March 22, 2008

Three Stages of Healing

Every now and then, someone asks me for advice. (Yes, people are just that desperate!) Moving on with our lives after the N-relatioNship is never as easy as other folks seem to think. Granted, those other folks have never been in LOVE with a narcissist, but that means they're usually the first to offer quick advice. Those of us who loved a narcissist are a little bit slower to offer advice. We know the narcissistic relatioNship is complex, the abuse often subtle, the loss of self-esteem comparable to the Boiling Frog Analogy. It's never an easy task to separate from a narcissist...even when we admit to ourselves that the relatioNship is unhealthy.

We end up believing we'll never be happy, satisfied nor content without the narcissist. We fear being a Single Person. We believe our misery is permanent. We scoff at people who tell us, "This Too Shall Pass." We interpret our emotions as reliable guides for appropriate action. NOT! We either pull the covers over our heads and block out the world; or we run back to the narcissist because our feelings insist he or she is the Love of Our Life. Oh, it's pretty much hell getting over a narcissist.

The following email is a message I received from a reader (bless her heart wherever she may be.) I hope my humor offered some relief while also offering wisdom about the Three Stages of Healing. I've been there folks, as have hundreds of my friends and let me tell you something about loving a Narcissist: "This Too Shall Pass".

Dear CZBZ, WHY do I miss him so much...Why do I long for him???!!!!??? OMG'osh, am I completely crazy? CAN YOU HELP ME!!! This is the second Narcissist I've fallen madly in love with!! HELP! XOXOXO FranticInAtlanta
*     *     *
Dear FranticInAtlanta,
You miss him so much because you liked the guy. You long for him because he filled an inner yearning for an intimate partner. Yearning for an intimate partner is normal since human beings are social creatures. We need each other in order to be mentally healthy. Whether or not you are crazy, though? Sometimes the only way to prove we’re not crazy is to abstain from the N-relatioNship and find out.

How long after your first boyfriend did you start dating another maN?

Recovery gurus suggest waiting one year before starting a new relationship. This is because we are still grieving the loss of our former partner. If we haven't given ourselves enough time to heal the residual emptiness, we may 'use' another person to fill up the void instead. Or even worse, we might return to the rejecting narcissist for a second, third & fourth attempt to fill the hole in our hearts. A hole they created in the first place!

Dating a new person too soon, shortcuts deep healing. Our spirits feel lifted up again. We feel good, but it's not love. It's infatuation. And infatuation results in an inevitable crash when we ask ourselves, "What the bleep was I thinking?" Sooner or later, we accept our  losses and surrender to 'legitimate suffering' if we hope to live sanely, healthily and happily---with or without a partner.

Even though waiting One Year before starting a new relationship is the standard answer, you may consider a Two Year Abstinence Period as a safer bet. After years of conversations with cyber-friends, my suggestion would be as follows:

1-Join a support group comprised of people who are dealing with similar experiences

2-Suffer six months of withdrawal. Rely on recovery friends to keep you from "Going to the butchershop when you want a loaf of bread"

3-Avoid filling your inner emptiness with addictions. Addictions distract us from pain temporarily; but they delay, prolong and prevent personal growth and responsibility

4-Practice celibacy. In other words, abstain from sexual relationships. Even one-night-stands catch us by surprise when the oxytocin flows. As Helen Fisher informs us about the Biology of Love: "Never copulate with someone you don't intend to marry."

5-Reward your celibacy by getting a plant for your bedroom. This little plant serves as your first needy companion post-N-breakup. We might wanna call this:

Stage One: Get-A-Plant
If you take good care of that plant for six months until it blossoms with good health and vigor, then and only then, are you ready to take the second step:

Stage Two: Get-a-Pet
If your pet is still alive and doing well six-months later, and you've proved your ability to nurture both flora and fauna, it might be time for the third step:

Stage Three: Get-A-Partner

If you are in Stage One Get-A-Plant when accepting a dinner date, you will interpret his noodle-slurping as 'Hot and Sexy' because you are absolutely certain this guy will make you blossom like a Peace Rose. 

If you are in Stage Two Get-A-Pet when accepting a dinner date, you will interpret his lousy dinner manners as something you can fix with just a little direction . And maybe a dog whistle. Let me remind you: It's safer to train a pet. 

If you are in Stage Three Get-A-Partner, you will realize there is nothing attractive about noodle-slurpers. You will know it's not your job to fix anybody. You will also know in the depths of your soul that no woman deserves to be stranded inside a burning house awaiting rescue by a maN who started the fire in the first place. 

A Stage Three Woman stranded in a burning house also knows in her gut: her Knight in Shining armor cannot come to her rescue because he's busy slurping noodles with a Stage One woman who feels he's kinda cute...kinda sexy...and kinda a cuddly sort of way...



Part Two: Get-A-Pet

Part Three: 

Other References of Interest:


  1. Hello,

    I know this is an old post, but I just thought I would tell you I read it! :D I am still recovering from a relationship with a Narcissist, and beleive me, I left him in 1992. I went back and forth in many differnet ways as we had a business together.

    Even now, after he forced me out of the business in 2005, I still harbour fantasties of it all being OK again.

    However, I recently emailed him, and his reply reminded me that YES he is a narcissist, he is abusive and I should just keep away and get on with my new life as best I can.

    I have had another boyfriend since and he is not narcissitic, he is just a bit a of a screw-ball. I am moving forward, but it really has taken me what, 16 or 17 years so far! I am 44. :D

    Thanks for your blog, I shall read more.

  2. Hi there, OMG! Now that's an accurate screenname for someone who met AND loved a narcissist! ha!

    "Even now, after he forced me out of the business, I still harbour fantasies of it all being OK again." ~OMG!

    So you still harbour fantasies of everything being OK again, eh? That's pretty typical for most people. Narcissists are so odd to our way of understanding human relationships, that it's hard to believe our own eyes OR our own experience. We keep looking for a way to excuse their behavior and unfortunately, we often end up blaming ourselves. Or thinking that we misinterpreted the situation somehow.

    Well, a lot of people are on the web today, letting everyone know how mean, selfish and horrible narcissists can be.

    I am glad you've added your voice to the many. We need to talk about not only narcissists, but also our own reactions to narcissistic relationships.

    I hope to hear from you again, OMG! It's always inspiring to hear from people who manage to make it through one of my long-winded essays. ha!

    Big hugs,

  3. I have just escaped from a 12 year "relationship" with a pathological liar- narcissist. Who knows how long this painful and abusive cycle would have continued, were it not for a fateful set of events that completely unmasked him for what he really is. I get pretty emotional when I read this stuff- if only I had seen these websites years ago. I learned of his cheating as well as his coke and other substance abuse use and addiction all within one week. FINALLY- everything is crystal clear. When you don't have all of the information, things don't make since and you can't think clearly enough to make solid decisions. Luckily, I left him about a year ago- and had moved on for almost a year...I was a completely different person! But, because I allowed him to still have contact with me and my son- he was able to suck me back in one, final time. If you are breaking off a relationship with someone you believe to be a MUST block ALL contact with him. I even sent my son out of state to school last year to physically seperate my son from the narcissist. I have blocked him on both my son's and my cell phone (no call or texts) and I have blocked him on my email. I plan on taking all of the advice I can find to heal from my experience. If you believe you are dating a narcissist...YOU ARE! There is hope. DOn't let one of these people drag you down. They will leave and move on to their next victim. They will also continue to abuse you as long as you allow give them the opportunity. If you do not stop all contact, there is always a chance they will pull you back in when they sense you are weak. Find Peace...Love Life....LIVE Life!

  4. The best thing you can do for yourself if you suspect you are in a relationship with a Narcissist is to RUN AWAY as far and as fast as possible. There is NO other answer- if you care at all about your own happiness and sanity. EVERYTHING YOU BELIEVE IS A LIE- a clever lie carefully planned by a psychopath. They (Narcissists) sculpt your reality so that you believe, despite the mounting evidence, that there is some goodness in your interactions. There is none and you are being used and abused. Get out before the years- and the abuse- adds up. It is truly a horrific condition for anyone but the Narcissist to experience.

  5. Thank-you for confirmation of my future without npd I to am on the road to freedom and recovery with a child

  6. hi, i am in the process of writing a blog of my experiences of being with a somatic narcissistic wife, and i hope that it will be of some help to others out there in the same boat
    somatic narcissistic wife

  7. Gosh, I haven't checked accumulating comments on this blog entry----but you caught my attention with your blog link, Anon-July-21.

    Have you examined Borderline Personality Disorder to see how it pertains to your X? From the pictures you posted and your entries, it sounds like she may have BPD tendencies?

    Good luck with your blog! Very few men in comparison to women, write about their narcissistic relationship. Your voice will be very much appreciated, I'm sure.


  8. Hi, thanx czbz for your comment about my link to my blog. I guess it will take take time in the making of the blog, but I will add when I get the time. As you your comment that ' Very few men in comparison to women, write about their narcissistic relationship,' is very true. as when I was in the recovery period, I trawled the internet for help, but the one thing I couldnt find was sites from a male perpective, and I had always said that one day I would like to help both men as well as women in the same boat.
    I will have to have a look into BPD again as well I think:) as I did look at this some time again too.
    Thanx anon
    somatic narcissistic wife

  9. Hi again!

    You may find something useful in this blog/website:

    It's rough stuff...they focus on serious female offenders. However, their articles help people cut through the illusion that women are innocent angels and men are horrid brutes. We have a long way to go as a society in order to break through gender stereotypes.

    As you find resources for men who were in abusive relationships, be sure to add the links to your blog. There are more and more men seeking resources now (most of the time they remain silent for fear of public humiliation).

    When women began talking about their narcissistic mothers, they opened Pandora's Box. If there are narcissistic mothers in our world---then that means there are men who were, at minimum, emotionally abused by narcissistic womeN.


  10. I am in the first stages of recovering (if you would call it that - I am still missing him and crying constantly) from a narcissistic relationship that has recently ended. I had never before heard of this disorder and was thoroughly confused for the entire first year of the relationship. Then I began seeing a therapist and she opened my eyes. I am relieved and saddened at the same time that there are other people out there like myself. It has been one of the most painful and draining experiences of my life and I only hope that this time I can stay away and once again seek my own approval rather than wanting his approval to feel validated and worthwhile. As I struggle, he has already replaced me with someone else for his narcissistic supply and seems to be doing fine. This is probably the most difficult part of the whole thing for me - logically I know he never loved me but emotionally this is just hard to accept. I will do whatever it takes to feel better though - even going through this difficult period will hopefully be worthwhile in the end. I am so appreciative of websites like this one.

