Addiction: a persistent, compulsive dependence on, or commitment to, a habit or practice, on a thing or substance, to the extent that its cessation causes trauma.
There are many definitions of addiction, but bottom line, it’s a dependence on something that causes one to have compulsive thoughts and behaviors, which they cannot control or stop.
Individuals can be addicted to many things such as, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, food, gambling, sex, but when we are talking about an addiction to a person, we usually use the word obsession. When researches study addiction they often refer to certain neurotransmitters being present in the brain, or certain areas of the brain lighting up, or becoming visible on tests. At present there are no known studies to determine if the same brain patterns exist for an addiction to a person.
I was recently doing some research on addiction, for another publication, when I stumbled across something that fascinated me.
We often become aware, at some point, that continuing in our relationship is not in our best interest, but we just can’t seem to stop, regardless of how bad it makes us feel, or any consequences it renders. It’s a persistent need and longing, to feel wanted by the object of our obsession, to the point where we will persist in self-destructive behaviors that we wouldn’t otherwise normally partake in. This to me sounded a lot like a common addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
The following depicts the signs and symptoms of common addictions and Narcissistic addiction.
- An inability to stop using/engaging with the substance
- Addiction continues despite awareness of serious harm
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Social/Financial/Recreational Sacrifices
- Unpredictable and/or Unstable Behaviors
- Secrecy and Denial
- Behaviors that Inhibit Normal Life Functioning
Examples of these behaviors in terms of Narcissist Addiction would be:
A preoccupation with thinking about and longing for a person, or a relationship long after the relationship has ended, to the point that it impedes normal life functioning.
Continually re-engaging with the Narcissist, after repeated breakups, regardless of the amount of harm suffered, or amount of time that has passed.
A pervasive feeling of heartache, sadness, depression and worthlessness.
Continuing to engage with a Narcissist while being fully aware of the emotional, psychological, and/or financial harm it causes.
Being consumed with thoughts of reconciliation.
Checking your phone and email, or any source of previous contact, repeatedly every few seconds or minutes, in hopes of some contact you may have missed.
Dropping everything at the first sign of their potential interest again and allowing yourself to be used, or manipulated in any way, after previous abuse or harm.
Putting up mild to no resistance to mistreatment.
Ignoring friends and family because you know they would not approve of your behavior.
Ceasing to engage in normal behaviors you enjoy, in order to be available for your Narcissist.
While most of us experience periods of malaise after a breakup, where we will engage in some of these behaviors, the difference here is the degree and the duration. The thoughts and behaviors mentioned above become an addiction when you cannot control them – meaning you cannot stop your thoughts, the hurt has extended long beyond normal healing times and you cannot stop yourself from re-engaging with the person, even though they have caused you repeated harm and you know that the result this time around will be no different.
No contact seems pretty harsh to a lot of people and in most cases it is. It’s not meant for relationships where there was mutual love and respect, but it just didn’t work out, or long term relationships, where you’ve grown apart. Many people who have become addicted to their Narcissist allow themselves to become members of a Narcissistic Harem, because they would rather have a piece of them, than nothing at all. They drop everything on the whim of their Narcissists and allow themselves to be used and manipulated over and over again.
That is the essence of a Narcissistic addiction.
No contact can seems like an impossible task. It’s like a smoker, or an alcoholic waking up and realizing that they have to give up their greatest desire. Yes, it is going to hurt, there is going to be withdrawal symptoms, it is going to be a struggle every day and there is a good chance of relapse, but if you want to reclaim your life, No Contact is the only way, it is akin to going cold turkey.
When I was a teenager I used to smoke cigarettes. I loved smoking. I would often say, ‘if it was free and good for you I would never stop smoking.’ But I came to the conclusion that I was poisoning myself every day and that my money would be better spent on payments for a new car.
I successfully quit for a couple of years until I hooked up with some friends one night, who were all smoking and I thought, ‘I’ve beaten this – one little drag won’t hurt me.’ And before that night was through I had purchase my first pack of cigarettes in over two years.
The Law of Addiction states that:
“Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.”
We know that in order for an alcoholic, a smoker or a drug addict to beat their addiction they must refrain forever. You’ve heard the saying, “Once an addict – always an addict.” That’s what the law of addiction tells us. It doesn’t matter how much time has gone by, if you use or engage with the substance again ever, there is a high probability that you will become addicted again.
This is why once you’ve gotten away from your Narcissists and you’ve initiated no contact – you will start to feel in control again and pretty good about yourself – but all it takes is one phone call – one text message that you respond to and you are right back in the thick of it.
You cannot beat a Narcissistic addiction while still maintaining contact. It’s like saying everything in moderation is ok – everything in moderation is fine as long as you’re not addicted to it. That’s how you know you’re addicted to it – because you can’t do moderation.
Maintaining no contact when you have children
I know many of you have children with Narcissists and are wondering how to navigate around no contact, when you have to deal with each other as it pertains to the children. Well, let your communication do just that – pertain to the children. Don’t engage in any discussion other than the care of the children.
Just don’t engage in anything, even if you are dying to, even if it’s to defend yourself. Remember you are not dealing with an emotionally healthy individual here. All they want is some type of reaction from you – give them nothing. This is where self-discipline will have to come into play. If it is too difficult for you then have someone liaise between you – the court, a friend, or a family member. But do not ever give in to any attempt to re-engage you.
Many people do get to a point where the mere thought of their Narcissist brings up feelings of loathing, disgust or indifference. While I am not advocating hate, I would say indifference is what you should be striving for, especially if you do have to continue to engage with them at some level.
At this point, I couldn’t care less what my long-term Narcissist is up to, but any mention of, or proximity to, anything pertaining to my last boomerang Narcissist can still cause my stomach to do a flip, so I know – once an addict always an addict – and I have to completely stay away from him. I made the decision to go cold turkey on my Narcissist despite all of his attempts to engage with me. I had a tough go of it, but I battled through it and came to a place of pure peace and happiness, but I must never forget the tremendous power my addiction had over me and I must always be diligent to stay far, far away from him. That’s what NO CONTACT is all about.
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This blog, is so helpful. Thank you, thank you! So nice to know others understand what I’m going through. Letting go of this last narcissist is literally the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. We do share a child but he has no legal right to her. So unless he fights for her in court, I don’t see how it’s my responsibility to make sure he sees her. I suspect his mother is a narc as well. So I’ve established no contact with her as well! I’ve put myself in therapy and it’s going great! The obsessive thinking is the hardest part for me. I can’t stand it. Trying to stay focused on myself and family. Easier said than done sometimes. Reading these articles are extremely helpful! Best of luck to everyone dealing with the aftermath of these toxic relationships!
I posted here three years ago and after that went completely No Contact except phone calls continued for some time.
Now I am free, free, free. I have no narcissists in my life and am too healthy to tolerate them. No phone calls, social media, or anything. Completely narc free and now that I think of it, loving this life.
