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Narcissistic Game Playing – Part 1 August 27, 2011

Posted by alwaysjan in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
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When I read that “narcissists employ a Ludic love style,” my eyes almost crossed. But I kept reading.  Ludus  is characterized by game playing, an aversion to partner dependence, attention to extradyadic others and deception.” Whoa, does that sound familiar? Other than the extradyadic part? (And that’s just a fancy word for infidelity.)

I found this in Does Self-Love Lead to Love for Others? A Story of Narcissistic Game Playing published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). One of the goals of the research was to determine whether a person really needs to learn to love themselves before they can love others. Or, as the Greeks believed, is self-love actually an impediment to loving others? The authors sort that one out pretty quickly differentiating between self-love and self-esteem.

What I found most interesting was how those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or high on the narcissistic continuum per the authors) approach a relationship as a game. This explains why narcissists are unable to maintain long-term emotionally intimate relationships. Click on the title link above to read the paper in its entirety. 

When it comes to relationships, narcissists have two birds to kill. First, because they think very highly of themselves, they use relationships to self enhance not caring whether this involves exploiting others. Think of it as feeding the beast. Although the narcissist desires perfection in a partner, in reality their partners (mere humans) are doomed to come up short. This game is not a cooperative game, but one in which the winner takes all.

But here’s the rub. Relationships are good in that they can provide positive attention and sex, BUT they are bad in that they demand emotional intimacy and prevent the narcissist from receiving attention and sex from other partners. If only they could have it both ways… (The feelings of the other person do not factor into the N’s thinking.)

So the narcissist turns on the charm, using all the extraversion and confidence he can muster to reel in a new partner. But “they would be careful to keep this relationship from becoming too intimate or emotionally close lest they lose control. Finally, narcissists would covertly seek out other potential romantic partners.” So it should come as surprise that the narcissist lacks a sense of real commitment to a relationship and is always on the lookout for an alternative, frequently flirting with others.

In this way, the narcissist maintains power in the relationship and a certain amount of freedom. If things go sour in the relationship, he’s already got his eye on his next target.

“Narcissists’ self-regulatory blueprint involves bringing people in and extracting esteem from them. If that entails being, in turn, charming, exciting, deceptive, controlling, or nasty, so be it.”

Those who’d been in a relationship with a narcissist reported that it took “longer to gain insight into the narcissist’s personality, and this impression changed over the course of the relationship. Although it is not evidence of game playing per se, this suggests that narcissists used deceptive self-presentation in the relationship.”

“A game-playing approach to relationships, as evidenced by maintaining alternative partners or keeping one’s partner uncertain about one’s commitment, gives the same game-playing partner power. This interpersonal strategy has been termed the principle of least interest. The individual less interested in the relationship has the most power. If narcissists seek power and freedom in their dating relationships, the adoption of a game-playing love style should give them this power and freedom.”

Finally, by adopting the Ludic, or game-playing approach to love, the narcissist is able to get what he wants without having to give up what he doesn’t. For the N, that’s a win-win situation. If you think otherwise, you’re just a sore loser!

Image Credit: “Mind Games” clipart from Discoveryeducation.com

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1. Miss Crankypance - August 27, 2011

Wow. I’m going to link from my blog. This is fabulous and dead-on. It describes my N down to the last dotted i.

Great post!

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2. I Love Me I Love Me I Love Me – The Disease of Conceit « Dating a Personality (Disorder) - August 27, 2011

[…] Narcissistic Game Playing […]

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3. Michelle - August 28, 2011

Hi Jan, Your post distracted me from my work, so thank you!

As always, I love the way you write. Down to earth and to the point.

The self-love part of narcissism is a bit confusing isn’t it? Admiration and self-esteem apply, but real love appears to be absent from the heart of a narcissist.

The narcissist I had a “close encounter” with, told me it had all been a game. That one sentence did me in for the longest time. Wrapping my mind around how a person plays a game with another person’s mind, heart and life, well, that’s a hard task.

He eventually made an attempt to apologize, saying, “I’m sorry you were a casualty of my pathology.”

Sigh… Perhaps you can insert some humor here and I’ll laugh when I come back. I trust you could do that :).

Thanks again for the post and hope you have a great Sunday!

Michelle,
Sorry, but trying to put a humorous spin on such cruelty is like trying to put lipstick on a pig – oh, my pig just grunted. She hates that expression and wants to use my lipstick to show me that she cleans up real good. >oink<
"I'm sorry you were a casualty of my pathology" is almost bumper sticker worthy. It's like you were the victim of an emotional hit and run and as the driver sped away that bumper sticker was the last thing you saw. Ouch! That sort-of-an-apology is way more than most people get and shows that he WAS aware of what he was doing. Yet they keep doing it. What a pathetic life!
When I told my "friend" that I believed he suffered from NPD (never a good idea to tell them), he replied incredulously, "Leave it to you to think that I have something that's incurable!" Then he hooted with laughter.
FYI – It's nice to know there are others who are so easily distracted from "working." LOL
Jan

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dogkisses - October 9, 2013

Ha! I just now saw this reply!

Oink! Tell your pig I’m sorry we used him and I bet he would indeed be cute with your lipstick!

Thanks for the laugh, even though you are right. Such a cruel subject. Laughing about pain always helps me, at least with enough time gone by to laugh about it.

Enjoyed the read again. Seems like I sure know how to attract narcissists, but at least, I know the signs now and can get rid of them quickly!

Hoping you are doing well Jan. I’m enjoying the cooler weather of Autumn, and no narcs to deal with today :)

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4. KT - August 29, 2011

It was definately an interesting read and it does point to the hopelessness of trying to have any “long term” relationship with them. Seems the only one fit to have a long term relationship is another Narc who is also playing the game.

Mr. Ns favorite tactic with me was to withdrawal/not respond/silent treatment…keeping me guessing as to what was truly going on. It fit my childhood wound so well because I used to say that the opposite of love wasn’t hate…it was indifference and that is how I would feel every time Mr. N went silent. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it sucks to “not be seen” to be “invisible”….especially after having had the spotlight turned so brightly on me that I basked in the glow for days. Here you think are “known”, “loved”, “appreciated”, “wanted” for all that you are and then WHAMO..you are nothing. Not even a shadow of you remains. You sit in that abysmal darkness and wish to have even a crumb of light thrown your way…just so that you know that you even exist. Thinking about it brings me to tears…I never stopped wanting the best for Mr. N, never stopped wanting him to be happy, never stopped wanting to hold the hand of that angry, entitled six year old and tell him that he is loved. But it seems that he was incapable to even give me a fair good bye….just silence remains.

Callie,
Oh yes…the silent treatment or looking right through you as if you don’t exist. My friend would be “on” one day, eager for me to listen to whatever he had to say. A day later, we’d be at a meeting and he’d walk right past me as though he didn’t know me. It was so weird! My sister-in-law was married to a N for 14 years and his specialty was the silent treatment. She’d have rather that he yelled at her than tune her out as though she did not exist. You’re right – the opposite of love IS indifference. At least hate involves emotion. Jan

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joe b. - May 3, 2013

Its AMAZING how a N sticks to there script, they really are con artists. My N is a woman or should i say a 47 year old child who had all the right lines ” you are my soul mate, i feel so safe in your arms, you make my heart dance all i ask is that you not be mean to me and love just ME what a fool…. I did. The silent treatment i recieved after makng what should have been long term plans was a living hell wondering if i had done something wrong or what. One day i was her everything and she”d tell me how it was magic when we were together the next she was just to busy to make time to get together what a roller coaster and i was stupid enough to ride it and this was for 2 years Finally i saw all the red flags that had been there all along things she would say things like “I like attention and like giving attention” ” no one seems to understand the wild carefree Ann”. I now know i was never HER man, just one of them and that hurts.I”ve had no contact with her fo six months and just found out shes engaged WOW must of found someone to take care of her and her new boob job. I know im lucky to be rid of her and her mind games but it still hurts. As they say To old to soon,to smart t late

Joe,
Be glad you only wasted two years of your life with this woman wondering why she ran hot and cold. There are people who spend decades only to realize they’ve essentially been duped. Yes, it hurts. No one likes to feel they’ve been used, but this is their MO. Jan

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joe - August 1, 2013

July 20th was one year with NC and when she was back with her fiancé for the 4th of July I just made plans to be some where else. I find myself understanding all that happened, now that I know about how a narcissist works but sometimes it still just bugs the shit out of me. Can you believe that she sent me a friends request on FB on the 20th, exactly one year I just ignored it and laughed a bit and it made me feel like I have the power to not to be sucked in because she is not my friend but I have to admit my stomach had some knots in it. I have not looked her page up and have worked hard to move on and forget the past. Her birthday is this week and I there are some memories that flood back, but I picture her with her new man and think its just the same old thing just a different guy this year. But this morning in a moment of weakness I was on linkedin and looked her up, then I realized she would see that I did and it makes me SICK! The last thing I wanted to do was to let her think that I still think of her after all the crazy shit she pulled, I feel like I lost ground. Remember no contact means no contact…AT ALL!

Joe,
A stomach with knots in it sounds all too familiar to most of us. No Contact is the mantra, but sometimes it takes a “near miss” like you had to realize you were playing with fire. Early on, I did something similar. I was on an event website and the N was attending. I couldn’t get off the d&mn website and ended up clicking a button that then showed my picture and said I was attending too. My only solace was that it appeared several pages later, but I felt like an idiot! That cured me of internet trolling for good. The N’s playbook never varies, so following their antics is just a major waste of time.
Forgive yourself for being human and forge on. One year will soon be two then… Believe it or not, but there WILL come a time when you look back and be able to laugh at all this sh(t. Always, Jan

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Vivi - August 6, 2013

Joe and Jan:
What a great reminder that no matter what we do for curiosities sake, it always comes back to bite us in the arse. I made a call …like an idiot…a month or so back…. call went directly to voice mail and i had blocked my number so THANK GOD there was no proof I had dialed. I quickly hung up, and slapped the pure sh*t out of my cheek so I could remember the physical pain this man and all N’s cause us. BC JOE: if we don’t slap ourselves occasionally, we WILL be slapped by them . GOOD LUCK and pat yourself on the back.

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carole - August 28, 2013

Hi Joe
Exactly the same thing happened to me. Together 2 years, engaged, (he asked me after only a few months). I thought I’d met my ‘soul mate’ at last…we were so happy, he was kind, loving, respectful, and supportive. I began to get suspicious as he hid his phone, emails, and friends and family from me. I looked in his messages one day and found messages to other women asking for dates, complimenting them, and saying he’d like to cuddle them all night !!!! I felt sick, confused, and in shock. I never confronted him, but searched for evidence. It was so painful, but I had to know the truth. The truth was and is that he is a compulsive prolific liar, who has betrayed me, deceived me, and broken my heart. He even told me he had a child of 8 that died of cancer !! I too have been separated from him from 6 months now and it has been and still is very painful. It is unlike the recovery of an ordinary relationship. The more I read, the more knowledge I gain about narcs, the more I detach from him and heal my heart. To end with someone you love and adore is hurtful enough, but to realize it was all fabricated lies leaves you disappointed, confused, and feeling foolish. I doubt I will ever trust again. Yet I have learnt to love myself, my family and my life more.

Carol,
It IS more difficult to recover from a relationship with someone who was a mere shell of the person you thought they were. You’re angry/confused with them, but more importantly, it leaves you doubting your own judgement. You feel you’ve been duped. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they’ll never trust someone again as this experience so skewed their view of humanity. Caring people often assume that others share their honest and trustworthy nature, so they grant trust too easily. Trust is something that is earned by a person’s actions over time. You will get there. And this whole crazy experience does make you want to reach out and hug everyone in your life who is just so….normal! :) Jan

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carole - August 28, 2013

Following on from my last reply…forgot to say my ex narc has a new partner now too…he messaged me in an email to say how silly I am because I ended our relationship and no one will ever love me like him, and his picture at the top was of him and his new lady( Looks a bit like me ) ! Very upsetting, but gave me the confirmation and closure I needed to accept and let go. He still emails now from time to time to see if I’ve changed my mind ??? How can he do this to HER ? Is he just playing mind games with me ? It’s all weird and sick and totally unbelievable. I am broken, but strong and trying to move on. I will be closing my email account asap, as I have with my bank accounts and phone numbers. I have lost so much from this relationship, yet paradoxically gained so much personally too. Maybe a necessary lesson to learn albeit an extremely painful one.

Carol,
Some Ns run for the hills once they’ve been unmasked never to be heard from again. Others will “pop in” from time to time to see if they can still get your attention because that feeds their need for supply. Yes, he’s playing mind games with you and he probably played them with other women while he was with you. Ns get a big kick out of knowing or just imagining about all of the women who “desire” them. The minute you go for this bait, they quickly withdraw and you’re devalued all over again. Six years out from my Close Encounter with a Narcissist, I can tell you I’ve learned way more about myself and grown so much personally. I just wish I didn’t have to go through a couple of years of sh*t to get there, but it is what it is. Make that “was.” :) Jan

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5. Frida - August 29, 2011

Jan,

Thank you for a timely post. I needed to be hit with that because I have been going through this very difficult period of introspection trying to figure out what is the situation with my “good friend”, Mr. N. Wow, does he ever fit all the descriptions in the article you posted! If ever there was a game player, he is it. Yet, I fell for it all lock, stock, and barrel. Every time he left me in the dark, disappearing for days on end, I would try even harder to be more perfect, more beautiful, more successful, and more wonderful. He’d reappear, and knock me over with his charms, as if I was the most incredible woman in the world. He’d get his fantastic sex, then, off he’d go for a week or so.

Turns out he had a “steady” girlfriend who found out about me. He got spooked, and said he wasn’t sure he could still see me, as he was afraid she’d find out. I told him to just be honest with her…not!

I said “are you afraid she’ll leave you? Are you feeling guilty?” “No, I just don’t want her to find out.” She told him explicitly it was her only or not at all. Long story short, he continued to pursue me on the side, and others, as well (I found out about three others). Fleeting feelings that he didn’t love her, but loved me were all that kept me in. But, with each episode of his silence, my self esteem fell even more. My friends and family kept propping me up, pointing out what a total bastard of a jerk he was, but I was blind to it all. Completely blind.

You see, (I know I don’t have to tell YOU this), he has these incredible charms that he can just turn on. He does it with no efforts at all. And, he has no problems finding women who fall for it. Worst of all, his girlfriend of 3 years is blind to it all. Then again, I am pretty sure she is a big N, too. She has a public blog in which she talks all about herself and how great she is, posting photos of only her on it.

Anyway, thanks again for the post.

Frida,
This IS a timely post for you! (I’ll refrain from adding a smiley face.) All of the N’s craziness keeps you off balance. At first this can seem exciting, even mysterious, as you want to “win” back their attention. “Hey, look at me! I care about you. I’m HERE for you!” Their silence is deadening. Ultimately this gets old and extremely painful. Then you realize you’re just one of many. And you’re ALL replaceable. Even when they connect with other Ns, there is no real love or emotional closeness. And they’re still out looking for fresh supply on the side. Jan

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6. Miss Crankypance - August 30, 2011

Frida,

It’s entirely possible that his girlfriend isn’t blind to it and her blog is a coping mechanism. My N had a girlfriend for almost 6 years before I met him, and from what I’ve recently found out, he cheated on her constantly. He kept his dating profiles open the entire time and found nothing wrong with this. She put up with it and then, back in December of 2010, they split.

He says he walked away, but I doubt it. I think that what happened is that she was co-dependent from her years of being married to a functional alcoholic. It sounds (from what other people have since told me) as though she got into therapy, al-anon, or something that helped her work on her co-dependence issues.

He claims he dumped her because she refused to meet or interact with his children. That was probably the biggest, fattest lie he told me because this is a high-profile woman who has dedicated her life to children. I think she got healthy, saw what he was doing for what it was and kicked his butt to the curb.

He started looking for a wife replacement as soon as he and his wife of 10 years split. Three months later, he found his (now ex) girlfriend. the entire time he was with her, he was trolling for fresh supply and I’m sure he found it from time-to-time.

If what he tells me is true (and I can’t believe much of what he says), it took him 5 months to find me. The entire time he was seeing me he was still trolling. We’ve been split for a month now, and each time I think to look (my profiles are all inactive now – but his profiles are all public so anyone can see them – you don’t need to be a subscriber to any of the sites) he’s online on all three sites, ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

He contacted a girlfriend of mine while I was in the devaluation phase. She thought she’d found “Mr. Right” and was giddy about it. She called to tell me all about this guy on a dating site and I told her to slow down and wait until she’d actually spent enough time with him.

So she asked if she could send me his profile and photos so I could give my opinion. I finally got around to opening the email two days later. Guess who it was? Yep. I called her immediately and told her he was the guy I’d been telling HER about. She trusts me and sent me all the email conversations they’d had. It was like I was reading “copy and paste.” His emails to her were exactly like what he’d sent to me. He’d also mentioned that he was feeling so lucky to have found her since the last woman he’d met from the site (me) turned out to be “emotionally unbalanced and just plain crazy.” That’s what he said to me about his ex-girlfriend and his ex-wife. I never realized email had an echo.

He sent her the same music links, the same literature links, the same art links he’d sent to me. And then…I saw where he’d invited her to go kayaking with him for the three day weekend that we were supposed to spend together. She and I had a good laugh about it. She decided to tentatively accept to see what he’d tell me.