    1. I feel your pain! I was in a 'relationship' for 3 years and it took me that long to determine I needed to leave it to perserve my sanity and live a happy life. I didnt know 'narcissism' was a condition until I started research on what I was experiencing. It is weird and I know you can relate to that feeling you have that you know something is not quite right. It is hard to comprehend that someone you love so very much can treat you in the ways they have done. But it isnt all bad, the parts of the relationship that are good are extremely good and yes you do like and love the person. But I always found it hard to resolve conflicts with him. At the end of a conflict I always felt like the entire thing was all my fault because he sure set me straight on who did what and of course he was always right. My self-esteem was in the gutter when I decided I needed to leave him and believe me it was not an easy thing to do. He cried and told me we were soulmates, fit like a lock and a key and I would regret breaking up with him. So of course I stayed thru another 'honeymoon cycle' until the next conflict. How many cycles of this can one survive? It has been 6 months and I still cry, still long for him and want him back but I also cannot accept his bad behaviours anymore. He has already found someone else however, within 1 month of our parting. She left her husband for him but then he calls me and says he is not in love with her. I dont understand it at all. He also proceeded to tell me her name how he met her and sent me her picture. Why? What did I ever do to deserve this? I cant fathom how someone would intentionally inflict cruelty like that on another human being. Even when I would tell him it was hurting me it just fueled more abuse from him. I loved/love him so much. Wish I didnt :(

    2. I'm just getting out of a relationship with a narcissist. I was the one he introduced to his family and friends while he was having another relationship. I don't know how people end up like him. He kept saying his ex-wife was a narcissist when he in fact is. He could bold face lie while he was making future plans with me. I've never seen anything like it. All he did was take and I am a giver. It makes me feel sorry for him and I know that his judgement day will come. It is sad that he doesn't see it in himself at all. His family has no clue and he will most likely live the rest of his life out this way. I gave my very best so I have no regrets. It was such a waste of time believing in someone who really isn't who he is. Now just a stranger, I am erasing him from my memory but, never forgetting the lesson I've learned. My heart is in God's hands now and he'll place it in the hands of the man he believes deserves it. God bless those of you that have endured this.

    3. I love sites like this because they are inspirational and provide hope that healing is possible. I ended a relationship with a narcissist this past summer and I will say he has been the most difficult to get over but I am moving on :-) Throughout this on and off again relationship we would have extreme highs and lows. We could stay up all night talking, have amazing sex but in the end it was all about him. If we had any conflicts he would get emotionally abusive, blame me for everything, never take responsibility for anything in his life. Some times out of nowhere he would pull the silent treatment on me even if the day before he claimed that we were great. I think it's there way of trying to control their significant other. If I needed a shoulder to lean on he was never there and acted so put out that I wanted some emotional support. I wish I knew about this disorder before I gave my heart to him. The red flags were there but I chose to ignore them bc I felt such strong chemistry and connection. For anyone that thinks they may be dating a narcissist watch out for signs like having a negative outlook, criticizing everyone and everything, stinginess, apathy, noncommittal, frequent moving, regular career changes, never getting you or anyone any cards or gifts. My ex didn't even buy his family X-mas presents...disgraceful. I pity his next victim.

    4. I am 2 and a half months from total discard of a 20 month relationship. Mine was completely out of the blue. He had discarded me 7 months before after a 1 month devalue but had kept me hanging on and after 6 -8 weeks we got back together. "Starting again" and it was fantastic. 2 months before he ditched me this last time, i moved back in because we knew it was forever, we started IVF and talks of marriage were happening. This time, there was only 2 days of feeling something was wrong. There was no devalue stage at all. When i questioned him about what was wrong, he told me that he didn't think he wanted to spend his life with me - that was it, i never got any other explanation. Then after 6 days of hell he ditched me the day after i had the IVF egg pick up. His comments were that he no longer adored me.
      Like everyone else the red flags were all there. But i ignored them. But i was becoming stronger and not weaker. i was asking more questions - particularly around his "crazy" ex wife that was constantly there. I was putting myself first sometimes. I was ignoring his put downs. I stopped his access to my money. I was letting him know that his lies werent making sense and that i knew they were lies. BUt what i didn't know was that i only knew the tip of the iceberg when it came to his lies. I don't know if he was cheating on me but i strongly suspect he was at least with his ex wife. This break up i have not contacted him but nor has he contacted me. I know that this was the last discard. He knows the game is up and wont' risk it.
      I know now what he is. I DON'T ever want to get back with him. But i still cry every day. I still can see the man i fell in love with so completely. I still MISS him so much. I try so hard for my emotional being to recognize what my logical being knows. That this man is a monster. Yesterday, for the first time i felt this so completely, finally I had anger and disgust emotionally as well as logically. Today i miss him again.
      Reading your stories up above is just how i feel. I long for the day when I am healed. I long for the day when i don't torture myself with his memory, constantly having to remind myself of all the horrible things i know he did and all those i suspect. ITs so hard. And unfair. But i will grow from this and learn a better self - a better life - and have the ability to meet someone that can feel the same.

    5. I am coping with a helpful tool of forgiveness. The N has suffered great pain in their past and are unable to mature past that point emotionally. Their heart is unable. They are in pain. We need to move on; knowing we are not equipped to love, heal, or accept the abuse. They do things to us not to harm us but to fill their pain. Always pray for them, God CAN heal them but they must be totally broken first.

  11. Thank you for posting, anonymous! Hearing from readers like yourself, keeps me writing. I felt so isolated and really needed to 'connect' with people in order to begin a healthy healing process.

    It's easy to get stuck in the blame the narcissist projects our direction. It's doubly difficult when society also blames us for either failing to create a loving relationship OR blames us for being sorrowful or angry or sad, etc. If we aren't "OVER IT" in two weeks, then we may be avoided by so-called friends and family---or worst of all: counseled as if there is something wrong with us for being sad.

    I hope you find other articles on my site to be comforting or even validating...I apologize for not keeping up with comments on this thread because my heart goes out to absolutely every person who has been in a narcissistic relationship.

    You may be interested in joining our community:

    This is no time to isolate yourself. Finding people who understand your experience is essential.

    Hugs to all,

  12. I've been back and forth with someone for 11yrs. I'm pretty sure he's a narcissist. I have not spoken to him since April...but he has text me several times during these months. He, of course, had his next girlfriend set up even before i left. That's what he does. He has someone already lined up so when i get frustrated and leave he's already been starting the next relationship.
    I've managed to not respond to his texts. The weird thing in his texts he never says hello or acknowledges what has happened. He says "meet me for coffee...please". They are always just random messages except for the last one a month ago asking why i can't respond to him. I'm trying. I really am trying not to engage because i know i will get sucked right back in if there is communication or any contact. But i too, am fighting the feeling of missing him so bad...blaming alot of the issues on me. I fear that i will hear he is getting married. Although i know she is not getting any better than i did...i feel like it will absolutely kill me. So, the only thing that has helped me to affirm what kind of person he is is to, read, read about narcissism. I feel like i am completely broken...even after 7 months of no contact. I feel like i will never be good for anyone. And it kills me to see and hear that he is running around all happy, once again, in a relationship :(. It really sucks. When does it ever go away? When do you ever stop thinking of this person?


    1. OMGosh.......I totally relate to what you are feeling. My ex narcissist now no contact for 6 months found a new woman within 1 month of our parting. I feel so miserable as if I am the one that was the problem in the relationship. If I think back to the beginning I can see the patterns. He charmed me into the relationship after he supposedly ended a 13 year relationship with someone within weeks of their parting. Also at same time he met me he had someone else waiting in the wings. He carried on and off with me and her for 3 years. When I ended it with him, he ended it with her and found someone else within weeks and she left her husband for him. Is this crazy or what? That I am writing this and actually seeing it for what it is, I know I MUST move on. It is very apparent that he did not love me. Love does not act like this. Why cant my heart listen to my head? This really hurts, but grief does not last forever thank goodness. And yes, like you I think of him day and night. You know why? They are charmers and can turn a relationship into something great and wonderful like nothing you have ever experienced. The flip side of this is the horrific behaviours and the lowering of your self-esteem. When I think of the bad behaviours I will myself to move-on as hard as it is and ask myself do I really want to live the rest of my life in misery. I love myself enough to choose this temporary sadness in order to gain my lost self back.


    2. Wow!!! This sounds so eerie. Why? Because I experience the same exact situations as most of you guys and it's so sad. This must be of something really evil, almost cultish, brainwashed or spell--whatever the heck it is I don't want to endure this ever and it's scary. I have been involve with the worst of the worst and I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I have been in not so good relationships, but was able to move on, date and i'm over him like yesterdays newspaper. This situations I can't move like I'm waiting for something that will never come. I'm too embarrass to share what I went through or allowed him to do to me and still go back each and every time. When I'm over this, you can trust me that I will be very, very careful. Good luck everyone!! and it's good to know that we have information on these monsters. Heres a fair warning-- Run if you ever have contact with this man Ranzino Smith.

  13. Dear LC,

    I wish you the best of luck. I have been married to a n an I am really suffering. Keep reading about narcissistic behavior. Soon the person that he is with will notice that they are not happy and they will not really know why.


  14. Dear LC,

    Everyone has a different time cycle processing this experience. It's never easy getting out of an abusive relationship. Many people don't. They may leave but they usually go back and the cycle begins again.

    One way to fortify our strength is to learn about pathological personalities. To learn about narcissism and the abuses narcissists perpetrate against other people...such as the serial infidelity you have been subjected to. That wears down a woman's self-esteem and pretty soon, she doesn't feel like she's worthy of fidelity. This IS a vicious cycle and the KEY to getting better is STAYING OUT.

    You've been out for seven months? Then congratulate yourself! You may have those nagging yearnings for 'the love that never was' for quite some time. They will pass eventually though. Trust that to be true.

    In the interim, while you're waiting for the grief to pass, KEEP LEARNING. Keep talking to people who've walked in your shoes. Keep empathizing with them. This is crucial to healthy healing and yes, it is HARD work facing reality.

    You can do it, though. I'm cheering for you!


  15. Hi K!

    Thank you for posting on my blog and especially----thanks for giving a word of good cheer to LC.

    I'm sorry to hear you are hurting and I hope that something on my blog can help reduce your suffering.

    Learning about narcissism was like taking an anti-dote for the sickness of self-blame, my confusion-delusion, and my repetitive mistakes because I didn't couldn't diagnose the dis-ease. ha!

    As long as we assume our partner has the same goals and values as ourselves, we will continue to be hurt. While normal people have communal values like 'reciprocity, trust, sharing, community, etc.', narcissists have agentic values focused on what's best for them as individuals.

    Well, needless to say, that makes marriage problematic, doesn't it?


  16. Hi to all!
    I came back to see if i had any responses to my note. What a nice surprise! Thank you all for taking a moment to affirm my pain and difficulty right now. I was just, once again, reading information about narcissism because i was having a tough day. Still no contact. He hasn't attempted to text or contact me either. I know the best thing for me is to stay strong and tough these days/month out. I think one of the hardest parts of all this is that feeling of wanting to hear from them....but knowing it is the worse thing that could happen. so you battle those two feelings all the time. UGH! so hard. i pray every night that i will get through this and that my heart will be open for someone else to come in. but...i still feel completely closed and broken right now.....
    I just keep saying to myself...the girl in his life right now is getting no better than I....

    Thank you CZ and everyone else for your support. support is so important right now...i need to know that it will get better and that there is a light at the end of this very long dark tunnel.


    1. Hi LC:

      I am so happy I found this site. Everything everyone is saying just confirms to me that I didnt imagine the encounter with the narcissist in my life.

      Just wanted to tell you that I too experience two feelings at the same time. In one moment I am dying to hear from him and then 2 minutes later I get all mad at him all over again at some things he has said to me that were demeaning and mean spirited.