I am writing this three years after my original posts here. Yes, it may take time. But when freedom is won…all the personal work is worth it.
I’m curious how long did it take after no contact for you to feel free and start feeling better? I’m
Going into week 3 and feel like I’m
I was with my ex narcissist for twenty-six years. Even wrote a book about the relationship. I only found out two and a half years ago that he was diagnosed as a narcissistic sociopath. I have not spent a night or any time with him since May 2015. After that he would call on the phone mostly because I begged him to not give up on us and to please keep calling. He called up until about April 2016. I found him on dating sites. Now to his credit he had been telling me all along we were done but I couldn’t leave him alone. I was doing pretty good for the last while with slips now and again where I would text him and he would give me a one word answer or not answer at all and I would again feel rejected as he discarded me. The I would not contact him and when he wanted something like this week he wanted a tablet we had. He is all nice. He immediately started a new relationship with another woman and even sent me pictures of her an said how she’s not hard to look at. She of course is blonde, that’s his thing. I am not. He told me all her darkest secrets on the phone at the same time telling me about their sex life until I was in tears.
We eventually went a couple of months no contact. A couple of days before Christmas Eve I texted him with the excuse I wanted him to call our grown boys at Christmas and I had a few things of his at the house he might want and could I drop them off at his mothers? He said he’d let me know but never did.
I asked him why he never responded and why he was being so mean. He said “we had an agreement, I thought?
I just didn’t respond and deleted the text.
He texted Merry christmas.
Then Sunday I got a text saying he was coming down that night and he would be in town around 6. I assumed he wanted the tablet. The next line floored me and it is still stuck in my head, he said “do you want to meet her?
I nearly fell off my couch. i responded absolutely not are you trying to rip apart what very little shreds of my heart I have left.
He came by the house later with her. They came in and he was in no rush to leave. I was very polite to her and to him. Even though I was dying inside seeing him beside her in my place in what was our home I wanted to be strong and show him I was neutral and didn’t care. She wasn’t too happy because he and I kept going down memory land and laughed over a lot of times. Eventually she said Joe we need to go. He sat for another fifteen minutes and eventually got up to leave. As he was at the door putting on his shoes he got talking about different things about the house and did she want to see it. All she said was “i saw pictures.” She wasn’t happy at this point.
He was about to walk out and she had to remind him that he came to get the tablet, that part was funny. I gave him the tablet and I said it was nice to meet her.
I said I still love him and because I love him I want him to be happy. She just looked at me not impressed and said “oh, he’s happy.” I didn’t bite. I just said well if he’s happy then I’m glad.
They walked out to the car she got right in but kept the door open. He went to the drivers side and said over the hood of the car that he would keep trying to reach the oldest son. I thanked him for that. He said you know me Janet, I won’t give up on the boys. I said that means the world to me. He just looked at me like he was kind of sad, like he got a glimpse being in our home and laughing with me almost like he missed it.
I just said Joe be happy, he said you too, it was nice to see you.
I closed the door and fell apart but he didn’t see me.
I sobbed for about an hour. All I wanted to do when he was there was tell him I loved him and beg him to come home that I missed him. I wanted so badly to wrap my arms around him and feel him against me again. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to move on from him. I’m 54 years old, he was my life.
I do no that when I go over a month no contact I start to smile and enjoy my music and start planning times to see friends.
Every single time I have contact with him I get depressed, sad, cry and just lay on my couch and watch tv. I have no desire to go anywhere and I can’t seem to smile. I can’t sleep and when I do the nightmares come back.
I took Monday off work because I felt sick and my head wouldn’t stop reeling.
I was missing him so badly it physically hurt.
The night he left I sent him a text thanking him for the visit and that I hoped I didn’t make his girlfriend mad when I said I still loved him but I do and I told him I miss him and I want him still. Then I said can we talk, call me when you can.
Again I looked like the weak stupid woman who can’t live without him begging him for the smallest bit of attention or contact even though I know he is never coming back to me, he no longer wants me.
I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to stay no contact. I apparently am very weak.
I deleted all his texts, my son blocked his phone number and I go to work the next day and what do I do, unblock his number.
I know that no one can do this for me, I’m the only one who make this better, I just can’t seem to stop myself from needing some kind of contact with him. I want him to miss me, I want him to love me. I want us back.
I also don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life either so I feel very stuck.
In the back of my mind even though logically I know he is toxic for me, he will cheat again and that he doesn’t want me I keep thinking if I’m just patient and nice to him when he does contact me he will remember he loves me and he enjoys my company.
so it’s a double edge sword. I know he’s bad for me yet I can’t seem to not contact him because in my mind and heart i don’t want him to forget me, I want him to leave her and come back to me.
None of my friends will talk to him, my grown boys are having a problem forgiving him and my family has nothing to do with him and as sad as it is to say, I would walk away from everyone but my boys and sister just to be with him again. I would even move four hours away just to be where he is, if only he wanted me again.
I’m lost, I’m lonely, I can’t seem to find any other man attractive. I go to bed alone at night but always say “goodnight hubby.” I cuddle his pillow and he is never out of my thought.
Is there a way to get him back?
Is there a plan for breaking this addiction and getting the thought out of my head as long as I wait he will eventually come back to me? I’ve been fighting this battle for over two years, it’s affecting my health and killing me emotionally. I miss him
Omg I feel you it’s like I can relate so much to you I have gone no contact for months and as soon as he calls I would forget about everyone who would be so dissappointed in me if I went back. I just want him to want me again and he doesn’t the feeling of rejection is so painful. I left for 2 years and had butterflies the night I got to see him again. It hurts me so much to know that he doesn’t want me and never will. I actually pray for him to leave me alone forever but he has always come back to use me some more usually if he is bored. It always ends up ugly me feeling cheated and used. This is no way to live. I’ve tried to move on but I don’t feel anything for anyone except this loser narc I have 3 kids with. He’s such a liar drun and cheater . I pray I get healthy enough to leave this time. .
Thank you for the explanation of my behavior. It’s now been 1,5 years and back to day two of NC.
He of course finally broke the silence treatment after 1 year (punishing me for moving out and not waiting for him to “think”) I was stuck again! Such an aweful hoover! We meet up after strining me along for two months on e-mail. Showed up in a new car, haircut and fancy clothes. I was stunning after a long day at the beach and felt confident. But behind my confidence was a broken woman, who is still stuffering from the aftermath of PTSD. He did all right things to make me vulnerable again.
Now three months later I have finally gotten most of my property back after two months of emails from hell. It all boiled down to him wanting to see me again, I agreed and then when he is “too busy” I get back to only wanting my property.
I am leaving my three bonus children behind with this horrible narcissist and unfortunately their mother is a total psychopath whom refused to see them for the two years I had them in my home!
I see him for what he is now but I am still stuck in my horrible thoughts.
Gone to therapy, been to rehab and took lots of medals. Now I only take some antihistamines for some anxiety when it occurs.
I have read so many articles and this is the best so far.