I got a phone call the morning we were supposed to leave (I hadn’t packed a thing) telling me he had a funeral to go to and he was so sorry to have to cancel with me, but he just couldn’t get out of it.

I called my girlfriend with that info and she called him an hour later and canceled, saying SHE had a funeral to go to and that she was so sorry to have to cancel with him, but she just couldn’t get out of it. He was too self-involved to put any puzzle pieces together.

Next thing we know, he’s on all three sites, trolling again. She’d only met him once, and in an effort to help her understand exactly the monster she was dealing with, I sent her ALL of my email exchanges with him, as well as the reams of devaluing emails he sent that I never replied to.

She dumped him immediately. He called me that same weekend, a day before he was supposed to get back from the “funeral” and asked to see me. I didn’t answer – waited for the voice mail and then texted to say: “I’m not home this weekend.”

He was furious that I’d gone and done my own thing – that I was out having “fun” while he was at a “funeral.” I laughed my butt off – but I also wanted to cry, because I knew then that the likelihood of anything he told me being true was nil.

Frida, this guy never loved you. You weren’t anything to him but an object with an expiration date. (That’s Jan’s line.) His “girlfriend” also has an expiration date, but he’s still getting something from her that feeds his need for supply – otherwise he wouldn’t be afraid for her to find out. He’d have discarded her. My guess is he’s having a fabulous time devaluing her, and that they may have gone through the D&D cycle many times. Wash, rinse, repeat.

His charm is a facade. Think of him as bits of broken glass strewn across a sidewalk. He picked up the shiniest pieces and glued them together and made what appeared to him to be a human being. He’s not human – not in any sense that emotionally healthy people understand the word. He’s a pod person, but you know that already.

I’m so sorry you had to go through all this.

Wash, rinse, repeat.” I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thanks! Jan

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7. Lili Chaparas - August 30, 2011

Fascinating…
You always make me smile. I wonder if these narcissistic traits are a learned behavior or genetic. Perhaps a little combo of both I wager. Show me Mr. (or MS.) narcissist and I can imagine the mother. I see it at school all the time. In fact if the mother is not one for infidelity she can play the very same game within her own family, wooing child after child pitting them against each other even. Now I’m worried. Is being a narcissist terribly bad if your aware of it? Mabey its like that whole “crazy thing” if you think you are mabey your not.
Jan xo Hope your year is going to be a good one we start back to school tommorow.

Lili,
Great to hear from you! I start back to school tomorrow as well. I’ve got 30 kids on my rooster. Argh! I had 28 last year for the first time and there was NO WAY I could give them the individual attention I did in years past. >sigh< And yes, if you think about what you do, most likely you're not a N. BUT, I did find it interesting that narcissists in the study recognized that they did play games. Maybe they smugly thought of themselves as "players." I do believe my "friend" would have copped to playing games and keeping a bunch of women in a holding pattern. Lots of activity on the runway, but never any takeoff. Jan

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8. T. AKA Ricky Raw - September 1, 2011

The self-love part of narcissism is a bit confusing isn’t it? Admiration and self-esteem apply, but real love appears to be absent from the heart of a narcissist.

The narcissist lacks both self-esteem and self-love.

The author of the study W. Keith Campbell has the same problem people like Roy Baumeister and Jean Twenge have, where they conflate true self-love with the narcissist’s externally-motivated twisted and shaky version of self-love. They do this because they are against the self-esteem movement, which to them reflects excessive gold stars to children, soccer games where they don’t keep score and excessive coddling.

Genuine self-love I believe is necessary to love others as human beings in a healthy, non-codependent way. The problem is when people mistake the narcissist’s self-centeredness as genuine self-love or self-esteem, and use the narcissist’s dysfunction to indict the notions of high self-love and high self-esteem based on this false premise.

Nathaniel Branden goes into this in much better detail here:

http://www.nathanielbranden.com/catalog/articles_essays/what_self_esteem.html

I also recommend his book Six Pillars of Self-Esteem to see the differences between the narcissist’s version of pseudo self-esteem and true self-esteem. The writings of Alfred Adler regarding social interest and Karen Horney regarding the false, idealized self are also good in this regard

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9. T. AKA Ricky Raw - September 1, 2011

Let me just add, this careless conflating of genuine self-esteem with narcissistic self-regard was a big problem I had with Campbell’s book The Narcissism Epidemic, written with Jean Twenge. It had some good spots but overall I found it dangerously misleading because of how it claimed that narcissists are actually products of excessive self-esteem without any further clarification.

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10. Tracy - September 5, 2011

Let’s also not forget how whatever “game-playing” was going on, it would somehow be anyone’s fault but theirs? I would call my ex on a lot of these sorts of shenanigans only to be met with a hundred reasons why her view was right & I was wrong (& all had to do with a failing on my part). My God, the lies, lies, and more lies…

“I’m sorry you were a casualty of my pathology”, is a classic.

All I can say with confidence now is that it took me doing work on myself (counseling) to understand that my own, personal boundaries needed firming up. Once that sunk in, I left & never looked back.

I think that the worst thing, at least in my own case, is that the experience has left me very skeptical & suspicious of new relationships.

Wishing everyone peace & healing,

Tracy

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11. Catherine Sherman - September 9, 2011

As I read this, I thought of how many politicians must be narcissists, always trying to charm a new group, while his or her “base” feels ignored and debased because they are loyal voters. After all, where will they go?

“I’m sorry you were a casualty of my pathology” is a great line, but a narcissist would never even think to be sorry.

Catherine – You are so right in that the vast majority of narcissists would not even cop to having anything wrong with them. It’s always your problem. Jan

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Catherine Sherman - September 10, 2011

Another great post. I forgot to start off my comment above with that! You always bring a fresh and valuable view to a real problem — identifying and dealing with Narcissists.

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12. Trolling Redux « Dating a Personality (Disorder) - September 11, 2011

[…] lifted the text below from planetjan’s  blog.  It is part of her post entitled Narcissistic Game Playing.  It has eerie significance for […]

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13. Miss Crankypance - September 11, 2011

Jan, I just re-read this post and had a chilling moment. I lifted some text from your post to use in my latest post: http://datingapersonalitydisorder.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/trolling-redux/

The serendipity literally made me shudder. I thought “bringing new people into my life” was an odd statement when I got the email I posted over on my blog, but I figured it was just another of his pompous, condescending statements and shrugged at it. An hour ago, I re-read what you posted above and the hair stood up on the back of my neck.

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Beth - September 16, 2011

Oh, wow! I cannot believe how this email looks so similar to what I have from my idiot N. Isn’t if funny how they try to sound so superior to you even in the way they WRITE?! I would get that, too. ” No illusions”. Even when I finally left my husband for this idiot, it was always said to me that he was a NONFACTOR. Love that. NONFACTOR. I once confronted over email about him seeing someone else. His reponse and I kid you not: “I will do you no justice to validate your thoughts or suspicions. If being together feels good to you, great. If being together feels good for me, then great, too. I am re-simplying my life and I wholeheartedly suggust you do the same. That’s all I can do for now.” OMG! And I STILL stayed with him for a month after this crazy ass email to me! NO ONE has ever talked to me the way this guy did. And I took it. Ended my marriage to a fantastic man who loves me still even after all this destruction I caused. I cannot believe I got myself into this mess. I’m so glad it’s over. I went into his phone while he was sleeping and discovered not only the one girl I figured out he was seeing, but ANOTHER one! An old girlfriend! Geez. I’m so glad others are facing this and can reach out to people like me. Thank you all for posting such wonderful articles and profound and eerily similar stories. THank you thank you.

Beth,
I always like to respond to all of the comments concerning NPD, as I remember how foolish and used I felt in the wake. I just came across your comment and realized I neglected to reply. So sorry.

“Nonfactor…Resimplifying.” Confusing communication is the way they roll. And it’s all downhill. Jan

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14. Marie - December 2, 2011

Thank you so much…your posts have helped me so much. I was recently dating a somatic narcissist. I wasn’t sure if he had met full criteria for NPD, because he was never abusive to me. I realize his “brutal honesty,” sarcasm, and judgemental attitude are abusive. He pushed very early for a relationship. He was very affectionate, attentive, seductive, fun, etc. But, he appeared jealous of my 6 year old son. He was quite judgemental and admitted to “not liking anything” about him. He was newly divorced. He ended with me when he thought that I was breaking up with him. He had said something that I still don’t quite understand…he said that before we met his self esteem was really low and that I built him up so much (fed his ego) that he is starting to feel arrogant and “cocky” and he said he didn’t like that. He said he used to be like that when he was younger. I was wondering if having a divorce, financial loss, etc could have made him a little self aware? And then when we were together, I fed his ego? He idealized me so much….we never got to the devaluation of me because he broke up with me when he felt I was leaving him. He truly is a somatic narcissist…obsessed with working out, needs constant admiration, etc. He was raised by a single mother who was cold and withholding (never let him cry, never said she loved him, no physical affection). He cheated on every girlfriend before his marriage. Always in a “relationship”.

Marie,
1) In my experience, most narcissists are NOT physically abusive. They don’t have to resort to physical abuse as their “brutal honesty, sarcasm, and judgmental attitude” cuts just as deep yet leaves no visible scars.
2) Second in their arsenal is their indifference/lack of empathy to anything you hold near and dear, like your son. Do you realize how freakish that sounds that he couldn’t find anything to like about your son? He may have felt that, but to have said it aloud ensured your son could always be used as a wedge in the “relationship.”

3) It is possible that the strains of a divorce, financial loss, etc. can leave a narcissist feeling almost human. I don’t think it makes them self-reflective so much as feeling like “poor little me.” I watched the N in my life (who was cerebral) go into a mental tailspin when any woman he was interested in told him she REALLY wasn’t interested in him. When their “supply” is running low, they tend to be depressive. That’s why they light up when new supply appears.

I think that was most likely where you fit in. All of his talk about you “feeding his ego” was him trying to blame you for his own bad behavior. N’s are binge eaters when it comes to new supply. The fact that he broke up with you when he knew you were moving away from him is classic. They have to be in control.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t put too much stock in what he told you. The N I knew said whatever served his purpose at any given moment. He rewrote anything that happened, so that he was never responsible. All of their relationships are basically “shell companies.” They’re empty or used when they serve a purpose and discarded. Unfortunately, we’re talking about caring people here. So be glad you and your son are rid of him before he could have done even more damage. Most likely being married gave him the semblance of feeling like he was leading a normal life. I’m sure his ex would have lots to say as to what a lie THAT was. Best of luck to you. I’m glad you’ve found my posts helpful. :) Jan

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15. Marie - December 4, 2011

Jan, thank you for your response! Yes…I think it is very freakish of him to say he didn’t like anything about my son. That was when I realized something was really wrong with him. Who says that to someone! He did blame me for that stating I put him on the spot asking him what he thought about my child. Typical. His reason for ending was that he “loved our relationship but wanted the fantasy part only”….he stated….”I don’t want to be a dad.” He knew I was a mother before we started dating and he said upfront that he wanted a relationship.

Yes, his supply was low and he had depressive symptoms when he met me. He had been in a “relationship” with a married woman who chose her husband over him. (when we started dating he thought I had a boyfriend!)

He would often say that he felt “guilty” about things that he has done in the past but I believe he felt shame. It is my understanding that narcissists feel tremendous shame rather than guilt. It was always bizarre that he would say he felt guilty for getting a divorce because he felt like he let down his neighbors! How weird. He would say that he was the one who fixed everything in the neighborhood. Said he felt the best during those years….I guess that was another way for him to get his supply. He was the all knowing, all powerful.

He wanted to remain “friends” after the break up. I told him no. Told him no contact. He was angry about it…stating he doesn’t feel the need to erase people from his life. I think he just wanted to keep me around to play more games…he was an excellent game player. So, I erased his number, call blocked him, and erased him from fb. Finally, felt like I had some control over the situation. He probably didn’t notice, but it felt good to me.

I wish that I realized all of this at the beginning, but now my eyes are wide open! After reading all of your posts I feel such relief and actualy no longer want him back. There was a part of me that still wanted him, but now I feel so free.

Your posts have helped me so much. Thank you!

Marie,
Thank you for writing so eloquently about your own situation. I find it funniest that his biggest concern about his divorce was that he felt he let the neighbors down. That SO sounds like something the cretin I knew would have said. And yes, I believe the emotion they feel is shame, not guilt. This is more in line with the emotional response of a child who doesn’t have a fully developed conscience.

Don’t we all wish we had known at the beginning? It’s a steep learning curve but beats being on an emotional roller coaster. Kudos on going no contact. It’s natural for us humans to still “want” someone, but that person we want never existed. Any further contact just gives them the golden opportunity to verbally abuse you again. Be glad that you walked away with your head held high. Jan

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Healing - February 11, 2014

I know these posts are old but I had to reply! My ex also was jealous of, picked on, bullied, or blatantly ignored my son who was 4 years old when we met! He promised he just needed time to bond with him. Five years later it was worse. You saved yourself and your son. I finally did, too. I’ve searched online for articles about Narcs and stepchildren and cannot find anything yet I’m assuming this is a common response to stepchildren. My ex treated my son like a sibling he was jealous of because they got more of Mommy’s attention. One time he was giving my son grief about something and I stepped in and my ex, a 52 year old man, actually said, “He started it!” Wow. They really are stuck at 6 years old.

Also, the disappointing the neighbors rings a bell for me. When I was pregnant my ex’s biggest worry about going in for the delivery was that I might say something mean to one of the nurses and make him look bad. Not one concern for what I or the baby might go through was mentioned! Mind you, I’ve never been mean to anyone (clerks, nurses, etc.) in front of him so I can only think that he was projecting since he has been very rude to gas station attendants, etc.

Healing,
Although the original comment was posted a while back, you’ve still got me! My SIL had 8 children with a Narcissist. He was dismissive of her child from a previous marriage and used to constantly remind the girl that the ones that came later were her STEP-sisters and brothers. I didn’t know about NPD at the time, but that bothered me to no end. If it’s any comfort, he didn’t treat his own children any better. Children are work and require emotional intimacy – something the narcissist in incapable of giving. Lacking boundaries, some Ns view their children as merely an extension of themselves. Their children are forever jumping through hoops to please a parent who is never satisfied. It’s almost a relief when the adult children of a Narcissist learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder because they realize it was never about THEM. Others hate that children steal their thunder. They are actually stunted 6-year-olds and don’t like competition. I teach third grade (8-9 year olds), so I’m curious as to how your son dealt with this. Congratulations on making it out and moving forward. Always, Jan

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16. Mel - January 23, 2012

Wow. Wonderful article.

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17. Survivor - July 28, 2012

Thank you, Jan, and everyone, for all the wisdom and great insightful posts. I am two years out of a marriage to a malignant narcissist and I still am fighting the lingering thoughts of his abuse of me and facing the fact that I was nothing more than a pawn in his evil plan to aggrandize himself in other people’s eyes. The evil is overwhelming. He played with my emotions for two years after we split, saying he wanted to be with me, and the next day or week, saying he wanted to meet someone new. I finally determined to go “no contact”. I want no part of his evil and destruction, but it has been the hardest and most painful thing in my life. I did want to mention one thing relating back to one of the posts – that sometimes these evil monsters will actually tell you, from their own mouths, what they are doing. My narc. ex-husband had two grown children who were also narcs. They ganged up on me many times. The evil almost brought me to suicide. But here is my point. His grown daughter actually said to me, after all three of them came after me once – “Well, I’m sorry for lying about you to others and being mean to you, BUT THIS IS WHAT WE DO (their sick, evil, narc. family) (then she laughed and said) I’m sorry I did that, BUT I WILL DO IT AGAIN.”!!!!!! That was a turning point for me. I realized I never really existed to this beast and his sick family as a loving human being. I was just an object to be used for their sick needs. I am rebuilding my life one day at a time. Jan, as you said, I am holding my head high and striving for peace, beauty and harmony in my life. Thanks to all of you for your stories of validation and support. I pray healing and the best in life for us all!