      You know what kept me sucked in? What we had in the beginning. I kept searching for that person that I fell in love with but never found again. I saw glimpses of him which gave me hope but then his other self would re-emerge. Like 2 personalities fighting eachother. And the lies, lies that didnt mean anything. He would always come clean with them but then after awhile I couldnt believe anything he ever said.

      Today is a productive day for me. Much clarity to the situation, much more than I had while in the midst of the tumultous relationship.

      Too bad he is what he is because I love him so very much.


    2. you can do it. If you are aware then its the first rung on the ladder to success! Im no contact with him now for only one month! full blown narc..on and off for 6 years!!! its painful, but even more painful if you have more, just think of how clear your future will be and healthy. God is good.. keep on keeping on...stay with good people..God Bless You...

  17. There is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel, LC. You hang in there and don't give in to the lies. Cuz lies they are when we romanticize the relationship and forget about the bad things that happened. The bad things that led us to websites about narcissism.

    I know it's hard when you're hurting and you want to ease your suffering. But the lie you tell yourself is that seeing or hearing from the person who caused your suffering will make you feel better. It won't.

    This becomes a question of healthy boundaries letting people know what they can and cannot do to you. If you take him back, if the narcissist knows you'll come back even after he broke your heart, what's to stop him the next time?

    Once is bad enough...who wants to go through this a second time?


  18. I discovered that my former spiritual teacher/guide is a narcissist. I have good friends who help me and thank goodness for them because otherwise, I'd still be questioning and doubting myself, wondering what I'd done or said wrong, making futile attempts at bettering and perfecting myself so as not to offend "master." It's been so hard. For the longest time, I knew that something was off and thought I was going mad but just couldn't place these feelings, these unrelenting thoughts or make any real sense of them. So on the one hand I am relieved to find out that he's sick and I'm not crazy while on the other, I feel disillusioned and disappointed that all I'd shared with him and he with me was utterly meaningless and unreal. How can a "spiritual" teacher not be Real, authentic, genuine, sincere, empathic, caring? I don't understand. I just don't understand. How can that be possible? Thank you for this blog. I am so grateful.

  19. Oh I am so sorry! Yes this horrible unfortunately being a spiritual guide or guru is a perfect job for a narcissist. My ex was called a guru my his followers and still is. But luckily he is not a spiritual guru. N s love being worshipped and looked up to. At all others expense. :( I hope you can get thru this it is horrible I am sure.

  20. I am so glad to have stumbled onto this site. I am now 17 days with no contact from my Ex- narcissistic abuser and have been utterly miserable. I have contemplated suicide and have decided that it would only be playing into his hands. He would love for me to kill myself, so that he could feel supremely powerful in his destruction of me. He has moved on to a woman 20 years younger than himself, who is married (her husband is clueless to the infidelity). She also has 5 children from the ages 4 months to 11 years old. I attempted to warn the gal that he is a malignant narcissist, and she passed the articles and warnings on to him. The amazing thing about my Ex-N is that he touts himself as being staunchly religious.... goes to church regularly and constantly talks about being a good Christian man. I too feel broken, betrayed, crazy, guilty, and unworthy.... As much as I know he is sick, I feel like an old woman who was discarded and thought of as second best. I am praying for this feeling to pass, and wishing I could take back the last 15 months of my life that I wasted on a fake relationship with this evil person. Thanks for the words you have shared here. Trying to work through all of this.....

    1. Christian N are very dangerous! I too am in the process of ending a 9 yr marriage. I thank God I had strong enough grounding in the word to know the fruits of the spirit. His phenomenal mind has the ability to use Scripture to back up everything. It wasn't till I caught him on porn sites, developing very strong relationship with other women (friends), a promiscuous woman who was a staunch Christian who had her breast revealed in a way that he was totally against women dressed like this, and being a 'leader' in his Vemma MLM. His supply is being met. I knew there was something amiss when I met him. He would have anger outbursts, then 5 minutes later act as if nothing had occurred. Just pray for him and THAT'S it.

  21. I am so sorry to hear about your pain. I know it feels horrible and although I wasn't in a romantic relationship with the N in my life (he was my spiritual mentor - see my comment of Nov.11), the emotions of self doubt and unworthiness we experience are the same. I had to come to the realization, although difficult to process and accept, that he simply didn't have the emotional capacity to give because he always operated from a place of superiority. Real communication takes place between equals and he wanted me to remain submissive and passive so that he always had the upper hand, the control. To the outside world, he puts on the smooth veneer and no one could possibly imagine what he is like behind closed doors with those closest to him. And that's just it. He needs to keep up appearances so as not to draw attention to himself. You are worthy, beautiful and courageous AND WILL GET THROUGH THIS!! I too feel broken and betrayed by a man who claimed to have my best interest at heart when in fact, he is nothing but a self serving and manipulative individual who needs people to do things for him because he's unable to do these things for himself. I remember reading somewhere that he takes from those who have something he needs and initially, reflects back to them their beauty and strengths as part of a larger plan which includes breaking them down in order to keep them in their place, in order to plant seeds of doubt in their minds. And then we do indeed start to doubt and blame ourselves and yet we don't understand why. But the red flags and that little small voice inside of us persist on our behalf to help us wake up from this nightmare. What he did to me, he will do to the next person, like he did with the others before me...The same goes for the new woman with five children, he's with. Right now, it's all roses as he would lead her to believe, but soon, she will get a taste of the thorns and she too, will have to deal with the emotional turmoil that comes from having gotten involved with a man who doesn't see a need to change, from a man who never takes any responsibility for his actions. Seek out someone you trust who you can talk to and sort out these feelings you are experiencing. I too am grateful for sites like this one. Some days are better than others but I'm a fighter and so are you. It's okay to ask for help. We can't always be strong. What N's do get to the core of us but they cannot take away our spirit. This, I believe, we must nourish and cultivate for ourselves and I think it begins with educating ourselves as much as possible about what's happened to us. Wish you well. My prayers are with you.

  22. Some good news perhaps! My ex N, who is a multiple millionaire has been snared by a gold digger who has had his child and is claiming to be engaged to him. Nya ha ha! Sometimes they lose because they are too sure of themselves. I was not tough enough to be a gold digger and have his child, so lost out on that fact. But hey who knows, maybe any of the exes here could fall on their faces at sometime and we could all rejoice.!!!

  23. Daughter of a narcissist:

    As a daughter of a narcissist, I first had the wisdom to marry a non-narcissist (but not the most loving partner) to have my kids with. This 'saved me' for years, until I became a single mom and decided to go in a business with my narcissist father. I had no idea he was a narcissist. The pattern of our relationship was different from other girls and their fathers (I thought we were closer). Not long after our business experience, he began to 'triangulate' his power (that was shared with me), his 'affection' as a father, and his affection towards his wife - with another person at work. Meaning, I was more or less 'pushed aside'. When I addressed this (and feeling confused), I ended up being called jealous, he was in control, and I did not know what I was doing (this message was oommunicated to me by my MOTHER (who was brainwashed by my father)). The two main relationships I had entertained since being on my own were severe narcissistic patterns with very sick men. It was not till the end that I 'found out' things (and before I would just be aggressive and not know what was wrong) that I really saw the picture. The last one I found out about was two weeks ago (I had not seen him for a year). In all three cases: my father, the two relationships post-divorce, I was completely FLOORED.

    The nuances of narcissism and the relationship you are in is so very twisted ... it's just something you can't explain to someone else unless they've been there.

    I am praying to God that I have healed and continue to heal. Awareness is the first part, separation the second, and healing, healing, healing, the third.

    Thanks for this blog.

    "Recovering from narcissistic men in my life - HEALING - and praying for a healthy man to come into my life before I leave this earth!:)"

    Midlife Mom

  24. Thank you each for continuing to post your stories on my blog. I may have worked through the shock of being discarded like an old toaster but each time someone posts their heartfelt thoughts and feelings, it reminds me how important it is to educate people about pathology.

    Not that an education will prevent any and all pathological relationships, of course. But when a relationship is emotionally traumatizing, abusive, irreparable, sick and twisted beyond all hope of redemption (lol), knowledge about pathological personalities will give victims a Hand-Up. They will know right away that the relationship was destructive and the root problems preceded the relationship, too.

    Getting out of the self-blame trap is a big part of the healing process. Once you understand that the person you are trying to 'bond' with, is unable to bond, well...that pretty much lets YOU off the destructive self-blame downward spiral going nowhere.

    So thanks for adding to the true stories about the narcissistic relationship. If the general public really knew the kind of pain narcissists cause in people's lives, they wouldn't think it was 'cute' to say they were narcissistic.

    Narcissism hurts society because narcissism weakens and eventually destroys relationships.

    I am grateful you're joining me in my effort to spread the word about pathology.



  25. Daughter of a Narcissist and Midlife Mom ...

    THANKS CZ ... your hugs are well received, as is your whole website and your points above are very TRUE!:)

    Love to you all ... I'm hoping we can all move to the 'light' and 'love' and feel worthy of receiving this.

    Midlife Mom

  26. Love you CZ- you are doing a truly noble service to society. Just when I am about to lose my mind.... I read some of your words of wisdom and feel better. Thanks so much!

    Toaster in shock....

  27. whats the best way to deal with an ex boyfriend who still keeps on coming around. i now its not healthy but how do i make it all go away.. i cant seem to have enough courage to walk away. my therapist said its unresolved issues from a narcissit mother. okay, my self esteem ans self worth werre affected by my mother and i am working on that issue. but how do I walk away from what I know its so unhelathy. He reassures my self worth. Do i block his number?)

  28. Dear Anonymous,

    Its not easy to walk away, even when we know the relationship is hurting us. You need support. It sounds like you're working with a therapist that you trust. Do you have a support group that can hold you steady?

    Please check out our forum here:

    When you grew up with a narcissistic parent, its not uncommon to find yourself partnered with someone who has similar issues as your parent (not always the case, tho!). This makes ending the relationship even more complex and most people don't understand why we can't seem to Let Go.

    You said that he reassures your self-worth but at the same time, it sounds like he tears you down. Narcissists are pretty good at that, you know. They build you up and tear you down and the cycle goes on indefinitely.

    If you are serious about ending the cycle, Block his Number. Block his email address. Stay in a No Contact Zone and don't relent! That means: NO Facebook. NO drive-bys. NO seeing, no hearing, no smelling. Just keep that man out of your life and give yourself time to recover.

    Besides, if you are seriously working on issues with your narcissistic mother, you don't have time to mess around with an old boyfriend. (wink) Get yourself healthy and strong and I'll bet you'll meet someone new and wonder why you put up with an "on again/off again" relationship!

    p.s. If you decide to join our group, be sure to let me know who you are! I appreciate so much, getting to know my readers!


  29. I am very grateful to have stumbled upon your blog. I, too, am recovering from a relationship with a man with Narcissistic & Anti Social Personality Disorder.

    This man was my first husband. I left him because he had a drug problem & was involved with drug dealers back in 1989, taking our baby daughter with me. I had no contact with him during her entire childhood, moved to another state, and never sought child support to keep him out of our lives.

    Unfortunately, because of our deep 'soul connection' which I now know to be a hallmark sign of a relationship with a narcissist, I spent twenty years pining for him. No one could match his place in my heart. I saw him as a victim who fell in with the wrong crowd.

