56 thoughts on “ASK BETTY

  1. Hi Betty I believe I’ve suffered at the hands of a narc and need help. But I haven’t been taken seriously on any of the sites I’ve visited. I’d really appreciate your help as I feel I’m ready to tip right over the edge – thanks

    • Dear Soulbleed, I am so very sorry to hear you are struggling at this time. I am also sorry to hear that you haven’t been taken seriously on any of the sites you’ve visited. At this time I am unable to provide peer support as I have been doing. Regardless of whether I am currently able to or not however, I have always encouraged one seek competent and qualified professional help when in the midst of this type of upset. Under Therapy Resources you will find more information that might help you narrow it down and weed out those who might not be as helpful during your current journey. I wish you all the best during this time of recovery. Try not to become obsessed about ‘them’…it kinda comes with the territory but please don’t get caught up in the caught up. Once you accept these types cannot bond, attach or love, there really is nothing more to ‘understand’ about them…the rest has to do with us, licking our wounds, accepting they’re disordered, forgiving ourselves and moving on. Once they’re gone, they’re gone any other discomfort is our job to fix. I promise you down the road, you really won’t give a poop…Best of luck to you…


  2. I am glad to find some information regarding relationship with Narc. I was trying to figure out what happened to my marriage of 20 years. We were college sweethearts. The moment we met, he was very into me and saying he wanted to marry me because I was the only woman he would ever love in his life. He practically worshiped me and in a way I was convinced or talked into marrying him believing we were both in love. We got married right after graduating college after dating for 2 years. We had similar values and hobbies. He was not the most attractive boyfriend I had but he was humble and the type of person who do the right thing. We got along good. He appeared to be very gentle and put my needs first. We were young and broke but I was so happy because we were in love and we got each other. We had same dreams and goals and we worked hard. I would say he showed he cared and loved me first 6 years of marriage. Although I have noticed he didn’t have close relationship with his family, I didn’t see any red flag how he was mistreating anyone in his family except he would mentioned to me he felt like his parents didn’t love him growing up. He was oldest of 6 kids and I saw his mom showing love to him the most since he was the oldest child and she would praise him a lot.

    Things started to change after we had our 1st child. He went into the phase of self doubting and losing self control due to losing a job. He couldn’t find job for several months and even when he found one, he would quit after a couple of months saying the company was bad or his boss was stupid, He would always say people don’t understand his talent and everyone is stupid. He changed jobs few times in 6 year period and I had 2 more children during that time. I was busy taking care of kids with almost no help from him. But I could handle it and I was supportive for his career. He never washed single dish or took care of his own kids. I mean he didn’t go watch his kids play sports or read a book for them or never attended school events. He said he was busy with work. He was working for a prestige company and became very successful next 8 years.

    His abuse started to happen during that time. He would put me down a lot saying I was lazy all the time. I was taking care of 3 young children and did not complain to him when he was out working late or come home but go straight to his room playing computer games till bed time. I just figured he was tired or he had a bad day. But I felt like he was treating me like a sandbag to punch. He never said anything nice to me during those time. By then we were married for 12 years or so. I asked him we need to go counseling or he needs to see the specialist because I felt there was something wrong. I though maybe he had a bi poler disorder because he had maniac and depression stage and had a lot of symptoms like that.

    He would ignore me days. He would just play computer games all the time when he had free time. He showed no interest to me and kids for many years and only time he wanted me was when he wanted to have sex. It was just not normal relationship. He would eat dinner in his room instead of eating with me and kids. I felt like it was not functioning well as family. I point out sometime and he would get really mad at me.

    One of the things that makes me believe he has NPD is him not empathetic at all with people around him including his family. He put me down constantly saying very abusive words to me like I am not smart enough to get a job or he is so much smarter than anyone. He would not communicate with his parents for so long and put them down too. He quit going to church after 12 years of marriage and saying there is no God and even if he exists, he is better then God. I mean who will say that? He get into fight with his boss a lot and he would argue with his coworker or anyone around him. He didn’t have many friends to begin with but he lost almost all the friends he had because he got worse and worse with dealing with people by getting into bad arguments and he will not stop until he proves he is right or he shows people he has more knowledge or he is smarter than anyone.

    So the last 8 years of marriage was like I stopped trying to argue. i stayed quiet and still tried to have peace in my home. I focused on kids and support my husbands career. Whenever he got into fight with people, I apologized. Even when he got into argument with his family, I apologized to them saying he didn’t mean to hurt them. He just takes things too serious. But I was alway embarassed with his behavior and didn’t want to introduce him to my friends out of fear that he might say something offensive.

    I was still happy being a mom and appreciative to my husband working hard and providing for us. But I knew that he didn’t have any love or interest left for me. And then all of the sudden, 2 years ago, he revealed to me that he is having affair with 6 different women at the same time. It was going on for 6 months and I didn’t even noticed. I just assume he was working late as usual. But I noticed he was going to the gym a lot and he lost 100 lobs in 1 year. He never went to the gym before that so I though it was good he finally wanted to stay healthy but I was wrong. He was doing that for him and his girlfriends. He got most of the girls from on line escort service or some dating auction site. We were not rich but he spent $50k on women in 6 months period. He went out on a date with more than 20 women in that time, had sex with 10, ended up involved with 6 women financially, physically and mentally. He gave money to them but he said each relationship was real relationship with those women.

    Most unbelievable part was he told me all that on my face saying he was bored with me. He said I was not fun to do things with and I was always busy with kids, although he was not willing to help me with raising kids. He said he wanted to keep me but he will never change his life style. He said he was polyamorous and need multiple women to love. I told him he will lose everything if he continues this path but he said he can do whatever he wants to do. He said it’s all his money and he can spend it on whomever, whenever, however he wants and there is nothing I can do about it. He also said if I ever try to get divorce him, he will make sure to take away kids from me, kick me out of the house and make me live on the street where I deserve.

    I hired an attorney right away and the custody battle lasted about a year and finally I got divorce which took me 14 months. He didn’t even hire an attorney saying he is way smarter than my attorney. During the divorce process, he did everything to make sure I am going to get hurt. He called police on me so many times saying I was suicidal or kidnapping kids or neglecting them, etc. He would try to break in my place or threatened me in different ways and I ended up paying over $100k in attorney fees to protect myself and going through trials. Anyway I got kids custody and house but he spent most of our asset and got away with it. We are asking him to pay back but it will take long time and I am not expecting to collect money from him. I just want to move on with my life. I am researching on NPD and my ex fits most of the symptoms. I believe he has severe case.

    My story doesn’t end here.

    I met someone a couple months ago. He seems very nice and he went through divorce himself last year. We hit it off and have been dating for 4 months and he wants to get engaged soon. I told him I am not ready because of what happened in the last marriage, I am still in the process of healing and don’t want to rush into the next marriage. I like him a lot but I want to get to know him. He was really nice until this point but he started to be unavailable emotionally and I can’t get hold of him sometimes because he is busy with work. But considering how he was contacting me so many times everyday either calling or texting many times prior, I don’t understand why he is all of the sudden not available. We still talk on the phone once a week and he text me a couple of times a week. But after doing some research on NPD, I was wondering if my new relationship is similar to the last one. More I researched on this type of relationship, I realized I may have co-dependecy problem and very empathetic person so I may be attracting the same type of men. Not all my boy friend in the past was like that but I can say I tend to attract men with some issues. I am sad if I wouldn’t be able be in a normal relationship in the future. But what I know right now is I want to be free from the relationship that has some mental issue. To have healthy relationship, I too need to get better. I need to overcome any issue I may have such as co-depnecy. I need to fee strong and be ok with being on my own and be there for my kids as I have been all these years. That is my responsibility and priority. I am going back to work now and excited about rebuilding my career. I am in my 40’s right now and I am not giving up the hope that someday I will meet someone I can have healthy relationship with and be able to love and be loved again. In order to do that, I need to be on my own for awhile and finding out who I am and improve myself, and truly love myself without having a fantasy or illusion of someone acting like loving me for wrong reasons.

    • Welcome Mary. When we are discussing domestic violence it’s important to understand Codependency is not part of the equation. Do not subscribe to such delusions. The dynamics of abuse have nothing at all to do with a victim being a co-creator. Best of luck to you in your journey. You have a whole life ahead of you. Try not to get too stuck on the whole NPD thing and how their mind works and all the ‘noise.’ Learn enough to understand you were powerless over certain things namely his disorder, you married young and there was no way you’d have any idea such a thing like this existed until you came to the realization and found a word and a term that described a disorder that has a set of criteria attached to explain bizarre behavior at one time you had no name for. They take the best of the best down including mental health professionals so it would be a bit out of the realm of expectations to think the average individual would have the slightest of clues. Cut your losses and rebuild your life. I share this as someone who walked the walk. It is painful, it is hard, it is shocking there will be many moments of replaying the tapes but please do not let this color the rest of your life. Heal, rebuild and move on. Feel free to reach out if you need support. All the best to you.

  3. HI,
    I noticed most of these posts are about male narcissists, but in my case, I feel like I’ve been married to a woman with these traits, but I’d like an opinion whether she is or not. She has been married 2x before I met her. She was very charming, very attractive, explained that the prior 2 husbands dumped her for basically their own selfish reasons,, neither of them lasting more than 2 yrs…….in effect she was the victim. We dated for a 3-4 months before we got pregnant…she claimed she ‘knew her body’ and that her rhythm method always worked…umm, not this time! Of course I could have avoided that as well, but hey, when its the heat of the moment….Anyway, she changed immediately after getting pregnant. Started being very rude, controlling, we never slept in the same bed anymore cuz she was so uncomfortable being pregnant. It was a difficult pregnancy no doubt, but she pushed me away further…it was all about her comfort and I was the servant. In retrospect I saw some red flags before then, with her being rude to even her grandmother sometimes, who she said she was very close to….and even to me sometimes when she was hungry or hadnt had enough sleep. Just not a lot of empathy coming from her. So we continue our life together, get married, move to a comfortable house, have 2 more kids….the last one just last summer….but during these years, we never even slept in the same bed, she would roll her eyes if i wanted to talk about our ‘relationship’, I felt like the girl in the relationship because she never wanted to address relationship issues…and when she did it was to complain and describe how I was coming up short in her eyes…it was always my issues that were the problem….she was verbally abusive to me in the sense she would often say “take your head out of your a$$”, or call me a moron, idiot, a-hole, jerk, f-er, whenever was unhappy with me about something, which was usually something very minor in most people’s eyes. To me, she felt like an emotionally bully, to the point where I felt like i was walking on eggshells, and I would worry about asking her something for fear that she would remind me that she told me the answer 3 months ago and I forgot it and therefore I’m an idiot and insensitive because she is not important enough to me to have remembered what was usually a tiny detail. ..

    she was pregnant most of the time (4 or our 6 yrs of marriage), and when she wasn’t we had been so entrenched in our roles and habits we didn’t sleep in the same room and never made time for date nights or any time alone together. She became disdainful of me, criticizing how I chewed food, how I smelled, how i didnt get things done I said I would do…it felt impossible to please her. She isolated me from my family by making it a big deal for them to come over and see the kids….claiming they didnt respect her home in some minor way or another. And she didnt like me taking them to my mothers house because the food she cooked was ‘too salty’….there was always some excuse or issue with them coming over or us going over there. She never wanted to become part of my extended family basically. Meanwhile, her family was always welcome to our house, and we visited them regularly. And the criticisms just never stopped….i didnt make enough money, we didnt live in the right place, nagging, bullying, insults, name calling….it was neverending. Finally, after our 3rd child was born in July last summer, she said she wanted to visit her friends in NYC, so I said sure, as she was finally feeling better after the birth. After her return, within a couple weeks she said she wanted to take another trip….she became even more hostile with me, and finally after a few more weeks demanded we take a break so she can have some ‘space’….i was shocked, and stayed with my mother to let her cool down. She continued being hostile to me, and within a month I discovered that she had been having an affair, which started online probably around the time our 3rd child was born….then her trip to NYC included a visit to see him…..he lives our west and they met together in a hotel room in nyc. When she came back and asked for another trip it was to see him i later found out. She wanted to see her new ‘friend’ in early january, so she booked another trip before I new it was an affair….after I finoud it was in fact an affair I asked her to stop seeing him and go to counseling to reconcile, and if she went on that trip I would file for divorce. She chose to go and I filed. Since then, she went on 2 more trips, the current one lasting 3 weeks, all to meet him on his business trips. We have 3 small children, with our infant of 7m, and a 3 and 5yr old. I am shocked she is willing to leave them for weeks at a time. She thinks nothing of it. She blames me for the divorce, that it was my choice. She doesnt seem to get it. Another face of this: she adopted the jewish religion with husband number 1, then after that didnt work out she stopped practicing that faith. When we had kids, she said she wanted to raise them jewish….even our last child is listed as jewish on his birth certificate. Then when her online affair started within weeks after the birth, she started attending a christian church…..and has been going ever since….I then figure out that the guy she is having the affair is married with 3 kids of his own and is quite religious and active in his small town christian church…even teaches sunday school with his wife! My wife started wearing a cross around her neck that I’m pretty sure he bought for her. Her chameleon tendencies made me think that she is attempting to make herself as appealing as she can to him in hopes he will leave his wife. Anyway, a lot of these traits I read on this site seem to fit with her. We are now in the midst of the divorce — its painful, but also feels overdue as she seemed incapable of connecting with me emotionally, everything is my fault, never good enough, and me having to walk on eggshells around her…abandons what appeared to be her own values to attract a new guy, even so far as leaving her kids for weeks, and sometimes with less than a week’s notice. And she would say her kids are the most important thing her life!. Its crazy.

    • I know this story very well, it sounds incredibly familiar. I’m not a doctor therefore I cannot diagnose. The long and the short of it…LIFE is short. Get out of it, take care of your kids and don’t look back. Whatever the problem is, it’s clear it’s beyond the realm of your expertise and I’m doubtful there is anyone on this earth who could fix it. Work on you, heal you, don’t allow yourself to become jaded and make a personal vow you’ll never lose yourself again. All the best to you. The divorce is likely to be one hell of a battle and it’s possible she’ll never really give you a moment’s peace (they love court and drama)…but maintain control of you. Understand the disorder. Once you do that, they can’t get under your skin and in time you might even find her…’entertaining’. Stand firm in your resolve and don’t cower, more than likely she will look to turn you into an eunuch. Wear a steel reinforced jock strap and be prepared for battle. Get your hands on a copy of the Art of War…it’s not just a book…it’s a mindset.

    • Sounds VERY narcissistic! I’m so sorry you and the kids are going through/have gone through this! PLEASE know this man she is with is NOT behaving as Christian and is probably just as Narcissistic as your ex-wife is! They are both lost and you can only pray they both will repent but remove yourself and your kids from this bad situation. Hang in there!

      • I think you are right, both seem pathetic. I’ve accepted she has made this bed and will now have to lay in it….She’ll unfortunately get her share of custody, but at least the kids will have one household that at least prioritizes them rather than their mother. Just amazes me how some think looking outside the marriage is the answer to their discontent….even her own mother once gave her a pamphlet on anger management. So while I’m not saying our divorce is all her fault, i think its accurate that a major factor was her unwillingness to see her own faults. And I would have never filed if she hadnt betrayed me, and continued to do so after I found out. Too bad for the kids, especially our infant. she is shameless

  4. Dear Betty-
    How do you go from this type of relationship-finding self-stop feeling like a TOTALLY fool for taking it for so long? I’ve lost EVERYTHING! I’m a month away from being homeless because I believed my husband would pick up the slack when I lost my job. What did he do? Blamed me for everything.
    A little history. We been together off/on for over 18 years. He has always blamed me for his failures and I believed him. The funny thing is I was left with the kids yet I finished school (BFA). He has only completed high school. I was told over and over again he will complete school but 20 years later nothing. I completed a degree in a field I hated and wanted to go back…but I needed to wait until he finished. All the times he left me he moved in with his female “friend”.
    He would compare me to several of his “female” friends but it wasn’t in your faces it was little things. I felt like I was going insane..still do. We tried counseling and he had be believe once more telling the therapist and me everything I wanted to hear..the next week I saw a text message to another “friend”. He was telling her how stupid the therapy was and he can’t believe he’s even going…that day I also saw how he was telling her things said in therapy about me…i felt again like a total fool..This shit hurts but i decided IM leaving for good..this is the first time I did this without threats he doesn’t know. I’m making plans to leave the state in the next month. I don’t have a dime. I called homeless abuse shelters in RI and I’m so scared- I’m just happy my children are older one in college ( my husband is very jealous of him) the other 26..the 26 year old and I will find a place near the college student. He has no ideal of the plans I’m making. I just feel like Im drowning. I feel like he has stolen me..I was a teen mother (not his child) and pulled myself up alone- graduated got my own-house, car..now I feel like I have nothing but the funny thing is I really have nothing (material) if I can just have my sanity back.
    I know Im rambling but this is kind of healing