Survivor,
Yes, hold your head high because it sounds like you were dealing with the Unholy Trinity of Ns! I’m just so happy to hear that you’re out of that horrible situation and taking care of yourself. I only had a fraction of the exposure to a N that you did, yet it still left me reeling. It will take time. Some days are better than others. To be a true survivor, you’ve had to have had your hands held to the fire yet refused to succumb. Survivors are proof that though broken, we can be mended and made even stronger.I’d send you warm wishes, but it’s pretty dang hot out there today. My you experience the peace and harmony you so deserve. The people you spoke of do not know what that even feels like. Always, Jan

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18. Moon - August 4, 2012

My N left me when i lost my baby saying he didnt believe i was pregnant in the first place,he run back to his ex.i didnt see him for months,then all of a sudden he came back to me out of the blue.i have just been told i have a brain tumour with just a few months to live,now he has run back to his ex again,only a couple of weeks ago he told me he loves me,wants to live with me.now he says he doesnt want contact because im to emotional.i told him im dying and i need his support,he said he is hurt because i said angry words to him,he now needs time to forgive me,i only told him that he is selfish,now he is punnishing me.someone please help me,i dont have much time and the one person u need right now is nowhere to be seen.i got an email from him a couple of days ago telling me that we can not have contact all the while that i feel that he is hurting me or neglecting me in anyway.can anyone understand this?he always turns everything around to make me look like im to blame.i feel like i cant go on

Moon,
I’ll be honest. I almost didn’t post your comment as I couldn’t imagine someone with such a dire medical prognosis wasting valuable time on the internet. This man is a cancer who will NEVER be there for you. Total strangers would have more empathy for you. You are obviously hurting. Reach out to family, friends, or support groups for the support as you will NEVER receive any from this horrible excuse of a man. Jan

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19. Moon - August 5, 2012

Jan thankyou for yr honesty.its a long story between my N and i,we were friends for 5 years before we became a couple,and i saw all the red flags,my inner voices were telling me to stay well away but i fell for the charm and the way he made me feel.ive never met a man like him,he swept me off my feet.as time went on though i started to notice things like he was never interested in anything i was doing,would always cut me off halfway through a sentance.and although he is a very wealthy man i felt that he was always jealous of any of my acomplishments how ever small they may be,how is that possible?i was always a very happy person and true to my path,i am a spiritual healer,i felt that he was jealous of my light somehow,jealous of my inner happiness.as time went on i could feel myself becoming more drained and empty,i started to do silly things to make him proud of me,i started to feel like i wasnt good enough for him,and the more i tried the more exhausted i became.i feel like he has stripped me of all my energy and inner light,i dont even know myself anymore.i never used to be like this.even my illness feels less umportant to the loss of this man.i dont have to much support as my father and my best friend also passed away due to cancer.i feel very lost right now.thanku to anyone who reads this.moon

Moon,
Sorry you’re in such a state. So many people spend YEARS trying to do things to get the approval/attention of the N, only to be trivialized, disregarded, and ultimately discarded. You are NEVER good enough, yet you’ll jump through hoops hoping for just a pat on the head. It begins to resemble the Stockholm Syndrome. Any “small kindness” gives you the will/belief that there’s some hope. I believe a spiritual death (as in your your energy and inner light – that force that makes you YOU) is worse than actual physical death. It’s through others who’ve been through the same that I came to terms with that cruel truth. Please look for a support group to help you cope. The kindness of strangers is more than you’ll get from the N. Jan

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Moon - August 7, 2012

Jan,thanks again for yr kindness,this site has really helped.i had no clue about narcissists or what they r about until a friend mentioned that he is one.so i started to look for information and found yr site.ive been reading some of the other stories and its amazing,its like we r all talking about the same person,its like the scratched record syndrome!i never knew that people like this existed,ive had other relationships but none of those men were like this one.your site has given me strength.ive spent the whole time wondering where i went wrong,could i have done things better and i always compared myself to the other woman.he would always say how fantastic she is as she is so in control of her feelings.so what hes saying is is that she shuts up and puts up with his rubbish.he runs back to her everytime he leaves me,then he leaves her again cos he says he feels no passion for her and its like sleeping with his sister,so he comes to me,but tells me that im impossible to understand.one day he tells me he loves me,talks about marrige and the next day leaves again saying he doesnt want a relationship.the day i found out about my tumour he offered me no support and just said i would get over it.i called him a soul absorbing vampire!now he has this horrible image of me,even though ive tried to tell him what led me to send him that text in the first place,he just wont forgive me.now he said he needs time with no contact so that thing can become more relaxed between us.i have not responded.i feel like i have nothing else to say.he knows have cancer and has not asked me once how im feeling.i know he will try to walk back into my life one day when he thinks ive healed emotionaly and health wise.when he feels that im back to my old self so he can come and feed of my light again.i dont think i will ever forget that he has chosen to shut me out through this important time in my life,he said he is not shutting me out but giving things time to relax,how awful right?this morning have good news though as i have a new doctor that wants to treat me to reduce the size of the tumour.i wish and dream that i can pull through all of this and be happy,healthy and in love with a kind and beautiful man.this would be my final revenge.thanku jan,love and light moon

Moon,
Let’s get one thing straight. Nothing he is telling you is true. He’s “not shutting you out, but is giving you time to relax?” That is almost laughable. This is a supremely narcissistic man who is only willing to give you crumbs – on his terms. You can’t fight two cancers at once, so he’s got to go as Ns ARE incurable. It may sound corny, but I just saw Dark Knight Rising and there’s a scene where it’s said that without hope, we ARE emotionally dead. Your hope should have NOTHING to do with him, but be focused on your medical treatment. While you are physically ailing, you can also treat your damaged psyche as well, as that will help you get through what’s ahead. Thinking of you. Jan

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Belissimo - August 16, 2012

Moon I cannot conceptualize how he can do this to you. Partly because there is no doing so with such a disordered person. One cannot expect to rationalize such insanity and coldness.

My sister has cancer and is not well. He never asked about her. I identify with how painful it must be for you to have him be inhumane to you during such a time.

Find peace in knowing you have a right to live well and be treated with love and respect.

My prayers to you from the heart.

Belissimo,
When my sister-in-law was undergoing chemo after her double mastectomy, her children had to visit with their N father. He actually told them as they walked out the door, “You know your mother is going to die don’t you?” I’m so happy to report that she’s a survivor and thriving. She said the real cancer was HIM. The children then initiated legal action – if he relinquished all parental rights, he would be forgiven the money he owed his ex-wife. He agreed in a heartbeat. Jan

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20. Tracy - August 7, 2012

Hi Moon,

Don’t bother to seek revenge- it doesn’t hurt them in the slightest & only adds them to your thoughts (which is what they want in the first place)…

Instead, look towards your new good news & focus all your positive energy now on yourself & getting better, okay? :)

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21. Lesley - August 7, 2012

Moon,
Your post moved me but I didn’t know how to respond. One thing I do know…it’s you now…first,first,first…He shouldn’t figure in your recovery.
Easier said than done, but ask yourself’Who have you got around you’…check your health professionals,nurses and carers. They are concerned with holistic care. If things get too much confide. Even if it’s a half hour offload.. speak about it. If necessary they will keep this guy from you.
You are emotionally alive and thriving…get the physical stuff taken care of and build on your experience and light and knowledge.
Remember…they cannot bring us down. You are special and deserve
your recovery.

Light Shine,
Les

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Moon - August 9, 2012

Hi,ive written a fairly long post yesterday and sent it to u but for some reason it was lost,so ive just rewritten it and it doesnt seem to figure anywhere on yr page.im not sure if im not sending it right,let me know,much love moon

Hi Moon,
I just checked my Comments as sometimes a comment will be “held” for my approval. The same is done the first time anyone comments. But no comments are awaiting approval. :( I have been known when commenting on other blogs to lose my brilliant commentary when I couldn’t identify the wavy words (I don’t think WordPress requires that.). I’ve taken to writing long comments in Word and then cutting and pasting them onto a blog, so I still have a hard copy. Just an idea…. Jan

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22. Belissimo - August 16, 2012

I have struggled to get to a place where the thought of the soul suckers – the sound of his voice – makes me sick. There are no fantasies of reconnecting whatsoever on my part.

Cerebral Pathological Narcs can bend and shape words to fit their target goal. Whether it is to escape liability for their actions, or to position their bullseye for dead on aim.

The results can be deadly in every sense of the word. There were days I was beaten down emotionally so severely and covertly, that I did not want to live.

He did not come upon me as broken when we met. I was whole and doing acceptably. I was strong, fierce and never asked for help with anything even when I needed it.

Between June 2011 and July 2012, this man emotionally tortured me. Verbally diced me with confusing neuro linguistic program speak. So much so I lost my edge of being strong. I stopped questioning his behavior.

I once saw an article whereby the author mentions being with a N is akin to watching an apple fall up. You see it and it is disarming. Hard to believe it is happening. Hard to believe one would stand their allowing themselves to be part of such incredulous well spoken insanity. Disturbing to have said loved one turn all that is acceptable behavior into “opposite” day ….every single day.

Moreover, a person in the public eye (another perk of being a N) is supported by others who have no idea what he did behind closed doors to women who tried to love him. One thing I learned is that there are certain non negotiable signs I will never allow to permeate my boundaries again.

1. Never married until mid 40s
2. Never had kids until 44
3. Marriage lasted about a yr or so
4. Wife supposedly left in the middle of the night with new baby
5. Lawsuits. More than one.
In this case, speaking upon his bad temper from a former client. Including a sexual battery allegation reference mentioned in the very public documents. Lawsuits against his ex wife. Lawsuits for real estate related issues.
6. Professional affiliations taking action re his involvement with these lawsuits
7. Claims he cannot sleep with anyone. EVER. Which is why he booted me out of his bed after our first sex. And so on. Sometimes never walking me to my car in the dark.
8. Indifference to my family member dying
9. Introducing me to his very young child the second date. I ended up babysitting the entire time he gave a public lecture.
10. Indifference to my searching for a job. Smirkingly asking me what I did all day. Having jobs open in his business and telling me how he had to hire someone but never asking me. More than once. And dumping me and sending me links to food stamps and free clothing using a fictitious email address. Stating it was out of concern.
11. Talking horribly about his ex wife from day one calling her psycho
12. Causally mentioning her and he having lunch and complimenting her status in education while slamming her. Hard to explain.
13. Always talking to me like a kid instead of a peer
14. Lecturing me that I was out of line when I stood up to his lies.
15. Telling me he had no defense to lying to me and explained his point of view. As if his admitting he had no defense was a free pass.
16. Indifference to me. ALWAYS.
17. Calling me filthy names and saying devaluing things to me during sex claiming he had no idea how to “talk dirty”. The last time we had sex he said “you like being abused don’t you?” No I did not.
18. Using his kid to lure me or come between us
19. Lying about the former nature of his relationship with the woman who lived in his basement as a supposed renter but does not pay him. Admitted almost a yr into our relationship that she and he had a sexual relationship. After lying to me about it from day one.
20. Lied about his age online dating
21. kept his online dating profile active and engaged when we were supposedly exclusive. Kept making excuses about forgetting to take it down 7 mos into our relationship.
22. Never inviting me with his friends to outings unless I asked several times.
23. Expected the best but was never his best for me.
24. Never answered his door though I asked him to because I felt it was gentlemanly to do so. And with him having the basement roomie that always seemed to be upstairs and in his presence, it was uncomfortable to walk in.
25. Always talking about how stunning other women appear
26. Insisted the only women at his work who were not insane were those post menopause.
27. Dating profile had warnings to the effect; IF YOU ARE PSYCHO OR INSANE do not contact me (not exact words)
28. Spoke loudly in public always trying to tell people what he did for a living.
29. Put on a show of high animation for waitresses, strangers, when we went out. And then basically walked ten steps ahead of me. No visible emotion. DEAD
30. Said he had a support system of women to help him through his divorce and babysitting etc
31. Never talked about marriage or a future regarding us
32. Never asked me what I would like to see in a future regarding us.
33.Complete indifference if I left or stayed. At first he would panic and lecture. Then it was telling me his HOT buttons and how I am to communicate with him. Then it was lying to get me back about being on the dating site saying the company kept him online. Then it was rinse repeat. You get the idea. The end result was he would hoover – suck me in with some pathetic excuse. I would get more hesitant each time. Finally I had enough of his never changing ass.

I no longer want him to fix anything with him. I want to forget his inane way of twisted concepts and cruel treatment of me. I want to believe in the truth I knew before I met him. I want to regain what I once had before this monster crushed my warrior spirit.

The last time he hoovered he said he missed talking to me. Said he thought of me every single day and adopted many of my sayings that previously annoyed him. He asked if I had missed him. For the first time with him…I stopped to think and did not automatically say YES. I said, “At times”. And even that was not true. I wanted a band aid and to believe no one could be as cruel as he was. I wanted to believe it was my fault he knew my sister was dying of cancer and I needed work and support of a simple loving boyfriend. By support I mean showing he cared by being my friend as well as lover.

Instead. He abused me some more telling me this was all my fault. Following it up with links to poverty related support while he exited my life.

I never asked him for one thing except honesty and reciprocity. Never asked for money or a place to live. Never told him how hard the job search was until he had me in tears telling me how bad I was as a gf and what he did not miss about me. And then came the ice storm.

The discard. He has done this all his life. I was nothing to him. NOTHING but a pitiful sex toy.

He wanted fame. Money. Recognition. And I was a liability to his plan.

I do not miss him.

I am disgusted I allowed such a being to enter my life and heart. I am mad at myself for not being stronger.

But one day we all get ourselves back.

One day you wont miss that whiney voice and pompous aggrandizement. One day you will find yourself again. You have to start with stopping.

Whoa! You’re fresh out of this. Welcome back to reality.:) I believe it was Kathy Krajo on Operation Doubles (who I mentioned in “When Bloggers Die”) who made the “apple falling up the tree” analogy. I have used this phrase twice in as many days to describe the verbal craziness that N’s use to make you think YOU are the one who is crazy. RE #29. The N in my life was cerebral – basically asexual, but I had exactly the same experience with him “charming” total strangers, especially women. Then one night we went out to the movies and he walked 10 feet ahead of me. I didn’t know WHAT to make of that? When he finally came to my house (for a group event), he walked up and said, “I thought you’d live somewhere trashy.” I said, “Why would you think that?” He mentioned how nice my house was several times after that and I knew that really got to him because I’d seen his apartment which was very sad indeed, yet he acted like it was a palace. He’d say things like “I bet you got knocked up.” I’d explain that both of my boys were planned children then he’d laugh and say, “Nah, you’re the type (so not) who’d get knocked up.” It was always said to demean me and put me on the defense.

Unfortunately, honesty and reciprocity are human qualities that may come natural to us mere mortals, but they’re like krpytonite for a N. You can be sure his ex saw the light and took off running for her life. What a sad excuse for a human being. Strong and fierce is good. You need to embrace these qualities so as to see the light after such darkness.Jan

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Lesley - August 16, 2012

Belissimo,
It was heart-rending to hear your account of this man and for me your experience has resonated deeply.Much of what you say has been my experience,although my ex was Somatic in nature…
a clever cultured man who had ingrained and denegrating views of women and who acted out these opinions on me,verbally and physically. I say cultured…but if he had been a city it would have been Ancient Rome,all order and high thinking on the outside but with the Colosseum and it’s gore at the heart.
The sex act with my ex was a chance to denigrate women, the words he said and the manner in which he’made love’… I use ‘made love’ advisedly.Women were and are objects to him. I actually still talk to a colleague,who can be objective about what this made me feel.To share,what worked for me was to remember other experiences I have had which were more normal and tender and to see this man as an aberration.
it’s my opinion that the words they use(which were about abuse and inflicting pain and not just sexy talk) are actually an insight into what they feel towards women.You become a masturbatory device.They distrust emotional interplay(hence why he did not want to fall asleep with you?)…we are simply a means to an end.
I was disgusted by myself for letting him into my life too,as you say…one day we all get ourselves back.
I am really beginning to see the truth of my life as it was before I met him and am glad that this is starting for you.You seem full of insight and this will just continue to grow and grow. Jan’s blog is a great support, full of humour and hard won wisdom!
The people here truly have been where you are and often have a great laugh about these,let’s… face it…
predictable nonentities!

Light Shine, Belissimo,

Les

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Moon - August 16, 2012

Wow love to you,im not the only one with such a horrible man.i wonder if all the N’s got together would they love each other or kill each other? Moon

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Moon - August 16, 2012

My N probaly thinks im lying about the brain tumour just as he thought i was lying about being pregnant and losing our baby.he never believed a word that came out of my mouth.im just about to shave my head as half my hair has fallen out with the chem.i feel unatractive and tired,i still wish he was here to support me though.Moon

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23. Moon - August 18, 2012

When i told my N i was pregnant last year he went crazy,pushing me to have an abortion everyday.he said his life is like a paradise and he didnt want anything to destroy his paradise.he also said that he need me to get rid of the baby so that he could trust me.he said that he would stay with me forever if he trusted me.i didnt have an abortion and into my 3rd month i lost my baby in agony on the bathroom floor alone.i called him but he went sailing with his friends.the next day he said he wanted to speak to my doctor to ask if i was ever pregnant!he told me that if someone told him that his brother had died then he would need to see the body to believe it.i felt like id been kicked down.i was to proud and humiliated to let him speak to my doctor.he left me the next day and went to his ex,but then he came back to me this year to only leave again knowing i have cancer.i admire the strength that you ladies seem to have on this site.moon

I’m afraid that there is NOTHING redeeming about this man. As I read what you described, I remember reading an incredibly creepy story about a single mother who fell in “love” with a guy who seemed to be psychopath. Not wanting to be saddled with her child, he said if she really loved him, she’d do the unthinkable – as it was him or the child. So she killed her child (who was about three) to “prove” her love. Anyone who asks you to do anything that is repugnant to your core beliefs to “prove” yourself is a cruel controlling bast@rd. They’re seeing how far they can push you before you break or have been broken in. This man is just sucking up valuable oxygen on the planet. Jan

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Moon - August 19, 2012

Omg,thats such an awful story.can you believe that i actually considered abortion to keep the N?i still dont know how i got into such a state.when he came back to me this year he said that if id let him talk to my doctor everything would have been different,he said that he would not have gone back to his ex.this man has never lived with a woman,and his ex couldnt even leave her toothbrush at his house.he is in his mis 40s and a powerful wealthy man who everyone seems to love.he tells everyone that he is a free spirit and a bird that can not be put in a cage.he was also dirty minded when it came down to sex.one day in front of another person he started to talk about a threesome he had with another guy and one woman.he was shouting out about how this girl loved it and was freaking out.i was hurt and disgusted by this.he also used to lick my face like a dog,big dog licks until my eye makeup was so stuck together like glue that i couldnt open my eyes,gross right?at least my friends have a giggle about this

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Moon - August 21, 2012

Goodmorning all.im sitting in the chemotherapy room at the mo with the drip in my arm.i actually feel not to bad.there is three of us women in this room having chemo right now and we have been comparing bald heads.ive realized i have the funniest shape head ever.i got a message from a friend today telling me that the N doesnt believe i have cancer,its like i knew it all along,but now its confirmed that he thinks im lying.im sitting in this chair picking at the armrests in anger but also deeply hurt.why do they not trust?how can he think someone would lie about this.my friend told me to send him a picture of my new look,but i dont want to get into that,its so childish,and i dont see why i should have to be defending myself.its been over a month since our last contact.its so hard to except that he doesnt care.and i still wonder what i could have done to win his love and some caring.how long does it take to get over this?is it possible to move on?im tempted so many times to contact him to let him know whats going on with my health.i stop myself every time but its not easy,as the norm would be to just pick up the phone and have a healthy chat.life can be so short,why do these people waste time being so shallow?