    We didn't hear from him until 2007. Absolutely zero contact for eighteen years. On what would have been our twentieth wedding anniversary, he sent me an amazing anniversary card which read, "You are, and always have been, the love of my life."

    My close friends were extremely suspicious. But that card melted my heart to my soul. I cried and cried. And he came forward, and apologized,and said the right words, and sent chocolates and gifts. His first act towards the daughter he'd never supported was to send her a pair of diamond earrings. We were wowed. Our dream was coming true, a long lost love, a long lost father. We were the reunited family.

    He was very careful to put himself forward in the best light possible. He convinced his family, my family, our daughter and me that he'd quit drugs years before.

    Within three months, he and I were back together in a whirlwind romance. I was never so happy in all my life.

    The honey moon period lasted nearly a year. The devaluation period took me by surprise. I was the most perfectly beautiful woman in the world but why wouldn't I dress nicely to go for a walk with him? Maybe I should let him pick out my glasses next time. Suddenly, he no longer wanted to embrace me when I arrived at his house for our once a month visits. (We lived 100 miles away, not surprisingly, I was the one who had to travel, he was never inconvenienced.) All of a sudden the most patient, kind, loving soul mate, my other half, would snap at me about the smallest things. I would be thinking, why have I driven all the way down here? Slowly, very slowly, things began to disintegrate.

    I realized that he had not been honest about the drugs. Yes, he was still getting high. By the end, I realized he was also popping pills he's obtained illegally. At the beginning of the relationship he'd claimed he's 'had a few beers on the weekend with friends' it was starting to be clear that he was drinking alone every night.

    It is a very long story. In fall, 2010, I discovered in the space of a few days, that he'd been having an affair with another woman for over a year, he was still selling drugs with the same old crowd from 1989, he was living a double life between his day job and his drug dealing, he had several online accounts and aliases for facebook and online sex subscriptions. In short, he was a total addict through and through, in addition to his personality disorders.

    I ended the relationship immediately, and our daughter also backed out of her relationship with her father. I have been seeing a therapist ever since and have been writing a blog about my healing journey, which has been very long, complicated and painful.

    In the past year, I came across the definition for both Narcissistic and Anti Social P.D. and he fits ninety percent of both descriptions. He has never taken any responsibility for any of the harm he's caused his family, sees himself as the victim, and thinks there's nothing wrong with his lifestyle.

    It's very hard for me to weigh this against my memory of the dear sweet soul mate I thought I was reconnecting with after twenty years.

    My blog is:


  30. Hi PhoenixRising!

    I'm pleased to discover your blog, also! I haven't had time to read very much on your blog, so thank you for posting a brief synopsis of your story. The more we speak up about 'what happened', the better off society will be.

    I wish someone had told me that not everyone was capable of maturation, or love, or deep and abiding attachment to his or her family. I believed, as many of us were taught at the time, that love and donuts would keep a man happy and pleasingly plump. I did the 'love thing' and I did the 'donuts' too, neither of which filled his insatiable hunger.

    We need to be educated about pathological personalities, not that it will prevent people from being victimized. but when we see 'signs' that this person is unstable/disorderd/unhealthy, we'll have REAL information to interpret the signs...not the rationalizations we make up in our heads.

    It sounds like you are very clear about what happened and how you were suckered into believing he had changed. The line about being soulmates has almost become a cliche on blogs like mine (or forums discussing pathology). It's what we're taught from the time we're little children and it's definitely what we WANT to believe. Ns and Ps and Cluster Bs take advantage of people's "beliefs."

    Hugs to you!

  31. I have never posted on a blog before...but I feel in such a rescue mode to try and help anyone that may be in that dark abiss...not understanding how you have gone from a self assured, secure helplessly being controlled by an individual that does not deserve to kiss the ground on which you have just tread. I have been strong woman...good, kind and above all else loyal...and betrayed by a man I loved beyond what I imagined humanly possible. I endured everyone that knew me, asking why I had entered this place of insanity, and tolerance...and all the time my mind was asking the same torturous question. My faith...continued love of my sons and friends that refused to abandon me...through 7 1/2 years of an abusive rollercoaster ride...I have finally broken free from the alcohol and painkiller addicted Narcissist. I still love him...but now I pity him from afar...rather than attempt to love him to a healthy state.

    I am so thankful for the self help books...that I poured myself into to discover what exactly was this hell I was living. I had a very sheltered childhood...very long marriage...suddenly to be thrust into this world where people such as W. H. really do exist. Here I was...48 yrs old...surely I had lived enough life to recognize such an evil force. But, I fall into the category of us women that see the best in people...and believe because I am good...that is what I shall attract for a mate...a good person.

    Forums such as this...sites that enlighten about what it is like to be with a Narcissist and that recovery is atypical from a normal heart wrenching break-up. I am so thankful very thankful to hear other braves souls that are willing to share their stories...I am not crazy...but I am still at the stage in which I wonder if I will ever love to that degree. But what I do know...I now recognize the red flags...and those I shall never again ignore.

    Take hope...someone worthy will win our hearts. I hope all of us that have survived this horrific journey from the darkness of a relationship with a Narcissist, back to the light in a world of real people...will take every opportunity to search out those that need the wisdom of our agony and recovery...and perhaps spare others this nightmare.

    Out of the woods...though residing in The Woodlands

    1. When you mentioned ever loving again to the level you did I can relate. I was in a relationship for nearly 2 1/2 years and was engaged to be married. It was a whirlwind romance in the beginning but in looking back I see the red flags that I ignored. He was so charming and I had never experienced love to this level, not even with my ex husband. Once the engagement took place there were many stalls to actually planning it and moving forward. Finally, the mask fell down and I saw rage like never before causing me to step back in shock. We went to counseling and things got worse. Now I can see he must have had the disorder. What I noticed happening at the end when is true self was revealed, was a level of mind games and gas lighting like I never experienced. I could feel my emotional well being declining and if I didn't get out I was going to have an emotional breakdown. I did end it and he has continued to contact me off and on with texts, phone calls, and gifts. It has been 3 months and I did reach out to him by email to have a time of delivering a few items we both had at each other's homes. That stirred the whole process of my emotional feelings again but I am doing better. I wrote him an email, was very positive about the good things he had done in the relationship but clearly stated I wanted no further contact. It was hard to be that bold but I think no contact is the only way to deal with these types of personality disorders. Good luck to everyone writing or reading these posts. We will get through this....

  32. Hi - Wow. How can there be so many people like this and so little awareness? I am stunned.

    I am just escaping an controlling man. We were married for 28 years and have two near-grown children. I never saw this coming. My family never saw it either. This man is so incredibly manipulative, deceitful and intermittently "nice" that we did not see what he was doing.

    I am also trying to work through my sorrow and confusion by learning, reading, and writing. I hope we can all help each other.

    I would be appreciative and honored if anyone who sees this would support me in my journey. I will be looking around here and hope to keep moving forward.

    My pages so far:

    A Funeral for My 28 Year Marriage

    I Did Not See I Was Being Abused by My Husband for Over 20 Years

    and the one I finished yesterday:

    Did He Ever Really Love Me?

    Thanks, JJ

  33. Hello Anonymous (from Nov 11th 2011)
    Was your 'guru' boyfriend from the UK...and are his followers, Twitter followers? If so, I think I went out with the same man and have recently split from him. Luckily I had my suspicions about him from the start and never really gave my heart and soul completely, although I felt I did love him very much. I am financially worse off, but it was a lesson well worth the money....I wont ever fall for it again thanks to this site and all the lovely people who have left messages about their experiences.

  34. I am so happy I have found this site. It is helping me throught this very difficult time. The anguish I went through does not even compare to anything I have ever been through in my life. Normal breaking up is hard to do, but to leave a narcissist is traumatic.

    I thought everything was my fault but from reading on this site I see that it is not entirely my fault. I loved this man more than anyone. I gave my heart and soul and he tromped on my heart and killed my soul. He managed to push my once healthy self-esteem to the gutter. He shoved other women in my face telling me how beautiful they were making me feel like an old ugly person, which I am not but he made me feel that way.

    I have had no contact for 6 months now and am feeling a little better. But during the course of the 3 years I was broken hearted most of the time. Gut wrenching sadness. He wanted me to marry him but I am glad I didnt. He wanted me to quit my career to be with him and I glad I didnt for I would have nothing right now.

    He managed to make me feel bad for who I was. But in the beginning I was the most beautiful soulmate and we were made for eachother per his words. The sex was phenomenal. But then he took this and shared with me how passionate was his love making with his new woman. I wanted to die.

    The mark he left upon me I will carry for the rest of my life but I WILL NOT let it destroy me. After this, I know I can pretty much handle anything.

    I feel sorry for anyone that gets involved in these types of relationships. It pretty much sucks.

    Peace to everyone.


    1. Dear Butterfly...
      Is it not the craziest thing? Beautiful, self assured women like ourselves find it nearly impossible to break away from these heartless men. I was journaling today...and wondering why I stuffed the truth that was right before me...his lying, cheating, verbal and emotional abuse...of which I have never tolerated from another man. It is a psychological mystery. I have been through a lot in my life...but breaking aways from this 5 1/2 yr relationship was the most difficult thing I have ever done. A couple of times in the last 2 1/2 years I tried with him when he begged me to go to counseling with him...only to find within a week his old behavior returning...and then I fled. Currently, I have his number blocked...though he tried phoning only a couple of weeks ago from a different phone. But, I readily recognized the manipulation...and made no contact.
      One thing I wish to emphasize with you regarding your comment, "It is not entirely my fault"...NONE of it was your fault...we victims move into survival mode...we have no room for making real mistakes...all energy goes into pleasing the narcissist. Working so hard to be perfect for meet his expectations...expectations that are impossible to meet...preparing for the next switch from kind to cruel...from loving and devoted to a cheating liar...within minutes. I am still trying to heal too. I will not allow him to win, and if I refuse to move on and give up on a happy future...he will have won..and I shall never let him do more damage than I have already suffered by this person with no conscience.
      I am too, so thankful for the wonderful people on this blog...that have the courage to speak out.
      I have read that the results from the trauma of a relationship with a narcissist is either "thrive" or "die". It is frightening and scary for me...because after all of this...there is a part of me that still loves him...WHY?! Is it not boggle the mind how we can still love them when most of our time with them was spent in tears and fear of abandonment?
      I am so much stronger...but, still hurting. I continue reading and discovering...and praying every day for God's complete healing...
      I wish you to know that my heart hurts for you...block his number...I know how hearing his voice can suck you exboyfriend was from the UK as well...but no guru!

      Take care...

      my post Feb 27

  35. OMG! I just read my post from 2009! :)

    Good news, although I think I posted good news already, because he got sucked out and trod on in his business.
    Anyway, I am over him!

    He is no longer a big wig in business and not in the public eye. So I feel I have room to move and be myself again.

    Although, now I'm not sure what to do with my life as I spent so much energy thinking about his what seemed to be eternal shadow over ne. Now that he is out of public favor and media his shadow has gone and I am thinking..... Aaaargh! Because I moved cities to get away from it all.

    It has changed my whole thinking about my future. But it's awesome not having that cloud..

    So, I was responding to butterfly, thinking, it's ok you spent three years, that's not long. As you said, pat yourself on the back for not getting further involved, and don't be mean to yourself about how long it takes to get over..