I do stress the problem with family and friends that don’t understand. “Get over it now please” … “he was so kind” … “you are overreacting”. I have isolated myself to only meet those who understand what I am going through.
I still want my last pieces of property but will not pursue them .. because I know that will be my death.
I need to move on… NC and never interact with him again ever. When the mail arrives (I know it will) regarding my stuff .. it goes directly to a friend and I don’t have to see it. She has been instructed to deal with any arising issue as of now.
Day 2… and look forward to finally get rid of this horrible addiction.
Hugs to all of you!!!
I had to jump from a car last week because my ex was being so controlling. We haven’t been together that long but long enough to love bomb then control me with silent treatment and Verbal Abuse.
I stupidly fell off the wagon after no contact yesterday. Seven days. I text all day. Looking insane.
Today I did it again.
I can’t seem to stop. I even feel I have an Sti from him.
Silent treatment drives me insane and he knows it.
My last partner went missing and so he knows this is something that cuts deep.
I am a smart woman with two businesses. I’ve traveled the world. I surf and have many friends.
Am I stupid.
I feel so weak for contacting him.
Please help me
Immensely helpful. Reading your blog has given me some confidence and courage. Let’s see if I can stick to my guns here.
Is he a musician by any chance? Sounds exactly like my ex narc who almost ruined my life. He has a worldwide harem.
4 months of NC of a long-distance relationship for a few years on and off with a narcissist. The addiction was crazy, and almost ruined my marriage and my life. All that for an ordinary man who plays the seductor with a harem of women (some of them married) in different cities and countries. As a proper NC he wore a mask for each of them, fooling everybody all the time. In our last encounter in my a beautiful beach, I found him hiding his mobile in his boxer shorts to text one of his victims. He was disrespecting me more and more. I dumped the idiot, got into the plane back home and cut all contact with him. I was furious for a while, and very hurt as all the denial dissipated. I simply can’t UNDERSTAND what I was doing to myself. An addiction is incomprehensible looking for a rational point of view. I am forgiving myself, healing and moving on. If any self-deceptive thought come to my mind, I pick up three horrible things that he said or done. Nobody deserves it. once you increase your self-esteem and awareness of the stupid games you get stronger. Anyway the one with the lowest self-esteem is the narcissist, that needs so much attention to fill their void. They devaluate other people because they know they are not worth it!
Hey am so grateful about these posts and comments…after i discovered that a 3yr old friendship with a girl i met at college is actual a narcissistic,unbalanced friendship that is been going forward at my expense,where sometimes i had to apologise for no reason just to keep the friendship going,ive been through confusion not figuring out if this person is really a friend or not,a friend who cant reciprocate at all…but now ive reached the line to not contact her anymore it hurts cz i truly love her i took her as my cc but she has no empathy,i only got her attention and time when it suits her,she doesnt care how i feel about her bad behaviour,i tryed talking to her several times but she became angry and defensive now am in the process of no contact n she didnt even bother too n thats ok with me thats what i want….what worries me now is that….through social media i met her sister and became friends with her n she acts like a normal lady,she is mature n caring about others feelings,now i dnt know if a must tell her that am no longer friends with her lil cc who used to be my close friend until i saw the true self of her am confussed :/
Wow, this is amazing. It was interesting because once I realized what had just happened. and unforuntately I did not know this was a narc, well a very covert altruistic type of narc, it was once she did a narcissistic rage over texting, voice mail and emailfor 2 straight days and even continuing to taunt me for a few days even when I blocked her on a few things etc. well, I researched and belive she is a narcissitic sociopath. as I was thinking back (and I am no contact btw) I started in my own head thinking that it is like a drug or alcohol addiction because I realized it is difficult to do. almost as if the love bombing was the big hit to get me addicted, then her silent treatments anen some more loveboming, it was like withdrawl and a nother hit and so on and so forth. yet I knew deep down something wasn’t right and it wasn’t healthy, I knew it was bad for me, and like an addict, I had family and friends telling me to drop her like a bad habit (oh wait, actually she was a bad habit) but like an addict in the other types, I was making excuses for it. I even said my NC as like cold turkey. so this article really hit the nail on the head. it has been about 110 days and I am glad to be out of it, I feel better, I remain no contact, but I still feel deeply in my head that I feel bad for doing this to her even though I know I should not. I read something by a guy named “coolio” above. and I believe himand I ha almost identical experiences. everything was always convenient for her , never for me. in my case it was complicated. she was a super hot attractive woman, and I never had a girlfriend in my life, ever, my mother just passed away, I am one of the few guys ever who was completely caring for her in a very genuine way without ever a thought of asking for anything in return, and after awhile I had to walk on egg shells. she walked all over me at times like she didn’t giver a darn about aht I just did for her. she made apologies but they were generally lies or meaningless. just enough to make me think she cared enough to say I am sorry so I would keep taking this. oh she would cook for me, always tell me shew ould do this and that, and yet we almost never did anything she said, she would change her mind in aheart beat, predicting what she would do next was like trying to predict weather in Michigan in the spring. she was volatile. very unstable with everything. she even confessed to me I brought stability to her life. well,she surely brought unstability to mine, but I looked past it. the nail in the coffin for me (no pun intended) wash er teling me she hoped I would die soon and that if she ever saw me she would knock me out and go to jail and not feel bad, and told me to kill myself and brought my deceseased parents into it and told me to watch my back. everything else I may have been able to probably go on taling to her even though I shouldn’t but anyone that can even say those particular things, I have no room for in my life period. I don’t care how much she apologizes. it is so scray and disturbing to hear someone say that especially when you did nothing wrong whatsoever other than simply not give into her constant ridiculous demands and then yells at you, then orders , well clamis theyget a restraining order on you which they didn’t after you told them you don’t care because they used you and disrespected you, but deny deny deny. and turn it around and say you used them. so I called her out on her BS gave exact examples with her own actions and words. that set her into that rage which included the death stuff. after that I was done.
NC is the only option. Seeing as a ‘relationship’ with a Narc is fiction, the abuse is very, very real.
What is there to miss? The first few weeks, 2 months at most, when he wore the mask of a regular guy & faked his way into your life and your heart, only to rip it clean off and show you the evil that resided inside him. An ancient evil. I was not his first, I will not be his last. But the red flag sign of all of his exes and children going NC puzzled me, but I wasn’t expecting him to be the reason. He had always said that the wives cheated on him [I realise he probably was the one cheating] My life, my worries, my losses were nothing but static to him, white noise that he refused to tune in for, as he wanted the light shone on him 24/7.
He was unemployed, thought that the world owed him a living, he was lost in a world of fantasy with no comprehension of how the adult world operates. I was never taken anywhere of note, paraded in a local pub and bought a single drink. Did not go out on my birthday, did not celebrate Valentine’s Day, was never bought a single gift. I blamed his past, blamed his alcohol abuse but the alcohol was only one of his problems, being a malignant narcissist was the main one.
