a matter of caring so much, as once severance has taken place HE is no longer your business, but rather it’s just a matter of letting the process of detachment take hold. It’s natural early on to still have feelings even if later we come to understand the relationship itself was one based on illusion but we are not light switches that turn off and on, there is a process involved with severance. The best way to let go is to allow yourself to feel what you feel, educate yourself on the disorder, do not blame yourself for missing red flags, understand that as much as we will point fingers and blame them that on some level whether we want to admit it or not, there was something in us that drew us towards them, something that caused us to ignore the red flags and get to the root of that. Begin to try to place more focus on self rather than them and their disorder and in time slowly things will begin to take shape and form and it won’t feel as bad as it does today. It is a process however, this is not a normal relationship and your reactions are normal given it’s an abnormal situation. As far as granting permission for abuse…many of us have to accept and understand we cannot be accountable for not knowing what we did not know. For many of us, this begins a new path and a catalyst for change. Many truths make themselves known if we are willing to do the work on self.

      “It feels so unfair that I am suffering and reacting so terribly from his crazy-making behavior, whereas he is living the high life and claiming and appearing to have done so much internal work and healing that he is now “at peace” and feeling the emotional best he ever has.”

      Of course it feels unfair that you are suffering, and reacting from his crazy making behavior, but it is only an illusion and an image planted in your mind that he’s living the high life…understand that is the illusion and image they create. Can’t say whether he’s at peace or not; however, given they don’t attach or bond with others, it’s a hard sell that he’s living large, feeling good and has been awakened…rather he’s feeling nothing, living in a void and quite empty inside. His false ego is the one projecting that illusion. Don’t be fooled.

      “I genuinely don’t wish harm or damage to innocent children but I know that his kids (plus his money!) are the only thing that he genuinely cares about and loves so it kills me to watch him get loads of joy, admiration and adoration from them when in fact it should be the opposite and he should be punished for being such a lying, cheating, cruel man. ”

      I’m sure it looks that way but like I said before, they attach to no one including their children. I might buy he does adore his money as it’s probably the vehicle which allows him to purchase various disguises in image and instant gratification – but the more significant message…this is no longer your problem, I get the focus, it is how it appears at first and the distress can consume someone terribly in the beginning but continue to understand and accept this is all illusion. None of it real…he’s a walking vat of void.

      “How can I stop feeling so much pain, rejection, and jealousy plus stop having such a strong need for revenge and for him to own, apologize, and show remorse for being so hurtful to me?”

      Educate yourself, be gentle kind and loving with yourself, seek competent professional mental health counseling and try to find someone well versed in NPD and Trauma who gets it. Find a safe support system, writing helped me. Vent and purge (use an alias it’s safest) and read others stories for validation. Give time time, don’t rush to self medicate finding another one for distraction, but take the time to work on you and figure out how you fell for this and accepted it for so long. The education will help with this, you were very well targeted it is what they do ’tis true; however, for every victim that comes through these doors, there were others the narc was not able to ‘capture’ find out how to land yourself in that camp moving forward and the key to that is understanding what this form of abuse entails, and understanding manipulation. Even if we can point fingers at them, we too have work to do as something made us vulnerable. That is not a crime, it’s part of being human but learning boundaries and discernment if they were areas of weakness for us go a long way towards prevention. Don’t wait for the apology, it will never come and if it does it will not be genuine. Instead, move forward and work on you…All the best to you.

  15. Stacey W Shared:

    It’s been almost 2 years since I left my Narc/BPD relationship. One of the most painful parts was having to physically leave the place that I loved, my home because I knew after many years that if I stayed physically in the same place as him I would always be manipulated back into the same bullshit. I’m reading and writing because though I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful, kind person now I still feel haunted and often have dreams that make me relive the pain over and over again. I have been perplexed because it’s been so long. I should be over it, right? Well, I’m not and I feel guilty and weak that I’m not over it. Right after I left, (Name Witheld) swooped up one of my good friends, she was moved in with him within a month of me leaving. I thought that she was one of my best friends. I just have to remind myself that I also fell victim to his manipulation so many times. I thought it was my fault that I wasn’t good enough and that perhaps she is but I know now, from lots of therapy, that there is NO good match for a narcissist!! She is now in the same pain I was and although my hurt and anger are still here ultimately I feel pity on her.

    I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented and to those who wrote the article. Especially all the parts about, sleep, reactive depression, nightmares, etc.. I thought I was crazy and totally lame that I still carry the pain around and dream of him and her so often still.

    All of this has helped me feel okay about where I’m at and helped me to see how damaging these people and relationships can really be. I don’t have to feel so crazy and weak anymore about still reeling from this experience.

    Research characteristics of “REAL” Narcissistic/Borderline/Anti-social… Personality Disorder!!! It’s not just someone who think’s they’re pretty awesome and likes to look at themselves in the mirror. It’s so much more.

    Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality! They will manipulate you every time you try to leave. You feel like you can’t go on without them because they have groomed you to feel that way. That’s not real! – even though you feel physically ill and overly fearful at the thought of leaving. I promise that It will never end! It is impossible for them to change because of the type disorder they have does not allow them to look at themselves the way that we can and they NEVER will be able to.

    So ultimately please hear my advice…(I do realize that kids and marriage make this even more complex and difficult)…

    BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.


    IT’S A LIE!


    REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!

    Love yourself and don’t look back.

    Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

    • Stacey W — Your feelings about your situation may also be complicated by the fact that your ex got immediately involved with a friend of yours. So you probably feel a sense of double betrayal. While all of us experience similar negative patterns in a relationship with disordered people, there are also differences depending on individual qualities and circumstances (such as financial needs and whether children are involved that can require ongoing or low contact with a N after end of relationship).

      Different things can affect recovery length of time. Different people approach the sorting through information/facts and feeling one’s way through a variety of overlapping issues that come up in the healing process. No need to compare your journey to other people in ways that make you feel “less than.” Respect your own needs and trust yourself more, so you don’t beat yourself up. If you think you’ve back-tracked a bit, ask yourself what this experience is trying to teach you.

  16. It’s been almost 2 years since I left my Narc/BPD relationship. One of the most painful parts was having to physically leave the place that I loved, my home because I knew after many years that if I stayed physically in the same place as him I would always be manipulated back into the same bullshit. I’m reading and writing because though I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful, kind person now I still feel haunted and often have dreams that make me relive the pain over and over again. I have been perplexed because it’s been so long. I should be over it, right? Well, I’m not and I feel guilty and weak that I’m not over it. Right after I left Brett Gyllenskog swooped up one of my good friends, she was moved in with him within a month of me leaving. I thought that she was one of my best friends. I just have to remind myself that I also fell victim to his manipulation so many times. I thought it was my fault that I wasn’t good enough and that perhaps she is but I know now, from lots of therapy, that there is NO good match for a narcissist!! She is now in the same pain I was and although my hurt and anger are still here ultimately I feel pity on her.
    I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented and to those who wrote the article. Especially all the parts about, sleep, reactive depression, nightmares, etc.. I thought I was crazy and totally lame that I still carry the pain around and dream of him and her so often still.
    All of this has helped me feel okay about where I’m at and helped me to see how damaging these people and relationships can really be. I don’t have to feel so crazy and weak anymore about still reeling from this experience.

    Research characteristics of “REAL” Narcissistic/Borderline/Anti-social… Personality Disorder!!! It’s not just someone who think’s they’re pretty awesome and likes to look at themselves in the mirror. It’s so much more.

    Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality! They will manipulate you every time you try to leave. You feel like you can’t go on without them because they have groomed you to feel that way. That’s not real! – even though you feel physically ill and overly fearful at the thought of leaving. I promise that It will never end! It is impossible for them to change because of the type disorder they have does not allow them to look at themselves the way that we can and they NEVER will be able to.

    So ultimately please hear my advice…(I do realize that kids and marriage make this even more complex and difficult)…

    BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.


    IT’S A LIE!


    REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!

    Love yourself and don’t look back.

    Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

  17. My narc now ex husband used me the whole time when he found his new shiny toy (we were still married when they started seeing each other), he kicked myself and our 1 year old daughter out of the house to live with my parents. Well I sent his new toy all the conversations of him talking bad about her to me and telling me he was only having fun with her cause she gave him for the moment what I didn’t (a second income I was a stay at home mom having a hard time finding a job this girl is single with a Master’s degree and doesn’t have kids) and kept telling me if I was a better wife we would still be married and I would still be living with him. He keeps blaming me for our divorce yet he ran out on his family with this girl. Well the girl retaliated with claiming I Photoshopped everything and she would never believe anything I send her because I am his enemy and my ex isn’t an angel but he would never do the things I said he did to me or would say those things about her ( She only knew him for a year). I feel bad for her, he has her completely brainwashed even I wasn’t that gullible.

    Oh and he has her convinced I am a crazy, lying, manipulative ex wife… the same things he said about both his ex’s before me. His family and close friends know the truth.

    • Sorry to hear you’re in the midst of turmoil but it sounds like you’re much better off without him…best of luck to you Chicka…I wish you a rapid and obstacle free recovery…

    • I have scroll through many such stories… matches mine as cut copy paste. Within few days of knowing him I was into a relationship with him. Huh! Where the heck my sanity and wisdom was sleeping then !!
      We “both” were heart broken then.. mine had ended few weeks ago while his 2 years back (then). I made an honest attempt to make him move on with all my love and care and eventually fell in love with him where he would not get tired asking several times “will you marry me” and me re-iterating “yes” all the time. 4 months after relationship one day I read all his cam chats with random women. I was fumed but agreed to put peace as most of them were when we had just started dating or didnt know each other. Then there used to be nights where he’d get drunk and call everyone infront of me “how much he is missing his ex”. Again a mistake of mine that I thought I need to pour more love so that he doesnt fall for bad memories (according to him , she betrayed and married someone else.. now I can see *why?*) . Everything again started going great until he started feeling he should be with someone who can share his responsibilities well ( more towards families) and insisted me if I want to continue I should leave career and stay with his parents in some other town taking care of them. I was shocked! I tried to persuade not to put such drastic conditions on my new career and how much I needed him emotionally at that struggling time of life but instead his hate grew and grew. I again did a foolishness , ignored this red flag thinking he is stressed after death of his grand pa. For months day and night I cried where every morning he’d tell me he is done with relationship its me only who is clinging, keep me on silent treatment, I’d get all harsh replies on how much a partner of his profession and standards will solve his purpose. I was just praying everyday if that charming lover’s soul comes back in him..

      and ..yes it started working unless I got a bit of hints and caught on my bday that he was dating someone on facebook asking for skype id. Confrontation happened , first he said “if u want u can leave” .. I did same and then rounds of calls and messages began to reconsider. That was the first time I felt there is some mental issue when he confessed he has no one to take care of him but me .. but he thinks women consider him misogynist and he does that to *feel he is not , but a lovable person*.
      And my stupidity prevailed again I felt my love of life is so insecure about himself.. I should rather work this up. Again lots of devaluation , telling people that he is ready to marry someone else, he’d stalk other women online, look for random ladies for sex chats, that skype girl popped in again in picture … his unhappiness with my career and meagre salary grew. Again he put same condition that I’d marry you only if I dont find the girl who’d fit my criteria of wife. I dont remember a single night when I didnt cry.. then he’d send love messages in morning and by night he’d belittle me discarding my love as useless thing despite my efforts in personal and professional life to pacify his interests. And one day that cheating online bomb exploded .. I decided I wont take this anymore. For few days he tried to get back but later discarded everything saying he is peaceful now that he can fill the place with a better choice. He’d call me everyday to torture me and tell me that “its over, he is done!” and in response I’d be in tears. Unless one day I decided it would be a no contact from my side. He kept trying my phone in one side and updating dating/matrimony profiles on other websites, looking for random ladies for skype /phone numbers. 6 months later he started deleting traces of our relationship intimacy and everything. I remember saying him once that he prefers being open book and never deletes as they are impression of life on sand of time. crap!!

      What a waste of 2 years, It hurts so much that people around you being in more meaningful relationship while you were treated like a dirt. When I read abt women married to Ns I feel may be I was lucky that we just told everyone formally that marriage was on our minds but broke off before taking a step towards it. I feel so foolish that I ignored all the red flags and continued nurturing him with whatever resources I had. I still dont have any courage to hurt that person who I loved so deeply cuz I’d be hurt too . At times I imagine how that person is living remorseless , happily knowing that he had jeopardized someone, before leaving. whom he called love of his life. While I still care for him so much althogh I maintain NC
      Personality Disorder, karma or whatever be the case.. If people will continue to do predatory on the name of love how trust and love will prevail in human relationships?. How someone will truly love another? Care for them , help them coming out of trouble instead of hating them and expel as they are dirt. 😦

      • Very sorry to hear you had that experience Narc Victim. Real love is not based on rescues. Society romanticizes the rescue mission but it is not a healthy approach. Sadly, many of us had to learn this the hard way. Wishing you well on your healing journey. If you married him you would be left a shell of yourself. You saved yourself a ton of trauma…

  18. I’m so happy to have found this blog! Although I’ve only been married for 6 years I’ve been with my husband on/off for over 18 years. Now that I’ve found a great therapist ‘v’e realize just how mean, uncaring ans selfish my husband is. It took someone pointing out a comment he made about me at a party to open my eyes. I wont go into detail but her comment made me look for a new therapist. I’m scared but making plans to leave. I lost my job about 3 years ago and I know he thinks I wont leave because I dont have a job…He doesnt know me at all! I connected shelters in another state. I rather leave in a shelter in peace then with him. I do have a question are there any chat groups? I get so down and depress sometime I would love to chat with others going through this…

    • Monique,
      I was with my N for 25 years and our marriage finally ended when he found his supply with another woman. There was sadness and anger, yet I was finally relieved that it was over. All of these years I have felt like something was wrong with me, with our children, family, friends, but it wasn’t us, it was him. He still doesn’t see it. Our children don’t speak to him and yet he still believes he was a terrific father. But at the end of the day I am finally free.
      I do think getting out is smart, but please be smart about how you do it. They want to win, so you need a good strategy to go. Please try and pocket as much money as you can while he still believes you are a couple. Buy gifts cards for Walmart or Target, grocery stores, drug stores, etc hide them. When you go to the grocery store get cash back (as much as you can without it being noticeable) and hide the cash. Create a stockpile for yourself because you are going to need it. The emotional troubles you are going through will only be compounded when you can’t afford food. Once he finds out you are going you will never see another penny from him again because he needs to win. Do not find yourself destitute because you need to go. Just plan properly, knowing each time you put some money away you are getting closer to being released from this prison.
      Have faith in yourself, think smart, move on. God bless!