    • Monique…Ramble on…18 years is a long time to be caught up in insanity and it is truly cluster effing when you realize that for 18 years you’ve been abused and yet had no clue…the reason it’s a head trip is because it’s stealth. You feel like you’re going crazy, and you might be just a little touch crazy but under the circumstances it’s NORMAL…don’t panic. This kind of reaction is a very typical response to this type of long term abuse. If you are on Facebook, you can private message me on my page. I hung up my ‘Narc Raiding” hat, in that I do not do this everyday like some others do, there was a time when I did but I did put the word out there that I would offer support to new victims. I am not looking to string anyone along long term, I think the best recoveries are those that are owned by the individual their way without someone telling them what they must think, do and remember (such a turn-off and a tad controlling) HOWEVER…early on because of the type of abuse this is, oftentimes a ‘newbie’ might not have the words to articulate. I encourage everyone to do their best to find a therapist that is skilled in not only DV, but also TRAUMA…this is important because it’s a very specialized area that even many ‘experts’ don’t quite get. I think it’s important for a victim to begin to learn the ‘jargon’ the words to describe what was done. The thing that almost landed me a bi-polar diagnosis (not the worst thing in the world, but not helpful if it’s a misdiagnosis) when instead I was in trauma. I could not articulate and the therapist having no idea of what my baseline was just saw this crazy woman who could only offer: “He had a virtual affair on FB with another woman” my reactions were extreme for such an event…granted, the cheating was part of his repertoire of abuse, but that is a whole other issue that needs dissecting (and I wish to make it clear that I am not of the opinion that all men who cheat are narcissists but in this type of scenario it’s usually part of the bag of tricks)…the page on FB is inactive but it is still there where I can receive private messages. I do have a social network set up, but since it’s a ghost town in there and I wasn’t big on a ‘hard sell” on victims (which is generally what you have to do if you’re into coaching or selling books because it’s also understandably about sales). I’m rarely in there but I have the site parked for anyone who might just land in there. I think there is more material here though. Some have a whole ‘establishment’ set up, but for me, this was more of a personal thing, sort of paying the universe back for sending me a lifeline, so it turned out my “Operation” was meant to be small and intimate, which is okay because I can provide the one on one every so often when someone needs it, and not feel that I have to be obligated to it because my ‘fans’ rely on me…it worked out as a win-win. Although now that clarity has come, I do toy around with the thought of maybe writing something someday – but I run hot and cold on it truth be told. After you heal, the last thing you want is to feel ‘tied’ to this, and that is also another concern I had with going ‘hard core’ on the support thing because I anticipated one day feeling better and perhaps not wanting to make it part of my daily routine but something I could keep a toe in, help someone out but not have the pressure of having to ‘perform’ or drum up some drama to keep my members appeased…please believe me, but it will take some time before you get there, it’s part of the process. We all dream we’ll get a chance to sit next to Oprah and tell the world about Narcissists…it’s a feeling, it passes. Today I try to use my ‘foolishness’ a.k.a. “experience” to save someone a few steps… and I say that in jest, as there was nothing foolish about the experience, and there definitely was no way we could possibly know or suspect what we know today…and there was nothing foolish about us, although early on, we are very hard on ourselves – and if you are being hard on yourself, I want you to stop. NO self-blame, and no shame. As per suggesting any particular ‘chat forum’ I don’t have one in particular I could recommend. I’ve noted at times that even the forums can get a little crazy. If you choose to use one, I suggest using an alias and don’t let your guard down. Take what is useful to you, don’t share details that are personal, approach it the same way you would approach talking to a stranger on the street. I mean that literally. No identifying information, change up the state, you can share your story but don’t look to forge intimate alliances, this is still the interwebs and the person behind the screen may not be all they seem. That’s the best I can offer. Early on we are vulnerable, and we are so happy to encounter people who seem to get it. I don’t suggest you walk around paranoid, everyone needs an outlet, and it might take a few tries before you find a solid community, but just be shrewd about it and most will share…”Where victims roam so do predators,” it comes with the territory. This isn’t limited to the Narc Raiding arena, this is with any interactions online. The link to the FB page is below,again feel free to inbox me, as I am no longer actively posting on the page. I’m even more uptight about people sharing things publicly on FB…they are very inconsiderate when it comes to member privacy. All the best to you. I have a section on top “Resources” when you have time take a look see, in hindsight, while online support, and peer support is helpful in-between during such vulnerable stages, if one is able to, it is probably best to take your time, do your research and try to find as competent therapist as possible…it is a challenging journey, a lot of things may come to the surface, things you did not even realize in general, and when it all comes flying at you, it can be scary because it very much does feel like one is going crazy…moreover, there may be other things going on, and in the care of a professional, once you can articulate and share the challenges and what was done, I think a professional would know better than most peers what type of intervention is best. Today I am wiser, I try to make it as clear as possible the importance of quality and competent care. Many are offering support with other motives in mind, and in some cases victims are re-victimized…if I can help you in any way, please feel free to reach out, but also please do make sure you are doing right by you and also searching for professional help. It sounds to me that right now is the ‘quiet’ before the storm, it’s typical with Trauma…you kinda go on auto-pilot because there is so much stress but once you get away, or there is a lull and a respite, it comes around from the back end and takes you for a whirl…I would rest easier knowing you had good supports in place to help you through that moment of crisis…while I have witnessed many rubber stamp this Trauma, I would not necessarily say I disagree; however, there are various levels of trauma and not everyone will be affected to the same degree or forever as some suggest…for the best possible outcome you’d probably do best with someone who knows Trauma at the ready so that if that is in fact an issue, you can get appropriate treatment. I do have information here on it, I explain it some I believe in some of the tabs above which explain the ‘stages’ one goes through. There are many ups and downs, and it takes time. Be gentle, loving, kind and forgiving with yourself…I look forward to hearing from you.
      All the best,


  5. Betty, I see you have a purple ribbon as you website icon…have you started a Narc Awareness Campaign? Please let me know. You can respond to me directly if you want to. I’d like to share some ideas with you….thanks so much!!!

    • Healing,
      Thank you so much for visiting and for your question. Early on, I had delusions of grandeur that I was gonna save the world and we would all unite as one and create one massive consortium and all the leaders and trailblazers in the cybersphere would lift their voices as one…and then I became aware of shenanigans, and turf wars and smear campaigns and a lot of dysfunctional behavior and so I decided to just keep it simple and instead of writing a book and getting a large following and dreaming someday that Oprah would crown me the next Ilyana Vanzant I elected to keep things simple, make myself available to anyone who might need help but keep it manageable. It is a very natural and normal desire early on to want to shout from the rooftops and leave a global piss stain for all to see, hear, and understand. I suffer from a disease that affects 17 million globally and to this date there is little care to save our lives despite the fact that it is so dreadful there are many cases of suicides. After looking long and hard at the equation, the climate and the players, I think my best ability to make a difference lies in the one to one connection that I have been able to establish with so many. Moreover, feeling a certain level of healing, there comes a time where I think most have to continue on their own personal life path towards those things which fulfill them. This experience is something I know and it becomes something that you don’t ever unlearn – but it is something that I do wonder about the effects daily saturation has on the survivors as well. Even in terms of blogging about it or writing something…it requires you re-visit the dark place so that you can connect to your ‘members’ and those in the process. For my own peace of mind and continued mental health I made a conscious decision to limit how much I even blog about it anymore. There comes a time where there just isn’t much left to say about it anymore. Everything I think or thought, pretty much has been laid out unless of course something else ‘clicks’ then I might weasel in here. I check my messages regularly because I do know people will land here and they may have questions or just need some clarification on something and it’s a personal vow I made to give back to others, just as others helped me…but in terms of wanting to shout from the rooftops, for me that time has come and gone. I will continue to do my part to help anyone, but I think one of the greatest things that put me at risk was this idea of a rescue mission and part of my healing has to do with learning how to set healthy boundaries and maintain a balance. I believe what we expose ourselves to colors the mind. I think that any victim will have a period when they must be exposed to the thousands of stories of suffering and abuse just for the purposes of feeling validated but then I think there is a time when once it clicks the healthy thing to do is to focus on self, help where one can and hand down the torch. What I have found is that some value that torch so much, they can’t let go and that is not for me to judge but it’s also not someone whose advice I would trust if only because they can only demonstrate they know disorder but they can’t really demonstrate how to grow those wings and fly. I am only as good as the example I set and therefore if I say something is possible I have to be that example. That is where that portion of my journey after three years is leading me now. Certainly I would be happy to offer an opinion on something if that is what is requested and/or help in any way I could any endeavor that involves raising awareness; however, for me in terms of my journey I’ve elected to limit how much involvement I have because that is what is healthy for me…and the best thing any survivor can do for themself is learn that self care is perhaps one of the most important things they can do to maintain their healing. I wish you all the best and by all means this is not meant to imply: “Don’t bother me” quite the contrary, I’m simply stating where I am at right now in the process. I am taking inventory, today from a position of not feeling as passionate and destroyed and comparing notes, reviewing things I felt in the past and yes, even revisiting my blogs for the purposes of seeing where my truth is today on the matter as compared to before. I’ve seen a lot, I’ve experienced a lot and I’ve learned a lot…but I’m not so sure there isn’t an easier way…Hopefully I will have something to share at some point. Even my ‘story’ I think I might view with different eyes today so I’m taking a bit of a step back as if I am going to be a help to anyone I have to know where I stand in terms of my personal truth, otherwise I’m just a talking head. Much love to you, peace and light Healing…thank you so much for stopping by…

      • Thanks for the response, Betty. I appreciate your time. I’d be curious to know what changes, if any, you have had to your thinking now that you are further down the road. I keep feeling guiltier myself…like I could have done or been ‘more’ to have somehow kept him. To hear that his new girlfriend ‘adores’ him and that ‘she just knows how’ has really gotten to me. I feel like such a failure instead of getting better. I wonder if I ever will get better. My name says ‘Healing’ but I’m not sure that I am actually healing. I do wish that there was an awareness campaign because then people like him would be called out and it wouldn’t be so easy for them to hide and then maybe, just maybe, they’d be forced to work on themselves and put their families back together. LOL…lalalala…and then we all skip off down candycane lane. Ugh. Wish I wasn’t such a dreamer.

      • I understand the challenges Healing, it’s not easy…I will have to think about it some to come to a final analysis, but while one might ‘know’ what NPD is, cognitively it takes time to really absorb it…there really is nothing more you could have done to make him stay, or change…people are toasters to them. Remember how you were taken early on? How you would never imagine this is where you’d be? That’s where she is right now, that’s all…and when you can view it that way then you don’t even really think about the OW as much…in fact in a way you pity her…I have a lot of thoughts in mind…peer support is a slippery slope because it’s not quite right to meet people online you don’t know and just start telling them “XYZ” so I will share my observations in self and many others…(not all)…it seems there are certain things which made us vulnerable. Now some will tout anyone can get taken and I believe that is true also, but I also think that there are a majority of victims who also have similar traits. The attraction for them was ‘strictly business’ so to speak, but that is not the same for a victim, I believe in some cases there is a draw from the victim as well, some kind of repetition compulsion playing out. We did hear them when they revealed themselves early on…the red flags…but we ignored them. Why? AND if we are going to argue that it’s rubbish then I’m certain they too get rejected not everyone falls for a narc…so if that’s the case what was different about the people who off the bat said NO? Love fumes are hypnotic so is charm and flattery but they are red flags…it could be purely lack of knowing any better…I only learned that through the experience and yes, society molds us to be vulnerable to this bullcrap – but at the same time most of them present as ‘victims’ to lure you. Honestly, when you have your head together one might wish to help someone but the level of victim hood with these types is never ending…so sometimes and I’ll just be blunt…somehow I thought I could with my ‘healing’ love cure the boo-boos…BULLSHIT that was my ego talking…and so…the OW…she has an ego too…she’s the replacement…we’re all replacement parts to them Healing…but the good thing, once we are aware we have all the power in the world to draw the line…the rest is ‘process’. Hugs.

  6. Betty, I will answer your response in more detail later. I need to get some work done first but let me throw this out there. All those stories about how horrible her dad was and how hard her life was growing up, could they possibly be ” the trap” stories to make a empath like me ” feel sorry for her” So many times i let stuff slide when I should have put up 10 ft tall boundaries because she had such a “horrible dad and childhood”

    A little bit more about the dad and how I believe he is the main puppet master behind it all, although as my friend said, she has a brain.

    I have mentioned that I am in a family business. I have mentioned that the dad brought up getting the stock and would never let it go. She would say ” were not using my dad’s money to pay off your brothers and sisters” She knew I had addressed the issue with my parents and they had taken care of that point in their wills. Then when business got bad she would say ” were not using my dad’s money to fund your parents retirement” Where the heck did that come from?” Those were all words spoken by him through her to me!

    More on freeky dad later. And I know, I need to focus on me and where I need to go from here. Also, I read some stories where some folks want to get back with their ex’s and that is not me. The mask has been ripped off and I sure as heck don’t like what I see. One of my main issues is ” I want my money back” Its the same story for everyone. I gave and gave and gave and she took and took and took. When I stopped giving she was gone.

  7. Dear Betty, I am married to a narcissist. His mother and his grandmother are also narcissistic. I want to add a few things that you may not know of. One of the form of gaslighting my mother-in-law constantly does to me is hiding my jewelery. We live in same house with the in-laws and I don’t have a safebox because they wouldn’t give me my own room(it is a long story). So my MIL together with her mother who lives with us as well hide me jewelery. They also hide my clothes and accessories all the time. They usually keep my stuff with them for a few months and then they ‘find it’ and give it back to me. This really affected my trust in myself. Although I understand their behaviour now it was traumatic when it occured.
    My MIL likes to create tensions between me and her people(whoever in oh ner side): she almost never directly speaks negatively to me but she always finds someone to get her message across to me.
    The entire situation is very disturbing to me. I have been married for 5 years but I am already destroyed. I can’t enjoy anything. I almost never laugh. I lost my trust and love for people( I used to be very gentle and kind to people- well, I am not anymore). I am not scared of the future but I feel like there is nothing to look forward to. I feel that my life ended. And my family doesn’t understand that I can’t simply get over it. There is something about the narcissistic abuse which I can’t quite put my finger on that kills your motivation, your drive, kills your spirit. Although I understand that ‘I am right, they are wrong’ I can’t live my life fully when I am with them… I can’t live at all. My life is on hold. It is not life it is surviving day by day. I assosiate life with a narcissist with a life of a nazi prisoner in Hitler’s Germany. You habe to create your own reality in your head to keep going. You have to ignore the abuse in order to survive. I have small kids and I constantly worry about what example we are setting for them. Sometimes I notice that my 4-year old tries to fix my problems whenever he sees me hurt and it is so sad to me! Because I understand that this is the effect of the narcissistic relationship on kids: narcissist make his kids responsible for fixing him! I know that my MIL abuses my kids psychologically and I don’t know what to do because kids love their grandmother.
    I am very grateful that you created this blog and that you take time to listen to people who are suffering. I feel so inadequare right now. I know I am not a bad person but the tragedy is that no one can understand what I am going through being the only healthy adult in a very very sick family… I feel that I somehow attracted this man into my life and I feel that there must be something in me that will never let me have a healthy relationship with men. This thought makes me very sad… I apologise for any mistakes because English is not me mothertongue. Thanks for letting me share this.
    And my question is: with all the knowledge I have, with the understanding of the NPD why is it so difficult to heal?

    • Anna,
      The honest truth without candy coating…for as long as you are surrounded by disorder you will not be able to heal. You will continue to sink into a deeper and deeper depression until you are a shell of yourself. While I understand the average person cannot just pack a bag and leave, I would suggest for your own mental health, physical health and well being and especially for the sake of the mental health of your children, you begin to plan an exit strategy, and not let on until you are safely set up elsewhere. Find a domestic violence organization, and/or reputable counseling. Begin to set up a support system comprised of people whom you can trust 1000 percent. This is not going to be an easy journey but if you continue to live under these conditions you will slowly erode into the walking dead yourself. If you don’t have the strength to do it right now for you, let the lioness that is mother take over and do it for your children. Find appropriate channels of professional help Anna. Again, I understand this is all a process, but you must garner the strength to get out of there. Nothing will change and you will end up depleted, and perhaps rendered insane and I am not saying this in jest…my relationship lasted four years, the man never hit me or blatantly verbally abused me and I was rendered mute and near psychotic at the tail end of it…GET OUT. Your kids need you. You are not crazy, to this day I believe he stole my dustpan. Yes, picture me sharing that in a therapist’s office. Follow me? Save yourself, your health and your sanity…feel free to reach out anytime.
      Warm regards,



  8. Betty, if you don’t mind, may I dump a lot of my story right here on this site. It think it is a unique story because it involves more than one player, primarily my ex N wife and her supper narc dad. I met the ex on her 21st birthday and were married 2.5 years later. Our marriage lasted an official 23.5 years but really it was over a long time ago.

    First, my background. My childhood was the best Private Schools, Country Clubs, me and my brothers were popular at school, captain of the football team etc. I have an MBA which is useless to me right now I am an empathetic emotionally charge male and 53. The one big and important trauma that happened in my childhood was that my parents had lost all of their money by the time I graduated HS. That really took a big hit on my self esteem. My parents are still married after 60 years I have never heard them raise their voices at each other. My biggest weakness is that I am a giver. I don’t know if I was born that way or if I am just trying to do God’s will. I began studying the bible when I was 13, independently just because I wanted to. Jesus says if someone takes you coat, give them your other garments as well. He also said the greatest among you will serve And then my mom would read “the little red hen” story to us. After dinners some times she would say “who will help the little red hen” meaning clean up the kitchen. My brothers and sister wouldn’t but I always did. Because my parents had lost their money they also lost their housekeeper. So I would clean the house as well, and it was a big house. It is just my nature to want to help people and because of that I tend to be taken advantage of quite often.

    Now about the ex. I can only relate the story as she and her other family described it. She never talks about her childhood because it was horrible. Her parents divorced when she was 8 and she had sisters at the time that were 5 and 2. When I asked her what it was like when her parents divorced she said she was happy because all the yelling stopped. More on the dad later but when the divorce happened the dad moved to California and we are in Texas. Within 18 months the mom remarried. The mom and new husband sold their house and moved to a completely different neighborhood. So when my ex turned 10 she left the only safe place she knew, her school and friends. She used to tell me how hard it was because she was just entering middle school which is awkward for ALL kids under the best of circumstances. She did not go into much detail but apparently there was a lot of screaming and dysfunction with the step dad as well. The dad would come into town once a month where he would stay with his parents and the girls would see him there. He was a rager and an over-cusser so you didn’t want to get on “dads” bad side. I’ve seen those rages and they ain’t pretty. my ex was not poplar and was not particularly pleased with her body type and size. Although the dad was rich the girls had to work if they wanted to buy any new cloths.

    So, Betty, just based on our two short backgrounds can you predict what will happen next. The giving, pleasing, helpful man meets poor little girl who had a terrible childhood Red Flag # 1 happened in the first 3 months of our dating. She told me ” I hate my dad, he is the worst father ever” She meant it and she was and is right. That’s when I should have run for the hills because this isn’t just someone that doesn’t like their dad, she Hated him and said he is the worst ever. No father daughter bonding going on there.

    Now lets talk about dear ol dad. He was a very very successful salesman. Now he is worth over 10 mil with a 5 mil dol house in a Ski Town in Colorado and a 1mil house on a local lake in texas. Its important for me to note that when I met and married my ex the dad was not rich yet. He made a lot of money but he wasn’t rich. Growing up my ex described how he wouldn’t let the mom serve the girls dinner until he got home, which was always late. If the monthly bills were going to be $1000 he would give the mom $800 so there would never be any left over. He bragged about spending $50,000 a year on his race car when the mom bought cloths for the girls at second hand stores. He would work on his car 4 days a week including all day sat and sun. My ex described the fights over money as she could remember as a little girl. He would start the fight and after the yelling would crawl up in bed with my ex. Nothing weird was going on. I just tell that story because that is exactly what my ex did. The dad never went to a single event that his daughters participated in. No school play, no team sport. Nothing My ex described how she had to go with her grandfather to a indian princess meeting when all the other girls had their dads with them and how much that hurt her.

    Little did I know, but my ex was the GOLDEN CHILD. She had learned how to act to keep the dad’s rages at bay and also how to squeeze what few morsels of money out of him he was willing to let go of. She even told me one time, my sisters don’t know how to manipulate dad like I do and that’s why I get more than they do.

    The last member of the cast of this play, is my daughter. She is 17, never made less than an A in any class and she takes all Honors and AP courses I read to her every night growing up until she could read faster than me. She is highly respected at her school by both peers and teachers. She has never been in trouble for anything. She is a strong Believer and has been for a very long time. Fortunately for me she has a strong network of friends and Christian Youth group leaders that I have encouraged her to share her story and concerns with. About 3 years ago after a particularly hurtful thing her mom did to me I told her :” I don’t know how much more I can take” and her response was ” I don’t know how you’ve put up with it this long daddy, I’m going with you, you raised me”

    So our cast includes two father daughter teams. Team A would be me and my daughter who are both Believers in Christ.

    Team B would be my ex and her dad, neither of which are believers in anything but money, power, and control.