The abuse was verbal, physical, sexual & I felt like a psychic mauling had taken place, I lost weight, could not sleep, was on edge from the endless messages. If I did not reply within 5 seconds [even at 4am] it meant that I was with someone else. I was never free of infections & UTIs & for the first time needed to be checked at a sexual health clinic given that he decided to tell me of his homosexual adventures in addition to his hetero ones. He pushed me sexually, wanting anal sex to such an extent that I felt uncomfortable, his anecdotes were of 3-somes, sex toys & he said that he craved hurting me sexually, wanted to hear me cry.
My health meant nothing to this Narc, my sanity meant nothing to this Narc. I went from Queen and Goddess to c**t, whore, liar, s**t, from beautiful to ugly, from the best thing in the world to something ‘unworthy, ignorant, shallow like a barbarian’
I need to stay NC.
No FB contact either.
No interest in his life.
No contact with his flying monkeys
No ‘warning’ potential ‘partners’ [food supply for the Narc vampire]
I need to heal, need to feel well, need to be able to trust my judgement.
Same with mine.
I m in zero contact with anyone involves with him!
I move to another side of the city.
Started a new job and new life,
Now when I think back, I was so angry at myself how could I possibly tolerate that life? But at the same time I miss him.
Hi. Thanks Savannah. Whenever I’m feeling extra emotional or am missing my narc I start reading and it bolsters my determination. I’m 4 years into the roller coaster and 4 weeks into NC. I think most of the pain comes from knowing that I will never be able to be friends with him–not in one year or 10 years. He was my best friend. Sometimes I’m afraid that I am so damaged that I can’t have a healthy relationship. At those times I remind myself that nor will he. At least I’m no longer in denial.
Congrats on being 4 weeks NC! im thinking about changing my actual phone number now because the 2 year block/unblock rollercoaster cycle has controlled me for too long.
I’ve been NC for 10 months. Unfortunately, she coaches my sons High School Volleyball team. So I go 10 months of NC, the season begins and I have to tear the scar off for a couple of months and rinse and repeat. I miss her badly, she moved on a week after dumping me, and I have not dated. I’m afraid to leave my house because I don’t want to run into them. I think about her often. I wonder about all the what ifs, the should of’s and such. I know it wouldn’t have made a difference but yet, she’s renting s room in my head.
it is so hard, rebounding makes each time worse. I need to get stronger.
Help to “optout”
My N bf moved in with me 4 months after dateing, didnt ask or discuss it, just moved in slowly. didnt pay rent for 8 months till i found him checking his dateing website profile and i packed his stuff and took it to his moms while he was at work. she was so disappointed cuz she was so happy that he found the right girl and i told her i cant be with someone who calls me the worst names in the book for stupid reasons, like not answering the phone when he calls, or not having dinner ready, or not greeting him at the door with a kiss. she was heartbroken that he did that, i left out the bedroom degrading parts. no mother would want to hear that..her poor ears would bleed with discust. but anyways stupid me, couldnt stop crying and missed him so devestating badly that i moved his stuff back in. he made me go get it and put everything back where it was like it never happened and didnt wana bring the subject ever again..(he messed up and didnt want to be reminded what an asshole he really is) so after that we were ok i still walk on eggshells to this day.
my question is..how do i get him out? how do i leave?The no contact rule sounds great but the proble is that he does work for my copmany. my company and his company (which he is a foreman to) work hand in hand together. we both work construction so i will see him time to time on jobs. thats where we met, plus my best friend was friends with her for 6 years before we met and she works in kinda the same field so he deals with her on (now) just a professional level. he tried to isolate me from her and pissed her off. he has isolated me from everyone. i start back to work monday and dred the accusations he will accuse me of..like “see any hot guys working at your job today”? stupid questions like that, MAJOR CONTROL FREAK with major INSECURITY issues. hes chubby italian/uk man with prettylashes and a sarcastic humor attitude. very charming. he lied to me about his nationality said he was italian/german his mom just told me 3 weeks ago hes ukranian. he doesnt know i know that now. that explains his posessive behavior and why he wants me to be his prostite in sirta way (stocking,heels). i even reached out to the uk website and thats where they said he sounds like a misogynist..and WOW 10 out of the 12 signs were exactly him!!! OMG im in pure hell!!! i dating a narcisstic misogynist!!!!! He does pay for dinner but will throw that in my face later in a fight about financial issues and he does open the door for me. but when we go out to dinner he always faces to the bar or the door, so he can check out girls. one time we went to an italian resturant where the waitresses have to wear black lace stockings,black skirts, black flats as their uniform and the girl bent over at another table to deliver a plate and did a double take, i looked at him and said really? with me siiting across form you, your girlfriend. he said sorry it was a habit. i was pissed told him when i see a hot guy i will make sure i will triple look. that was so disrespectful and rude. we dont go there anymore. tried to stare at a girl bartender at another resturant and i told him my thought on it and must of hit a nerve cuz he got all defensive! with these storys and all this info on this website omg i can see better, just dont know how to take that leap. he still doesnt get his mail here for some reason, doesnt trust me i guess. well if you act shady like he does than i have every right to find out why? any suggestions?
It’s been a year. One whole year of no contact. Even as I am writing this comment, I feel so ashamed and my heart races. I’m not supposed to still be feeling this way, right? How can I long for a man who treated me like I was a piece of gum stuck under his shoe? Of course he moved on without much effort in the first few months after initial NC. I relapsed, he got to tear my heart out, one last time.This time would be the last time. One year later.. A gaping hole remains. Every morning I wake up, I’m planning my day, I pick out clothes and before I know it, I wonder does he ever think of me? I mentally slap myself in the face, because we all know the answer to that question.. Have you ever even given a second thought to a piece of gum that was once stuck under your shoe?
I am a 54 yr old, my “companion for the last 3 yrs has been with a 19 ~ 22 yr old beautiful red head from a dysfunctional family. Every one that loves me told me to get out of the relationship. My whole life has been ship wreaked and still she (after me moving her out) has reestablished communication. I am hollow. In need of restoration. What a mess !! And still I crave her !!! Help.
Hi all. I too have just found this site and felt ‘ safer ‘ in some moments reading what I see some of you have experienced that I too am going through. Suddenly i felt a little less alone with it all. Thank you.
The thing is I don’t really know if I have been having a relationship with a narcissist or not. I know I am in pain, he never plans anything with me, but expects me to just be there – and I mostly am. He doesn’t seem to ever want to kiss me or hold my hand, or cuddle. And I just seem to adore him. We have been seeing each other 14 months with many on and off times (I have to say mostly decided by me because the pain I feel is too great) but then I go and look for him. So it’s not that simple is it? I wondered even if it’s me who has the N traits but quickly thought no…I have spent so much of my life in self development of me after a traumatic and dysfunctional childhood…and am now doing ok…until this. And i dont really recognise any of the diagnostic traits for me.