  19. I am on here to find answers to why my sister stays married to a narcissist, even after experiencing so much loss and chaos. I want to help her, but each time I try, I receive more wrath from her. Here is my story: My older sister, Andrea, was the one that I always modeled my behavior after, always looked up to, respected, and cherished. Throughout my childhood and into my 20’s and 30’s I craved her company, and she showed me that she cared a lot about me. Andrea met Jim when she was 19 and still in college. He was 24, a graduate student, studying to be a pastor. Andrea was actually dating another man at the time and for about 6 months was dating both men, trying to figure out which one was best for her. She ultimately, a young woman of 19, decided to marry Jim, after months of enchanting evenings out with him. After they married, I found out that she was actually four months pregnant when she walked down the aisle. Jim became a pastor and Andrea became a pastor’s wife. I eventually attended their church and lived in the same town as they did. They had four beautiful children and lived the life that most would envy . . . at least from the outside looking in. Early in their marriage Andrea would confide in me with the fights or quarrels they got into on occasion, which I understood to be perfectly normal behaviors between couples. We all fight and quarrel sometimes and sisters tend to speak in confidence during times of need. I noticed Andrea’s verbal complaints and the arguments they got into almost always centered on Jim’s incessant need for recognition and power. Over the years, my sisters’ patterns of behavior became far more deferring in nature. Today, Andrea wouldn’t dare question Jim’s actions, words or deeds.

    I always noticed how Jim would fawn over Andrea publicly. His flattery and public display of affection was displayed in the church, in the pulpit, at home during family gatherings, out on the streets when bumping into neighbors, anywhere anyone could see. I always knew Jim had a big ego, but over the years his big ego became self-indulgent. I always knew Jim was charming and would use these acts of appeal to get what he wanted, but over the years his charming personality became arrogant and invasive, where he displayed acts of superiority, often leading to a desire to destroy. I believed that Jim was a devout man, committed to his religious beliefs, but over the years his religion became one sanctimonious act after another to the point where I questioned his Christianity altogether. I always knew Jim craved attention all day long, and sure, I admit I gave into his interests, often even pretending to adore his opinions just to satisfy his bloodthirsty desire for recognition. Why, you ask? First, because he is so damn good at making sure others adore him – he is a master manipulator. Second, I never knew that satisfying Jim by giving him attention and stroking his ego was ultimately making his behaviors more brutal and violent. I stroked him because he stroked me. I thought it was as simple as that. He was dreadfully good at displaying empathy . . . at least I thought it was empathy. But in reality what he was doing and what he still does to this day, is lure innocent people into his presence, flower them with compliments and then go for the plunge and get what he wants. Whether it is money for the church, sex from a woman, recognition from the political figures, respect and honor from the community, Jim has no boundaries. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he will destroy you. After years of witnessing members of the congregation leaving the church with disgust, remorse, or downright fear, I started questioning his authoritative and commanding way of running a church. The day I received a letter from Pastor Jim written to the entire congregation disclosing disreputable information pertaining to a particular member of our congregation who questioned him, I started to get a little sick. How could a pastor so publicly destroy a member of his congregation? Does a shepherd have the right to slaughter his sheep? I couldn’t question too much because the wife of the pastor was my sister, my best friend. I always had one eye open though. I thought as a pastor, he was there to spiritually guide all of his members. I was wrong. All of those that have left his church have been wronged … by him. Jim uses the pulpit as a means of abusing those who don’t worship the ground he walks on.

    At the same time as he was having chronic problems within his church, causing multitudes of members (including three retired pastors, an assistant pastor, and a deaconess) to walk out, he was stirring up problems within Andrea’s friends and even our family. As the years went on, I had a few too many experiences with Jim to draw the connection between his exaggerated empathy and love and his desire for control, power, money, sex, fame and ultimately destruction. You see, Jim always got what Jim wanted, even if it meant destroying the lives of others. If one of Andrea’s friends dared to question the almighty Jim, he would exploit her by revealing all of the personal confessions she made with him during confessional time. Then he would use the Lord’s Supper as a weapon to destroy her by publicly refusing to give her communion, stating that she has serious problems with her spirituality. Jim eventually chose all of Andrea’s friends. He chose who she was allowed to talk to in the family too. He has ripped apart and destroyed every relationship she has had with her family and friends if there was ever a glimpse or indication that they did not worship the ground he walked on.

    There was the time I was on a church youth trip with Jim and about 35 other members of the church, including two of my teenage daughters. Andrea was not on this trip. She had expressed to me multiple times how she didn’t really like going on the church youth trips. Jim had practically begged me to go on the trip, using my daughters as a means of encouraging me, so I finally agreed. The purpose of the trip was to educate and teach our youth of the Christian faith and history. The events that occurred during this 10 day trip consisted of multiple acts of sexual advancements – toward me. Jim made personal confessions to me regarding his wife – my sister, after pouring me glasses of red wine one evening, he confessed to me that he always loved me, he kissed me by barging into my bathroom unannounced while I was getting ready for bed, and he even expressed to me that he had fantasies about making love to me. I was appalled by these acts of sexual harassment and adamantly discarded all of his efforts to “flatter” me. I was so embarrassed and felt shame. I didn’t only feel shame for myself; I felt shame for my sister, so I didn’t tell her anything for years. I was afraid to tell her anything because I thought she would fall to pieces. She believed her marriage with Jim was beautiful. They were, as she said, “soul mates for life”. I felt sorry for Andrea that her husband was so dishonest. I never told anyone about these incidents until I discovered more bizarre and destructive behaviors from Jim.

    I started to really question Jim’s sanity when he decided to go against my own mother and my deceased father’s family trust. You see, Jim didn’t like the trust my mother wrote after he died, so he challenged it. The more he challenged it, the more my mom held firmly to her money, her land, and her possessions. Finally Jim hired an attorney to try to challenge the validity of the family trust. He obviously lost. My mom had to spend over $12,000.00 in attorney’s fees just to protect what was rightfully hers and hers to give to her children. This was complete insanity to me. Jim’s greediness came to complete blows with almost every single person in my family just so that he could obtain more money, more power, more control. He systematically turned Andrea against each member of my family if they didn’t side with him on this trust ordeal. When I asked Andrea why so many problems, from church, to work to family, orbited around her husband Jim, she responded with disdain. If I questioned Jim’s authority and knowledge, she would, without a hint of hesitation, shut me down so fast it would hurt. Before you knew it, letters were written to family members to exploit particular members so that the trust could be invalidated. Andrea began writing letters speaking of all of Jim’s heroic and sacrificial acts of charity and love. Jim, acting as a martyr, a sacrificial victim, began preaching sermons about hypocrisy. This was when I started to realize I was his next victim. I was beginning to be the member that was being exploited and if I didn’t choose to side with Andrea and Jim on this trust thing, I would be Jim’s next victim. I didn’t agree with them going against my family trust, and I stated that quite firmly several times.

    But a narcissist is relentless until he gets what he wants. One day Jim called me and asked me to meet him for a glass of wine after work. I declined. This was followed by multiple phone calls stating that he had something to show me, so I finally agreed to meet him, stating that I had little time. When I arrived, he had a glass of wine waiting for me; he put on his flattery charm and proceeded to show me a book he had purchased during one of his church trips to Europe. He was telling me all about the castles and the history of the heirs. This followed with talk about his heritage and how he was family with royalty. Being disinterested in his incessant need for self-gratification, I looked away. He then decided to tell me with complete hollowness in his eyes how he does not lie and that my “mother was evil” and that “her money was dirty”. For months I found myself in the midst of a very dangerous triangulation. Knowing that Jim was not honest with Andrea and fearing that she was trusting his wicked ways, I finally gathered up enough strength to tell my sister the details of her husbands’ behavior on the church trip years prior. I told her that I had kept my silence because of shame and embarrassment, but I was now more worried about Jim’s state of mind than ever before. I told her that he needed help. I told her that he is not always honest with her. I told her everything. She frantically and abruptly left, stating that she would have to leave him if this was true. The next day she accused me of trying to break up her marriage and secretly wanting her husband all along. Over the course of a few weeks, I was accused of being the perpetrator and of taking advantage of Jim. I was described as a “dark person with an unsavory lifestyle.” I left that church and found refuge somewhere else. Jim threatened me that if I didn’t ask for forgiveness for what I had done to him, then he would have to release me of his spiritual responsibilities and bring ME to the church authorities for discipline. I contacted the DP of my church immediately, wrote a letter of complaint and eventually pressed charges. Consequently, I lost my sister. I am now HER victim to abuse. She has attempted to ruin my reputation, my name, and my integrity.

    After over 30 years of being married to her narcissistic husband, Andrea has become superior to me. Our relationship has gone from equality to one that is disparate, where she sets the tone and I must either follow her ways or be slaughtered by vicious words. Publicly she never really displays to others that she has any problems though. My sister does not look like a woman who defers to her husband and she does not appear abused. She looks beautiful, gorgeous, intelligent and better than any other woman. With Jim fawning over her all the time, while she giggles nervously with amusement, so many are in awe of her beauty and equally in awe of Jim’s charismatic and captivating charm. Andrea told me her whole life that she could never live with a lie. Well, she is living the biggest lie ever. She is in complete denial, and if any of her family or friends attempt to reach out to her, they get their hand cut off. My last efforts to reach out to her were met with more disdain. With viciousness and brutality she ripped me into pieces. The narcissist husband has made his wife into his own image, all for his own satisfaction and desire. Some have called him the anti Christ. I just call him evil. The problem is, my sister is sicker than he is.

    • Hi Kristy,

      Bettylaluna is right. The brainwashing does suck. At some point we were all there. The narc played the pipe, and we all had followed in line to the tune. God only knows what he has done to your sister and also told your sister about you. Don’t be surprised if he didn’t twist the stories about the sexual advances, telling your sis that you are jealous of her and always have been. Or hinting to your sis that you’re prettier than her and younger…These narcs are ruthless. Luckily some of us start listening to other tunes…then we can compare it the the narc on pipes…we begin to notice they are the ones outta tune outta sync…we see them for who they are. Hopefully your sis wakes up…I fear by the time she does she will feel worse that she lost so many years to the turd. Detaching is the best way or she will blame you as her marriage continues to sour…continue to pray for her from a distance and limit contact to protect you…remember you cannot help her if you sacrifice yourself in the process…. God Bless

    • Kristy upon reflection, you shared you are here to find answers as to why your sister stays…I think you understand why which is the reason behind my simply stating “brainwashing sucks” – there really isn’t anything you can do until she hits rock bottom, trying to figure out the why and ‘THEM’ will only be an exercise in crazy making, the only thing you can do is be there when she’s ready. All the best to you, I hope she comes to her senses soon. I am remembering another relationship with a very passive aggressive man, he liked to ‘joke’ a lot at my expense…then of course I’d get labeled ‘too sensitive’ I was far from sensitive, he was slowly attempting to break me down. He never did adore me even for the purposes of ‘the show’…they just do what they do. In this case however, everyone BUT me saw what he was doing, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, believed no one understood him “certainly he can’t mean to be hurtful” I did not realize how much he hated himself…I can only imagine what it must feel like witnessing someone you love being abused, but you are powerless until she takes a stand. ❤

    • this is why I stay the hell away from churches. God doesn’t require it. And your sister is married to the top dog. Do you think she wants to give up being first lady? Also, you don’t have to have a relationship with your sister. I don’t care for mine so I never talk to her or see her and do whatever I can to avoid her. And I feel great. Out of sight…out of mind….peace and tranquility. Ask yourself why you keep wallowing in this pit of filth when you don’t have to and see the truth? If you’re addicted to the drama, which is very common, get help for it. But leave those morons alone.

  20. This is a really great article. Also, I believe that whomever decides to be involved with a narc long after they were shown the signs are in part responsible for their own demise. I was involved with a narc for 2years. Year 1 we were friends; year 2 a whirlwind romance [at least in the beginning]. The cracks started started to show in his character. I called him on it and threatened to leave. He would use crocodile tears, followed by using sex as a weapon to show how he “cared and loved” me. Well he borrowed $1100.00 dollars from me to by a car. Then started to act even more cold and mean. I found out that he was having relationships with other women throughout the entire time we were “together”. I contacted one of the “other women”. I told her about the things I found out about the narc, down to the different aliases. The other woman and I were able to piece together time gaps when he was not with us. All other times unaccounted for was chucked up to other women. I kicked his ass to the curb and am pursuing small claims court to get back my money. The narc had signed an agreement admitting he owes the funds. The woman decided to keep him. The car that he used my money for is parked right outside her rental home. Now the narc is an ass, hands down. I can’t help but wonder, what kind of woman who calls herself a Christian can walk outside her home and see the car and know how the guy came by it and be completely okay with it. Sure, I understand the role of empathy for targets, but when the target knows and chooses to enable that type of behaviour in a narc, then they are no better than the narc themselves.