    Like I said in 2009 I broke up in 1992.

    It's 20 years ago!!!!! But I have the chance now to really move on, cos he's not in my face anymore. Yey!!!!

    1. Wow, that is such a long time and that is what I am afraid of for myself. Because I still do love him and just hearing his voice gets me all sucked in again.

      You will find your new life now that it is over. For a long time I felt this big huge cloud too, my life felt boring and this whole thing changed who I was. Its why my name is Butterfly.

      You deserve someone in your life that doesnt make you feel bad about yourself. We all deserve to be respected. These narcissists are the most disrespectful people I have ever come across.

      Im glad you found the strength to finally move on!!


  36. PLEASE HELP ME :( I an still currently in an off and on relationship with my narcissist. I'm grateful its only been 6 months but as you all know....its hard to let go. He even has a borderline PSYCHO ex of 5 yrs who hes been on and off with at the SAME TIME.

    To make matters worse...hes my OFFICE MATE. Despite any progress i have by not seeing him for a week or ignoring his calls and txs...i fall inlove with him all over again when I SEE HIM. My officemates say when i'm with him its like hes cast a spell over me and i just get sucked in everytime. I've even accepted his continuous infidelity because from what ive read by Dr. Sam Vaknin, narcissists categorize their SAINTS from WHORES. So in a sick way i felt good about being categorized as a saint and that he was doing all the crazy fantasy crap he wanted with other women. Pathetic excuse to cover up his infidelity but thats partly how i'm coping with it. I even try to just act as if i dont care and i'm the one playing around with him...but we all know better.

    Reading all your posts and learning about this disorder has seriously tipped my whole world upside down. Hence the name dumbfounded. To read the EXACT WORDS about my feelings and basically EVERYTHING i have experienced happened to all you women as well have made me feel less alone and crazy.

    It really is true that no one can ever comprehend why we stayed, left and returned to the narcissist ass over and over again despite the truth being slapped in your face repeatedly.

    Recently, i talked to him about NPD and we even watched videos on youtube and posts about NPD. I was suprised that he did see the signs and traits of a narcissist in him and that teaching him about this disorder has really helped etc. I want to leave him because based from all the posts and experiences from past victims, these UNKNOWN ENTITIES (as i call him now) hardly or will never ever change :(

    Perhaps this is all too familiar to me since my narcissist reminds me of my dad and how my mom put up with him because she truly believed he was her "SOULMATE" *sigh* dad contiunally devalued me and made me feel ugly and unwanted. Yet here i am, completely and helplessly inlove with the same man. I know i'll never be with the NON EXISTENT man i fell inlove with in the beginning since it was just his FALSE SELF all know that feeling of WHAT IF everytime i catch a glimpse of that man i fell for.

    Based from the posts i've read, the best thing to do is STAY AWAY from him and avoid ALL CONTACT. I've tried to resign several times but I keep having hope when i see him that he really is trying to change :( also, my officemates dont think i should adjust my life and leave my job for a "nobody" like him. They want me to learn to stand up to him and show him that im stronger without him. BUT they dont understand the GRAVITY of the situation and i end up giving into him everytime and anytime he wants or NEEDS ME.

    I feel like i'm slowly dying and losing my sense of self right now but i am so infatuated when i see him. I dont understand myself anymore. The lines between right and wrong are really blurry now. I want to get out but at the same time, amidst all this craziness...just sleeping in his arms makes it worth it everytime time. ARGH!!!!! its soo shallow and pathetic but I'm still stuck. PLEASE HELP ME :( what steps should i take????? I want to leave my job and i do have other offers elsewhere but at the same time i want to be able to stand up to him and say NO.....

    I'm sooo lost and confused.....everyday is a battlefield in my head and in my heart. But most of the time now...i'm practically learning to be sense of self is dying as i try to find and heal him :(

    1. Dear dumbfounded,
      First step1 calm yourself down. Allow yourself to know that you are OK. You may feel you are in a terrible pickle, but that is OK right now. Stop and look around you ... Go to step 2

      Step 2: make a list of all the good supportive things and people you have in your life. Think. About this list very carefully. Make notes about each supportive person or event, or even object you won. Errors downk what is so good about them and how they enhance your life.

      Step 3. Think about your daily routine. Are you eating regular and in a healthy way? Are you sleeping well? If not put your emotional energy and time immediately into improving this part of your life.

      Step4. Think about your physical health. Have you attended to any medical ailments that you need to attend to ? Have you been to the doctor lately? Are you aerobically fit? Do you walk/jog/rumba?

      Step5. Stop worrying about your narcisisst just for awhile and accept that he is there in your life for now. BUT meanwhile you are going to put lots of energy into looking after yourself and nurturing your good friendships.

      Step 6: keep your job and just do a Good job. Changing jobs would destabilize you even further. Until you can be calmer, stay where you are and learn that you can deal with him. You can ignore him if you want to sometimes. But mainly you are putting your energy into yourself, your work and your friends.

      This will make you strong. When you are strong you can make better decisions for yourself that suit you and only you.

    2. Dear OMG,

      Thank you soooo much for your reply. I have barely even thought about myself anymore. And when I do, its normally how i can COPE with HIM, be better for HIM, survive with HIM etc. It really has helped that we are open about his NPD and we both are learning about what triggers his rages, the temptations and infidelity, he himself tells me the narcissistic traits he has noticed about himself.

      I know most of you have been there and done that and as you can see i'm stuck in that stage where i believe there is still a tiny speck of hope there is a future for us. But i was suprised when HE, HIMSELF told me that teaching and helping him about his NPD had definitely changed him and has fueled him to also change for the better. He told me its now time to also focus on myself too.

      It's times like those that give me hope :( Right now, I'm torn between seeing him as the man i love and at the same time, seeing him as just an unknown entity. The ghost of someone I loved but never really existed. (I'm sure you know what i mean)They really are Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde....

      *sigh* here i am again focusing on him. OK OMG....i shall begin focusing on ME, MYSELF and I.

      Thank you once again :)

    3. HI,

      Is your NC from IL. He sounds like my NC!! I just came across this website. I started feeling like he was a NC and a habitual womanizer about a year ago. He has me feeling like I am crazy! Living with him is hell!!I came across this site today. Now I know it is not me!!

    4. I like what OMG wrote, however, I too am suffering the aftermath of an np and I keep promising myself to look after myself better, stop thinking about him, concentrate on my health,etc etc. But it's not so easy to do although I'm getting better I'm far from it. Personally, I do think you should change your job, get away from him. Even if the job is not the best you can get it will separate you from him. I don't know how you can get over him if you are seeing each other everyday, that's asking alot. Yes, starting a new job is destabilising but you will have to focus on it, therefore taking your mind off him for awhile, always a healthy thing and less exhausting:) In no time you will have adjusted to you work and work mates, but be seperated from his influence over you. Who knows you might even meet someone truly good for you. Whatever you decide to do I wish you luck, it's such an awful place to be, I feel for all of us!

  37. OMG, that was a beautiful response! Thanks for stepping in and offering wise counsel. (((hugs))) I love it when women help each other's that 'tend-and-befriend' thing that makes the world go round.

    Dear dumbfounded,

    We are so overwhelmed with potentially losing someone (breaking connections) that the fear of this loss makes us obsessive! I can remember those days, when all reason flew out the window and my desire to maintain relationship superseded reason.

    I think most of us are willing to 'teach' the narcissist, even give him or her our last ounce of energy and last drop of hope before we finally allow them to do what they wanted to do in the first place: leave. Sometimes narcissists stick around in a screw-ball attempt to let us down easily. So beware that there's a high risk here that when he encourages you to work on yourself, he's hoping you'll pull yourself together and it won't be so hard on him when he leaves.

    I am sorry to say this because my words probably break your heart. However, it seems to me that when the relationship gets to this point, the narcissist needs to find a new partner who is unaware of his/her weaknesses.

    If you want to give him six more months, well, I hope you prove me wrong! I really do...because within six months, narcissists tend to either "make it" (meaning: submitting to treatment) or "break it" (meaning: your heart.)

    The tricky part at this point is NOT becoming the narcissist's teacher, his therapist, or his mother. Reign yourself back from the all-too-common tendency to take responsibility for the narcissist's feelings, thoughts and behaviors.

    I hope you'll keep us updated on your situation. If you would like to join our support group, I think you'll benefit from forum member's wisdom and gentle support.


  38. I forgot to give you the url to our website. There's a direct link on my sidebar--or, you can paste this address in your browser:

  39. I seem to be stuck in anger. She used me and then stranded me after I'd given everything and quit my job. The shock of the chronic rage episodes for utterly no reason is just hard to overcome, not to mention that she was sleeping with someone else in less than a week

    1. Oh my gosh, anon!! You have really been hit by a tidal wave! You quit your job and then she stranded you?

      I'm so sorry. sometimes narcissists push us just to see how far we'll go proving our love to them. And then once we've done that, they dump us. It's even more fun that way, you see...

      Are you getting help somewhere? Is your family supportive? It's very important to connect with other people even if you don't talk about being cheated on and abandoned. You are always welcome to join our group. I posted the link in my prior reply.

      What you are experiencing IS traumatic. So don't discount your pain right now...honor it by getting support!


    2. I'm 27 years old & just got out of an on & off 7-year long distance relationship filled with suspicion & doubt. I think about the good times & feel like he can't be that bad, & am horrified each time at the counts of destructive behavior. He was dismissive, cold, apathetic, had an air/posture about him that seemed superior, even to me initially; at the same time, he was charming & showed what seemed like humility w/flattery & acknowledgment that he was cold sometimes; however, it always came w/reasons like "I never learned how to express my feelings", "I'm shy, introverted". I recently found out he cheated on me years ago, that is what led to our break up.

      I thought he was scared to openly love, & something about his demeanor w/intermittent spurts of yearning for love made me feel like he needed understanding/support. I was rewarded every time I tolerated rudeness/numbness by appreciation for how I understand him like nobody else could. He would allow me some of his affections at those times. He was borderline cruel at times in the beginning. He would show me pictures of girls from previous affairs, talk about how attractive they were, always had half-nude pictures of celebrities/models as his phone background, would walk away from me when confronted w/out returning for hours. Later he would come back to me with a guarded shame/sorrow (never too expressive) that I would find so endearing. He never directly put me down, called me names, nothing that actively showed disdain for me. He often complimented me, but subtly & w/hesitation.

      4-5 years ago the other woman messaged me. I gave him my trust & took his word for it when he told me it was her jealous ex-bf. 2 years ago I messaged her. Upon not hearing back I tried again last week & she confirmed the affair, in response to which he claimed she was making it up because he had rejected her advances. He made her out to be a home wrecker of ill-character. My gut always told me something was off. He tried to break up with me saying my suspicions were ill-conceived. When I demanded he call her he finally admitted. We discussed marriage the last 3-4 months. I thought I was seeing big changes: he was politer, complimented me more, made an effort to take an interest in me & my family. Upon admission he went cold, as I cried he drove silently. After 15mins I burst into anger, his face looked shocked, followed w/explaining that he was weak but really loved me now & couldn't see a future w/out me. Said he lied because he couldn't stand to lose me. When I continued to be upset he went silent again & abandoned the situation. From home he texted me (non) apologies & asked me to stay w/him.