I feel completely addicted to my (possible) N. last week was my birthday, and after an argument in the morning, he just cut contact with me, didn’t take me out that night for any birthday meal. no card, no presie, and hasn’t contacted me since then. I texted only once (which has been the hardest thing to refrain from) – I simply said ‘ I am in shock about your silence’ and still nothing. This happened after him taking my car away for the weekend (where crazily This meant i had to pay for a taxi to get me to an interview at my local university – I got the post). He has borrowed a lot of money from me twice with promise of repayment and then nothing comes back – and I am dared not to mention it or it causes a row (my faulty). I pay for most of our nights out…and in lots of other sundry ways. Ido feel used but when i am with him, i need to just help make it all nice. Although knowing all this I can’t stop seeing him or wanting him. So guess i must be codependant. Also he is absolutely gorgeous to look at…men and women just stare when he enters a room…I am not imagining it…even my close friends say he is the most handsome man they have ever seen. But one or teo lately have said to me that they really worry how he is with me. The first time I saw him my heart sank…as I have never been attracted to a good looking men…and just knew this in itself could be problematic.
I am lost – I don’t know what’s happening. All I know is it is me who wants contact and its terrible holding myself back…but unlike others in the emails here that I have read, my (possible ) N isn’t chasing me…but so much of it all otherwise reads the same. Oh I am in so much confusion and pain about this…any help offered much appreciated…
I really hate my narcissistic boyfriend but I am struggling to break it off with him. I want him to suffer even though I know it isn’t possible. He knows that something is up so he is contacting his ”old friends”. I tried no contact for a while and it was working just fine but then I replied to im on skype and that was that. i know all the theory but I just can’t help myself right now. I read somewhere that nobody is on the lookout for a monster, but I actually was. At the beginning, I was very cautious, I kept telling myself that he is not a psychopath or a rapist. Because these would be the worst things. I told myself that I would deal with anything else later. I kind of forgot the dark triad. Now is the time.
I have been looking at your material now for over 2 to 3 months. I have been slightly over 1 month of no contact with the person I believe is a narc. We have been friends and intimate over the past 4 years. We both have had other partners during our intimacy. He acknowledges that during his current relationship he would like to be a better person and stop coming back to me and this situation, if that is really true I have no idea. Due to history and we seem to go back to one another after a few months. I believe for me it is the addiction and unhealed parts that I have let this continue on. He is still with his girlfriend and recently started ignoring me out of the blue after visiting me and stated that he wanted to do more and be physical, but knew it wasn’t morally right. He asked me questions about cheating, why I think he does, and told me that he has been reading up on why people cheat. Which led me to believe he is trying to be a better person to her, but why does he ask me these things, try to visit with intent of more, etc. He’s also stated he can’t seperate things and be just friends and said to me once a friendship isn’t worth it if physical is not on the table – that was about 3 months ago though. I attempted to reach him a few days, a month ago and nothing. I think, but I am not sure that he uses her for money, prestige, works for her family’s company, etc and myself for more sex. I believe he is trying to make things work with her and giving me the silent treatment or may be its permanent this time (speculation). I am trying to implement no contact this time, but I’m finding it difficult to block all sources of communication and to stop looking for a message from him. This would not be the first time he has stopped talking to me, but usually tells me we can’t talk or be friends then will try again weeks or months later. It has been a very confusing situation, but I do believe from reading your resources and others that he is a narc and I am co-dependent. At this point I am worried about how I am dealing and not dealing with things and how I can make peace with myself and remove myself from this situation if he does happen to contact me. I have someone that wants to be with me and I want to be emotionally available for them and a possible future. But I’m scared I will never get over who I believe is a narc and the hurtful situation I put myself in of being the other woman and cheating myself. I was wondering if you had any additional thoughts for ways to help me with the healing process. I notice one day I am feeling empowered and some level of self-love then the next I am feeling down, anxious, obsessed with closure and wondering why ignoring me again and why he couldn’t simply tell me he does not want to talk, can’t be friends. I know that he does not owe me anything or any explaination.
My fear. This will sound very cold and heartless. He lives with his elderly parents. His father is over 90 and cannot move about much. He cannot have much time left.
If he dies soon, I will simply have to refuse to help if my ex gets in touch. The relationship is so harmful, has lead me inexorably into mental pain, mental illness, strong desires to die, so many times – I will have to say No.
He has other sources of support. He will survive, as I did the deaths of my parents, with far less support than he has now.
My fear is that this will happen in say a year or so, when I feel “recovered” from him. I am terrified of seeing him and feeling all warm memories again, and what harm could a little chat do?
What harm could one little drink do to an alcoholic?
A month later he’d have had a fit of anger, dumped me after saying vile things, and I’d be back where I was three weeks ago.
Even if I do get to that wonderful state of indifference over him – I worry that will be a trap too. Like an alcoholic taking one little sip after ten years sober.
So indifference, yes – but wisdom, strength, boundaries.
My situation started almost 3 years ago. I was a different person then. Career going great. Financially and emotionally stable. All that has been ripped away. Emotionally I’m a mess. Career was ruined by all the crazy behavior I was dealing with at the time. We were so crazy for each other. He asked me to move in with him 5 weeks after we met. He seemed genuine at the time. So I did it trusting him. Not knowing him i started to realize strange behaviors like the constant obsession with working out. Steriod use also. 4 weeks living with him everything changed. He was so charming at first say all the right things. Then he asks me to move out. I had no . Place to go. I moved out only to have him call me 4 days later to say he made a mistake. I never moved back in but I would notice very hot and cold behavior. I told my friend about this. She suggested I check his emails. Well I had all the passwords because I would help with his bills. I log in one Saturday evening after not hearing from him for hours. He was on 4 dating websites. Contacting women like he was possessed. I just monitored it instead of saying anything for almost a year. I had to start seeing a counselor. I described his behavior. She mentioned narcissist personality disorder. Now it finally made sense. I am a nurse and I didn’t realize it. I have never seen any man act this way. I let the lying, cheating and emotional abuse go on so long. It was off and on for so long until I finally ended it in June. It has been quite a struggle to go no contact. He is now with his new victim. Still contacting me for his fix and I’m sure there are others. I wish I could contact her to warn her but I doubt she would believe me. This blog has opened my eyes. Thank you.
Denial is a funny thing. As Melody Beattie says, it acts like a warm blanket to keep us from dying. If we grasped the full truth of certain situations all at once it would kill us, psychically if not physically. So we peel back the layers of the blanket slowly, as we get more and more able to cope with reality.
I experienced that today. I realized that the long pauses between responses when I was texting with my POA were times she was texting other men. I thought it was just indifference, and it may have been at times, but the pattern is quite typical of the juggling of “supply” that NPD predators do routinely. As I think of all the expressions of love, all the “I miss yous” etc. and realize she was likely saying the same sort of thing (or whatever works with each person to keep them dependent) to several other people at the same time, it just turns my stomach.
