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The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #1 April 18, 2009

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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I never could have imagined that so many people would read my 3-part series Close Encounter with a Narcissist. Or imagined how many people would leave comments detailing their own often heart-wrenching “close encounters.”

When I check my blog stats (something us bloggers obsessively do), I like to check the “search engine terms” people typed in before they were electronically dropped off at my blog’s doorstep.

In this new series, The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism, I’ll use a “search term” I’ve come across as a jumping off point for a discussion. (Please read the Close Encounter with a Narcissist series first, or it’s like walking in after the movie’s started. Shhhh!)  Here goes.

“Will a narcissist ever idealize you again?”

A close friend, who also had a friendship with a man with NPD, wrote eloquently about the idealization phase and gave me permission to share her thoughts. The following is an excerpt (with identifying details omitted).

“During the initial idealization phase, the Narcissist shines a laser beam of attention on us. We blossom in its unusual warmth. Most people don’t pay that kind of attention to us. We find we like it, need it, maybe even deserve it.

Then when the Narcissist realizes we actually like them, they think we must be worthless, because they themselves feel worthless inside and unlikeable. The beam of light shuts off. Then they shoot a death ray to ward us away. They don’t want an emotional relationship. It’s a tug of war between them needing attention and not wanting any emotional involvement, until we’re smart enough to let go of the rope. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?)

Narcissists just seem to be much better at the initial burst of showering attention. And most people are starved for some kind of acknowledgement. I know I was. When I met “William,” he acted as if I was the greatest thing at first. And he was certainly a busy, interesting person. Yes, I was smitten. Yet, when I look back we never really even had conversations. After our initial meeting, they were mostly combat. Abuser/user.

You know what they say about alcohol and alcoholics. The first drink is the best high, and you spend the rest of your life chasing it, but it’s never the same. Later, all you get is sick. But you keep hoping, you’ll have that nice warm feeling again. But alcohol doesn’t care about you! Now, though, when I see him, I don’t feel anything, but I do remember how I used to feel.”

Sound familiar? When I first read it, I couldn’t help but say, “Yes!”  The Idealization phase is just that – a phase, and there’s no real way to extend it, unless you go into serious game-playing mode, renounce your humanity, and just play hard to get. It’s the chase that excites the Narcissist. But that’s not a relationship – that’s high school! So once you show genuine interest in a Narcissist, the exit sign quickly comes into view.

There’s no way around this. This is a script with a beginning (Idealization), a middle (Devaluation), and an end (Discard). I do think that people in long-term relationships with Narcissists (and so many who’ve written comments were married 25-35 years), live in a perpetual Twilight Zone of D&D. Even though they are not “physically” discarded, they are “emotionally” discarded early on. How can they get back into the Narcissist’s good graces? It’s simple. They can’t.

But what if…?  Those who’ve had a short-term “close encounter” often believe it’s possible to recapture that “magic.”  To call for a “do-over” – this time with a different result. What they don’t understand is that all magic is about illusion. Smoke and mirrors, as in it’s all an act. Any contact with the Narcissist after the initial D&D is just a sequel to the original show. And how many sequels to you know that are better than the original (The Godfather excluded)?

Think of the NS (Narcissistic Supply) a Narcissist derives from a victim, who repeatedly returns for more. Inside, the Narcissist feels worthless and unlovable, so he/she views any person who continues to be drawn to him/her as inferior, or to put it bluntly – a loser. All the more reason to kick that person to the curb – yet again. Elisse Stuart wrote about this in “Narcissistic Curtain Calls.”  A Narcissist might reel you back in one more time, not because they idealize you or miss you, but just to prove to themselves they can. Then the D&D begins anew. It’s the sinister human equivalent to the fisherman’s catch and release.

So the answer to the question, “Will a narcissist ever idealize you again?” is NO. I reached this conclusion in my head, long before I reached it in my heart. It’s an emotional tug of war, and you can only win when you let go of the rope.

Read The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #2

Photo Credit:  Jan Marshall

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Comments»

1. Bev from england - April 19, 2009

Oh jan…could u think of no other ‘name’ to use than the one u chose??? lol

great piece as ever…

In my experience over 6+ years i was defo in a cycle of being adored by him, boring to him then dropped by him over and over … however i dont think that i was ‘idealised’ all these times, but i defo was TWICE within the years…once at the begining and the second time was after we made up following the first huge D&D. i think i was maybe idealised even more that time than the first…. but of course it didnt last and the cycle started and continued over and over each time getting worse…. until HE finally gave up on me. I dread to think how long id have allowed him to use and abuse me….. i still miss ‘him’ but am so glad he at last left me…

its hard work and an ongoing process to recover from him…

i look forward to more in this series

HUGS

Bev – Sorry about the name thing, but no matter what name I use, SOMEONE has an association with it. When I chose “Joe,” I didn’t realize how many people I knew had husbands or sons named Joe. I should just stick to calling all N’s “Adolf!” Jan

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2. elissestuart - April 20, 2009

Jan – nice photo…it shows no reflection…just like the narcissistic vampire. I look forward to this series.
Thanks for the pingback : )
…”kick him to the curb…”with the rest of the garbage…I have new boots should the N ever try to make another ‘curtain call’ but I am no longer a “season ticket holder” LOL
ES

ps – congrats on 20,000!

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3. Catherine Sherman - April 23, 2009

This was great, as always. Many healthy relationships start out very intense and then cool to a more reasonable, sustainable temperature. Too often we mistake a relationship with an N that has reached a bumpy stretch (amazing how quickly that happens!) as a normal relationships that is just stabilizing, even though the N is more intense than any of the others in both the good and the bad. We miss the early signs of pathology because we’re so hopeful and excited and think, “What a great friend we’re making!”

Catherine – I think these “relationships” typically run from HOT to COLD, which can set one’s head to spinning. I was reading in the most recent issue of WIRED about how pickpockets work. If they reach directly for your pocket, people will see what they’re up to. The successful ones move one hand in an arc-like motion to distract the victim, while they take their wallet with the other hand. I can’t think of a more apt metaphor. Jan

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4. elissestuart - April 25, 2009

Jan –
That’s why I now keep my heart and my wallet closely guarded.

ES

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5. Julie - July 7, 2009

I ended a relationship with a narcissist in May because I got the courage to do so and it is the best thing I could have ever done. Now I have found someone who doesn’t play the games, doesn’t call me names, doesn’t belittle me, but truly loves me.

And there are other good ones out there. Remember narcissists are not capable of love because first they would have to love themselves and they just can’t.

Julie – You’re so right. You can’t give what you don’t have. That’s why they also don’t empathize with others, as their own “feelings” are so shallow. You’re a rare case, in that, so many people suffer extreme emotional whiplash, and it takes them some time to move on. As one friend said, “Time does heal all wounds, but sometimes you’ve got to give time time.” Best of luck to you. Jan

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6. The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #2 « planetjan - July 14, 2009

[…] Read The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #1. […]

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7. The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #3 « planetjan - July 22, 2009

[…] Read The Mirror Talks – Reflections on Narcissism #1. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Babes’ Blog, Week 93:When mom forgets to act her age […]

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8. DweamGoiL - October 12, 2009

My husband of 10 years left me this past July because he finally achieved the body he always wanted to have. As a result, he could not resist the temptation that he encountered everywhere or the temptation he was constantly looking for, but hey, what’s the difference, right? lol

Before this sordid tale unfolded, I became painfully aware of his NPD. I made the crucial mistake of pointing out my theory and in proper N form, he became defensive and vehemently began devaluing me. By then, it didn’t matter anymore…I began to see him for what he really was. The more attractive he became, the more disgusted I was. It really was rather comical how we headed so quickly in opposing directions.

The experience has left me down-right pissed. But, throughout all of this, I refused to give my true self up and become what he wanted or to turn a blind eye to his infidelities. Funny part is today, I basically ignore him, but somehow I have become the forbidden fruit. I am the keeper of the most intimate knowledge of his true self and in his mind, should be his most trusted friend, but I refuse to take any active role in his life anymore. Because of this, he tirelessly tries to win me over. I suppose it’s the chase all over again, but to me, I know it’s only temporary. He may be between women or whatever so I simply go on with my life and accept he is going on with his. Nothing more, nothing less!

I do have to say, that your writings on NPD were very informative and easy to understand, which is an absolute asset. Most of the clinical tomes put readers to sleep. You have done a great service in compiling the information and in its palpable packaging. Good work!

The “perfect body” is just fancy packaging to cover up an empty box of a human being. I, too, made the crucial mistake of pointing out my theory, and in proper N form, Joe, acted incredulous and defensive. He never asked what on earth he’d done that would lead me to believe that he had NPD. They’re not even listening when you talk. Personally, I think being “pissed” is an absolutely wonderful response. Good for you. The key to the future is “nothing more.” I’m glad you found my writing enlightening. That’s why I wrote about this disorder. It’s been a long day, but I can honestly say that your comment made my day. :) Jan

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dweamgoil - October 17, 2009

glad to hear :)

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9. Laura - November 4, 2009

This last post actually gives me some hope. Good job. Everywhere I go for insight on this painful subject, the suggestion is just let go. Well I am tired of this, we need to fight back, we need to develop a technique which can break this evil cycle. Many more women who didnt fall in the trap will soon, maybe our friends, maybe our daughters. We do have the obbligation to study this and
be sure it wont keep happening. I won’t take a defeat as a final answer. These are monsters. No Pity, no compassion. Man walked on the moon, didnt he? We can do it Empower yourself and break this evil cycle. Fight back whatever it takes.

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10. Laura - November 4, 2009

Just charge your weapons and fight back ! No fears

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11. Lilly - December 20, 2009

Actually you don’t even have to mention NPD to a narcissist. All you have to do is tell them you have read 5 books in an effort to understand who they are. Narcissists have such a fear of being exposed that the mere thought of someone “getting” them puts the fear of God in them.

Great article. Exactly what I went through during the idealization phase.
I would be curious to know from other readers the typical span of time that lapses between idealization and when the N starts devaluing his victim (i.e. shift from Hot to Cold). Anyone care to comment?

Lilly – I actually thought that if I told Joe that I knew what he was, he’d feel safe in that I “understood” him. The joke was on me. Narcissists don’t want to be understood. They want to be admired, envied, or even hated. When you understand someone, it implies that you KNOW them, and Narcissists don’t want to be known.

The time frame from Hot to Cold varies (from the 5 books I’ve read. LOL!) Looking back, I realize that once the thrill of the “chase” was gone, the D&D was underway. On some of the message boards, people consistently say they saw cracks in the mask by the fourth month. Many, in retrospect, realized there were major red flags but overlooked them at the time. Personally, I think once the N realizes you’re “his” and you really do care for him, the D&D begins. He’d rather have the adoration of total strangers than the love of someone close. That’s what my next post in the series will be about. Happy holiday fare, eh? Always, Jan

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Lavette - December 6, 2012

Lilly, when I was with my N. We stayed in the idealization span for about 2 months, the best 2 and 1/2 months of my life. I felt like I had met my soulmate. I let all my guards down and could talk to this man about anything in this world. He spend almost everyday and weekend with me, we’d go out and have fun or stay in and enjoy each other, I felt so comfortable, protected, beautiful, loved, adored and wanted. He seemed so in tune with me, so attentive, caring, open and patient.
Then after that time maybe the 3rd month, he started withholding sex, making disappearing acts for a day or so, not calling as much and not returning phone calls, twisting my words, telling me things then telling me I was crazy that he said something totally different and that I made it up or am “putting words in his mouth” or “reading too much into what he is saying -or- he didn’t mean it like I heard it, maybe I took his words out of context”. I was going through hell, he was hot then cold one minute, then when I would back away from him or tell him we are not compatible, he would go back to the idealization phase and try to please me and show me the person I thought I met for about a week or two and I would be manipulated into staying, thinking maybe I was overanalyzing his behavior and being too hard on him or perhaps maybe my expectations were too high.
He would tell me sob stories or tales to manipulate my emotions to feel sorry for him and I’d stay.
I ended up getting pregnant by him and he wouldn’t go to the doctor with me, he became cold and angry saying I should’ve been on birth control, although he was the one who never wanted to use condoms while being intimate with me, he’d even go as far as sneakedly sliding the condoms off when changing positions and then insisted we not use them because “he’s already been in me without them and we’d been together for awhile now”. He threated to call the police on me and have stalking charges pressed if I contacted him while pregnant and that he’d contact me before I deliver and have a paternity test done because he didn’t know where I was 24/7 (mind you I worked from 8am-5pm and was with him in the evenings from 6pm til the next morning.) unless he disappeared or had to do something for his parents.
I started losing weight, my hair started breaking, skin breaking out, couldn’t sleep, became depressed, crying all the time, missing my family who lived out of state and eventually suffered a miscarriage that he was not there for. His cousin told him about it and he called me two weeks later to apologize and try to patch things up. Like a fool in love or a sucker for love, after 2weeks of pleading I took him back, and continued the process of feeling unloved, unhappy, depressed, unwanted and hurt because I loved a man who didn’t love me nor treated me right. My great aunt passed and he never had the decency to say “my condolences or I’m sorry”, he never wanted to hear about my day or what I was stressed about or feeling after the idealization phase, everything was about him, me pleasing him, me compromising for him, me showing him love-sympathy and compassion and him feeling superior and treating me like I was replaceable.
I tried to break things off with him one evening at my apartment and he became violent with me choking me, pushing me and slapping me telling me I’d never be able to leave him until he said it was over, I pulled my gun on him and made him leave.
He went away for a week or two then started calling, apologizing with a sob story of being stressed out and out of character because he allegedly had been drinking and smoked some marijuana, at the time I foolishly believe him or wanted to believe the story he told and that his behavior wasn’t totally abusive because he hadn’t punched me, bruised me or beat me up (silly me). I accepted the behavior and we were in a happy place for about a week, then it was devalue again.
I got to the point where I couldn’t work, I couldn’t eat, I had stress knots and was crying all the time, I got back in church and started praying, a few weeks later I decided I wouldn’t renew my lease at my apts and moved 45minutes away to the other side of town so I could wean myself off of him and that unhealthy, toxic relationship where I was depleated and unhappy. I mean this man had the ability to determine if I was gonna have a good day or a bad one, and all I wanted was for him to show me love and spend time with me, it didn’t matter what it was we were doing watching tv, out shooting pool or salsa dancing just us together having fun, but after awhile eve those things felt like a chore.
He would tell me I couldn’t do anything right and belittle me, tell me I needed him to help and to think for me. Smh…
After I moved our interactions face to face dwindled and communication started to as well, we hung out maybe 10 times in 2months then I caught a girl at his house one day when I dropped him off and circled back 5 mins later. I called him out on all his shit, he lied and denied saying she was a friend and she lied as well. He disappeared, and sadly to say it was the most painful few months but I became my happy self again!!!! ;) Not focused on him and his negative energy that was draining me and sucking my life out of me, I focused on me and started to heal. Only for him to contact me 9months later from another phone no# wanting to spend some time and get together, I was surprised thinking and praying he was long gone and had forgotten about me. I was cordial and pleasant, talked a little while and declined his offer, he has attempted to contact me a few more times since, but I still love him just have no desire to have him in my life after all the pain and heartache I suffered in that 18months.

Lavette,
I do believe this is the first time a gun has made an appearance in my blog. Eek! I’ve been on a Maya Angelou kick lately. One of her quotes comes to mind, “The first time someone shows you who they really are, believe them.” In the name of “love,” you repeatedly returned to this low life who inflicted a lot of pain and didn’t care diddly about you. Let’s make one thing clear. This was NOT love – infatuation, lust, wanton lust, wishful thinking maybe, but not love. When I was a teenager crying about some boy, my father took me aside and told me that when you love someone, it makes you happy and brings out the best in you. His wise words have helped to guide me through the years. My father died in March of this year. May his words guide you as well as you move as far from this loser as you can. Jan

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Lavette - December 6, 2012

Thank you so much for replying! And you are right, it was NOT love, but I was so blinded at the time I couldn’t see clearly or could but was convinced otherwise. I appreciate you sharing your wisdom and advice as well as your dad’s advice. My condolences for your father passing. You are blessed to have had a good relationship with your dad and have him in your life to guide you and share his wisdom, my dad abandoned me when I was 13 never to look backward (no calls, birthday cards, gifts, hugs etc.) after years of broken promises and lies, which may be the reason I put up with the abuse from my N ex, only God knows the truth.
However, I will continue to work on me and try my hardest to fix my co-depend traits/ways and keep my eyes open to try to avoid narcissistic men. Thank you so much for your website, your advice and information, it’s been very helpful!!

Have a blessed day.

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12. Lilly - December 23, 2009

I thought the same thing, Jan. Feeling pretty delusional about now.

The piece I am confused about is how this guy could have been married for 22 years; many affairs on her part along the way. I’ve read all the books, or at least 5 of them anyway, and I understand there are many different dynamics to this animal (no pun intended). So I guess I get the 22 year marriage, sorta, but it does not mesh with the 4 months to D&D theory. Perhaps his wife barely had a pulse and did not notice she was being devalued. Thrill of the chase theory definitely applied in my situation.

Ironically, I “felt” something was off just 2-3 weeks after I met my N. I am an extremely intuitive individual by nature and he was wildly inconsistent in his behavior. Soon it began to feel like I was on a roller coaster ride. I have read this same symptom on other message boards as well.

Jan, I appreciate your site. I have saved you in my Favorites and will keep reading as I am recovering from my horrendous experience. I will also pass the word along as I stumble onto others with a similar need.

Lilly – Thanks. It’s nice to be someone’s Favorite. >blush< I have to go out for the day, but want to respond to your question. I'll try to tonight. What I'm getting from your comments is the person you were involved with had been in a marriage for 22 years. Were they still married, or divorced? My sister-in-law was married to a N for 14 years, and I've learned so much from her situation. It seems you're wondering how they were with one woman that long and didn't "discard" them, whereas the D&D happened fairly quickly with you. I just want to have a better sense of your situation before I throw in my two cents. Thanks. Jan

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13. Lilly - December 23, 2009

He was divorced by about a year when I met him in the workplace. Having a close encounter with an N in the workplace is not a good thing, by the way. We never actually dated. He is a manager and it would have not been good to have a messy N relationship in the workplace (I guess in his mind emotionally exploiting someone is safer). He just used me for adulation and my emotional energy, though I did not know that was what he was doing at the time. Because he was so attentive and continued to draw me in whenever I would back away, I got it stuck in my head that surely he would not behave this way if there weren’t some genuine feelings and interest in me. WRONG! We attended the same weekly happy hour together, so there was ongoing contact throughout this period of “whatever”.

It was actually me (I think?) that did the semi-final discarding. Though I still cared about him, I walked away because I got tired of him drawing me in and then keeping me at arm’s length. Failure to launch is a good way to describe. It wasn’t long after the discard that he began his aggressive search and acquisition of a new source of supply. Now he walks around the office very smug and with a grandiose attitude about his new achievement.

Long story short, the whole entire experience was emotionally draining, demoralizing and left me quite confused because it was painfully obvious during the idealization phase that he was pursuing me, so much so that coworkers were observing and hinting about whether we were seeing one another. It was also painfully obvious to me that he was unwilling to just let go while we were going through this charade. But as soon as he had a new source, there was no use for me anymore.

Yes, you are correct. I am trying to understand how a person can be married to someone with this issue for 22 years, whereas others can be blown through in a matter of months.

Lilly – I’m reprinting the abridged version I emailed you. I too felt that by his coming to see me every day, there was some genuine interest on his part. Your comment about growing tired after he’d draw you in then hold you at an arm’s length really resonated with me.
I was initially most interested in finding out whether he was cerebral or a somatic because although he made all sorts of sexual comments, he was loath to actually connect with someone – emotionally or physically. I found it all the more confusing because I was “good supply,” so why would he lose interest? I realize it was precisely because I was interested in him, that he lost interest. The element of the chase was gone. To be more blunt – I’d lost that new car smell. He’d rather have had total strangers notice him or talk to him, then to have me listen to him recount traumatic events from his childhood. Being with me no longer provided a “rush.” I also noticed that he would mention his “girlfriends” and always had several women he was pursuing, but from what I could tell he had no sexual relationship with any of them. He also tired of my probing questions, my attempts to “get to know him better,” because it challenged his inflated image of himself.

Long story short – your N most likely married someone who was young and 1) had low self esteem so they were easy to manipulate 2) thought he was The One then married him and realized he had turned into a different person. Then they exhausted themselves trying to please him. That’s what my sister-in-law did for 14 years. It’s the Meanie/Martyr dynamic. If he was cerebral, his wife might have been forced to go outside the marriage for a meaningful emotional/sexual connection. There are some books that suggest if a woman is determined to stay with an N, and he’s cerebral, that’s an option.

You have to understand that Ns love the illusion of normalcy, so that having a wife and children, provides them with proof to themselves and the world that they are “normal.” I watch “Dexter” and his having a family did exactly that. It doesn’t mean that this person loved someone for 22 years. It most likely means they emotionally D&D’d them early on, but physically stayed with them. A partner/family gives Ns a home base from which to operate. Only the new and unattainable women are primary supply. Once they are “his,” he demotes them to secondary supply. That’s what he did with his wife, and she was willing to put up with it for a long time. I’ve learned so much from the comments at the end of my posts. It took some people decades to realize what they were dealing with. Hope this is of some help. Things will get better. Always, Jan

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14. Lilly - December 25, 2009

Fortunately, as I stated earlier, I sensed something very early and it was causing so much stress in my life, a very good friend suggested I seek counseling. It was through counseling that I learned of the terms “parent-child enmeshment” and though I had heard of narcissism, I did not really know what it was until it came up during session. My counseling experiences are what drove me to grab every book I could get my hands on. Counselor says I now have a master’s level education in parent-child enmeshment and narcissism.

Thank you for sharing your insight. It seems like with each thing I read, I get a little closer to a complete understanding.

Take Care and happy holidays!

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15. Lilly - December 26, 2009

Wow, just stumbled onto your updated response. Thanks for coming back around to share more insight. My N is definitely cerebral. He has actually made comments to be about not being “like other guys” in that his pursuit of women is not about sex. Wait until his current supply discovers this tidbit of info. Yes, I would say he cut off his wife of 22 years and her actions were probably in response. N has dated very few women and married his 3rd girlfriend from high school. Actually, pretty much everything you said in your 1st paragraph applied to my situation as well.

Ironically, between the time I first met my N and the final discard, I briefly dated another guy. And guess what….. he was my first experience with a somatic narcissist! You guessed it. I am a magnet. It is quite concerning to me that I seem to be a magnet, but it would appear I am. I think I have gotten pretty good at spotting both types after all my studies and my numerous lab experiments.