Fight the good fight, Moon. There is NOTHING you could have done to win his love or caring. If you “really” had cancer than that would make you “needy.” Ns don’t like needy. Their needs are the only ones that matter. It’s so interesting that you bring up TIME. I can vividly remember telling the N that I was most upset that he’d wasted my time – as it’s something you can’t get back. He just looked at me blankly. Although I’m sure this is all rather surreal (my sister-in-law went through chemo AND an N and said the N was worse than the cancer) enjoy the time with the other women since chemo will take you to hell and back. The other women care more about you than the N. And they feel your pain.
As long as you entertain the notion that there was something that YOU could have done to change him, you’ll feel that pull back into the abyss. Sending positive thoughts your way! :) Always, Jan

Like

24. Donna - August 21, 2012

@ Moon, please accept my positive prays, hopes and wishes that you are in recovering care and as Jan wrote people who love and care about you, will call and come see about You.

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Moon - August 22, 2012

Thankyou jan and donna for words,it really helps.im feeling so sick today from yesterdays chemo.jan i hope your sister in law pulled through the cancer.how did she cope with her man not caring she was sick?did she get rid of him?and is she a stronger person now?i find it hard being here in bed ill and thinking that he is out with her having a nice time,i cant help but feel jealous of her right now.i just wish that i could get back to the person i was before i met him.i was so happy then,so full of life.i feel like he has sucked out the last drop of light i had left in me.does karma ever get these people?im very sorry if im not more supportive to some of the other ladies comments,but i find it very hard to advise and comment when im fighting hard to sort myself out,so forgive me for that.hugs and love to everyone.moon

I wrote someone on another comment how this played out. My sister-in-law had divorced him, but when his oldest children visited him, he told them as they were going out the door, “You know your mother is going to die!” He was so incredibly cruel. I’m happy to say that my sister-in-law had a double mastectomy and DID indeed survive. She she the N was worse than the cancer. You can read more about her in Extreme Makeover Hits Close to Home. Jan

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Moon - August 23, 2012

Hello jan,i have just read your sister in law janes story,i admire her strength,its amazing that she got through all of that being a single mother of eight.i only have myself to worry about,i admit compared to this woman i feel a bit feeble.her story is very moving and im happy she pulled through.moon

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25. Yoyo212 - January 16, 2013

The posting is so true and explains a lot, more so than any other article I’ve stumbled across on-line (the APA study puts that empirical swing on things too.)

My situation as with most who’ve had to deal with this nonsense, sucks. I would NEVER wish this game on anybody. It’s the worst.

It feels like moving out of a thick fog and being hit with by a train at the same time. My story is way to long to post here and is redunant to anyone who’ve had to deal with a narcississt in their life.

The cycle, verbal abuse, cheating, lieing, manipulation, triangulation, crazy making, dramatics, projection, the confusing discard-then they/you allow them to come back charming the hell out of you, while they have hundreds of interchangeable and disposable supplies.

For four years I ended up living in another persons mind and it’s only recently I’m learning to come back to myself. This is the only thing that is working for me.

People around me say, “get over it, move on, cut contact.” Those are such base answers to a complex situation and the more I tell the story, the more exhausted I get and the more I exhaust people. Nobody wants to hear about anybody being abused-especially those with invisible bruises.

It’s not that easy when this has happened to you. Post-non-closure conversations are filled with manipulating triggers to pull you that little bit deeper into this sick game, preventing the final “move on”.

The narcissist doesn’t want you back and only cares to play this game when he feels that it’s your turn. It’s like a twisted party game. So, you make some progress and then he comes back throwing at you some information about your family, helping you out with a huge favor, worrying about your well being, needing to ask you a favor, talking to you in the way that only he knows how-it goes on and on. (Especially if they are unemployed and have the time to play this game.)

It occupies me daily-“what’s next, what does he want and what are his motives?” This false reconcilation happens at the painful pace of the discard. They want something and believe its what comes naturally to me and that is my honesty and ability to feel real emotions. It doesn’t help that my verbal comprehension skills range in the the “very superior” range. However, this is a true handicap when dealing with narcissists, because it’s my compassionate nature that makes my entire existence an Achilles heel.

It’s even worse when you have an all access pass to ALL the information literally at your fingertips. It’s so damaging and revolting that my body psychically revolts.

The only thing I can do is validate myself and re-establish communication with my self, for my self. These people are truly sick.

It’s my birthday today and it also marks the day we met. Even the day I’m supposed to be celebrating my life is marred by him.

Yoyo,
Yes, as I wrote in “Close Encounter with a Narcissist,” when you attempt to explain this disorder to others, they start to look at you as though you’ve sprouted another head. Especially, since their dealings with the N have been usually been on a superficial level. I found it was only by connecting with others who’d been through such a bizarre experience that I was able to see my way out of the fog. Four years is a long time to have someone essentially “control” you, so it’s going to take a while to rebuild your self esteem and be able to trust yourself. What’s most important is that you’ve started on that journey. Think of it as a birthday gift to yourself.:) You will move forward in life while the N is forever going in circles. And believe it or not, there will come a time when he doesn’t not cross your mind for an entire day…and then another. Always, Jan

Like

26. Tracy - January 16, 2013

“People around me say, “get over it, move on, cut contact.” Those are such base answers to a complex situation and the more I tell the story, the more exhausted I get and the more I exhaust people. Nobody wants to hear about anybody being abused-especially those with invisible bruises. ”

You poor thing Y,

That’s not even it. It doesn’t really have anything to do with whether the bruising were visible- the point of the matter is that NO ONE who has not been in a relationship like this will ever understand- & most will either not quite believe it or think you’re the problem (insult to injury).

I recall reading on a forum for NPD once (something to the effect) that the target was trying to leave & the N said, “If you try to tell anyone, I’ll make sure YOU look like the crazy one”. And, because the N has been in charge of everything (including your psyche) for however long, they have that power.

This will be old news, & I know you’ve heard it before: “no contact” or, N/C, for short. That’s the only way to end it. From the day you find the strength to throw off that yoke, you WILL get better every day. Promise.

Stay strong!

Like

Yoyo212 - January 16, 2013

Thanks for your reply and encouragement. Mine did almost the same thing-right before the “split” he went around telling our friends every little dirty secret, fault and action I did in order to totally isolate me. For what reason, I have no clue.

Luckily, I caught wind of the whole operation and started to talk about it with the people I cared about. His plan backfired and he won’t talk to those who saw through his nonsense. We laugh at what a stupid game this is and how an adult can be so immature.

Like

Yoyo212 - January 16, 2013

All I did was try to love somebody and for that-I was to be punished.

Another smart thing I did was to walk away without making a scene. I will never confront him on any of this nor will I mention to him about the thousands of people he cheated on me with. (Thousands is NOT an exaggeration.) *He once kicked me out of the house for flirting (guilty as charged-if I only knew at the time what HE was doing.)

I dont confront him out of fear-but it’s like scolding a brick wall.

Yoyo,
I wrote a response on your first comment. You’re right in there’s no reason to confront him. The N would take this as proof that YOU are unstable because you’re so fixated on him – it’s amazing how they can twist words to their advantage. Jan

Like

27. Tracy - January 17, 2013

RE: Jan’s reply to Y~ you’re right, Jan, about the confrontation. Not only for what you wrote but also because we in this particular forum all know that ANY attention is like a drug to these freaks.

All you can do now Y, is to pick up your pieces & go complete “no contact”. Don’t waste your time trying to revisit everything (if you can help it). It won’t make sense & will only cause you more headaches & lost time which you should be devoting to moving forward with your life.

I will say that counselling helped a lot- though I was extremely lucky that the guy I chose happened to have been the target of an ex who was disordered, so he actually did understand what I was on about.

I wish you peace & healing.

Like

Yoyo212 - January 18, 2013

Thanks! These replies have been great.

So, I figure I should share some of the story-the part where it all makes sense. This is going to be long-I’m sorry.

So after the “break-up” obviously there was no closure. By the end, his behavior was getting worse and his treatment towards me had hit the apex of nastiness and paradox’s.

However, I still believed that he was “normal” (It’s funny how one always finds out after.) There was one moment where I looked at him and thought, “is this man a sociopath?” I couldn’t fathom this was true, as I didn’t know much on the subject and surely an educated, street savvy person such as myself, would’ve been able to recognize what a sociopath “looks” and “acts” like. They dress up as clowns and kill people, or look like Charles Manson.

Even though I knew I was not acting as myself, I was very, very uncomfortable with the way I was acting. He would intentionally ignore me, push me away and then I would call and call. I can just see him sitting there watching the phone ring with a smirk on his face. He would call back, but only after I would endure his little game, after saying to myself “forget it,”

I would feel these “rages” I had never felt before-naturally, they were provoked. All of a sudden, I needed therapy and medication.

He hasn’t found work in 10 years. I watched him hatch all these “brilliant” marketing schemes, only to drive the perspective partnerships away (his personal life and dating life is the same way.) I watched so many friendships crumble and was perplexed by how many people he had dated and never lived with. Oh, but I was the one, the apple of his eye. The love of his life-only for a short time, naturally.

Even when he decided to do some charity work-they “fired” him. The head of the organization sent him an email saying “you’re the bad dream that doesn’t go away.” That should be his epitaph.

It’s funny because I have a pretty good job dealing with the public and during work hours and before I met him-I would never get like this! This wasn’t me, I knew it-but maybe this “crazy” me is really who I am and as he put it “people can’t change, they only get worse.”

When we were doing the long drawn out break-up he said to me, “maybe you would be happier with somebody else.” For the first time, instead of pleading, I agreed-he replied, “or maybe nobody will be able to make you happy.” Manipulation at its finest.

Being a history major during my undergrad years was a waste of time. I should have studied psychology instead of “poo-poohing”‘it as a pseudo-science as I now know and believe in “projection” and “gaslighting”.

Behind my back, he had started a great smear champaign- I was useless, he did all the work, I just sat there, lazy, stupid, can’t write, can’t talk, antisocial, the typical stuff. If you “love/like” somebody you work it out with them-not go to mutual friends and slander without them knowing it. Thanks to this article I know it’s just part of a sick game.

By August I had enough of the emotional games-the distancing, cheating, lying, being picked on-the whole nine. I was walking on eggshells, stressed out and confused (its funny how he used the eggshell
line on me). When we sat down to talk, stressing that it might be a good idea to find new “relationships”-he lied and said that the reason that we were no longer having sex was that his sperm count was low and he could no longer maintain an erection. Now, with the smear campaign in full effect, why didn’t he just jump for joy that this was coming to an end? Why lie, when I knew full well he was cheating-not to the full extent mind you.

Whoops, I felt like an insensitive jerk, but the reality was that this was a narcissistic injury and we all know that the victim must pay when this happens.

After a horrible September, my mind was made up-time to go. I will mention a small incident-but it just popped into my mind. I remember we were hanging outside, laying sun no fights that day, nothing-but he was being really cold to me.

I went to go get an ice coffee and when I came back he was gone. I called and he didn’t pick up, buzzed his apartment and he didn’t let me in. I sat there for almost 20-30 min. Finally he let me in and I was mad. It was so intentional and I told him so. He denied it, said that he didn’t hear the phone or the buzzer and here he was making me dinner and I’m so ungrateful. And slammed the oven shut after yelling at me. Small, I know, but it makes sense now.

The last time I went over to his place (we were “together”‘for 4 years) he didn’t want me to pick up my stuff, said I could get it another day. I didn’t mention this was the perspective end. He cooked me my favorite dinner and wore the shirt my mother gave him for a family photo. He also kept me outside waiting for 45 min as he was on the phone with AT&T and once again-couldn’t hear the buzzer. I wanted to leave that night, but he convinced me to stay the night. We had somewhat of a talk, I had to start it and obviously it went in circles. Everything was my fault-obviously. No sex, obviously.

The “break-up” was weird. I’ll skip over that. No closure. I went into no contact. I started to suspect that something a little off was occurring and I curbed my behavior-I knew he wanted me to get mad and boy was I ever right.

The smear campaign escalated from him telling our friends. “I can’t get rid of him” (then stop calling me and tell me you want to stop seeing me- thats what adults do.) to his final masterpiece- “I’m scared of him and my for families safety-what’s he going to do to me.” Ugh. This pisses me off the most. Because, I’ve never psychically hurt anybody or anything in my life-ever. I don’t even know how to do it. I’m really passive and empathic-seriously. Plus-his family is just as nuts as he, they can’t keep a household nurse for more than 2 weeks-they get fed up with their abuse, then leave suddenly. They always called them stupid, lazy and made racially charged remarks-in retrospect, they are smart women.

* I was his longest relationship.

What I’m going to do to him is what I’ve been doing all along-nothing. That’s my plan. He would have loved it if I went off the rocker by the end. That was his goal, to watch me self-destruct, to justify his lies, to do something so insane-he could hopefully get me locked up, put away in order to never expose the monster he is. Thats really scary. (I have so many horrible stories-some too personal.)

I’m sure somebody as unemployed as he is had plenty of time to set the stage and follow through. I bet he was rather bummed out when it back fired. He sent me an email a week or two later encouraging me to contact him whenever, and oh, he is going out to California to pitch another “brilliant idea” to a company-it didn’t work out obviously. But as some side fun, have an evening out with my brother and sister-in law. Here is another fun fact-he convinced my parents to rent his “vacation” home in California. So, in addition, he spent a few days bunking with them. He also sent Xmas gifts to my entire family including my dog-I got a empty card.

Around thanksgiving, I denied the fact that this man is disordered and I sent a “hey, how’s life” email. Whoops my bad! Back and forth happens and all of sudden we are buddies again. At the same time I needed some help in my apartment and for 2 months he went above and beyond the call of duty. What a champ! But I played it cool as I had obtained some new information regarding infidelity. That didn’t bother me, but it was this man’s predatory methods of going about it. It was all smiles on my part. He says I owe him dinner-

Great communication until Tuesday, funny emails and phone chats (he actually has his own language that he created to speak to me with) he called my parents and told them all the wonderful things he is doing for me. He gave me the silent treatment right before my birthday/day we met. Obviously, it was meant to hurt, to be mean and nasty. If thats the best he can do right now, then thats really funny, but in a sad way. In the end it was the best gift, as going back into no contact is much more easy and feels like the right thing to do. I believe he is done with me now, he sent me a powerful message on my birthday. I highly and hopefully feel that he is gone.

His father is very sick now (yes, when he needed to talk about it-I listened.) and he could use that as an excuse. But this is MY sickness, I make excuses for him. “Oh well maybe it was hard on him to not be invited to my party” or, “his father is sick.”

It’s funny- He wont return any calls to those friends who he smeared me to-they feel its because the jig is up and they can now see through his mask.

I feel and I could be wrong-that because I’m so stupid, I haven’t figured anything out yet-that he still wants me to do the final crazy blowup-as he most likely worked very hard to set that up. But, if he wants my silence-that’s fine too. It’s a win-win. I’ve done everything he expected me not to do-meet new people and get closer with old ones. I’m fine with myself as a person and enjoy being alive. The only misery in my life was/is him. Once he continues to be purged out of my system-things will back to normal. (I am seeking counseling too.)

The one thing I’m worried about is how deep this man’s vindictiveness is. How he can behave in such a cool, calm and collective manor without any empathy, hiding all his true emotions. Everything he projected at me was really him and he did it very well. He is very clever. The only projection that has not manifested itself is the physical violence/stalking/family stuff. I believe deep down he is capable of doing this, but I also feel that I dodged the bullet on this one. If the silent treatment is the worst he can do, I hope he can keep this up.

Thanks for reading!!

Yoyo,
Bloody Nora! (Thanks to Les for that expression.) Ten years without a job but endless schemes? FYI – I know several people who wondered if their N was quite possibly a sociopath at one time – not that it matters. They’re all cut from the same cloth: manipulation, lack of empathy, mind games & more. NO CONTACT is the only way to go. Nothing says more and says it louder that SILENCE. The refusal to play the game is yours to make. Also, like most bullies, not backing down is all it takes to send them running. (That said, one should be careful with anyone who has shown physical aggression.) Move toward the light as this man is an emotional black hole. Jan

Like

Yoyo212 - January 18, 2013

Thanks! These replies have been great.