    • Dear Looking for Suggestions,

      What I am about to say I don’t expect you to ‘accept’ off the bat…and I have a very liberal policy with “Take what applies and leave the rest” I had a very bitter taste in my mouth for a time too. The thing is, we only become ‘wise’ after we’re burned. AND so in response to:

      “what kind of woman who calls herself a Christian can walk outside her home and see the car and know how the guy came by it and be completely okay with it. Sure, I understand the role of empathy for targets, but when the target knows and chooses to enable that type of behaviour in a narc, then they are no better than the narc themselves.”

      I find many of us were on the front end, that SAME woman who is “okay with it”…until we were no longer okay with it…

      I guess that’s the “MAGIC” of the narc…

      I have yet to meet any ‘victim’ who chooses to enable. When we’re dealing with NPD we’re talking about individuals who are targets…doesn’t matter if we’re the shelved target or the new one…we’re targets…shelved because a true narc never really gives up his old supply…we just get ‘shelved’ until further notice. Be on alert and don’t ever slip. Most of us who really own what NPD is don’t…it’s only those who struggle with the cognitive dissonance who get caught up in the rounds 2, 3, 4, 20….whatever…

      Narcs are chameleons, and long before you and her started trading notes you can bet he had you drawn up as crazy and made sure that blueprint was in her mind too.

      I’m sure doubt on her part has crept in…but narcs are good at what they do.

      I’m not suggesting you go all bleeding heart on her. You did your part you spelled it out…everyone gets their come uppance…

      Hugs to you…

      • Thanks bettylaluna,

        I agree with you to an extent. The other woman even declared herself as the “Patsy” after telling everything. She continued to say that she “loves him”. I was like, ok, I told you the building is burning and showed where the exits were. You wanna stay and perish, burn then. Not to be mean, just that the writing is on the wall, why deny it? I think we give the narc far too much credit than he/she deserves.

        When the other woman and I confronted the narc, I was able to see first hand how he manipulates and control his victims. I learned from it. When a narc does what they do, stop asking the question why, or at least look at that question much later in time. The 2 questions I would suggest to look at first are: “how did this happen?” & “what to do about it?”. The narc turd didn’t even have to explain himself. The other woman kept asking “why”, then answering her own question. All the narc did was parrot back to her what she had just said to him and evoke the emotion of remorse and concern. Then I watched as he turned his head to me, eyes glaring and satisfied. He held a little snicker. It was as if to say “see, I have her under my complete control. She’ll accept anything I throw at her. I win, you lose.” Closer to the end of the relationship, I noticed that he would get more forceful in sex, he would try and use guilt trips, etc. I would call him on these things which only frustrated him more. At one point he had told me that he was afraid that it may turn into an altercation between us. I said him “really”? He said “yes”. I told him that I am not a Stepford girlfriend, I have a mind of my own. I also told him, should there ever be an altercation to watch out because I get three times as good as I get. This guy could not break me anymore.

        As of now, I got my judgement and in the process of looking at options to recovering my funds, even if it means garnishing wages and freezing his accounts. Going after him regarding my funds is actually empowering and liberating. I am standing up for myself and am severing that last painful attachment to him. Even if I do not recover the full amount, I am damn proud for standing up for me.
        He may think he has shelved me for a later time, but when or if that time comes where he wants to take out that box, there will be nothing there. My motto for dealing with him at this: It ain’t finished until the last be of legal tissue paper wipes him from a**.

      • Kudos to you and I am happy you can see this so clearly. Sadly as I may have mentioned here or elsewhere perhaps, quite often the wisdom and strength come in hindsight, for if it came immediately we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. Equally, I witness many hold so much scorn for the new ‘victim’ and while in our new found wisdom it is very easy to label them stupid fools, I remain humble as I recall once sitting in that seat myself…not everyone arrives at their awareness at the speed we might wish they would…but then the flip side is, that really isn’t our problem is it?…

      • Blessed holidays to both of you too.

        Will be careful. Oddly enough, I received a text message from him today. To paraphrase, he said he rec’vd the notice from Small Claims court and wanted to make arrangements. He also gave me a phone number to contact him on and that he will propose arrangements for payment via email.

        I do not intend on contacting him from the phone as I want every piece of correspondence in writing. As for the arrangement proposal, meh, we’ll see what it is….As for now its all jibberish until I see the funds in the account. If there are no funds, then will garnish the paycheque and bank accounts.

        It is true that it may be the woman there that may be doing the alleged “stalking”. He had seemed to use her car more even down to the day of the move. You know how they work, wear your things out before wearing out their own. It is a good point.

        I haven’t responded to his text message. I am not calling him. LC until I get all the funds…then NC. No drama. That’s my motto. Its odd, don’t these Ns have like a holiday nest or something?

    • Hi Looking for Suggestions,

      What you’re going though I think is very normal. I think we can learn much from one another. You can read my comments below from June of this year. I spent months obsessing about whether or not to tell the N’s wife of 20 yrs about the double life her husband leads. You want to tell his current victim off. It’s really the same things. We’re both stuck in an emotional triangle with the N. I think this is very normal when you’re still in a state of shock. If we’re honest with ourselves we’d realize that it’s just another way to stay stuck in the N’s pathology ourselves; it prevents us from healing. I know worrying about the N’s wife was a way for me to continue to obsess about something involving the N, instead of focusing on myself.

      I’ve leaned from you that even when the current victim (wife or gf) knows the facts, it does not mean they are ready to process the truth. Victims become caught up in the N’s pathology just like we did. How long they stay with the N probably depends on their own background and upbringing and what they think is normal behavior. Ns also go though cycles. There is no way to save or tell off the victim when they are riding the N’s high. Ns are very good at what they do, and they will not change.

      At the end of the day, you (and I) have to recognize that the best thing we can do is walk away from BOTH of them. It does us no good to stay in that place. Change your routine or route – whatever you have to do to avoid seeing her apt, the car or either of them. I’ve given up a couple of friends without explanation which has been very hard, but it has made me feel better and has stopped many of my triggers. The best advice I can give to you and me is to make your world bigger. Spend time grieving, be good to yourself, and find new things to focus on. Keeping moving forward.

      Very best to you.

      • Thank bettylaluna and Korrine Bee,

        Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I am “better than” the new victim. What I am saying is that when I first contacted this woman, I came from a place of wanting to warn her, in part. I did not come at her in malice because I recognized that we were in the same position. I am angry that she basically validated his abuse by taking him back. I don’t want this turd back, that kool-aid is poisoned and I ain’t drinkin it.

        Yes, I do feel like telling the other woman off. I know that once the puzzle pieces fit and I saw the big picture, I could be “okay” with that type of behaviour from him. It is true, it is triangulation coming from my end by focussing too much on this aspect and will direct my energies elsewhere to heal and become stronger. I have not spoken to them in close to 3 months. This idiot however keeps driving up and down my street. Its not illegal, but sure feels like stalking even if it doesn’t fit the legal parametres.

        As info was unfolding to the end of the relationship, my landlord said the turd was looking for a one bdrm in my bldg to help a “friend”. Yesterday, I saw someone that looked like him on my floor going in and out of the apartment that was vacant from what I last remember. I saw through the peep hole last night. I don’t want to be in the drama and will be on guard to resist if he tries to pull me in.

      • Be careful, that kind of behavior on his part seems a bit on the creepy side to put it mildly…they’re clever you are shrewd to be on guard. Prayers and good vibes go out to you…

      • Dear Looking for Suggestions,

        Good thoughts to you. Please be careful. I wasn’t sure – is it the woman who’s driving up and down your street? If so, she may be watching him as it sounds like he took a place in your building. Sounds like she’s been discarded and she’s now obsessing. I just hope he’s not in your building solely to make her crazy and have her think he’s back with you. Exactly what an N would do. The mind games Ns play are endless. Anything to be the center of attention. If they can’t have good attention, they will take negative attention.

        Ns are also unpredictable, as they are not human. Over the summer at a party, I was talking to the N’s 7 yo, whom I’ve known since he was 3. I gently touched the boy’s shoulder and the look the N gave me was pure evil. The N actually thought I was going to hurt the boy. This scares me as this is a projection of something that is in the N’s heart. So, I’m a little jealous that you got to call your N on his behavior. I cannot, as he knows my 7 and 5 yr olds and is an active parent on one of the sports they participate in. I’m grateful they don’t go to the same school.

        Continue to heal, refuse to play the N’s games. Show no emotion, as any knowledge they have of you they will use against you. Ns are soulless parasites, but you’re right to be careful.

        Best to you. Thank you Betty la Luna for this great forum!

      • A pleasure Korina, thank YOU as this forum is only as good as those who contribute to the discussion, so sending my heartfelt gratitude for your sharing as it is so important for others to see they are not alone…and it’s one thing to read a blog post but I think the genuine validation comes in when others share their stories, points of view, or even a “hang in there it gets better” that and so much more does so much to help those along the path…be blessed and happy holidays!

      • Happy Pre-New Year,

        Here are some developments on what has since happened. The narc sends several txts over 2 days from dec17 indicating that he will fwd a payment schedule to fulfill obligation from court order. 2 wks later, no payment schedule. I think he is doing this because I refuse to contact him by phone and told him to send the schedule via text to my email [which I gave him via txt too]; as opposed to calling him. In between, he sends his “concerns” of my safety and hope I am “warm” as the ice storm had hit and there was no power for a few days in the city where I’m from. I did not respond to the emotional bait. I just reiterated that he still has not fwd the pmt schedule for review, and that under court order he is still responsible to pay the amount immediately. Today he sends me a txt, it read:

        “good mourning I sent you an email as we agreed can you confirm if it was received, also i can print a copy for you.”

        I sent him a response regarding the curious greeting and that if it was a covert threat I do not take kindly to it.

        He follows up with:

        “I am working frm 11am to 7pm will resend it hope you enjoy yr day take care”

        Again, no email. I will not respond to him any further. Now I will let 3rd parties deal with his ass on my behalf. And will proceed with garnishing bank accounts and wages.

        This turd is doing this to hold on to the last pathetic shred of control he thinks he has over me. I do not reply with emotion, just very business like on txt. I do not even call him, much less wish him Merry X-mas, because he means that little to me. If it wasn’t for this money he owed, he’d be non-existent.

        I contacted the police department and domestic violence hotline to help assess the threat assessment with the ‘greeting’ txt. They said it was hard to determine risk. I will continue to keep my guard up and will now establish no contact with him unless absolutely required within a court setting. Further contact with him will be done thru companies I will be securing to handle this matter. This idiot will now know how serious I prepare to be. What a fool, he thinks that I would fall for the “sensitivity”. Puuuhhhhllllleeeeaaaassseeee! I remind myself that he was nothing but a familiar stranger in disguise of a lover. Literally, all romantic and “positive” experiences have been either repressed or vilified in my mind. Someone had asked me earlier last month as I was telling my story, if I had missed. My reply was “how can you miss an illusion”…I am just so ready to kick ass and be completely free…

      • That’s exactly it! It’s impossible to say we loved someone who did not exist even if we ‘felt’ the emotion…we did not love them for they were not who or what they presented which makes the whole thing null and void except for the experience of emotional and perhaps by default physical rape…because in a sense we were not afforded true consent if we were laying down with someone we did not know…that was perhaps one of the more difficult parts to contend with…the violation…

  21. Bettylaluna, this is soul food, what you are doing. I don’t know why, but understanding is healing. Thank you so much for paving the way with your words and experience. It is priceless. I will be perusing many more of your posts!

  22. This is an awesome post. Your posts and your blog are helping me so much in my recovery process. Thank you sincerely. I can really relate to what you said about the extent to which you trusted him, gave him his freedom, because my N justified his cheating by saying there was ‘no room for him’ in the relationship and that I didn’t ‘pay enough attention to him’ … what you said about the Pandora’s box, too.. I discovered not only his current OW but that he had confessed to my own brother 5 yrs ago that he cheated, and I found things on his computer that indicate he had sex with a 12 year old girl when he was 36 y.o., and yes, I too, found evidence on phone records of a relationship with a guy.

    For the last 3 mos I’ve been in cognitive dissonance zone and ‘missing’ himi in between my anger and pain, but therapy, blogs like this, and my own journaling are helping me smack myself over the head and remind myself of the narcissistic rages for 16 years, the cheating, the lying, the control games, the mysogynistic sex, and now basically I simply can’t thank the OW enough for helping me end this sick relationship. I am so proud of myself for confronting him with the text and phone records that night 3 mos ago, and so proud of going No Contact 2 weeks ago and sticking to it. Thanks for your wonderful blog!! Margaret

    • Margaret I am so very sorry to hear you are going through this; however, I am happy that you are finding answers and validation. Be gentle, loving and kind with yourself – set no time frame for healing and go easy on yourself. It’s quite the process but in hindsight, myself and many other survivors can attest you will look back and be so grateful he’s no longer invading your space. Be blessed. Sending prayers up that the creator will bless you with grace and that warrior angels stand guard as you embark on this journey…thank you for visiting and for your kind words…

  23. I tried to join narc raiders but everytime I try entering my email and password it takes me right back to the log in page. I tried resetting my password but it did the same thing.