There are lots of other realizations like that all the time. The bad news is that each one is painful, each one is a new revelation of the depth of the manipulation and deceit that NPD people engage in to get their supply.
But my denial was necessary in this case. The trauma of realizing I was a commodity, just a collection of emotions and passions to tap into and live off, is very severe. To realize that what I thought was a love affair was in fact a viral host-parasite interaction is just so vile and disgusting I have to come to the truth slowly, in stages. The truth is revealed in layers as I can handle it.
The good news is that with each new layer of truth I get closer to healing, And also less likely to break the no contact rule. As my mind accepts the full impact of what happened and I see the incredibly devious and grotesque nature of NPD I am less and less drawn to the image of this sick woman, and more and more repelled and sickened by the thought of her. The tiny twisted kernel of a heavily abused person turned into a malignant and virulent projection that infected me. Human ebola.
Who would willingly seek out contact with that?
Well said Hurtin’ cowboy. These are stages and realizations that we all go through on our way to healing, when realization strikes, it hits us like a ton of bricks and it changes our perception forever. We innately know when something is true and stepping out of denial is a difficult process, but when we finally see something for what it truly is, we can never go back. This is a huge step – take a moment and be proud of yourself – you’re moving in the right direction – smile – you’re getting there.
Thank you very much for posting this. Four years ago I began dating a guy I happened to have a crush on in high school, so it felt like a dream come true, even though he had two young daughters from his last relationship (they had broke up recently, that should’ve been the first red flag). I seemed to think the constant calling/txting, was an act of intimacy and respect, and when his father became ill and passed suddenly, and I was asked to move in (3 months into dating), I obviously agreed to move in. I cannot believe how blinded I was then, and how up and down we went until 3 years into it after he accused me of cheating on him with an acquaintance, he was all about the baby talk, and 6 weeks later I thought it was the best idea to stop birth control; pregnant a month later, yet so delighted and still very blinded. During my pregnancy the fighting, name calling, degrading, etc continued, yet I was so sure everything would work out because we created this beautiful little man. My son is now 1.5 yrs, I have been living with my parents while completing my BSn degree (and finished LPN school while pregnant, somehow), he finally went to work (after claiming for 3 months he and I would be fine, the good job is coming “don’t worry so much”) up north so the bonus is he physically can’t knock on my door. I FaceTime with him so he can see our son once a week, and yesterday he was flexing his arms while talking to chase, clearly crying out to me non-verbally, “don’t i look good? i haven’t been eating, everyone at work loves me, and I’ll be home in december”…..it has been 6 weeks since moving out permanently, and it does get better with time, it just hurts more than ever on those days when you need reassurance, but realize you can’t or ever will go to him for that hug and boost of compliments that seem to always make things better in my little world. I have my son, I am trying to cope with school, and have to carry on. thanks for sharing, and reading.
Thanks Savannah, I’ve read them and probably all of your articles.
I just don’t know if i’m trying to put him in this category to explain the reason that he doesn’t want me anymore. He does meet some of the criteria but he was also capable of giving and thinking of me. I loved my time with him and sometimes I hated it because I knew that something was likely to set him off. He was especially good at arguing with people who didn’t agree with his point of view and ofthen thought them ignorant or stupid. Including me. He often mocked me because I didn’t know as much as him – I don’t. He is very well educated, erudite, opinionated etc. He also takes very good physical care of himself and has trained his body since he was 16 – he’s now 50. His physique was often the envy of his peers but over the last couple of years due to injury he has lost a lot of his muscle and I think he feels inferior. He’s only 5ft 8″ and would have quite a small frame if he didn’t train so hard. I sometimes wondered if the testosterone fuelled his anger.
The thing I really am struggling with is that he has completely cut me off despite telling me he still loved me and crying when we split. Do you think he already has another source of supply? I know I shouldn’t want to hear from him or need to hear from him but i’m struggling to break free of that hold and that love I felt, however artificial. I watch my phone permanently and I ache. If he does have NPD how do I know for sure and how do I know that for almost 7 years I was his supply. I do question whether the fact that I told him I may leave him actually stimulated the discard because he felt threatened? Any of your comments would be appreciated.
Broken Spirit – I think that is he? Isn’t he? Is the biggest question most women ask when they’re dealing with an abusive partner. Take a look at the signs and the diagnostic criteria in my post What walks among us. The DSM 4 criteria is what Psychologists use to make their diagnosis. At the end of the day whether he is or isn’t a Narcissist doesn’t really matter. How you feel, how you’re being treated is all that really matters.
I’ve been reading these pages for two days trying to work out if I was with a Narc or not. When we first met he pushed me to be “exclusive” with him even though I wasn’t looking for a relationship. He was very charming and attentive, very possessive (which I mistook for being really into me), controlling, dictatorial etc etc. I thought it was because he felt so strongly about me. Within a week or two he wanted us to holiday together and move in. I live in a different town and have my own house that needed renovating. He wouldn’t let me go out with my friends, he asked that I wear certain types of clothing with him only, was always made up with good hair, that I never entertain talking to men that showed disrespect to him. He would say things to me to make me feel bad about myself all of the time. He would pinpoint my little faults, expect me to do everything for him, point out that I was a psycho and that I always over-reacted, I always caused the arguments by blaming him for everything. He hardly ever kissed me as he found kissing repulsive or held me unless I asked him to or he was drunk. He would drink and gamble to excess.
Three years ago we split up for six weeks as I found out that he had cheated on me with one of his ex girlfriends. He said that they had unfinished business! During that time he asked me not to see anyone else as he needed time to think and decide. He eventually came back to me and “took me back”. My heart had been broken for all of that time and I was fixed again.
Well, as it stands today I would have been with him for over 6 years but he ended it last week saying that although he loved me he couldn’t see a future with me. No explanation, just cut off like that. We had just returned from vacation where I had broached the subject of his mean comments to me and increasing arguments. I felt that we needed to address the issues in our relationship as I was on the verge of leaving. He said that we didn’t have any issues and things were fine. Two weeks later he dumped me, just like that.
What happened? De-valuation because I threatened to leave? Is he a Narc?
I am completely and utterly broken into a million pieces and I miss him like I could never imagine. I have spoken to him but he speaks to me like i’m something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe and that i’m bothering him. He told me to let it go, that it was over! The only relief of this pain that I feel is to stop breathing or for him to come back, which he won’t. I am sure that he has already replaced me. I know that I shouldn’t want him back but I miss him so much that it causes me physical pain.
I was never a weak person before, I travelled the world alone, I had a fantastic job, my own home, masses of confidence and self-esteem. But now I have nothing that I value. He is the only person that I want and need and the thought of never seeing him again makes me sick. And yet I know that he was so cruel to me and he rarely gave me any affection unless I asked for it.
What am I going to do? Nobody understands what i’m feeling, they keep telling me to be strong and i’ll get through it because he wasn’t nice to me anyway, I should see all the bad stuff. But all I can do is see the good things and feel the pain.