So, I figure I should share some of the story-the part where it all makes sense. This is going to be long-I’m sorry.

So after the “break-up” obviously there was no closure. By the end, his behavior was getting worse and his treatment towards me had hit the apex of nastiness and paradox’s.

However, I still believed that he was “normal” (It’s funny how one always finds out after.) There was one moment where I looked at him and thought, “is this man a sociopath?” I couldn’t fathom this was true, as I didn’t know much on the subject and surely an educated, street savvy person such as myself, would’ve been able to recognize what a sociopath “looks” and “acts” like. They dress up as clowns and kill people, or look like Charles Mason.

Even though I knew I was not acting as myself, I was very, very uncomfortable with the way I was acting. He would intentionally ignore me, push me away and then I would call and call. I can just see him sitting there watching the phone ring with a smirk on his face. He would call back, but only after I would endure his little game, after saying to myself “forget it,”

I would feel these “rages” I had never felt before-naturally, they were provoked. All of a sudden, I needed therapy and medication.

He hasn’t found work in 10 years. I watched him hatch all these “brilliant” marketing schemes, only to drive the perspective partnerships away (his personal life and dating life is the same way.) I watched so many friendships crumble and was perplexed by how many people he had dated and never lived with. Oh, but I was the one, the apple of his eye. The love of his life-only for a short time, naturally.

Even when he decided to do some charity work-they “fired” him. The head of the organization sent him an email saying “your the bad dream that doesn’t go away.” That should be his epitaph.

It’s funny because I have a pretty good job dealing with the public and during work hours and before I met him-I would never get like this! This wasn’t me, I knew it-but maybe this “crazy” me is really who I am and as he put it “people can’t change, they only get worse.”

When we were doing the long drawn out break-up he said to me, “maybe you would be happier with somebody else.” For the first time, instead of pleading, I agreed-he replied, “or maybe nobody will be able to make you happy.” Manipulation at its finest.

Being a history major during my undergrad years was a waste of time. I should have studied psychology instead of “poo-poohing”‘it as a pseudo-science as I now know and believe in “projection” and “gaslighting”.

Behind my back, he had started a great smear champaign- I was useless, he did all the work, I just sat there, lazy, stupid, can’t write, can’t talk, antisocial, the typical stuff. If you “love/like” somebody you work it out with them-not go to mutual friends and slander without them knowing it. Thanks to this article I know it’s just part of a sick game.

By August I had enough of the emotional games-the distancing, cheating, lying, being picked on-the whole nine. I was walking on eggshells, stressed out and confused (its funny how he used the eggshell
line on me). When we sat down to talk, stressing that it might be a good idea to find new “relationships”-he lied and said that the reason that we were no longer having sex was that his sperm count was low and he could no longer maintain an erection. Now, with the smear campaign in full effect, why didn’t he just jump for joy that this was coming to an end? Why lie, when I knew full well he was cheating-not to the full extent mind you.

Whoops, I felt like an insensitive jerk, but the reality was that this was a narcissistic injury and we all know that the victim must pay when this happens.

After a horrible September, my mind was made up-time to go. I will mention a small incident-but it just popped into my mind. I remember we were hanging outside, laying in the sun, no fights that day, nothing-but he was being really cold to me.

I went to go get an ice coffee and when I came back he was gone. I called and he didn’t pick up, buzzed his apartment and he didn’t let me in. I sat there for almost 20-30 min. Finally he let me in and I was mad. It was so intentional and I told him so. He denied it, said that he didn’t hear the phone or the buzzer and here he was making me dinner and I’m so ungrateful. And slammed the oven shut after yelling at me. Small, I know, but it makes sense now.

The last time I went over to his place (we were “together”‘for 4 years) he didn’t want me to pick up my stuff, said I could get it another day. I didn’t mention this was the perspective end. He cooked me my favorite dinner and wore the shirt my mother gave him for a family photo. He also kept me outside waiting for 45 min as he was on the phone with AT&T and once again-couldn’t hear the buzzer. I wanted to leave that night, but he convinced me to stay the night. We had somewhat of a talk, I had to start it and obviously it went in circles. Everything was my fault-obviously. No sex, obviously.

The “break-up” was weird. I’ll skip over that. No closure. I went into no contact. I started to suspect that something a little off was occurring and I curbed my behavior-I knew he wanted me to get mad and boy was I ever right.

The smear champaign escalated from him telling our friends. “I can’t get rid of him” (then stop calling me and tell me you want to stop seeing me- thats what adults do.) to his final masterpiece- “I’m scared of him and my for families safety-what’s he going to do to me.” Ugh. This pisses me off the most. Because, I’ve never psychically hurt anybody or anything in my life-ever. I don’t even know how to do it. I’m really passive and empathic-seriously. Plus-his family is just as nuts as he, they can’t keep a household nurse for more than 2 weeks-they get fed up with their abuse, then leave suddenly. They always called them stupid, lazy and made racially charged remarks-in retrospect, they are smart women.

* I was his longest relationship.

What I’m going to do to him is what I’ve been doing all along-nothing. That’s my plan. He would have loved it if I went off the rocker by the end. That was his goal, to watch me self-destruct, to justify his lies, to do something so insane-he could hopefully get me locked up, put away in order to never expose the monster he is. Thats really scary. ( I have so many horrible stories-some too personal.)

I’m sure somebody as unemployed as he is had plenty of time to set the stage and follow through. I bet he was rather bummed out when it back fired. He sent me an email a week or two later encouraging me to contact him whenever, and oh, he is going out to California to pitch another “brilliant idea” to a company-it didn’t work out obviously. But as some side fun, have an evening out with my brother and sister-in law. Here is another fun fact-he convinced my parents to rent his “vacation” home in California. So, in addition, he spent a few days bunking with them. He also sent Xmas gifts to my entire family including my dog-I got a empty card.

Around thanksgiving, I denied the fact that this man is disordered and I sent a “hey, how’s life” email. Whoops my bad! Back and forth happens and all of sudden we are buddies again. At the same time I needed some help in my apartment and for 2 months he went above and beyond the call of duty. What a champ! But I played it cool as I had obtained some new information regarding infidelity. That didn’t bother me, but it was this man’s predatory methods of going about it. It was all smiles on my part. He says I owe him dinner-

Great communication until Tuesday, funny emails and phone chats (he actually has his own language that he created to speak to me with) he called my parents and told them all the wonderful things he is doing for me. He gave me the silent treatment right before my birthday/day we met. Obviously, it was meant to hurt, to be mean and nasty. If thats the best he can do right now, then thats really funny, but in a sad way. In the end it was the best gift, as going back into no contact is much more easy and feels like the right thing to do. I believe he is done with me now, he sent me a powerful message on my birthday. I highly and hopefully feel that he is gone.

His father is very sick now (yes, when he needed to talk about it-I listened.) and he could use that as an excuse. But this is MY sickness, I make excuses for him. “Oh well maybe it was hard on him to not be invited to my party” or, “his father is sick.”

It’s funny- He wont return any calls to those friends who he smeared me to-they feel its because the jig is up and they can now see through his mask.

I feel and I could be wrong-that because I’m so stupid, I haven’t figured anything out yet-that he still wants me to do the final crazy blowup-as he most likely worked very hard to set that up. But, if he wants my silence-that’s fine too. It’s a win-win. I’ve done everything he expected me not to do-meet new people and get closer with old ones. I’m fine with myself as a person and enjoy being alive. The only misery in my life was/is him. Once he continues to be purged out of my system-things will back to normal. ( I am seeking counseling too.)

The one thing I’m worried about is how deep this man’s vindictiveness is. How he can behave in such a cool, calm and collective manor without any empathy, hiding all his true emotions. Everything he projected at me was really him and he did it very well. He is very clever. The only projection that has not manifested itself is the physical violence/stalking/family stuff. I believe deep down he is capable of doing this, but I also feel that I dodged the bullet on this one. If the silent treatment is the worst he can do, I hope he can keep this up.

Thanks for reading!!

Like

28. twisted - January 24, 2013

I wonder what happened to Moon :( Does anyone know if she’s ok?

It is absolutely incredible how many similarities I’ve found between my recent situation and all the stories shared above. Ns really are all the same. Thank you all so much for sharing them. I’d like to share mine with you and to all the women out there.

Rewind 6 months from now. A new man, 32 years old, showed up one day at my workplace as a new employee on a temporary contract. The moment I saw him, I prayed to god that he had a girlfriend and would not bother me, because I could tell instantaneously that I would fall hard for him.

Of course, much to my dismay (and at the same time, my pleasure), he started pursuing me. Intensely. He kept chatting me up, asking me out for drinks, begging me to go out with him, and I kept turning him down. I openly told him we were looking for different things – I knew all he wanted was sex from me, and I prefer relationships, but at the same time I wanted him physically with my whole being. I started falling for him, blinded by his extreme confidence, beauty (he is a beautiful man), intelligence and wit. I knew it was getting dangerous and I knew it would not end well, but I went along with it. Finally after over one month, I allowed him to convince me to meet him one evening. We both knew we could not resist each other if we ended up alone. My ego was being fed by this gorgeous man chasing me, and though I am considered to be beautiful, I believe I have low self esteem, and so felt proud to be desired by the man that every woman wanted.

We slept together the first time we were alone. Repeatedly, all night. He made me breakfast, I left around 2 pm the next day. Texts and contact at work continued, intensified, and we kept seeing each other.

Then the garbage slowly started seeping out. He would not open up to me. He was not sweet to me. He loved the sex, and spending time with me at his place relaxing. But……I discovered finally that he was not over his ex. It was a long and complicated story. It involved a break up, then him sleeping with countless different partners over the course of 2 years, and a failed attempt to get back together with the ex, who refused him saying she finally had met someone else (I now feel like congratulating her). By then though, I had fallen for him like an idiot.

He was in pieces over this girl but refused to discuss it or show it. He continued to see me, obviously in a very non committal manner. He told me he wanted to get over her, and ended up telling me the story of what happened with her at a later time in our ‘relationship’.

Less than 1 month in, he briefly saw another woman on the side, who he claims he only ‘made out’ with. Later he claimed he ‘picked me over her’ – like I was supposed to feel honored or special. The sick thing is that, though I never admitted it to him, I did feel that way. I dated another guy only to make him jealous. It worked. He in turn asked another girl out to make me jealous, but then ended up calling me to meet him while he was on the date. I was still his best option apparently.

2 months in, he had a party at his place. There was another girl there that I/we knew was very interested in him from a previous night out together. He ended up getting disgustingly drunk and fooling around with her right in front of me. I couldn’t see clearly what actually happened physically, but this is where things really, really started to plummet for me. I went to leave twice during the party, once I was held back by my friend, and the second time he held me back asking me to stay. Which I did. Unbelievable. The next day I was very upset, my ego was shattered, and I cried the next day in front of him. He felt bad enough to apologize and say it wouldn’t happen again. Later I found texts on his phone between them. One of his texts said he was trying to ‘keep the peace with me’ and apologized for not being in touch with her. But he also specified to her that I was not his girlfriend and that he didn’t want to be tied down to me and was trying to keep things uncomplicated…and then asked her why she was interested in knowing, and ‘did she want some fun?’ I don’t know if anything else ever happened between them.

Shortly after the semi cheating episode, I told him he clearly wasn’t capable of giving me what I wanted, so I broke it off. He said he understood but then seemed upset. On that occasion, he even told me he was not in love. After a few days, we ended up back together. I was right back at his place, like every other day. Every month we would have the same discussion: I would want more from him than he was willing to give me, the ‘relationship’, and he would say he didn’t want to be tied down. He was young, in his prime, he would eventually want to sleep with other women. He was brutally honest.

All along the sex remained constant and amazing. I never refused him, and found myself constantly wanting more. Also because he rarely satisfied me. He was caught up in enjoying it himself and did not care whether or not I felt pleasure. The few times I complained, it turned into tragedy.

3, 4, 5 months in, we spent more and more time together. By this time I knew he definitely was not seeing anyone else. I thought he was becoming attached to me. His contract got extended at work. I was ecstatic to have a little more time with him. Then he started talking about going away at the end of his contract, he had to move away, he hated this place – didn’t really want to leave me, but had to leave this city. He took a job on the other side of the world, and the countdown began for me. I became more and more unhappy, and realized that I still really meant nothing to him. He kept putting his priorities first. He only ever talked about himself. He rarely ever asked me even how I was doing, yet we were together all the time. He seemed to enjoy having me around.

The ex loomed in the back of his mind, I could tell. Every now and then he would mention her.

I’m coming to the end of the ordeal. I decide that after Christmas I am going to go away for two weeks. He decides that he will come with me for one of the two weeks. From our holiday spot, he then flew away to his new job on the other side of the world. No promises were made, no sweet words were spoken, and I was left devastated to spend another week alone on holiday thinking and over thinking just what had happened the past 5 months of my life with this person who had now disappeared as quickly as he had appeared.

We talked a few times, but the pain was unbearable for me. I checked his facebook constantly, kept skype open 24 hrs a day waiting for him to send me a sign of life. I was never the first one to contact him, as I have always tried to mirror his level of commitment and make him come to me first. But it was becoming an unhealthy obsession. I had a conversation with him where I told him that I missed him…and he said that he missed me too, and I should just try and have fun, even though I was feeling like crap, and that we would see each other again. He didn’t know under what capacity, but that regardless, ‘it would be fun’, and that I should look forward to it. I cried every day for two weeks. I decided that it was killing me and I had to go No Contact. The last straw was when I saw a new beautiful girl that he had clearly just met, who he was newly friends with on facebook. It drove me insane. So I unfriended him and deleted him from Skype.

A day or two later I receive a message from him asking if I had removed him. I answered with an email explaining my honest feelings to him. To which he replied after two days saying that he understood, and that there was nothing wrong with me, but that the single reason he could not give himself to me was because he still wasn’t over his ex. I never replied.

I started feeling better, and reading up on narcissism. Only now do I realize that is precisely what he was. The hurt he put me through because of his lack of emotions towards me, the humiliation, his controlling manners….it was like a miracle reading about it, I finally understood! It wasn’t me at all. It was his own issues that prevented him from being able to love me.

Today, I received another message from him via facebook (I hadn’t blocked him, so he can still message me). He said he didn’t like this ‘non talking’ and that I should be nice, and speak to him. I felt like I had the upper hand suddenly. I debated whether or not to reply, and in the end I did. Asking him what he wanted to talk about. He replied that he did not want things to be ‘bitter’ between us. I fed him a few things that he likely wanted to hear and I decided that I am going to do everything in my power to manipulate him now that I know what he’s all about. I now know that he does not care enough about me (though he told me he does) but I also now know that I can create need and then take it away from him. At least until he finds another victim. Maybe it’s pointless. Maybe I’m wasting my energy. But I feel it’s what I need to do now to get my power back.

Thanks for listening. This has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my whole 30 years. I have never put up with such behavior, tolerated so much, and loved so much for nothing in return. My self esteem is in pieces. Yet I am intelligent, have a great career, I have men lining up for me. And the stupidest thing is that, even though I now recognize that I was a simple commodity for his temporary stay in this city, I still cannot find someone who is ‘as good’ as him. I hope I will heal in time.

Twisted,
From the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” – “We accept the love we think that we deserve.” Someone with admittedly low self-esteem obviously has a low bar for what constitutes “love.”
This all sounds very painful and demeaning, but I must tell you that there is nothing to be gained by playing games via Facebook in hopes that you can turn the tables and gain the upper hand. This is a game where this is NO winner. Unfriend this jerk and reclaim your self esteem. Jan

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Tracy - January 25, 2013

Hi Twisted.

No.Contact. None.

That’s how you get yourself back. Any sort of contact you have is him “winning” (for lack of a better term) your attention. You cannot hurt him- not really, & not the way he’s hurt you. He likely has no feelings- so when you plan/do what you’ve set out to do, all you’re really doing is deliberately keeping contact.

No.Contact.

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Trapped no more! - January 25, 2013

I haven’t posted in a while, but I felt compelled to respond to this. I agree with Lesley, the guy sounds more like a player than a narc. In either case, he is not worth your time or emotions. Life is too short to give yourself to a person who cares only about himself. You WILL get over this. Just put plenty of distance, time, and NO CONTACT between both of you. Do NOT play games with him, there is only one person who will lose-you.

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lesley - January 25, 2013

Hey There TNM,hope all is going well with you….and that your blue moon is still shining down on those evening primroses!
I also hope Maserati Man is toast!
Light Shine,
Les

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Source B - January 25, 2013

I might be hopelessly naive, here, but:-

“He replied that he did not want things to be ‘bitter’ between us. I fed him a few things that he likely wanted to hear and I decided that I am going to do everything in my power to manipulate him now that I know what he’s all about. I now know that he does not care enough about me (though he told me he does) but I also now know that I can create need and then take it away from him. At least until he finds another victim. Maybe it’s pointless. Maybe I’m wasting my energy. But I feel it’s what I need to do now to get my power back.”

… but wouldn’t that be what a high conflict narcissist does? Manipulating people to have needs and then denying them?

Walk away. If you don’t, you’ll become something thing you hate.