  24. I’m sorry to open up an old thread but I need advice on a Narc brother who is beating his wife. They have small children and I see it escalating and couldn’t imagine the children being affected.

    We can’t merely stand by but will it even help to confront him?


    • Jenson, no need to apologize for opening a new thread, that is what the blog is here for…

      These situations are very tricky Jenson, it’s not always easy and depending upon the level of brainwashing that has transpired (and there is always some level because someone not bonded to an abuser would walk the first time) BUT as some of us come to understand there are a lot of dynamics at play and contrary to what most would think, some of the strongest, baddest, boldest women out there have found themselves caught up in the caught up.

      As an outsider however, there really isn’t much you CAN do even though it is very frustrating and hard to witness; however, as I and many others have learned…in ‘recovery’ there is no real ‘rescue mission’ the victim has to hit their rock bottom – especially in this type of scenario because the ‘victim’ is usually so beaten down they really can’t see the forest for the trees and so those who attempt to intervene are usually smeared, discredited and DELETED OUT of the equation, usually by some action of the abuser and oftentimes the victim will side WITH the abuser and also join in the ‘chorus’ of labeling YOU and whomever else…”Envious” “Sabotaging” or “Interfering” in the “good love thing” they got going…”Baby it’s you and me, them people don’t want to see us happy…I LOVE you” WHATever…*sigh*

      For as long as a victim is under this spell, you are powerless over this. If the dude is really nuts, well, I guess I don’t have to tell you with these types there are no limits, they get enraged they can do some damage and I always have appreciated that lil saying about crazy folks having the strength of seven men…not sure if you wanna go there, cause the scene could play out you could end up ‘jacked up’ or worse and your friend would be right up in there standing by her man and if he gets implicated would be making them early Saturday morning trips up to the “Country Club” with them nice lil bologna sandwiches and the mustard just the way he likes ’em. (Sadly these types are usually clever enough to evade consequences – they charm and con everyone)…

      So, it sounds to me like your friend has to hit her rock bottom BEFORE you will be able to do anything to help her. BUT there are some rules you can enforce just to keep your own sanity. We call those boundaries. Because it’s always noble to help someone in need, and it is especially important that a DV victim have access to support and love, especially when in the midst of attempting to break away – but usually this is done in stages and sometimes the first few attempts are not always successful because they are ‘trauma’ bonded. I’d probably level with her…I would tell her what she’s experiencing is domestic violence, I’d tell her no man puts his hands on a woman, it’s what punks do, I’d tell her I didn’t agree with her man’s actions and what she’s in is not love and she needs help. I’d also tell her I recognize I’m powerless to stop it, only she could but if and when she was ready and serious I’d be there. I’d give her information on a safe plan of escape, I’ll copy a link underneath my response if you don’t have one…and I’d tell her I loved her but I couldn’t enable her and so we could still be friends and kick it but until she says those magic words, the reality is YOU are powerless over helping her. I’d tell her there are professional’s that are trained to handle this and resources out there and if she needed a ride to get there I’d be there, but straight talk Jenson, this type of vortex can be depleting if you don’t emotionally detach to a certain extent and it’s hard when we love someone and they are allowing themselves to be destroyed – but they can’t make those moves unless they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. When I speak of detaching I mean you will have to on some level have a barrier where you don’t absorb it or internalize her suffering because it can deplete your energy so seek the balance. Be there but try to get a lil ’emotional force’ field around you because it can be quite a bumpy ride. It sounds cold, but it’s not…sometimes victims have to be so isolated, so alone, so fed up, so burnt out that they finally go bust. They suffer cognitive dissonance and it can be frustrating to see something so clearly that they can’t see…but be patient and loving Jenson because they really can’t see through this until they’ve been away long enough. When I speak of detachment, this is not to say or suggest you abandon her but rather you will have to ‘beef it up’ emotionally so that you can be strong enough TO support her through this. You can only really help her when she says those magic words: “I need help, I don’t know what to do, help me get out of here, I want to get away”… or something similar…If she’s still on the “BUT I LOVE HIM…he’ll change” keep an eye on her, but set up that lil boundary for you or you will end up depleted. I know one woman who stuck it out 45 years and looks like a shell of what she once was but she’s still there…hollow eyes and all, and of course today I am the ‘enemy’.

      It will be important for her to know you are there for her. Expect she may very well fall off the wagon. Don’t judge…eventually she should be able to make the break.

      Now…you mention kids…

      Children exposed to DV suffer greatly. In some states, children who are exposed to DV are removed from the home. Mothers and fathers are told until they can get their act together they can hang it up. It would depend upon the laws in the state…I don’t suggest you share or threaten to drop a dime. If you do, do so discreetly HOWEVER and this is BIG…please keep in mind that children in the system are also exploited and abused, and sometimes they too can end up dead…we read the papers…no one even in the worst of circumstances is going to love those kids the way your friend does. We also don’t know for sure if her partner is a Narcissist, not all abusers are Narcs, some have PTSD, some are BPD, some have other problems, might be substance abuse issues it could be a myriad of things, I can’t even say whether or not this man is beyond redemption without the right kind of help, but the goal here is not to help him heal but rather hope that with your friend taking a stand he’ll shape up or ship out but there will have to be some time when they are separated she gets the help she needs and he’d have to work really hard and the odds are pretty high there will be a repeat performance if he IS on the spectrum. There are many reasons that people abuse – none of them justifiable but I am cautious to judge anyone and I am not qualified to make a diagnosis.

      I realize suggesting you merely stand by is probably NOT what you wanted to hear; however, from all that I’ve read, and shared and learned from others, these “interventions” are not like in the movies…they’re messy and they take time and they are not really successful unless and until the victim is ready to draw the line. Right now all you can really do is let her know you are there and support her emotionally and really let her know she musn’t feel shame and this type of thing can happen to anyone.

      All the best to you Jenson and thank you so much for having the courage, confidence in me and concern for your friend to share today…

  25. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about narcissism because I have FINALLY figured out this is what my ex is! I was beyond devastated!! I couldn’t function, I couldn’t sleep, I had lost like 15 pounds. Partly because I was heart broken and partly because I was just left so utterly confused! I met my N online in April. He was by far the most amazing man I had ever met, and I just could not believe how lucky I was. Great job, polite, romantic, thoughtful, generous, great body, great car, great sex!! I’m very independent, confident and strong. I do not let men mistreat me no do I put up with being disrespected, but apparently all of those characteristics went out the window and I didn’t even know it. He moved VERY fast, called every night, “good morning beautiful” texts every morning, flowers at work, cooked me dinners and breakfasts, said I was perfect, the “love of his life”, and he dropped the “L” word after the first week. He talked marriage, kids, moving away together, etc… All this within a month. Then very soon thereafter, the devaluation started. He criticized every little thing I did, but he did it with a smile. He would make snippy little jabs at me in front of my friends, but then laugh like it was a joke. Then he blew a gasket because my best friends son sat on my lap. He raged at me about how inappropriate it was and how I wasn’t a lady for letting him do that. It just went on and on, even after I apologized and said it wouldn’t happen again. Normally, I would’ve just called it quits there, but this man had some sort of hold on me like no other. I wanted to do any and everything I could to “fix” us. After a few weeks he came back asking for another chance. I was hesitant, but because I loved him, I said ok (and plus…this was before I knew he was an N). Then less than a week later another rage over a facebook post from months prior. It was like he was just looking for a reason. And since I’m not a quitter, I kept trying to work things out.

    I know how lucky I was to have gotten out in only a few months, but it doesn’t change the fact that my heart still hurts. Not so much for him, but for what he promised me…the false self he showed me. Even though I know what he is, I am still left with questions. Will he try to come back? If so, how can I be sure to make the right move to convince him I know what he is and want NOTHING to do with him?? He had a new victim only a week after we broke up, and I know she is going to be left as heartbroken as I was, but she’ll have to figure that out on her own. Is there any help for people like him, or is he just going to spend the rest of his life going round wrecking other women’s lives?

    Why does an N promise things in the future if he has no intention of sticking around? He planned a trip across the country for us, even paid for the tickets two months in advance. Why do they talk marriage and family? Narcissism should really be a crime and they should get punished for what they do. It is cruel and heartless and no good woman deserves what an N does to them.

    Thank you for your blog, it helped me see a lot of things more clearly. One more question…are there any signs to look out for when dating someone new? Like on the first date for example?? hahaha!

    • Melissa, thank you so much for sharing your story here. Everything you shared is so very typical of how these relationships play out. No contact obviously is a good idea. As far as a possible future hoover, I wouldn’t rule it out but ultimately you have the last say-so. You asked a very good question in terms of signs to look for…flattery is always a flag, but more than that I’d say work on yourself and make it a rule that you will never look OUTside for validation. In that respect, you will always own yourself and hence shenanigans of this type won’t go very far. If you read your story, just like many of us here, we got ‘high’ off the flattery fumes. Own yourself and it will be easier to spot B.S. when it presents…now that you understand the traits, you can ‘listen’ carefully and size up someone…many of us who have been through this now know the flags. Take things slow and observe…don’t get caught up in the fantasy…all the best to you.

    • It has really helped me to read some of these stories… I am so lost! I too, believe my ex is a N. I was with him for 9 1/2 years. The last year , we did have some problems. He was starting to drink a little more, and I had to have some gallbladder surgery. I expected him to be there for me , as I have been there for him before , numerous times. Well , he was no where to be found. Used the excuse that his liquor won over. To make a long story short, he was planning on moving again, as he has done in the past, to Houston. 8 weeks ago , he was in my home telling me that he loved me and wanted me to come decorate for him. Said he would continue to send me roses on my birthday.. He did act a little strange but I cried, he cried and after 4 hours of talking , he left. The next night , I was feeling that we needed to talk some more. I went to his apartment and there inside was the ” Other Women”. She had the same ring on ( belonged to his mother) that he gave me years ago. I returned it when I thought he was an alcoholic! So the last screaming words from his mouth were ” if you would have just left it alone , I would have moved to Houston and you wouldn’t have known about the other women”. Like it was my fault????? I was hysterical , came home and didn’t hear a word for 6 weeks. Next thing , I know on Facebook, they posted their marriage! Wow. This man that was my soul mate, my life, my love, my kids looked up to him, that was my everything was married to a women who he had a double life with , for at least the least the past year!! I know this seems crazy but this is how it was!!! I am beginning counseling soon as my walk with God , is getting stronger each day… I still love this man but honestly, what hurts, is that I really didn’t know him at all!!!!!! Who is this man that I gave 9 1/2 years and she knows 1 year and gets the dreams that he promised me???? Help

      • Kim, I am sorry to hear you had this experience and certainly 9 1/2 years is a long time and it’s crushing to discover you’ve been duped. The only words of comfort I can offer is there was nothing you could have done on the front end to avoid this, they’re good at what they do. Continue to educate yourself ENOUGH to own that this individual cannot attach to anyone, nor love anyone…you don’t have to paint them evil – I know many do but it’s okay to detach and not own anymore of their sickness. Work on YOU, rebuild and move forward. His illness is not a statement of your worth. You WILL survive this…it’s painful, but the upside…you could have entered this corridor sharing: I spent 40 years…everything you went into the relationship with you STILL have. Don’t lose sight of that. Much love to you.

      • Kim, things will get better. The shock, rage, guilt, rage, bargaining, rage, then something else followed by rage will pass. These narcs do not feel the same way although they are hella good at mimicking. The ex that I was with had pictures of the other woman going to a bridal show and showed off engagement rings. He then up and left her and then unbeknowst to me showed me engagement rings, only to then slowly move back to her place to show engagement rings to her. Found this out only after speaking to the other woman as soon as I knew about her. They don’t care. It’s the game and control that they like. Use that anger to heal, its a gift. And trust me, he’ll get bored of the other woman and move on to the next and the next and the next…wash rinse repeat…it hurts like hell seeing the info about their marriage and thinking that maybe, just maybe she was the one for him…but it is just an illusion….he will never change his stripes and will forever keep up the illusion…his image is a house of cards that is bound to crumble. You have a chance to live a true authentic happy fulfilling life! Live it to the fullest! Best wishes…..

  26. I am coming into this post crosswise as the craftily-spurned partner of a lovely man divorcing an NPD shrew. She hunted him down (took advantage of a 20-year-old crush), said she was in a passionless marriage, and instigated his divorce. She then immediately proposed, blindsided her current husband with his help, and installed him as nanny to her adopted children. When I met him, he was allowed no outside friends, no unsupervised-by-her time with his family, and he had a strict regimen as her caregiver because she was so overworked and so helpless alone. When he finally mustered up the courage to file for divorce, I knew it was going to be a rough road, but I was playing knight in shining armor. You wait and wait for the nuclear bomb to drop and it did. Less than a month before the final court date, she tore down what self-worth he had gotten back, made him question his ability to lead a life alone, accused him of abandoning his children and called him a bad parent. He then put me on the spot and accused me the same way, telling me it was “time to get real,” that he was not breaking up with me but that I needed to step up. I was a wreck. In the interim, she manufactured a family emergency and he saw the fake light of clarity on how wrong he was to ever leave. He has since skipped the final divorce decree, given in to the hoovering, and has once again cut ties to each and every friend, announcing publicly that he had cheated on her (with me) and needed to “make things right.” I am guessing she wants to win and dump him after the humiliation is thorough enough. I wish I had gotten the clue that she was NPD at the beginning rather than in hindsight. And I hope he gets out alive. I honestly have my doubts. Does this ring any bells out there with anyone?