      The good in him seems so pleasant, still; is this normal? I'm afraid after reading so many posts that this has infected me, & this pining, feelings of loss I will have to endure for years? I know I need to take the time out to love myself again. My mind is at odds with my heart, though, that says I need & love him. How long will my better knowledge battle with my withdrawal? Will this virus forever linger in my soul dormant then flare & assault me at any thought of him. I know part of my addiction to him in the first place stemmed from issues w/my mother. I'm fortunate that my father is a great mentor & full of love/support, but the longing for approval I've always had for my mom I can feel inside me transferred to him. I can't understand why this hurt feels excruciating, such a compulsion. I'm have nightmares about closing my eyes, waking up on my deathbed not knowing when my whole life passed me by in despair and ruins. I feel like I can't run from my own insecurities taunting me. I apologize for the long-winded rant. I appreciate all the loving support and insight I have already taken from this blog.

      Much love, I pray it gets better for everyone.

    3. "I was rewarded every time I tolerated rudeness/numbness by appreciation for how I understand him like nobody else could."

      You may not find my comment, anon, and I hope wherever you are, that you're recovering from a painfully destructive relationship. The way you were being treated by him raises the hair on the back of my neck because it's an old trick that is sometimes used consciously, to keep women obsessing on a man. It's called Intermittent Reinforcement.

      You can read about Intermittent Reinforcement here:


  40. I have just come out from a relationship with a narcissist. I can't believe I was taken in, but when someone appears so devoted you want to believe that life can be what feels so good. I have broken contact only a couple of days ago and I think that's finally it, after he kept coming back. I was under the impression that I could help the guy and I am have in this attempt lost my self confidence, become into debt, lost my friends and am really wondering where I go from here.
    I have realised that my mother was a narcissist when I was a youngster. I think this is why I end up in abusive relationships. The websites that I read have been so so helpful and it was down to a taxi driver that the concept of narcissium was raised to me a month ago, or else I don't know what psychological state I would be in now. Through research I have realised that I have been subject to this.. unfortunately my father was the type that didn't appear to see and now we are not close. I was made to be the black sheep of the family by my mother and I suffered a lot of health problems. It has taken me 10 years to come off my drugs that quite frankly I never needed. My mother was only too quick to insist I took them.
    Right now everything is raw and I'm so at a loss as to what to do feeling like I've woken up and I have no dreams, interests or desire to achieve. I will have to work on things.

    It's tough but I hope that I can be happy with myself again.

    1. I hope you're finding some peace, too, anonymous. If you read my comment, I'd love to hear more about that taxi driver. ;-P The word is out about narcissists although most people don't realize there's more to this pathology than a 'big ego.'

      Not always, but often enough, people discover narcissistic family members in their childhoods. There may be a connection although research suggests anyone can be 'targeted' by a narcissist. Many people realize at a certain point in the relationship, that something is kinda 'off' about their partner. The problem is that we don't understand pathology and we minimize the seriousness of their pathology---believing we can help.

      I guess we figure out our partner can't be helped at some point but the tragic thing is that a lot of damage is done before that point is reached. It can take years for someone to restore their self-esteem and self-worth, to even know who they are after being enmeshed with a narcissist.

      The good news is that many of us begin a Healing Journey of self-awareness and it's rich and it's rewarding. Just leap in with both feet and make sure you aren't putting yourself on a timeline. Pace yourself. If you grew up in a narcissistic family, it will take time learning about and CHANGING dysfunctional behaviors/patterns. That's okay. Find yourself some recovery friends and then Thank God that you've awakened. If you're awake and aware, you can do this hard thing.


  41. I'am so thankful I have researched narcisstic personality and found this site.
    I met my mine on an over fifty dating site.I had not dated or had any intimate relations for five years.This was the first time I had ever used a site.
    Anyway he was the perfect man with the texts and the phone calls.I live in northeast Ga. he lived near Savannah, long distance romance.His words were like prince charming in a fairy tale.I also respected him, a recent retired veteran Aug..2011.He told me when he came home from the war his wife had cheated.I nevergot a chance to meet his three daughters, it was never confirmed
    I think the last wife / girlfriend passed away in 2008.He never wanted to discuss .

  42. The problems first started with little digs, about my Southern accent , hes from New York.Then I should carry a smaller purse, my larger one was unfeminine he stated.He constantly criticized people of how they dressed.He likes to dress nice he calls it european dressing. In latter conversations he did not want to hear about other people, etc. if it didnt relate to him.Did not have a good relationship with daughters, and no friends.He always stated humans dont love uncondionally,

  43. That dogs do.Like his two pomeranians, he had them for ten years.They sleep with him,and they were always my captive audience during intimate times.On several occasions in the heat of passion, I was too loud he stated, youre scare the dogs he said.Also he didnt want me to move around.I will never understand why we couldnt be intimate and sleep in the other bedroom.The dogs had the run of the house, which he had a sign outside the front door stating this.It was limited where I could sit, the dogs ate and sat on both sofas.They also ate their treats in bed.He claimed I didnt like animals, becauseI did not overindulge the dogs with constant attention.This was ridiculous, I grew up with dogs, previously had dogs, cats, and rabbits.He was consistant to display that he felt compassion for abused animals, really wanted re-enforce the sympathy he felt.But he never displayed compassion for humans.
    He never spoke fondly of his grown daughters, even as when they were children, or his grandchildren.
    I went from being the ideal woman to consistantly told about my flaws, devalued.
    I wasnt to do anything right for him.He always had to be better than me at everything.And I knew more than he did, he would question how I knew that.Then he would say well Im not interested in that, its greek to me.The two most explosive times I saw his anger, he looked possesed, full of so much hate like he wanted to hurt me.He went into a ranting loud rage.Then a while later acted as if nothing happened.He blew up at the smallest thing.When he was mad at me he wouldnt talk to me for three days.And when he was at fault, he would never admit it, it would turned around on me.If I cried, no comfort or compassion.Even a stranger on the street would have empathy.
    I have never been in a relationship with someone like this.It has been exhausting to walk on egg shells trying to please him, you cant be yourself with a narcissist.To them you will never be good enough, you cant do anything right, they are never satisfied.
    I have to remind myself that the prince charming in the beginning, was not real.It was a fairytale.
    It really does hurt, I thought God had blessed me with a wonderful man.A husband, and a stepfather for my daughter.It was going to be such a great life as he described.He would love me, love my daughter.He said he would help me with her, she is half hispanic, and he is puerto rican, he would e teach her spanish, and she could relate to him

  44. Yes this will take time to get over.I have to remind myself frequently that I cannot love him anymore, he does not love me because he is a narcissist, he does not feel love.
    Im changing my phone number Monday, I know its best to not have any contact.Because narcissists have their ways of pulling you close so that theycan use you again.

    1. I am hoping you kept up the No Contact plan, anonymous. He sounds like an awful person to live with. Accept that he won't change and your future with him will mimic the past. Keep learning about narcissism and then you can trust your instincts the next time.

      When you're been 'devalued', you've been devalued and there is no way to climb back on the pedestal. It seems to only get worse from there...sorry to say! No matter what you do, he will see you as 'flawed' and therefore deserving of disrespect.


  45. In between my 1:13 and 2:36 comments.My ex n G frequently stated dogs love unconditionally not humans.He also said dont ever change how you love me now.I asked why would my love change?
    I had no idea of the roller coaster that I was about to ride with him.Criticism, cruelty, confusion, mind games, and power trips.How he must have enjoyed his mental manipulation over me.
    May victims as ourselves know that our hearts have beautiful love to share.But it is to be shared with a person that can feel and return a love comparable to ours.

  46. Make room in your life for other people. Walking, giving your mind breaks from constantly thinking about him will bring back balance.

    I think it will help to think of your precious daughter, it would be horrific if her childhood was ruined and she, in the future chose a narcissistic man. This is what happens to young girls, they learn from their mothers. Please be tough and stay away for both her and your own sake.

    Your daughter will bring you such joy, any work you do with HER now and bonds you form with her, will be repaid thousands of time over. Girls can be hard work, falling out, they can need your support while pushing you away, they can be so lonely and not tell you. With the narcissist, you are throwing your love, time, understanding, pain down a black hole. And your daughter is right there needing all your energies.

    I found that the last 14 months away from my on/off boyfriend since 2003 cleared my mind. I was being slowly killed. I was not really aware of my life, and my children's lives passing. Isn't it sinful really? Those precious full years passing in stress, pain and unhappiness over ONE stupid man who is pulling our strings. WE LET HIM.

    Moment by moment, hour by hour, think of what is important, get your work done/study/look for work, tidy this room, make things homely for your child to think back on fuzzy warm loving times with you. Are you cooking beautiful healthy food, bringing your daughter for nice chatty walks so you hear what's in her life. Are you cuddling her enough while your mind is preoccupied with him?

    These Narcissists are like vampires draining every last drop of life from you, removing joy. Yet your daughter will reward you, she will thrive, she will be emotionally and mentally healthier, and you will be satisfied from your success in that. You probably have friends and family you could chat with and rebuild friendship too. When you start to take your focus off him, your heart will start to heal. Realise where your energies are best spent. For your mental health stay away from him.

    I found that Sam Vaknin's youtube tutorials were excellent, and the online support. But don't delve too much, or get obsessed, give your life and brain a chance to open to other things too. You are so lucky to have a daughter, praise God for the pure love you do have. Not all women can have children, and some women would love a daughter. You are tired, and drained from trying to understand, to get love from a stone.

    I wasted years, my daughter is 12 now and in the last year we have really bonded. It is crazy the amount of time and attention she needs and I would definitely have been oblivious to it with the drama my ex had me caught up in. I regret the many years my head, heart and soul were wrapped up in a stupid, selfish - MAD/BAD man. I hate to admit, I did not give my daughter all I could have. All the time there is richness, beauty and love right there for you too, increase THAT. Do not let anyone near her to destroy her, to ruin both her and your futures as well as her childhood, that is all a Narcissist will do.

    I send you love, support and best wishes for your little family. All the best. Please keep moving on, see the difference between shiney tin and pure gold. I could tell you, any woman on here could tell you the Mr Wonderful act, the change, the coldness, the debasing, subtle humiliation. Don't fall for the Mr Wonderful, empty act.

    1. With regard to the comment about N’s being able to move onto a new relationship very quickly, I too was hurt and dejected constantly by this, feeling as if I wasn’t ‘good enough’ ( A clear sign I needed to work on me )
      However I suddenly realised that anyone , N or not, who can move straight from one relationship to another either has no capacity to love to be able to ‘move on’ so quickly or has such a desperate need for admiration and adulation that it’s the only way they can survive. Either way it is no reflection on the person they have ‘forgotten’ but says more about them. Any ‘healthy’ person needs to grieve the loss of a relationship and heal before they can move on. Therefore it’s unlikely this relationship will be any more successful than previous ones.
      Whilst none of us need to grieve forever until the pain and loss are acknowledged and understood we are likely to carry forward all past pain to a new relationship.
      As N’s are unable to ever look at themselves, feel emotions, take responsibility etc: maybe that is why they need a new relationship and why it always ends up the same.
      Maybe that is another lesson we can learn from our experience?