    • Betty,

      I read your link to Invalidation listed under another post. If lack of empathy is the cornerstone of the narc core then invalidation is the cornerstone of the victim

      And I would venture to say that Invalidation and devaluation are the two sides to the same coin. Devaluation creates a “negative feeling” in our hearts and invalidation denies or compounds the “negative feeling or emotion” that is already there.

      Both send the same exact message. “You don’t matter” ” I don’t care about you” It would be so much easier if the narc would just come right and say ” I don’t care about you and you don’t matter” That way we could just say ” All righty then, if that’s the way you feel lets get divorced, or not be friends or whatever. This is what is so insidious about the hole process. The long term consistent message that you don’t matter to them. But wait, the next time you see them they say they love you, make you dinner and then screw your brains out. And then the next week or month or 3 months later it happens again.

      I even told my marriage counselor about this. We would be at each other’s throats for a week, she trying to invalidate me and me trying to say ” I am valuable”, and she saying ” no your not” Then, like two prized fighters who go back to their corners, we would take the gloves off and screw each others brains out for two hours. Rinse, Repeat, Rinse, Repeat. This went on for years.

      As I tell my story you will see the pattern of invalidation and devaluation as it occurred over a long period of time. But first some “current” invalidation stories, or shall I call them crimes against my daughter.

      Just as the ex used great sex as the hook that kept me engaged my ex can do incredibly nice things for my daughter. Big birthday parties, super nice cloths, expensive trips and she is an amazing cook and entertainer. So there is a lot that can be “withheld” for non compliance.

      Easter has always been a very big deal in my ex’s family in a non secular way. She has always make a big basket of goodies to open including new swim suits, CDs, dVDs cloths etc. Naturally my daughter looks forward to it. My daughter and I had gone to church and spent the afternoon together. She and her mom had a plan to meet between 4 and 6 and spend a couple hours together. Daughter calls mom, mom says she is at a party and will call later. The call never came and my daughter cried in my arms for three hours that night.

      Mothers day rolls around. Its my week with the daughter but she tells me she is going to naturally spend the day with her mom. They will meet for lunch and then spend the rest of the day together and she will even stay the night. I’m cool with that. Before she leaves I give her a big hug and tell her ” If for some reason you find yourself alone, your uncle is having a mom’s day dinner if you want to come” I get the call at 4 that afternoon. ” Dad, is that offer still good”

      Fast forward a couple months, My daughter and her mom had been planning a trip to Oklahoma where my daughter would be playing in a volleyball tournament since May. Something better came up and she asked my daughter if it would OK if she didn’t go. My daughter told her ” No mom, its not OK, we have been planning this trip for months” The moms response was ” to bad call dad” She did, and I went and had a blast.

      Over Thanksgiving the Mom goes to Hawaii with her new boyfriend. My daughter decided on her own to raise money for a mission church in Nicaragua and so she baked 88 dozen cookies (that is a lot of cookies) at $10 a dozen and raised $780 for the church. We did all the baking at my place but cookie pick up was going to be at her moms. My daughter goes to her moms to hand out the cookies but where is mom? She finally shows up about 3:30 changes into her yoga cloths and leaves.

      I wrote the mom an email after the Easter thing and reminded her of the time when her dad was not there for the indian pricess meeting. I told her the message you are sending to your daughter is ” You don’t matter, you are not important, I have more important things to do” the same message your dad sent to you when you were a kid.

      I was trying to see if there was any empathy at all in her heart because she had told me how much that had hurt her when she was young. Betty, I am sorry to report but the well is dry.

      Now, my question for you is; narc or just asshole.

      • It’s so very hard to tell Fellow survivor. I am aware that it’s so easy to see selfish self centered behavior as NPD…but I have a friend who actually did get licensed in mental health who shared a story…she mentioned how each week her professor would provide handouts with lists of traits whiting out the diagnois then ask students to share whether or not they felt they were afflicted. During the last session the diagnosis was “Retarded” and blindly without knowing the exact affliction simply looking at the traits she reported at least 75 percent of the class raised their hand in agreement they felt a majority of the traits applied. I feel it is the same with cyber ‘relationship’ guru’s especially in the pathological disorder arena. I would say whether we’re talking narc or asshole however, I’m not sure it matters. If it is hurtful and toxic that is really all one needs to know. The truth is, even normal people have traits of NPD to various degrees, some more than others. The latter just as difficult to deal with, but in the grander scheme of things, either way whether they can be ‘cured’ or not isn’t even the issue because the individual has to recognize there is a problem and want to change it…that has to come from them. The only power WE have in either case is how we respond to it. Sometimes if someone was abused themselves, it is very hard to see the patterns. All kinds of defense mechanisms kick in…developing NPD is perhaps one possible defense mechanism, but I surmise regardless of the truth of this woman’s alleged affliction the bottom line still rests with us. I wonder why you ask: “Narc or just asshole” but a part of me thinks I know that it is more of a seeking of validation that the behavior is not right. I can validate that but today I am hesitant to slap a label on anyone. I can however recognize traits and know when something is bad news. It sounds like bad news…whether this individual is genuinely NPD or not…one of the things that took me a long time to grasp was this whole “detaching with love” concept…Love? After all the B.S. I went through? How!?…and I am not sure I’d call it love…but when I got far enough away I was able to get to compassion…I recognized that whatever was haunting this individual really had nothing to do with me personally even if I was on the receiving end of their abuse. I was able to see how trapped they were in whatever disorder they have…whether they are/were an extreme asshole or a genuine narc…the traits are there and they are solid…but I learned to detach from it, and I also realized I was really very angry at myself because I was being very hard on myself, because I felt I should have somehow known better…it was a very convoluted journey so many different layers…I spent a long time focusing on them and all they did wrong…and NO I don’t think I did anything really wrong…I even see that today. This was not a normal relationship. I know some say in a healthy breakup both parties over time even in the absence of the other take inventory…and yes, I took inventory but this was an abuse situation where I was so manipulated I was so hell bent on being perfect, I still can’t find anything wrong that I did other than to neglect and fail to stand up and defend my needs until the very end when it was already a ‘done deal’…It’s gonna take time Fellow Survivor…in the meantime, don’t be hard on yourself…it’s an experience and it’s one that for me did bring a lot of personal clarity…I think in hindsight the whole thing has got to do with what you elect to do with the experience. I won’t B.S. you and tell you it will be rainbows and butterflies but it can shake you in certain ways to where you begin a quest to discover what is real and what isn’t and you begin to analyze life and what the whole thing means…I feel like I’m babbling here…short and sweet…my mistake and it was a ‘learning curve’ was to get caught up on forums bashing the ex…and he certainly did deserve the bashing and we all need a place to get it out initially, whether it’s been months or years we’ve been in the relationship when it first clicks, it takes time to process it, and so we need a place to call the offenders every dirty rotten scoundrel…but I’ve also noticed that doing so can also become in a sense addicting because as we do that, we are not focusing on ourselves, we’re still focusing on them…and I’d go into these forums and I’d witness someone telling their story and right way…”Oh yes! He/She is a narc!…this is what you have to do”…sometimes they wanted money for the advice, other times you could download a free e-book…but it felt good hearing I was right and he was wrong…but keep in mind, it’s been three years for me now, I see things differently, I don’t have the same passion I did because time and work have taken place Fellow Survivor. Three years ago I’d be right here cutting her up with you but my lens has changed some…it’s something I know like my left hand, and something I do my best to try to help others with in terms of avoiding the pitfalls. Where you are Fellow Survivor, you will need to get it out…but let me ask you and it is not about answering a question with a question…what do your insides say to you? Is she a narc or just an asshole? When was the first sign of it? Can you remember? What was it that made you stay after the first time and each time after it? These questions ARE NOT TO PLACE BLAME ON YOU or invalidate you…but as best I can try to direct YOU where you need to look. My theory (because theories are NOT facts) is that there was something in us (NOT HAVING TO DO WITH LIKING ABUSE) that led us to put up with behavior that was insensitive, unkind and abusive. There was something inside of us that was lacking in our own love for self, or some message somewhere that was encoded improperly that love says you play the matyr, we believed in unconditional love or some ideal that was not healthy and that is not OUR FAULT because society attaches a lot of flowers around a lot of disordered behavior and condones it and supports it. I think for us part of the work is setting the record and our own personal messages straight and it’s hard work cause we do some serious battle with self in this process…but it’s okay Fellow Survivor, all of it. In the end, I have been able to reconcile it as an experience…the hardest job for me was forgiving myself. Sending light and love your way. I am here anytime and I hope my response does not leave you feeling judged. I do not have all the answers but I’ve gotten to a place of peace and if in some way I can help someone else get there I am more than willing to lend a hand, but I also recognize sometimes one size does not fit all…my best bestest advice in your traveling this journey…take what applies and leave the rest.

      • Betty, thank you for your response. It is not necessary to have an official label associated with my ex’s behavior because it just really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that she made choices that she knew would hurt me and she has made choices that she knew what hurt our daughter. My job now is to educate my daughter to protect her heart from the hurtful behavior. I have talked to my daughter about the concept of parental alienation and to let her know that if I ever cross that line to tell me. Her mom has so much to offer her that I can’t so I don’t want her to miss those opportunities.

        In our marriage we always spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with my ex’s mom. So naturally, my daughter spent Christmas Eve with me. (The ex’s house is 10 minutes from mine for perspective). (This week is my official week to have my daughter by the way) About 2 weeks ago I asked my daughter how she was going to handle Christmas Eve and she didn’t know yet. I told her I would love if you stayed with me but I will honor your choice. When the mom had the conversation it was a little different. Remember, my daughter is 17.5 years old with a maturity of any 30 yr old person you know. The mom said ” Its in the divorce mediation that you have to stay with me. LOL My daughter shared that with me. I told her it might be better just to stay with mom, its not worth the grief. So, last night we go to my parents, have Christmas Eve dinner and presents with my family and then come home. We play with the cat and the catnip ball for an hour, then I hold her in my arms on the sofa for a while. Its past midnight by then and she really needs to go. So I say, ” sweetheart, I know its hard to say you need to go, but its getting late. She told me ” dad, its not hard saying I need to go, its just that I don’t want to”

        The divorce was official June 2013. The ex told me she was divorcing me Dec 21st 2012. I moved out at the end of January 2013. The last time we were intimate with each other was Sept 2012. The story will unfold in another message but what she did to me demanded an apology and without it I could not touch her again.

        In your response to my being a believer in Jesus, I just have been for a long time. I have shared that gift with my daughter and it is one of the things that binds us together, but my ex just had no interest. There are some things that you just can’t do if you are a believer. And serving one an other with a happy humble heart is something I have always done.

        When you reference Anger, Sadness, and Resentment I have all those emotions. Anger and Resentment are the strongest of the the 3. I am not really Sad but I am still super pissed of and I resent like hell how she repaid my kindness and giving nature. When I read the post today, Dec 25th that was me. I am the empath which means I feel emotions with an incredible intensity, both good and bad.

        And yes, Closure is what I need and I am working towards that goal. For me closure means accepting the fact that I married a girl that grew up in a fucked up home with a dad that left her when she was young and came back to her after everyone else in his life abandoned him. He planted the seeds in her heart that money and gifts represent love and when it was time he used that conditioning to turn her away from me back towards himself. Closure means accepting I did everything I could to protect her and save the marriage but that was not his/her objective. Closure for me means I did everything right when raising my daughter to give her the tools not to be sucked into the vortex that is the dad’s deep dark hole of destruction, deceit and lies. Closure for me means the script for this play was written a long time ago and I was not willing to lay down my values and play the part assigned to me as written. Closure for me means accepting the fact that there is a trail of broken lives and relationships going back decades for both the dad and ex and I was just one more casualty and it was not my fault. Understanding that what started out as a fairy-tale marriage was all part of the Narc and Psychopath plan. I was idolized, cherished, and then slowly devalued over 10 years and finally discarded when I finally put my foot down and said ” NO MORE”

        Yes Betty, people change and grow and mature but at our core we are who we are who we are. When my ex was young she got her inspiration from her grandparents. She is a great cook because of all the time spent with the grandmothers. All the characteristics she saw in her dad while she was young were negative and she wanted no part of that. The grandparents were kind, generous, religious and just nice people. The dad was and still is stingy, selfish and just started going to church in his 70s because the time draws near and he is afraid.

        A huge factor at play here is that a little girls want their daddy’s love. It is an undeniable truth. Children also get their identities from their fathers and in this case this “teaching” did not happen until 10 years after we were married when she was in her mid 30s. As mentioned earlier, at first she mirrored me because she wanted me to be happy with her. then she mirrored her dad because she wanted him to be happy with her. The meanest thing I could ever say to her was “you are just like your dad”. She hated that. Then she would say ” you are just like your dad too” And I would be like, ” so what, he has been married to mom for almost 60 years and all his kids love him despite his shortcomings”

        In my next post I will share more of the story where she is the main character but you asked if there was anything that was brewing between us. No not really. At this time we were a happy family of THREE. But this is what happened. After the 2nd wife was divorced my ex became the surrogate wife to the dad. She helped decorate his house, plan his vacations, and was in charge of planning parties for him in CO. She would make money for these activities and I helped her anyway I could. She was also engaging in other activities that made large sums of money which I never saw. Remember this guy was an expert in hiding money from his wives and ex wives. I listened to him brag about it all the time. So this is what they would do, and these were all his ideas. My ex would collect her proceeds, which I never saw, then deposit them in his bank accounts, then he would wright her a check as a “gift from dad to daughter” Gifts are not community property. He taught her how to lie to me. One time she called me when I was back at home and she was in CO and said ” I am going to open an account with just my name on it and you wont know how much is there and it will just be mine” I remember thinking, ” where the hell did this come from” That was all dad’s idea.

        And yes Betty, the stage I am at in recovery is anger at myself for letting this go on so long, for being so weak and broken, and letting her push me around. When we first started marriage counseling within 2 meeting the counselor to me to go get the book ” Boundaries in Marriage” He clearly saw that I let her walk all over me because i expected the same type of self control that I used from her. I did not understand the concept at the time.

        Yes Betty, there was an event, a “narcissistic injury” if you will that did change everything, but if finally standing up for yourself causes an injury its not my damn fault. I will go into more detail in another post.

        The bottom line for me is getting to the point of saying and believing in my heart, ” Fuck that Bitch”. I gave all that I have to give and it wasn’t enough and as they say, it will never be enough. It was only after the conversation we had where I told her ” you are just using me” and she said ” Yes, I am ” That is when it really hit home. I will go into more detail later, but she would go to CO, make an extra $10K, wash the money through her dad’s bank so it was not ours but “hers”. I would stay home, take care of the yard, pay the bills, take care of the animals, and be alone. She would also have household project for me to do, like replace the fence, paint the fence, its was always something. At this point I told her I will pay the bills and take care of the animals, but screw watering the yard and flowers. So I just let everything die.

        She knew my moral code of complete sexual faithfulness and so that was never a concern of hers when she was gone. I told my counselor a couple weeks ago it probably would have worked out better if I just had an affair. That way, I would look forward to her leaving, she would pick up on that vibe, and maybe stick around to protect her property. He agreed.

      • Dear Fellow Survivor,
        Wordpress is a nightmare for sorting out questions and answers…I’m in the process of getting my ‘bootleg’ social network functioning again and will forward the link to you underneath this message. As I explained, I have cognitive challenges so at times it is difficult and I can’t enlarge as much as I’d like to see clearly and WordPress has all these lil controls so for now I am going to cut and paste so that I can address the things as best I can…it’s also difficult for anyone else seeking insight to follow I presume, this thread while helpful I wish were set up more like a ‘forum’ for easier access. That is what was attractive to me on the Social Network…I digress…

        In your note you shared a few things…

        And, please do not feel you need to convince me of anything, I get you are venting and VENT you should!…Whether one has been with these individuals 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, years or decades, we all come out of this cluster EFFED!…so this is natural and normal and it takes time for us to get to a place of white noise when it comes to them…I’m sending you a hug.

        So…you said…

        “Betty, thank you for your response. It is not necessary to have an official label associated with my ex’s behavior because it just really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that she made choices that she knew would hurt me and she has made choices that she knew what hurt our daughter.

        This is where I think a ‘label’ is helpful, and again not from a place of suggesting one feel sympathy, empathy, compassion whatever but in order to shatter the cognitive dissonance. IF we understand the label – and in this case we’re going with NPD…then while there are not a ton of studies out there, we do know that it’s cousin the psychopaths demonstrate actual biological DAMAGE to the brain…there are pictures that show this damage. BRAIN DAMAGE…now it seems you ARE very well versed on NPD, I don’t have to explain the details, and while I can’t present a picture of an NPD brain, I am not suggesting we view NPD folks as victims of circumstances who morphed into these monsters one of two ways: Abuse or Overindulgence…instead I’m just asking to take a step back and fully understand the TRAITS on the spectrum. It is ‘SAID’ or “HYPOTHESIZED” that some on the spectrum do what they do for sport, others due to extreme fear of abandonment and we could go on ad-nauseum…but at the root I think the best umbrella term (except for maybe borderlines) is that we’re dealing with CERTIFIABLY CRAZY…or what they used to call “MORALLY INSANE”…with a side dish of manipulation amongst other tools in the tool box to help them execute and sprinkle their special brand of tricks. So stepping outside of that…can we really say someone is ‘choosing’ to do something…if by definition they are labeled “Certifiably Crazy” and/or “Morally Insane”? I am not asking this so that your heart can soften…to the contrary I’m asking this more of a bit of ice water to the face…and I’m doing this because I have sat on my side of the screen for a very long time fluctuating between rage and a lesser urge to want to rip his head off and shit down his neck. I really do understand where you are coming from, and I have felt every range of emotion one could possibly describe that we have words for…and everything in between. I don’t even expect you to say anything to this, I just want to plant a seed, one that maybe six months a year down the road you might say…it just doesn’t matter, the witch is CRAZY! and when these thoughts resurface, you won’t feel the same things to the extent you’re feeling now…it’s a process and given the time you spent in this relationship and what has transpired, it’s still in a way early in the process even though it is also clear you have processed much.

        You then share:

        My job now is to educate my daughter to protect her heart from the hurtful behavior. I have talked to my daughter about the concept of parental alienation and to let her know that if I ever cross that line to tell me. Her mom has so much to offer her that I can’t so I don’t want her to miss those opportunities.

        AND I agree that it’s a fine line and hard to walk when trying to educate and at the same time NOT engage in behaviors that fall into that grey “Alienation” area…but I do wonder…if we are of the opinion that Mom is afflicted and Mom can’t love (going by what you share, not my assessment) then what exactly does Mom have to offer? What will Mom be modeling? How to manipulate? What does your daughter feel about this whole thing? Is she on the fence? I would presume this whole situation is very trying for her and naturally she is in the middle but at 17 she’s at the age of reasoning…what is your daughter’s bottom line with regard to the relationship between her and her mom? Until she too is devalued and discarded might not be much you can do other than grin and bear it and be at the ready to patch her up should the possible inevitable happen.