    • This might sound a bit harsh Lizardly and it truly is not meant to harm…but if I may…your story resonates with me…it seems that both you and the ex are the victims in this scenario…be thankful he’s gone…rescue missions are a biatch! xoxo

      • Thanks, betty! I knew I was not strong enough to pry him away unless he did most of the detaching but, EGADS, the shark-face (fill in the bleep) actually scares me! Wish there was Witness Protection for NPD-ex failures like me ;] *HUG*

      • Never refer to yourself as a failure, these types even drive the professionals crazy. There would be no way you’d be able to have seen this coming. Be patient, gentle and kind with yourself…whatever you do – don’t beat yourself up…there was no way you could have prevented this without being aware this kind of thing existed…all the best to you…

  27. Speaking from experience as a male who cheated on just about every partner I’ve had, narcissism doesn’t always play a factor in adultery or just plain stepping out. I could never be a narcissist because I was always too insecure and lacked self-confidence. My pattern was to always get into a relationship and continue to seek more women as a way to confirm to myself that women to I whom was attracted to would also desire to have sex with me. It rose to the point of an addiction for me because the desire to have sex with woman I was not in a relationship with became overwhelming to the point where I needed the sex fix–really needed it. Afterwards I couldn’t wait to leave, filled with shame and guilt.

    This pattern persisted into the first year or so of my marriage. The short version is that I admitted an affair to my wife and she forgave me. She also forgave me when a woman I was pursuing called our home phone to tell my wife about me. My wife did keep herself in reserve for some years after this because she couldn’t fully trust me.

    The point is, I finally had enough of myself and did some self-analysis. I knew that if I lost my wife I would regret it for the rest of my life. And to lose my wife would also mean to lose our kids. I re-dedicated myself to her and my marriage and never cheated again. I stopped looking for fault in her and embraced who she was, and I realized that she had always been the beautiful, sexy, wonderful woman I had fallen in love with and married. That may sound trite but part of my motivation for cheating was that I was never satisfied with the women I chose to be in a relationship with. But now, after 28 years of marriage, my wife is the focus of my life and remains the most incredible and sexually fulfilling lover I’ve ever enjoyed. I still look at other women but now I don’t have a compulsive need to be with anyone else. She and I are both aging together and it is truly wonderful to be a partner with her through our succeeding life stages.

    I look at pictures of my wife when we were both younger and I see her so beautiful and shapely I wonder what the hell was I thinking that she wasn’t enough for me? Those are years with her that I wasted but I am so thankful I came to my senses. I allowed her in and she filled every needful space I had. The only person I desire is her. She remains my best friend and confidant and I have more in common with her than anyone else. The lesson here is that not all men who cheat are narcissists and they can learn, grow and change if they desire to.

    • I thank you so much for having the courage to share with us farlefty and I am even happier still to see that you and your wife were able to mend whatever was in disrepair. I am very careful to label cheating men narcissists, I am fully aware there are ‘jerks’ out there and sometimes there are other issues involved. Most of the people who suspect they have dealt with NPD abuse are in a totally different mindset when they come through those doors. I remember a book “LOVE” by Leo Buscaglia, in there were some very profound concepts that to this day I keep uppermost in my mind. I am in my mid-forties and have had relationships before, gotten my heart stomped on and of course ‘hurt’ but these were not pathological individuals. In my case, the abuse was stealth, and so by the time the realization hit, I was mute for a month, and in a state of PTSD. For me, this is not an all men are dogs kind of thing but rather an attempt (because most therapists do not get this form of abuse and the APA likes to change things up so often I presume the newbies barely have enough time to master anything before they’re playing word salad again) that in the most severest of cases, we can be talking about a man who never lays a hand on a woman but takes such control of her mind via manipulation and mind games and intermittent reinforcement and all other kinds of covert shenanigans that she is a thread shy of crazy and can’t even articulate what hit her. Usually these men cycle for sport not because of the things you’ve shared but because there is a wire that is out of whack, there is literally a chip missing and so they cannot at all EVER attach, love, bond, have any insight into where they might be accountable, they project their ‘sins’ onto their partners, blame them and no one is ever good enough because their grandiosity has them constantly shuffling for the next people drug high. It is a type of addiction, an addiction to self where one feeds, and the difference between say your situation and theirs is that you do have a conscience, you felt shame, these types feel no shame, in fact they get a high off of other’s people’s suffering. They cannot attach or bond and so it’s bonus points the more suffering they are able to execute. AND sadly because the ‘victim’ is in it with good intentions, many times they keep taking the abuser back, given empty promises until she is so worn down she becomes a shell of herself. It is very hard to explain it, but to be rendered mute is pretty serious and I’d like to pride myself as maybe being a lil passionate, but no waif. It’s a head job and a half, it’s mind games, you name it…;) I really do thank you however for chiming in because as a result of this type of abuse, many end up jaded and I don’t feel that is a successful recovery and while I hate to say it, me personally I am not sure if once that trust is broken I could forgive and so would not wish to have someone around I could no longer bond with, I still think your ability to be accountable, get help, and really commit says an incredible amount about your character. All the best to you and your wife, and please do feel free to join in anytime…

      • Excuse my post. Im using smart ph. My reply to Betty is becuz collection of words..i dont kno how 2 say this? ‘Covert, Stealth/closet, Malignant, Character Assasination, Gaslighting (all facets from beginning to end), SoulRaped, rendered mute, PTSD,physical & psychological warfare, Cult, Dom V, etc. Im not tryin 2 appear/sound callous In my words. Its bout 3am. late an i hoped by posting it force myself to revisit. Im aware of how this reads i must b crazy. Especially when i kno i was on deans list for english…sucks to second, triple guess every second in ur life. Well i do kno for those who are able to read between my lines then you’ll kno how detrimental & severe my injuries .oh yeah…26 yrs.. Intend to sign up on private site. Thank You for ‘listening’…….Wished I could say Im happy i stumbled on this site. After 100’s. Traits, types, how to understand, the soul of, etc. I cant bring myself to ‘write the ‘others down, here or anywhere. Ive Never posted, signed up b4. Ive Read re-read so many ‘incase i missed something. Im not a biased type. Searched for same trait-type

      • Solitary Confinement…Welcome and thank you for having the courage to share…whenever you’re ready feel free to drop me a line on the private site…I’m very sorry you had to go through this…sending warm vibes of serenity your way…<3

    • Covert N ‘s do exist. You show signs of it . Do you really value your wife? o do you ignore her and behave passive aggressively around her? We have to hear her side to figure out for your if you are a “closet” N. My N was just like you-shy, self esteem issues and was an angel in the street and the devil when we got home

  28. Wow! You really don’t know how much I needed to read this today. I’ve read so many articles on what it is/was I experienced in this relationship, but nothing as clear and to the point. My ex Narc told our teenage son that something is wrong with ME since I won’t have any contact with him other than to make arrangements for him (16yr old son)……why does he care if I have any contact with him other that that? he walked out on our 14 yr marriage, by telling me out of the blue “he fell out of love with me and wants to move on”.

    I didn’t understand it at first, how someone can kiss you in the morning, text you later that
    afternoon “what’s for dinner”, then by that same evening be “out of love”.

    The first and only time I ever heard he was unhappy at all, is when he told me he was “out of love”…….no talking about it, no marriage counseling, nothing.

    He’s on fiance #2 in 2yrs, lives with her and her teenage children, I don’t interfere in anyway with his new life, but he wants contact with me. I now understand how they need “supply” from everyone……wonder how the new target would feel about him wanting contact other than just for our son.

    I really thought it was the falling “out of love” with me, but I’m now in the audience watching his lack of empathy and emotional support he can’t give his son. My teenage son see’s the lack of empathy, selfishness, alcoholism and even told me the change in personality in all relationships, from me to the other two women he’s now witnessed in
    his dad’s behavior……says he’s “unrecognizable”.

    I have to agree, no contact is the best way to heal, but I too needed to look at myself, and when doing so, I can recall where I was in my own life 14 yrs ago, vulnerable, lonely
    and in fear my biological clock was ticking, so not sure I paid enough attention to the red flags.

    I am human, and can feel pain (empathy) for others, so I do pray for him, and in my knowledge of this disorder (and recall the stories of his abusive childhood) I feel so
    sorry that he is a “shell” of a person.

    Thanks again for sharing and and I’m grateful God continues to give me clarity as I
    “slip” back into pain at times.

    • Gigi,
      Thank you so much for sharing with us…I am glad you can ‘see’ what is happening. The addiction adds another layer to this whole mess. Bottom line, I am glad you are out, it sounds like you are recovering/recovered nicely, it is so okay to wish them well (pray for them) even though they really can’t ever change…from what you share, it seems you have come a long way and I wish you all the best – both you AND your son as you continue on this journey. Thank you for your kind words…be blessed and prosper ❤

  29. Dont know if my ex is a narc or not. My mom told me she thought he was. Now im realizing he really must not be normal. He was my first love back when we were teenagers. He broke my heart way back then. I finally wouldnt take him back and got with someone else. We married and had a son. We were all friends and years later I started an affair with him because me and my husband were having problems. He led me to believe we should have been the ones that got married. We were soulmates.

    • Cont…then we had two kids together. He asked me to marry him christmas eve. A new girl started working with him april. After we got back from vacation in may he told me he was leaving. I was completely shocked and devastated. We were supposed to make our wedding plans when we got back! I begged him to stay. Cried and cried til my eyes were swollen. I told him that if he moved out we could go on dates to work on things…he said no. He showed no emotion at all. He told me the 8th and stayed til the 12th. Mothers day of all days is when he left. During those days there was no talking him in to changing his mind. Wouldnt kiss me or anything. His decision was made up. His reason was because i was abusive! What! Thats what he told everyone! I found out that every since that girl started in april that he was telling everyone that he was in this terrible relationship. He was so obsessed with me and wanted to spend every moment with me and then to juat leave? Made me feel like i was going to end up in the mental hosp. Now she already is living with him and hes completely obsessed with her! How could a normal person do this? Leave their family for someone they barely know? I know he can control her easier…she dont have a licence, car, works with her , and shes young. She also got out of an abusive relationship so i think thats why he used that card. I was angry and took the truck, phone, ect… Now we have a no contact order which i thought would be best but hard with the kids cause now he has her be the third party. Feels like it keeps getting worse and worse. I know rime will hopefully heal, just so lonely right now. Feel totally replaced. Dont know if i should liftthe no contact for the kids going back and forth. Im still very much in love with him and feel sometimes that i would take him back if he ever came back. I know that wouldnt be good for me or the kids. What should i do?

      • Welcome Ashley. I posted your comments in case anyone else wanted to respond. I am in the middle of something right now but will respond to this shortly…thank you for visiting. I will respond before the end of this evening…

      • Dear Ashley…I can’t label him a narc even though what he did screams at minimum high narc traits. The behavior however even without a label demonstrates someone who has no problem simply upping and running and reinventing their life…and yes, it seems he’s strung you along as well. There are a number of things that you share that clearly indicate his behavior is disordered. Shooting straight from the hip if you don’t mind my sharing…

        When I was early in my recovery, I joined a forum. That forum was helpful in terms of explaining what NPD was and it allowed me the opportunity to vent. Venting was very helpful; however, I also did a ton of research on my own. My story is long and not really worth all the details because the truth – all of our stories if we’ve been with narcs are the same because they are TEXTBOOK. If I had a dollar for everytime someone said: “Wow! Sounds just like my ex, are you sure you didn’t date him?” I might not be able to sit here today and respond because I’d be sipping some wine somewhere along the French Riviera…LOL that being said, there is no real black or white answer to your question and I don’t feel comfortable saying: “Yes!! He is a Narc! AND you MUST (fill in the blank) because that kind of help actually creates a ‘dependency’ and if someone is going to heal they need to OWN their individual recovery.

        I remember my early days, and I am sure up there in the “CLOUD” there are a million google searches all performed by me…”How to get your ex back” “What does it mean when he says?” “How to make him want you again…” and everything in between until somehow, I don’t even remember how, slowly I got to the NPD circuit and it all clicked.

        Off the cuff, I think you need to do some work, some reading, some research and some sorting out BEFORE you make any kind of decision. I think you need to take a long hard look at what he’s done and examine that in the context of his actions. This is not ‘confusion’ on his part, you have not shared any history of a traumatic brain injury on his part…so – we have a few possibilities but I don’t think any of them are going to be the answer you want to hear right now. I know how much this hurts and I know the devastation and I know the WTFs REAL well. The “How on earth could he….(fill in the blank) it is behavior no rational human being can really comprehend until they understand what behavior on the spectrum is. NOW to be clear, some are not really on the spectrum but have very high traits…BUT lets put it this way…do you really believe your soul purpose is to rehabilitate someone who can just gas you up then leave you high and dry? That’s not love. People go through things, couples have challenges but when the behavior is this bizarre something pretty BIG is wrong.

        And yes, I get the obsessional thinking, and the whole other woman scenario and it’s a lot to contend with.

        You shared:

        “I know time will hopefully heal, just so lonely right now. Feel totally replaced. Dont know if i should lift the no contact for the kids going back and forth. I’m still very much in love with him and feel sometimes that i would take him back if he ever came back. I know that wouldnt be good for me or the kids. What should i do?”

        Time will heal, but work should also be part of that package. ‘Work’ comes with no particular formula…the best I can offer is read up on it to a degree. As much as you need to in order to UNDERSTAND it, but don’t seek to gain a Ph.D in it. It is very dark and disturbing. Read enough to understand that these types are incurable and that NC is the best way to keep your mind intact. You may have to have contact because you share children, but there are ways not to let them inside YOU to where their behavior drives you nuts. It is possible to get to a place where you learn how to handle them if complete NC is not possible, but you really need to understand that on your part, playing games, trying to seek revenge or any other thing is just going to consume your energy and get you nowhere FAST. These folks are missing a chip and so anything you do is FEED for them…if you’re nice they’re fed and if you are a stark raving mad lunatic…it’s a gourmet meal for them – you can’t win with these types but you can survive them.