Lilly – On being a N-magnet…Ns are drawn to people who are vital and caring, qualities they are lacking (despite their effort to appear otherwise). Yes, the new source of supply will quickly be run through the spin cycle. A close friend was involved with a somatic N. There was an intense chase, a quick roll in the hay (okay several rolls), followed by abrupt D&D. She is also an extremely intuitive person, so that experience rocked the very foundation of everything she thought she knew about people. It’s no fun being a lab rat in an experiment with a N. The most important thing is that you learned to recognize and avoid them, as there’s no “conditioning them” to change their behavior. Jan

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16. Lilly - December 28, 2009

Jan- In my quest to understand narcissism, I regarded the somatic N to be as much a lab experiment as I was to him. Though I did not know he was an N at the time, I learned every bit as much from him as I did the cerebral N of my recent past. My roll lasted 2 months. Just could not move past the gut feeling that every time my “salesman” was out of town, he was making stops along the way to already established sources of supply. Honestly, I never confirmed my gut feeling. Didn’t have to. But I have learned to trust it. There isn’t much anyone can say to convince me that this man did not have regulars on his route. : ) My instincts went haywire for the two months I was with this guy, and it didn’t take long to realize he had to go.

As for conditioning either N to be more suitable partners….I am so over that inclination. I really just want to see the cerebral N fall flat on his face. The man is an insufferable @ss and a liar and the bigger part of me really just does not want this man to be successful in any relationship he has. Like one of your other posters above, I guess you could say I am just really pissed off at this point! : )

Lilly – Wanting to see the cerebral N fall flat on his face is such a normal reaction. But, don’t worry, it’s what they do best. (Though you may not get the satisfaction of witnessing this.) None of their relationships “succeed” despite appearances. It’s the emotional bond they can’t stand. My sister-in-law Jane commented for the first time ever last night. I’ve referred to her numerous times in my postings, as she was married to a cerebral N for years. Her comment appears at the end of “Close Encounter with a Narcissist – Part 3.” She said she’s only recently been able to read the my series, because it made her wince. She is one of the most vibrant amazing women I know and writes eloquently about her situation. Jan

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17. Lilly - December 30, 2009

Wow. I read her comments. I admire her strength and courage given everything she has been through. I feel blessed to have gotten away from two narcissists with very few wounds to show for it.

I also wanted to comment on one of your posts about the need for validation and the feelings of frustration caused from not getting it. It is funny, but at the close of many of my past relationships, I have struggled with a feeling of needing to understand what happened. I never went through that at the end of my relationship with cerebral N. After a mere few weeks had passed, I was just damned glad to not be on his radar anymore. I think I finally read enough books and answered enough questions from my past (I suspect my father was an N and mom is no prize either) that validation is no longer necessary. For me, answers were necessary in order to prevent history from repeating itself. Through studies and talking with others who have been through similar experiences, I believe I now have all the answers I need. I wish for all your readers to find a similar peace.

Lilly – Ultimately, I think validation is what most people seek. Not from the N, who is incapable of granting this small kindness, but from others who believe their story. You are not crazy. You did not imagine this. It was real and so was your pain. I’m glad you feel you have the answers you need to move on. Education is the key, so spread the word. To quote Bob Marley, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know where you’re coming from.” Peace, Jan

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18. Lilly - December 30, 2009

Ah, you’re right. I wasn’t thinking of validation in terms of others besides the N. I did go through that. In fact, there are still a handful of friends dishing out criticism and judgment because I was caught in the trap for over a year before I let go. I think they might really qualify more as acquaintances at this point in time. : )

It was my counselor who gave me the gift of validating what I was going through and also gave it a name. It was the books that gave me the answers I needed to ensure that history didn’t repeat itself.

Thanks for your comments, Jan.

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19. john - January 7, 2010

Interesting. I think it is important to remember that love is just a word. It means different things to different people. It also means different things during the natural course of all relationships. My own feeling is that narcissistic people do truly believe they love their partners-at least at the begining. It seems to me that one of the problems with narcissism is that it requires the sufferer to feel totally in control of the relationship-and in particular the depth or level of inntimacy (in all respects) in the relationship. Any deviation by their partner from this narrow course required by the narcissist will be viewed as a transgression-possibly even threatening. Demand too much intimacy, too much involvement, too much closeness and the narcissist feels smothered, suffocated and her/his defences kick in and she/he will lash out in rage. I think this type of rage is generally expressed in a superior “look how pathetic you are desiring me when I always reject you” way. Withdraw from the relationship more than the narcissist desires and she/he will feel rejected, unloved and again will lash out, often in a way designed to make their partner feel insecure, and that the narcissistic individual can “do much better than them anyway.” this might be done by outrageous flirting or even actual affairs, try and walk the line just as they require and you will be tolerated, albeit with a certain amount of indifference. The idea is that you will fall into line exactly where they want you and will never threaten their status quo again. If you don’t behave as the narcissist expects you will be promptly devalued, blamed and eventually discarded. I believe this battle between engulfment versus abandonment is part of the human condition, however most people (on reaching maturity) have a certain degree of insight which enables them to see these problems and handle them accordingly. The way narcissistically disturbed people have difficulties in this area (relationships) in particular is part of the definition of the disorder. Their grandiosity means they should expect unconditional love totally on their terms because they are so special they simply deserve it, their sense of entitlement means this exact level of commitment from their partner is theirs as a right, their lack of insight prevents them seeing that their expectations are unrealistic, their poor impulse control allows them to lash out in hurtful ways at the “transgressing” partner and their lack of empathy (or at least selective empathy) prevents them seeing the partner’s point of view. Couple this with the primitive defence mechanisms that prevent reality from intruding into their expectations and the arguing starts.
I think the reason so many people complain of losing their sense of self in the relationship with a narcissist is that they spend years living a life under terms dictated by someone else, eventually losing track of what they want or need for themselves.
The relationship is of course doomed to failure, it is impossible (and undesirable) to live a whole life under someone else’s terms-especially when those terms can be changed depending on the narcissist’s mood or if they are under stress from other factors. I do however think most narcissists are truly upset at the failure of another relationship, however again their defences prevent them actully seeing that their own behaviour caused any of the problems.
Not that I’m an expert-I did live with one for a long time though and arrived at the conclusion that they are not evil, sadistic monsters, but considering the effect they have on the people closest to them they might as well be.

John – You’re right. Love is just a word. But people who are “in love,” yet unable to become emotionally intimate with the object of their desire, are just going through the motions. I think most Ns don’t realize this because they lack the insight that comes with emotional maturity. “They are not evil sadistic monsters, but considering the effect they have on the people closest to them they might as well be.” Well put. I’m glad to hear that your experience is in the past tense. :) Jan

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20. smile - January 10, 2010

guys u r the best ever……….how many people in this world know abt BPD /NPD??????????????
they will laugh at you and think u r just a loser because u e been abused ……….some validation guys??????

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21. Heather Rogers - February 16, 2010

I just got off a 4 yr roller coaster ride with a histrionic narcissist. We had split for a while – Suspected him of cheating and got back together after I heard all those EMPTY promises and hollow words of “love” that sucked me back in. It lasted 4 mos when I found he was contacting other women behind my back. We were ENGAGED to be married and he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing. He is 57. THIS one is 32?!~ Our 5 daughters are the SAME age… He abused me emotionally, lied constantly, and made ME out to be the nutcase. Cost me 4K over a 4 mo period since I felt sorry for his 60K in credit card debt – so I paid for groceries, etc. etc. THEN I find out he’s GOING OUT behind my back wearing the nice clothes THAT I BOUGHT HIM…. and buying drinks for his friends?? He didn’t take me out in 4 mos. I kicked him to the curb then and there.
IF you catch these people in a lie… PAY ATTENTION!!! They are the greatest flim flam artists on the planet. But if your gut tells you something is wrong, LISTEN!!!!!!! The best thing to do is walk away – hold your head high – and IGNORE THEM. THEY HATE TO BE IGNORED!!!!!! It’s like death to a narcissist They CANNOT stand it. You will emerge stronger – THEY will die alone… or continue
to live miserable, stagnant, emtpy, boring, and twisted lives.

Heather,
Thank you so much for your comment. My son, who is 23, just broke up with someone he now realizes has NPD. I read your comments aloud to him, and he just kept saying, “That’s me!” Your timing is amazing. :) Jan

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22. Heather Rogers - February 16, 2010

PS
To: SMILE Yes… that is what they do in spades.
Torture you and enjoy watching you squirm. They
are twisted, sick, mentally disturbed people who have
a “reality” unlike OURS in the least. They are NEVER
wrong. They will NEVER apologize ~ They can THINK
you are the loser til the cows come home. Let them
THINK — WE KNOW BETTER. The loser is the one
who never learns and is but a mere shell of a person.
No heart. No conscience. No concern for anyone but himself. That is the hallmark. BPDs are no strangers to me. “Come Close/Go Away”….. Don’t buy into to any threats they may make. It is not your job to fix them.
You can’t help them. They are mentally ill. RUN AWAY.
RUN RUN RUN before they destroy you. They are the emotional vampires who suck you dry and cast you to the wind when you have outlived your usefulness. Do not let this be you….. RUN!!!!!!!!

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23. KT - April 23, 2010

I have been in a relationship with an N. The hardest part is to admit that my father is an N, so hearing from this guy brings back all these feelings from my childhood. I do care about him, and it does seem as if the more I care, the more he separates. I will send him a very nice text message and hear nothing back which hurts.

I’ve been slowly trying to stop texting and more importantly, be content with this ending. I admit, it is not easy at all…when he calls, it’s like the greatest drug ever. The things that he says, the semi promises he makes….they all feed me. But then he doesn’t call, doesn’t text, doesn’t show up…and I crash again.

Thankfully, I have friends who have been just the best at helping me through those times and I have activities that keep me busy.

I am glad to know that I am not alone.

KT – When I first talked to a therapist about my experience with a narcissist, he asked me if my mother or father was one. (The answer is no.) He asked because only those who’ve been conditioned by a N in childhood, would put up with one for any length of time as an adult.

Isn’t it sad that they chase after people who don’t care about them? While those who do care drop off their radar. No contact is the way to go cause there’s no winning with these people. It ALWAYS ends badly. Jan

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KT - April 24, 2010

Thanks Jan….upon reading your whole series….I realize that I have been seeing a somatic N….although I will admit that he is also extremely intelligent so it was at first hard to figure out. I don’t know if this is the first time that I am experiencing the Death Ray…he recently called and there was such an angry tone to his voice. After our call (we made plans) he didn’t text, didn’t call and didn’t show. It was devistating. I am trying to take it like a champion, but my heart is hurt and I’m left in a state of “why?” “what did I (or didn’t I) say?” I was literally JUST starting the process of letting go (does anyone truly let go of someone they care about?) when this happened. :(

KT – It is incredibly hard to let go of someone you care/d about, but after awhile, you start realizing they don’t really care about you. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. It’s letting go of an illusion. People who really care about you don’t hurt you like that and then act like nothing happened. My father told me when I was a teenager and crying over some lost love, “When you love someone, it makes you happy.” Jan

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24. anonymous - May 16, 2010

Wow, I can completely relate to the discarding (disappearing act) and sudden reappearance, only to repeat the cycle all over again. The narcissist (who I did work for) started to act rude/curt after I massively helped him out with a project. I eventually got fed up and stopped initiating contact. Two weeks of silence (on my end) and he suddenly contacts me (all sheepish sounding/apolagizing) As soon as I call back and leave him a message (and at this point I’m only responding for the hell of it because I’m curious if I can manipulate him) he disappears again, only for a longer time. Now I don’t hear from him for a month (and silence from me as well) until once again, I get a lame phone message from him apolagizing with an excuse. As soon as I call back and leave a message, once again he ignores me! It’s pretty ridiculous. I assume he’ll suddenly contact me in two months now (but this time I’ve decided to ignore him permanently)

This situation is unique, because he happened to be my favorite musician and he’s pretty famous! Now, I’ll never be able to listen to his music in the same way again!…so sad. But I’m just glad I gave him no angry reaction of ANY kind. I’m going the silent/indifferent route myself. I’m thinking he might be purposely ‘hoping’ to piss me off/get a rise out of me. It gives me great pleasure to do the opposite of what he assumes (He doesn’t know that I’ve ‘figured’ him out) so I have the upper hand in a way.

Narcissists tend to dismiss the very people that help them the most instead of showing gratitude. This phone/texting cat and mouse game is just that – a game. They like to keep you hanging. I, also, made it a point not to show anger, as emotion is viewed as a weakness. I remember how it felt when I spoke to him in a detached way and watched his surprised reaction. Turning the tables felt good – for a moment. But I’m not by nature a mean person, so it was just an act. (As it was for you, I imagine.) This is a game you can only win by walking away. Jan

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25. Anonymous Inverted - August 8, 2010

I just want to say how much I have enjoyed reading this post and the associated comments. I have been involved with a man for about 5 years now, and it has always been a roller-coaster ride with him.

However, my experience with him has been somewhat different from everyone else’s it seems. He had been married for almost 2 years when I met him, and within a few months he was telling me how she had done terrible things to him and had left him and cheated on him, etc. This seemed valid (and to an extent still does as we were both in the military and for a civilian spouse to act like this during a deployment is not uncommon).

On my end, I fell in love with him (and told him so), but neither of us acted on it for a long time. In my mind, I considered him my best friend versus someone I had a relationship with. Maybe because his wife provided a buffer or something? Therefore we couldn’t REALLY be dating? So, anyway, over the last 5 years, she left him and cheated on him many times and that is when we would date each other. I always expected him to leave her, and even pushed him in that direction only because I cared about him and did not like the fact that she did cheat on him. (Keep in mind, I did not really understand what was going on at the time).

Also, I am fiercely independent, so I did not feel the need to be around him all the time, although his silent treatments absolutely killed me because I always thought I had done something wrong. I have gotten used to them now, though and so I use the time during the silent treatments to take care of myself- I get my hair and nails done, I take weekend vacations to the beach all by myself, etc. I don’t have many friends and I like my alone time to recharge my batteries. At the same time, when he comes back (which he ALWAYS does) then I am able to give him the 100% attention that he requires.

But I am wondering if there are degrees to this narcissism thing? Because the only thing that we have ever argued about is the fact that we cannot be together. He is back with his wife now- but I think only as an excuse not to be with me. When we were together, he pampered me to no end (brushing my hair, painting my nails,etc) and in return, I pampered him. The whole addiction thing was absolute on both of our sides. We acted as though we lived in a bubble and nothing could penetrate us. We were joined at the hip and had the best time. I always attributed his silent treatments and “needing space” to the fact that he was burnt out. When we were together, he had more energy than a person on speed or something and he exerted all that energy on me, and I did the same for him. So, I just thought that he needed some time to recharge a little bit and then he would come back. Which he always did.

He has given me the silent treatment now for 3 weeks and I know better than to try to contact him, but I know that the time will come-sometime within the next month or so… but I am using this time to focus on my job, spend time with my kids and get some work done on the house. I know that when he is around everything falls to the wayside as neither one of us can separate from each other to get anything done….

I have done some research on this subject recently just because, while I have figured out how to deal with the silent treatments and take that time for me- it is still difficult on me and I have begun suffering from a touch of PTSD. I have nightmares that one day he will leave me and I will not think anything of it because he has done it so many times, and I won’t know that is the last time I will hear from him. That scares me…. Anyway, just thought I would share my experience. I know that it is different from most everyone else’s on here.

On my end, though, my father is a die-hard narcissist and treated me terrible when I was growing up (I lived with him for a while when I was 16 when my mom was deployed and came home one day and he had moved out of the house and into an apartment an hour away- he had left me an insurance card on a card table in the kitchen and told me I could use it if I got sick and he left me his phone number and a note telling me to call only in emergencies and that he would check on me every couple of weeks). I am used to this kind of abandonment and am wondering if I am an inverted narcissist? Don’t really know, but what I do know is that I do yearn for a time when things will calm down. But that is only fleeting.

It is possible that I am as much of an adrenaline junkie as my N (whatever he is to me?). I sincerely wish everyone good luck with your situations. This is not an easy ordeal by any means. I have terrible nightmares and sometimes cannot even function properly because I have taken on all of his “personalities”. Without his approval, I am at times paralyzed because I just don’t know what to do next. It is definitely the Twilight Zone… But I have made my bed, and now I have to lie in it. This is my life. It is all that I know. Anything else (outside of my comfort zone) scares me.

AI – I’m still digesting all of this information and will post a reply within 24 hours (Yes, I’m on 24 hour deployment!). Thank you for sharing what’s in your heart. Jan

>AI – You do realize this is not a normal “relationship?” A therapist once told me that anyone who would put up with a N for any length of time, more likely than not, grew up with a narcissistic parent. My “close encounter” was short in duration, but looking back I realize my first True Love in college had very N-like traits. He’d vanish for months then show up. I was there for him. But I knew never to ask for anything because, on some level, I knew he couldn’t give it. He was cerebral and after awhile I begin to almost mimic his air of emotional detachment as a way to shield myself from his inability to emotionally connect.

An Inverted Narcissist is someone who can’t be in a relationship with someone who’s NOT a narcissist. They actually feel most in their “comfort zone” when with a Narcissist because it’s all they’ve ever known. It’s sounds twisted, but the abuse, whether it be verbal or the silent treatment, is like comfort food.

This could be the case with you. Throw in tours of duty and long separations and it provides opportunities galore to rationalize bad behavior.

I thought your most revealing comments were “he’s back with his wife now, but only as an excuse not to be with me” and “I am able to give him the 100 percent he requires.” Since my medical credentials are from Google (LOL), I’m not in the position to diagnose. It seems that if you’re experiencing PTSD (and I have a friend whose boyfriend spent time in Iraq and THAT is just beginning to lift after FIVE years) while seeking help for that, you might want to address why you continue in this “relationship,” which is strictly on his terms.

Many who’ve been involved with someone with NPD also experience PTSD symptoms, so you might want to get to the root of what’s causing those. I have a feeling they might just be related. You need to it for not just for yourself, but for your children, and your future. What do you see in your future? You may have made that bed (with help from your childhood), but you can climb out of it and walk away. You don’t have to “settle” for less than. Just my random thoughts. Jan

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26. Melanie - October 2, 2010

It’s so true about the narcissist returning just to see if they can rope you in again. I also had a short-lived (thankfully) experience with a narcissist. I was the one to suddenly drop him, although he was working up to doing it to me but I beat him to it. He probably couldn’t believe it. Two weeks of silence on my end and he was calling me and sucking up, not because he had any interest but because he just wanted to know if he could get a response from me.

Melanie – It’s all cat and mouse – and we know what cats do to mice Sounds like you survived and actually came out on top of this game. Have a piece of cheese on me! :) Jan

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27. Anonymous Inverted - October 3, 2010

Jan,
Thank you for your feedback. I have to agree with on all counts. My father was/is most definitely a narcissist, therefore I am most comfortable in a relationship with one. Only a narcissist will keep his distance. To be in a normal relationship requires too much pressure. Pressure to get married, have children, support each other financially and emotionally. It is exhausting. I also know that I do suffer from PTSD. I have nightmares so badly sometimes that I am afraid to go to sleep. It is no fun at all to be an Inverted Narcissist. I am terrified of “normal” people. They all seem to have something that is completely unattainable for me. I can pretend to be “normal” when I am around them, but I can’t ever seem to stick around for long in fear that they will see that I am not like everyone else. It is a hard life…

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28. kel for lilly - October 25, 2010

Wow, lily!
I have to ask where you are from because your story sounds a bit too similar. Did this man travel a lot for work? (Sales?)

Kel,
I wouldn’t hold your breath for Lily to reply as this isn’t like a message board where people log on daily. No matter what their line of work, those with NPD keep moving – like sharks. It’s amazing how once you strip away their outward appearances, they’re like robotic clones of each other. They’re all following the same script – and it has no happy ending. Jan

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29. donna - October 29, 2010

I have been away from my N now for a few weeks and last spoke to him about 2 weeks ago, Since we began dating 9 months ago, he would say things such as he was like god but because he would laugh I took it as a joke but he would do this alot, text me how goodlooking he was, how smart he was, no one is as good as he is, how he hates everyone, people are stupid and ignorant and he can con anyone because they are so stupid. (RED FLAG). I told him that I was concerned with his anger issues and his dirty perverted mouth. (RED FLAGS) He assured me that he would work on those things and I asked that he not do it for me but because he knew it was something that he felt he needed to do. He agreed. He has continued and is constantly having road rage to the point of telling me he stops drivers and has confrontations and threatens them. He even told me that he has lifted cars with drivers in them. (He is a bodybuilder and consumed with his image and instilling fear in people). He has told me of fights in convenient stores which was usually on days that he stated to me that morning that he was in a “pissy” mood. It seems he would always instigate some confrontation but in his mind, he wasn’t the instigator. I am not even really sure if any of these things even took place as I never witnessed any of these or if they were only played out in his head. But his anger on the phone was definitely real. He sounded so angry and full of hate. He would describe in great detail when he was angry at bill collectors how he was going to break their limbs off of their bodies and beat them with them and eat their body parts. It was very frightening to listen to these stories and shocking. When we would have arguments he would get loud and walk around really fast and angry but never showed a temper out of control towards me.
It seemed from the beginning that he always had some reason to be upset with me. He would leave my home in the mornings and text me about something I had said the night before…One thing was we were walking and I said, “Are you sure you are 6’4″? He was furious over this. In his mind I was criticizing him….
He was constantly texting dirty filthy things to me all day long after numerous attempts on my part asking him not to. He would call me 7 or 8 times a day to talk “About his day, his anger, him.him.him. And the unlimited texting throughout the day. If I didn’t answer the phone, he would text me “Ignoring me?”. He even laughed when we first started dating when he told me that people asked him how he found someone that could get a word in edgewise. (RED FLAG) Even with all of these things visible he was very sweet to me a great part of the time, just the instability and unpredictability of it all was making me a wreck.