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29. lesley - January 24, 2013

Hi Twisted,
Hmm… as a regular poster here and one who occasionally shoots from the hip. I am just going to say this as I see it. Firstly I don’t deny your pain or strong feelings of involvement with this guy….and that hurts like hell.
Yet, as I read your story carefully I can see that he has a various and repeated junctures during your time together told you exactly how he feels for you and then he has shown you clearly by action.
He plays you for one reason and one reason only.
You Let him.
You let him and then you let him again and again.

Is he an Narc?. Not sure. He IS emotionally unavailable to you personally bigtime.
He actually couldn’t show it more clearly! if you continue to sleep with him,he’s a young attractive player….yep he’s going to keep on coming back for more….it’s not rocket science.
In my experience Narcs,particularly the Somatic variety or those who are high up in Cluster B with it’s psychopathy,manipulation and chilling deceit of everyone around them do not behave like your guy.
He is simply a Player. A two bit player at that. The biggest mistake you make is by giving this very small person your time and attention?
What is it about you that makes you think this is all you are worth in the world?
Why play games at his level? Thats a waste of time and your beauty and intelligence.Why create need in him? More senseless drama?
He matters not one whit.
Look to yourself. Reflect on your own issues. What is it about yourself that makes you invert the real truth of this story to a story you can handle and that places you square in the centre of the action?
When we recover from abuse…No Contact is the imperative.

Space,time,reflection on you. You will heal if you allow yourself to.
Throw away the phone,come off facebook,change your e mail.
I wish you well with that.

Light Shine Les

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Yoyo212 - January 24, 2013

Hey, your situation sounds really, really heartbreaking and painful.

Luckily, it was only half a year and this guy sounds like such an obvious mess that the red flags were rather clear-cut.

Sounds like a total self-centered player. I also agree with Lesley, that the “bone chilling decit” and “psychopathic manipulation” seems lacking. And for that be very, very thankful. My ex lied about everything! For example: Think of cheating escalating into the thousands with random people, attending sex parties while keeping up the facade of a wholesome magnomous man.

One cold February night he wanted me out of his house because He thought I was flirting. He yelled, screamed , raged and baitied only to kitchen sink and verbally abuse me. This happned only a month after I FINALLY caught him in a lie. I should’ve never called him out on it-I should just left. Damn it.

Meanwhile he had this whole other side to him. Imagine falking job interviews, networking gatherings and “drinks with clients and old buddies.” For years, not so.

Count your blessing’s that there was no smear champaign started and all your secrets and flaws were shared with your social circle.

Since I’ve gone into no contact he is now emailing my family, trying to be buddy buddy and even accidentally Cc’ing me on a few of the emails.

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30. Marie - January 25, 2013

Last year I was in a relationship with a somatic N. I have a pattern of becoming involved with men who are N. After reading so much on narcissism, it is easy to want to label every man who has bad behavior as a N. I recently started a relationship with someone…it lasted three months. He appeared to be nothing like the other N’s I have been involved. There was a lot of flirting and compliments from him. Its hard to tell if you are in an idealized state or just the nice beginnings of a normal relationship. However,I had very strong feelings that something was “off,” but I second guessed myself thinking it was just my anxiety about starting a new relationship. He lied to me about something and I confronted him about it. I “understood” his reasoning which was my first mistake. I didn’t end it with him and then there were two more lies. The last lie was that he denied being on an internet dating website. He stated that his membership was expiring, but he was not active on there. He would always tell me that he just wanted to be in a relationship with me. He would be very charming and sweet. I found out he was on the website when I was telling my friend about this “great guy” I was seeing….showed her his picture and she said he recently emailed her on the dating site. After reading so much about no contact and using that in the past with my ex, I decided to text him that I knew what he did and not to contact me anymore. I then blocked him on my phone. I don’t care what he has to say. I am not sure if he is a N or just a “player.” But, I know that he is sex addict…he had discussed his sexual behavior, which I believe he was minimizing. I think that I got out in time before I could really determine if he is a N. I absolutely love the no contact because it gives me so much control over someone who was manipulating me by pursuing a relationship and then continuing to look for other women and possibly be involved with other women. I realized that I need to listen to my inner voice or intuition that says something is “off” and get out of the situation.

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Source B - January 25, 2013

” I realized that I need to listen to my inner voice or intuition that says something is “off” and get out of the situation.”

You’ve done the right thing. I don’t really know if you’ve really gone through something which is as demeaning and breaking as a relationship with a narcissist, though. To me–and this might well be a tribute to your own personal strength–you seem to have dated someone who wasn’t right for you.

I think the difference is something like this: it’s between going out with someone who gets your hopes up and who disappoints those hopes–and someone who then takes those hopes, sucks them from you, turns all your strengths into weaknesses and leaves you as a total wreck without remorse.

And I could be misreading. It’s very possible I’m not getting everything you’ve said, or that could be my failure of interpretation. You seem to have been misled, and that’s a very good reason indeed to get out of a relationship, and to go out and damned well have the whole life you’re entitled to, to love, live and enjoy.

With a narcissist, things are very different. They’re people who, when your soul is on the line, will simply run over it. And they do it merely because they can.

To me, it sounds like you were spared that. But I could very well be wrong, and I hope good things come to you.

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marie - January 25, 2013

Yes I was misled. I don’t believe he was narcissistic. I was married to a N and had another relationship with another one last year. It is something much more devastating. With this guy, he lied and after my previous experiences I am not tolerating any nonsense. In my relationships with N’s I had feelings that something was off at the beginning but I stayed anyway.

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31. Donna - January 26, 2013

@Marie and SourceB, I had a very similar experience in November, I met a guy on a free dating site and had only one date with him. He kept calling every now and then and would hint about getting together again however he never made a specific date with me. This went on until early this week. I kept seeing him on the same dating site setting up meet ups with other women. No I was not in any type of relationship with him but I don’t want to hook up with a serial dater at this stage of my life. I sent him a message to delete my number and please don’t call me again.

Donna,
Whether this guy is a player, a commitment-phobe or a Narcissist, he just wants to know that he has your access code – just in case. And you don’t need that. I read a great article in The January/February edition of The Atlantic called A Million First Dates by Dan Slater. With so many warm bodies just a click away via online dating sites, it’s become way easier for people to walk away from relationships and marriages confident that they’ll quickly meet someone new. And why settle when the next person could be even better. It’s a very interesting article indeed.Jan

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32. Donna - February 2, 2013

Thank you Jan for your reply. I am so aware right now, that no more shacky, flacky players, N’s will ever get in; again with Me. I just keep hope a live that there are still some good guys in this world who want to meet and date a few women; if they are single. The Internet Dating sites just gives them a school of women at their finger tips. I’m really thinking about unsubscribing by the end of this Month. I don’t need a husband however I would enjoy having a good, honest, respectful male in my life. So with that being said I’m getting ready to go out with some girlfriends and have a lite meal and listen to some smooth Jazz. Maybe I will check out the article you mentioned. Thanks to my supportive friend.

Donna,
It’s not that internet dating is bad per se, it’s just that since it seems that everyone seems to be meeting online, it is a real game changer. In many cases, narcissists or “players” can have “binders of women” (couldn’t resist) at their fingertips. That said, there are also good people out there online, but you just have to proceed with caution. Smooth jazz? I was always a sucker for Al Green so when Obama crooned one of his songs, I was in heaven. LOL Always, Jan

Just Donna

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33. mazzymoo - February 10, 2013

TO MARIE

your story of your ex narcissist telling you that he liked noting about your son rung true with me, my ex narcissist would say to my son on frequent occasions “do you know what i like about you son” and when my son would reply “no dad what” the ex narcissist would say smugly “nothing”. Worthless scum narcissists.

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34. mazzymoo - February 10, 2013

TO YOYO212

Your comment of how your ex narcissist sent you a card with nothing in it rings true to me aswell, i recevied a birthday card from my ex narcissist with nothing in it at all, not even a to and from.

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Yoyo212 - February 10, 2013

Marie: maybe you can shed some light on this one:

Two days before my birthday (saddly, is also the day we met) we were in contact (I know, I know.) Then my birthday rolls around and hear nothing, not a word, email or ecard (he sends those all the time and to everyone.)

Then, two days later contact resumes and he just picks up where we left off. Obviously, I didn’t react one way or another and I expected that. My friends were pretty shocked but I knew it was going to happen and really didn’t let it get to me as I felt it was baiting me for conflict.

But what goes on in a such a mind like that? The constant push/pull rebuffering is so bizarre.

Yoyo,
Your screen name must be how you feel after such an incident. This sounds rather typical actually. Have you read Halycon (on my blogroll). Read about the Narcissist and gift giving. The push and pull…the baiting you for conflict…it’s how they roll. Jan

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35. mazzymoo - February 10, 2013

moon,

i hope that you are better. i know its hard but you must concentrate on yourself getting better. whenever i want to rid myself of him in my head i try hard to think of some of the cruel things he has said to me and i find this helps and i replace this thought with something i wish to do and go do that. it really helps alot. sending you much love

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36. Sarah - March 18, 2013

I’m in a situation, and seeking advice. I was married to a N, maybe he was a sociopath, I’m not sure. They seem so very similar. We had four children together. After ten years I finally figured him out and left. He moved on to a new victim and has left me alone. The kids he hardly ever sees. Maybe twice a year. Two years after we split up, I met a new N. I was not at all attracted to him. He chased me for a good 6 months. And finally wore me down, he made me feel a bit more whole, I was still very broken from the first one. He showered me with praise. Even though we used protection somehow I got pregnant. I firmly believe he did something to the condoms. The very day I moved in with him everything changed. I was full of faults, and he loved finding little ways and big ways to control me. I knew enough about abuse from the other kids dad, that this would only get worse. I left when I was 3 months pregnant. The threats started righted away, he would take the baby, I was unfit mother. It would alternate between telling me how great I was, to how awful. She will be 2 this summer, and it has never stopped. She has my last name, I never put him on the birth certificate. He pays child support, but is extremely angry about it. Whenever I set a boundary, then more threats start, with anything he can think of that will cause me stress. I have tried to be friendly just for peace. It usually worked. Lately it doesn’t, his text messages are over the top filled with cruelty. I’m scared to go to court and be even more tormented. I know abusers often get more custody, amd fight far harder then a normal dad. He has no genuine interest in her,he made jokes when she was born about switching her for a boy baby in the hospital (he despises women). I know she is a pawn to him. I’m not sure how to begin putting up boundaries with him when I’m forced to deal with him visiting her. This feels like a never ending nightmare. He’s stopped even trying to put on the nice act. I’m hoping he’s moved on to next victim too. Is it likely he will forget about his daughter as well? I’m worried that he will try and fake super dad to suck in someone else. I’m basically full of worry and making myself nuts.

Sarah,
You hadn’t recovered from one N when you picked up with another. I suppose you were primed and “used” to the N experience at that point. In any case, I’m surprised he pays child support if his name is not on the birth certificate. Is the child support state mandated? I have a close friend who agonized over the custody arrangements with her soon-to-be ex (the divorce has now dragged on for 5 years because of custody issues). She, too, would tell you that her/their son is just a pawn. His father has no real interest in him other than to send messages back to his mother about daddy’s new girlfriends. It’s so painful every time she sends her son off to see his dad.
It seems (and I’m no legal expert) that you can’t set firm boundaries unless you have these worked out through the court. It’s hard to have it both ways – to be receiving child support while at the same time trying to deny a parent visitation/custody. Until this is mandated by the court, you are truly between a rock and a hard place. It is possible that he will find someone else and move on, but don’t count your chickens. In the meantime, you need to examine why you were vulnerable to someone who you didn’t like, but who ultimately made you “feel a bit more whole,” so you don’t fall into this trap again.
I’d have to know more about how you arrived at this child support arrangement before saying anything more. Sorry, but I don’t want to mislead you. Jan

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Tracy - March 19, 2013

Hi Sarah,

You have reason to worry about court (N’s are fantastic actors)- but you have to do what you can. If you don’t, there’s not even a chance to change anything. As a mother, you know you have to try for your daughter’s sake. At least if you go, you can say you gave it your best shot.

Now, what has to happen is that you need evidence of his mistreatment. Very likely, he doesn’t show it to anyone but you, so start keeping a journal- write in it every, single thing he says that’s hurtful or demeaning (of you or your daughter).

Find out the law for your state regarding the recording of a conversation. If you’re lucky, it will be lawful & admissible in court as long as one of the party’s agrees (you). If it is, start shopping for a very good recorder that can somehow be hidden on you. That way, he can sink his own ship- all you have to do is get him talking about something you know will evoke anger & threats.

You might even want to do this whether you can admit it for evidence or not- if only to prove your situation to your family/friends/lawyer.

You need irrefutable evidence. They will be on their best, acting behaviour. While gathering evidence, never utter a word of your intended plans. It’s best to have the element of surprise on your side.

Good luck & stay strong,

Tracy

Thanks Tracy,
Yes, document everything. Jan

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Sarah - April 16, 2013

The child support wasn’t forced on him through court. We did mediation when she was a week old, the mediator let him know he needed to pay it, or a eventually a judge would make him. He wanted to make me prove with receipts that the child support wasn’t spent on my other children. The mediator explained again it doesn’t work that way. He initiated the mediation, and I think he thought he could spin me in a bad enough way that he could waltz right out with our daughter. It didn’t work for him obviously. Jan you’re right about denying visitation, I tread very carefully there. I don’t want to labelled a parent alienator. After I left the first N, I went into a long term women shelter for 6 months. We had daily group therapy, and one on one counselling as well. I was out of the first relationship for around 2 years, before I met the second N. And that’s with loads of therapy, support, and talks of red flags. Still I fell into the trap. I believe he only pays child support to save face. He works in a trade union that has many of the same mutual friends, and my family. He doesn’t want to look like a deadbeat. I read Lundy Bancroft wrote that its sometimes better to keep things out of the court, because your situation can end up worse (them having more access and control of you) then it may be now. Fathers rights groups have made huge impacts on family court. Again it generally is nutbar dad who fight to rip kids apart from the parent that has always been there for them. Judges are like the general pubic in not understanding the manipulation of N’s. They see a poor wounded father, he must be a great guy cause he’s fighting so hard for his kids. The courts freak me out.

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Sarah - April 16, 2013

His name not being on the birth certificate was based on planning through the pregnancy to have a shred of control. Which I subsequently lost by accepting child support. He knew it was his child, because he planned her. It makes me sound crazy, I know. Because we had never lived together for a full 12 months prior to her birth or after, he doesn’t automatically get guardianship. He would have had I named him on birth certificate. He can apply for guardianship now because he has supported her, but he has never bothered to. As it sits I can apply for passports, register her in schools/daycare without asking him for permission etc. I live in Canada. When leaving an abusive relationship (ours was never physical abuse) Child Services becomes involved. If a mother returned to the abuser, her children would be removed. The frustrating and sick part is, the court looks at the abuse as it only happens when the parents are together. Once a dad applies for any type of custody its almost certainly granted. Kids are not protected through family court. For a lot of mothers it feels safer to be in the same home as the abuser, and know what’s going on, then leave and be totally helpless to protect her kids. I stress its rare for a father, even convicted pedophiles to have supervised visits. I’m not sure if its better in the US, but in Canada it needs much work.

Sarah,
Several thoughts. The laws in the U.S. do take a father into account more so than in the past. I have a relative and the mother of his child (they never married) finally gave up on trying to follow her new husband out of state. He’s in the military and the court thought that would impose an unfair burden on his biological father who would in affect be chasing his son around the country every two years to maintain contact as her husband was transferred.As the mother of two sons, I do support fathers’ rights.
That said, as Traci mentioned, Ns are incredible actors and can turn on the charm for a judge. It’s SO important to have documentation and an attorney who does understand narcissism and other Cluster B disorders. The woman I mentioned previously who’d been going through a divorce for over five years has never moved to make the divorce final as she, too, worries that her son’s father (who is a narcissist) might get more visitation. She’s in a better position now, so she’s waiting for the clock to run out. She figured the longer she has “more control,” the less likely her child is to 1) be given over to a parent who hasn’t had primary custody, and 2) be less willing (as the child is now older) to want to go with that parent voluntarily.
You are between a rock and a hard place. Again, I think I mentioned before that you might want to visit Shrink4men on my blogroll, if only to see how men/fathers are advised how to use the court system to their advantage. Jan

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Sarah - April 17, 2013

Jan thank you for replying. I’m not against fathers rights. I have 4 brothers who are great fathers. I’m wary of the leaders of fathers rights groups,they’re questionable in their intentions. I struggle very hard to maintain the no contact that is vital to healing, when you’re co-parenting with a N. Has anybody had tips or successful strategies? With my older childrens father I struggled with the decision to allow him to be part of their lives. In the end I decided it was better for them to see him, flaws and all, rather then build up an idea of who he may be in their mind. I’m not intending to keep my daughter from him. I just want to heal myself, and be the best parent I can. At the same time protect my sanity as much as possible while dealing with him.