        It sucks to feel replaced. We’ve all been replaced but there are ways to really look at this ordeal and it’s something we can dissect if you like. They replace everyone and many cringe when I say…this isn’t personal, but given the disorder, it’s not. This is what they do.

        Early on, we all feel we’d take them back…and that is because early on we really can’t grasp what this is. Once we begin to do the work and begin to see, we still might feel lonely and we still might miss them, but little by little we really begin to see the reality and then at a certain point we find ourselves on our knees thanking God we were spared.

        Give it time Ashley, don’t lift anything and don’t make any decisions right now…take some time to get your head straight. Of the women that had dismal outcomes with divorces and custody I’d say the number one thing that worked against them was the fact it was early and they did not have the understanding and the education they needed in order to protect their interests. Just hang in there right now, educate yourself, find a safe place to get it out, find an outlet to purge. Writing helped me, but if you have a good friend that gets it (not many out there but you might be a lucky one) share with them. Your Mom very well may totally understand given she spotted something.

        If you like, I have a private social network I created as a space for people to share and I try to help as best I can as a peer supporter. If you elect to join us, feel free to use an alias. The link is below. For now, I’d say make no decisions, give yourself a little bit of time to really understand this and work it through some before you decide on a course of action. I tend to agree with your Mom, something is very wrong, but since I am not a mental health professional, I cannot diagnose but I am willing to help you sort through things and perhaps it will be helpful in terms of at least breaking the cognitive dissonance behind all of this. I find once that has been broken through, many are then able to go on and begin their journeys with good results.

        The Network can be accessed here and you are more than welcome to use an alias…

      • This sounds like my relationship. 12 years, 2 kids.
        I found out he was cheating on me (thru his emails) and when I realized that it had been going on for months, I naturally flipped and cried and my heart broke. He told me I was having an episode and that I had Borderline PD. He said he did not cheat and the “universe stacked everything on him”. He said that I was ruining his happiness. He wanted me to get testing done for Borderline and I said I would test if he did. Of course he wouldnt (nothing wrong with him!), so now he tells everyone I am an undiagnosed Borderline and basically very difficult and horrible person. Really?
        Mind you, he is a rock star in very popular rock band and is on tour 3/4 of the year. I am a SAHM and have been raising our kids for 8 years while he travels the world being a rock star. He kicked us out of our home (told everyone he moved out) and emptied our joint account. He’s a winner.
        He now has his 24 yr old mistress (he is 47) living in our NYC apt (after kicking out the renters at 4500 a month). Sure, he didnt cheat….haha!
        These men are DANGEROUS! I am still (1 year out) trying to get my soul back. I question myself, but my intuition has always been strong – and right. Now I live by it. I silenced it (me) for too long.
        Dont be in love with him. He never loved you and the person you loved did not exist in his skin.
        Good luck…keep researching, but you have to put a lot of positive in your life when you research. It is very dark when you realize what you were with for so long. I didnt know people like this existed…its terrifying. Pray, exercise, journal, read spiritual books, go on facebook groups for NPD abuse.
        Dont go back.

  30. Thank you everyone for their posts……
    I am currently ‘trying’ to accept and cut ties with my married partner (gee I even struggled to find the right word for him). The issue I’m having is how can you truly diagnose a narcissist!? I don’t want to believe he is and on his charming days I think I must be wrong ….then I watch the cycle of behaviour.
    My story spans on and off over 7 years (4 I was overseas) and yes he even followed me over there for a visit. I met him when his second baby was only months old. Apparently he was miserable when he children were born!
    I can pretty much guess he is if we talk about the past rages (these are because he cares!), how he loves me more than any woman he has ever loved, he married the wrong woman and she only cares about the kids, to his sudden rage and stop of contact for 6 weeks to him to weening his way back in after his ‘internal breakdown’ without me, to ensuring I still loved him and then after we ‘get back together’ to act nothing short of cruel.
    It was the cruel part that shocked me…..the rages I accepted because I gathered I’m just a frustrating person that talks about ‘irrelevant crap’ all the time.
    I let him believe 2 weeks ago that he broke it off (he hated that I didn’t disagree and fight with his decision) only for him to contact me everyday afterwards despite the ‘I’ll call you next week some time maybe’. Within a week I softened to him and was back in his arms!!

    Who can help me ‘diagnose’ this individual and stop trying to want the old ‘us’ back. In retrospect it was never great but as he always said it was the situation that caused our problems.
    I suppose I’m having trouble moving on fully and I only dream of cutting him off. I can’t actually do it. I know his comebacks will outsmart me anytime. Yes he’s highly intelligent too!
    What confuses me the most is quite often he will talk or address his behaviour and why I put up with him! Does a Narcissist actually know or recognise their behaviour ever?

    To add to this….he has one friend who is 15 or so years younger than him. All his other acquaintances are through his kids school or wife.

    The latest – ‘he hates the dog’……’it’s too needy’!!!!

    • I’m no expert; but my ex was flagged as a narcissist by our marriage counselor… She saw the dead eyes?…She actually is a spiritual advisor and believes narcissism is a spiritual sickness…. I didn’t want to believe it at first either:(((. It’s pure lack of empathy… Sure they can fake it when there’s something they want… When he was discarding me his eyes actually manifested to shark eyes??? Sounds nuts but dead eyes is probably the only physical symptom a narcissit may have….

      • Thank you Sharon

        I thought it was actually high time I stopped worrying about his personality disorder and looked in to my own issues – I thought surely I have one to put up with one. I went to a psychiatrist just this morning for her to tell me that my anxiety and obsessive perfectionist personality is a very serious issue, to the extreme – that needs alot of work. So at least I suppose worrying about myself is a start!
        As for the things I discussed about him to her – she said he’s beyond a narcissist – he’s psychopathic.
        I am now trying to even understand the difference in that. Does anyone know? And yes I am his perfect submissive emotional doormat.
        I don’t want the process of getting me on a road to normality to be so long but I’m hoping today is the start.

      • Hi:). Im right there with you sweetheart… I was the perfect submissive type as well with plenty of anxiety and OCD tendencies; but what I learned with 3 years time and 3 years therapy is that a lot of my issues stemmed from being narcissitically abused and manipulated for 20 years… I was so confused that I actually tormented myself by questioning my own sanity and wondered if I was the narcissist… One thing I always knew is I had empathy and I was definitely the giver in the duo… I’m so glad your seeing someone to help you sort through all of this… My therapist specializes in the area of narcisstic abuse and was able to validate the abuse and the reality of the situation I was in for years… The way I see it is all narcissists are technically phycopaths because they lack a human element… But there’s degrees of narcissism… Phycopaths enjoy inflicting emotional/ physical pain on others, where as a narcissist is freaking clueless why they do what they do… They are driven purely by narcissitic supply… Control is is a big dose of NS… They feed off people’s reactions… Once I stopped reacting to him my spirit broke free… No contact is impossible in the beginning ( especially with children); but my boys are teenagers and saw through their fathers psychopathy and once that happened he walked out of their life completely.. Narcs run even from their own children once they are no longer idealized by them.. The waking up is painful; but I do know once you accept the truth, it will set you free… The truth being …. Psychopaths/ narcissist are soul rapers… Your self aware and want to heal:))))). And heal you will:))). God bless ya….

      • Yes, the eyes! I’ve seen literally demonic looks on the face and in the eyes, like an evil entity is inside. Narcissism is evil, it manifests in someone who has rejected God and made themselves their own god to the point that they are given over to a reprobate mind and lose all “humanity.” You can read about it in the Bible!

      • So true Katie. The eyes are the window to the soul. I actually researched demonic possession before researching narcissism . That dead stare was chilling when he went thru the discard phase. Narcissist have hardened hearts just like King Pharoah. I learned a lot in the past 3 years since he has discarded me. I never paid much attention to someone’s eyes up in until then. I sure do now! I have only come in contact with one person who’s eyes were scary DEAD since then. Unfortunately it’s my neices boyfriend. I’m praying protection for her; but she’s in too deep to see he’s no good for her. God bless you on your new journey:)))))

      • Sharon, the shark eyes and demon eyes and expressions are very unnerving, for sure! Even non-believers find themselves using adjectives regarding Narcs such as “demonic,” “evil,” “soulless.” There is definitely a spiritual realm which contains good and evil, and we all know it deep down, even if on a subconscious level. One thing that I can say on the positive side is that my devastating experiences with Narcs (yes, plural, past & present) in my life have led me on a path to Jesus that I otherwise might not have found and also helped to “refine me in the fire!” He is always there for us even at our loneliest times. The Holy Spirit is also called “The Comforter,” and indeed He is comforting! God bless you too, and thank you : )

    • I posted your question Anne-Maree because I am a firm believer that ‘Each One Teaches One’ however, I am unable to respond at this moment. I hope to attend to some of your questions later on today. In the meantime if anyone else wishes to weigh in, please do so.

    • Hi Ann-Maree…To answer your post…We can’t really diagnose a narcissist, only a mental health professional can; however, after going through this some, I am hesitant to simply label someone a narcissist just because they engage in JERK behavior. Narcissists exhibit behaviors on the Axis II Cluster B spectrum and since many believe they are so perfect rarely do they ever seek treatment so many of us have had to do the guesswork sans official confirmation. I will say however, everyone has narcissistic traits, the problem comes in when they are on the pathological realm.

      Reading the DSM can be a little tricky only because there are many traits in many of the disorders one might be able to identify with but that does not mean they are on the spectrum. When harmed, it is difficult to be unbiased because we are feeling hurt but I think the key here has to do MORE with you than with him. If we can get SELF straight what they are or aren’t isn’t really important. It IS helpful to educate yourself to a DEGREE but not to the extent that you are doing nothing but learning ALL about narcissists. It is time better spent learning about you and taking your power back whether he’s a narcissist or not. The script you share in terms of his being married and unhappy I know very well.

      Ann-Maree…let’s be honest…if I had a magic wand and said Yes! That’s it! He’s a Narcissist! Would it really make a difference?….What if I said He Wasn’t? What between either scenarios would change?…(In your mind?)…Ann-Maree Narcissist or NOT what you have to dig towards is WHY are YOU willing to accept such shoddy behavior?…There are men who enjoy fooling around…and they are MANIPULATORS. Manipulators…MANIPULATE…so whether he’s a narcissist or not doesn’t matter what matters is you are falling prey to manipulation. More than likely you met, he ran his sob story and you felt sorry for him, you might have been lonely…SOMETHING told you someone else’s man was ‘good enough’ for you. This is not judgement but rather I’ve been there. AND he’s not really HER man either. Looking back, the SMART thing to do would have been for ME to say…”Gee, I’m sorry you are in SUCH a mess but why don’t you fix that mess or leave it and give me a call when the divorce is in?” BUT no, I felt SORRY for him…I Pitied him, because he was such a….VICTIM….and yes, he was in a mess they BOTH were a mess…but WHY did I feel the need to ‘HELP’ him fix a mess that was HIS to own?…Well for me, I’ve been molded to take shit and fix messes so all this DRAMA and CHAOS was natural to me. That’s my story…I cannot tell YOU your story but maybe something in mine will resonate. I was never one to go after a married man, and the only thing my conscience rests easy with was in my case it was a technicality they were married, even the wife admitted they were estranged, perhaps the one ounce of TRUTH in my entire scenario – BUT there was a reason WHY she was “Crazy” and “ABUSIVE” and all these other things and I believe HE was the reason, and whatever THEY had going between them was BAD…but it takes TWO to make BAD just as when it is BAD it takes ONE to leave. If he’s there, and it’s so bad, if he doesn’t care enough about himself to fix his business WHY are you thinking you can rescue, save or cure any of this?…It’s HIS mess…he’s using you as the distraction…

      If we are going to heal then we don’t get stuck on “What is he?” “Is he really?” Because either way, chickens will NOT grow lips, nor will the pigs fly. This is not a man that has his act together at all. Do you think YOU will fix him? Do you see some great potential in there? Potential is not what SOLID relationships stem from. Solid must be present at the inception or it’s not solid. Solid comes from TWO solid people coming together.

      NOW…let’s say he IS a narcissist…one thing that might be helpful for you to disengage would be to understand he won’t change. It’s a disorder and the professionals view them as incurable. Let me put this in black and white…this mess you’re in right now – and it’s a mess…is about YOU. How so? This is not a judgement of you…I made the same mistake. What I learned was there was a crack in me he was able to manipulate. He saw a soft spot in me and went in for the kill. My mistake was I was not aware of my own weaknesses. I did not have a strong set of boundaries. This is not to be confused with ‘morals’ as in the boundary of NOT dating a married man, that is a personal decision and what goes on between two consenting adults is their business, I am not even sure if I buy into this whole marriage thing because people stray and they are human BUT when there is abuse and manipulation married or not I have a problem. When I share “Boundaries” I mean I did not understand my own lack of awareness of tactics in manipulation because I was so programmed to fall for it. Which was how I ended up going against my own morals.