Of course as per his recollection, his ex wife and ex girlfriend cheated on him and were mean to him. He would even accuse me of being mean to him if I said something that he didn’t like. I couldn’t figure out when I was mean because I was very patient and understanding when he was working part time and had little money, etc. etc. I was always supportive. When we would go out together if it was somewhere I wanted to go, he would make sure he would have a miserable time and pout. He criticized where I liked to shop in a way that criticized my choices. He wasn’t very critical of me yet, but I sensed that it was coming. I feel as though he felt that I was always on the edge because of his behavior so he wasn’t ready to start the all out criticizing. Oh and never compliment a sprinkler repair man’s work or a roofers work, the argument would go on for hours and hours on why I shouldn’t talk about other men. I received a phone call from a man from my past. I wanted to have a very open and honest relationship so I told him. He immediately became furious and broke up with me and said I needed attention from many men. After the argument, I felt all twisted and confused and felt that I was guilty of something by the end of it. All I wanted was honesty between us. He then told me he didn’t want to know if I received calls in the future so I didn’t tell him as he requested. He would then ask periodically if I had heard from anyone and I would tell him. It was all totally innocent and was nothing going on on my part, just people from my past checking on my status. I would tell him again being honest and he would be furious again. I was …..if I do and …..if I don’t….I was so confused. I assured him I loved him and had no interest in anyone. This was an ongoing task I had to undertake. He would always say, “You don’t think I’m good enough and you can do better” I never implied such a thing. I always felt I had to initiate sex and it was always so impersonal and lacked intimacy. It was so robotic. Even when he said, “I love you and you’re so pretty – it sounded rehearsed. I stopped initiating and it seemed to not happen. He would text sexual things all day long and what he was going to do when he came over, but then come over and go to bed. There was never sex when he knew I wanted it, never spontaneous (except in the beginning), He even stopped my advances several times which was rejection to me. He didn’t really like to kiss. Pecks more than anything and only if he chose to start it would we kiss. I could tell he was punishing me with no kissing but I always asked about why? He was not willing to do the things that I wanted during sex even when I asked specifically. It was what he wanted to do and when. It was as though he was punishing me. I had never felt this way before with any man. It was so unfair. When the end came I truly believe, he planned out the breakup so that he could say I did it. I was furious when I saw, dirty, filthy sexual flirts on his FB friends “girls” pages. All he could say was “I sell to clients who are mostly women and this is what I have done for a very long time and mean no harm by these comments.” I guess it was then that I realized he was talking to all women this way and it had been going on the entire time we were dating. I had also overheard some phone conversations he had had talking to women about his “wanker”. I left his place that night and we emailed each other back and forth the next day as I felt humiliated and hurt that he was so disrespectful to our relationship. He immediately went to FB and hid his friends from me. This is the man who says he was going to marry me and was getting the ring this Christmas. When we did speak (he will never talk on the phone when there is a problem to discuss) via text 2 days later all he could quote was what I did wrong, I broke up with him, I never loved him, etc. etc. in the relationship which had nothing to do with his disrespect and the issue at hand. It was all my fault, I needed attention from men (He was the attention monger not me) He kept saying “You broke up with me” which by the way, I never uttered those words. He kept on saying it and wouldn’t hear me out because I’m sure he had planned it all and wanted to make sure it was over. He even went so far as to say, “You see what I want you to see”, as though he wanted me to see the FB posts. He wouldn’t even talk to me on the phone. Only via Text. Then the next day (3 days after the initial argument), I went to his apartment to give him his key but really wanted to discuss us and overheard a phone conversation, extremely filthy sexual talk with some girl who it was obvious he was having a sexual relationship with. I was so hurt and felt so betrayed. How could this man who said he was going to marry me Christmas be having a sexual relationship with someone only three days later? I venture to say, it was all in the works and he had his new “girl” waiting in the wings or was already with her. Who knows. I just know that even though he did this to me, I can’t get him out of my mind. I trusted him and trusted that he was a good loyal man, but he was telling me from the very beginning what I wanted to hear. I realize the marriage “carrot” he dangled was usually after we had a disagreement about something. I now realize the statements he made to me about “Needing attention from men” was him really speaking about himself needing constant attention from women, his “everyone is mean to me” is really him being mean to everyone, and so on..Truthfully what caused the end is this: I finally was onto to him and how he operates. I wouldn’t conform to his “godlike” worship program, wanted to keep my own identity and express my own feelings even if it contained constructive criticism. This was not going to work in his world. This is why he had to trigger and plan the exit all the while trying to come out as the innocent victim. I, however, refused to let him paint me out to be the bad guy, so I basically played the victim right back….I am so aware of what has just happened to me, but it doesn’t make the healing any easier.

Donna,
Two weeks – You’re still raw from the hurt and feeling of betrayal. I remember feeling that most of all I’d betrayed myself because the Red Flags were all there. How could I have been taken for a ride? Most people I’ve talked have said it’s taken two years to feel like they’re out from under the obsession of replaying all of the conversations and events and wondering, “What if I done that differently?” But ultimately, as I’ve said many times, they’re all working from a script that has a beginning, a middle, and an end. There’s no happy ever after. It’s all about him, and it always was. But I know how your head and heart must be reeling. Know this – he will never change for any woman. You asked nicely. In so many words and actions, he told you NO. Be happy you didn’t waste any more time with him. It does gets better. You deserve better. Jan

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30. donna - October 30, 2010

Thanks Jan so much for your response. I haven’t had anyone respond to me in such a nice understanding way. Friends just seem to say, Move on, allthewhile, not fully understanding how I have been affected. I am a very independent woman and typically very perceptive but you are right in that I feel I betrayed myself. He never hid his huge ego, his anger, his perverted sexual talk, he would punish me through sabotage of my diet and withholding of affection/sex, constantly finding something to argue about but I always thought, maybe I’m doing something wrong here as he would try to convince me I was the problem. One VERY important thing that stands out which was in one of our last emails was this, I basically said to him compassionately, “you just may need to do some soul searching” and his reply was this, “Searching for my soul? Ha, good luck with that.” So basically he uttered from his own mouth, HE IS A MAN WITH NO SOUL.

Donna, It’s so hard to talk to people who haven’t been there, done that. They can’t understand. Who knew that people like this walked amongst us? That their intentions were never true. That they can lie as easily as we breathe. Last week a man whom my son first met 10 years ago stopped by. He’s done business with my husband from time to time. He started talking about difficulties with his wife – he was feeling the waters. He finally blurted out that his wife was Borderline and that his life had been a living hell. His 7-year-old son asked his father to save his younger sister from his mother’s violent outbursts. When my husband told him that he’d had a close friend who was Borderline and knew all about this personality disorder, the man began crying. I think he was just so relieved that someone else knew what he was talking about. You’ll find solace with those who’ve also been taken by someone with NPD. In the meantime, it’s all about educating people. Many people I’ve talked to have since realized they know someone who suffers from it. I wish you only the best. Please check in from time to time. It’s a long process, but you will come out on the other side. :) Jan

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31. Lilly - November 17, 2010

To Kel,
I cannot tell you where I am from as I still work with the man I had a narcissistic experience with and it would be much too risky to reveal locale. I will say this however, my first N experience (cerebral and the guy my initial post related to) did not travel as part of his profession. The second N experience (somatic), also within the same timeframe, was most definitely a traveling salesman and I suspect had many stops along the way. My instincts were screaming the entire 2 months I dated him. I guess I knew something was off and should have just bailed at first warning.

I consider myself completely healed from the traumatic N experiences I had and have certainly passed over a number of other N’s since discovering what narcissism is. It is amazing how easy they are to spot once educated. Thanks, Jan, for reaching so many people. What a community service!

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32. Lilly - November 17, 2010

P.S. Although I consider myself healed from the aftermath of N experiences, I still have not figured out what to look for in a potential mate, so sadly, I have sort of resolved myself to not looking at all. I’m afraid it would take a great deal of effort for any man to get on my radar screen long term. So……perhaps there is still a healing road ahead of me.

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33. Trapped - November 30, 2010

Jan,

I am not sure how I stumbled upon your web site, but I am glad I did. I am in the throws of trying to extricate myself from a classic somatic narcissistic relationship. For the past year and a few months, I have been under the spell of a man who fits most of the criteria I’ve read on the disease. It is clear, in retrospect, how I was sucked into it: I was in a 20+ year long marriage that was a mistake from the beginning, a marriage with no love and a lonely existence. This man came into my life through my son, when he began to take lessons (I won’t specify what). I’d see him weekly during my son’s lessons and he slowly began to drip the charm on me. I was prime bait-hungry for attention and love. One thing led to another and we began to text. Soon, we started to meet in the wee hours of the morning for moonlit walks. This was incredibly romantic, walking under the stars, serenaded by owls, having deep conversations about life. I fell quickly for him because it was all I had been missing in my life.

Red flags, however, were waving from the start. First, why would he pursue me, knowing I was married? Second, it wasn’t long after our first or second walk that he began to throw out sexual comments. By the third walk or so, he outright asked if I wanted to sleep with him, “just to get the sexual tension” out of the way. I brushed the comment off, thinking I was just a novice to the dating scene. At any rate, I was completely hooked, hypnotized is all I can say.

For reasons that existed prior to meeting him, I separated from my husband. Along the way, I ended up having steamy sex with Mr. N. It was the most incredible experience I’d ever had in my life, and I was sure he was connected, too…until, days would pass inbetween our encounters and he would go weekends without contacting me. I confronted him and he told me he had another girlfriend, of a year! She did not know about me, he said.

Here is the sick part, I could not pull myself from the relationship at that point, but continued to see him, grasping onto those moments that we were together. When we were together, it was as though I was the only thing that mattered to him in the world, it was as though he was intensely in love with me (although he never said so). But, as soon as we parted, he could not be reached for days, until he decided to resurface.

If I commented on his vacancy, and how it hurt me, he would say I was a “drama queen”. If I asked why he didn’t respond to my texts or calls, he would say he needed “Mr. N time”. When I would go to his place, as I did many times, with the conviction that I was going to tell him off and end it all, he would end up seducing me.

And so it went, on and on. Finally, a few weeks ago, I was lamenting to my sister about it all and she said “he is a typical nacissist”. I looked it up after getting off the phone with her, and saw all the traits, which he falls into so clearly.

I wrote him an e-mail telling him all this, and that I could not see him anymore. I was amazed that he actually wrote back and admitted that he has a problem, and wished me luck with my future dating. He has contacted me on and off since then, but only through texts.

At any rate, I just wanted to share my story and ask if I will ever get over this? From here, it seems hopeless. I still am incredibly in love. But, I wonder, in love with that? A fantasy of who he is? Or, is there really a real person beneath all that fascade? Am I that gullible and vulnerable that I was drawn into this?

One interesting thing is that when I found out about his girlfriend, I cut off all the physical contact for a while. He still wanted to see me as a friend, and we continued our walks. Could it be that I was a good NS in the emotional sense? I said that he was a somatic Narcissist, and this conclusion was arrived at by how our sexual relationship evolved. I could tell that he had tendencies towards S+M, though we never got to that point. He revealed fantasies he has about pregnant women, about more degrading types of sex, etc. My guess is that the girlfriend satisfies some of his fantasies. It is now going on 2+ years that he has been seeing her. She, by the way, is married. I am baffled as to how that relationship lasts, and how she manages it. Can a person be narcissistic with only one person, and normal with another? Or, is he the same with everyone? These are questions that plague me.

One last comment-I went for my annual exam several months ago and found, to no surprise, that I had contracted a few sexually transmitted diseases. I told him about these and told him to reveal this to his girlfriend. He did not, and did not take treatment. At one point, he was going to try to treat her without her knowledge by mixing the drugs in a drink. He saw nothing wrong with this logic. I ran this by a male colleague at work (as a hypothetical situation), and he also saw nothing wrong with it.

Help. How do I get out of this whole thing? When writing it on paper, it seems so twisted and sick. But, when in the middle of it all, it feels as if I am trapped by the intense shackles of my own emotions.

Trapped,
I so want to respond to your letter, but I woke up late and have to be out the door in 15 minutes. I will reply this evening, though judging from when your comment was posted, it won’t be evening for you. You will get through this, but the Ns twisted logic has a way of rubbing off on those who get too close to them which can make it all the more confusing. More later. Jan

Trapped,
When I first read your comment this morning, I could have sworn it had been written by a close friend. She had been married 20+ years and found herself frustrated living with a husband who was more like a brother as he had no libido. She’s vibrant and intelligent – a real head turner. She, too, met a somatic narcissist via “lessons.” In retrospect, she realized she was ripe for the picking. The texting began. No long walks in the wee hours, but some tumbles in the hay. I believe she felt more “alive” than she had for quite awhile, those feelings reawakened in her. The sex pushed boundaries. He talked of a threesome. She was appalled. He totally seduced her then texted only when it was convenient for him. She felt she’d jeopardized her family, in short, everything, yet he was rather cavalier about it.

Through a therapist she learned about NPD and realized what she was dealing with. Yet after not seeing him for six months or so, she was drawn back in again. The second time the D&D cycle began almost immediately. Finally she was able to extricate herself from this man. She was looking for that ever elusive closure. She said she believes it took a full two years to truly move on. I’m extremely proud of her.

It’s one thing knowing that the person who you are “in love” with is incapable of returning that love. As you said, on paper it all looks so twisted. So why can’t the victim just walk away and never look back? Personally, I found it so hard to believe that such people existed, let alone that I was “taken” by one. I too was called a Drama Queen for ever calling him on his sh*t.

I’m sure the fact that you were willing to see him (albeit not sexually) after you knew gave him major NS. You might not have had sex with him, but I’m sure in his mind he knew you’d have liked to. Just knowing that put him in control.

Also, this other “girlfriend” who is married is more likely someone who has less self esteem and willing to take the crumbs he offers her. Perhaps she’s someone who grew up in an abusive family where not having your most basic needs met passes for normal. When someone has the disorder of NPD, they can turn the volume up and down, but they’re always playing the same song. He seems to have kept her around because she most likely caters to him, never questioning his bad behavior. That’s called being abused.

As for your male colleague – he could use a good kick in the arse. Maybe if it wasn’t a hypothetical question, he might have responded with more intelligence and compassion.

Hope this was of some help. Jan

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34. Trapped - December 2, 2010

Jan,

Thank you for your reply! Yes, I am still greatly tangled in this relationship. It has been almost two full weeks since I have seen him, yet he continues to contact me through texts and even an e-mail. I say “even” an e-mail because when I was volunteering in Haiti in the aftermath of the horrendous earthquake and was in desperate need of some support, he never sent me a single e-mail, even though he knew this was what I wanted and needed most. Ditto when I returned to the inevitable shock of rejoining a thriving city after living hand-to-mouth, and worse yet, leaving others who had no choice but to do the same. He did not offer any support, nor was he remotely interested in my experiences over there.

With each contact comes that tug at my heart and the small wonder in the back of my head if he really does have feelings for me. The nurturing person inside me wants to lead him by the hand out of his dungeon of pity. I know, from the reading, such possibilities are hopeless.

I am not sure still what to think of the “girlfriend”. She apparently spends every Saturday night with him, into Sunday afternoon sometimes. And, has some weeknights that she visits with him. This regular, scheduled visitation is more than I was ever afforded. She is pretty, and almost 10 years younger than I am. It makes me feel insecure in that I think that I am the one he plays the narcissist with while she gets a semi-normal relationship. This seems unlikely, though, from what I read. I asked him once if he loved her and his response (like any response to a question, which is always, always skirting around the issue, changing the subject, and plain bullshitting) was “she isn’t someone I’d shack up with”. I didn’t push anymore and left it at that. Her situation is that she is married, and according to him (which may be lies), she and her husband have an agreement that they are “friends”, but will stay married for the sake of the kid (one boy). He has his girlfriend, she has her guy. How she can spend an entire weekend with him when she has a child is beyond my imagination. He has shown me photos of her and has told me a little about her. He one time referred to her as “the misses” when I pointed out a necklace hanging on a candlestick and asked who that belonged to. You can imagine how that made me feel…

That has been the source of my complete despondency for the past year, as well as his treatment of me. Every Saturday, I feel this intense sadness, knowing he is with her, imagining what they are doing, watching a full moon rise and thinking I should be the one in his arms, not her. Crazy, I know, but torture for myself nonetheless. I am not sure how to explain how this sort of thing continues on. I guess I would call it having a sense of hope that he will see that I am “the one”, that if he actually loved her, he wouldn’t need me, etc. I compare it to being the mistress who waits for the married man to leave his wife, and he never does.

Is it unusual that his relationship with her has lasted this long-over 2 years?

In retrospect, it appears he loves none of us. To be secretive about a sexually transmitted disease which has potential to cause sterility in a woman is just criminal, in my mind, not to mention the obvious: that it shows a complete lack of respect for the woman and her body. He blamed it on me, saying I probably “picked it up from a toilet seat in Haiti.” Imagine that.

To tell me of her and not to tell her of me is also a source of confusion for me. Anyway, I am the stupid one who stays, knowing he is screwing another on the weekends. I often wonder if I should tell her? What do you think? An anonymous text or e-mail? If it were me walking around with a STD, and in bliss-land thinking I had a wonderful relationship, I’d want to know the truth! I am sure he has had other women in between us as well, no doubt in my mind, which probably was the source of the STD. Can his girlfriend be that unaware, or is she like me, trapped? Maybe she has her suspicions, but is also completely owned by him, and doesn’t want to ask. Maybe she is just “ultra-cool” and doesn’t think of such things, happy to have her time with him on her scheduled nights, going about her week in the meantime without a care?

Interestingly, my sister had a very similar experience-complete with the girlfriend. It took her a solid six months and moving to a new town to get over it. To this day, she is scarred in terms of sexual relations.

Anyway, although I am reading voraciously on this disorder to gain some understanding, I am still unsure of how I will extricate myself from the whole thing. Moving is not an option. My lifestyle in my area is such that I am a very visible person (running, walking, riding, etc.) and therefore easily “found”. Mostly, though, it is the hypnotic trap that I need to pull myself out of. I am still completely hooked on this fantasy image that I have of who he is as a man. Just like your friend, I was also blown away by the sex because I left a similar situation in my marriage and was starved for attention. I’d never had a love-making experience like that in my entire life. I’d never been “in love”. Hormones are released in those circumstances that completely hook most women emotionally. It is truly like I was put under a spell.

The other problem I face is that I feel truly sorry for him. Now that I am understanding what his disorder is, I see the pain he is going through. Last night, he called my cell, I did not pick up, and he did not leave a message. I actually texted him much later because I was worried for him, knowing what rejection does to them (I know I am supposed to avoid!) and, of course, he did not answer. I am sure my not answering the call started a little cycle of that feeling of abandonment, anger, and self-doubt. For this, I feel sad. It is a horrible life for him-empty, pathetic, and endless, filled with a constant yearning to fill a void that was created from a screwed up childhood. It breaks my heart. But I wonder at times, who is less happy, he or I?

OK, that is about it.

Hi,
I’ll be blunt.
1) His relationship with the other woman is not a semi-normal relationship. It is extremely dysfunctional. If she was the “love” of his life, he wouldn’t be spending time with other women. She’s willing to put up with the bits and pieces.
2) He is experiencing NO pain. He might “act” like he is, but ultimately, he is playing you and everyone else around him. The only pain Ns experience is akin to an emptiness when their supply runs low. Anyone can fill the void. I, too, wanted to believe that I was unique. That because I knew, but was still willing to spend time with him, that meant something. I finally realized it meant nothing.
3) He couldn’t care two bits about anything you do. You could say, “This means a lot to me.” His response would be to totally dismiss whatever it is exactly because it means a lot to you. Nothing means a lot to them except maintaining the facade.
4) You will never get closure from him. Your closure will ultimately have to come from within.
5) Don’t know what to tell you about contacting her about the STD business. I find it hard to believe that she doesn’t know/have an arrangement with him. Is it possible that contacting her about STDs would give you an excuse to expose him for cheating on her as well?
6) I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced all of the emotions you’re going through. Even my friend who I referred to in my first comment contacted me today to tell me how familiar it all seemed. Sorry, but that’s the gist of it.
Jan

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Trapped - December 4, 2010

Jan,

Blunt is good for people like me dealing with this type of situation. We need someone to knock us in the head a few times and tell us “look at the situation, hello???”

Interestingly, I got your reply early in the morning before I was to meet this guy for a walk. It was a good shot in the arm to prepare me to deal with him, the first time I had seen him in two weeks.

We met on the corner of a lightless street, under clear autumn skies, stars shining and a beautiful crescent moon. Off in the fields nearby were owls, performing a duet. A very gentle Santa Ana breeze was whispering through the trees. Perfect set up for romance, right?

No. I held fast and instead, walked as a third party observer, armed with all the knowledge I have accumulated the past two weeks. It was an interesting study in psychology as it seemed every word from his mouth was directly from my readings. Of course, the entire conversation was dominated by him, and each subject approached as though he were the authority.

We, or rather HE, talked about his mother and how she was dominating him at the moment in a business he is trying to start up. He talked of marriage and the reason he didn’t like it was that a woman would “pick him apart”, he talked about lying and said that everyone lies so much that they don’t know what the truth is anymore. I asked him point blank what his feelings were, did he feel anything? How does he discern between his girlfriend and me, does he treat us differently? He said he treats everyone in his life the same. I asked if his girlfriend would leave him if she knew about me and he said “I think she would stay.’

Anyway, it was interesting to talk to him, since I know now where the words come from. I felt like I was winning this war when I drove away because despite the backdrop of our walk, I was not swayed in the least.

I guess the bottom line for all us poor saps who got suckered into such a thing is education. Educate ourselves. Read, read, read on the topic and see what it is that we are into. Understand and realize that it is not us, not our inadequacies or craziness, but the strange manipulativeness of the hapless person we sorrily got mixed up with.

Yes, at times I still want to expose him to his girlfriend. But, I know he probably is right. My sister told me her story, that she actually called the girlfriend, crying, on the phone and asked her to stay away (she was unfortunately living with her narcissist), and the girlfriend continued to see him. The girlfriend is like me in that she is trapped in the cycle. Telling her won’t make a difference because if she has half a brain, she must suspect what he is up to on his “spare” time. If she has any suspicions at all, she will ask her gynecologist to test her the next time she has a Pap smear. So, I guess it is best to leave it alone.

Yet, I am due for a repeat Pap myself now, and if it comes back abnormal, I surely will feel obligated to spread the word to her…my friend has told me that she may be the source, though I doubt it. If she were, he would have had not qualms about telling her to get treated. We all know that he was the one screwing around, and he doesn’t want to tell her because she would know it, then, too, and he would risk losing that steady source of NS.

I have started attending a spiritual church and had my first session of spiritual counseling yesterday. I agree, healing and closure will have to come from within myself. I am hoping that I will come out a stronger, wiser person. I am hoping that with this new direction, I will find what I am looking for. And, lastly, I am hoping that this whole relationship was not a mistake for me, that in fact, it was a necessary part of my pathway to where I am headed. I know that all sounds nuts, but I have to look at it in a positive light.

In the meantime, I have five good books headed my direction in the mail which I intend to read, cover to cover, all on narcissism. With each word, I gain strength and knowledge. And with each bit of wisdom I take in, I am one step further away from Mr. Facade.

Trapped,
Everyone I know who’s been through this has a library of books (including myself). Education is the key. I just wish I’d received my education before and not after! It also takes time. Time to disavow any notions that the person can ever change or that their feelings for you were actually heartfelt. My friend, whose situation so reminded me of yours, can look back now with clarity. She’s forgiven herself, but she said this encounter changed her. She is no longer as trusting of other people. Knowing there are people out there who are “frauds” keeps you vigilant. We both agreed that although it was an unbelievably painful and surreal experience, we came out stronger as a result. But this knowledge came at a high price.

Most people who are “trapped” don’t realize that the door out of their prison opens from the inside. It sounds like you’re moving in a positive direction. BTW, you’re a wonderful writer! :) Jan

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35. KT - December 6, 2010

Hi Trapped

I am writing because to some degree, your story is similiar to mine (although I now feel jilted that I didn’t get any long walks under the stars). I did get involved with a somatic N who was already involved with someone. I too convinced myself that if he was happy with her, he would not have been with me (and he did in fact tell me every time we met how unhappy he was in his current situation). When I was D&D’d (you can read some of my posts above), it completely blindsided me. It has taken me a long time to process everything and although reading is a great way to begin the process, I highly recommend a good therapist who is knowledgeable on the subject. These guys invade our heads and our hearts in such a way that it is a marathon and not a sprint to get over them. The one thing that I keep coming back to and it is key is that they lack empathy. Empathy is what allows us to consider the needs of someone else, basically allows us to walk in their shoes and care about them. Because Ns lack this key element, they cannot see the world from any view but their own. In other words, they don’t truly care about anyone else. We are all interchangeable props in the Ns play and anything that they do for us is to get them the supply that they need.

This also explains why, once they have you, they start to pull further and further away. They love the newness of the honeymoon period where you will lap up anything they say and not have as many demands on them. They also cannot deal with someone pulling away from them so they will undermine the relationship (if you could ever call it that) themselves.