Sarah,
You sound so lovely and level headed, so I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with this. I went back and reread your earlier posts. It seems that he’s most abusive to you via texts? (I imagine he’s no prince in person either.) You absolutely must save/photograph his text messages to document his true nature. I have a friend who was in a high conflict custody dispute with her soon-to-be ex, and all of their communication had to go through a monitored email site. He literally HAD to be civil. But again, that was court ordered. I’m reluctant to offer substantive advice when I know as little as I do, but you might consider:
1) Documenting his abusive emails, so if worse comes to worse, you have a record that shows he did indeed send these to you.
2) If you told him you were documenting these emails, do you think he might think twice? Or would it just anger him more?
3) Have a friend/family member with you whenever you must see him. They can act as a witness and also as a deterrent to him going off on you
If he’s a N or a sociopath, you’re also going to have to be the stronger parent as when your daughter grows older, she will begin to understand what’s going on and have to develop coping strategies of her own. It makes me sad to even type that as no one wants that for their child, yet so many children are in a similar position. I wish you only the best and hope you have some close friends who can advocate for you and your daughter’s best interests. Jan

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37. Raven Seven - April 16, 2013

I think the hardest thing with NPD is that you have to get your heart to tell your head that the person is never going to change and that your best option is to head for the hills. Escape.

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Tracy - April 16, 2013

Raven Seven said:

“I think the hardest thing with NPD is that you have to get your heart to tell your head that the person is never going to change and that your best option is to head for the hills. Escape.”

No RS, it’s worse than them “never changing”… the hardest thing to me is coming to, & truly embracing, the realization that your entire relationship was all in your own head.

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38. Corinne - May 9, 2013

I have a good friend that has been married to an N for 30 years. He has hit on me and a few others in our social circle over the past few years. He stalks his potential victims in exactly the same way. He does so in such an open and obvious way that everyone says “oh, that’s just him” and treats him as harmless. The wife seems to give him the benefit of the doubt too, because his flirting is so open. But I have met his victims after the fact. Ironically, she has an MFT degree but has never used it. I was involved with an N in the past and it was devastating, and would not wish it on anyone. I want to tell the wife but do not know if I should or even how to approach her. What obligations to we have to expose these people? Ns derive their power in part from the silence of others. Will the victims even believe us when they are in the thick of it? I know that I would have been grateful for such knowledge when I was with my N. I appreciate any guidance you can provide.

Corinne,
My two cents (and it’s worth just that). You are right that when someone is in the thick of it, most likely they won’t listen to what other people tell them because they, of course, are the exception. His wife may have a MFT degree, but she’s either clueless or has decided ignorance IS bliss when it comes to the man who shares her bed. She doesn’t care to know. So unless she tells you a sad tale and asks for input, you’re better to hit the mute button. But when it comes to others entering his orbit, I have mixed feelings. There’s obviously a group of you who’ve all been hit on, so it seems only fair to me that if someone new comes along, you could mention that this man is bad news. I, unfortunately, heard this only AFTER my close encounter with a narcissist. Would I have listened? Maybe. At least, it would have planted a seed in my head. I’m hoping others will jump in to add their two cents. :) Jan

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Yoyo213 - May 10, 2013

I mean, you can. But, I find its like yelling at a brick wall. Plus, the N. has charmed everybody around them and YOU will look like the crazy one. The ex-N. in my life has my family charmed, so essentially, I have no say anymore. They don’t want to hear it.

This is currently what my ex-N is doing, calls me 2-5 times per week and daily emails. Sees me weekly. Throws little crumbs at me and gives me leftovers from his other dates. No physical contact, but will do little subtle touchy things. Does small little favors now. Acts “charming” tries to re-create things we did in the past together, but I know what’s going on. The N. has about 5-6 others he is working, plus Im in the picture. Total Ludic love style. If I say something like, “hey, you around this weekend” and says “no, I’m busy with all this stuff.” I say “that’s ok, no worries, talk to you later.” ( I never call)

Then the N. will respond “oh, but, yeah let’s meet for lunch.” I have to “chase” while he is on the prowl. As soon as I show no interest, he backtracks.

He seems to move closer by the week. Is this the way a N. hoovers? Slowly, or am I just another ex who he views as an “object-friend.”

It’s weird, the N. NEVER mentions his dating life to me. He plays many sympathy cards to get my attention. The N. always subtly wants to know about what I’m doing in regards to my dateing life…and I don’t tell him anything. Lies a lot about his personal life. If we are just “friends” why not tell me that he is seeing people? Why does he pull this crap?

I know that my time will be up soon and I also know this-the N. doesn’t want me back, but doesn’t want me to move on and thats really selfish. He has no problems crossing boundaries and then re-defining them.

He really can’t be alone and Im a sucker. My therapist said that he gave you a taste of love and then whitheld it and pulled it away. It was never real, it was just to sustain his “false self.”

When he went on the smear, he told our friends he “hated” me and “couldn’t wait to rid himself of me.” He calls and emails almost everyday.

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lesley - May 10, 2013

Corinne,
To my mind, if you feel strongly about it ..you should.

Be prepared that his wife after 30 years may have evolved her own denial mechanisms and will want to ‘shoot the messenger’!
I was in a relationship with a somatic Narc for two years and in that time he was unfaithful to me with three women(two of whom had been fallback girls for years)….
During this time I lived with him three or four days a week,was proposed marriage to,was the’acceptable partner’ to his family/friends.He was and is as cunning and manipulative as they come..a pure Cluster B in all his relationships romantic and otherwise.
I was lucky in that I personally got incontrovertible proof of his infidelities, confronted and was discarded…would I have believed someone coming to me with this proof…perhaps/perhaps not??

Certainly for the first year of our relationship I trusted him implicitly and by the second year I was so heavily invested in the relationship that I may have resorted to denial…to believing what I wanted to?
Interestingly after the relationship was over the ex wife of a ‘friend’ of his came to me and filled in some of the gaps to my Narc’s awful track record before he met me. He had been serially unfaithful to every woman he had ever had a long term relationship with.
it helped put the trauma in context…but…..would I have believed it if she’d told me when I’d known him 6 months….not sure?
I believe explicitly in doing the work on ourselves rather than ruminating endlessly on the Narc’s motives…so I had to humble myself completely to admit that I may have stayed in the
relationship too long….
Your friend has stayed thirty years….poor woman…I’m truly not sure how she would take the news?
Just my musings….
Light Shine,
Les

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Corinne - May 10, 2013

Thanks Jan & Lesley for your advice. Jan, I think you’re right, telling the wife may just have to remain a fantasy for me. I agree with you about other women in the social circle. In fact, I just warned a woman this week that she was his new target. I wanted to empower her with the knowledge I had. She was grateful and understood all too well, as she left a husband a few years ago after he broke her jaw.

As for the wife, she is the child of a verbally abusive alcoholic father (I suspect was an N too) and I’m afraid is used to strange behaviors from the men in her life. She and the N have been together since they were 16. He “saved” her, her mom and her two younger sisters by getting them away from the alcoholic. Both the wife and the N share this savior myth. How a 16 y/o might save a grown woman and her minor kids is questionable. The wife would appear to be firmly entrenched in her denial.

Yet, I also see just in this little story 3 women (myself, the N’s new target, and the N’s wife who have all been abused). Abusers derive their power over us and new targets in part because we do not shine the light on them and expose them for what they are. I know I cannot change anyone’s behavior; Ns will continue to seek out new sources, but knowledge can empower and maybe save some. I’m tired of being ashamed that I was conned by my N or for questioning myself because he told me repeatedly I was crazy and needed to fix myself. I hope all victims eventually get to that point. Do I remain silent and ignore the wife’s abuse and let her suffer through another 30 years – she’s only 45? Her husband has isolated her physically from her family by moving to the US and financially as he is the sole breadwinner just as her father was. She is Western, incredibly smart, lots of friends, very involved in the community, two grad degrees…

I continue to be very torn about what to do. Perhaps I’m being arrogant that I can do anything to save her. If this were a child in danger I would not hesitate.

I’m grateful for this forum!

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Corinne - May 10, 2013

I neglected to say this above. I was not imaging things. The N had tried to kiss his new target at party just days before I spoke with her.

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39. Tracy - May 11, 2013

“Do I remain silent and ignore the wife’s abuse and let her suffer through another 30 years – she’s only 45? ”

Corinne, you should do what you feel in your heart. My similar story is that after realizing my ex was NPD, I tried to get us to therapy- in hopes of a miracle. It didn’t work. It disturbed me that she would go out & ensnare another innocent- so I told her what I believed was causing her (lifelong) problems. She wouldn’t accept it, of course. But, I had to try- out of what I feel was my responsibility as someone (like you) who is party to information critical to the situation. It was then her choice & out of my hands, but I can say that I did try.

In your case, this is a friendship at stake as well as your friends life. Are you prepared for the outcome of telling her? There will be repercussions either way. If she heeds your advice & leaves, she may end up blaming you for the aftermath (even if it’s better in the long run, you know how N’s treat their victims?), she may leave & return, she may consider ending your friendship because she won’t leave & now no longer feels comfortable around you because you want her out of that relationship…

Aren’t people just so much fun, sometimes- lol. But, seriously- give it all a think & do what you feel is best.

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Corinne - May 11, 2013

Tracy, thanks for your thoughts. I have lots to consider and think about. If I decided to tell the wife, I would try to gather additional information on the N beforehand, if possible. I understand that I will probably lose her friendship in the short term and possibility in the long term, but that is a risk I would take. I’d rather she had a chance for a real life without the N. I think it would be selfish to choose to have a conflict free friendship at her expense. If that makes sense.

There are children involved and I already see how they are being affected by the N. He told me once that he sees his kids as “an extension of me.” They have two boys. His overt flirting in front of them and his wife is extremely disrespectful to the wife and women in general. Then again, she will have to co-parent with the N for years to come; their youngest is only 7. She is also a bit of an N herself – sees the world in black & white, is always right – all defense mechanisms of having been the child of an active alcoholic.

I appreciate everyone’s feedback. Let me know if you have any additional thoughts at any time. Cheers

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Tracy - May 11, 2013

Just don’t think of a resistance from your friend as a bad thing-

she may not know what you know.

I wish you luck.

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40. Barbara - August 30, 2013

I have been married to an npd for 35 years… His best friend told me two years ago that he has been cheating on me at the health club in the mornings our entire marriage…he has sex…in the parking lot..empty rooms etc.on business trips…on cruises when we are together….he took off his wedding band when he left in the morning…never wore it at work…and put it back on as he drove up our driveway…he is a somatic npd….whammy bam thank you mammm….and don’t talk….he has a different name…Marcus….that’s one personality….and then there’s honorable mark….and he fooled us all….my friends….believed mark would never cheat on me….he fooled my brothers….my older brother was a friend of his….he fooled his oldest friend from Europe…..I am using the friend word….but mark can’t be friends with anyone….he denied everything….and refuses to stay with me unless I believe him….my health is horrible….I have four autoimmune diseases….and cannot support myself…..so I cannot leave….he as been unemployed since the beginning of the recession….and of course says…..if we divorced….I would be dead to him three days after the divorce and he would never work another day in his life….before he would ever pay me a dime of alimony…his friend told me he was dumped by all of the women he slept with over the 35 years..no one wanted him..and we are talking about over 100 women…so mark knows that if he leaves me….he will be alone for the rest of his life…and we know npds don’t like to be alone…besides who wants a 63 year old narcissist who is unemployed…who has erectile dysfunction…and who is in denial about it….and has no money??
There are many of us….women who cannot leave for financial reasons…and must figure out a life while living with an npd…..even if I could get into low income public housing…. I still would not have enough money to eat with….money for health insurance….and all of my medications….I need to stay alive…..

Barbara,
My heart goes out to you and yes, there are many women who are in a similar position it’s financially impossible for them to leave. I have a friend who slept on the couch for a decade because her NPD husband refused to sell the house (that was bought with the money her mother left her). She finally moved away but is struggling. Their son witnessed this bizarre “marriage.” You don’t mention if you have children. It seems that you’re basically stuck financially and physically, but that doesn’t mean you have to stuck mentally. Do you have any support group – friends, others also afflicted with auto-immune diseases? These are the people you need to surround yourself with so you can live an authentic life even if your marriage is basically a fraud. I have Dog Kisses’ website on my blog. I know she suffers from an autoimmune disease and has links on her blog to many others who also blog about dealing with various conditions on a daily basis. I suggest you check this out. What’s hardest is realizing that what you thought was true, was ultimately a lie and you were the last one to catch on. Hold your head high and think about doing what’s best for you to bolster your self esteem. Always, Jan

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Barbara - August 31, 2013

Thanks for the empathy.. I am a therapist by training…worked with battered women in my younger years…executive director of a transitional housing programs for women and children…loved my work…and then I started to get sick…became financially dependent…depressed and lost my sense of self….my mother and older sister are borderline and older brother an npd…..so my finding an npd makes sense…my mother told me I was crazy and I married a man who told me I was crazy…I knew my husband was …like my mother….but I didn’t know what borderline was 40 years ago….I retreated into depression and food…when I found out about his cheating… I was devastated and could not eat… I lost 126 pounds….and now look great for a woman of 60 years old….just finished reading Alan Schore who writes about the neurobiology of emotional development….the missing piece to understanding personality disorders…i think…..I have been studying borderline for 20 years and now npd….and knew that there had to be something wrong with my mother and sisters brain….pschoanalytic theory…like Otto kernberg….great stuff….and yet a piece of the puzzle was missing….neuroscience …putting people who are borderline into fMRI’s and studying how

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Barbara - August 31, 2013

Different their brains are… The empathy part of the brain does not light up….etc….wow…of course the brain is very complicated but very important information to integrate into our understanding of theory….and our personal interactions with borderlines and NPD’s….your web site jan is a wonderful source in helping all of us who are struggling to somehow keep a sense of self…I thank you…..maybe one day…I will find a way to get back to working with battered women….etc…or get into a women’s prison and facilitate a battered women’s group…maybe dreams can come true…

Barbara,
First of all, kudos for your work with women who have no place else to turn. I currently have two “transition” students in my classroom. There is a shelter not far from the school and we often get children whose mothers have sought refuge there from an abusive relationship. Both of these kids are so sweet, but in reality, I was told I might only have them two weeks as they’re to be relocated. It does make you realize how so many children grow up in either physical or emotionally abusive situations and this can have a profound effect on their outlook.
Several women I know with autoimmune disorders have had trouble with regular work as their disorders tend to wax and wane making it hard to keep a regular schedule. Have you considered volunteering in the future? You have experience and so much to give. Nothing can get us out of our own heads and problems then helping those in need.
You are also right in that your childhood primed you to seek out someone whose behavior was all too familiar. We recently had a friend stay with us. His mother was a Holocaust survivor and a truly horrible woman. His brother committed suicide because of this woman. She once demanded that our friend immediately leave his job to come see her or she said she would kill herself. When he arrived the next day, she was dead in the pool. Sorry, this is so graphic, but he does now understand how his brutal childhood primed him for seeking out crazy making women. He’s divorced one and has broken up with the borderline. He’s now met a lovely woman but almost doesn’t know how to behave around someone who treats him with kindness? There are so many who’ve carried their emotional baggage through their adult lives. You sound, though, as if you’ve been doing your research and have your head screwed on tight. Oh, I almost forgot to congratulate you on your weight loss. That’s major and something to be very proud of. :) Always, Jan

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41. Barbara - September 2, 2013

Jan,
I only wish I had my head on straight….working with battered women and their children…in battered women’s shelters or the transitional housing program… Was the most difficult yet meaningful work I have ever done… When a borderline or npd battered woman was present…. The other women and the staff would start bouncing off the wall psychologically…and I would say…uhhhh ohhh… And try and figure out who she was…. And sadly…she had to leave the shelter…and then every one would settle down….when I would try and explain to the staff what had just occurred and why…they did look at me like i was an alien….I agree jan….npd and borderline education is soooo important….but jan, when I even try and educate my friends…so they understand how I am living….it frightens them…the only people who are not frightened are my friends who had borderline personality disorder mothers….soooo I see the world split in two…. Those that had borderline/npd parent/s….and those who did not….those that did…we speak the same language…. Although I have shared with them the theory….so now they too have a theoretical conceptual framework from which they come…..therefore more self understanding…or so they tell me…. When I told my 18 year old nephew who is 6 feet 7 inches tall….his mother was a npd…..he collapsed on my sofa sobbing….saying ..you mean..I am not crazy….over and over again…..are you sure I am not crazy…aunt Barbara….are you sure…..and then he stood up and walked over to me and just collapsed in my arms …sobbing…I am not crazy…I am not crazy….no I said..your not crazy….over and over….when he was calm….I explained what I could….being careful …he was so vulnerable….but he gobbled up what I told him….connecting pieces of the puzzle….in various behaviors his mother exhibited….further reinforcing his new perception that he is not crazy…. I only wish I had an aunt Barbara when I was 18 years old…. But I didn’t…
And most kids don’t….but those kids in your class will always remember the attention…empathy…etc that you gave them during the time when they were in the shelter….I hear from adults memories of their times in shelters…and the “the people that showed them…the humanity of the world…. So jan…it might just be. 2 weeks…. But believe me they can be the most important two weeks in their young lives…teachers are so important…. Maybe the most important????

Barbara,
Lucky for your nephew that he had you to be there for him. My SIL had eight children by a N and they could never figure out what they could do to get their dad to notice them. She was the consummate mother, but they couldn’t help but wonder why they were never good enough. It was only after they divorced that she found out about NPD. She’s let the older ones read some things I’ve written. It’s such a relief to realize that it’s NOT you who has the problem. Jan

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42. Wits End - September 23, 2013

I really, really need some insight.

Broke up with the Narc a year ago to the date. He displays all the character traits of personality disorder. No need to get into details…we already know.