        You than share:

        In our marriage we always spent Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with my ex’s mom. So naturally, my daughter spent Christmas Eve with me. (The ex’s house is 10 minutes from mine for perspective). (This week is my official week to have my daughter by the way) About 2 weeks ago I asked my daughter how she was going to handle Christmas Eve and she didn’t know yet. I told her I would love if you stayed with me but I will honor your choice. When the mom had the conversation it was a little different. Remember, my daughter is 17.5 years old with a maturity of any 30 yr old person you know. The mom said ” Its in the divorce mediation that you have to stay with me. LOL My daughter shared that with me. I told her it might be better just to stay with mom, its not worth the grief.

        If your daughter did not/does not want to spend time with her mother at any time, she should have that choice and if there is an issue with this I believe it is something that the courts given her age might take into consideration. If you are concerned, given she is still legally a minor, one suggestion if you haven’t tried it already might be to have your daughter see a counselor independently, a licensed one whose testimony or statement would be regarded and respected in the courts (translation: One licensed by the state, not a spiritual counselor and that is not to downplay a spiritual counselor’s value but rather what kind of testimony would pack the strongest punch if it came down to it)…

        You shared that your daughter told you ” dad, its not hard saying I need to go, its just that I don’t want to”…so for that moment at least, your daughter did not want to go but feels forced to do so…perhaps having a talk at some point about how she wishes to handle things moving forward might alleviate some of the stress. This is not alienation but rather honoring your daughters wishes. Setting her up with a counselor absolves you of any interference…once your daughter has taken a bit of a journey in the decision making process then you can both rest easy it’s a decision your daughter has owned. Nothing has to be etched in stone but in the interests of protecting her, I am not sure if you can do that without getting egg on your face and possibly charged with some form of alienation which is why perhaps a talk as neutral as possible noting that she did not want to go and that you don’t want her to feel forced to do anything she doesn’t want to do, you are willing to take the journey with her but it will be a process…then you can lay out the suggestion she see a therapist and not because there is anything wrong with her but rather you want to make sure that she’s good with however she chooses to handle things without feeling any guilt, shame or that she’s in the middle or picking sides and that someone neutral might be best to help her along this path…once she’s sorted it out you’ll be there to help her take whatever steps are necessary…the other way it seems both of you will in some way still be subjected to the whims of your ex if only because she will at any given moment flash that document which gives her the legal right to control…

        You said:
        And yes, Closure is what I need and I am working towards that goal. For me closure means accepting the fact that I married a girl that grew up in a fucked up home with a dad that left her when she was young and came back to her after everyone else in his life abandoned him. He planted the seeds in her heart that money and gifts represent love and when it was time he used that conditioning to turn her away from me back towards himself. Closure means accepting I did everything I could to protect her and save the marriage but that was not his/her objective. Closure for me means I did everything right when raising my daughter to give her the tools not to be sucked into the vortex that is the dad’s deep dark hole of destruction, deceit and lies. Closure for me means the script for this play was written a long time ago and I was not willing to lay down my values and play the part assigned to me as written. Closure for me means accepting the fact that there is a trail of broken lives and relationships going back decades for both the dad and ex and I was just one more casualty and it was not my fault. Understanding that what started out as a fairy-tale marriage was all part of the Narc and Psychopath plan. I was idolized, cherished, and then slowly devalued over 10 years and finally discarded when I finally put my foot down and said ” NO MORE”

        Closure for me is: I hooked up with somebody fucked up. ENDOFSENTENCE…but it takes time…the extra keeps the cycle going…too many other parts to reconcile…the dad, the circumstances, the manipulations, the actions…narrowing it down…FUCKED UP PERSON…I could fit a rubber stamp on that…the extra’s in the scene…”Fucking assholes”…and yes there were a myriad of details and I spent a lot of time pissed at them too…”FUCKEDUPFAMILY” Rubber Stamp…

        See the thing is…with all you are noting in the dynamics with HER…in a way, while it is still ‘processing’ for you to put all the pieces together…and I get that, and you will do this for a while…cause most of us, myself included do this…in a way…you are still putting the pieces together about HER and HER life when in reality…she already did the deed, she’s already devalued, discarded and divorced you…it really is right now about YOU…but it will take time to come face to face with you…it’s easier to look at them cause then we come around to that other place: “I was so fecking STUPID! How could I fall for this SHYTE! How did I not see this coming!!!???” and we ALL go there…but it’s not really the truth…we were not stupid, we’re not of that ilk so how could we identify it? How would we know? We know who we are and we believe there is good in people, so how on earth would we ever suspect?…

        You expressed:
        At this time we were a happy family of THREE.

        I am not sure if you were a happy family or if that was part of the illusion…something you wanted…something we all wanted…I mean is it really happy with someone who is not authentic? Who is wearing a mask? Who can manipulate? I’ve even wondered if it’s true that I could say I loved him when the truth is he was sucking me dry, it was all an act, he needed to feed off of me, that isn’t love that’s called an invasion…

        You share…“The stage I am at in recovery is anger at myself for letting this go on so long, for being so weak and broken, and letting her push me around.”

        There is no shame in loving even if sadly we learn we were dealing with frauds…forgive yourself, you acted with integrity and gave the benefit of the doubt. There is no crime in that…

        You said:
        Yes Betty, there was an event, a “narcissistic injury” if you will that did change everything, but if finally standing up for yourself causes an injury its not my damn fault. I will go into more detail in another post.

        Most narcs send out the flying monkeys when they feel they are being challenged, ignored or abandoned in some way…it doesn’t have to be the reality, just what they FEEL…and this is usually when the D&D begins, but what other choice did you have? You didn’t have a choice unless you find being a doormat is ‘sexy’…

        You also said:
        The bottom line for me is getting to the point of saying and believing in my heart, ” Fuck that Bitch”. I gave all that I have to give and it wasn’t enough and as they say, it will never be enough.

        I disagree, you know why? “Fuck that bitch” still has a bit of passion…I think “Who? What?” in reference to her would be more like it…but I do know it’s gonna take time…

        You continued…
        It was only after the conversation we had where I told her ” you are just using me” and she said ” Yes, I am ” That is when it really hit home.

        It is so strange how revelations come out during the very early stages of the D&D and we actually blurt out some very real truths and yet the still in a way evade our consciousness until it starts to get really ugly. I remember asking him before I even really owned the term: “Are you fucking trying to gaslight me!” I really did not even know from where that came from…at times it’s like some other entity took over and I was screaming things left and right, terms I would only really learn the meaning of once I began my search…

        As per letting the flowers die…very symbolic…

        I’m so very sorry you are in the midst of this journey, but I’m really confident in your ability to bounce back…you’ve connected so many of the dots, it’s just a matter of getting it out and feeling heard Fellow Survivor…it really is…and I really get where you are coming from…because those of us here have really been there…No shame Fellow Survior… If and when you are ready, the Social Network can be accessed [HERE] I will need to set it up so that it is more user friendly for Questions and Answers but feel free to post and use an alias if it makes you comfortable…

    • Dear Fellow Survivor,
      I read your note and will respond in a bit…I would like to provide a thoughtful reply; however, I have some errands to run which leaves me a bit distracted. I promise I will answer your note sometime tomorrow (Sunday 12/22)…sending good vibes your way. Hang in there I understand and can empathize with how very exasperating this whole ordeal can be…

      • Betty, thank you for your reply. The thing that makes my story so disheartening is that it feels like my ex was purchased away from me. As my story unfolds you may see or not see how I see what happened to us. But first you must stipulate that narcs see their children and everyone in their lives as extensions of themselves and that they hate happiness when they are not the cause of it. They must control all within their sphere of influence. That which they can not control is discarded. This is why I set up my original post as a play, with 4 main characters, me, my ex and my daughter and the dad. If you take the dad out of the equation there would be no divorce, of that I am certain. I know this may seem far fetched, but the dad needed husbands for the daughters so they could have children that would serve him. All were supposed to serve him.

        So, I meet this wonderful girl, the sex is unbelievable and we both just like being together. Did I say the sex was great. We date for two years and then get engaged. During this time we would go see my ex’s granny who I truly loved and she loved me. The dad was off doing his own thing so he pretty much left us alone. My ex sought her grandmother’s approval of me, not her dad. He was a constant embarrassment to her and she could not stand him. One time when we were dating he was dating this very nice refined woman who was the director of the Oakland Ballet. We invited my parents to the lake for the weekend and she was going to be there. My mom was excited to meet this woman. We got to the lake but the woman was not the same. She was some airline attendant with size 38 triple Ds. My mom was disappointed but not my dad. I’ll never forget going across the lake bumping over the waves and the size of my dad’s eyes and the look on my mom’s face. I digress.

        We get married and start our new life. The dad is on the outside doing his own thing and we are just us. It was during this time that my ex shared all of the hurt she experienced as a child and how the dad was at the center of it all.

        My ex had narc tendencies (Fleas) and she was afraid of them. She made me promise, please don’t let me become like my dad. She looked me straight in the eye and said ” I mean it” So we developed a system of hand signals where if she was interrupting conversations, or shifting the conversation back towards herself, or talking loud, or whatever I would pull on my ear or touch my nose, something like that.

        I was connected to the social network in my town and wrote the letter for her to join the local woman’s club. One of my classmates was the sponsor. My friend’s wives became her best friends etc. So from the time we were married until my daughter was 4, I can only remember 3 or 4 times what I would call narc behavior.

        The first was before our wedding. Her family didn’t go to church so we married in my families church. The minister did not allow live photos during the wedding and she went ballistic. That was the first rage I had witnessed. It was scary and crazy but I just wrote it off as wedding jitters.

        The second time we were arguing about when to have children, I was ready she was not. Anyway, they escalated into a shouting match (we were drunk) and she called the cops who actually came to our house. I promise you Betty, there was no chance of violence of any kind. I have never hit anyone and I have never spanked my child. I remember thinking ” what the hell are you doing”

        Now during this time the Granny still was alive. When the dad came into town he would stay with his mom and we would go meet them for dinner and that was that. We saw him for dinner with the granny about 6 times a years, would see him at spring break at the CO ski house and one week in the summer at the CO house, and that was it. He largely left of alone.

        The granny was the perfect secondary source of supply for him. She paid his bills, forwarded his mail etc As long as she was alive HE LEFT US ALONE. For the first 10 years of our marriage things were good. I still felt a direct connection with the ex. I was her man first, before her dad. He was still on the outside and we were still us.

        And then our daughter was born. That was so awesome. I loved being a dad. And then Granny died. And then my life changed forever. I will continue in my next post.

      • So to continue, the Granny dies and that’s when everything changed. The granny took the dad’s mail because he used her address as his official residence. He lived in Massachusetts, California, and Colorado, all states with state income tax which he avoided by using a texas address as his official home. He first used his brothers house for his mail until his wife objected. Then my ex’s sisters house until she told him if you want me to take your mail I want $200 a month, the typical forwarding fee at the time. And then it was US. Oh Shit. Now we were his official residence.

        The 3rd N rage attack: When my daughter was 3 our friends were starting to trade up to bigger homes. I loved our house. It had a pool, a hot tub, and lots of closet space. But the ex was dead set on getting a new one. So she through this rage down on me and told me if I couldn’t get it for her she would find someone that could. The next thing I said will be the words I will regret for the rest of my life. ” If your dad will give you $50,000 maybe we could afford the house you want” Damn. I wish I never said that. He agreed to give the money on one condition, that there will be an extra bedroom where he can stay any time he wants. “Here there be Vampires” You know, vampires can’t come into your house unless you invite them. ( Now my house expense went from $1500 per month to $3000. Can you say stress test)

        A little bit before our daughter was born the dad married this bimbo with great tits and a smocking hot bod. The wedding was in Palm Springs and it was pretty cool. From the stories I heard he was kicked out of the master bedroom within one week of returning home. After a cool million to get rid of her he was all alone.

        At the time it was just me, the ex, and our dear baby girl. AND WE WERE HAPPY and struggling financially, but HAPPY. The 3 of us would gather together for a great big family hug and sing the Barney Song, you know ” I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family”

        If my daughter meets a guy that adores her and their children like I did my wife and daughter, I will say to myself ” Well done” and thank God for the blessing that my daughter has found.

        Betty, if you are a true student of the narc, you know they envy what they do not have and they hate it when all the attention is not ALL on them. I will never forget that day when my daughter was about 5 and we were engaged in the big family hug and seeing the look in his eye of pure envy. Hell, he had a drop dead gorgeous wife and 3 beautiful daughters, he could have had what I had 3 times over if he wanted to.

        Now what I am about to say is pivotal to the story. When the daughter was 3 we did sell the house and moved into the rent house next door. The next day we went to the CO house for the first week in July like we had for the last 5 years. At the end of the week my wife asked if she and our daughter could stay an extra week. I said sure, its hot in texas. Then she called at the end of that week and asked if she stay one more week. I loved my wife and its hot in texas, sure stay another week. And then the next week. Sure. And then the next week she puts my 3 year old on the phone ” daddy, can we stay another week” What could I say to that. And then I hear ” Yea Daddy, we love daddy” My point being that at the time, if I would have said, NO COME HOME she would have. Her heart still belonged to me. The reason this is important is because these summers became her in Colorado and me in texas, where he could poison her mind against me. Trust me on this. 5 years ago I told her ” Im tired of spending summers alone” and she told me ” the other option is to be alone all the time”

        Do you see the contrast. In a very short time period we go from ‘ can we stay and yea daddy” to ” I don’t care what you want, I’m staying”

        So now the stage is set for act 3. My wife is going to CO in the summer whether I like it or not. (RIGHT THEN AND THERE OUR MARRIAGE WAS OVER, I JUST WASN’T WILLING TO ACCEPT IT) The dad is going to stay at our house whenever he wants for how long he wants whether I like it or not, we are going to take and forward his mail whether I like it or not. He has moved into our marriage and there is only room for one man in any marriage. Let me add he took over our den closet with his clothes and he put his own personal icon on our log on page on the computer. And may I also add the times the US legal system would send people out to serve warrants or subpoenas to him at :”My/His house”

        So Betty, you put this variable into any marriage and it ain’t going to turn out good, no matter how you slice it. Now, if he is just a bumbling old lonely fool that’s one thing, but if he is actively trying to undermine your marriage, well that is something completely different.

        I am hoping these posts are the last ones I ever feel the need to write and believe me I have posted a lot on many boards You may think my story bazaar, and it is, but all victims of pathological NPD have bazaaro stories. You don’t need to study or interview the person with NPD to know that they are disordered. All you have to do is study the trail of shattered lives and broken hearts that they leave in their wake.

      • Hi Betty, I still want to finish my story but just had to run this by you.

        In your Dragon Slayer award post you quoted the wonderful Kim Saeed. I wonder if this concept has been the driving force behind my hole relationship. ” I hate my dad, save me from him, I am a damsel in distress” Once I was the dragon slayer but now I am the dragon. The post below makes me want to LOL because it is so very true.

        A relationship with a Narcissist always feels like a quest. You’re recruited as a hero to save them from dragons of one sort or another. They have so many dramas and stories of dramas. They are male and female damsels in permanent distress. It feels good at first to be seen as a hero on a quest to save such a damsel, it makes love mythical in proportions, you’re a dragon slayer, but at some point you’re going to become the dragon from whom they need saving. They are always the victim in distress and never see themselves as the victimizer. Once you were a hero to them and now they’ve turned you with a wave of their wand of endless illusion into the villain. You are a dragon villain who now realizes that the real dragon villain is the damsel (male or female) who has never been in distress at all, but causes an awful lot of it for others, especially those who try and save them. You can never save them.”

      • Ok, we are in the CO house and the ex’s sister is there. The sister has been seeing a psychiatrist trying to work out her childhood issues. Apparently her issues were with the dad and my ex. She would follow my ex around the house yelling “I have issues with you” which I thought was kind of weird. The ex would cry in my arms ” what have I done to make her hate me” These are women in their 30s so whatever my ex did to her sister in childhood must have been pretty bad. I’ll never forget the sister raging like a lunatic at her dad for 3 hours straight and me and the ex locked in the downstairs bedroom. I thought the sister was crazy, but she was only exhibiting the normal symptoms of abuse at the hands of her dad and my ex. The funny thing is, she moved to Hawaii and has never been back to the CO house in 10 years to see the dad. he psychiatrist must have told her ” get away from him, no contact” Now she is the most well adjusted sane person of the 3 sisters. But I still wonder, what the hell did my ex do to make her so pissed off that 15 years later she still carried that wound. Now I know.

        So anyway, now when he comes into town he stays at our house and dominates everything. Where we eat, when we eat, you know the drill. My ex can’t stand it, but we did take the money. She locks herself in the Master Bedroom and leaves me to deal with the dad, and this went on for years.

        What can he offer her that I can not. Trips, fabulous trips. Expensive trips. But I am never invited. Her sisters and their children don’t get these trips, just my ex and daughter The sisters are not happy about this at all. They were hurt and they had a right to be hurt.

        Now, this is where the HOOK comes into play. I work at a family business. It really doesn’t have any hard asset value but it has provided a decent income for me the last 16 years. I didn’t own any stock in the company because I didn’t want it. Have you ever tried to get a loan when you own a small business? It is much more complicated, believe me.

        Anyway, we were being the one big happy family in the summer and then I go home as had become the custom. I wasn’t there but I know exactly how the man operates. Now to really grasp the meaning of this story you have to understand the story of Adam and Eve and the Serpent. Satan asks Eve ” why aren’t you eating that fruit?” and she says ” because God told us not to” And then Satan plants the seed out doubt in her mind that God is holding something good back from her when she had no reason to doubt God’s love for she and Adam. He planted a lie in her heart and she took the bait. My friends and I call the dad Satan and always have by the way.

        So, he is sitting on his chair eating his popcorn and drinking his 17th scotch and says to my wife, without even looking up ” if anything ever happens between you and husband and he doesn’t own any stock, you won’t get any of it” OK fine. He has a point, but we were happy and divorce never was an option for either of us. But he would never let it go. That was the conversation he had with her whenever he saw her or talked to her. He had planted the seed of doubt in her heart that I was hiding something from her and trying to cheat her, just like Satan did with Eve, when nothing could be further than the truth.

        We fought over me getting the stock for the next 10 years up to and
        including her threatening to divorce me if I didn’t get it. I got the stock to save the marriage, then she divorced me, and now I have given the stock back. Go figure.

        Side note about the dad.
        The mom said he was a horrible husband and an even worse father. He had his dead brother cut out of his mom’s will so the teenage nephew would not get any, his best friend who was his attorney and best man at his second marriage needed him when his wife was dying of cancer but he would not go see him, and even would not go to the funeral because the emergency ticket cost $1000 and he ” didn’t want to pay that” his words exactly.

        So, I was up against this man with 10 mil dollars and I never stood a chance.

        There is more, a lot more.

      • That is quite the story Fellow Survivor. I am wondering…where are you at now with all of this? How long since you’ve been divorced? You seem to know the script and the roles (triangulation) pretty well…I don’t sense any type of cognitive dissonance over this you seem pretty solid on all the points.