      Ann-Marie these types of relationships when they come to a close can be stepping stones towards growth and awareness but I caution you NOT to get into the loop of trying to figure him out. What you need to do is figure you out. Are you unhappy? If so, then you have to look at this and understand that this man is at minimum a manipulator and manipulators are bad news. There will always be some excuse or reason for why they dole out shitty behavior. They won’t ever be accountable, it will always be your fault and you will spend the duration of the relationship bending into a pretzel trying to make things right because you will eventually be manipulated into accepting blame. What does your gut say to you? I bet it says he’s bad news. Listen to your gut. I spent a lot of time, too much time reading about them, being angry and the whole gamut, and I don’t regret the time, and you too will have a process if you are into learning from this and growing, but the bottom line, you have not shared one thing about him that says he is worth ‘redemption’ this is what he does: Idealizes, devalues and discards…wash.rinse.repeat. Today his wife is XYZ, tomorrow it will be someone else’s fault. That’s not a man, that is a little boy in a grown man’s body. They play into our nature to want to nurture and fix things, they size us up and they get to know what makes us tick. Only you have the power to draw the line. Sex may be wonderful but you have to ask yourself what is it you are looking for? With these types Sex to them is using us as tools for masturbation…I believe you would agree you’re worth more than that.

      I understand detaching will not be easy, this is a different kind of relationship and there will be a lot of cycling through emotions. If you need to get it out, if you have questions, if you want to rant, rave, cry, or complain, I’m here because all of those things are very natural and a part of the process, this isn’t something you just flick a switch on and POOF! All gone…it is a very long and painful process and part of the reason why it’s so bad is usually because for US there is an element of repetition compulsion so this is a little deeper than just breaking up, it’s a coming face to face with OUR issues that manifested in a toxic relationship. I hope you don’t find my response terse that is not my intent; however, I am trying my best to get to the meat of the matter, the reality of the matter…the DSM lists the traits BUT the effect of the traits on us is where the ‘support’ is at. I am certain this relationship has taken its toll on you and NO you were not to blame, I still hold you were targeted; however, my point is, WE were targeted because there was something in us that made us vulnerable. Once you get to a place where you understand the dynamics…what he is or isn’t then you can begin to put things into better perspective. It doesn’t matter what he is, what matters is the relationship is unhealthy and you made a choice to engage. What was behind that choice outside of his very clear manipulation? That is where the key is at when we are on a journey towards healing. I get this is early for you and there will have to be a lot of repeating of the information on Narcissists in order to break through the cognitive dissonance that YES there are people who can target others, lack remorse, empathy a conscience and feed off of others, cannot love or attach. That is a mountain to swallow, so I’m with you on that but wanted to give you a synopsis on where your head at some point needs to be if this is going to be a successful detachment not only from him but from the cycle of being attracted to people who are bad for you…


      • Jen, thank you for your comments. I’ve come a long way and I let him go. He still appears and in a weird way I still love him – I actually believe his behaviour was worse because of his situation but I could no longer put up with it! He calls or contacts me occasionally and I can see he’s trying to to let me get on with life. My psychiatrist – yes it pushed me that far diagnosed him as a psychopath.
        Now my own behaviours are the ones being worked on! 🙂

    • “He hates the dog…it’s too needy!” – says it all. Anyone is too needy whenever it takes attention AWAY from them…RUN Ann-Marie…RUN! You can only save yourself. On a serious note…these characters are soul depleting…you will get to the other side of this and be very grateful to be out. Continue to heal Ann-Marie it’s impossible to reason or rationalize CRAZY. ❤

  31. I met this knight in shining armor 4 years ago 6/28/2009. He swept me off my feet, we moved in got married. Everything happened so fast but within those 4 years there was verbal/physical abuse, prostitution, pornography, strip bars, womanizer, liar, thief, user. Everytime I was in his way with the women he would beat me. He calls me fat ugly old and give me something to look at. His daughter moved in with us she was 16 he condones her behavior. She doesn’t go to school she doesn’t work and doesn’t do anything. She too is like her dad has an enormous appetite for men. When I left 12/12 he was trying to contact me telling me he wanted me but at the same time he was searching for a younger woman who looks like his daughter. He discarded me but never admitted he has someone. I filed for divorce in 3/13. No contact is better he will marry this girl who looks like his daughter. Will he beat or cheat on her. He wont this is his prized possession. She has him under her spell. He is now her puppet. He met his match.

    • Mari,
      I am so sorry to hear you had such a devastating experience but I am glad to hear you got out of it. It is my hope you have a good support system and a therapist who gets it. This kind of abuse takes a lot of purging to get past it. Find safe places to heal. I pray you are carried through your journey…please take the time to find the cracks in you that made you vulnerable. While I conclude that these abusers target their victims, I’ve also observed that perhaps out of 10 people they attempt to target, 9 may very well reject the overture. There was something in us that caused us to ignore the subtle flags. So often when we go back and replay the tapes we have these great AHA! moments in HINDSIGHT…work towards being able to smell the B.S. BEFORE it invades…it’s a lot of work but worth it…Wishing you all the best…I thank you so much for having the courage to share your story. Please do not feel shame or blame…it is in sharing our stories that as a collective, we share our strength with one another…even those who are not up to sharing…our stories help them feel they are not alone and have nothing to fear or shame for what they’ve experienced…

  32. This post nails it. I was the other woman. It was easily the worst experience of my life. It has taken me a few years to figure out what he is – a somatic N. You can image the tales he told me about his wife, about his marriage being over. He was still living in the house for the sake of the kids, but in a separate bedroom. He was in the process of changing jobs, and as the sole breadwinner needed to finish that transition before starting divorce proceedings. Needless to say, the fantasy played itself out just like all the other stories. He was so emotionally abusive at the end that I could barely get out of bed. I was thoroughly brainwashed not only about how bad the wife was, but also about how terribly messed up I was. Fast forward a few years, he’s still with his wife and still preying on other women.

    First, I want to apologize to his wife and all the other wives because your N never will apologize for his behavior. Maybe in some small way this helps to validate the fact that your N’s behavior had absolutely nothing to do with you.

    Second, I want to ask for advice. Now that I know he is an N and continues to prey on his wife as well as other women, I so very much want to tell/warn the wife – even if I have to do so anonymously. I know it won’t stop his behavior, nothing will, but she’s been subjected to it for almost 30 years; they have been “together” since they were 16. My therapist thinks I have survivor’s guilt and that I cannot assume that she wants to be “saved” or wants to know. My friends recommend saying nothing, warning me about what the N might do in retaliation against me. This feels like being called crazy (the N’s voice echoes in my head) all over again: “Why would you want this kind of drama in your life?” “You’re in a great relationship now. Why jeopardize that?” “This will eventually implode all by itself, no reason to get involved.” At the same time, I don’t want to be a coward. Ns derive their power in large part because no one exposes them. I’m not looking for revenge here. No one really gets how evil and life sucking Ns are unless you’ve been one of their victims. I would rather have been mugged. I see someone in danger and my natural inclination is to warn her, it’s only going to get worse. If I were the wife I would want to know, I would want my life back.

    Thoughts? All comments are welcome.

    • Dear Korrinne, thank you for stopping by…in a nutshell whether you are the woman dumped, the other woman, the wife, whatever…it’s all the same. Thirty years is a long time…worry about saving yourself…PERIOD…sounds cold and cruel but just like you hit your own rock bottom, the wife either will or she won’t…SAVE yourself…a.k.a. learn to mind your own business. It sounds cold, I don’t mean it that way…by this I mean that one of the things that landed us in this position is the same thing you are flirting with now…the need or desire to ‘save’ another…if we put that much energy into ourselves, I think we would have avoided the whole fiasco…just think there are many who would not have fallen for the narc’s shenanigans…right now focus needs to be completely and squarely on SELF…whatever they wish to term it…survivor’s guilt, empathy overdose adrenal syndrome…WHATever…bottom line, we have to focus on the self and heal the self and stop looking to save the world…the mess we found ourselves in is an indication we were not that good at taking care of the self and until we master that, we’d do better to stop trying to rescue others…that is my short version but I also shared my thoughts in a previous post. Again I hope you don’t find my response blunt but it is very important that we understand this. Early on there was much I did not get, now feeling pretty centered, I am able to be accountable for my own participation in this as well, EVEN THOUGH I equally maintain we cannot own blame for what we did not know…if that makes ANY sense. All the best to you and thank you for your question and your being open, and sharing, and dropping by…please don’t hesitate to holler anytime if there is anything I can do to help…xoxo ***Another thing to consider, it’s clear he triangulates, and it’s clear she’s been through much more than his creeping with you. I doubt there is anything you could warn her about that she doesn’t know deep down inside. Staying is a choice. It’s up to her to score her own big girl panties. I’ve seen some of these women in the long term abuse situations and what you will have established is not only his triangulation but her blaming you as well because thirty years of this shit can’t be anything BUT pathological on both parts because if she was healthy the same way we saw it and said enough she would have already. We can’t be responsible for other people’s WEEDS. Narcs always ensure they have supply. A wife is demoted to secondary supply…she’s like the toaster in the house, always there to pull off the shelf when needed. They’re also good at creating dependency. I’m doubtful you’d gain anything from this except maybe his wrath and her lack of appreciation for throwing the pathetic state of her life in her face…you won’t win…the only win is controlling and saving self…SEE ALSO:

      • I appreciate your being blunt. I need that right now. I was involved with my N a few years ago for 5 months, but its only within the last 3 months that I have begun to understand what happened. So, I’m still in shock and re-processing everything. I was going through a separate trauma when the N found me vulnerable. He “helped” me through that as he had special knowledge from “helping” his wife with a similar issue. So, even tho I knew we were wrong for each other we remained friends – no benefits – until a few months ago. Anyway, this is helping me refocus on my own healing. So, thank you for providing this forum! I hope one day the wife can put on those big girl panties too!

      • I am happy that something I shared was able to help you process. It takes time. They ‘recycle’ supply they will pop up like nothing has happened sweet as sugar. I am at a place where I don’t hate but understand that in some way when they surface, they usually appear with an agenda. Many encourage no contact; however, in some cases, it takes time to build up to that so I am not going to twist your arm as that will only intensify the pressure. If you have not detached completely keep reading, keep sharing and gaining insights, little by little by observation alone it will click. Please know that continuing to engage is bad for YOU as they don’t attach or bond the same way normal people do, and this is just what they do, people are drugs to them. You can’t help him, and he may come with sob stories or some story to lure you back in. You will have to be wise to this and be able to look at this through a very long lens if it does happen. As for the wife, I too like you hope she comes to her senses but sometimes disordered cleaves to disordered and if she’s been there that long without waking up I suspect not much anyone can do until SHE feels she’s had enough. You only lasted five months and ‘woke up’ even if there was pain so keep plugging away at it. There are many who years later get the great ‘AHA!’ after the fact. Someone shared with me recently she never had the words for it and years down the road having severed the relationship reading some of my work she ‘connected’ the dots. Look, life is what we make of it, and thankfully this man only took five months of your life. Strive to understand what it is then get off of it they are so not worth our toil and trouble. Figure out what led you into this kind of web, what you were looking for…the same way they have voids I suspect we did too…I call them cracks…and that’s okay and so very human. Sometimes I find that there is this suggestion to go way deep. In some cases that is necessary to get to the root of the repetition compulsion but sometimes bad stuff happens to good people and we take from the experience a new sense of wisdom and awareness and we become better at spotting the bullshit when we see it…you’re gonna do fine there is something in what you are sharing that leads me to believe you’re very much on your way…<3

    • I’m so sorry you ever got messed up in the narcs crazy triangle:(((. Thank you for your post…. I was the wife who was left and lucky for me he went to the poor women:(((. But you do have to save yourself… He played us both against one another for about 3 years… I was married 18:(((. I know it’s only a matter of time before his current victim will understand narcissim. But that is something she will only see with time.. She is still in the phase of believing all the lies as to the horrible person he tells her I am. She unfortunately has had twins with him and is in deep… On a bright note I can tell you that there is light at the end of this tunnel… I’ve been no contact for over a year. We have 3 teenage sons together… He has discarded his children from our marriage as well… These men are SICK!!!! I don’t suggest ever speaking to the wife because she obviously is In a coma as to what truly is being done to her… What she’s hearing is probably the same thing I heard when we were trying to make a go post affair… And that is the other women was a angry phycho… It’s easier for her to believe the lies than for her to except the truth that her 30 year marriage was a sham… To much truth to swallow… The truth sets you free:))))). I praise God you have been set free even though the waking up is a hard hard road:(((. I’ve healed so much since he abandoned three ago… Your post was really a blessing to me… Because your right…. The narcissist never will apologize for the pain he inflicts on his victims… One great thing about life altering pain is, it awakens us on a spiritual level and once the anger subsides and we work thru it … Then that pain has a huge purpose… We can then help other women who may still be in the fog as to how abused they are while being involved with a narcissist.. We can understand their pain because we lived it and have empathy on all the poor women…. Be it the wife, other women or new wife…. God bless you in your healing and keep moving forward:))))

      • Sharon, thank you so much for also sharing your story, perspective and insights and also bringing up the ‘spiritual side’ to this experience. I agree with everything you’ve shared and I thank you so much for giving validation to some of my thoughts as well…;)

      • Thank you both for your comments and well wishes. This has helped me move along in forgiving myself and for being so loyal to the N that I joined in with him on maligning his wife. I now see that everything thing he said about her was actually all about him “She idealizes love and marriage, but doesn’t really know how to participate in a real relationship.” He actually knows himself really well, if only he could hear himself. But there is no way to help someone who plays mind games with themselves.
        As for no contact, I have done my best. I see him occasionally at group events, but have managed to ignore him completely. Two weeks ago, I sat through a whole dinner event, at the same 8 person table, without even saying hello. He still stares at me, creepy, but somehow knows not to engage me.
        I stopped talking to him even before I realized he’s an N. he showed up unannounced at my son’s bday party to find out my status – looking for seconds clearly. When I made it clear in a nice way I was not interested, he flew into a rage at me – but get this – on a completely different subject that we had discussed, and by the way I was “making him uncomfortable bring up the past.” LOL.
        The next two times I saw him, also group events, he did something concerning this different subject, looking for a reaction from me – but it was very clear to me that he did not care whether I reacted in a negative way or a positive way. It only matter that I reacted to him. I did not. I was done with the mind games. Not long after, I saw him obviously preying on another woman. Without going into all the details, including the fact that she had a boyfriend, I got a glimpse of just how much of a fantasy world he lives in – so easy to rewrite when someone misses their cue or misreads their lines. I’m grateful I probably won’t see him for a few more months.