Know that you were targeted because you are a vibrant person and although it seems really hard right now, there will come a time when you will look back on all of it with a completely different perspective.

Oh and I would not be jealous of the other girl in his life, she isn’t getting anything better. She is being used like you were used. I would have sympathy for her.

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36. Trapped - December 7, 2010

KT,

I just read your post about sending a nice text, and hearing nothing. Wow, I could have written that! If I had a dollar for every beautiful text, e-mail, or even voice mail I left him and had no response, I’d be rich! I love to write, and it seems he has provoked this creative side in me. Yet, I shutter to think that all those words were simply deleted with a sneer. I once told him it was as if I sent him these words on a golden gilded vessel, which he simply allowed to smash into a brick wall and fall to pieces on the floor. So hurtful. Yet, when I quit writing for a while, and finally sent one wayward e-mail, he would rave about it, starting the whole cycle again. Or, get this, I could write him an e-mail that almost sounded suicidal, the type where you or I, or any normal person would immediately pick up the phone and call that person writing it, and I’d hear nothing. Not even a mention of it. Yet, if I wrote him a sexy one, detailing what I wanted to do to him or have him do to me, ring, ring, ring, text, text, text. I am embarrassed to write that, but, hell, it is what it is. An expose (sorry, don’t know how to put the accent on it) of where he was coming from. And all the while, I stupidly fell for it all. Ugh. I don’t think I’ll ever let another man near me.

I am proud to say that I had a very strong moment Saturday evening. He called me, which is highly unusual on a Saturday since he normally is with the girlfriend, and had wanted to come visit me. It was late, he has never seen my place (I am freshly separated just 3 months out), and he was trying to get me to say yes. I straight out told him I can’t do it because then he will simply disappear again for five days. He agreed with me, told me goodnight, and that was that. It was a hard thing for me to do because as you can imagine, there was nothing more I would have liked in the world than to have him next to me.

But, I need to keep telling myself that the “him” I would have next to me is only a figment of my imagination. The real body is simply no better than a street dog looking to wet his weenie before slithering back home, tail between his pathetic legs. He knows I am onto him now because I have no qualms about telling it as I see it. I now have no fears of “losing him” because he was never mine to start with. I know he already has another cute little blonde NS in the wings who is flirting with him at the gym where he spends three hours each day preening in front of the mirrors with his weights. Good luck to her. Good luck to the woman who still is with him (though he would not explain why she wasn’t there on Saturday). And, good riddance.

After reading the posts, I think I am one of the women who will be scarred for life by this. I went to eat alone last week and the waiter at this Greek restaurant, a very good looking guy, was flirting with me. I was completely nauseous. I trust no one anymore. It is a horrible way to be.

Anyway, I appreciate being able to vent here where I know there are others who have felt or gone through similar things. It just isn’t something that most people can fathom. And, I still don’t see what the purpose was of this in my life…where can I go from here? Really? I have some really fantastic work I am supposed to be doing which will help thousands of women in Pakistan if I can get my shit together and focus on it. But, I am so fucked up right now that I cannot even concentrate. Sorry for all the explicatives, but there truly are no better words at the moment.

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37. KT - December 7, 2010

Hi Trapped

Would love to continue conversing with you off blog (Jan has my email) because I really do think that those of us who have been victims can really help each other.

I must admit, I was sad to read you state that you feel that you have been scarred for life by this N. :( If I could give you a big cyber hug I would.

I know exactly what you are talking about when you mention the type of messages you sent to the N and whether you received a response or not. What I’ve come to know is that Ns don’t do intimacy and a sexually laced text is rewarded, whereas a text that shows actual caring comes across as demanding intimacy (weird isn’t it). Intimacy I swear is their cryptonite. I remember the first time I said “I love you” to Mr. N, I was expecting something in return, but what I got was no response. Now, when I would say how much I loved having sex with him, well, he would always respond to that.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to have a relationship with an N is to not have a relationship at all, you simply have to be the most giving woman, who has none of her own needs but loves to cater to his (and honestly do those women actually exist?).

Also, what

KT, I’m not sure where the rest of your insightful comment is. Everything you say is spot on. I, too, think it’s a little early to say “scarred for life.” Knowledge, time, and friends do help the healing process. LOVE is a four-letter word to Ns. They know not which we speak. You’re right. To stay with one means a willingness to deny any needs or feelings of your own. That’s not love or life, it’s subjugation. You might as well lie on the floor and have them walk over you. Jan

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38. Trapped - December 31, 2010

One small addendum to round out the year’s discussion on the narcissistic personality which now is not a “disorder”. I had an outbreak of herpes, something I’d never had in my life, and was livid about it. I had a friend of mine contact the other woman and tell her all. She was crushed and surprised-had no clue, and asked to speak with me. I had nothing to lose, so I called her and told her all she wanted to know. Of course, she was in denial and blamed me for much of it. She said I was obsessed (true, this happens) and that I needed therapy (double true). Anyway, I felt like I did the right thing, and it turns out she admitted that she had her “own thing going on on the side.” Speaking to her on the phone, she sounds very much narcissistic herself, very full of herself. She will get tested for the various STDs, she says. After a few back and forth e-mails, me answering her questions and laying it out on the line, she told both of us not to contact her again, and called him a pathological liar and said he should go into acting. He called me later that evening and threatened me with cyberstalking and said it could “ruin my career” which I had “worked so hard on.” The tones were threatening and eerie. I hung up as quickly as I could and haven’t heard a thing from either of them since. I think it finally is over. For me, this was the closure I needed. By telling the girlfriend everything I not only opened her eyes but also put a solid nail into the relationship I had with the narcissist. He won’t be coming around anytime soon, I suspect. Now, I have 2011 to look forward to as a new year of positive change, I hope!

Trapped,
First, NPD WILL be an official disorder until 2012/13 when the new DSM-V comes out. Then narcissism will become part of the anti-social personality/psychopathic spectrum, which is characterized by a lack of empathy. Sound familiar? So, those whose narcissism pervades every aspect of their personality will still be with us. A horse is a horse is a horse…

Now you know that the other woman was not involved in a “real” relationship with him at all. She sounds just a skewed as he is. It’s strange how when their mask is removed, you see what bratty bullies they actually are. I’m glad that you were able to do what you did and get the closure you needed. Sometimes those who want closure really want to rekindle a connection with the N on some level. But in your case, the closure confirms that this person is a fraud. I might suggest you keep an extra nail about – just in case. Here’s a toast to you for finishing 2010 on a high note. >virtual clink of glasses< All the best to you. Happy New Year! Jan

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39. nine - May 30, 2011

I am trying to heal too as my narcissist is married and now I found out having an affair with two other women. I am in total pain but know I have to see him again as some of his stuff and 2nd vehicle are here. How do I handle this? I have not heard from him in 2 days after confronting him on the phone. I don’t know how long it will take him to call or come over and I fear I will look for his attention if I don’t get it and I know this is wrong.

Nine,
This man is a user and an alley cat, but, you know this by now. I know on some level you “want” to see him, but you don’t ‘have” to. Bundle his stuff up in a box and set it outside the door or next to his car. If his car is in the way, have it towed. Put yourself in charge of this meltdown – don’t let him call the shots.They often like to leave the door open, so they can get extract whatever is left of your self esteem while bolstering theirs. It’s going to take time to see him for who he really is/or isn’t, but you can’t do that if you still have contact with him, or have an excuse to contact him. I’m speaking from experience. Ja
n

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40. Seven - October 10, 2011

I was married to a narcissist for 6 years. He walked out on my 5 year old son and I out of the blue one morning last year and told me he was going through a crisis and I needed to be a supportive wife. I was sympathetic and gave him everything he needed to support him through his (what I believed to be) his breakdown/mid life crisis.

I found out 13 months later by reading Twitter that he has a mistress, a young girl from work who posted everything about their relationship. Every time he had cancelled a commitment with his son, he was with her. It was heart breaking to read how he has been leading a double life for so long. He would come over to our house and behave like a family man and the whole time was living with her and for several months was sleeping with both of us. The lies, decit and betrayal after reading Twitter was hurtful and cruel. How do they live with themselves?

During our marriage, he punched me three times one Christmas morning because he was angry and threatened by to kill me on twice since he punched me. Is this normal narcissistic behavour?

He hardly sees our son and when he does it is for 1 hour a week (after I’ve made contact). My son does not ask about his father, want to be with him or speak to him. I feel sad for my little boy but know in my heart he is better off. When he is with our son, he shows no emotion, love or care for him. He tells our son he loves him and gives him gifts. I wait for the day our son works out what type of man his father is.

I have to have this disgusting man in my life for a long time as we have a child together. I need a strategy of how to handle him. He is a slimy, secretive, pathetic, lying creep.

I discovered while throwing out his things, that he had his own bank account and had been gambling every second or third day from the time we got married and while I was pregnant and on maternity leave. He made me go back to work to make ends meet when my son was very young. I supported his pathological gambling habit while my son was in child care and I could have been a stay at home mother like I always wanted to be.

I feel in control but also cannot adopt the “No Contact” rule as we have a child together. I am not sure what is the best way to handle him for the next many years of my life. I really wish he would remove himself from our lives. He is toxic and I feel deflated after every form of contact with him.

As for his mistress – she is madly in love with him and makes sure she tells the world about their relationship on Twitter. Sad that she feels the need to do such a thing.

I know what does not kill you makes you stronger – my son has given me the courage and strength to get through this. I am doing whatever I can to make sure my son is not a victim to his narcissistic father.

Seven,
I thought I had a rough day, but your situation helped put my complaints in perspective. How do they live with themselves? They don’t give it a second thought actually. They lack a developed conscious, so like a small child who’s done something bad, it’s not their fault! They’re totally illogical and can justify all sorts of bad behavior.

Let’s put this lying, cheating, gambling bastard aside for a moment and focus on more important issues. Your ex will never change. He may go through the motions, but that’s all it is. His “mistress” will soon discover she’s not the only one. It always ends badly. Your concern as a mother is obviously for the well-being of your son. I have two stories for you.

Story #1: A close friend has a son (now almost 5) with a man with NPD. Their divorce has dragged on forever. She fought her husband over the custody arrangement because she didn’t want 50/50 custody. Her soon-to-be-ex already had a new girlfriend, who he told her son was going to be his “new” Mommy (she’s since dumped him). Her husband quickly gets bored with the reality of caring for his son. He’s only putting up a fight for custody to make her life miserable. But recently,the court has seen the boy’s NPD father can’t even get him to preschool on time. He also had gambling debts. She’s tried to give her son the tools to deal with his father’s sarcastic and often abusive comments.That’s a tall order for a five-year-old. She did say that although her son still loves his father, she knows that her son KNOWS that she’s the parent he can count on.

Story #2: My sister-in-law was married and had eight children with a man with NPD. He was emotionally and verbally abusive, and several times this crossed over to physical abuse. They divorced and she was left financially destitute when he moved to another state. He would still try to control her/the children long distance. He returned to the area (where his parents had since moved) and the oldest children saw him on supervised visits. After 30 minutes, he’d lose all interest in them. When their mother got breast cancer, he told them he knew she would die. (She’s a survivor.) I think the oldest boy has had the hardest time adjusting. How can you explain something like this to kids? He’d cut off contact with his father, but then his father reached out to him. Why? He needed to borrow some money for a “sure thing” he was investing in. He took his son’s money and the boy never heard from him again. The children have since legally severed all contact with their father, but I know my sister-in-law lets the older ones read my blog, so they can understand why he is the way he is. They’re wonderful children, so they can’t help but wonder why he’s incapable of loving/caring for them.

I might suggest that you go on “Shrink4Men,” which is on my blogroll. Although she’s dealing with men victimized by women with NPD or BD, she’s written several excellent articles regarding high conflict divorces and how to handle the fallout when it comes to the children. Hope this was of some help.
Always, Jan

Seven, Here a link to once article on Shrink4Men that deals with minimizing contact when you’re co-parenting. http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/04/22/shrink4men-comment-of-the-week-how-to-minimize-contact-with-your-abusive-ex-wife-when-you-are-co-parents/ Sorry, but I can’t actually link to it in the Comments section. :)
Jan

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41. Bill - February 21, 2012

I am a man dating what I suspect now from all I have read is an N who might have been an inverted N during her twenty plus year marriage. the relationship started really strong with all sorts of charming caring and anything goes sexual attention all of which i had been without during the last decade of my marriage.I couldn’t believe my good fortune, my soul mate was finally found. Not so. The first red flag was after our second weekend together I called and said I miss you, her response was a mocking …awwhhhhh. I was stunned but ignored this first very obvious red flag. This revealed MY insecurity and need for love no matter what the price, denial in spades.
She has done the breakup come back thing twice and I broke up with her once and felt free after a few weeks but she came back saying she was happy to see me happy and then I caved and thought maybe she is going to love me now because I am more together and the breakup was really my fault, etc. etc. etc.
I am with her now, not living together but seeing each other and it is has been good for a few months, in other words I have been following her lead on everything, if she doesn’t control or initiate anything it either won’t happen or else in the end it will be found lacking.
The more i write this the sadder I become, there is no joy in walking on eggshells. I am in my sixties and feel as though the last two years have been worse than a waste of time but have swallowed up my last chance to be in a loving relationship.
Some men have feelings too.

Bill,
All men have feelings. Unfortunately, men are often taught/encouraged to “suck it up.” My husband and I have a friend – a man – who for the longest time was embarrassed to confide in us about his abusive soon-to-be ex-wife. He thought we would think he was weak to have put up with such an abusive personality. This is an extremely caring man with two young children who was exhausted from walking on eggshells. Any time he veered from his wife’s script, there was hell to pay.

It sounds like you’re a bit tired yourself from dancing to someone else’s tune. I sincerely doubt if this is your last chance to be in “a loving relationship.” Think about whether you would describe you current situation as “a loving relationship.” If so, you can settle in for the long haul, but don’t expect this woman to change or suddenly realize what a gem you are. It sounds rather one-sided as your emotional needs are not being met. This woman is not your soul mate.

Sometimes people believe that anything is better than nothing. But that’s not true if it’s stealing your self-esteem and your identity. There are lots of women who’d love to find a caring and loving man to spend the rest of their life with. Don’t sell yourself short! :) Jan

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42. Bill - February 22, 2012

Ultimately, at the end of the day, better yet, in the midst of the moment I’m realizing I’m taking the whole thing and other people way to seriously.
Enjoy yourself, the people you enjoy and surround yourself with them.

Bill,
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Over the years, I’ve eliminated those people who don’t bring out the best in me and ANYONE who can’t make me laugh. The result is I laugh a lot – even at myself. :) Jan

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Bill - February 23, 2012

Thanks,Jan.
I’m learning to be pleased with my own company where I also find lots to laugh about.
Bill

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43. Trapped - February 23, 2012

Bill,
Your story touched my heart and made me realize that either sex is capable of doing such things. I am sad for you because I have been through this myself and fully know how you feel. Your Feb 22nd post sounds upbeat, but I also wanted to say that please don’t put yourself down for “taking the whole thing and other people too seriously.” When it comes to matters of the heart, they seem to dominate our whole being. Why is this? Chemical reactions in our brain? Evolutionary responses wherein we are programmed to completely be involved with the one we love? I can’t explain it. I can only say that it is quite painful and I’ve yet to find a good solution. I’ve filled my life to capacity with fulfilling activities: schoolwork (in addition to my ‘real work’), charity work, spiritual work, being a parent, and exercise (marathon training). Despite this, that gnawing pain always seems to find a place to creep in. I wonder sometimes if a “N support group” would help?

Anyway, please take care and take comfort in knowing that there are people out there who understand what you are going through and who care. By the way, there ARE real women out there!

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44. Bill - February 23, 2012

Trapped,
Learning to enjoy my own company, to value myself and not to take others too seriously is not putting myself down at all but rather a learned survival skill that is becoming a source of unexpected joy.
In my journey I am seeing that both the N and those that are drawn to them and can’t get over them are both empty inside, both looking outside themselves for fulfillment. A no win situation for both.

For me the best way to get over a N is to discover,love and enjoy yourself and then you won’t tolerate abuse from anyone and you will be able to truly love. BTW the cruelest thing you can do to yourself and the N is to “give” yourself to them. You aren’t loving the N but rather encouraging/enabling him/her to use you. Not nice from both perspectives.

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45. Bill - February 24, 2012

Trapped,
I reread my last post and wonder if in text it came across as callous.
I didn’t mean it to and I am not.
I understand your pain and commiserate with you.
Be as kind,honest, attentive, understanding and patient with yourself as you would like to be with someone you love.

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46. nogooddeedgoesunpunished - February 24, 2012

” It’s a tug of war between them needing attention and not wanting any emotional involvement, until we’re smart enough to let go of the rope. ”

I have a serious case of rope burn. Ouch!

Nogooddeed,
I have a number of readers who come to my blog via my facebook page, so the first thing they do is read the About Me page. Those who know me closely already know about Joe, but those who are new don’t. Some of my students’ parents have become my facebook friends, so I walk a fine line. You see, Joe was my coworker, so I can relate to your situation. My first year at my school, I was overwhelmed. I had an extremely difficult class and my school is HUGE. Joe seemed to fixate on me and stopped by my room often to talk. There’s was an element of flirtation in these conversations. Later, I heard that he was a chronic flirt. The D&D occurred the final months of that first school year. I researched NPD over the summer and was on several forums. I was reeling from this “friendship” and also wondering why it had so affected me.

I think it was because 1) I’m a friendly, caring person, and I was doing what came natural to me, 2) Joe was on his best behavior at the beginning though there were red flags and odd comments, 3) I like to think that I’m a good judge of character and “nobody’s fool.” I was taken in my Joe, but in hindsight, I purposely overlooked obvious signs that something was “off.” Finally, 4) It was weird to have seen behind Joe’s mask and know what he was capable of while he presented the image of “Mr. Nice Guy” (his words) to other teachers.

After the summer, Joe returned to work at my school part-time. I knew what he was and had told him, but on some level, I still hoped for some sort of reconciliation. I thought I could help him. LOL Joe was cold – almost robotic. There was no going back, which ultimately, was a good thing. By the next year, he’d moved to another school and cut off contact with all of the people he’d worked with for 6 years. It’s common for Ns to move their act to a new territory where there’s fresh supply. They don’t look back. Maybe you can relate to some of what I’ve said. Always,Jan

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Bill - February 24, 2012

Once your expectations , your needs, your boundaries (clearly defined and understood by your N) are established and what’s negotiable and what isn’t is on the table then the war will be short. Depends on your self respect and how N like your N is.and it has to be known by both of you, that you will walk away forever.
But is all that drama worth it?

Bill,
You sound like such a worthy and thoughtful man. You’re so right about the importance of strong boundaries. Ns have a way of wearing you down so that your boundaries began to shift. You find yourself doing/allowing things to be done/said that you never would have thought possible. It’s so important to reclaim yourself. Jan

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47. Julie - February 24, 2012

I believe I posted on this site back in 2009 when I was letting go of my N. Honestly, you don’t want them to idealize you anymore. It is a two edged sword. They never truly felt like that in the first place. It can never be because it wasn’t real in the first place. What strikes a chord with me is that I never had a real normal conversation wtith him like you would with anyone else where there was a exchange of ideas, thoughts, cares or concerns because it was always about him. My ex-N is now on to his next victim and the same thing is happening all over again because that is how he rolls. He will never be any different. He only knows one set of rules and they are his. Truly, it is best to distance yourself from the N as much as possible. They can never give you what you need and they will always bring you down. I am so happy that I am free and I can see it from the outside the way it truly is.

Julie,
Three years makes a BIG difference. You sound extremely grounded and wiser, though I imagine you went to hell and back to gain this wisdom. The conversations with Ns are extremely convoluted. They have no genuine interest in your life. And you are absolutely right in that they never change. They are emotional black holes that will suck you in and drain you. I’m happy that you are N-free and thriving. I wish this for all of those who’ve had a close encounter with a narcissist. Jan

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Bridget - April 29, 2012

Julie,

Finding this I know is a sign that no matter how absolutely gut wrenching this is right now it will get better. I ended it only 2 days ago, feels like 2months. I’m sorry for acting so crazy, the mind control he had on me I still can’t understand. I posted a big paragraph below just describing some o

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48. Lori - February 27, 2012

I’ve read though so many posts, and I’m comforted by the what I’ve read. It’s strange to read posts from 2009, way before I met the N in my life. However, I’ve found it very comforting to read these comments, as I feel it’s given me insight into my feelings as I work through them.

I met my N in in early 2009, he is a exercise instructor at the gym I go to. I had very little contact with him then, mostly just admired him from afar. In November of 2010, I started going to classes more consistently, at some point catching his eye for whatever reason. I realize now, I was vulnerable, feeling overweight and desperately trying to lose weight, which I was achieving via his class. He convinced me one night to attend his Saturday class, which I did. He immediately tried to sleep with me that day, and I stupidly agreed. The sex was intense, but the red flags that I now see stand out even more to me now.

Sex was a mechanical act for him, devoid of feelings, closeness. He always wanted to know if I climaxed, but I never got the sense he was concerned with me, just whether or not he could actually make it happen. Strangely, at one point, he told me, “I never last very long on top.” I could never figure out why he admitted that. He got very nervous when I started to fall asleep on his bed, pacing across the room saying, “You’re falling asleep.” He didn’t even want me to shower at his place. He was honest in the beginning about what he wanted, saying, “I see others and I assume you do too.” After a month of seeing him, I started to develop this sense that he was seeing another woman at the same gym, so I confronted him and told him I couldn’t go on, even though I originally agreed to an “open relationship.” He tried to talk me out of it, told me she meant nothing to him, etc., then eventually became enraged when I wouldn’t let it go, and stormed off. I eventually decided to go back to the exercise classes he taught. I foolishly thought I would be strong enough to handle it and that he wouldn’t care.

When I returned to classes, he seemed surprised. I generally ignored him, and found with time, he seemed to chase me more. During this time, I befriended a woman at the gym who would figure more prominently into this. She seemed to be a nice person, but I eventually found that she was infatuated his every move, and always trying to get more personal information about him from various people. After a few months of going out with her, I realized she must have slept with him, and I confided to her that I also had with him. I regret this now, but thought we could still be friends as she seemed kind and was interested in my life. During this time, “Patricia” and I heard a lot of gossip about the N we knew…he had 1 child out of wedlock which he didn’t seem to want, got another girl pregnant and treated her with ambivalence, talked about his conquests from the gym with his co-workers at this full-time job, and hit on every single 20 year old that waltzed into the gym. At that point, he started becoming “friendly” with me again, talking to me after class, sharing a lot of personal information about his father leaving at an early age, his friend and his penchant for prostitutes, his cousins who were career thieves, his back problems, and a host of other topics that were equally strange. I listened, didn’t judge, and thought I could just be friendly with him, given our previous history. After a few months of this behavior, riding the bus home after class, sitting and talking, he abrubtly stopped talking to me, giving me the cold shoulder. I talked to him about it, he denied anything was wrong initially. Eventually, we had a final conversation that I feel was his unmasking. We talked about dating, not each other, but the concept. He eventually became enraged, telling me, “I don’t date, don’t want to, women come up to me, I don’t go to them, all my friends who are married are miserable, and when a woman wants to go out to brunch with friends, that’s when I leave. I don’t want any part of that.” Keep in mind, I never asked him a question, this was all based on his comments about women in NYC being “crazy.” When I told him, “I don’t think you take the time to get to know someone,” he unloaded on me. Not sure what button I pushed, but it was a major one. The next time I tried to talk to him, he got angry withe me and said, “No talking.” I had been shut down, and now 7 months later, he continues to give me the cold shoulder. He also continues to chase after young girls in class, mostly in their young 20s. I always know when he has thrown them aside, as they never return to class. He’s been doing this for the past 10 years.