        There are a few things that SCREAM selfish and self centered, especially around the issue concerning your daughter. I can’t really reconcile or wrap my head around that one. Naturally I do try to ‘look for the holes’ because I don’t think I’m offering any help to just “YES” someone and rubber stamp someone who is ‘acting up’ a narcissist…although borderlines also have very high traits of narcissism but there is nothing in your story that would clearly indicate either way so as to make a better guess what might be contributing to her behavior.

        As I shared before, in the past…quite naturally getting caught up in the caught up, for me early in my recovery a ‘dirty look’ was grounds to rubber stamp someone narcissist; however, with time and work I am a bit more conservative in my approach.

        I find that in the ‘victim/survivor’ camp there are a few types that are a bit more prevalent. One of the most popular are those who often describe themselves as just genuinely a bit more sensitive and empathetic, and I note your sharing a bit of your background and how the experience of loss affected you as well as your calling to a spiritual journey and a commitment to live “The Word” which also includes a way of life one is supposed to follow…a moral code. This ‘following’ of the code I don’t believe is done in fear but rather stems from one’s nature and a seeking, a genuine desire to live out that code, and within that code is some very clear conduct. I am bringing this up because I think in your case it might also be helpful to make a note of that…the significance of the CHOICE you made. I am not speaking of the choice of partner, or repeated forgiveness of what you may have felt at times was a slight, but rather the choice you made regardless of the flags in hindsight, you chose to honor a spiritual commitment you made. I think in the context of healing this might be helpful for you to just make a little mental note of BECAUSE…there are many layers to peel on this path we call recovery, and the healing process is not necessarily one that goes in an order of ascension but rather it ebbs and flows and goes up and down. Sometimes out of nowhere you might find yourself triggered and wondering why after so much time you feel such intense feelings over what might appear to be a minor slight by someone…this is just how the process works…but I think the ability to own a choice especially one that is so honorable is something you can be proud of.

        So, we have these ‘players’ here…actually the ones who are a tad under your skin to put it mildly are your ex wife and her father. There could be a plethora of modus operandi at work here and we’re not mind readers. Might be even more you haven’t thought of yet…the pieces come together bit by bit. It’s hard for me to determine what it is you feel you need to get past this, or what might help you put this baby to bed. It’s further compounded when you share a child because in some respects you will continue to be tied to this woman if only because of your daughter.

        So, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume there is still at minimum a tinge of something?

        What is it Fellow Survivor?

        Is it Anger?

        What you have is lack of closure and lack of closure haunts us because we have to create the closure for ourselves, we won’t ever get it from them, and if we do, it’s usually half assed and then they’re back to their shenanigans anyway…so that’s a wash…so I’m wondering…do you know what you might need in order to obtain the closure? AND you might say: “Well that’s why I’m writing to you!”

        and I’m here…

        But…in order for you to own your healing there has to be some digging at what is at the root of it, and there will be quite naturally a NUMBER of things at the root of it.

        I think purging is good and getting it out is healthy and so I thank you for your confidence in me and in sharing in such an open forum. It is also very clear you are solid on ‘rescue missions’ and how sometimes those scenarios are only workable in the movies. A lesson so many of us have learned through this journey; however, I also want to just throw in there…despite what has transpired, and I’m validating there is a lot that has gone wrong…you mentioned she was 21 when you met and so I’m also assuming you both were young and there is that natural people change thing to contend with and some folks make it and some folks don’t.

        There is an area in your notes and it’s not to cast doubt in anything you are sharing or anything about your story but rather to try to help find the roots. The period where she started staying at dads for longer and longer periods of time…that first time she went week after week in Colorado…do you remember any issue, even if it seems insignificant that might have been brewing between the two of you? From what you share, it would appear Daddy was steering the pot, and you have others validating your feelings of his character; however, sometimes I think when people are looking for an ‘escape’ or better said an ‘exit strategy’ one of the things they do is to seek some form of security. This might include aligning oneself with someone who could provide that opportunity and you said something else very interesting…at one point you and your ex had a discussion and she shared she was the one who got more because she knew how to manipulate Daddy better. So, if we’re going to try to shoot for the closure, there will probably be 1000 more things to dissect but I have some questions.

        I am more than willing to lend a hand as best I can, bounce things back and forth with you for as much as you need the support but I’m trying to get a clearer picture. Ultimately in time the conversation will have to travel more towards the self and the range of emotions you are feeling and perhaps identify certain patterns that may have made you vulnerable although at face value you clearly shared that initially in your first note where you said you’ve been a giver and you shared you viewed this in hindsight as perhaps a rescue mission; however in keeping with the code you follow I would not say this is necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps working on not only being able to identify the traits (which you clearly seem to have under your belt) but also getting to a place where the level awareness is there but not to an extent where the traumatic after effects (trauma with a little “t”) are so great you vow never to help another again. For a time early in recovery, many report, myself included a period where anyone who does anything ever so slightly out of line is rubber stamped a narc and that is just par for the course in many cases. You may have moved past this stage but if you’re still there it’s common and will get better as time passes and you get more perspective on things…which I might add your perspective is pretty exceptional right now.

        I think a key thing to focus on also might be the forgiving of the self, and sometimes we don’t even realize anger at ourselves is holding us back. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves…we see ourselves as foolish, or think we should have known better. One of the keywords I learned was discernment. When we are generous of spirit and heart, that is a beautiful thing, even if we’ve cast our pearls amongst swine…but I am feeling there is something more to this I can’t quite put my finger on…I get the mind games, I get you feel you’ve been devalued and discarded and it is clear that is what has transpired, but I am wondering if there was a change in her that took place over some slight you might not have been aware of?

        That might place her more in the borderline category?

        Thing is even in that situation you would not be any better off except the understanding that borderlines act out more out of triggers of abandonment and other issues. But sometimes if that is the case, for some reason I find many are able to get to a place of compassion and ‘forgiveness’ or ‘closure’ easier, because it’s easier to digest while still on the spectrum, the person is broken and in pain. While narcissists can also be victims of childhood abuse they tend to be the walking dead in how they do things, so it’s harder to ‘reconcile’ any concept of their suffering. On the other hand, borderlines can love and we only see the NPD traits kick up when they’re in the midst of some trigger. Do not misunderstand…I’m not remotely suggesting you have a change of heart, sympathy or pity right now. The focus no matter what she is or isn’t has to be on you. What has happened to you has harmed and hurt you and the goal here is to get you back in shape. Whether she’s an asshole, a narc, a borderline or a space alien, her work is her work. My commitment is to you. You have been hurt, you have no closure, your mind has been blown…this is about you. If you could provide some more insight perhaps I might be able to help you ‘process’…ultimately Fellow Survivor this thing will play out for as long as it has to, there is no magic wand or time frame and whether your word is “forgiveness” “indifference” or any other thing that gets you to the closure, I’m willing to walk along side you till you feel you’re ready to travel the rest of the path on your healing journey.
        Warm regards,

      • So Betty, the story continues. But before I go into great detail, let me expound upon the concept of the N will never be there when you need them for medical issues. Well, its not just medical issues, the fact is they will never be there for you for any reason unless it is convenient for them.

        (5 years ago) The ex’s doctor told her it was time to get off the Pill because she was over 40 so I needed a vasectomy. I agreed with that. I tried to schedule a time that would work for her but it just wasn’t possible. So my dad took me. She picked me up but complained the hole time. I’m the one that just got my testicles laser separated and she is complaining? The next morning I got up with stitches on my balls to help her with her catering, but whatever. i was a moron.
        Then she said she needed to keep taking the pill because of the “possibility” of heavy bleeding because her mom had that problem. I told her that ain’t going to happen.

        The next year, I go for my physical and the doc tells me I really need a colonoscopy , this was in October. She tells me she is to busy around Thanksgiving and Christmas so do it later. My doc calls in Jan and says, you really need to have this done. I call the ex and ask if this date works, what about this date or this date. None of them work for her. So finally I tell her, Here is the number, you make the appointment that works for you and I will be there. She wont. So in the end, my parents take me and she has nothing to do with it.

        3 years ago I get the flu at Christmas so I am worthless help for anyone. The ex has to carry the heavy load without me helping. I was sick, I did not want to be sick, I hated it. In the fall of 2012 she tells me to get a flu shot so she doesn’t have to do all the work at Christmas. Why couldn’t she say ” Husband, it broke my heart to see you suffer so much, I can’t bear the thought of you being sick again like that, wont you please get the flu shot?” But no, my sickness caused her to do more of the work, it wasn’t my suffering that was the problem.

        Spring of 2010. We are in CO and skiing. The ex tears her ACL and is in a lot of pain and needs surgery. I take her to the pre-appointments, take her to surgery, bring her home, set up the knee bending machine, bring her food in bed, get the meds she needs, help her go to the bathroom, wrap her knee in plastic and hold her so she can take a shower, take her to rehab, and be the all around nursemaid to her during recovery. I do all of this AFTER she has blown me off for the Vasectomy, the Colonoscopy, and how she treated me when I had the flu. THIS IS MY FAULT AND WEAKNESS. She had demonstrated time and time again how she doesn’t love me and yet I still continue to show my love and devotion to her because I thought that is what good friends and husbands do. But she had already demonstrated to me that she was not my good friend or wife and I did it anyway. WHY? When I get to the answer of why? then I will be released.

        Was it that I just loved her so much, or because of the daughter, or because of the great sex, or the benefits of the dad’s money, or the lifestyle we had, or a combination of all of these things and more.

        Finally, at some point, all of the above were outweighed by the betrayal, the lies, the deceit and I just could not take it any more. She once told me ” isn’t a free house in CO in the summer and a place to ski in the winter enough?” (meaning, aren’t you a whore that will sell your integrity for a little luxury?) And then she said ” You will never leave daughter” ( meaning I can do whatever I want and you will never leave your daughter) And she told me ” don’t tell daughter the mean things I have done, because it really hurt me when my mom and her family told me all the mean things my dad did”

        Betty, do you see how fucked up those 3 comments are? First she tries to bribe me with the comforts the dad’s money provides. Second she is telling me she knows what she is doing is wrong but she can get away with it because I love our daughter so much. And finally she is telling me she knows what she is doing is wrong but don’t tell on me because when I was young it hurt me when my dad’s bad deeds were brought to my attention.

        In my next post I will tell the tail after the dad completely invaded our lives for good and ruined what I thought was a really happy family.

        But like my friend said that knows all the players very well, ” It wasn’t his fault, she knows what kind of man he is and she knows what kind of man you are, and she chose, on her own to follow him.”

      • Betty, I know this is all a process. Its like a jig saw puzzle where all the pieces are thrown up into the air and you have to somehow make all the parts come together to make sense of it all. Making sense of it all is so nonsensical. It can’t be done. That is why people affected by disordered people have such a hard time. Nothing makes any damn sense. I can’t tell you how many times my daughter and I would look at each other over the years and point to our heads and make the circular motion with our fingers, you know the crazy sign, and just silently say ” what the fuck is that all about”

        Logic and Reason just don’t work with the disordered. It is pointless to even try. Especially when the disordered have a safe landing spot if you leave them.

        When my daughter was 5, 6, 7 and 8 I would say the most outlandish things and challenge her intellect in so many ways with stupid stuff. I would tell her ” you love me and trust me, but just because I tell you something doesn’t make it true. All it means is that daddy told you what he thinks but it still doesn’t make it true. Daughter, seek out other information, other sources, other people to verify what I say is true” I think there were stories of people blindly following religious preachers or “scholarly Professors” at the time and I wanted to make sure she knew that it is OK and important to challenge authority figures about what they say. If you need to verify what your own dad says, then you probably need to verify what anyone else says as well.

        My ex never got that lesson. If her dad said it, or a friend said it, or her yoga teacher said it, then by golly it must be true. What a freakin moron.

        The other lesson I taught baby girl was this. God didn’t hand out “how to” books when raising children so I am going to make mistakes. If I ever make a decision concerning you that you think is wrong, please come to me with logic and reason and state your case. Please don’t come to me with an emotional response. She has never lost a case.

        Betty, I tell you these two stories because of your obvious concern for my daughter. I raised my daughter to stand up to and challenge her own father.With that power, nothing can stand against her or defeat her. She is an awesome child. A one of a kind

      • I don’t doubt your words…I was providing food for thought…you shared your daughter did not wish to see her mother, you shared your ex was holding the ‘agreement’ over your head which by default is a legal method of control, you shared ” Her mom has so much to offer her that I can’t so I don’t want her to miss those opportunities.” AND I’m just wondering if she’s what you describe…A NARCISSIST which is not the same as someone who just might have high traits…what exactly might that be except for say maybe an eventual devalue and discard for your daughter?…I also mention it because the reality is we could talk about her and her father for the next fifty years, and I know that because I only spent four years in Narcville and I could do that, so I can just imagine how much you could share…and no, I’m not saying you can just cut this all off from your psyche…but you shared you have vented some on other forums, it’s clear you have a ‘grasp’ of what NPD is, but then this one little statement…”Her mom has so much to offer her” and I’m just a talking head on the other side of the screen…but WHAT in your estimation is that? Again, I am not suggesting you do ANYTHING to ‘sway’ your daughter either way…that would be unethical and unfair because your daughter is the one that has to own her ultimate choice whatever it is…but your comment indicates a bit of…honestly I don’t know the word…I don’t have the words…but other than the opportunity to learn how to deal with pathologicals, other than surface show, bullshit and fronting…unless we’re looking to mold a ruthless CEO like Grandpa, I’m having a hard time understanding what this ‘thing’ is that she can offer your daughter…I want to understand…and I don’t want to understand what you ‘know’…you can also fill this space with all that you know…and we all ‘know’ and we all ‘learn’…but we can know and still spend years and years…spinning…and I believe one can make sense of it all, but it has nothing to do with them and the lack of sense they make…the making sense of it all has to do with the self…and the reconciling…and the getting to peace…that is the making sense I was referring to…see how you automatically went to ‘making sense’ and just went straight into ‘they don’t make sense’…I wasn’t even thinking along those lines…I was talking about our world and how we get to ‘that place’ where we’re okay and it doesn’t matter.

      • Fellow Survivor,
        It’s hard sometimes in the written to convey intent, sometimes the words do not come out right and since you do not know me you cannot distinguish tone. I want to make clear…sometimes it is difficult for someone (that would be me) to have the same level of connecting with the level of emotion you are feeling because I have gone through that process already. If you caught me say month six, I would have been citing chapter and verse and probably you might even ‘feel’ a passion in my words (maybe not? I know I was one hot mess in the midst of it)…it’s important to me that you understand something…I am not here to judge, I am not here to try to play the one up game with you, I am very aware of how sometimes in certain places it can feel that way. The thing is…the experience I had I learned a lot of things and I also wasted a lot of time getting caught up in the caught up. I am not a mental health therapist and I’m not licensed, this is purely peer support. I understand and believe and I stand by the fact that the only way around this is through this, and there is no way I expect that given the time and energy you invested and what you’ve been through that you will stop talking about it because that can only happen when you’ve talked about it so much there is nothing left to say…so I want to re-assure you that I am here, but also that when I ask questions, I can’t tell you what to think or what you should do, but rather I am trying to get you to think about some other angles that might help. I have a very strict policy of “Take what applies and leave the rest” I don’t claim to know it all, I believe each one teaches one, I like anger and bad words…hehe…and so I don’t want you to feel that you are not being heard. I note many of us because of what we’ve been through also tend to approach things in such a way that we almost present as proving and validating ourselves…I understand this situation very well, I know how mentally cluster fucking it can be, and if it’s any comfort, I think you’re doing pretty damn well under the circumstances…exceptionally well…

      • Betty,

        The hardest part is coming to terms in my heart with the fact that I loved someone that couldn’t or wouldn’t love me back. She told me point blank that she was using me and i quote ” I wanted to be married to a man that made six figures $100,000 US, I was hoping it would be you, but if not, I will find someone who does” Could she be any more clear or transparent than that? She asked me point blank “are you ever going to make enough money where I don’t have to work?” Could she ever be any more transparent than that about what her values are? I don’t think so.

        So, the bottom line is our values are completely different. She is more interested is what she is doing that who she is doing it with. That is just a fact and one that I could never quite reconcile in my brain and heart, although I have know for a long time that it was true. To get to closure I have to accept the fact that she did not love me and living with someone for so long that really did not care about me has just about destroyed the very fiber of my being.

        As far as my daughter goes and what the ex can offer that I can not, well there is a lot of stuff. I say “stuff” because that is what it is that she can offer. Material things like a ski house, trips to Europe, New York, Hawaii etc. She knows fashion and makeup and how to cook and buys very nice cloths for her. All the girly stuff and fun stuff that is available.

        Without the mom my daughter would never know how to bake 88 dozen cookies, or what the latest and greatest fashion is, or how to eat healthy. I could never plan birthday parties like the mom. Whether or not the mom is doing these things with a “show and tell” motive just doesn’t matter. The daughter benefits and for that I should be grateful. When thinking about the ex I often think about “The Cat in the Hat” There is one line when the Cat is really misbehaving and exclaims ” Look At Me, Look at Me, said the Cat in the Hat” I think my ex was a lot like the Cat. Almost everything she does just screams ” Look at Me, Look at Me” She has always “run” to the spotlight while I have always shied away from it.

        All these things that my ex can offer my daughter are superficial things but they are very nice and I don’t want her to miss out on them because I think the ex and her dad are total assholes.

        Last summer me and my daughter were driving home from her Christian Camp and we were discussing the Book of Ruth. We talked at ease about the Bible and what she had just learned for 2 hours and it was just so darn comfortable. What she told me was uplifting and distressing all at the same time. She said ” you know dad, you have taught me everything that I know” I said,” come on, your mom has taught you a lot of things, like makeup, cloths, cooking, all that neat girl stuff” And she said ” those aren’t important, you taught me about life and gave me my value and belief system” ( Well, the mom did teach how to lie when she was in kindergarten and I went along with that until I figured out what the heck was going on and put a stop to it, but that’s another 5 paragraphs)

        So, to get to closure I have to identify the good stuff I got out of the marriage and the bad stuff and learn to live with it. I have heard it said that you can never get over a loss like this but you just have to learn to live with it and that’s the place I am trying to get to.

        The paragraph I just wrote is a constant source of pain. So much of the good stuff included the ex and so the cognitive dissidence perks up its ugly head again that puts my head back in the crazy loop of “what about the good times, did they matter to her at all” The mean horrible stuff she did to me is really easy to process, but the good times, and there were many, I guess meant nothing to her.

        Betty, I am going to vent a little more by outlining what “crimes” she has committed against me just to get it all out. And then I need to focus on finding a woman that fills my heart with joy and not pain.

      • Okay, I’m back…sorry about that…I’m going to cut and paste again…

        You shared:

        The hardest part is coming to terms in my heart with the fact that I loved someone that couldn’t or wouldn’t love me back.

        Which is it? Wouldn’t or couldn’t?

        What does that will or inability on her part say to you about you? What are your thoughts? There are probably just two choices…but I’m curious to see how you view it…

        She told me point blank that she was using me and i quote ” I wanted to be married to a man that made six figures $100,000 US, I was hoping it would be you, but if not, I will find someone who does” Could she be any more clear or transparent than that? She asked me point blank “are you ever going to make enough money where I don’t have to work?” Could she ever be any more transparent than that about what her values are? I don’t think so.