Went NC. Slowly, we came into contact again. The N. trolls dateing sites, doesn’t ask me about my dateing life. He finds ways to see me now a few times a week. We have dinners, go shopping, to the beach, day trips and he gives me lots of gifts. No sex, no intimacy. Is this just friendship? Will call me, then stops and ignores me without any explanation.

He is also “seeing” somebody else. Heavy romace. I don’t know about this. Lies when I see things like strange food, flowers ect.

I’m 95% sure the other person doesn’t know his real name. The N. is still on the dateing site, the other person has deleted their account. The other person is in love with him. The N, will spend the day with me and see the other person in the night. The romace seems to have died down a little, but who knows.

The N. keeps on telling me to move from the city to San Diego. I have family there. He wants me to do it now, I have to save money. I thought he just wanted me out of his life and was confused.

I don’t bother the N. I don’t email or call him. It’s very one sided.

I kinda do want to move, but that will take a lot of time. I was also thinking about moving to another town upstate, but not too seriously.

I found out (and he won’t tell me again) that he is looking to buy properity in San Diego and he did tell me that he put his name on a waiting list to move to a community update.

Should I take this seriously? Will the N. follow me around forever, why all of this when his is seeing somebody else? (That I don’t know about.)

It could be my imagination, but he also seems a little bit more possessive lately. Would never admit it,

Any insight would help, I’m at my wits end and don’t want to get sick.

Dear Wit’s End,
This reminds me a bit of my own relationship with the N, only he was a “friend” only. He was highly flirtatious, and I do believe I was like his “wingman” in that I listened to his stories and asked for nothing in return. In other words, I allowed him to be the selfish a$$hole he really was and looked the other way until it became hurtful to me.

“I don’t bother the N. I don’t email or call him. It’s very one sided.”

This is not a romance or a friendship. He will use you as long as you allow him to. You are secondary supply and he will turn on the charm and use you when it fits his needs. When his new supply starts to wane, he’s got you to fall back on. Please see the link on my blog to Baggage Reclaim. You want to avoid being THAT woman.
Under no circumstance should you think of moving closer to him. The N will not follow you around forever, but it might appear that way if you are willing to let him continue to manipulate you. And, basically, he still holds some power over you or you wouldn’t be speaking with him (after NC) and considering moving. Those are my gut instincts and first thoughts.
Always, Jan

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Korrine Bee - September 23, 2013

Wits End. Run, run away. I did a similar friendship dance with the N for two years after the romance. All mind games. Mine liked to do something similar when he needed a supply fix. The last round, I realized he was juggling 4 women: his wife, his new mistress, a potential new source and me the old source. Who knows about other women in other areas of his life. The N cares nothing about you or the other woman. Don’t waste any if your time on this predator. He won’t leave you alone until you completely ignore him. Have strength. Any relationship with the N is a dead end.

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43. NotAgain - January 12, 2014

I’ve stayed off of this message board for a while. I thought I could deal with this. I thought I didn’t need to see a therapist, so I stopped. I thought I had recovered.

I’m screwed.

My situation was/is pretty much the classic narcissistic/sociopathic personality disordered relationship.

Lies, manipulation, cheating, control, denial, devaluing, smearing, discarding. Break-up. This post isn’t about what happened during the relationship, but to get some insight about what is happening now.

It’s been a year and a half since the break-up. Initially there was silence on my end (I was devastated) I found out the truth (even more devastated) but then communication started. It went from casual emails, phone calls, little favors, gifts, dinners, trips (full blown hoovering.)

all the time he was juggling other partners and potential mates.

We’ve never had a talk establishing boundaries as friends or about what went wrong in the former relationship.

Now, I’ve been pulled back into his life in a major way. Last month, I got sick, he had me over and nursed me back to health for 2 days. He cooks me dinner once a week and has me over to his mothers home. Is that the way most exes are??

I go away on vaction and when I returned, since it was cold out, he had me stay at his house and treated me like royalty. He is acting super “loving”. It’s messing with my head and I’m getting confused. However, he won’t have me sleep in his bed, rather opens up the couch in the same room. It was his offer and he was really pushy about it. Treated me like royalty…I agreed. We had the separate beds. Then he wrote this to the person who he is “dating.”

“My friend who lives uptown has no heat. Well some heat – and sporadic at best and was here last night and will be here tonight as well.
Then there’s the thaw up to the low 30s and I’m throwing them out. OUT!”

He is dating this person and not telling me about it. (Again.) He is also not telling the other person about how involved he is with me and that I am his ex, not just a friend. It feels like some weird triangulation nonsense.

Also after sending a penis picture to somebody on-line he mentioned that a friend was staying with him and he is happy that I’m gone as I was cramping his style. Two days later he invited me over to his mothers house for dinner. It feels like the smear campaign all over again.

I felt like he liked having me back in his home for long durations of time because he was able to monitor and control me. Also, I went to work both days so he had enough time to do his dirty work-I don’t know why he seemed so upset about it.

I would leave his place and less than 15 min. later. He will be on OKCupid and he will sit on that site all day for the last year, he has gone through so many people from that site-it’s unreal. People say “when he finds somebody new he will be gone.” But so far that is not the case, all he does is push closer back into my life. Regardless, it feels like he will monitor when I get home to see if I’m out on a date. He will see the other person , look for dates and tricks then come back to me. He calls or emails almost everyday more than once.

I’ve meet a few potential mates, he stalked one of them. I was at the beginning of a new one before the holiday’s and I thought I was breaking free from him. I thought I was in the clear. Now, it’s a mess. I’ve let this ex consume so much of my time lately. I feel that the isolation has started again. . Also, my friends are mad at me and I lost a potential love interest. My ex seems to be bothered that I’m attempting to move on.

He was talking about marriage and a wedding a few nights ago. It was in jest. But it felt weird. It must not involve me. He said he wants to have the reception at this dinner that we liked, I think that’s very mean to say.

I also know he wants me to move to the west coast where he owns property and is looking to buy another home-he is trying to convince me to move out there, but not with him. He told me I should look at San Diego, I later found out that he is looking for a place there and not telling me he has a folder on his computer called “SD” Everything feels so calculated.

It feels like I’m being used. Whenever he needs help with the smallest thing-he calls. I even helped him get his mother to the hospital and then had dinner with her to celebrate his dead fathers birthday. Speaking of birthdays, he bought tickets “arbitrary” on my birthday for me to take him and his mother to the museum. It just happened to fall on MY BIRTHDAY. (Wednesday.) Last year-he ignored me on that day.

The only relief I have at the moment is that fact that there is no way things will progress any further with the ex, how can it??? I hope it will just fade into the background, because I can’t really take a whole lot more of this.

Hi NotAgain,
First of all, I had to get some coffee to take this all in. You ARE being used. Don’t rule out seeing a therapist to help you understand why you allowed this creep to worm his way back into your life. I’m of the opinion that it’s almost impossible to be friends with someone you’ve had a sexual relationship with. The only exception being that a large amount of time has passed (years) and you’ve talked about why your original relationship didn’t work out.

You say you’ve never had a talk about boundaries or what went wrong. Meanwhile, you find yourself sleeping on the couch while he’s trolling dating sites. You’ve been discarded and have been brought back from the dead to serve as Secondary Supply. Because you’re willing to accept this arrangement, he is keeping you around for “background” noise and perhaps to enjoy just how uncomfortable this makes you. You don’t mention if you’re still in “love” with him.

Is this the way most ex-lovers/boyfriends/girlfriends behave? NO! But after reading Narcissistic Game Playing – Part 2, you should know that they can return, and finding the door open, move right back in only to do their vanishing act again. The biggest problem I see is that he’s done the vanishing act right in front of you and you’re still there. He does not want a relationship with you. You are not currently in a relationship with him. You have been assigned the couch. He’s sexting others and doesn’t seem to care two cents about you. (Sorry to sound so brutal, but that’s the long and short of it.) You are only serving as a witness to how “fabulous” he is. This is a common N tactic.

I had to smile at your birthday debacle. The N in my life knew it was my birthday but refused to acknowledge it. He asked me to go shopping with him to pick out a watch. While at the counter, I mentioned it was my birthday and you know what he did? He threw over several gift cards from of his wallet and said, “There.” Later I learned there was 32 cents total on those cards! That’s as good as it gets.

You need to get out of his house and block his number so he cannot text you. Do NOT look back. He is a loser and a user. You’re only screwed if you allow this to continue. Always, Jan

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44. Kat - January 22, 2014

Wow. Lots of replies to this feed. I have two comments. 1) to really overcome the impact of a narcissist, one must be able to let it go. I read so much here in these pages (and other similar blogs) – and you can really sense the anger and pain of these victims. But the true test comes when you no longer place your energy in being mad and being tortured by them. I appreciate, though, that getting to that point is a long and arduous soul-searching process. First you have to realize what kind of person you have been dealing with all along, see him/her for who they really are, mourn the loss of that relationship, etc. And i appreciate that this is no easy feat and it takes years to grapple and come to terms with. And here I see where these kind of blogs, offer support and help. But, moving on – one will find – is ultimately the best solution. And when one can take less energy in staying mad/venting- there is freedom for growth. I know- as I have been there! Secondly, I wanted to ask Jan if she has read the new bio out on Johnny Carson- by Henry Bushkin- Carson’s lawyer, friend and advisor. If so, I would love your take on Johnny. He sure seems like a classic narcissist to me! I find it fascinating – that despite the detailed descriptions of his character in this book- the author/other voices out there- don’t call him out on his character disorder. Carson is cruel, manipulative and mean-spirited, but the author also claims he is giving and generous. Ha! This other “good side” is only further evidence of the Jekyll and Hyde ways of a narcissist! Oh to hear from his children and ex-wives…the stories they must have!

Kat,
You are so right that ultimately it is letting go that sets you free. Even when you know that this person is NEVER going to change, there are those who’d like to think they are the exception. It’s such a waste of energy and time. I’m so glad the N who darkened my door is behind me. (I’m thinking of the ASL sign for “used to.” You throw your hand over your shoulder as though throwing something away.)
I haven’t read the Johnny Carson bio, but now I’d like to. He was from Nebraska, my home state. Growing up, everyone thought my dad was so funny. He was frequently compared to Johnny Carson. I do remember that Carson went through numerous wives, so knowing what I do now, I’d be interested to read more. I felt the same way when I read Steve Jobs’ bio. It all seemed quite obvious, yet the word narcissist was never used. Always, Jan

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Kat - January 23, 2014

Thanks for the reply Jan. Funny you mentioned the Jobs book! That is how I found your site in the first place. I googled NPD and Steve Jobs and voila!…there you were! Yes I, too, read the Jobs book and was annoyed that no one knows enough about this personality type – to call it out for what it is. I will eagerly await your take on the Johnny bio. It reads similar to Job’s bio, and the same level of frustration persisted for me as I read it. Couldn’t these authors have delved more into the psyche of their subjects and understand that a “diagnosis” actually exists for folks with such behavior? Author, Henry Bushkin, is truly mystified over Johnny’s moments of generosity, when he otherwise could be so cruel and rejecting. Come on! Isn’t it high time people start to understand?! I just don’t get the public’s ignorance or indifference. This brings to mind, another memoir, written by William F. Buckley’s son, Christopher- “Losing Mum and Pup”. I wanted to scream at the author throughout the entire book. The son desperately struggles to make sense of his erratic, cold and aloof father. He comes to the conclusion that “great men come with flaws” (or some lame quote to that effect). I kept wanting to yell “wake up kid, your dad was a jerk and a narcissist! Go find yourself a good therapist, figure it out and work on not repeating the cycle so the next generation will be spared!” Even the reviews for his book were awash in sentimentality…”loving portrait of a dear father/son bond”…blah, blah, blah. And don’t even get me started about his mother, Pat. She was a cruel, pathological liar, but yet again, the son attempts to understand her, make excuses for her, etc. Very disheartening…all of it.

Kat,
Narcissists can be extremely generous because it makes them look good. As for William F. Buckley – UGH! When we lived in NYC we had a friend he hired to give him piano lessons. I remember our friend telling us how aghast he was when Buckley walked over, unzipped, and pissed in the bar sink. So many children (now adults) are still trying to understand why their parents were so distant. Realizing that a parent was a narcissist can be freeing because you finally realize it was never about you. Sad, but what a relief they must feel. Jan

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45. Stacy W - March 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.
….and STOP BELIEVING THAT YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH, STRONG ENOUGH, SMART ENOUGH, SKINNY ENOUGH, ETC…
IT’S A LIE!
THEY NEED YOU TO FEEL THAT WAY SO THEY CAN KEEP YOU THERE TO KEEP SUPPLYING THEM WITH WHAT THEIR DISORDER NEEDS TO SURVIVE.
REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!

Love yourself and don’t look back.
Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

Hi Stacy,
For your protection (and mine), I don’t allow commenters to use real names. In many ways, you HAVE moved on. It sounds like you’re most distressed because you had hoped to be totally over this poor excuse of a man. I’m a little unclear as you say he’s N/BPD? In any case, it’s not uncommon after two years to still have N-related thoughts, especially if he’s picked up with someone you know. You’re right, there is no good fit for a N. Even if all appears to go well, it’s just an illusion. But just to punish ourselves, we always wonder if possibly someone else has something more to offer the N? I suggest you keep all news of what he’s doing off your radar (no Facebook, etc.) and enjoy that you’ve found someone REAL. Only ghosts can haunt us, so it’s important to live in the light and look to the future. Kind thoughts. :) Jan

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Tracy - March 22, 2014

“Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality!”

Stacey, this is what worries me the most. That most of the world’s population doesn’t understand this & they are living with (N-zombies). Except, these zombies don’t eat kill you outright, they kill you slowly…by driving you batsh*t insane!

I personally believe that a lot of the perpetuation is due to co-dependent partners/people who have no sense of self to begin with. They look to others to give them their self-worth, & the N is a magnet. I believe N’s target co-dependent people (like, they seem able to sense them?).

It’s a tricky bit. I wish you well. Heed Jan’s advice- no contact- ever. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where the ex is merely a memory of what not to do. It took me about 4 years- just so you know.

T

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46. butt head - August 26, 2014

They’ll always come back, as long as it was YOU that left them.

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Yoyo212 - March 4, 2013

I believe I just ejected him from my life today-stings and I don’t know why.

He was slowly making a return back into my life and I like a fool…let him.

He just lost his father and guess who was there the whole time to help him out and give him support. Me. I was really dumb to play with that fire. Phone calls, drinks, dinners, emotional support for the last 3 weeks.

He invited me today to visit his mother in the hospital-I was just about to run out and buy a gift for her too.

So, like the fool I am-I send an email to him asking what time I should show up to see them and he strings me along for 4 hours saying today might not be a good day for her.

Finally he checks in with her and says “oh no, today is bad for her are you free Tuesday or wed.”

I find out he is going on a date tonight and he lied….again. He thought I was coming back to him, he held my hand, cried on my shoulder, looked deeply in my eyes, alluded to dating again. And pulls this without a care.

I told him Im really busy for the rest of the week and tonight was the best night. I then apologized. I mentioned I would check in later on this week. I played it cool.

I’m not checking in and Im not living my life like this.

There is no way he backpedal outta this one. Is there???

Yoyo,
It was almost one year ago that my father died, so I can imagine how you were drawn back in. We all want to comfort a loved one/friend in need But how pathetic that he used this to lure you back in while setting up dates with other women. He has no real interest in you…or anyone for that matter. He might as well be his father as he’s “emotionally dead.” Jan

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Tracy - March 5, 2013

Yoyo- he does NOT & can NOT “feel”- not for you, nor for his parents. He is counting on your “feelings” of loss to float his bid for your affections. He is a sick man- just count your blessings that you are now aware- & run…run!

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Yoyo212 - March 5, 2013

I seriously hope I never hear from him again. Not only was this stunt hurtful, but repulsive and disgusting ( I believe this has nothing to do with me-but, this is what he does.)

The good thing that came out of this one is seeing his illness in action and how he cannot change. To extract him from my life will be the best thing to happen to me as Im feeling good about it. .

I’ve never had to kick somebody out of my life before, but this incident is too much. This man is seriously not worth The exhaustion. He most likely wont contact me again.

He crossed the line with this one, it takes a lot to repulse me and he achieved that.

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Yoyo212 - March 7, 2013

You know what’s odd about these types of people….the whole “push, pull”
nonsense. That was my first clue when a social worker friend pointed it out years ago.

It’s like, the harder I hung on , the worse and more abusive he got. Treated me like dirt and ignored me. Now that we’ve “broken up” from this thing that never existed, I don’t care. Ignore me, please, it makes it easier! After 48 hours he will call me, saying my name almost in a panic.

I’m rather serious about the whole thing. I have no problem moving on when I get ignored and he knows it. The whole game is so predictable. Soon, I will not be there to offer him any supply as his sickness is so out of control. It mind blowing how my social life and dateing life is blossoming.

Anybody else have the same issue-the push pull and when you say to yourself..”ok, bye.” He comes back?

Yoyo,
The N wants to be the one who says bye bye, so when you do that, it offends his/her sense of grandiosity. The N likes the challenge of winning you back, but once he “has” you, the cycle of D&D starts up again. You’re right in that this game is so predictable. The more unavailable you are, the more a N wants to prove that he/she can have control over you. He likes to know that you are available as supply – like a squirrel burying nuts for the winter? :) Jan

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