The difficult part for me is the devaluation. I tried to be friends with him, and thought it was possible. I have enough friends in class to feel comfortable, but I still don’t understand why he needs to completely devalue me, pretend that I am non-existent. I guess I believed he felt comfortable enough with me to share such personal information about himself, that I never thought he would treat me this way. Confounding this situation even more is the presence of Patricia in all this. She continues to pursue him despite our “friendship,” which I feel now is false. She waits for him after class to talk to him, begged him to find her a job when she was out of work (which he did), and now coaches part-time at the school he teaches at. She seems to desperately want his approval, and believes he can do no wrong, fawns over him, even given all the negative things we know about him. He recently accused me of stalking him, which is crazy. I leave class, shower and leave for the bus. Patricia, waits for him, leaves with him, and is treated like gold, while I am treated like garbage. I honestly don’t see why she is treated so much better…we both slept with him, returned to class, and she is the one who waits for him, hangs on to his every word. I keep to myself, and he acts as if I never existed.

I continue to get stuck in this loop, “why does he treat me this way,” “what did I do wrong,” and “Why does he treat her better than me?” He made negative comments about Patricia to me during the summer months when he was idealizing me, comments which I told him I was not comfortable hearing and defended her. Now the tables are turned, I realize she is willing to throw me under the bus, but the questions I have of my devaluation remain. Will he eventually treat her the same way, or is her “I’m a doormat and will do everything you say” method how she maintains civility with him? I know she was booty call for a man for 8 years, so I realize her self-esteem is in the toilet, but what exactly is wrong with me? I have never been so affected by a relationship like this.

Thanks for listening.
Lori

Lori,
I should be getting dressed for school, but wanted to reply. First, don’t worry about “Patricia” as she has her own issues. He’s not necessarily treating her better than you, it’s that she’s willing to settle for less in return. And nothing pleases a N more than having TWO women (preferably more) who “want” him. She means no more to him than you do. I found that there was no “friendship” with a N after the D&D. In retrospect, there was no real friendship – ever. This guy is a somatic narcissist and what better hunting ground than a gym? He’s in a position of authority. Ns don’t want to be liked or loved, they want to be admired.

It’s natural for you to feel used/abused because this man’s MO is basically “catch and release.” He has no interest in an adult relationship that requires give and take. He’s only interested in “take.” N’s only idolize you once. After that, they might return out of convenience, but you’re off the pedestal. AND, if you’re wondering, there’s no way to stay ON the pedestal, so the story always ends badly, no matter how many times you try to rewrite the ending. I suggest you find a new gym as seeing someone on a regular basis and hoping to rekindle a spark of interest/civility is a waste of your time and only prolongs moving on.

My post “Psychology Today on Narcissism – 33 Years Ago” shows that Ns haven’t changed over time. I personally love Halycon (It’s on my blogroll and was written in 1996.) The truth is never dated. :)
Jan

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49. Lori - February 28, 2012

Jan:

Thank you so much for your reply. I have been working harder on moving on. The gym I belong to has several locations, so I’ve been taking different instructors for the class he taught, and avoiding altogether the location where Patricia goes. I’ve found a few good instructors and taken new classes, so I feel I’m on the right track. Some of the friends I made at the gym (my silver lining in this entire nightmare) have even decided to join me! Strangely, one of the new classes I attended had 4 women in the class that used to be regulars at N’s classes. When I mentioned seeing one of them there months earlier, she just rolled her eyes and said, “He’s a piece of work.” Makes me wonder how long before some of this catches up to him. Oddly, his full-time job is a gym teacher at an all-girls school…creepy.

A good friend of mine believes that people are generally givers or takers. What you said made me think of that, and how true it is. I realize at one time or another, most people will swing between the two extremes, but I’m starting to see how the extremes can be serious red flags when you meet someone new.

The knowledge from your site and others are extremely helpful. I find when I read a little bit everyday, pieces of this giant puzzle fall into place for me. It also helps to remind me that he was never really the person I thought he was. Strangely, this situation seems to mark a period of my life that I feel in some way will help me progress (I’m finishing school, hoping to start dating again after a divorce from several years ago). Even though I don’t like what he has done and caused me to feel, I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made in this process and the sense that things will be better sooner rather than later.

Lori

Hi Lori,
I have a close friend who was involved with a somatic narcissist. He taught at a private school. It got to the point that women on the staff warned any new young woman hired about HIM. After my experience, I met with several co-workers who I thought knew the N. I wanted to get their take on him. One laughed and said, “Ugh, he’s such a loser! The other said, “Oh Jan, you were so taken in by him.” I felt rather silly because it seemed that everyone knew that there was something off about him. I suspect some of the friends you’ve made at the gym also know something is not right.

If it’s any solace, my friend who had the affair with the somatic narcissist was able to move on. She gained a greater understanding of herself, but at times wondered if it was worth the cost. Almost five years later, we no longer talk about the Ns that brought us together. We spend a lot of time laughing though. For that I am grateful. That time will come for you too. :) Jan

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50. Lori - February 29, 2012

Jan-

Your story about your close friend who was involved with a somatic narcissist at a private school is VERY similar to mine. A friend of mine started work at the same school that he works at. She recently told me that a lot of staff at the school are disgusted by his bragging, telling everyone there he uses the gym to pick up women. I just can’t fathom why he thinks it’s alright to talk like this, particularly when he works at an all-girls school and a majority of the staff are women! Imagine the effects he is having on the young girls he teaches…ick! It made me remember this concert we went to. He told me and the others who were going that he invited a bunch of teachers from the school he works at to meet us at this bar before the show. We sat at the bar for a couple of hours and not 1 teacher showed. I couldn’t figure out why, but now I know. A good friend of mine who also went to his classes told me it took her about a year to really figure out something was wrong with him. It was never anything she could put her finger on, until she started having conversations with him “that just didn’t make any sense.”

All of this has made me start thinking about those red flags that one sees in the beginning…the ones that I ignored. I’m really trying to get a handle on them, hoping that out of all this I can at least have the knowledge and experience to not fall into this situation again.

One of the earlier posts mentioned seeing a therapist, which I have started to do. We talk about red flags every week, and the other day I talked about this one that I used to find “cute” and by the end, nauseated me. During my Idealization phase, he would come into the bike room and talk, really low voice, sort of like a purr. As people came into the room, he would move away (I’m sure so people wouldn’t think we were together), but would always help others around me setting up their bikes. When he did this, he would always brush up against me, which I thought was this cute thing he would do to get my attention secretly. After my D&D, I still went to class a number of times and would sit on a bike and read a magazine waiting for class to start but would ignore him. The more I ignored, the more he brushed up against me. The very last class I went to, he did this a number of times, each time brushing up against me and then stopping to talk to the girls who were on either side of my bike. By this time, I started feeling like he was the dog and I was the fire hydrant. Could never figure out if he was just attention-seeking or trying to make me jealous. Either way, that was my last class with him.

I look forward to the day I can laugh about this.

Lori

Lori,
Yikes! This is all sounding so familiar. I have to admit that your comparison to the dog and the fire hydrant provided my first laugh of the day. But then I’m several years out of this insanity. My close friend was a parent at the school. It was only after the whole affair that she asked a teacher on the staff, who she friends with, what she thought of this man. The teacher, who was divorced, said, without hesitation, that she thought he was a sociopath, as she’d been married to one. It’s interesting though how so many people can know that someone should be avoided, but aren’t always forthcoming. Personally, I would have appreciated it if some of those “in the know” had tipped me off. Maybe, I would have thought they had some ax to grind though as during the idealization phase, the N can make you feel so special. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to tell this story in the past tense. You’ll get there! Jan

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Bridget - April 29, 2012

@Julie. I’m almost having a heart attack right now because the I am all too familiar with the N you speak of. We’ve actually met briefly on his porch. I hurt so much and feel so stupid for dealing with the torture for so long. I actually was close to suicide. Finding this site must honestly be a sign from God because I just ended it only 2 days ago with him. Lied about his age of all things! I know as do you his birthday was on Valentine’s Day (sick irony) but I never paid attention to the year b/c I’m thinking who would lie about that? The entire 2+ terrible years I was under the impression he was four years younger. Which doesn’t seem like much until you realize that made our age difference 14 years. I never in my life believed there were human beings in the world lile this. I feel like I lost every sense of my self. I really cannot believe I found this. I’m also very worried now about the STD post earlier, I HATE him so much. There is so much more shit and manipulation I went through it’s just hard to fathom right now. I am grateful for one thing and that is somehow I saw the light. If you would’ve asked me 4 days ago I would’ve told you how amazing he was. I don’t know if I’m equipped to deal with this. Oh and btw who was the “girlfriend” that was married? That’s not me…I hope you read this and you’re doing well.

Bridget,
When I finally read about NPD (and I had to read Vaknin’s book 5 times with a highlighter) along with information on various sites, I was dumbfounded. How had I gone through my life and not known that these emotional vampires walked amongst us?

What I found most disturbing was that during the D&D, I began to tolerate more and more offensive/abusive behavior. That’s SO not like me, but the behavior/comments were so confusing. WTF? You are very raw from this encounter. Anger is a good thing, but there’s no “getting even” with a N. I found that I was angriest at myself for being duped by this idiot. It’s best to turn your energy away from thinking about the N (though that seems impossible at the start), as you’re just throwing your good energy down their very deep Black Hole. Jan

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Bridget - June 21, 2012

Thank you so much Jan for responding so quickly. Sorry I didn’t do the same. You were right, my emotions were very raw at the time. Looking back at my post I realized I was just so upset and it’s taken these few months for it to all settle in.

I didn’t even bring up the fact that he was the one person in my almost 30yrs on this planet that I let in to my heart and was honest about myself from our very first date. And by the way, after that first date there wasn’t literally a day that would go by with some sort of contact. And “I love you” was said mutually from the first month. So it wasn’t all entirely shit, there were very fun and very intimate times. He even would casually bring up us getting married. (I know now this will never happen for him) My family loved him, we went to weddings together, nothing in that first year raised any red flags. Needless to say I started to suspect another (possibly a few) woman. I got the old “it’s not what you think baby, you’re being paranoid” routine and I like an idiot believed him.

So fast forward two years, he’s caught red handed and still denied. That is what finally drove me to the edge. When we first met I told him I was a recovering alcoholic of 3 years and he was so accepting. In our time together he never drank infront of me. We could still go out and have a great time w/out alcohol anyway. But I finally couldn’t take the ridiculous lies and making me seem like I was the crazy one. I ended my 5 years of sobriety one night b/c I just couldn’t handle the insanity. I don’t blame him b/c I choose to do this but I felt hopeless and helpless and just wanted to feel nothing.

The kicker to all this is I went to a local clinic and got an std test (mostly b/c of this site and the amazing fact that someone else shared the same N as myself and posted something about it on here) and needless to say it’s the exact thing she contracted. He denied it, saying it was me who was being unfaithful blah blah blah. I was furious but what’s the use, N’s are NEVER in the wrong. It is just such a relief to be rid of the craziness. Not to mention my friends, family, ect are so happy that I am not getting hurt by this jerk anymore.

Anyway, I’m going back to my AA meetings and just sharing my experience of how it is possible to replace alcohol or drugs with a person. And when the person fails you, as an alcoholic it’s only natural for us to turn to drinking again. Ironically he was the one who led me to believe I didn’t need those “stupid” meetings anymore.

So I’m doing better and thank you again for your site and all the great feedback you give to others.

Bridget,
When my plane landed in LV, I saw your comment. I always respond to comments regarding NPD within 24 hours, as I remember how crazy the whole experience made me feel. Thanks for the update. It’s good to hear you’re back at meetings and moving forward. It’s ironic that you mentioned that for an addict, a person can be an addiction, seeing as I’m listening to all of the slot machines ding nearby. But, I believe that can be true. My friend and fellow blogger, Catherine Sherman, once said that trying to recreate that warm wonderful feeling that you got during the idealization phase with a N is akin to that first high from drinking alcohol. It’s the human equivalent of “Chasing the Dragon.”

I’m also relieved that one of my wise readers tipped you off about the possibility of an STD. I learn so much from the experiences that people share through their comments, including yours. Always, Jan

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51. Trapped - June 21, 2012

I just saw today’s post from Bridget, who said she was almost suicidal. I felt compelled to write. I first posted in November of 2010, after my older sister opened my eyes about what was going on in my life. I was “trapped” in a relationship with a somatic narcissist. Back then, as I wrote, it seemed as if I would get a grasp on things the more I read about the disorder.

How wrong I was! I am ashamed to admit that I was sucked back in, several times. Although I read every book I could get my hands on, including Vadknin’s, it seemed nothing helped me. Last summer, I decided a month in India spent at a Buddhist temple might do the trick. No such luck. In and out of this relationship I have been yanked. Whenever I tried to sneak away, avoiding calls or texts, he would find me and suck me back in. Each time, the scenario played out the same: multiple phone calls, texts, and intense wooing, followed by steamy sex, and then he would disappear.

For a while I convinced myself I was only in it for the sex, too. Then he got more bold with me, even texting his “girlfriend” (who also is still hanging in there) as we were having sex. She found out about me a few times (and others), but he sweet-talked his way out of it in a day. She even professes to be a “relationship specialist”on her blog site, who will give hypnosis to anyone who needs help, because she is an expert in such matters. The whole thing is ludicrous.

Anyway, to make a long story short, India didn’t work. Neither did extensive reading. Neither did ignoring him and avoiding calls. Finally, I found a therapist who told me that the only thing that will work is to find out what it is inside of me that he is” fulfilling” which I obviously am lacking. Until I can do this, I will seek him or others like him. She told me, rightly so, that I can read all I want to about narcissism and understand how sick he is. But until I am secure within myself, none of that will make any difference. Obviously, she is right.

I will tell you of the final event which spurred me to see the therapist and also which has left me afraid to be anywhere near him. He called me one day, a few months back, to ask if I had called his girlfriend and left a message on her phone. I told him I had not and he pressured me, was I SURE it wasn’t me?? Of course, I said, I would not do that. “That’s all I need to know,” he said and then hung up. Of course, my stupid head started to spin, now realizing that even though he had sworn otherwise, there were other women out there just like me. Women who were desperate enough to try to contact her. The message the woman left, apparently, was “he needs to be with me and not you.”

Enough was enough, finally. I told him in anger that it was NOT me, but that I ought to call her and expose him. To this, he got a chilling, steely look on his face and said in a low tone “if you do that, I will ruin your life. I know people in high places that can ruin your life.” Whoa. Mr. Sweet and Charming shows a completely sick side. Typical N, when cornered, they lash back like a ruthless psycho. I left his place that night and have not seen him since.

It has been almost two months since I have seen him, and this is the longest I have been able to go yet. This is not to say that he has not been trying furiously to get a hold of me. He had been calling my cell, my office, and my home several times a day. He had been driving my old running route, asking people if they had seen me. I had seen him cruising past my old place (I’ve since moved). One morning, at 4:00 AM (I am an early riser), after I had been ignoring obsessive calls, I heard someone stepping in the bushes beneath my window…I cannot say it was him, but I also cannot say it wasn’t.

Finally, he switched to another phone number which he thought I would not recognize, but which I found out in about ten seconds was him (by Googling the number and finding out it was the phone number of the house where he lives in a garage). Needless to say, I never answered that number until one day he caught me totally off guard and I picked it up because I was waiting for another person to call me right back. Bingo.

He told me he had been trying to call me, to which I coldly said “I know.” He asked if I had still been running because he had not seen me “I changed my route.” He said he missed me and wasn’t it surprising how things go that way? I got him off the phone as quickly as I could but he has persisted in texting to ask if I would walk with him. “Too busy”. Last contact was four days ago and I am pretty sure he may have gotten the message, but others are quick to point out ‘not so fast.” At any rate, I am leaving the country for three weeks next week and it is likely he might give up as I will be completely unavailable.

It isn’t easy. I will tell you of the roller coaster emotions I’ve had the past 2 months, which don’t make an ounce of sense, especially in light of the horrible way he treated me: anger when he didn’t call, anger at how he could forget about me so easily after 2 1/2 years, anger when he DID call (knowing he had just been with the other woman), knowing exactly what he wanted…anger to know that his other relationship continues on, seemingly “normal”. Just pure anger and sadness about getting sucked into it all. Wondering what I’ve done in my life to deserve this? I don’t play. I don’t smoke. I don’t run around. I am honest. I am giving. I have devoted my life to helping others (my trip outside the country is purely a volunteer trip to a tough country to help out). Why was this my lot in life??

Even if I DO ever get over this jerk, I doubt very much I will ever trust another man, ever. Like Bridget, he was the only man I ever opened myself to. But he wasn’t even a man, was he? He was just a pathetic shell of a human being whose goal in life is to suck others dry as he tries in vain to build himself up.

It is obvious I have a lot of therapy ahead of me, unfortunately ($$$). If I were rich, I would go every week. I guess the only good news is that there is hope for us victims. The N, on the other hand, is doomed to a life of deceit, emptiness, and misery. I may be lacking sorely in the area of love, but at least I have a viable, fulfilling career, a few great kids, and real place to live. At least I have the ability to feel empathy, love, and solid, real emotions.

This guy freeloads off a poor, demented, old woman, living in her garage. He pumps himself up to everyone, pretending he is such a great, successful person, driving a Maserati, living in a weatlhy neighborhood. In reality, he is a twice-divorced loser who lives in a garage, lying obsessively, and shamelessly screwing behind the back of a woman he has been dating for almost 4 years now after crying to her that he is monogamous and other “flings” were just indiscretions.

Ugh. Calgon, take me away. Far, far away.

For the longest time, I used to feel inferior to the other woman, thinking she had something very good that I did not. Why it never sunk in that she has nothing over me, except major denial, I am not sure. I used to think he loved her and why didn’t he love me?? Why would the obvious never sink in? He loves no one, not even himself. Why did I not think “if that is how he shows her he loves her (by screwing around behind her back), is that the type of love I would want?”

He would literally have sex with me, not even take a shower, and head to her place for the night. Who needs that? Who would want to be sleeping with a man who was just with another woman, didn’t even shower, and comes slinking over, acting like you are all the world to him??

These past few months I have felt a lot like I have PTSD. I wake in the middle of the night, remembering hurtful things he has done to me. I’ll be driving and suddenly get images of him in my head. It’s a horrible road to travel, especially when I am trying very hard to heal, and yet getting texts and calls trying to lure me back in.

Sorry to spill out the gory details, but it is what it is. As I’ve said in previous posts, I am an educated woman. I’m actually a professional with the highest levels of schooling available. I have no excuses other than childhood issues which I am trying to work through. The scary part to me is wondering whether my childhood issues are as malignant as his and therefore, maybe I will never be able to resolve them and have a normal relationship? Sad thoughts.

Thanks for hearing my story. I am sure you all will be shaking your head and thinking “wow, what a f’d up woman!” Yes, you are right. My only crime, though, was falling in love. And for this, I am paying the penalty, big time.
Anyone with any other insights, please feel free to post.

Hi Trapped,
I just got home after 10 days away. Not to go all Dr. Phil on you (gee, that’s the first time I’ve used THAT reference), but as your therapist said, you are/were getting something out of this too, or you wouldn’t have tolerated his behavior for so long. I’m jet lagged and exhausted, but I’ll offer what insight I can tomorrow. It sounds though that your eyes have finally been opened to the reality of this excuse for a relationship. I think a trip to India was a step in the right direction, but might only work in “Eat, Pray, Love.” Unless you desire further abuse, don’t even text a curt reply. I promise I’ll write more tomorrow after I’ve had my morning coffee. (BTW I’m NOT an early riser. :)) Always, Jan

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52. Lesley - June 22, 2012

HeyTrapped,
Your story moved me so much and I wanted to say that despite you feeling intense and ‘trapped’…your insight will free you,already has freed you and will continue to free you. Jan’s site is brilliant for giving perspective and touching base when you are still in the numb or reeling phase.
Some early thoughts…stick to No Contact.There is a site called Baggage Reclaim which can help you with that.One of its premises is to work through why we stay with/or repeatedly return to/believe these unavailable people.
You’ve got it,there can be stuff we have to work through about our own needs and perceptions of what constitutes a relationship.
This guy, and I was with a somatic variety too…has lowered your self esteem into such a helpless state that you were content with crumbs!
Crumbs no more! You and another woman. C’mon! Kerb and Kick him!
Please,please stick with AA. I’m sick for you that he drove you back to that but you know that alcohol will be clouding your perception too…right?
Re the PTSD, yes I understand this, I had it too, and words and phrases that he said to denigrate me. A couple of months on and it is lessening.The key is to change phone,e mail, all contact details.
You are worth so,so much more. Do it for yourself not for this arsehole.
Light Shine,
Les

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Trapped - June 22, 2012

Thanks Lesley. Any support is appreciated. I actually saw him yesterday. After I had written this, I went to the store. As I was returning, I saw his car (it is rare and unmistakable) in my rearview mirror, a few cars back. He followed me a bit, I am sure trying to figure out where I live (I just moved). I lost him, believe it or not (he drives a Maserati, I an old beat up Honda). But the awareness that he has not given up is there. This is such an odd disorder. I read in Vaknins’ book that eventually they reduce their victims to being mirror images of them: paranoid, delusional, and stalkers. As I was swinging back around the block yesterday, I was thinking to myself “did I just make that all up??” But I know I saw his car, and it is the only one like it in this area, and he knows which street I moved to (it is about a quarter mile long), but not which house or complex, so it would be logical if he were trying to follow me (I also have a very distinct looking car, easy to spot). At any rate, from here on out, I am pretty much not home, not available until late July. By then, it seems, he should have procured another good source of NS. There are plenty of lonely, recently divorced women (and plenty who are married and the same, he has no discression) where I live. It is pathetic, isn’t it, how they prey on those types? Like a bully, picking on the most helpless victims. It is like he has a radar which hones in on them. LIkely, he does so because he knows anyone else would reduce him to a bug and squash any attempts at his fakery deceptions. Anyway, thanks again. Also, I am not the AA person, but I am sure my problem is just as grave. I also have an addiction to whatever it is he provides (which isn’t much). I likely also have alchoholic tendencies as this runs in my family and I can easily drink too much if given the opportunity. I was thinking the other day that I bet there is something in our brains, the way they are wired, that makes us prone to this type of thing. Like you said, we are wonderful people in many ways (I need to write this to try to believe it), but in being so, we are extremely vulnerable. If I had to choose, I would be who I am, as opposed to being someone like him or even someone in between (selfish, deceitful, etc.). The biggest challenge/wake-up call is realizing that not everyone shares our values and that there are others who lay in wait for someone like us to come along, just so that they can take whatever fruits we have to offer. Oh well. I guess that is life. Thanks again for listening to my pathetic ramblings. I hope some day soon I will be writing from a stronger point of view.