        Okay here is where it gets tricky for me because my intention is not to piss you off…but if we are going to look this dead in the eye, I’ll throw out a few things…everyone has their own set of ‘values’…values are tricky things because we always like to think our values are the right ones…but rarely is this ever ‘fact’. For a minute, let’s step outside the NPD arena…let’s say we have a fairly well adjusted female who comes from privilege who falls for the boy of lesser means…at first it’s fun and exciting then ‘real life’ kicks in…she’s used to Luis Vuitton and Lobster Tails on the side with her eggs for breakfast and that boy can offer her a lot of love, a knockoff Louie Vuitton and a box of no frills cereal in the morning…depending upon who she is, she’s either gonna go with the warm fuzzy of love or she’s gonna go for the security and while we might not like that we can’t provide the security, it doesn’t mean we’re total failures rather it means what she wants is different from what you are willing to settle for. AND when I say settle YOU are not what she settles for as a person, I am referring to the type of lifestyle she feels she should be provided. The average American is working class and many are happily in love and thriving…this is HER personal thing…but here is the part that might piss you off but you’ve got to face it…it’s how I was able to slowly come around to accepting, not in ‘words’ but truly accepting because it forced me to look at ME…the patterns I developed which set me up for these kinds of scenarios not just with romantic partners, but friends, and bosses and all kinds of scenarios…I was the magnet because of my thinking. So yes, she was VERY transparent, and sadly a majority of us in hindsight only learn to appreciate: “If you listen to someone they will tell you who they are”…so when she said this…I am assuming your mind filtered the message? I am assuming that yes you were taken aback but not enough to say “I need to put the brakes on this because clearly this woman has something entirely different in mind.”…instead you stayed…do you have any idea WHY you stayed? What were your thoughts when she threw that up?

        You share:

        That is just a fact and one that I could never quite reconcile in my brain and heart, although I have know for a long time that it was true. To get to closure I have to accept the fact that she did not love me and living with someone for so long that really did not care about me has just about destroyed the very fiber of my being.

        Why couldn’t you reconcile this in your brain and heart? Nevermind the verbalizing what you need to do, and the talk of acceptance…I must have repeated that 1000 times myself “I MUST”…nah…we gotta cut this mutha fletcher up dissect it and get to YOU because even if she is the “Wicked Bitch of the East” or “West” or “Colorado”…getting one’s own foundation solid is where the healing is at…and in about a year, you won’t think she destroyed the fiber of your being, instead you will share she revealed you to yourself…I bet you $1.00. (btw, everything you THINK she took you still have because since they mirror us to ourselves, we were actually madly truly and deeply in love with OURSELVES we just reflected out to them) SO – This whole…”I just have to accept she never loved me”…that’s a hard pill with all the emotions flaring but that is the truth, I just don’t think you really have owned that yet, you’re still in a little bit of cluster effed mode, happens to the best of us…and I’m sure self esteem is low, and all kinds of distress probably feeling you did everything you possibly could and still got kicked in the teeth…because that is just how they make us feel. Nothing is ever enough for them…but this really doesn’t mean there was anything about you that deserved this or was unlovable or not worthy to have that love returned, and I think you know that too, but I’m saying it so you can see it from someone else. Because that is the truth about all of us on the human plane. (Except for them…lol). So…she hurt you and you are feeling pain now – but no…I don’t think this has to be a lifetime scar. If we allow that then they win. The creator did not make worthless junk that with one bump we are done forever…In your view does your creator give ultimatums? Do you have to forgive? or just get to peace? If you had to choose between the two, would your creator say “You must forgive” or “Love Yourself?”…

        As far as my daughter goes and what the ex can offer that I can not, well there is a lot of stuff. I say “stuff” because that is what it is that she can offer. Material things like a ski house, trips to Europe, New York, Hawaii etc. She knows fashion and makeup and how to cook and buys very nice cloths for her. All the girly stuff and fun stuff that is available.

        I get that – but at what price?

        I’m going to throw a few questions out there…

        Without the mom my daughter would never know how to bake 88 dozen cookies, or what the latest and greatest fashion is, or how to eat healthy.

        Is that the real truth?

        I could never plan birthday parties like the mom. Whether or not the mom is doing these things with a “show and tell” motive just doesn’t matter.

        Is that the truth?

        The daughter benefits and for that I should be grateful.

        Who said you SHOULD be grateful?

        When thinking about the ex I often think about “The Cat in the Hat” There is one line when the Cat is really misbehaving and exclaims ” Look At Me, Look at Me, said the Cat in the Hat” I think my ex was a lot like the Cat. Almost everything she does just screams ” Look at Me, Look at Me” She has always “run” to the spotlight while I have always shied away from it.

        So…we’re even talking two totally different natures.

        All these things that my ex can offer my daughter are superficial things but they are very nice and I don’t want her to miss out on them because I think the ex and her dad are total assholes.

        So, you really don’t think these things can be accomplished unless you settle. Am I understanding you?

        Last summer me and my daughter were driving home from her Christian Camp and we were discussing the Book of Ruth. We talked at ease about the Bible and what she had just learned for 2 hours and it was just so darn comfortable. What she told me was uplifting and distressing all at the same time. She said ” you know dad, you have taught me everything that I know” I said,” come on, your mom has taught you a lot of things, like makeup, cloths, cooking, all that neat girl stuff” And she said ” those aren’t important, you taught me about life and gave me my value and belief system”

        Do you believe what your daughter shared with you?…Do you take her word?

        So, to get to closure I have to identify the good stuff I got out of the marriage and the bad stuff and learn to live with it. I have heard it said that you can never get over a loss like this but you just have to learn to live with it and that’s the place I am trying to get to.

        What is the good stuff in the marriage besides your daughter?…I’m curious because if you were with someone who never loved you and it was all a facade, might have been some good times in the moment, and no they don’t have to be painted black an dismal but when we talk of good things…were they real?…If they were an illusion then why must you identify anything good or bad? If we’re speaking of NPD then could we just arrive at: “She’s disordered and abusive, did not love me but I got a wonderful child out of the union?” AND THEN begin to try to figure out what made you vulnerable and what was going through your mind when the red flags were raised…and what led you to suspect you were reading them wrong or somehow could ‘overcome’ something as transparent and shallow as what she shared? I think that might be touching the heart of it a little bit more…and it’s hard to face…

        The paragraph I just wrote is a constant source of pain. So much of the good stuff included the ex and so the cognitive dissidence perks up its ugly head again that puts my head back in the crazy loop of “what about the good times, did they matter to her at all”

        Does anything when it pertains to her matter about what she felt or didn’t feel? This experience right now, this discussion is about YOU…it is mind blowing that there are those who walk amongst us and are the walking dead but trying to reconcile creating something that isn’t won’t help further the healing.

        The mean horrible stuff she did to me is really easy to process, but the good times, and there were many, I guess meant nothing to her.

        They meant something to you…but were they genuine?

        Betty, I am going to vent a little more by outlining what “crimes” she has committed against me just to get it all out.

        That’s fine…

        And then I need to focus on finding a woman that fills my heart with joy and not pain.

        This is not advisable…I think you might do well to consider putting finding a woman that fills your heart with joy on the table for a while…rebounds generally result in repeat performances…

      • Betty, you can never piss me off. I come here sharing my story and you give an honest opinion based on the facts as I present them. You can never know what is in my heart, the ex’s or my daughter’s. So fire away. I accept any input and take what works for me. Now if it was my ex, whatever you recommended, if she thought you were an authority figure, she would do, that is the kind of person she is.

        In response to your “response” Dec 26th, 6.18 PM.

        Wouldn’t or Couldn’t love me. OH, I don’t know. The words were convincing enough but how you treat someone reveals the truth in the words. I would lean to the couldn’t side. She says she loves our daughter, but how you treat someone exposes the truth.

        The second choice about money and lifestyle. When I met my ex her dad wasn’t rich. He paid college tuition, room and board, period. He made a point of telling her that her tuition payment was the second biggest payment besides his mortgage payment. She had to have jobs to pay for any extras, like going out on sat night. She couldn’t get in a Sorority and had a very few friends. I grew up with everything I wanted. Private School, Country Club, etc. So it wasn’t fairy princess meets working class guy and figures out this aint what I want.

        In the paragraph you asked “why I stayed?” For the same reason we all stay, we hope this is just a phase and we will get through this and the good times will return. Plus we have invested our adult lives in the marriage and we have a child.

        As far as mirroring goes, I wonder if it is a conscience act or just reflex when they do that. Because she sure seemed to be a lot like me in the beginning. She was great with the kids she babysat and she was a ” Big Sister” in the Big Brother/Sister Program. I will never know what was in her heart but I am pretty sure she did the big Sister thing because no one was there for her when she was young and she wanted to make sure she could help one little girl.

        As far as me being lovable: For a long time the running joke in our house before and during the disaster, was that my daughter was going to have a hard time finding a husband as nice as me.

        About the relationship between the mom and daughter. That is going to have to develop on its own. This is where the narc stuff comes in. The incredibly nice cool stuff she does for her and then blow her off likes its nothing. This basic operating procedure is the worst of the worst, because you keep coming back for more of the good stuff because it is so good. But the bad stuff is so painful.

        Most of us here on this board suffered through our experience in silence and ignorance. But my daughter, when there is a hurtful event, she can come and cry in my arms so she has someone. I can validate her feeling right then and there and process them right then and there. She will be fine. It is us who had these feelings pile up and pile up with no validation or venting that have the problems.

        As far as the trips etc I just told her ” don’t be seduced” meaning you change your value system for the goodies. Any woman, grandparent or older friend could teach her about make up and shopping and cooking, but its special when its your mom. And No, I could never plan a party like the ex. When you plan and execute a party and its really really good, the N supply, i mean complements never end. When I say I am grateful, that is me talking. I am not grateful for the crap she has had to put up with, but having the opportunity to do some pretty cool stuff at young age is not a bad thing, as long as she is not seduced.

        Totally different natures, yes that is true. I have co-dependent tendencies and acknowledge that. If I “shy away” from the spot light and she runs to it, what does that say about me?

        Do I believe what my daughter shared with me was true to her heart? Oh yea.. Not one single tiny little shred of doubt. We made a deal several years ago that we would not lie to each other and that if we told each other something in confidence we would each never divulge that information. One time she asked me a question of a very sensitive nature and I asked ” do you really want to know?, because I will tell you the truth” She backed down, but I told her anyway because I was just messin with her head. Girls are supposed to be able to talk to their moms about all this stuff, but if she talks to her mom it will be all over facebook before she leaves the room

        The good stuff out of the marriage was the excitement. The constant moving pieces. The problem for me became when I was not part of the plan. When my daughter was really young, 4 yrs or less, I was invited. Who took care of the baby “ME”. When she was older and self sufficient I was no longer needed. Before daughter was born and less than 4 I went to Palm Springs, Hawaii, Disney Land and World, enjoyed Colorado and on and on. My ex was a great cook and the sex was great.

        What made me vulnerable? That is a very good question. First, she revealed to me what I thought was her true nature. And damned if I don’t still think that girl is still there somewhere and I couldn’t save her. That’s weird I know, but she begged me to help her never become like her dad. Its that girl that I am still stuck on. The one I met and fell in love with. Even if it was an act or she was a hologram, it is that vulnerable broken person that I miss. Her dad was off in his own world and even told her she was just a burden ” you cost me just a little less than my house payment” . That is how he ranked his daughters, how much they cost him in cash, and he told them that. My ex’s mom was fresh off her second divorce and dating some crazy guy that nobody liked. There were the trips and the adventure and all the excitement, but what it really boils down to is that girl that begged me to not let her become like her dad and how I failed to prevent this from happening.

        Yes, I still care how she feels or felt. Remember, I am still connected to the girl I met. The broken one. That girl is the source of my pain.

        Oh the good times, did they mean something to me. Hell yes they did. They meant a lot to me. Were they genuine? All the real, genuine. authentic feelings happened before the dad interred the picture. Or at least they felt that way. After the dad entered our lives thats when everything started to change. No one seems to understand that every single life that the dad gets involved with is destroyed. I mean ALL of them. Not one single life that I am aware of has not been damaged in some way when he comes in contact with him He may as well have a sign around his neck that reads ” Extreme Radiation” stay away for your own health and safety.

        Betty, on that trip back from Christian Camp with my daughter I made the statement that ” daddy needs a woman in his life” and she said, ” Oh daddy, I’m not ready for that” In 18 months she goes to college, maybe by then I will be ready for that. But in the mean time, when she comes to my house, its just me and her and her looser boyfriend and other friends. Actually, I like the boyfriend and am glad she has him. Now at the mom’s house I was replaced right away. Based on reliable sources she was out and about with my replacement ONE day after the divorce was final. Those Ns can’t survive long without someone to adore and admire them.

      • Betty, I am going to get to the good stuff soon. We are working our way up to that, but let me give you a little brighter picture of good ol dad first.

        We are in CO, I am driving because ol dad already has 6 scotches under his belt, and he tells my daughter ” if you go to the school that I went to I’ll buy you a car” My poised and polished daughter responds ” thank you granddaddy for the offer, but my dad and I have talked about this and he will get me a car” ( What a damn fine response from a 14 year old) The dick dad says ” It won’t be a brand new car, will it?” ( What a freakin dick head)

        Fast forward 6 months and we are at the new lake house. Dear ol dad comes up to my daughter ( he never does this unless i am there to be part of the equation) and he says ” If you go to this college I will buy you a brand new car” ( daughter and I look at each other with that WTF look, although she is not thinking like that WTF terminology in her head) My daughter just can’t respond to that. They have had the conversation before and she told him what the plan was. Then he says ” if you don’t go to this college don’t expect any help from me for college” This 73 year old man who is worth 10 mil dollars is laying this crap on my 14 year old daughter. And he does it all in front of me. If he will do this control with providing help or withholding help with my 14 year old, what do you think he has done to my ex. Well, he did build her a million dollar lake house, but that is another story.

        I will get back to this car/college story momentarily, but lets go in a different direction for a moment. This happened 4 years ago. There are 5 pages of drama surrounding this event, but lets just cut to the chase. I will fill in the blanks in a later post. My ex, daughter, and hear ol dad are going to France for 18 days. Just by accident they are leaving before my birthday and not returning before Father’s day.

        The girls go and have a great time. When they come back I tell them both, I would have liked to have been invited but I wasn’t. I don’t want to see pictures or hear about this trip in any way.I tell my then wife ” tell your dad the same thing. I would have liked to be invited but I wasn’t, so I don’t want to hear about it. He gets the message loud and clear. My daughter knows the drill, my wife does and so does the dad. My daughter also knows that the dad has been informed and that he knows not to talk about it. So she knows that he knows.

        So what does he do? We are at the lakehouse again and me and daughter are sitting next to each other watching TV or something. He sits right down next to us and starts talking about how much fun the trip was and how amazing everything was. We both know that he knows not to talk about this and yet he does it anyway.

        Betty, do you sense a planned attack designed to draw my daughter away from me with the gifts and things he can provide to her? And the direct threat of retribution ” If you don’t go where I want you to go, you will get nothing from me”

        So here is where my brain get really all fucked up. If he will offer bribes or withholding of benefits to my daughter for compliance or non compliance then what the hell was he saying to my wife?

        Early Fall 2012, maybe early October. Remember dad can blow into town and stay at our house whenever he wants. We are at MY dinner table at MY house and he brings up the damn college/new car issue again. I finally stood up to him and said , and I quote ” There are only four people involved in the decision where daughter goes to school. These people include our daughter, me and her mom, and the college counselor at

      • Betty, I have laid the background of the players in my life and now I am going to get to the meat of the matter. After I lay all this out, I am done.

        20 years ago a friend told me I must be very proud of my wife after some fabulous event she had planned. I said thank you to his face but under my breath I said to myself ” you marry her” So the ambient abuse was already going on I just did not know it. 10 years ago while coaching my daughter’s YMCA basketball team I remember telling myself” No one knows the depth of my despair” I remember saying those exact words to myself, in my mind, at the time.

        You fought these demons for 4 years, well I did for 26.

        So lets get to the really good stuff. 7 years ago I know something is not right. When we met we did Aerobics together and that was a bonding experience. I received an invite to join the Y because I was on the list as a coach, and thought maybe if we join and start exercising together again that will help with our problems. She tells me she would rather join this other gym. She will try it out for the 1 week free offer and if she likes it I will join. Then she says that she likes it but she would rather it just be for her and for me to join my own gym. Like a lapdog puppydog I agree.

        Then she asked if it would be OK to go to CO for her dad’s 70th birthday party and I am like, sure its your dad’s 70th, of course we can go. On New Years eve in CO she totally blows me off at a party of “high society” I mean she leaves me and I don’t see her for 2 hours. This just breaks my heart. And when we get home I clean up her vomit like a freekin idiot.

        In Feb she asks if it would be OK to try a HOT YOGA class. I am like sure. Then she asked if she could go for two days a week. Why should I care. Then its 4 days a week. Again, why should I care. Then it became Tues and Thurs mornings but I would have to take daughter to school. ( My ex works at the school my daughter goes to so they had always gone to school together) This is where a little projection comes in because if I was putting an extra burden on her she would want a payback. She offers me an incentive, a special treat each night before she goes in the mornings, I didn’t ask for that but what the heck, hell yea. After about 6 weeks of this I llook down and say, you don’t have to do this anymore. So now we have 7 days a week of HOT YOGA.

        In march my daughter comes to me and asked me to please talk to mommy about how much she is doing the yoga. She doesn’t ride to school with her anymore because of the yoga, she doesn’t ride home with her either because I am picking up from school so mom can do the yoga, we don’t go to church as a family anymore because it interferes with yoga.

        So I tell my daughter, mommy just hit her 40s, and sometimes woman sort of get all freaky about their bodies at 40, so lets just let it ride for a while. My daughter very reluctantly agrees.

        Fast forward to May. My daughter again comes to me and asks me to talk to mom about how much she is doing yoga. Now what I am about to say is pivotal because I had already been conditioned to “not challenge mom” on anything. I told my daughter that there might be a fight. She said, go ahead and do it.

        Do you see what is happening here. insert golf, or tennis, or any outside activity in the place of yoga and it is the same. I was conditioned to not challenge her on anything or expect a fight. I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know how bad it was going to be.

        So the ex comes home after a night of drinking with her best friend who would become her divorce lawyer. Who by the way was telling my ex how she was leaving her husband of 14 years and two elementary age children. The guy is a really great guy by the way.

        Anyway the ex comes home, heads back to the bedroom and I follow. I say these words exactly, ” will you please reconsider how much you are doing the Hot Yoga?’ in a calm non threatening tone.

        Oh Hell, the crap hit the fan. I had never seen anything like it, Ever. The raging how she hates me, she hates her life, and she is done with both me and daughter. If fire could have come out of her nose it would have. So before its all over, I am yelling back at her, she is yelling at me, my daughter is crying and it just wont stop. I don’t know what the threat was, real or imagined, but it must have been really bad from her perspective. By the time its all over my ex is curled up in bed with my daughter, they are both crying, just like my ex’s dad did with her when she was a little girl. He would come home, the mom would have a reasonable request or issue, he would rage on her. Just like my ex used to describe before she went to the dark side.