BrokenSpirit please read my blogs on Trauma Bonds 1 & 2 and the blog entitled are you mistaking intensity for intimacy and read the book, Betrayal Bonds by Patrick Carnes.
Great article on the subject. Like most I wish I’d seen it sooner but hen again I wished I had the strength. I always knew there was something ‘wrong’ with my girlfriend’s ability to show empathy for anyone. My story is textbook. She was gorgeous and obsessed with her body and fantasies of successful business schemes. She constantly checked my phone and iPad and claimed I was sneaky. I was beginning to go crazy. Nevertheless she would periodically deal me out just enough ‘crumbs’ to make me believe in the dream. It was so the jeckel and Hyde syndrome; loving one day and cold and distant the next. Finally one day I stumbled upon the truth behind all the lies, deceit and nasty projections. I encountered some nightmarish info and graphic photos in her own phone. An awful way to live. Finally I ended it for what I hope is the last time. I had tried twice before but always responded when she called. I was enamored and in love. I guess I must have had the lowest self esteem to be victim to her con job. I have been in such a dark place with pain, loneliness and sorrow. I have been no contact for 3 weeks. I wish ere was a pill or secret formula to get this person out of my mind forever.
In her wonderful book titled “Getting to I Do” by Dr. Patricia Allen, she has a chapter specifically devoted to obsessive, addictive relationships. It greatly helped me understand what had happened to the vibrant, lovely confident person I had been before my narc slowly eroded me away to a tattered remnant of my former self. More importantly, she helped me understand WHY this had happened to me (fatherless, uncherished girls are at particular risk for these kinds of addictive relationships), the treatment for my addiction, and the length of time I would need before I could be considered cured (‘in remission’ might be a better way to describe it.)
In her 20+ years of research, she discovered that yes-in-dee-dee, NO CONTACT IS THE ONLY WAY to get over this. She simply states, “If you are in an addictive obsessive relationship AND YOU WANT TO END IT, YOU MUST NOT SEE, SMELL, HEAR, TASTE, OR TOUCH HIM FOR UP TO TWO YEARS.” Yes, you heard right. Up to TWO YEARS of absolutely NO CONTACT. The great part for me is that she explains WHY this kind of healing takes so long, as I was getting frustrated with myself not being ‘over him’ already, and more than a little embarrassed about that fact.
Even if you only dated him 6 months, you may need this long if the connection was very intense. And this is AFTER you finally get sick of the pain of countless make-ups and break-ups, his stupid excuses for his unconscionable treatment of you, your loneliness because you have shelved yourself to make sure you didn’t do anything to ‘hurt’ him (like dating someone else who might be nice to you, thereby threatening his supply) which may be two years by itself!
This is due to something she calls ‘oxytocin bonding’ which happens when a woman experiences sexual pleasure from her man. It is biological, and can take a long time for this bond to ‘melt’.
She also says you should date up a storm. I totally understand why she says that but my attempts at dating just after the break up were ridiculous and pointless as the only thing I was capable of thinking or talking about was my pain. Poor guys I went out with then, bless their bored hearts. LOL
While I don’t agree that dating up a storm immediately after the particularly devastating heartbreak from a narc is even possible for many of us (it took me over a YEAR before I could even STAND other men–I would always cry at the end of every date when I got home because they weren’t ‘him’) I DO believe we need to get out there eventually or you will likely remain ‘chemically bonded’ to him. It just makes sense–if I would hear his voice, see his pictures, smell the cologne he wore or whatever, I would either ache all over, have a panic attack, or cry and wonder why he didn’t want me and then I would sit and obsess. I once got my suitcase out and it had an old luggage tag filled out in his distinctive handwriting, and even THAT triggered the oxytocin rush in me, prolonging my painful bond to this man.
She states in the book to erase all his voicemails, delete pictures and do not go near him or contact him in any way. Even ONE MISSTEP during this period can extend your painful bond to this destructive man.
I am going on 11 months with not having laid eyes on this man, a record for me. He did telephone me a few months ago when he heard I was in a relationship with someone else, and I did (out of sheer morbid curiosity) pick up his call, but it didn’t suck me back in the way it had so many times before going totally no contact. I declined his invitation to meet for the purpose of his ‘making amends’ to me for his reprehensible behavior, which was really an attempt to see if he could still get me and have me if he wanted me. (He could not). This was a serious ‘win’ for me, because before I would have jumped at the chance to see him anywhere at any time because I ‘needed’ my fix of him, no matter what the cost.
I still miss him at times and these feelings well up and crash over me like sudden waves but they recede and I do not act on them anymore. The bond is not totally gone, but it is definitely melting.
Just to give you all an idea of what to expect, it took me about 6 months before the craving for him started to wane, and now being 11 months into (almost) no contact and strong enough to resist his enticements to meet or speak or be his ‘managed down’ sexual partner feels really, really good. Just wanted to share this theory with you all because it really helped me heal. Plus, her book teaches you how to date properly, choose a GOOD man, and detect VERY EARLY a ‘BAD’ one. Get it, I highly recommend it. P.S. I got myself a ‘GOOD’ one now, and I have a rep with my single girlfriends as their dating coach using her theories, so run, don’t walk and buy this book. Thank you for sharing your stories and for this incredible wealth of information, love and support!
This explains so much! After over 20 years married and my N became very verbally abusive the last 4 years it has only been two months since he moved out, I asked him to leave I was emotionally spent and our children wanted him gone. He met someone (who just got out of an abusive marriage) and played like he was the victim. Told our kids about her one week after moving out comparing her to me, what kind of person does that with no consideration for their feelings. I made the mistake of going to his apartment about a month ago wanting to believe they were just friends as he stated. After all he was still my husband. The next morning he totally disregarded my feelings once again saying I was his f&*) buddy and he always wanted one, after all of his compliments and fake affection the previous night. Then he posts a picture on fb of her sitting on his lap with them looking into each others eyes on a trip. Not only for me to see but our children, he still insists they are just friends. I went no contact after that, keeping communication about the kids, if he goes off yelling in a different direction about the past I don’t respond. He will be nice like he wants the divorce to go smoothly then turn around and be totally hurtful. He hasn’t done one thing he said financially or otherwise since he moved out just more lies. I hate that I have even considered and even suggested we return to couples counseling a few weeks back. I never understood NPD, when I asked him to leave I just hoped it would give us some space to diffuse the anger and we could resume couples therapy in a few months. Because he remembered some very traumatic events about 4 years ago from his childhood, I thought this was what he really needed to deal with(and probably still does)all I ever tried to do was love and support him through that difficult time instead everything was turned on me and to him I was the bad guy. Thank you so much for this site, all the signs are there, our home is more peaceful now as we pick up the pieces I see tremendous differences in my teenagers who are smiling and happy again. This is why I resist no contact and a great reminder in those times of difficulty.
My narcissist broke up with me on Friday in the most inhumane way possible.