    2. The narcissist is doomed having a life fraught with complications, relationships ending and attracting of devastation and pain. They use up people and have to keep moving. One bit of knowledge that keeps me going in my sadness is this "They wake each day plaqued with a huge inner hole and intense pain and anxiety. A manic surge of self loathing and intense shame." He would wake most days and state after only being up for maybe 5 minutes that it was already turning into a suck day!! Now I understand why. I have sadness and a huge amount of regret as I too knew something was wrong. I thank the universe from removing him and allowing me the space and time to heal and love myself. I wish you all happiness and self love :)

    3. Beautiful responses...I thank each of you so much for taking time to add your thoughts to this thread. Let me validate what several of you have written:

      When we spend our time, our energy, our focus on helping an ADULT maN feel better, we have fewer reserves, resources and time for our children. It's an evil bargain to make yet for many women, we were taught to be his helpmate. However, narcissists are empty holes, never satisfied, never fulfilled.

      If you are struggling to stay away from someone who does not respect and cherish your tenderness, your ability to forgive, your passion for family, Get Thee to a Support Group Quick.

      The natural order of things is for two people to be invested in raising the children. If your partner is not MORE concerned about the impact HE is having on his kids than meeting his own needs at their expense, he is NOT a healthy partner. It's time to count your losses and get out. As Anon wrote so beautifully above, "I hate to admit, I did not give my daughter all I could have. All the time there is richness, beauty and love right there for you too, increase THAT."


    4. to katiekazoo, beautifully said, it's difficult to do because our minds are still foccused on Mr Emptyshell, but with a little will power, determination it can be done. I thank God for my children, I chose to have them, loved and gave them all my attention until the separation from my ex husband (perhaps a pn)and the meeting of my definite pn who bled everything from me to the point, I feel ashamed to say, I ignored my children(uni students) in preference to devoting my time to him in hope of his 'love' and attention. I feel ashamed because it was very selfish thing to do but I it was stronger than myself and it was all about me. I wanted his love and approval and I wonder if it doesn't stem from a lack of parental love and approval. So, in fact what these people do is, if we are successful, is to give us the opportunity to get to know ourselves for who we are and not for who we think we are due to parental/social influence. It really is a rebirth process...not easy. Phew! Courage and be strong!

  47. HI,

    I've been wanting to find a place like this for some time now. I've been to other sites about breakups but I didn't feel like people would understand.

    Honestly, before all this, I thought I had screwed up the relationship royally, that’s what my ex had been telling me every time we broke up.

    I apologize for this being long….I am a female and dated another female for almost 8 years. We broke up several times, (always her decision), with several cheating incidents (all her) within the 8 years. On one of those break ups and make ups, she came back with a list of 12 things I had to change in order for our relationship to work…I knew I was screwed because how can you live up to a list?! But I tried. On Nov. 1st 2012, I called my girlfriend (we were still a couple, I thought) to say I missed her and could I come over, instead her words where "I can't do this anymore it's over". I felt like a dog put out on the corner on a rainy stormy night and it hasn't stopped raining since then. She acts as if I never existed….


    Within 3 weeks and maybe sooner but that’s when I found out, she had another woman in her life…my guess is she already knew her…I know this woman is richer than me, although when we first met, I gave my ex money to pay for he school loans, a used car and other bills…a total of $120,000….again, I am not rich but had just sold my house in Miami and settled in NC which is cheaper, so I could afford to help her… I did in a slightly selfish way because I figured if she was out of debt, so was I. Within a year, our first breakup came, with someone waiting in the wings. 6 weeks later she came back, like the “in love fool” that I was, I happily accepted her back. 5 more years passed and like all couples, it was ups and downs, but I thought were solid. When 2012 came, it was like living in hell for a year. Til Nov 1st 2012.

    After the break up I have been and still am, in somewhat in a fog. After 3 months, I am finally going for counseling because the pain got to the point of suicide, although that is not my intent, but I know you know what I mean…where the emotional pain is unbearable.

    Unfortunately, I have to be in contact with my ex because we have a rental property together where issues come up. Today I had contact with her about that topic. I told her I missed her, nothing. I admit I knew nothing would come of saying that but I don’t know, I just had to do it. She hopes that someday we can be friends again and I can hang out with her. I just want the rental to sell so I can move on. Hopefully it will sell within the next two months.

    Anyway thank you for this blog, it wasn’t until AFTER this last breakup that I realized she is a narcissist and what a whopper of one!! This has been brutal, why didn’t I see it til now?!?!?

    Although I hate it for the rest of you, as much as for myself, I am glad I am not alone, I thought I was a big time loser in my relationship with her. The emotional toll is something I have NEVER experienced and I pray never to do so again.

    Thank you.

    “Wet dog”

    1. Hello dear wet dog---here's a towel. Now dry yourself off and cuddle up by a fireplace where you can read all about narcissists and restore your inner peace.

      In a normal breakup, both people take responsibility for their mistakes because we all make 'em. None of us is perfect (unless we're narcissists, ha!). What we do not do, us normies that is, is write a list of behaviors our partner MUST do in order to 'earn' our love. Narcissists always make people leap through hoops on fire to 'earn' their love and if you wobble just a wee tad on the last hoop, the relationship is over. You didn't make it. You didn't deserve their love and you won't get it either.

      That's so sick and twisted its hard to imagine but people have been writing about Hoop-Lists on blogs like mine, so I know that I am not the only person with a list of personality defects to fix. And I'm not the only person who actually tried to fix a few of those imperfections and failed.

      It's the sudden ending. The quick switch. The huge turn-off from lover to loather that indicates pathology. Normal people can't turn off their feelings that quickly, or eliminate any evidence of a love bond and say, "We can be friends now." It's unthinkable, isn't it? Just suggesting you can be friends tells me that in her eyes, you are still supposed to meet HER needs.

      The best thing to help yourself get back on your feet, sell that rental, refuse to be friends (especially if she suggests 'benefits') is to learn about pathology. If a narcissist can keep you on a leash (just in case she needs a little "supply" on a cold and rainy night), she will. So you have to figure out what your boundaries are, what you want for yourself and how to protect yourself.

      It's validating to hear that my writing is helping you stand tall in your own shoes and move forward with your own life. :-)Thanks for commenting!


    2. It is helping my recovery to read and get informed about the N's in my life. It has been 3 years for me and I was still trying hard to wade thru the confusion and self-attacks that come from being raised and married to one. Only this month have I learned just what the problem was. Knowing and reading about N's have really helped me to regather myself and stop yearning for what only they could give me. Thank you for your posts, we are not only surviving, we will bloom again!!! I am restarting my NO CONTACT commitment.

    3. Hi Anonymous,

      OH...those DREADFUL self-attacks are simply awful!Once you are out of the narcissistic relationship, REALITY settles in and you realize that global warming and earthquakes aren't your fault. It is easier to Set Things Straight by staying OUT of the relationship, most people attest to that fact.

      So if you can do it, use No Contact to help yourself. Treat yourself kindly. No more self-abuse (you got plenty of that IN the relationship, right?) We all yearn for love, especially if we grew up in narcissistic families...there is no shame in that! Once we realize love will NOT be forthcoming, then we need to 'cut our losses' and move forward, opening our lives to someone who CAN love us, right?

      Take care of yourself and good luck!


  48. I am fairly certain I have just been dumped by an N. We met online and he was so attentive and charming. He lives in a tiny village about 35mins from the town I live in. I am a student nurse so in essence I have very limited money and he seemed ok with coming to see me and having to pay for most things.

    I'd say it took about a month before the warning signs started but I ignored them. He wanted to see and text me all the time.

    Then it was as if everything I did annoyed him and he would get so angry at me over nothing. I caught him out on a few lies and he somehow managed to turn it round on me and I ended up apologising.

    he had issues with trust and always thought I was up to something when I wasn't. He in fact had 3 of his ex's texting him during our whole relationship and made it out like they were crazy.

    he also used to have this thing where sometimes I wasn't allowed to touch him which hurt me a lot. We would argue a lot and I would always be the one apologising.

    I hadn't seen my best friends in about a year cause they livfar away and I had no money. My friend paid for me to visit for a weekend and he seemed ok with this but later threw it in my face.

    He broke up with me out of the blue saying that because hecame over to my house most of the time it was unfair and that the relationship was one sided. He drives, I dont. He has job I dont. He knew all thus when we met.

    he strung me along for three weeks after the breakup saying we could try again but then never showing up when he said he would.

    we called it a day but I am struggling to get over him I want him back but dont at the same time. I am crying constantly and even begged him to take me back to which he said you won't get over this until you realise all your faul and that you are to blame for all of this. How do I move on and get over this? He controlled so much of my life that I feel helpless now.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      The narcissistic relationship is very difficult to "get over." Please be kind to yourself while your body and your mind heals. It takes time and there aren't any shortcuts to this process. You will (even if you don't feel like it right now) get better. You WILL look back on the demise of your relationship as a good thing, despite the pain of ending it.

      If you haven't yet joined our support group, I'd like to invite you to do that:


  49. Reading all these posts have finally made me realize that my ex is def an N. I always knew his behavior wasn't normal, I thought maybe he could suffer from Bipolar/Paranoia. He was never violent but he would attack me emotionally yet at the same time acting as if he didn't want to hurt me. He is very intelligent, successful and ambitious. The act he puts on to me when he's feeling good always made me think he was such a great person, that's why I always went back. We were together for two years, before the second year I tried to end if for good and just be friends. He agreed to the friendship but then begged me for six months to be with him giving me false promises. I really thought he was serious this time and was going to change. He didn't, he kept the roller coaster going, loving me one day and throwing me away the next. The worst part, as mostly everyone has mentioned, is the feelings of worthlessness and that we are now missing out on all the fun and admiration they showed us when things were good. The part that seems the most difficult for me to get past is that each time he discards me, he's so spineless and cold. Sends me a text or just stops talking to me for no reason. This time I honestly tried to have some closure and peace, he was still attacking me emotionally like I am the enemy. Why all the sudden am I the enemy? I now know that this is the best thing for me and I don't even know if he will attempt to come back this time. If he doesn't then it's better for me. I'm just not the person I used to be and he has brought me down little by little. The last contact we had I was just telling him I wanted peace and to end things amicably, why is that such a problem for him? He continued to emotionally attack me by saying he's in a new relationship now, she changed his mind and she makes him feel differently than I did. OK, total lie. New relationship within two weeks? Just like the last time he ignored me and told me his boss had his phone. I don't know how they expect us to actually believe their lies. About 5 months ago I needed his help when I broke my arm, he bailed on me and it was my fault. I just keep trying to think of how selfish he always was, never caring about my needs and how horribly he treated me when he was ready to discard me. None of us deserve that treatment!!!! There comes a time when enough is enough and we need to better our lives. I know it's hard right now but all of you will get through it and feel better again. You just have to keep reminding yourselves that you are beautiful people for loving someone unconditionally. Each time I think this is it and he will never come back, he always always does. This time I hope he doesn't so that I can move on from these two years of toxicity. Big hugs to everyone, you are not alone! Embrace your moments of feeling crazy, weak and hopeless and let it pass. I hope all of you heal as soon as possible. Big hugs!