        This is the beginning of the end for me and it only gets more bizarre. I am going to post the events as I remember them and then I am done. I would email myself what happened after a bizzaro event so I had a record of the dates and times of most of them.

      • You’re done?…So there is a switch somewhere you can turn off and on?…I don’t think you’re done. I think you want to be done, but you’re not done. I haven’t had a chance to respond, but wanted to reply. I will respond within a day or so and I apologize for the delay but I am having some challenges health wise and I have to pace myself. I promise I will respond in greater detail…but no I don’t think you’re quite done. You might be tired of telling the story and feeling what you’re feeling but I just have a hunch you’re not done. You very much want to be done but this journey isn’t just something you wrap up spilling your guts on forums all over the place…real healing is a process and a journey and we can write about them forever, but until we take a long hard look at the self, we’re nowhere near done, and that is even if we were on the victim side of the equation…it’s true anyone can be taken but the question remains, we’re not the only ‘nice’ empathetic people walking around. I note everyone loves to chalk it up to being ‘Empaths’ and it’s a good sell I presume but most do have empathy…kicking it up to some glorified special super power doesn’t cut it. Nothing you’ve said leads me to believe that is the crown you’re wearing, but you also mentioned co-dependency and I’ve also said many times I think that label is bullshit too. One of the questions I asked myself was: The Narc may have targeted 10 people and of those ten…only three bit. (For argument’s sake)…what was it about the other seven ‘nice’ ‘compassionate’ ’empathetic’ people that gave them the good sense to say “NO!” That’s when the real journey began…

      • Betty, up until this rage attack over Yoga hurt my feelings and made me uncomfortable but after this rage the crazy button turned on in my head. I did so many things that I am ashamed of and my reactions were not logical. It was at this time that my “fight/flight response was activated and it still has not turned off.

        I read somewhere that we try to blame the events on some outside force making our Ns act the way they do. You can tell I tend to blame the Dad for some of this, but its not him, its HER.

        The NEW thing in our lives that was now part of the equation was the HOT YOGA. So I blamed the Hot Yoga for her rage attack I studied the effects of heat on the brain, researched the practice trying to find a reason. The next month was the craziest for me in my life. I may have been certifiable actually. So I told her NO MORE HOT YOGA. PERIOD. I even told her I would sign over my portion of the house equity ($75,000) if she would stop. I was that certain that the Yoga was the source and cause of the outburst.

        You know how they make the victim out to be the crazy one, and I was. So she tells me her friends (who were my friends too) thought I was a controlling abusive husband. I just flipped out. I stayed at home raising the baby while she was out at her woman’s groups sometimes 3 nights a week The ladies would go to a local bar after there meetings and hang out. They would go on away trip to Vegas or the Coast or shopping trips. The last thing I would want to or try to do is control her The thing I didn’t know is those friends never said anything like that at all. She made it up.

        But she had accused me of something that I was the exact opposite of and I had to set the record straight so I sent those ladies and email listing all the things I do for her and all the mean stuff she does to me There was quite a bit of anger in those messages. Imagine the surprise when those woman read that email because they didn’t know anything was going on.

        I believe that is the injury we never recovered from. Exposure So we start going to a marriage counselor to “fix me” she saw him first and set that up pretty nicely. By the third session I think I started to get him to see that maybe there was more to the problem than just me

        One day that week I come home to find ex and the soon to be divorce lawyer actually checking out each others abs and comparing their bodies from all the Gym workouts. I asked my ex to come for a run with me which she did. During this run she informs me that she is divorcing me and that I can have the daughter on the weekends and she will have her during the week. (weekends are party time, right)

        The next morning I go tell my parents all that transpired and how I am going to do everything I can to save the marriage. My parents recommend a counselor who I can see and start getting help. It is this same person I still see today

        I get home that evening and the ex tells me she talked to a friend at school and maybe if we have sex 4 times a week that will solve our problems. I am totally blown away. Last night she was telling me how much she hated me and was divorcing me and now she wants to Fuck me 4 times a week. Betty, if you know of a better “HOOVER MANEUVER” than that please let me know. She acted as if nothing had happened and was in really good mood.

        This is important to know. She had learned to use sex or the promise of sex as the perfect hoover tool, she suck me right back in every time. All these events were 7 years ago so I have been at this game for a very long time.

        I am going to go play golf right now. I will continue the story later.

      • The saga continues. We have the yoga fight, the email to the friends , the divorce promise and then the solution of sex 4 times a week. As you may imagine, I was quite confused. We are in early June now and my birthday is in early June. So she decided she is going to have a big birthday party for me. I am in a dazed and confused state of mind and she wants to have a big birthday party. The first counselor we see just doesn’t understand why I don’t want this. The ex thru a big birthday party on my 40th even thought I told her I did not want one. She has been married to me for 17 years at the time and she knows this is not my style or desire.

        As a side note as part of the deal for her to give up hot yoga I gave up tobacco. I made it 28 days and she complained about the nicotine gum everyday. It was our custom to drive to CO at the beginning of July where my ex would host and plan a big party at the dick dad’s house. I would stay one week and she would stay 3 or 4 more after I flew home. After everything that has transpired she tells me I am not going. I like an idiot beg her to let me drive she and my then 11 year old daughter. So she makes the arrangements where the day I arrive is the day my flight leaves back home. My daughter is asking me why are you going home daddy and my ex tells her that daddy didn’t want to stay, which was bullshit. So they stay a full month.

        While she is there we plan a family (just the 3 of us) mini vacation at a near by water park and resort back at home. When we get home she tells me she is not going, so just me and daughter go. The feeling I had in my gut is the same damn feeling I have right now today.

        But before we leave CO we stop off at a separate resort city, just the 3 of us, without dick dad. I am trying to reestablish intimacy and we kiss. Then she starts telling me how I need to learn how to kiss better and differently. Do you get it. In 17 years she never mentioned that before. I am stretching here, but the message I was getting was “who the hell have you been kissing” to compare my kiss to?

        We get home and begin counseling sessions. She probably went to 4 before she said they weren’t worth the money.

        In my next post I will talk about trips to New York and how these trips were a significant cause of our problems.

  9. Betty,

    What if you are trying to co-parent with a narc. who is an attorney and likes to take you back to court every few years for custody? I assumed it’s because he doesn’t want to pay child support. He is painfully cheap. We have a 3 yr. old and we are going back to court in 2015 because he refuses to let our son reside out of my home. Every email is a game to him and way to inflate his ego, which fine. To each their own, but he loves to push my buttons by saying “I hope our son isn’t confused when you pick him up today.” He enjoys making me feel that I am an incompetent parent and that our son doesn’t love me or like me, though my son displays pure joy when he sees me. He’s been doing this to me since our son was born. Its really hurtful. I cry so much over it thinking “maybe he is right? maybe I am this wretched parent incapable of caring for my child?”. Then I realize through our son that I am a very good mother (no pintrest mom though). My Ex knows I bend over backwards for our son, which I believe is the reason he is so covertly mean… because I love my son more than him. He knows that our son is my world and likes to make me feel that I could lose him at any point in my life (to him). I’ve learned to get bold with him and not be afraid, but he is so smooth with his insults and with his emails. They are always “calm” and mine, well, have been emotional at times. The passive aggressive comments get me so upset because… well… they hurt and I want to defend myself and my parenting skills. After doing some extensive research on NPD I am NOW (2.5 years after he snuck out of the relationship & into the arms of his now wife) able to see these comments/actions are to cause doubt and fear. He refuses to let me meet my son’s step mother because she is “hesitant” to meet me. I’ve never met or seen her. What could she possibly be “hesitant” about? Oh that’s right because I’m “bi polar, schizophrenic, borderline” and whatever other extreme mental disorder is out there. He loves that it really makes me sick knowing there is an unknown person raising (and touching) my child. That power alone gives him “supply” I believe. Anyhow, he is an attorney he knows how to manipulate the system and use the law against me to “punish” me when he deems necessary. I am exhausted with his games and really don’t have money to consistently battle him, but I will in no way ever give him our child-not without a big fight even if that means going into major debt. My son is my pride and joy. I will be dammed to lie down and roll over. I need advice. Can you point me in the right direction? Give me some insight, anything? Thank you!

    • Dear Mel,

      I don’t have all the answers and I’d hate to be accountable for any legal mishaps but I’ll try to share some insights based upon what you are sharing. I’m going to have to cut and paste because my vision is bad and the font is a little small for me to read…

      You shared:

      “What if you are trying to co-parent with a narc. who is an attorney and likes to take you back to court every few years for custody? I assumed it’s because he doesn’t want to pay child support. He is painfully cheap. We have a 3 yr. old and we are going back to court in 2015 because he refuses to let our son reside out of my home. Every email is a game to him and way to inflate his ego, which fine. To each their own, but he loves to push my buttons by saying “I hope our son isn’t confused when you pick him up today.” He enjoys making me feel that I am an incompetent parent and that our son doesn’t love me or like me, though my son displays pure joy when he sees me. He’s been doing this to me since our son was born. Its really hurtful. I cry so much over it thinking “maybe he is right? maybe I am this wretched parent incapable of caring for my child?”. Then I realize through our son that I am a very good mother (no pintrest mom though).”

      Mel, it’s hard to own what NPD really is; however, if you could really OWN what it is, you might not be so hurt. Basically you are internalizing the comments and opinions of a crazy person. AS in certifiably crazy Mel. That thing ‘hurting’ you is really your own voice of doubt. Tell the committee to sit down and shut up. Mel…when I say crazy, I don’t mean the way some people use the term crazy to describe someone a tad touched…I mean by all definitions certifiably crazy…I can’t get this thought out of your mind…but I can ask you and it is not for the purposes of shaming you…I want you to really think about the question I am going to pose: “Why are you absorbing the thoughts, ideas, suggestions or opinions of what by definition is a crazy person?”

      You also shared…

      “My Ex knows I bend over backwards for our son”

      Your Ex MIGHT know that, but he also might not care…if he’s genuinely NPD, then NO he doesn’t care. BUT what he thinks is really not important right? Because we own he’s crazy right?…so let’s put the focus back on ourselves…do YOU know that you bend over backwards for your son?…Do you own that? Do you believe that? Is there ANY doubt in your mind about that?…I’m asking rhetorically because ultimately the only thing that we need to concern ourselves with is how you think and feel. We’ve already concluded he’s crazy…

      You note continues…

      “He he is so smooth with his insults and with his emails. They are always “calm” and mine, well, have been emotional at times. The passive aggressive comments get me so upset because… well… they hurt and I want to defend myself and my parenting skills.”

      Mel, this whole recovery thing is about you. Who are you defending yourself to? Yourself?…He doesn’t care. You can’t defend yourself to him. Are you expecting a great epiphany out of him? Are you expecting him to apologize? To provide closure? To say he was wrong? What are you looking for as you are banging your head into the wall torturing yourself over this certifiably insane individual?…Who are you defending yourself to?…There is nothing to defend…you will drive yourself crazy trying…then when all is said and done we’ll end up at: “He was right she is crazy”…that’s why it’s called CRAZYMAKING!. STOP. Own your merits, stop looking outside and please stop absorbing this man’s toxicity.

      Your note continues…

      “After doing some extensive research on NPD I am NOW (2.5 years after he snuck out of the relationship & into the arms of his now wife) able to see these comments/actions are to cause doubt and fear. He refuses to let me meet my son’s step mother because she is “hesitant” to meet me. I’ve never met or seen her. What could she possibly be “hesitant” about? Oh that’s right because I’m “bi polar, schizophrenic, borderline” and whatever other extreme mental disorder is out there. He loves that it really makes me sick knowing there is an unknown person raising (and touching) my child. That power alone gives him “supply” I believe.”

      Mel, I can empathize, it’s not a smooth pill to swallow but unless she’s got a rap sheet little you can do and the more he pushes your buttons and you react the more ammo he has in his gun. Not much you can do unless they’ve found him certifiable and if you’ve done the research then you know that the odds are low he would ever end up diagnosed. Moreover as it stands actively using drug addicts as long as they are enrolled in a program have rights to their children so there isn’t much you can control outside of continuing to be a good parent and doing your best to own what NPD is so you can laugh on the inside at this overgrown six year old in a man’s body because at the end of the day that is what we are dealing with and that is what you are letting get under your skin. A SIX YEAR OLD in an adult’s body. I swear this is true Mel…please embed this image in your mind…he is so not worth your getting twisted up in knots. This really isn’t personal other than his addiction to control and for as long as you share a child he may very well be the one to continue with the antics but you can control how you feel about it and how you respond. If you know what to expect the sting can be eradicated. Granted, a pain in the arse but they also only feed on active challenges. If he stops feeling supplied he just might get bored enough to stop. MAYBE…I can’t swear to this but I do know they get a rise out of driving people mad so if you are not providing fuel for his fire I suppose it would make sense he might eventually look elsewhere for his entertainment…because really that’s all anyone is to these types…entertainment.

      As per these games he’s playing Mel…the best I can give is that there is this great power struggle going on in his mind – whether real or imagined. I say this only because it’s possible that had he been NORMAL and the separation amicable, perhaps there would be nothing to fight over…but since he’s waged this war in his head I guess you’d have to understand his mind and how it works which means that perhaps if there were some way to coax him into believing that no real threat exists he might stop fighting. It’s quite possible he’s trying to evade paying Child Support; however, he might also just want to ensure he has the kid around for supply. As your child gets older he will have more say in what he wants to do but in the interim, if you can get to a place where there is no room for him to challenge you then he might have enough sense to know his actions won’t fly without grounds then he’d look like the asshole and since narcs are about EGO they don’t like looking like the asshole. So what that means is you accept he’s going to be an asshole for as long as he lives, he will be passive aggressive, he will do little things and big things to get under your skin. If you agree to have the child home at 6pm Sunday he may very well wander in at 10:00 pm. This will be hard to stomach because Jr. will need his rest for school and ultimately Jr. will pay the price until Jr. is old enough to call his own shots and a court will listen to him. This means that yes, you may have to deprogram Jr. skillfully without appearing or engaging in true alienation because that will only blow up in YOUR face. That means that even if you want to shit nails in your EX’s direction there will be a lot of sucking of salt because you don’t want Jr. to be in the crossfire, and you want Jr. someday when he’s old enough to be able to take a stand to his DAD and say: “Don’t you dare speak ill of my mother, she’s NEVER said anything bad about you!”…that is the ultimate revenge and it does come, but that means you have to get YOU and your head in check. Half the shyte they do Mel isn’t really triggering us because of them…their blood doesn’t run through our veins…half the shyte they do gets to us because it’s a re-triggering of an old script somewhere…please don’t let this guy drive you crazy Mel. There are going to have to be some compromises, some that are really hard to swallow…but in the bigger picture it’s about skillfully minimizing the damage. You have a number of years ahead of you where you will have to deal with this man since you share a child. Picking your battles is not weakness, it’s wisdom. I am not clear on the ‘custody’ issue you shared with regard to not allowing the child to live outside of your home. I don’t know what you are referring to, I assume the child lives with you in your home so I am missing the significance as to why this is an issue unless you are relaying that he has a stay on how far you can travel away from him in terms of distance without having his legal permission to do so given you share a child but outside of that I’m not sure what that means.

      Mel, you sound like you have a good grasp of things. I’d say the number one weapon with these types is give up control. Many balk! “Control!??? I’m not trying to control him!”…and no, I suspect you very well are not trying to control him, but they process anything you do as a personal attack on them and an attempt at control. I am not suggesting you lay down and surrender but rather be as ‘reasonable’ as possible even if you want to throw knives at him only because the less he feels he has to ‘fight‘ about, the fewer court hearings you will find yourself attending. The average arrangement when there is no joint custody is ample visitation which is usually every other weekend Friday-Sunday and holidays are split as well. This would probably be your best arrangement and viewed as sufficient by the courts. The longer you have primary custody, the lower the odds the courts would disrupt that unless they see ’cause’. Make sure you don’t let him ‘push’ you to exploding whereby he gets his ’cause’. Good luck to you Mel…hang in there…so far it seems you have a good grasp of the situation.


      • I finally saw your response tonight. Thank you for taking the time to listen and respond. You are right, i do need to believe in myself and my parenting skills more. He no longer matters and that apology I’m secretly hoping for is not going to happen. I need to stop questioning myself, but truthfully Ive been questioning myself since the first 3 months of our relationship (lots of gaslighting happened and still does honestly). I struggled with post partum (not the type that harms your child) after birthing my son then received therapy for PTSD after he left me for another woman (better her than me- Im seeing slowly). I put him in a position of power one because hes an attorney and two because he told me he was (laughing now) and being enamored with his awesomeness I believed it… until today. Its so embarrassing thinking about it all. Anyway, the more i read about this disorder and how they work the more powerful I feel simply because it is giving the control (of myself ) back. I lost my entire self to that relationship sadly and I am finally starting to understand what happened and where to go. So thank you for your site. It has been so enlightening and helpful. I still go to therapy and will until I’m fully healthy and no longer affected by him because, youre right, he will never change. I can though and I will.

        We do have joint custody, but he took off with our son a week after he left me and didnt return him (my son) until we went to court which was a month later. That was the hardest thing Ive experienced especially since I had been with my son everyday since he was conceived. Then to add insult to injury he went for full custody trying to give me no rights whatsoever. Anyway, what you were reading (and now I’m reading over again) is my confusing and somewhat irrational fears about him taking our son away. They don’t always come out clear in writing because I’m writing on my phone and am thinking so quickly about the events. We go back to court because he doesn’t agree with our orders- he says my attorney and I used his weaknesses as leverage which is comical. Thats that “6 year old” youre speaking of…
        Also youre right about our son being a source of supply. I had that exact ephiphany this past weekend after reading more about their supply source(s).
        At any rate, thank you. I have hope that I, too, will look back and say “Thank God for getting me out.” Painful as it has been and still is at times, I’m free.
        Thanks again. 🙂

  10. Hi Betty,
    I met my husband when we were 12 years old. He was definitely the one person in this world that I never thought would cause me pain, he was my very best friend. We got married when we were 24 and now we’re 30 and in August 2012 he told me he wanted a divorce. I was shocked. Was our marriage perfect? No, but what marriage is? Were there things we could have worked on, yes. But he wasn’t willing to try anything because he already met someone. He told her he wasn’t married at first and then told her he was in the process of a divorce. Almost a year and half later we are still married because every time I feel like I can’t go on this way, I get sucked back by his charm and once I get sucked back in I get beat back down and believe I did everything wrong and I caused this. I have no self esteem and have truly started to believe I’m not good enough for anyone. We actually moved to get away from the other woman and all the drama. We were away for about 2 months when he decided he wasn’t happy and had to leave again. He went back to her, all while playing me the entire time he was gone, depending on me to be responsible for our finances and household. Now she is saying she is pregnant and my world has completely crumbled. I don’t know what to believe when it comes to him because everything out of his mouth is a lie. His words are empty air. I’ve only recently started reading about narcissism and everything that it entails and I can’t help but think he is a narc. He has 0 regard for anyone’s feeling but his own. I guess I don’t know how you can just do this to someone and not care how much you are destroying them. It’s not easy to see someone you’ve known forever throw away everything they had and not even care. In all of this I’ve never heard a sincere apology and I keep waiting for that day, but I don’t think it will ever come. I need to pick up the pieces of my life while watching him move on with everything I ever wanted for us, a family and a lifetime together…how do I do this?