Trapped,
I read your comment quickly last night, so it wasn’t until just now (when the caffeine started to read a 50/50 mix with my blood level) that I scrolled through previous comments and realized you first commented in 12/10. Yikes!
1) First, as long as you’re still identifying with being “Trapped” or your email address (yes, I can see that too), it’s feeding the beast. As someone once said, “The door to the cage opens from the inside.”
2) No matter what your childhood issues are, you realize you have issues and are taking steps to understand them. The N could care less about your issues as he has no issues other than you trying to free yourself from his control.
3) Make no mistake. His attempts to pull you back in are not about love – they are about control. If you are under his control (or “spell” as you said”), he can use you however he wants. And he is using you. Being used is degrading to your physical and spiritual self.
4) You’ve played this game (and it is a game) for so long (you knew 18 months ago that he was a N) that his twisted reality has become familiar – the norm – at least in your dealings with him.
5) Screw the cost – see the therapist on a weekly basis for awhile until you feel stronger. There is no winning with the person, no happily every after, no “at least he cares more about me than her.”
6) Sorry to say, but this man views you as a loser and is only attempting to draw you back into his web to prove to himself that he still can – that he still has control over you.
Remember, the door to the cage opens from the inside. You can do this. Always, Jan

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53. elisa - July 1, 2012

do you think all narcs are cheating from day 1, i only felt it when i was dumped with no warning and found him on dating site .could have been before dumping but i did not look for it. i chose to trust him..boy am i naive although he claims he has not been with anyone since we’ve been together 40 months,since feb 27, now june28. can’t trust him at all narc or just an a-hole?

Elisa,
No. Not necessarily. But some might be. If he’s a somatic N, your newness factor will most likely quickly wear off and he’ll be looking for his next shiny toy. On-line dating sites attract Ns because they can sit back and flirt to their heart’s content and only connect if they want – on their terms. Okay, I’m going to make it easier for you. Just say you’ve been together for over 3 years. Ns ultimately turn out to be a$$holes, while others are just plain old garden variety a$$holes. With the info you provided, that’s the best I can do. Just know that he’s not to be trusted – never a good sign in a relationship. Oh, and whatever they tell you, take it with a grain of salt. Jan

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54. Seven - July 1, 2012

Jan, what is the best way to co-parent with an ex Narc husband. I posted on your site on October 10, 2011 and since then…….well! My ex N signed an agreement with lawyers that states I have my 6 year old son 100% and I am the sole carer. This idiot gave up his son for $18,000. This happened in November 2011. Since signing this agreement he did not make any great effort to see his son until March 2012. My lawyer told me “he will only want his child when he needs to prove to a woman that he is a good man” – she hit the nail on the head. I found out by reading Twitter that my ex N was engaged to his mistress, we were not divorced and my son has never met her. He and the mistress are demanding I hand my son to them. My ex N abandoned his son in August 2010 and my son does not know him, never spent time with him and now, to prove to his new partner he is a good father I need to produce the child to him………..my ex N wants to use his son to help his relationship – What The?
He signed an affidavit in court in May, 2012 which states that he spends time with his son every Saturday for a few hours. This has never happened as when I mention it, he says he something else on and wants to collect my son at 10:00 on Sunday each week. He is now getting aggressive and bullying me to change the existing arrangement which he signed and never honoured. He wants the exisitng arrangement changed to Sundays because it does not suit his new partner. Sundays suits her better than Saturdays……………excuse me, it is supposed to be what is best for the child not the bulldog he is currently sleeping with!
Thank you.

Seven,
As a mother and as a teacher, no, make that as a human, I hate it when parents “use” their children for any reason. This all sounds incredibly painful, but not that surprising. For the record, there’s no “co-parenting” with a N, because they don’t play/work well with others.
Custody battles are painful, draining, and costly. So it all comes down to what YOU want, and what you’re willing to fight for. Since he signed off on the custody arrangement, it would seem he has to initiate any changes. I have several friends who’ve been through this and it became a matter of documenting dates/times, etc. You need to talk to your attorney AND you need to talk to your son, who also has feelings on the matter. Jan

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Marie - July 6, 2012

Seven, I am sorry that you and your son have to deal with this. N’s use their children as narcisstic extensions of themselves. If he gave up his rights to his child, he will have to go to court to change this. If you have full custody, you do not have to give your child to him for visits…he will have to go to court to change this. I am not sure where you are located, but that is pretty standard in the U.S. You might want to consider getting a child therapist….someone who does play therapy with children….if this man does come back into his life, he might need another adult in his life to help him deal with a parent who is a N. Good luck! Also, I would communicate with him only via email.

Marie,
Thanks for weighing in. My former student teacher (and now a friend) has been trying to divorce her N husband for going on five years. It’s custody issues that keep the divorce from becoming final. At one points things got so acrimonious, they would exchange custody of their son at the nearby sheriff’s station. In her case, she only communicates with her husband via a site recommended by her attorney. That way all exchanges are public record and one can’t delete their comments. As you suggest, it’s always good to have a professional help children deal with a variety of conflicting emotions. Even very young children feel the need to please their parent no matter how hurtful they can be. In her case, her son (who is now 6) loved his father, but also took his father’s negative comments to heart. He was never good enough. Then his father introduced him to the girlfriend du jour as his “new mommy.” It was so difficult to listen to this, as his mother didn’t want to badmouth his dad. Jan

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55. Donna - July 1, 2012

To Jan and all the other ladies here I am so blessed and thankfull that I found this blog it’s helped understand so much about these types of men. Even though I only allowed him in my life as my friend, others that know him well have told me that he still might come back because I was a huge challenge to him with me not giving into his attempts to seduce me.

It’s been 7 months now that I last saw him and I remain very on guard that he might show up down the road. Are these feeling normal and will they ever go away. I truly want to get on with my life and maybe even find a descent male friend…..Is the final D&D the final D&D?

Donna,
These are very normal feelings. Ns love a challenge, so when someone doesn’t succumb to their “charms,” that makes that person a bigger trophy (said trophy will then be put on a shelf and never even dusted!). Perhaps you’re a bit nervous about the feelings that might pop into your head if you cross paths again. That’s also normal because that last burning ember of hope that the N can be saved/salvaged burns long. That said, you don’t want to be living your life in fear of this man or his shadow. Living well is the best revenge. If it’s the final D&D, they won’t say because that would give you closure – that’s something Ns are loathe to do. They like to think that they’ve left you hanging. It is YOU who can make sure it the final D&D. Always, Jan

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Trapped - August 11, 2012

The very best revenge is to completely snub the guy when (not if) he decides to make another advance. I so wish every woman involved with a narc would do this, especially after running into his long-term girl friend for the first time just a few days ago. She looks down-trodden and completely devoid of self-esteem. It made me angry to see her because I saw myself, too. The difference is that I am no longer in his physical clutches. But, by being here and reading this blog and posting, it shows I am not mentally out of them yet.

I’ve found that in sharing with others and learning from their experiences, I’ve become so much wiser and not just about NPD. I think there may be three levels: physical, mental, and emotional? We can know things mentally, but sometimes the emotional closure takes a little longer. You do sound like you’re in a much better place. I can hear it in your voice. :) Jan

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Trapped - August 11, 2012

I hope I am in a better place. It is pretty hard for me because, like you, the N lives in the same general area as I do and we occasionally bump into each other. But running into his girlfriend was a very freaky thing since I was up in Malibu with my daughter and she wanted to go to Gladstones. This is where I saw her, even though I live about 40 minutes south of there and the “girlfriend” also lives in not at all near this area. I took it, if I may get spiritual, as a very nice message from whatever forces are out there. The message was just to open my eyes and help me get over that hurdle of always thinking that the “girlfriend” had something better than I do. That has been one of the toughest things for me to get over. “What does SHE have that he likes so much??”

When I saw her, I realized that what she had (besides a very nice, plastic surgery enhanced body) was more of a weakness than me. By that, I mean, she looked very much to be a person who could be walked on and would deal with it because she had “such a good thing” going on. I am not sure if I am explaining it well. Because she was waiting for her table just near me for about 20 minutes, I got to see her pretty closely. What I saw was that look of trust that a doe has, you know, that sort of, how do I put it very nicely, maybe not too intelligent type of thing.

I am not being mean, just stating it as I saw it. Was I feeling superior? No. I felt very sad. I felt as I do when I travel somewhere else to work and see things that I cannot change like children who are starving and malnourished or women who are completely subjugated by men in a culture where change is not imminent. I felt that way because I could see in her eyes (she looked directly at me a few times, though I am sure she did not recognize me since I have a huge shiner at the moment) that look. And when I saw “that look” I knew her situation could go on and on. It angered me because I felt like there is no justice. This man will continue on in his ways, obvivious and unconcerned about the wreckage he causes in his pathway. I wanted to get up from my table and shake her and tell her he had just been completely hitting on me that very morning, trying with all his powers to get me into his bed. I wanted to show her my cell phone, which was filled with his calls and texts as he tries unsuccessfully to woo me back in (yes, still, after 6 solid months). I wanted to point out that the calls and texts were all one way-him to me- and that I was not at all inviting any of it.

But, instead, I just finished my lunch with my daughter, paid the bill, and left as soon as I could. Our nice lunch by the sea ruined by all this. “Mom, you got really silent, are you OK?” “Just tired, sorry.” Yes, tired of it all and wishing, like so many other things in this world, that I could make a change.

As you said, change is happening. It does get a little easier the farther I get away from it. Then, even if I run into him, as it seems I have quite a bit since I got back from my trip, it is easier to see through all that fakery. He sent me a text the other day showing a photo of the temperature, remarking how it was “sooo hot baby!” and I noticed it had been forwarded. Instead of being thrilled that he had put me on his radar as I would have a year ago, I wondered how many other women he had sent that out to, fishing for supply. I wondered how many of them had taken his bait? So, these are steps forward.

Anyway, sorry for the long-winded response. But you are very right that these blogs help more than just about anything. My friends have been coaching me all along with their “he is an a**” talks, but somehow reading this and everyone else’s experiences is what helps, especially when I see things people have written which are exactly what this guy has done to me, EXACTLY. It is as though there is a manual out there they all have read. Or maybe, as you suggested, they are all from the same pod. It is so odd. I am in medicine and even most diseases don’t follow the course as closely as what these guys do. I mean, right down to the sentences they choose to use!

Hey, I’ve eaten at that very restaurant! (And that wasn’t me you saw there >wink<) Sitting there watching the new "lucky" woman must have been rather surreal. My former student teacher contacted me yesterday to update me on her life. She's still not divorced (it's been going on for 5 years now due to custody issues) yet her N has managed to get his new young thing pregnant. She was tempted to warn her, but didn't want to be viewed as "that crazy ex." It's extremely hard for a caring person to watch a N constantly trolling for new supply and knowing how the story will end even before it begins.
I'm currently reading )and have been asked to review) "Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl" by Natalie at Baggage Reclaim. She mentions how men will keep texting/calling not because they still care (although we'd like to think that's the case), but because they want to find out if you're still available to be used. If you show any interest, or in some cases just reply, it gives them the ego stroke they need and often that's all they need to know. You're available and they can fall back on you. You get to be in their harem (speed dial) sans veil. Oh boy.
It IS amazing how similar they are. But I suppose when your MRI shows a "lack of empathy" or basically "missing a heart" the results are predictable. Like parasites, they find a new host to extract what they need. Gee, that was graphic and I haven't even had my coffee yet. On that note… :) Jan

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56. Donna - July 2, 2012

Thank You once again Jan, Especially expressing that my feelings are very “Normal”. :-). It’s been a hard road back, this time because my EXH was a N and I did heal from his sick ways over 29 years ago and I never let him back in my life after our legal divorce. Somehow this one has different overtones, just because I just accepted him as a friend and nothing more…..I have no hope that my EX friend would be changed, he has been this way far too long. My concern has been about me and the people I emotionally attach to.

Your replies help me live my good life well and get back to me and if his evil self ever shows again I am prepared to ignore, ignore, ignore.

All my Thanks, Donna

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57. Trapped - August 12, 2012

Jan, I am ashamed to admit that I’ve been totally narc’d. As I was preparing to have a guest over yesterday afternoon, the N texted me to ask if I would like to go for a walk. I declined. He later texted me about an hour later, saying some odd thing about how my e-mails were disturbing him and that if I didn’t write nice things to him, he would delete them. I told him I had not planned on sending him any e-mails. Then, my cell phone rang and it was him. He said he was outside my place (this is not at all a normal route for him to “walk”).

I was just on my way out to pick up my friend, as we were going to have martinis and she didn’t want to drive home. I ran smack into him. He tried to charm me, with his shirtless body, sweating in the sun. Long story short, I bought into it and called him later that evening, after my friend and I had a few martinis (bad). This, after my friend gave me a long pep talk about what a loser Mr N was and how there are lots of nice guys out there.

He snubbed me good, telling me he was at a party when earlier he had said he was doing nothing that evening but going to bed early because he had “a big day tomorrow”. I asked when he was finishing the party, no response. Suddenly the guy who was stalking me, phoning me, texting me, was completely unavailable. It is like he was paying me back for ignoring him. Or, more likley, he just wanted to see if he could hook me again. Satisfied, he has moved on.

Live and learn. Not sure why I had that very weak moment or why he was outside my place trolling. Nonetheless, I’ve changed my cell phone number so that he cannot contact me. I hope this is my last wash and rinse cycle because I think the machine is becoming broken, if it already is not.

1) Thanks for being honest enough to admit you were had
2) No contact means not replying to texts, emails, phone calls. Any response is a form of contact. He was threatening that if you didn’t write/talk nice, he’d delete your emails? Yes, change your number! Ignoring a N is the best way to avoid feeding the beast.
3) Of course he was outside on purpose to “tempt” you. Why not just hide in a bush and put a piece of chocolate on a string? LOL
4) This was essentially a drunk/dial. You might not have been drunk, but your judgement was impaired.
5) I’ve agreed to read the ebook of Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl for Natalie at Baggage Claim and write a review. This is just the sort of behavior that draws a Fallback Girl back in, only to leave you feeling even more devalued. He just wanted to see if you’d still take the bait (as in being available to be used). That was satisfaction enough for him as you found out. Live and learn. Jan

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Trapped - August 12, 2012

It just amazes me that a person would live their life like that, plotting and sneaking around just to try to make themselves feel better. I mean, walking around on a hot day, in the sun, to what end?

It has sort of ruined my Sunday thinking about it, that is, until I returned home and discovered my washer hose had disconnected and completely flooded my place (the condo I had just bought and moved into), and possibly the one next door (the guy isn’t home yet and we haven’t even ever met).

Welcome to homeownership. Insurance doesn’t cover it. What a nice way to take my mind off one nasty thing, just replace it with another! Not my idea of fun. But, the way I look at it-I’ve been through two accidents in the past few years (a bunch of broken ribs/punctured lung from a horse hoof to the back and just a few weeks ago a bunch of fractures in my face needing surgery from fainting and falling right on my face) and now another nice big fat bill coming up.

It the universe trying to tell me something? It must be screaming at me to get that freak out of my life and do it now! It has to get better, I am confident. The first step is to rid my mind of this cancer that has been eating it up for way too long. Then, the rest is easy, right? Bones heal. Sopped floors will dry and be repaired. Bills will eventually be paid. But broken hearts are the trickiest. Thanks for hearing my rant. If you were in my place, it might have been hard to hear above the roar of all the fans.

You are amazed at his behavior because you’re applying human logic to something that is inherently illogical. Yes, it’s crazy and will in turn make YOU crazy. It’s to be avoided at all costs.
So your washer flooding is perhaps a metaphor for your life ATM? >wink< Yes, I'm a homeowner and we have a charred skeleton (a prop from the movie "Van Helsing.") laying out in our garden. I refer to it as The Unknown Homeowner. :) Yes, the floors will dry and you WILL get things sorted out. I always remind myself that things could get worse, have a good cry, and then plow ahead. The important thing is that you're moving in the right direction albeit with wet feet. Always, Jan

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58. Lesley - August 12, 2012

Trapped,
It’s your last rinse and wash cycle if you want it to be?
I am so glad that you have changed your cell phone number as
when I read your post yesterday… I was about to post’change that
bloody number!’
The guy who was stalking you,phoning you and texting you didn’t
just become unavailable,sadly he has always been that way….because he’s a Narc?
The great news is you can change your tag to ‘Free’ rather than’Trapped’…
Light Shine,Les

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59. Trapped - August 12, 2012

Thanks Lesley. I feel somewhat freer already having changed my cell number. It is just a hassle as far as my other real contacts go, but it will be worth it. I also deleted the gmail account that he would e-mail to and am in the process of deleting a yahoo account he also knows.

Yes, I was being sarcastic about the “suddenly becoming unavailable’ because that is who he has been since I’ve known him. I dont’ know how to change my tag or I surely will.

I just need to get over the anger at myself for almost being duped by him again. If he had been receptive, I would have seen him last night, then I would be in a very bad place right now! At least I feel like I have the upper hand, having taken all the steps I can to rid myself of him. The only thing I worry about is that he may figure out where I’ve moved to and show up. He knows the general area, that I am in a condo complex, but does not know which one. I would think, though, that changing my number and deleting my e-mail account should be enough of a deterrent. But then, again, calling him a sick a****** never seemed to phase him, so maybe these steps will not do much, either, except to validate him because he will see that he has had an effect on me.

I wouldn’t worry that in changing your number, etc. he will believe he’s had an effect on you. He already knows that he has. He can only continue to have an effect on you if you respond to him (whether it be positively or negatively). You’re doing this to protect yourself from further damage. Yes, it’s all a hassle to change things, but more than changing numbers, you’re changing your life. Jan

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60. Dellaswan - August 27, 2012

All along I thought this guy was a little different but I chalked it up to his culture or that English wasn’t his first language (he’s Middle Eastern). His pursuit was a lot of fun for me and his constant attention via texts were sexy and alluring. He didn’t live in my city so I would see him infrequently. When we would finally see each other there would be little conversation or that which was so hard to follow… A lot about all the women he’s been with. He’d always mess with me when planning something together and never showed an interest in spending time together doing normal dating things. He had no clue how to please a woman and didn’t seem to care although it was still sexy with him. The requests from him started small with physical things and then went to monetary. His lying was incessant and over any little thing. I thought ok he’s from a different culture and just a jerk. Then I read up on NPD and saw its him to a tee! He was playing a game the whole time and his surprises were bad every time and got worse… Those were the discards. He loves women but only for sexual or monetary needs of his. He loves the pursuit phase and is a predator. I still wonder if this all paints the picture of someone with NPD or just a jerk? Della

Hmmm. I chalked up so much of Joe’s bad behavior to English being his second language and the fact that he was from a Middle-Eastern culture. Really. Yes, women are viewed differently in some cultures. He sounds like a real user at the very least. All Ns are ultimately jerks, but all jerks are not necessarily Ns. Ultimately, it comes down to a lack of empathy. Sometimes when you know someone from “afar” it’s not as easy to see through their act. Ultimately, you need to know their baseline personality and nothing says Narcissism more than a lack of empathy and a grandiose view of oneself. Jan

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Dellaswan - August 27, 2012

I should add that nothing even close to what he described in his exciting texts ever transpired in person. Nor did all the compliments (which were true not exaggerated!) Not to mention not one iota of emotional connection…he did not even kiss or hold hands! Again I thought maybe it was cultural… What are your thoughts?

Oftentimes, the exciting texts are to lure you in. The reality is quite different. It’s a bait and switch game. Unless he’s a devout Muslim, I’m not so sure I’d chalk it up to culture. Jan

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Dellaswan - August 28, 2012

The part that got me to post on this site was that who in their right mind would want this back? I asked myself this but got so drawn in to the idealization phase that I would downplay the inevitable… The devalue part which could be downright mean and discard… Which may be games like not responding to texts or him saying its over just like that. I know the words of wisdom are “no contact Della!” but I am still tempted! Maybe it didn’t go on long enough for me to see how damaging the D&D could be over time. It helps to read others posts to see how bad it could get if I keep reconnecting. I could use some stern reminders! Thanks Jan, this is a great site! And unique!

It’s always that memory of the Idealization Phase that keeps people going back for a second helping even when they’re “full.” Let’s face it, during the Idealization Phase, we fast-forward in our mind to how wonderful this is going to be. When the N changes and the D&D begins, it’s very hard to realize that your hopes were not grounded in reality. When you go back to a N, the D&D cycle accelerates because they already know you’re “damaged goods.” Each time for THEM, the discard becomes easier. This can take an incredibly toll on one’s self esteem. In some cases, people literally have to hit rock bottom (in terms of feeling degraded) before they leave. Then they have to launch a search to find their self-esteem.
I was watching Dr. Drew the other night. He was interviewing Rihanna about her abusive relationship with Chris Brown. Even though she’s physically no contact, she said he’s still “the love of her life and that it hurts her to think he’s not happy.” Later Dr. Drew commented that if you feel you need to make someone else happy (and it’s someone who abused you), you’ve still got a long way to go because mentally, you’re still in an abusive relationship. Jan

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61. Cassie - September 2, 2012

Hi Jan,

What an enlightening and empowering post. In your experience and from the many ladies (and gents?) who have sent their experiences to you; what path do things tend to take if you refuse to succumb again when the narcissist decides he wants to reel you back in a second time?

Thanks! C

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Cassie - September 2, 2012

I should add…. I am in this position just now. I ended the relationship because it was really making me feel like I was going crazy! I tried my hardest and whatever I did was wrong.

I know I’m going to see this man again, through a mutual hobby (how we met) so I don’t want things to be unpleasant.

He has been in touch, asking how I am and saying we need to meet up soon. Previously whenever I’ve seen him its always when he wants, on his terms.

I’m doing okay; some angry days and some very sad days but they’re getting less. When he mentions meeting up it brings that feeling I had during the ‘idealisation’ phase and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want that. I’m trying to constantly remind myself it’s not real.

But the compliments are now flowing and it’s like his old charismatic self is back, rather than the cold shell of a man I have experienced for the last year.

I’m worried if I completely reject him that things will get horrible. I feel like I’m stood on top toes, unbalanced and about to fall over but I can’t take a step to steady myself invade it actually makes the unbalance worse!!