        I so feel for the wife. Her denial is so very deep. She has an MFT degree, but has never practiced. She got the degree years ago, when he convinced her that she was soooo messed up. So, I do need to let my fantasy of helping her go….
        The best book I have read on this so far is: Stalking the Soul. Otherwise, blogs like your have been by far the most helpful. Thank you.

      • I am so very happy you can really SEE through all of this. While I wish you never had to cross paths with him EVER again, I think we can both agree that although unpleasant, in some ways you are able to ‘USE’ him without his knowledge to further process everything you are reading. Continue to be kind to yourself, eventually he will be a character you are completely indifferent to…none of it will matter…it won’t touch you one bit…they’re TEXTBOOK! Hugs…

    • Believe me, the wife knows him far better than you do Korrine. Wanting to warn her is presumptuous and insulting. To you credit, you realize you were manipulated to believe lies about the wife. But don’t think you will be doing the wife a favor by informing her. You will only add to her pain. Resist the urge to write and send her a letter.

      • Gemgirl, Thanks for your comment; hopefully you’ve read through the rest of my comments on this board. Wanting to reach out to a fellow human being to say “you’re not crazy” comes from a place of compassion, not superiority or condescension. Like a good N, he has isolated her emotionally and financially. I wish reaching out to a victim and pointing out the EMOTIONAL abuse being inflicted on them were that simple. (BTW, I don’t think my tellling the wife her husband is a sexual predator would achieve anything.) Unfortunately, it is not that simple, for many reasons I’ve discussed here before over the last several months. For me, it would break no contact, jeopardize my family and children in this smallish community, etc. As for her, I agree with Bettyluna, that she has to score her own “big girl panties” and recognize her self-worth, her right to live a real life away from the abusive N. I know I can’t “give” her that power – it has to come from within her, when she is ready or hits bottom – whatever that you want to call it.

        We are all victims of the N, whatever our designated title – wife, lover, child, co-worker, friend. They’ll use absolutely anyone to create a false sense of self-worth and a sense of normalcy. We are interchangeable to them. That has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with them. They are not human.

        We victims spend a lot of time holding onto the N, then a lot of time holding onto the fantasy of the N, then a lot of time holding onto the pain they cause. It is an addiction. Slowly, each at our own pace, we can let go of all of it; and live our own lives, nourish our families and friends, and realize what is healthy for us and where our efforts will actually make a difference.

        I’m sorry for your paun. I’m glad you are now in the light and I wish you the best in your journey.

      • Hi Korrine, yes I did get a chance to read through the rest of your comments on this board. I saw the progression of where you were coming from. Your words overall are reflective of wisdom — something you’ve obviously worked hard to gain from the experience with the N.

        I agree with you that wanting to reach out to a fellow human being to say “you’re not crazy” comes from a place of compassion, not superiority or condescension. But as you know, people have different motives for calling someone.

        I am not in pain. I’m emotionally healed after an on/off relationship with a man I came to understand was a sociopath. I knew him over a five-year period but do not feel I was “in relationship” with him during the last two years because I focused intensively on learning about NPD/sociopathy and doing inner work as I went low contact with him before finally leaving.

        I’ve been gone long enough. So I was in shock when last Fall, a woman called me about my ex and told me i must not be doing what I’m supposed to because “he’s a good man.” Apparently, he had her thinking I was still his GF. In the call, which caught me off guard, she made so many assumptions about me, telling me “I know more about you than you think I do.” I know it was smear stuff engineered by my ex for his own reasons.

        But it felt like such a boundary violation that a stranger would call me and act like she knew me. Because I am on this good side of healing, I understand my ex manipulated her and she had no reason to sort through lies and truths. But it felt like such an intrusion since I have no interest in my ex, and do not want him imposing other people into my life.

        I know it was a triangulation attempt. But I am not that woman’s enemy (or was not until she allowed herself to repeat lies to me in a phone call). We were strangers who have never met each other. Now, I would never share what I know about the ex with her, since she was so presumptuous about me — with an incredibly hostile attitude toward someone she had never met, yet had the nerve to call. I doubt if she will repeat the behavior, but…

        When I first started dating my ex in 2008, his ex girlfriend before me suddenly reappeared on the scene — even though he had told me he had been out of that relationship for years. Well, thank goodness I did not call his ex back then to “tell off.”
        I learned that the woman had no interest in my “man” — it was he who had started calling her again sometime after starting a relationship with me. I did not violate any boundaries with his ex-girlfriend because I am not the type of woman who blames other women if a man strays (or tries to).

        So that’s part of why it’s good to be clear about motives for contacting people. Had the woman who contacted me in Fall not been immediately hostile toward me, as if I were her “competition” keeping him from her, I would have willingly been open to sharing information if she asked. But she felt she knew my life better than I did — enough to tell me about myself as she made comparisons of her life and mine, without even having ever met me — and that is a level of stupidity that amounts to not merely uninformed but toxic.

  33. Wow!!! My story… I wrote this a year after my narc discarded me.. It’s funny how similar all our stories are…

    Does the narcissist miss me and how can they just act like I never existed?

    I don’t know if your ready to hear the reality or not… If your minds not ready… Hey your not there yet; but the truth is NO they don’t miss you And they never truly loved you…They have devalued you as worthless way before they do the discard… In most cases the narcissist already has his new adventure fantasy ( other women) waiting and willing to take her prince charming away from the evil queen… Ladies your the evil queen in his warped reality… He must begin a new fairy tale and bring in a new adoring princess to star in the new story book fantasy… The sad part is every new fairytale the narc begins will never end well for the princess… She like you will be the evil queen in time… No happy ending, even if he sticks with his new story… It isn’t based in reality and the relationship is certainly not based on mature love…. It’s a story of mind games, emotional abuse and a freaky rollercoaster ride between devalue and discard… Back to my point… Your asking this question… How can they just act like I never existed?? Because you didn’t exist as a human being or a love object to this person… You were cast in a roll… That’s it… You were there to serve the king… Feed his ego, take on his inner demons ( be his scapegoat) .. The narcs presence in his mind should be enough to fill your needs…. When you stop performing perfectly to the narcs liking…. That’s when the devaluing begins…. He’s already started fantasizing at that point on the next person who will be the new princess…. Never satisfied…. To justify all this …. What do they do?? They devalue you… They point out your flaws… They start to accuse you of not loving them… When the truth is they don’t love you… They start giving long silent treatments.. They inevitably push you to the point where you start to look like the evil queen… That way when they start their new fairy tale they can say … Poor me… My wife/girlfriend did this that your this…. Trust me… You weren’t and never were an evil queen… You were a princess held captive in a high tower.. Yet not even realizing it…. Think of it this way… We all have seen fairy tales.. There’s always a theme of good verses evil.. Bad king/ good king… Etc.. . Your narc played the part of prince charming so well in the beginning your mind and heart fell for it… By the time you realize good king may just be evil… Your already so wrapped up in the false reality and fairy tale story… Your mind doesn’t want to aknoledge all the red flags you see coming from your prince charming…. Endings with narcs are never cordial or peaceful…. Either princess wakes up before king has fully discarded and it’s war…. Or king throws princess of the balcony and princess is trying to climb back up… Resorting to rescue fantasies…. Telling herself that my prince really didn’t mean to toss me to my death… King is just a hurt little boy who needs love…. The endings are tramatic for the princess… Princess has to start a journey into reality… The reality that her whole relationship with the narcisstic king was never based in love…. All her memories are now shadowed over with the reality that she gave her life and love to a con… Unless you live it you could never understand how painful the phase is of asking the question … Did my last ( in my case 20) so many years mean anything? Seeing king skate on to the next fairy tale, new princess, unphased by the tragedy he left behind for the last princess… Zero empathy for anyone left to clean up the tragedy he left behind… That goes for his own children as well…. So you rack your brains with the most heart wrenching questions… And accepting reality is a war of the mind…. But something clicks when you start to read and search on line…. You come to sites like this…. And princess begins to wake up… Doesn’t happen over night….. But slowly but surely princess begins her new book back into reality…. Wanting to jump back to fantasy is normal…. But accepting the truth … The truth… No your narcissistic partner doesn’t love or miss you is the beginning to your path to healing:))

    • Thank you so much for sharing that Sharon. The fact that so many of us without knowing each other, having never met can cite chapter and verse such similar stories is so validating for so many who are new and struggling to understand. I wish you well in your continued journey and appreciate your generosity with sharing this…

  34. Fantastic post on narc behaviour! One if the best I’ve read. In my case, it took almost 2 years to heal & recover. I think that was attributable to having 2 children involved & some very nasty litigation in the family courts, for same period. It is so true, that only those who have walked this devastating & lonely road, can truly ‘get it’. The endless mind f***ing, manipulation & cruelty, are the narc experience’s hallmarks. It is very hard not to be continually stunned by their total lack of empathy & regard, should you choose or be forced to re-engage with them. I have only managed to shake my narc off recently, after a lengthy, traumatic ordeal in the courts and I’m not ashamed to say, I had to ‘fight dirty’ for the sake of self-preservation & survival. Lets just say this narc wanted nothing less than my total destruction & diminishment. It sounds like an over-used sound bite, but these wolves in sheep’s clothing, are energy vampires that seek to bleed you dry, to the point of non recognition. When it’s all said & done, you’ll be lucky to escape the wreckage of even a morsel of your identity left. The ‘gifts’ from this experience is an inner awakening, fortified awareness, operating boundaries & a renewed sense of humility, purpose & appreciation of life. I agree, we are not co-dependants, more empaths that didn’t see the oncoming heavy freight train, until it ran us over. Like yourself, I’m no shrinking violent, have defiance, always been independent and considered myself quite street-wise…but I & family members, got taken in by this character & made the near fatal error of trusting him…the rest is history, as they say and we all know, pretty much, how the script plays out!! Thanks for sharing your insight, posts like these are validating & poignant. All the best on your journey x

    • Thank you Lili. I am overjoyed to hear you’ve finally washed ‘IT’ out of your hair. May you and your children be blessed and protected as you travel along. I also thank you for your well wishes. You said it perfectly: “The ‘gifts’ from this experience is an inner awakening, fortified awareness, operating boundaries & a renewed sense of humility, purpose & appreciation of life.” Would I have preferred a less painful way towards enlightenment…sure – but I can’t look back on all of it and say I’d change anything either…in fact, something tells me something really, really good now that I am no longer blind is around the bend! Peace, love and blessings always…

  35. This is absolutely amazing! I have never read anything so clear, concise and specific about a narcistic personality. My God you nailed it to the wall! Wow…

  36. Thanks for this. I hit a rough patch today unexpectedly seeing a photo of him and sister after 5 months NC. And thinking how he was telling her tells of how crazy I was like the tails I heard about the ex wife. I tried to warn the new OW but of course she didn’t want to hear it and that made me seem even crazier. Blogs like this help me know I’m not. I was doing so good but I’m seeing its going to take a long, long time to get over this.

    • We have to go through the motions JJ to completely purge this. Five months is still very early in the ‘journey’…but hang in there…find a strong support system with people who ‘get it’. I’m on FB and have another site if you ever need to talk…<3 Educate yourself and own that you were powerless over the disorder. Do not own shame or blame or believe that you are abnormal for having a time with this. They say recovery takes 18 months…I'd have to agree with it, but you won't feel bad for 18 months, slowly it gets better and better. There are ups and downs with it but you will heal and you will recover…but do the work, don't gloss over things, take your time, feel your angries, point the finger, blame him, spit every vile thing out and when you're finally done and exhausted…sit down and begin to examine YOU and your patterns. You can't take everything on all at once, you have to feel what you feel and purge it…the heck with what people think. You need a good emotional laxitive then once you're cleaned out you'll be focused enough to then begin to look at things objectively enough to know where the problems are and what needs to be done to fix them. Get over the initial trauma/shock first then work your way back…<3

      • PS…and anyone who tells you that you chose this…tell them to take a flying leap…you can’t ‘choose something’ when you are unaware, this form of abuse is stealth, even the mental health professionals don’t get it. It sounds a lil insane to insinuate someone who is NOT a professional somehow could have seen the flags and willingly got ‘engaged’ in this dance. There is a lot of that being sold don’t buy it please. Might there be patterns…yes that is possible but for now, it’s okay to say you got screwed over, you’re hurting and you got mauled by a predator. That would make you a legitimate victim. I’m not worried it will be a lifestyle for you but there is no shame in healing and recovering and it’s okay to say you were hurt. I too was on my ‘ass’ and very much a victim and it wasn’t until someone told me that was okay that I was able to drop the shame and actually begin to TALK about it…one of the things that helped was learning the words and the methods that were implemented. I had no words so I could not articulate, as I became educated I could ‘express’ myself then it was easier to begin to purge. I could not understand many things…there was a lot of cognitive dissonance and it took time to overcome that so be patient with yourself, and just take things moment by moment…

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