    • Olivia it’s difficult and I can empathize and understand how you might feel your whole world is shattered. His fluctuating back and forth is definitely a red flag; however, I am careful to label anyone a narc only because there are some real jerks out there who do dastardly crap but are not full fledged narcs. We all have traits. As per NPD, generally the schools of thought are narcs are ‘made’ not born and we are looking for cues from one of two places, A. A child that was spoiled rotten and indulged or B. A child that was severely abused. If one of those two things stand out then there is a possibility; however, the other thing nagging at me is the fact that both of you were both so young when you started out, neither one of you had a chance to really get to know yourselves even though I don’t doubt your feelings of love. Whether he is a narc or not though Olivia, life does not end because we’ve been duped…there is still so much of life to live. It will take some time to pick up the pieces. I am trying to be as ‘matter of fact’ as possible because in my experience, understandably the realization that I was dealing with someone on the spectrum was truly a shock; however, even today because many of us cannot obtain official diagnosis from a professional (because narcs think they are perfect and do not need therapy)…there is always that lingering doubt…”What if he is bipolar or has some other mental illness?”…BUT the ‘WHAT IF” is really irrelevant Olivia because the bottom line…whatever he is, he has treated you brutally because love even when it is ending between two people does not give one license to mentally and emotionally abuse or betray someone which is what he IS doing. So, I would suggest you don’t dive in too much focusing on all the nuances of the disorder even IF he is afflicted, because if he is…nothing you can do about that…you can only save you and you can only heal you. I know this is painful, this is almost a lifetime you’ve shared but Olivia…please believe me…30 is still so young and the path is clear to rebuild…find a therapist who gets it…I have a section entitled “Resources” Good therapy.org is a wonderful site where you can explore just how to find a good fit, questions you need to ask before committing. Many of us erroneously thought because someone had a license they were qualified. That is not true and the wrong fit can actually do more harm. If I had it to do over again, I probably would not get so caught up in online discussion and the saturation that the horror stories bring – but I do appreciate how early on, validation and hearing others have been burned helps us feel less alone, less crazy and it is helpful to see other’s share in our “ME TOO” moments. Ultimately though Olivia, this journey is really about you. In hindsight I have found that while I had my heart set on certain outcomes they were not meant to be, but what has replaced what I thought was a void has given me so much more liberation that if I had it to do all over again, while painful, I don’t resent the experience…as women we have enormous power and sometimes we forget that…we box ourselves in…sometimes we settle. This is your opportunity Olivia to UNsettle and live life on your terms…this can be the catalyst for significant change, growth and progress and while I would never suggest you bury your feelings or shove turds under the rug…I would say starting today…begin to find ways to get the focus on you. Be kind to you, be gentle to you, don’t deal in the woulda, coulda, shoulda…whatever it was, it had a purpose and a meaning…make something of it…
      All the best to you and please feel free to reach out if I can help you break some of the cognitive dissonance, I know how heartbreaking and maddening this is…if you have to lay on the floor a bit, rock and suck your thumb, give yourself permission. You are human, you have feelings and you’ve been hurt. No shame. Shame belongs to those who can’t feel or empathize…something YOU are not guilty of….

  11. Betty! OMG – I just stumbled upon your site and its fantastic! I am 2.5 years out of a 10 year marriage (2 kids, the whole shebang) to a Narc. Despite 2.5 years of therapy, including EMDR, I am still stuck in cognitive dissonance hell. I still want him back, I’m jealous of his new GF, I forget why I divorced him, and I truly have a hard time seeing him for who he is… Is there a way to find a local therapist that understands these issues? I need someone who specializes! (I’m in Austin, TX, BTW.) I need help! My own mind feels so mushy STILL. I’m getting my life together in all other ways, but I just can’t seem to get over him and recognize the abuse! Any advice?

  12. Elizabeth, its going to take some work, but to answer your question succinctly: “Why would he not want me?” Because he is certifiably crazy. Your therapist told you that – trust their professional opinion. Countless professionals won’t go near them because they have a talent for making others crazy. He has driven his wife crazy and he’s driven you crazy, many of us were rendered temporarily insane it comes with the territory, it’s not YOU it’s HIM. It will take time to really own this…your story sounds like mine in some respects. Elizabeth, feel free to keep asking questions. You will need some help with undoing the brainwashing to get it but you will survive. In the meantime, why is he chasing after “THAT KIND” of tail? https://narcraiders.wordpress.com/?s=quasimodo&submit=Search Keep in touch, I will help you as best I can…we all go through this, it’s called cognitive dissonance. You cannot reason or rationalize crazy. You cannot fix him or make him sane, you can only save yourself. GET TESTED…another suggestion…go back and re-read YOUR story and pretend a dear friend is sharing it. What words of advice would you have for her?…we get caught up in the web and we can’t see…keep on dissecting, this is not EASY, you are not a fool so do not beat yourself up that way, many of us do. You were targeted and manipulated. My own experience, I learned most of my emotional upset once I owned the facts had to do with anger towards myself for being so vulnerable. If they can take the therapists down we are no match for them. Be gentle and loving with yourself, please believe me, many have walked through these doors, myself included and made it but it takes work…Hugs.

  13. I have been through 3 and 1/2 years of a relationship with what I believe is a full blown narc. I have been discarded several times but this last time I ended it and did something that I’m sure he hates me for. I still love him after everything he has done to me. But I want to be strong enough to never get back into that relationship. I work with him and my question is how do I deal with that? And with all the emotions it brings every time I have to see him or see him pouring on the charm to his female coworkers? It drives me crazy.

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      I’m sorry to hear you are going through this. Getting past this depending upon the length and intensity of the relationship will undoubtedly take some time to sort through. Working with him I am sure will make the detachment a little more challenging.

      Having gone through this personally, my best advice is to learn what you can about the disorder. He could be a number of things, perhaps not necessarily a Narcissist – he might have high traits or he might just be a jerk. I am very careful today simply labeling someone a narcissist because those of us who offer peer support are not mental health professionals; however, I think it would be safe to say if you are identifying certain ‘traits’ on the spectrum in keeping with his behavior, then at bare minimum we’re dealing with a TOXIC RELATIONSHIP, and so you need to be OUT of it anyway.

      Assuming he is a narcissist, I’d say first you really need to own that his perceived ‘rejection’ of you really has nothing to do with you or anything inadequate or unlovable about you. What it has to do with is a disorder that according to most literature and mental health professionals is incurable. You are in this case powerless to change this. The only thing we can do is accept it and work towards healing and releasing it. Again, this WILL take time as the wound they leave is much deeper than a regular break-up. I am hesitant to paint all kinds of scenarios of doom and gloom because I feel that the power of suggestion is very influential and so I would simply say that if you find yourself struggling a little longer than you have with previous breakups that is pretty normal from what I’ve learned but I don’t wish to ‘crown’ you ‘Scarred and traumatized for life’. Certainly the depth of the damage would depend upon the level of abuse but I do believe one can recover from this. I have recovered and others have also moved on to live very fulfilling and productive lives, and gained valuable insight, strength, wisdom and came away from this experience actually having a better radar which in turn helped with making many changes within their own lives, so this very well can serve as a ‘breakthrough’ and period of growth depending upon how you choose to approach your ‘recovery.’

      You share that you still love him. I am not in a position to debate that and even today in the work I do, I too go back and forth. The feelings I had were very real, but then I find myself asking WHO did I love if all that was presented in the relationship was an illusion? The flip side of this question is: If we understand the dynamics of mirroring, and believe that they are essentially feeding off of us while presenting an illusion and reflecting back to us the best parts of ourselves (at least in the good times) then are we in love with THEM or our own good qualities?…just something to ponder I haven’t quite arrived at the conclusive answer, the good news is that today I don’t care – but for someone trying to sort through the baggage, when we get stuck on: BUT I LOVE HIM…Who is he? Can anyone really know? HE doesn’t know (if he’s a narcissist) he is operating on the false self. Tomorrow he’s a different person altogether depending upon his needs. The type of person he was ‘attracted’ to yesterday is not the same type of person he will be attracted to tomorrow. So, I am not certain we can say we love someone who cannot ‘connect’ to their own core.

      You may find yourself along the way as you learn more feeling even greater feelings of empathy once you do begin to understand everything there is to understand about this, and you might be tempted to reach out to ‘save’ him. Don’t. Believe me, he is a better survivor than you ever will be. The one thing they know how to do is get their needs met. He’s fine. You’re the one that needs the rescue. Put those resources into yourself.

      Keep in mind that this individual is basically a six year old in a grown man’s body. We are talking arrested psychosocial development here. Do you really believe you can have a lasting, bonding relationship with a six year old that is not your biological child? I’m assuming the answer is NO. We want interdependent relationships, reciprocity, and someone who can feel empathy and return genuine love. Narcs cannot do that. They can pretend to do that, they are charming and yes, they may even be exceptional lovers BUT at the end of the day, we’re still dealing with a six year old in an adult body. I don’t know about you but my ‘child’ days are over. The only six year olds I’m expecting at this point will be my future grandchildren, otherwise I expect payment for babysitting.

      There is going to be deep pain in this experience Elizabeth, it’s the death of a dream and the death of a fantasy, many of us felt there was such a deep bond, and many who have gone through the devalue and discard routine have done so not because they were ‘codependent’ but because what we were dealing with was manipulation. Cognitive dissonance either led us to believe they were capable of changing and we thought love would conquer all, or they came back after tearing their draws talking the “Baby I love you please don’t leave me, I’m nothing without you” routine – and yes that might have been true, IN PART…specfically the: “I’m nothing without you” because without a life force to leech off of, they have no identity and that kicks up their anxiety and they fall into the dark hole of their bottomless pit of void. It is how they are able to cycle through people, they have to. The one I was with had a new woman within weeks and I suspect she was living with him within a month?…cie la vie.

      They cannot love, they lack empathy, and so lack remorse. They see nothing wrong with what they do. They operate on INSTANT GRATIFICATION, they are compulsive and it is about getting their needs met. PEOPLE are DRUGS to them. Devaluing and Discarding is what they do. They cannot change. Something is not wired correctly in the brain. Unless you are a neurosurgeon, you cannot fix this, and currently lobotomies for this condition are unethical. That is the part that so many must own…it is DISORDER and we are powerless. We can have compassion at a distance, or we can be pissed off and full of piss and vinegar, we can feel whatever we have to feel it is all normal and emotions will cycle up and down in this process and you will find yourself going up and down with this, and yes, there will be some rumination. Try to find professional help but be certain they understand this personality disorder so they can relate to you and what you are experiencing because many of us end up batshit crazy temporarily and therapists get it confused and end up labeling us with some crap and that actually thwarts the healing. You will need to learn enough to articulate what he’s done. Some of the covert methods of abuse I did not even have words for. I had to learn the jargon in order to begin to process. Just a suggestion.

      Now…the “At Work” thing…

      I’m pretty confident we can both expect Cassanova will be trolling all up and down the office and going out of his way to make sure you SEE just how appealing he is to the masses. This is going to mess with your ego some. He may even be so charming that he will get others to engage in perpetuating the abuse by proxy. He may smear you, certainly he will make you the bad guy, you will naturally wish to defend yourself and your good name, it may be very tricky ground for a bit. I would not say he’s harmless, because it’s not just about breaking up with you…in his mind you have to be punished too (for disappointing him and not living up to his humanly impossible ideal). You have to know who’s boss up in there and he will go to great lengths to make sure you know who’s boss. People are objects to be used, abused and triangulated one against the other. You will have to weigh how much of the B.S. you can deal with but I would not go running and put myself in financial ruin and changing jobs right away because of an ASSHOLE. I would try to find ways to be proactive. I would not however, warn anyone else or even comment on gossip he’s spread about you. If someone approaches you with information of the he said/she said persuasion, I would offer NO comment. Remember, he’s using others as puppets too. When we starve them, we starve everyone connected to them. NO COMMENT. POKER FACE. Commenting only stirs the pot and it could actually turn into a trap because slander is something that one could be sued for – but just don’t go there, it’s just an invitation to crazy town. You’re dealing with a child but a very clever one. This may not happen, but be prepared and be proactive on the defense. SILENCE is usually the best weapon.

      Perhaps see if you can be transferred laterally to another area where he isn’t. I’d investigate my rights as they pertain to Human Resources. I know some companies have policies where you are told you cannot have relationships with fellow employees. If such a policy exists then you might have to bite your tongue; however, if not, I would not march in tomorrow morning, I’d observe the climate and TAKE NOTES (LITERALLY). If he gets too out of line, then by all means I’d make a complaint. The objective truth is, he is free to see whomever he likes, you were not married. You will have to be very honest with yourself about whether or not you are reacting to concrete behaviors meant to intimidate and harass vs. your oversensitivity right now because of a break-up and the very normal pain we feel when we witness an asshole kicking it to another. Whatever you do, even if you find yourself wanting to OUT HIM…refrain from doing so as it will make you look like the CRAZY. They have this uncanny ability to make us look CRAZY. They are button pushers.

      WHATEVER is going on inside…POKER face between 9 and 5. DO not let him know it is getting to you. What we do is try to go No Contact but that is not always possible; however, in ACTION it is what we call STARVING the Narcissist. We feed them NOTHING and we detach from what they think and even what the effect of our behavior (ignoring and detaching) has on them. We are not doing it for them, or for revenge we are doing it for US as a means of self love and self care. WE take our power back. We anticipate and expect they are going to act out as assholes because that is what they do. They may ignore us in return, they may make spectacles of themselves, they may do a number of things. When they do, in your mind, you remind yourself that this is not personal, it is what a six year old does for attention. Since you are not the mother of this six year old, your only recourse is to ignore him. The only time we don’t ignore six year olds that are not our own is when perhaps their Mommies are not paying attention and they’re about to lick a toilet seat or something…I am pretty confident he won’t be doing that.

      Otherwise Elizabeth, do the best you can to understand and own his rejection is not a valid statement about your lack of worth as a human being. It is what they do. If you have ‘baggage’ this is a great opportunity once over the initial hurt of the severance to then decide to take that journey and work out those kinks. Oftentimes we were ‘manipulated’ and so I don’t hold a ‘target’ to task for somehow wanting this or asking for this although sometimes – oftentimes there are elements of repetition compulsion. If you find that may be a possibility, do the work to right your mind. Get back to the center of you…your core and make a commitment moving forward to never again look outside for what we are perfectly capable of giving ourselves. Once you feel whole and complete on the inside, I believe the odds of attracting these types are lowered, perhaps not 100 percent eradicated because they’re good at what they do, but with the education you are about to receive I believe you will be in a much better position to identify the red flags and if you find yourself caught up again, be on better footing to jet. Trust your gut…I’m pretty sure if you replay the tapes, something was telling you something wasn’t right. Most of us ignored that lil ‘voice’…learn how to listen to it and fine tune it…we are not crazy. Intuition is the gift the universe gave us for protection. Use it.

      All the best to you. If I can answer anything else, please do not hesitate to ask.

      Blessings and may you have a successful journey,

      • Thank you for your prompt advice and your good advice. I went to counseling a couple of months ago due to my involvement with him. The counselor said he was 99% sure I was dealing with a narcissist.
        We work at a smaller hotel so avoiding is impossible. The thing that really burns me up is that he was hired because of my recommendation. He had been unemployed for a year and a half before this job. I know things that could get him fired today. He is addicted to prescription oxy, takes 12 a day, on them at work, his position gives him alot of freedom and he will leave work on the clock, will go in vacant rooms and sleep. I never knew just how cold he was until I started working with him. He will be so friendly to someone and the minute they walk off he will say something like “asshole”. The slightest criticism to him and you are hated. He has said awful things about our boss because of a slight criticism. Once after what he perceived as a put down he said to me ” I hope he gets cancer and drops dead in front of his wife and kids and grand kids”. That disturbed me. But he never shows anger and if I ever got angry with him he acted like I was acting crazy.
        I have helped him so much financially and he doesn’t appreciate any of it. When I met him he was separated from his wife, which turned out to be a joke. In the over 3 years I’ve been involved they separate for a week and get back together. He has me believing we are going to be together and he hates her and was only taking her back for the kids. Even though he had custody of the oldest and could have had the baby if he wanted. Because as bad as he is she is worse.
        He always claimed he let her come back because she begged and begged and would manipulate him.
        It all came to a head this time because he put her out, had me believing this was it and we were going to be together. He talked me in to getting him a phone on his account. 2 or 3 days later he begins the same pattern again, barely hearing from him, not seeing me. Because of my suspicions I check my phone records and sure enough I see he has been texting her all day, long phone calls. All on my phone account!! The next day I send a text that he ignores. I know his excuse will be that he slept all day that’s the excuse I always get. So I go online and check the records 3 mins after I sent the text he has made 2 phone calls to the same number. It’s a strange number. I call it and it is a gay bar!!! I lose it. I send him a text tell him it is over and I want $400 for the charge to break the cell phone contract but do not tell him why. Of course I get the I wasn’t ignoring u, I was asleep text which I knew was an outright lie.
        I finally decided to go talk to the wife since they were separated. And surprise I’ve been lied to all along. The last time they split he bought her a car and new wedding ring to get her to come back. She showed me a text from 2 days before when we were supposedly together saying how he wanted her to be the perfect wife for him again and wanted her to be consumed with him,etc, etc. She also confirmed my suspicion that he had admitted talking to a housekeeper at the hotel whom I had been suspicious of and he had told me I was crazy and to give him more credit than that. She told me alot of things that really woke me up. Even after the way he had treated me these last 3 years I thought he was a higher class person than it turns out he is. She wanted us to both go that night and confront him. So we did. I had totally expected him to break down beg her forgiveness but he didnt. He came to the door and she said “you have some explaining to do” and he said ” no I don’t” and really wouldn’t say anything, just kept saying ” ok wrap it up”.
        She actually apologized to him for whatever she had done to make him do this. She also kept apologizing to me. She went back to him last week, just a week later.
        One thing I’m having such a hard time with is dealing with the question of why. Why would he not want me? I am definitely not the type to brag but I am told alot that I’m beautiful, last week a delivery man said I just have to tell you, you are drop dead gorgeous, I come from a good family,that are financially stable, I have a nice trust fund, I don’t drink or smoke. And he is choosing to be with someone that has been arrested 5 times since I’ve known him, addicted to pills, looks like she’s lived pretty rough and she’s only 36. The women he flirts with at work and the one he was talking to was not very attractive.
        It has been a real hit to my confidence. I almost feel like if he didnt want me with all of his problems, how could anyone want me? How do I get past this and get my confidence back. My best friend has said she’s seen a big change in me since my involvement with him.
        Oh yeah he lives in the basement of his parents home and is a big mommy boy.

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