:0( C

He’s turning the charm back up a notch to see if you’ll take the bait. I’m afraid it’s downright impossible to end a relationship without some unpleasantness. But you need to do what’s best for you. That you’re concerned if you reject him “things will get horrible” tells me he’s still controlling you. Narcissists hate to be ignored as they get NOTHING. Just proceed and ignore him knowing that the’s going to be in your peripheral vision trying to lure you back in. You might need to take up a new hobby, or give this one a rest for a couple of months. It’s very hard to move on when they are still there and you’re remembering back when they were “good.” That was an act. No more. No less. He’ll lure you back in as many times as you’ll allow him to jerk your chain. And then he’ll verbally abuse you even more each time because he really does think less of you each time you return. Seriously. Stay strong. Jan

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Lesley - September 2, 2012

Cassie,this is like asking what it will feel like to have broken glass rubbed on your skin a second time…it will hurt you very badly if you consider revisiting this situation.No Contact is the golden and only rule with someone who is a full blown NPD.If you continue to succumb to his false charm then you need to look at your own motivation as well.Narcs can be hard to give up,particularly if you are unsure what’s happening or whether they are actually one? If his behaviour matches the criteria or our stories then you need to pick up your heels and run from him. He will destroy your life.If despite this,you feel compelled to return knowing what he is then you need to think about options such as therapy. This sounds strong and harsh but those with strong self esteem or recovering self esteem do not ask the question you just have in your post above..?
Wishing you strength and light,
Les

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62. Cassie - September 3, 2012

Hi Jan, Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. yes, I know you are right. During recovery it’s difficult sometimes listening to my head, which knows the exact reasons why I need to continue to move away, and ignoring my heart that longs for the relationship that did not exist! What a sad state to be in! I am very determined that I will not be in it forever and I feel good that I have recognized it myself and moved away. It’s funny how your gut tells you something isn’t right but you can’t quite put your finger on it…. I will read your post again each time I am having a moment of weakness; thankfully they are getting less. Thank you!

Thanks for your comments Les, of course while I’m still working through this period, my self esteem isn’t what is has been. I am aware of that and I am doing things to try and build it up again; and despite how it may have appeared in my post, it is recovering but (I hope) understandably fragile. I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear; I wasn’t asking what it would feel like to go back; I am asking if anyone has experience about ways I can reject his current advances but at the same time avoiding things getting even more messy and horrible.

The man I was seeing started out as being incredibly charming, talented and charismatic, always center of attention in a group of people. I could tell he loved telling stories and would often repeat them to anyone who would listen. In private he was under confident but very kind to me and I didn’t mind providing him with reassurance and praise. Looking back it seems crazy; but in any healthy relationship, surely there are times where one partner is feeling low and some support is needed.

He became very serious very soon and showered me with so many compliments that it very often made me feel uncomfortable. He told me he wanted to marry me and, to my great unease; ‘I want to get you pregnant because then you won’t go anywhere’. He would have moments where, out of the blue, he would beg me not to leave him, despite me having given no reason for making him believe that. He would tell me I who I could and couldn’t see and didn’t want me to get dressed up and go out. If he ever saw me talking to another guy, he would tell me that he was an idiot; when I asked why he wouldn’t be able to give a reason.

I am aware of certain illegal acts that he has undertaken but when I asked him about it, he says that he does so much good that it should be overlooked. He works in a senior position for a large company but says that the company wouldn’t survive without him; that the other directors are jealous of him, then would act like his greatness was a burden.

Over the next 18 months, I was lied to, cheated on and ignored. When I protested about being cheated on, he denied it (even though I had seem with my own eyes!) but asked for forgiveness (?!). I explained that I was having trouble trusting him and that I was very hurt, for which I got silent treatment until I apologized for making him feel bad – for his cheating!! Crazy hey! I knew it was wrong at the time but my head was so mixed up. He tells me even now that I will never get away from this and that this will never be over.

Well, I am determined it will be over. I just don’t want to be the focus of any anger or revenge while I am trying to recover and move on.

I hope that’s clearer.

Thanks again!

Cassie

Thanks for the clarification. Believe me, when any of us looks back, it all looks crazy. (Imagine icon of person screaming and tearing hair out – actually, I’m sure Les in Scotland has one!) He actually gave you a preview of what was to come when he said he wanted to “get you pregnant so you wouldn’t go anywhere.” My friend Joe also exhibited what appeared to be vulnerability at times and I tried to be a compassionate listener. Isn’t that what caring humans do? But the flip side is that N’s don’t like others knowing they have a weak spot. Looking back, I believe some of Joe’s musings and stories could have even been fabricated, or at least enhanced for maximum effect. The man you’re describing was a consummate controller, manipulator, and like any N, he’d tell you whatever it took to make you stop asking questions or make you feel like you were the one who’d done something wrong.
It can be very hard (and exhausting) when they’re still in your physical orbit. Unless he’s prone to public rage, I doubt anything you say/do will set him off in such a dramatic way. They tend to pursue then immediately distance themselves or just ride off into the sunset. I was working on a new post late last night on Narcissistic Supply that I’m putting up later today. It addresses why they feel the need to keep their foot in the door and come back for more. Jan

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63. Lesley - September 3, 2012

Cassie, Believe me, I am not taking the higher ground.Know how hard it can be to find reason or sanity within this?There is a large posting on here (Close encounter with a narcissist part three) where if you have have the time..read on through?
Posts I’ve made – no 107,141 and a reply to Phil 148…may show you why I wrote what I did to you.My ex was possessive particularly when he had gone’astray himself’ and he could be very charming…
You saying that you have to be with him because you have a mutual hobby…no you don’t have to meet him?No hobby justifies being back in touch with someone who can destroy your life?
I’ve done all the dress up/behave in certain ways scenario with my ex and its because you have become an object to them and not a woman. The control makes them feel good..
I was often asked to stay forever and that he wanted me for life. Then he arranged alternative Narc Supply.These people have a similar mode of operation. It may be slightly honed to suit situations but it is fairly predictable. The hardest part is realising that you are not an individual to this man. You are a quantity.That’s a massive blow to ego…
It is really really simple.When you know they are NPD…then the game is up. Narcs are incurable.
I think this blog helped me(and I’ve been clear 6 months)to stop bullshitting myself and get on with the mourning and grieving for a relationship that never was…
Les

Well said, Lesley! Jan

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64. Cassie - September 3, 2012

Hi,

Thanks Lesley and Jan, that’s really helpful.

Yes, we have the same hobby, which is a sport. After it all ended, I changed to another team in a different part of the country and I travel much further now so that I don’t have to see him. I am committed to a sponsorship deal and play to quite a high level – it is a big part of my life, and has been since I was a child. I will see him at events every few months but intend to make sure that we will never be alone (and there is no reason why we should be – they’re busy events!). I haven’t seen him for 3 months now.

There were times when I was (am) still scared (or do I mean unsure?) of him but I’m not sure why. No, I’m not over it, not by a long way yet; I’m not under any illusion that I’m out of the woods or that the road ahead is going to be easy. Some days feel like real progress and others feel dreadful.

I was a driven, hard working, confident (I thought!) girl before I met him. I am disappointed in myself for not listening to that niggling feeling in my tummy. This recovery business is tough!!

I have read about narcissistic rage, which I haven’t seen in the classical sense. He has never been verbally or physically aggressive. He always took a very passive aggressive approach to dealing with everything; when I showed emotion or was upset, he would look at me so cold and just get on with doing something else. But the lack of outward rage made me doubt that he was a narcissist.

I remember teasing him one day – about something very trivial. I was ignored for the rest of the day and didn’t dare do it again. It felt strange; it was a normal friendly, intimate human interaction but it was empty! But, a couple of weeks later, he teased me about something and it was so out of the blue and not something I had ever experienced from him so my face must’ve looked quite surprised (if it had been a friend it would’ve been hilarious!) but then he started to tell me I couldn’t take a joke and I believed him! How ridiculous is that?!

What a mess!

Really appreciate your advice, thanks!

Cassie

What you’re saying is all so honest… and classic. We’ve all been there. Believe it or not, there will come a day when you don’t feel even a twinge of dread. It’s always hard wondering what will happen if you see the N again. Will they act like nothing happened? Will you go backwards and fall for them again thinking that THIS time it will be different?
So, I gather that your hobby is not quilting? LOL I’m still looking for sponsorship for my reading. :) I also have heard a lot about Narcissistic rage, but none of those I’ve known have ever seen this, though I know it exists. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s unlikely you ever will, especially since the N delivers their most cutting remarks/actions in private. Surround yourself with an entourage and go burn some calories! Meanwhile, I’m just turning pages. :) Always, Jan

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65. Lesley - September 4, 2012

Cassie,his rage may not be loud and frightening,my experience is that it can be a malicious comment from left field to bring you back in line.Then he will look at you as if you are mad for being upset?
These comments build up…he is almost testing you to see whether you leave? However if you stay…he will be nicer for a shorter period of time and the barbed comments will become worse and even more personal.They just get worse….that’s the way of it.
He sounds like a somatic Narc if he’s being continuously unfaithful,these kind are always on the look out for more supply…
More supply is their driving force,their reason for living actually. It’s very sad but not something to allow you to interfere with your life.
Good Luck and hang in there,
Les

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66. trapped no more! - September 4, 2012

Cassie,

I felt I should weigh in on this conversation as I have been in your position, and not too long ago. It is extremely hard to get over the N if he is in your physical sights, as Jan and I believe Lesley said. If your N is like my ex-N, he has absurd charms that can make you forget your convictions in a matter of seconds. No matter how high the wall was that I built, if I ever allowed myself to be under his spell for even a few moments, I was in danger of reverting back to allowing him to use me. The only solution, which seems to be a final solution, was to change my cell phone number, delete my e-mail accounts, and avoid any place where I knew I might run into him.

I used to be sad when he didn’t contact me. Then, I would be upset when he did, because I knew he was doing it behind someone else’s back. This, as Jan said, is him still having control over me. Now that I changed my contact information, I have the control over him. And with each passing day, it is more clear that he is not at all “right” in the head and I have lost nothing by pushing him out of my life.

All I can tell you as encouragement is that the further and further you get away from him, the more you will see the truth and the easier it becomes. I have used this blog as my lifesaver and my turn-to bible whenever I was in doubt. Just read a few passages from others who had N’s that could be twin brothers to yours (or even yours). It is as though they all read the same book. Even the things they say are at times identical.

Read some of my posts if you want to see some examples of the hell I’ve been through.

They’ll take you and turn you into a person with no self-esteem, a person who is always questioning yourself, and worse yet, a person who mirrors them. Run, Cassie, run. It will be the best run you’ve ever taken. And do it like the women who raced on the Olympics: do NOT look back.

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67. Cassie - September 17, 2012

Hi Jan, Lesley, Trapped no more,

Thank you so much for your posts. It’s very touching that people I have never met have taken the time to reply and I want you to know I really appreciate it….it has certainly been a source of strength for me.

I have just returned from a holiday, which was much needed! I relaxed, read my books and tried my hardest to make positive plans for the future.

Goodness, Trapped no more, what a terrible ordeal you have been through; you’re right, it is remarkable how similar some aspects are. I can see how this blog has given you strength and I hope that you are continuing to recover well. I think you have done brilliantly and you should be proud :0)

Jan….Hahaha! No it’s definitely not quilting! I am worried that telling you exactly what it is will make my identity obvious though…. I am sure your reading skills are well worth some very generous sponsorship :0) My ex was my coach. There were times when he would tell me I was so talented and I was amazing and then other days he would tell me I was unable. Looking back, he would tell me to prepare an advanced aspect of the sport for the following week and when I came to do this the following week, he would say I was only good enough to do beginners and wouldn’t let me do what he had told me to prepare for. I used to come home upset all the time believing that it was me who wasn’t up to the mark.

Lesley – you are exactly right!! Yes! He would look at me as though I had just insulted him in the worst way possible if I was upset about something. I remember one time, we were sat and he was filling out some paperwork and I was in tears, upset and confused because I felt like I was failing….he looked at me and said ‘so you think I’m getting at you….’ his face and eyes were so cold and empty, I felt like I was looking at a ghost. It was like a nightmare when you’re looking at someone, shaking them, wanting the person you fell in love with and getting an empty shell with hollow eyes and no heart.

There is one thing that I am very worried about….there are times when I think it is me who is the narcissist and wonder whether it is me who should be getting help. I wonder if I have traits that I should try to change. I hate to admit that I enjoyed the initial praise and constant compliments that he showered me with, although there were times when it felt uncomfortable, especially when he was so excessive with it in front of people. Sometimes I worry about this.

Other days when I am feeling stronger, I feel sorry for him. It is a pathetic existence, continually searching for what will never be found…. what a sad way to live. My head is telling me that is the case; unfortunately me heart still hangs on to the hope that that wonderful man, so full of love and fun, was actually real. Day by day, my head is constantly trying to overrule my heart and more and more, it is winning.

I just hope that this pain gets better soon.

Thank so much, again!

Cassie x

If it helps, I was so confused at times I wondered if I had N-like traits because to fend off the hurt the N inflicted, I became (for lack of a better word) meaner myself. It was the only way not to get totally sucked into his convoluted world. The pain will get better. I can now actually laugh about the whole experience. WTF? It took time and a lot of reaching out to others and reading and refection. You will go back to being you. You will heal. You will be whole. Jan

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lesley - September 17, 2012

Hi Cassie, I’m just so glad that your ok…I did think about you and hoped it was working out.
The reason you may think you are a Narcissist is that at the beginning the idealisation of you is so powerful that you can’t help but be flattered. They are playing at being your perfect partner and they do this brilliantly because they have watched you carefully to see what your preferences are. Then the switch comes,then the compliments again…until you don’t know where you are.Your insight about this situation and your realistic wish to move on shows that you are not a Narc.
I’ve just read your post below and,well, you know what I’m going to say…No contact.
I received info last week that my Narc had apparently had a horrible Summer,was depressed and heartbroken when in fact he was on a long and raucous holiday!
They will say anything to get your attention.
Julie is right, if you stay your vitality and self esteem will go to pieces…stay on this wise path and be strong.
Light Shine,
Les

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68. Cassie - September 17, 2012

I should add that I have heard from him. He sent me messages saying he felt very down……. I ignored them. He sent me more messages saying that I was the only one who could help him because I am so practical and can sort out anything……. I ignored them. He then told me that he was selling up and moving to be a security guard on a pirate ship (!!!!), and that no one would care if he was in danger….. I didn’t react. He then sent a message saying that in that case he may as well end it all. I sent him a message saying that he should seek medical help from his family doctor if he was feeling like that. I haven’t heard anything since then.

It’s so tough :0(

All feeble attempts to reel you back in. You were smart to not respond. Just got home from school, or I would have responded sooner myself. Yes, it is tough as they’ll use every trick in the book to make you feel sorry for them and then denigrate you for returning. Stay strong. Jan

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Julie - September 17, 2012

Do not ever give in to what he says. Mine used his dog to get me back briefly (he said he was going to give it away) and then he made me feel bad about myself. I don’t think a Narcissist will ever put himself in harms way. They hate/love themselves too much to do that. He just hasn’t moved on to his next victim. When they say absurd things they are just trying to get your attention and sympathy. We are not responsible for their selfworth no matter what they say. No one ever deserves the mental and physical pummeling that they inflict. I left my N about 3 years ago and I am still recovering. I’m putting my life and condo back in order after he assaulted my selfworth. I used to come home absolutely drained because like a vampire he sucked the life out of me. I would take long naps and I was seriously depressed. I am making a new way for myself and no one has the right to destroy it again. Please don’t give into him. It is not worth it. He won’t change.

As a dog lover, that’s one mean trick to play. Better that he gives the dog to someone who wants it (a friend of yours unbeknownst to him) who can then give you the dog. These people play the same games with their children. Whether a dog or a child, they are but pawns and can be used to control you. Know the depression and long naps routine. Hope you’re up and about getting some exercise. If necessary, you could take an antidepressant short-term. You’re right – he won’t change, but you can.
Jan

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69. Trapped no more! - September 18, 2012

Cassie, I agree with all the responses above. No contact. Period. He is trying whatever it is he thinks would work to get you back into the game. Any response, even a negative one like ‘go ahead, kill yourself” would please him.

As for those pangs that you may be the N, I’ve felt the same way. I would wonder if I was the one with the problem? The big telling difference, however, is that we feel empathy and we feel real things. The fact that you feel sorry for him is a big huge sign that you are NOT a N. They cannot feel anything for anyone else.

I remember when the exN I knew was in hot water with his “girlfriend” who found out about me. He sent me a text saying he felt sorry for himself. Not a word about me. Not a word about her. Only himself. No remorse for his lifestyle which was screwing up not just one, but multiple women. He felt sorry for himself for getting caught, he said.

As Jan said, they have this perverse way of jerking us around so that we don’t know which end is up. We begin to question ourselves and this is exactly what they want. It allows them to continue playing their games while we sit there, obsessed by the whole thing, trying to make sense out of it all. On the one hand, they seem pretty fabulous. On the other, it just doesn’t add up. So we begin, like most normal people. to look at ourselves and think it must be something we’ve done or said.

Not so. Only by stepping way away from the situation is it easier to see how manipulative they are. Keep away. Do not answer anything he sends you. You know in your heart that if you go back, it will be the same. Feel good about yourself and realize that you are way out of his league. He had his chances with you (if you are like me, he had too many chances) and he obviously was not capable of treating you like the lady you are.

You speak of long naps and sad days, How I remember that! We do not deserve this, no matter who the person is, especially if that person is a N. They are just trying to suck us into their miserable world, and they do such a good job of it!

To anyone on the outside looking in, it should be obvious and easy to walk away. But it isn’t. I am far better than I was just a month ago, yet I still have pangs. He has damaged me in a big way and it will take a long time to get over it.

Stay strong.

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70. Raquel - September 20, 2012

I just found your website because i am in so much pain! I read everyones story and i wanted to share mine so i can get some peace. I met my guy 4 years ago at work. At the time he was separated from his wife (she kicked him out). Well he was alone and i became his closest friend. I helped him in everyday and it completely plutonic. He moved out in Jan 2009 and thats when he started to get all clingy and romantic with me. He was drinking very heavily at the time and i ended up being his punching bag (physically & mentally). I always forgave him because i saw him suffer through his divorce which was finalized in Nov 2009. We were inseparable! I took care of him and stayed at his place every night. This lasted for 2-1/2 years. During this time i found out he was hooking up with people online! He even hooked up with an old school friend who flew out from Florida and spent a whole week with him and he completely ignored me. Thats when it all began. Once he was over those people he always came back to me because i always forgave him and he’d use his sweet talk and tell me how confused he is and that he doesn’t want to date but called me his angel. I cooked, i cared for his dog, we went on trips (i always drove), we did everything together. My gut always knew something wasn’t right with him, because no matter what i did it was wrong. He always was arguing with me, picking fights and was physically abusive for the first 1-1/5 and then after that he’d ask for forgiveness. Anyway as time went by in 2010 he totaled his new car and ended up with a DUI! Of course i came to the rescue. He had no friends and always told me that he was sick of hanging with just me and that he needed to make new friends and meet new people. I was fine with that but little did i realize that he was seeking new supply. In 2011 i lost my job and he started to resent paying for everything and then he slowly started to stop calling and texting me over the weekends. All i ever wanted was the truth from him, but anytime i asked him questions he’d get defensive or angry at me. All his friends and family adored me. The closer i got to him the more resentful he became towards me. I went through hell with this man because i thought i was helping him heal from his past, instead i got the kick in the ass and 4 weeks ago i fought with him and i said if you want to remain friends with me i need to hear the truth! Are you seeing anyone? He refused to answer and just said “You have proof”? Thats when i realized he’s messed up and was just using me!!! He said “Oh since i don’t want to be your official boyfriend you’re going to stop being my friend”? I told him YESSSS because all you ever do is lie to me! He wasn’t fazed and i finally told him to “F OFF” and thats the last time i heard from him. I don’t think he’ll be calling me back like before because i know for a fact he’s found a new girlfriend and from what i hear he’s treating her like a princess and is introducing her off to all our friends as his girlfriend. He described our relationship as “COMPLICATED” to everyone else when i was with him!!! I feel so hurt and destroyed by this man, i feel SOOOOO STUPID for going back and allowing myself to be treated like a slave. He never loved me and pretended to be my best friend. I do not know how i will ever get through this…I am in so much pain. I never knew a human being can be so cruel, evil and heartless!!! Please i need some advice :-(

People always why a woman stays with an abusive man (whether it be emotional or physical abuse). That was my sister-in-law for 14 years. They suck you in and undermine any self-esteem you have left. And because they keep coming back, you think it’s because they have genuine feelings for you. But the sad fact is they’ll continue to use you for as long as you keep allowing it. To quote Dr. Phil, “We treat people how to treat us.”
It seems that the more you gave, the more he took and the more resentful he was. Ns will turn on those who’ve helped them the most. This obviously dragged on for way too long. The relationship wasn’t at all “complicated” like he said. He used and abused you. But you’ll never hear this from him. No contact is the only way to go. You sound like the classic “helper” and although that can be a very endearing quality, it can also put you in the position of giving and giving until you have nothing more to give.
Too often, we know these people are off, but we like to think of ourselves as “the exception to the rule.” We’re somehow special. We’ve proved it by sticking by them despite their bad behavior. But all that thinking will earn you is heartache. You can move on, but you have to start one step at a time. It does get better. Jan

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Raquel - September 20, 2012

Thank you Jan,
Everything you said is true, I don’t love him anymore but he hurt me so bad and it’s ME that I’m angry with! Everyone around me (family & friends) told me to get out but I was “in love” or more “infatuated” and at the time was too scared to leave him because I didn’t want to be alone/lonely. I told him off and cursed him over the phone 4 weeks ago and he hasn’t attempted once to call or text me. It’s tough to be rejected but at least I know the truth about h and the fog has lifted from my eyes. I never will repeat this again! I don’t have the strength to do it anymore. His good looks, charm and all will get him so far in life. He’s 38 but all that will fade one day, he has no soul, it’s full of black tar… He’s toxic and I hope he’ll end up alone in the end. -Raquel

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71. DevastatedHusband - November 8, 2012

I began dating my ex-wife in the Spring of 2010. It was a long distance relationship at first (2.5hrs), though we were madly in love and had wonderful times together on the weekends. In the fall of 2010, I finally was able to meet her son, whom which I was not able to meet before because she claimed she wanted to make sure we were going to “make it” and thus he would not have to meet a man who would not be around for a short period of time. I really respected that, and once I did meet her son (7yrs old at the time), I loved him! Though at that point, the long distance was even harder on all of us, and it was time to figure out how we could be all together all the time and not just on the weekends. By the time winter came around, I was able to work out a remote working plan from my work where I could be with her/her son all the time, then going back to my house 2.5 hrs away once a month or so to check up on the place.

I’ll take a moment here to say that I have a really good job (well paid, can work remotely) while she either did not have a job, could not hold one down for more than a few months, or was only able to obtain low paying administrative jobs. That being said, I was the one paying for most things, but did not mind because that is my ‘old fashion’ nature along with the fact that she just couldn’t afford to…

Fast forward to Spring ’11 – I began to notice that some of my friends would act strange around her after first meeting her, or when we would go back to where my house was located for a weekend away. Strange in the sense that there was something just not right about my ex. I brushed it off and our happy-go-lucky nature of our relationship continued and everyone seemed happy. I decided in March ’11 that I was going to ask her to marry and was hoping that the wedding would be soon after as I was very much ready to spend the rest of my life with her and her son…I was so very much happy at this point.

We had a very small wedding (court house) in June ’11…her son was my best man, and it was just the three of us! It was beautiful in my mind – we both didn’t want a huge wedding, we both wanted it just us, and we both wanted to celebrate afterwards by bowling the rest of the day, which we did. We laughed, talked about how exciting it will be going forward, etc. Within the next 3 weeks, I moved a few things to her apartment, and I was finally moved in with them and not just being there during the week/weekends, etc. So essentially we did this the traditional way, dated, engaged, married, then moved in together. All was still very happy up to this point.