    1. I hope you are well and free of his toxic rejection, anonymous. That would wear anyone down---never knowing when he'll choose another relationship! How and why we put up with this is the big question, especially after we've researched enough to learn about unhealthy relationships. AT some point though, we've simply had ENOUGH and that's when we're willing to suffer through the 'yearning', obsessive thinking, desperation, loneliness and GRIEF. It's not easy. It gets easier and easier as time goes on, which I hope you'll know one day.

      When you really and truly accept that he CANNOT keep the promises he makes, then you'll be able to resist your temptation to believe his fantasies. I write "fantasies" instead of "promises" because that's what they are. As long as HE isn't questioning his own behavior, making an attempt to change because he knows how much he hurts you each time he finds a 'better' partner, then he isn't changing. He's creating fantasies.

      Changing behavior such as he's doing is NOT a will of mind. It's a dual effort with client and professional therapist! so until he humbles his ego enough to ask for help from someone other than his current "partner" (o, those narcissists just LOVE to pressure their partners into being therapists for them), he's living in fantasy land. Don't go there with him again, Anon. Not until he's proven to himself and others that he cannot bear hurting YOU anymore.


  50. I am so glad I found this site. Thank you. I pretty sure my best friend is dating one and I’m totally lost on how to help her. They’ve been together 1 1/2 years after the 1st she seemed like an empty shell of a her-self. I spent time with her sunday a I gave a bible with her name embroidered on it and just said “that’s nice” in low voice it was weird like she forgotten or kindness was foreign to her. Any advice on what to do would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Kevin Marshall!

      After being notified of Pamela's comment below, I saw your post. Sorry about not replying earlier. I don't know if it's my email account or blogger but I don't always see incoming comments on "Older" posts. This post was written in 2008.

      As far as helping someone who's in an abusive relationship goes, the best advice I can offer is remaining a reliable friend. Criticism by you will force her to choose and in most cases, she will choose her abuser---to whom she feels a special bond. Not until that bond is called into question by a 'traumatic' experience, will she even entertain the notion that this guy might not be good for her.

      I am not an abuse counselor so my advice comes from personal experience and conversations with online friends.

      Stay close to her. Don't criticize or give her advice. Just listen. She's already being "told what to do". The safer she feels with her friends and family, the better choices she'll make because she'll realize she's lovable (an abusive partner undermines her self-worth).


  51. Hi, just be there for her Kevin because I suspect one day she will really need you. I have been apart from my ex N for nearly a month and it's so so hard to do no contact. He was quite subtle with his put downs but they still seeped into my head until I stopped wearing the denim skirt he hated so much because it was too short (despite the fact I wear it with leggings). I stopped wearing red lipstick because it made me look to old! I dare not have a drink at a social event because if I enjoyed myself he'd get angry and say I was showing myself up. My hair wasn't to be too blonde and so on...Why oh why do I feel so depressed and like I've lost the one man who could make me happy? It honestly feels like im dying inside every single day. We had dreams and plans (a holiday which he says he's going on alone after saying we both deserve it and could go as friends then next day took that away from me but seemed to enjoy doing so). I only hope that as times goes on I can recover from this very painful last 5 years of my life. Thank you for all the posts, it really helps to ready other people's experiences and realise you're not alone. Good luck everyone x

    1. Hi Pamela! I don't always get notice of comments on "older" posts so I'm really glad you replied to Kevin. <3

      Losing our self-confidence is the sad fall-out of the narcissistic relationship. I joke a lot about dying my hair blonde and my husbaNd not noticing for two days. It's hard not to feel Irrelevant and Unimportant when the only thing your lovers sees is him or herself. The next insult of course is that whatever we do, no matter how slight or unintended, is interpreted as a full frontal assault on THEIR dignity and worth!! Boy is that a head-spinner!

      They can't understand how ignoring someone could lead to PROBLEMS in the relationship??!!! Well, that's narcissism for you---a very narrow focus of me, myself and I.

      Nearly every person who has written to me struggled with depression. Some people assume they were depressed to begin with and that's why the relationship wasn't healthy. Other people realize that emotional neglect, the inability to affect a partner, the constant inability to PLEASE a partner, eventually wears us down and we become depressed. Which only perpetuates our order to break that cycle, people must END the relationship (if a partner refuses to get help for his/her narcissism).

      It is very difficult changing our 'thinking' because the narcissist made such PROMISES that he or she could not fulfill. That they couldn't BE who they promised to be is a fact---but we're still stuck with our romantic notions that they're the BEST and ONLY person for us. Had the narcissist been a rat bazturd from the get-go and continued in his/her rat bazturdy ways, we wouldn't have magical beliefs or romantic notions, would we? What we'd see would be what we'd get, our feet planted in terra Firma.

      But the narcissist isn't like that. What you see (what is promised) is NOT what you get. The resultant confusion is called Cognitive Dissonance---a serious complication for people who loved who they THOUGHT the narcissist was---not the person they really were.

      If you google cognitive dissonance, you'll find Abuse Websites talking about this "mental agony." They might not call it mental agony but it certainly was for me! It took a long time before I could confront my illusions and fantasies about our perfect marriage and the perfect guy I did NOT marry.

      good luck, Pamela!


  52. I could have written every word you wrote. I was discarded 6 months ago but the past few weeks I've backslided. I am remembering the good stuff about him, when the bad stuff was so unbelievably bad. This is insane. It's as if the pain has subsided, and the love still remains. But why and how could I love someone so much who could be so harmful. How is it possible that the river of tears I shed could not have carried the love away for good.

    1. I'm so sorry, anonymous! It's so horrid being 'discarded" by someone we loved. Especially when we didn't see it coming and then suddenly, it's over with no hope of reconciliation. I think most of us hang on to hope for a long, long time before eventually accepting 'reality.' Because truly, why would we want to reconcile with someone who was capable of walking out like that???

      It's hard to hang on to the TRUTH when we're emotionally devastated. It's like our mind is at war with our heart and all we can think about is ending our pain...Unfortunately, we falsely assume getting back together will be the trick.

      It's actually very normal to be flooded with "loving" memories, selectively omitting the "unloving" experiences. That was my experience and the experience of many other people who've ended a similar relationship. If you can find hobbies or activities that occupy your mind, at least for a few hours, you'll feel refreshed enough to make it through another day. We have to find ways to relax, alleviate some of the stress (and yearning). So take bubble baths or paint your toenails or pamper yourself in some way---taking extra special care of yourself. It's almost like we're learning ot trust ourselves to be loving so we won't be as 'hungry' for someone else to love us.

      You can also find a support group somewhere, for those times when you don't think you can stand another minute of loneliness. You can, you know---you can get through this, even if you're backsliding. Just writing a comment to me is a healthy sign that you're taking care of yourself! Feel free to leave a comment anytime, anon. I know how difficult this is and if you were in my living room, I'd give you comforting hug. We manage to get through this but it takes time. What other people told me, I'll pass on to your and hopefully it will comfort you too: This Too Shall Pass.

      It will. It really will. Don't lose faith in yourself.


  53. I too, am learning that I have loved an N. The last 5 years have been completely devastating for me. In 2007 I had an affair with him. He was so "miserable" at home and said it was me for the last few years that he thought about. I met him in 2003 and he had done work at my home over the years. Oh the stories he told me of how much he wanted to grab me and tell me the love he had for me. Well, when his wife found out, he left me to go back to her. Had another child with her then 3 years later contacted me..........and I took him back. I had not been with anyone for three years because I missed him so. These last two years have been the worst years I have ever had in my life. What is worse I am 51, he is 40. Shouldn't I have known, what was what? Yes, he ended "us" in December, and yes there was another person just waiting too. I am trying to find counseling. He took my money, my heart my self-worth. I am invisible now. I don't know how I am going to get through this. I cry every day/night. I don't even know who I am anymore. Just a weak, old, ugly person. That is how I feel all the time. I am afraid to do anything. Fridays are the worse, because I know he is with her and not me. How do you break from this. It is killing me literally..................I have lost two jobs from the emotional turmoil from him. Oh but he was quick to help spend my retirement. That is gone too..........everything is. Just like his wife and him, they lost everything, house, car. And he is not even divorced from her yet. But, there is someone who is stupid like me thinking he is the "one". I still miss him, I still want him. I need help.

    1. Hello dear anonymous,

      You must know your story is being lived by many many other people who are suffering just like yourself. We aren't taught about people who can't "attach" or "bond" the same way most people do. We aren't taught about people who keep someone waiting in the wings just in case they want to leave the existing relationship. We aren't taught that soulmates aren't real. That real love is hard work. And we aren't taught that about personality disorders or pathological personalities. So who knew?

      I'm so sorry you've been through so much and so many losses. By the time a narcissistic relationship ends (especially when people are older), there are more losses than people can bear to think about---like your retirement account for example.

      Are you getting professional support from a therapist or counselor to help you deal with the grief? Even cognitive therapy can help you with thoughts like, "I still miss him, I still want him." Thoughts like that are common for people like ourselves, when we're in the throes of rejection and loss. Thoughts like that make us feel kinda crazy because who would want someone who had hurt them? If the future is like the past, there's more HURT where that came from so of course you don't want that rat bazturd to come back. Like myself, you just want the yearning and the pain to end. BUT as many people can attest, they aren't done hurting you, until you're done being hurt by them. It's not easy to get over these types of relationships but you can do it. You really can.

      There are several excellent forums on the web now so take some time to browse around and see if one "fits" for you. You'll be amazed how quickly you can get back on your feet once you have a group of friends to support you!

      And of course, you can write anytime on my blog. I try to check in at least every other day so don't give up on me if it takes awhile. <3


  54. Dear readers,

    This article is a popular read, thus the constant spam posts about "Magic Spells" and "witch doctors." I receive three to ten spam comments PER DAY which I must manually delete one by one. Blogger does not filter out all of the spam posted on active blogs.

    If I am out of town or unable to babysit my website, I can't delete the spam fast enough to keep people from reading it. Please know that I do NOT endorse casting spells or having witch doctors pray for your or anyone else's rat bazturd's return. (rat bazturd is not gender specific).

    Initially, I didn't worry about spam because I didn't believe anyone would EVER pay someone else to cast a spell for their wayward lovers. Then I saw intelligent people paying someone to read their energy (yikes) and decided it was time to add my disclaimer.

    Hugs all...stay safe from scam-artists!

  55. Hi there, I also just realised that my relationship of 1,5 - 2 years felt so OFFF for a very good reason! Luckily I don't suffer from insecurities about myself, so throughout the whole thing I kept saying to him and to myself: I KNOW that none of this comes from me. I just know it! One thing made this very very clear. We were together for a year in another country before we got married and I went back to my country and 2 months later he arrived. We both seemed happy. But the very first night we spent together, he started texting some female 'friends'. I lost my temper and told him that I would not accept anything like that. So later when these things occured: His contacting women online and offline, I just knew that it had nothing to do with me. So I really want to say to all you ladies out there: IT IS NOT YOU!!!!! IT IS HIM!!!!! You are ok. You are probably not perfect, but that is not the point. These men are waaaaay beyond 'not perfect'. If a healthy normal 'not perfect' man loves you - he will NOT jeopardize your feelings or drive you to insanity. He will not. Thanks

    1. Thank you for "telling it like it is!"

  56. My cat is a narcissist

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