This is where things started to go very bad. About a week after I moved in, she said there are a few things she needed to tell me. If I would have known these things, I would have sworn this was not the same person I feel in love with and would have for sure questioned the whole marriage thing:
1. She told me that she was ‘technically’ still married the first 6 months of our dating
2. She told me that the last year of her previous marriage that her and her ex were dating other people and that some of the boyfriends she had got to the point of pretty serious.
3. She told me that she was also seeing someone else for a short period of time when we first started dating
4. She told me that during her previous marriage, that her/her ex were swingers and frequented swinging parties quite often.
5. She told me that one of the common activities she engaged in while at these swinging parties was for her husband to watch her have sex with multiple people at once.
6. She claimed that the reason why she moved back to the midwest (from west coast) was because she filed for divorce on her ex husband and they both agreed to be closer to his parents for their son’s benefit.

Now, obviously this was a shock to me and was somewhat devastating to the original picture I had painted of my new wife who I thought was the best thing that had ever happened to me. I understand that people have things in their past and that we are not all perfect, but this was just too much, plus the fact that she waited until we were married to tell me things this extreme!

Fast forward again to Fall ’11…things where still ok, but some things where starting to not add up. In addition, I had decided to leave my job due to some internal issues, however was on a contract where if I left, I was subjected to a non-compete clause in the contract, thus was not able to work in my industry/field for a 8-month time period. This was somewhat financially burdensome but I was able to make ends meet and was not too concerned about insurance as my ex was able to gain employment with pretty good benefits. And there were some very positive things that came out as well – I was able to spend more time with her son (who by now was calling me daddy), was able to cook more, and do more things around the house.

However, also during this time (Fall ’11), I was beginning to hear some very disturbing things about my ex from my friends, which explained some of the strange feelings I read/felt from them in the beginning while we were first dating. Such things as: She would tell my good friends (women) how much sex we would have, how good we were, graphic descriptions about my anatomy, and the fact that she was a natural 32DD but had a boob job to go to a G-cup. Now grant it, women talk, but these were total strangers to her, but close friends of mine and did not want to her these kind of things from her. She persisted on talking about this stuff all the time whenever we would go back down to where I had lived. She also nearly molested one of my very good friends in a bar bathroom one night (a girl, 12 yrs younger than my ex – early 20s), making this poor girl feel her boobs and tried to kiss her. I then find out that my ex had also tried to pick up some of my friends’ boyfriends during the early phases of dating, and then a total stranger on NYE ’10. At first I was very mad at my friends for not telling me this stuff, but then again, when you see someone very happy, how do you tell them that your girlfriend/fiancee/wife is acting like a whore and that there are things just not right about her.

I will also state that while this time that I was not working, I did spend a little more time at the bar and drinking more that I usually did, but not to an extreme level. I look back now and see this was due to dealing with all this stuff that I was hearing about her, and afraid to bring it up to her thinking she would totally deny it and even leave me. I was dealing with the fact that I wasn’t working (self-esteem) and that our lovey-dovey mode was near non-existent but didn’t know why. We still had sex all the time, but it was this wam-bam nature and not the love and ‘take time’ with it that we had before…that mixed with all these slutty stories I was hearing about her and her past was really weighing heavy on me. She was also beginning to show an evil side by telling her son it was ok to act very rudely to kids his age. She was also overly trying to be the center of attention everywhere, by drawing notice to her talking, her physical attributes, etc.

In the Spring of ’12, I was beginning to suffer from chronic back injuries and a few other things. While I thought that being married (as opposed to single) would help get through these things, it was the total opposite. During one weekend in March, I went back to check on my house. After a couple days there, I kept on trying to call my ex, but always got voicemail. After 2 days, I became very worried and started to call others to see if they could check on her, then finally resorted to calling the police to perform a well-being check on her. I got a call back from the police department saying “she doesn’t want to hear from you anymore”!!! This was a total shock! We where having some communication problems, but to result in this!!??? I immediately drove back up to the apartment only to find that the locks where changed and her car was gone. For some reason, my key finally worked and I was able to gain entry into our apartment, where I found my stuff in boxes and all of the pictures of us had been taken down. She was not there, so I waited 3 hours for her to come home, only to notice that she had not been home all night – she had on her “going out” clothes when she arrive. And the look on her face when she saw me in the apartment was horrible. I asked her what was going on, why is my stuff in boxes, where had she been all night, etc. Her only response was “I don’t want this anymore”. At this point my heart was completely shattered and I was completely confused and really needed some form of explanation at this point. The only thing I got was “you need to leave and I’ll call you on your way back down to your house”.

At this point, my back was in total pain. So much pain that I drove directly to the emergency room after leaving the apartment. They did xrays and found that I had one shattered disk and 2 herniated disks and was rushed immediately into surgery. This was back down (2.5hrs away) where I had my house, so I had no one (family) to help, just my friends. The hospital tried to contact my ex but she did not want to talk to them, so through my friends, the hospital was able to contact my immediate family who lived 7hrs away. They immediately came into town and was by my side after I came out of surgery. I was in intensive care for 10 days, so was very groggy and confused, but not nearly as confused as my family to the reason why my wife was not there with me and they could not get a hold of her. She did not even call (not to mention be there) before or after my surgery. After 15 days in the hospital, I took a turn for the worse and was re-admitted into ICU and was sent for emergency surgery (the 2nd). This surgery took almost 9 hours and I was in serious condition. My poor mother continuously called my ex-wife trying to tell her that I was in very bad shape, needed to know insurance information, and that the doctors where worried about me in both a life/death sense but also if after recovery, would I be able to walk again. Not once did my ex-wife call until the 3rd week I was in the hospital, and this was only to say that she wanted a divorce, no “how are you doing, are you in pain”,, nothing!!!

Now luckily one of that calls that I did make while in the hospital was to a lawyer for some advice, simply because I didn’t know what was going on and I was afraid of the worst and what would happen to my assets. Mind you the marriage at this point was only 10 months old and all my assets where pre-marriage, however I had to start dealing with this horrible reality that was in front of me. I was in the hospital, with no communication with my wife who I had concerns with her behavior. He suggested that i go a head and file on her, but not have her served until I was able to gauge what was going on as well as out of the hospital. I remained in the hospital for 2 more weeks (5 weeks total), and was released only to finally get a call from my ex stating that she filed for divorce and wanted to know where I was going to be staying so I could get served. That was very crushing/depressing to get that call to say the least, but was reassured that I had filed first and was in the drivers seat with the proceedings…though I had never wanted to get a divorce and wanted us to get marriage counseling, etc.

We had her served the next day, only to get a barouche of txt messages saying “we could have done this without lawyers, through an agreement”, which is a total lie given the fact that she had already hired a lawyer and filed in her state without knowing that I had before her…she was just pissed that she wasn’t controlling the situation and being the center of attention once again.

May came around and it was time for me to get the rest of my things out of the apartment. I’m still unable to walk without a cane and orthopedic braces, and needed family/friends to assist me in the move. It was a total show to say the least when we got up there!!! She tried to dictate who could be present, and had all my things already in the living room, thus not permitting me/allowing me to go into the bedroom and other rooms – again, the whole control freak/center of attention aspect of a narcissist. She was also barely clothed, skimpy short-shorts, a shirt that barely covered her boobs, etc. It was so embarrassing since I had family present and she looked like a total whore! She would barely speak to me, didn’t ask how I was doing even though it was obvious I was in pain, and even looked happy that I was clearly sad about the whole situation not to mention lost to answers as to why this happened. She then continued to state (though I still don’t believe) that her son (would call him by name but “my son) does not want to see or speak to me and that is why he is not here today”. That just added to my devastation of lack of understanding as to why this was happening, but I wasn’t able to say goodbye to this little boy who was calling me daddy and we both said “I love you” to each other. Since then she has only cause more problems with the divorce thus costing both of us more money than what was needed to finalize this whole mess. Again, the center of attention and control freak aspect.

I have since spoken to professional counselors and have learned that my ex suffers from narcissism as well as possibly histrionic personality disorder. She is in the depths of these conditions given her extreme sexual behavior during her previous marriage and how she would act in public (no regards to the impact on others…me, or if it is right/wrong). That her telling strangers about our sex life, her breast augmentation, insisting on being the center of attention, talking down on others only to look better herself, appearing to be totally in love during the early dating stages, but then drops the relationship quickly with no remorse, and seeming as if always on the hunt for another guy/relationship is 100% characteristic of these kind of people. They will also make the other person feel as if it’s all their fault that the relationship ended, when in fact we are totally oblivious to why it ended.

It is now Fall ’12 and I’m hoping that the divorce will be finalized soon, though I still find myself at a loss as to why this all happened. Getting the advice about narcissists did help, but it’s not full closure…I still feel like I need answers. I’m also mad at myself that I still think about her in an affectionate way even though she has done all these horrible things both before, during and after our marriage, but have since learned that this is a common negative affect that the spouses of narcissists will endure. The worst is that I miss her son so badly and worry about him daily. Not only how he is progressing as a little man, but how he is going to turn out with a mother like that, and what will happen to him when he is not a source of attention for her any longer. Or how many more men will he call “daddy” only for her to drop them as well…not a very happy/loving/structured environment for a little boy to grow up. I also worry that I’m going to be so preoccupied with trying to notice the signs with other women so this doesn’t happen again, that I’ll miss the right one and I’ll be single and lonely forever…and I’m a very traditional kind of guy who really just wants to take care of my woman and grow old happily together….

Devastated,
Yikes, what a horrible story The bottom line is you were “played” by this woman. The diagnosis sounds accurate. There NO reason in the world to go around and tell anyone sexually explicit information. I’m sure you’re wondering why some people didn’t tell you about things she did/said but as in sexual abuse stories, many people are in such a state of shock that they can hardly believe what they’ve seen/heard – let alone tell on someone for fear they’ll be the one who is doubted.
Yes, she’s a slutty whore. Glad you were able to use those words yourself, as that’s the sum of it. And sad as it is, slutty whores do have children.
These people are users. There was no reason to tell you about her sordid past before you married, as it might have scared off her cash cow. (Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s the gist of it.)
It’s easy to be hard on yourself, but who knew there were people like this out there? That’s why so many people come to my blog. They’re in shock as it’s hard to imagine that another “human” could actually be so uncaring, no matter how much you cared about them or how well you treated them.
I do feel your pain for her son. As a teacher, I see so many children who would have been better off being raised by wolves, as wolves are caring parents. But unless you legally adopted her son, or she’s done something so awful that you need to call Child Protective Services, I’m afraid that this boy is destined for more of the same.
Sorry I can’t offer a brighter outlook, but that’s as good/bad as it gets. There are so many people who ARE caring people (your relatives drove a long way to be there for you). Don’t throw in the towel on the human race yet. ;) Always, Jan

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DevastatedHusband - November 8, 2012

Jan, thank you so much for your reply. It helps to hear from people who I both know and who I am just meeting (such as yourself) and seem to get the same reflection and advice. Not only has she done all these bad things described above, but has continued to make me feel like it’s all my fault that we are divorcing and that this marriage did not work…has planted lies in her son’s head that I’m this horrible person, and a weak attempt to sway my friends into believing her story (which did not work). I feel as if I’m starting to get over this and that I tried to love and make a beautiful thing out of someone who is a total mess, but also as I’ve learned, these people are near un-treatable and will never change. One professional even told me that she is so far into the depths of this NPD (given her past sexual habits, her extreme behavior, and breast augmentation that extreme) that she’s probably a lost cause and will never ever change or see that she is and has hurt so many people. That being said, I guess I can be thankful that this was only a short marriage and a total of about 2 years (dating/marriage) with this woman and not years and years with and our own children involved. It’s just still hard even now as I am realizing all this and near end stage of the divorce (that she is making so difficult and expensive trying to go after things based on lies or things the court would never award) way I still care about her just a little bit, and wonder if she will ever call. Though through reading your information and other narcissists websites, the only reason why she would call/attempt to contact is to just feed her Narc personality and confirm if there is any Supply left, only to try to do what she did before once again….so hard to 100% wash hands clean of these people….Amazing how some can feel comfortable being so so so horrible!!! I feel for the women who are subjected to this type of behavior as I’ve learned that the majority of the Narc are men, but this is proof that women can be to…

There are a few of us good guys still left out there – just want to love, care, laugh, cherish, support, laugh some more and hold…I’m just so worried this will happen again or that I’m going to be single and lonely forever

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72. DevastatedHusband - November 8, 2012

Jan, thank you so much for your reply. It helps to hear from people who I both know and who I am just meeting (such as yourself) and seem to get the same reflection and advice. Not only has she done all these bad things described above, but has continued to make me feel like it’s all my fault that we are divorcing and that this marriage did not work…has planted lies in her son’s head that I’m this horrible person, and a weak attempt to sway my friends into believing her story (which did not work). I feel as if I’m starting to get over this and that I tried to love and make a beautiful thing out of someone who is a total mess, but also as I’ve learned, these people are near un-treatable and will never change. One professional even told me that she is so far into the depths of this NPD (given her past sexual habits, her extreme behavior, and breast augmentation that extreme) that she’s probably a lost cause and will never ever change or see that she is and has hurt so many people. That being said, I guess I can be thankful that this was only a short marriage and a total of about 2 years (dating/marriage) with this woman and not years and years with and our own children involved. It’s just still hard even now as I am realizing all this and near end stage of the divorce (that she is making so difficult and expensive trying to go after things based on lies or things the court would never award) way I still care about her just a little bit, and wonder if she will ever call. Though through reading your information and other narcissists websites, the only reason why she would call/attempt to contact is to just feed her Narc personality and confirm if there is any Supply left, only to try to do what she did before once again….so hard to 100% wash hands clean of these people….Amazing how some can feel comfortable being so so so horrible!!! I feel for the women who are subjected to this type of behavior as I’ve learned that the majority of the Narc are men, but this is proof that women can be to…

There are a few of us good guys still left out there – just want to love, care, laugh, cherish, support, laugh some more :) and hold…I’m just so worried this will happen again or that I’m going to be single and lonely forever :(

Devastated,
Let me go a step further. Someone like this is untreatable. They lack introspection and use other people without a second thought. She sounds like a black widow – just be glad you’re not buried out in the yard while she collects your checks! I know several men personally who went through similar abuse (though it lasted over years and there were children involved that were their own). It was so very painful to admit how they’d been “taken” by these women. And by the same token, women who visit my blog are in shock they they were “taken” by someone they were in love with. It makes you doubt your own judgement. But nothing in real life can prepare you for a close encounter with a narcissist. So consider yourself lucky that this was a relatively short-lived fiasco (for lack of a better word). You WILL move forward. Finding the right person is not an either/or situation. You now know some of the warning signs. You might want to run a new lady by your friends.:) Jan

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DevastatedHusband - November 11, 2012

Yes, it for sure is a hard situation to get over…and the divorce is just a joke! I had a pre-trial last week, and she is lying about things just to get $. My lawyer is shocked that she is willing to spend $5,000 in lawyer fees to allow this to go to trial just to get maybe $800…the whole narcissist control freak thing! I will definitely be listening to what my friends have to say next time around. More than one friend said that they thought there was something not right about her but I ignored what they had to say because I was (or thought I was) head over heals in love…but as I’ve learned, that person who I thought I was in love with never existed, and the fast/immediate love was just how narcissists work in the new stages of a relationship…hook and bait, then bail once they are done with you. Can’t believe these people are out there and can live with themselves.

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DevastatedHusband - December 8, 2012

Jen,

So here’s yet more to this story…The divorce is final and she actually showed up for a court date for a change (didn’t show up for any pre-trial dates). She looked like HELL – worn out, hair was all stringy and now bleach blonde (not her natural color) and was smirking the entire time, other than the one time I saw her just staring at me with kind of a blank look on her face. I then found out that she has been seeing a 25yr old skateboarder punk kid (she is 38yrs old) since this Spring and while I was even in the hospital, which probably explains why she never called or came to see me the entire 5 weeks I was in ICU/hospital. In your view, is this just more characteristics of a untreatable Narcissist?

Devastated,
I think you might be looking to hang the label Narcissist on this woman to explain ALL of her behavior. Yes, she’s highly narcissistic. If “The Jerry Springer Show” was still on, she’d make a great guest.” May the chair throwing commence!~ It’s all about her. The skateboard punk crowd is a hard crowd to keep up with when you’re pushing the big 40. But it sounds like she’s got the “look” down along with the attitude. She’s just a poser-trying to look the part. She’s no candidate for the X Games, so and this too will pass. It all sounds rather pathetic, but in light of her other behaviors, it’s one more tally mark that she is indeed nutso, if not NPD. In either case, you are now free about the cabin and move on with your life. Jan

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73. Am I The Crazy One - November 22, 2012

I have commented at a few blogs and forums, so if you have seen my story before, I’m sorry, but this is fresh and writing about it and reading all of your stories is literally getting me through the day.

First, I don’t even KNOW if he was an N. I will try to make this short and (bitter)sweet.

-In the beginning I was perfect. In his eyes at least. Smart, funny, beautiful. We talked about our “connection” and how we wanted the same things, marriage, a family, somewhat of a rural lifestyle.

-It was a long distance relationship but he did fly down to see me, which I thought was a huge sign of his commitment. During that trip there were some red flags, mostly his need for control, his refusal to interact in activities that he had no interest in, but had never even tried before, and a night that ended with me telling him it was over because he screamed at me (he was lost but refused to use the GPS or listen to my directions).

-He began devaluing me about a month after that. It was so subtle. He didn’t have time to talk as much (when he actually had to change his cell plan because we talked so much that he went over his minutes). He suddenly became a text king. If I called him I was usually ignored, sent a text about how he was working and would call back and then he would call whenever he felt like it. Never mind the fact that he was alway on FB and Twitter when he was oh so busy with work.

– I became “annoying”, “insecure.” I “changed so much.” I was never satisfied according to him. “I will never make you happy”, he would say. The smallest things about me used to turn him on or make him smile. Now the smallest things repulsed and annoye him.

-He seemed to admire a lot of women, but claimed they were only friends. We would fight all of the time about it. Of course I was called insecure and a psycho, but when my boyfriend is supposed to call me and is instead tweeting another woman about her break-up, yes, I am going to have issues.

-He liked porn (after lying and saying he didn’t). He also wanted to try a threesome. He had a very “interesting” view on women and seemed to see them as sexual objects. After a while I felt like an object as well.

-He was always right. I was suddenly an idiot that knew nothing.

-When he did apologize it never felt sincere.

-He spoke badly about his “friends”

-He didn’t want me to trust my feelings, they were wrong (an exact quote). If I started any sentence with, “I feel…” he would say, “What did I tell you about your feelings?”

There is so much more. Having said all of that, I don’t know if he was an N, Bordeline, Psychopath, etc or just a jerk.

I think that is why women stay or go back, because we can’t figure it out and we tell ourselves that he’s just a jerk, or maybe we were too needy. Then we try to make it work, only to be discarded again.

I initiated the break-up but I could always count on him to twist it around. He was so good at it. In the end I was the one begging (yes begging) for us to work it out. He broke up with me in a text. I was devastated, told him so, begged some more, was told to “have a drink and move on, forget about me”, begged some more and then I just finally stopped. I cried and then pulled myself together. I didn’t hear from him for a few hours and I was in bed (and just mentally preparing myself to accept that it was over and he was a cold SOB) when he texted and asked if we could talk. I never thought that he would want to talk just to REHASH the same conversation (“I’ll never be what you need”, “Just forget me”)!! I mean, who does that? Trust me, I get the picture hours ago. Why the need to tell me again that I wasn’t wanted (and after he asked me to tell him how I was feeling, as if he too wanted to work things out; I now believe he just wanted to hear me beg again).

I hung up in tears. He sent me two texts, stating how sorry he was and how bad he felt.

Idiot.

Sorry, I needed to vent. Haven’t heard from him since Sunday and I am too stubborn to ever break NC (well at least first). On a positive note, I haven’t cried at all today.

But I still feel as though it may have been my fault. Maybe I was too needy or insecure or a nag or maybe I didn’t do too much. Maybe I was boring. Maybe it turned him off, made me ugly. So many maybes.

You’re NOT the crazy one, but obviously his behavior was so odd and downright cruel that you must have felt like you going crazy. So much of what you said is SO typical. So sorry. And yes, so many women (in particular) keep returning for more abuse because they can’t believe the person who seemed to care for them has “changed.” They’re hoping they’ll change back. Or they want to believe that they are the exception to the rule – they’re the ONE person in the world who can love. No matter what you do/did/should have done – it all would have ended badly. Seriously. There’s actually no maybes because N’s NEVER change. All of those “what ifs” are just wishful thinking. Sorry, but it’s true.

I’ve got some cornbread in the oven and a lot of simmering pots or I’d write more. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what he is (diagnostically speaking). There’s so much overlap between these disorders and all the clinical ones also qualify as jerks. He’s just bad news. And that’s for SURE.
Always, Jan

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Am I The Crazy One - November 22, 2012

Hi Jan. Thank you for taking the time to reply (especially when you have a Thanksgiving meal to prepare!).

I think I am just going to label him an N until I can find something more concrete. But one thing I do know: he is a very cruel and cold man.

I know myself and I know that I can be co-dependent, which is why I try to stay single. Yes, I know it sounds weird, but I am so much happier when I am with friends and family. I have a tendency to make a man my life. I do believe that one day I will find the man for me, but I may need more therapy before I try dating again.

When you said his behavior was typical I actually laughed, not because it was funny but because every relationship with an N feels unique but ultimately it is all the same. The names and locations have just been changed.

And yes I felt as though I was going crazy. My anxiety was and still is high, but there were no tears today. That is an excellent sign. I believe I’m healing.

Thank you again for replying and for your blog. You are helping everyday women who are in these toxic “relationships” and it’s nice to know that maybe we aren’t the crazy ones.

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74. 6th Sense | survivingtoxicity - January 29, 2013

[…] belief – adoring, charming, devoted, caring, passionate, hyper-attentive (termed the ‘Idealization‘ phase) – before morphing, gradually, over time, into a pouting, moody, controlling, […]

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75. Brevitybrevity - December 7, 2013

Broke No Contact and am paying the price… Please tell me this agony will end. I know he’s ill but I hate him for this. It feels like such a sick charade. O just pray for the pain to go. I knew it was wrong, I always felt so tense around him. Yet O feel such horrifying loneliness… I try to see No Contact as like a long painful cure for a cancer. No exaggeration. I am anorexic again and auicifal. I pray God give me the strength to keep away or it will truly kill me.

Brevity,
I’ve corrected some of your spelling, so that your message is clearer (but not all). If your Close Encounter with a N is recent (and I think of a two-year time frame as being “recent”) than it’s not surprising that you’re in pain having once again torn the scab off this wound by talking/seeing him. This time of the year is hard enough, so I advise that you get out amongst the living and do something for someone else. An N would never do that unless it’s for “show.” You opened the door and let the bogeyman scare you. Close the door (besides it’s cold outside!). I realized the other day that I haven’t seen or talked to the N in SIX years. When he crosses my mind now it’s more like just another random thought and I feel absolutely NOTHING. But if you keep looking back instead of forward, a life without the N will always seem impossible. N’s are basically lumps of coal in your stocking. So best to burn that coal and move on. Jan

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