We were engaged since September last year and have been dating for just under 2 years. After an argument about money, and his misuse of it, he went into a mad rage. He called me selfish, and said that he doesn’t want to marry someone like me. I begged for forgiveness but he refused to listen to anything. All of this happened on our way home. He dropped me off at home and forced me out of the car-telling me I can cry in my room and not on his time. I’m finding it extremely hard to get over his complete disregard for my feelings. Questioning whether I am selfish and whether anyone could ever love me. I haven’t heard from him since Friday and haven’t made contact but we work together 🙁 I don’t know how I’m going to get through seeing him everyday.
I’ve known for a while that he has issues and hav addressed it with him to no avail. He refuses to take responsibility for anything n has a way of always making me feel responsible for all our problems. I love him even though I know it can never work. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces. It seems he’s really not coming back this time.
I wanted to follow-up on my last dramatic, rather creepy comment. You may notice that each time No Contact is broken that things get worse. This is because the narcissist has come back not out of love, but to punish you. The narc may not realize this (being unable to be introspective) but you should realize that this vindictive attitude is his/her garbage; not yours! I wanted to add that the narc in my life came back to punish me because I refused to be a fall-back, down-managed, sexual partner. Obviously,sexual attraction still exists, left over from the initial stages of the relationship. But I am looking at the total package. I am seeing violence, and I am a non-violent person! Each time the narc vanishes I push myself into positive activity, and out of my numbness and back into my life. I realize the narc is probably triggering my core wounds that need to be healed. I am now practicing stating MY truth, which is the purpose of my comments. If you still feel connected to the narcissist it may just be that you think you can’t get your needs met any other way. This simply isn’t true! (The narc knows how to inflame your insecurities, and make you feel stupid, and weak. They keep talking, talking, talking, because their verbal battering has a hypnotic effect.) In truth, it’s monkey chatter!~ If you state YOUR truth the narc is going to get angry. He’s not interested in your truth. He’s not interested in you, your truth, or your life. You’re just a puppet. Do you want to be someone’s sex puppet? Punching bag? Garbage pail?
I am very grateful for this site. After this last horrible episode I found this site and read, and read, and read. Knowledge is Power! Thank you, all.
This site is great! Just found it. No Contact is a blood sport for the narc, who plays it too. I’m on my 7th or 8th round! He vanishes and each time I reclaim more of myself. This last time I was doing really well until I came home after a beautiful day out and found his wallet on my porch! I put it in a baggie and left in there. After three days he shows up and is angry I left it outside. I tried to restrain my anger but did state my “truth” which he took as insulting. He forced his way inside my place and wouldn’t leave. He pushed me, shoved me, grabbed and twisted my face so hard it left bruises, made a fist and threatened me, threw a cup of coffee on me, then, okay, this may sound comical but took watermelon slices and squished the juice on me and in my hair, and threw the rinds at me, hard. He tried to force me to change, and grabbed at my clothes. I’m sorry to say I started punching at him (weakly, as I was hyper-ventilating) and he left, and I got the door locked just in time. He then left a string of messages on my home phone ranging from he wished me dead to he loved me, and when could we talk? All of this was the result of my setting boundaries…like threatening to get a restraining order, not giving him my new cell phone number etc. Beware the violent vindictive narc! Please know, peeps, your addiction to the narc may actually be your own need for revenge!Like you might want to lure him in, then be the dumper. This is not love, it’s a power war. If you step out of your assigned role, the narc will rage. The last thing I said was I was tired of dealing with a two-year old monster in an adult’s body. Why am I not pressing charges? Because I figured out that arrests, court appearances, cop calls: ironically, these all feed the narc! I have pepper-sprayed this narc, and it was very traumatic for him. Unfortunately, today I couldn’t remember where I had hidden my pepper spray. Don’t be caught off-guard! Any comments would help. Posting this lurid tale helped. Finally, each time I do No Contact I get a little stronger. When the narc knows the real end is near he may amp up everything because he hates to lose. Well, losers lose. That’s life, karma, and justice.
I avoided commenting on this article. And I see that I am still a member of his harem. My purpose to him is to boost him up. He lives in a house we owned just a few lots away. He took our daughter on a vacation earlier this month, and I was to happy and over him during that vacation, but when he returned I did not resist the urge to re-connect with him. So I went for a 2-week loop–just from talking to him–and now realized that I must focus AWAY from him ALL THE TIME and am taking steps in that direction. I can do this. I keep asking myself what I am getting from not.
I don’t need that. I don’t want that. I can live without ;that. Yes, I will “refuse to be a member of his harem!!!”
Thanks for the the great info here. I was divorced from my N since 2005 and since we have been doing the on again off again. This last break up was because I contacted one of him many harem women about who she was. He broke up with me through an email an told me how I ruined his political future by contacting this women. That was the line for him and he couldn’t live with my insecurities anymore. He has not tried to contact me since.
My daughter thinks i’m crazy that im so broke up over it. she says this is a blessing and it should be, but I miss my torture, my addiction.
From reading here it seems its a life long struggle past this point, and that seems depressing. I just want to feel a normal life, but from reading NarCReplannt I can totally related to meeting someone new and missing the abusive treatment.
How do we get past that? Can we?
Met my N when I was in my early twenties he is 6 yrs older than me and has caused me alot of emotional pain on and off over the years. About a year after the 1st shortlived relationship with him I had a child with another abusive man who I’ve got a protection order against. But the N has come and gone off and on now since 2008 and it had affected both me and my daughter negatively. Recently found out he is a terrible cheat and has women all round the place in different towns which he regularly visits all the while seeing me. Have felt so hurt and stupid. Tried to confront him but of course he denies it all. He is king of the no contact for days or weeks until it suits him again. I think I’ve finally had enough.
Fourteen years and counting. I go ‘NO CONTACT’ for a few months and then I’m back on touch again ! Feeling so hopeless !
thanks for this page, its me to a T’ my narc is violent too, likes to smash my things and me… he has a child to a previous woman who has no contact with him- now i see why she has no contact… I’m one month away this friday…. have done 7 months before today and felt the withdrawal severely…. i gave in went back, to even worse rages than before, i feel the violence is progressing yet he try to convince me how sorry he is – i really believe he is not sorry and no contact is the only way forward…. thanks again Savannah
WOW! I needed this today! Spot on 100% my ex and our relationship..i work with him everyday and its strictly work but there areq days i struggle but don’t give in.he just text Me after work hasn’t spoken to me in 10 days but now he needs something sex money etc..Not responding ..i know myw worth. Took years but thru thera and willpower determination i am succeeding..i deserve better!!
I was attracted/addicted to the magic mix of the hot (vulnerable) and cold (strong/powerful) behavior of the cerebral narcissist I dated- not to him as a person. When I figured out how big of a weirdo he was- so emotionally confused and weak as a person- I lost interest- he didn’t seem strong anymore- he could be as mean as he wanted or as vulnerable=sappy and I just laughed and rolled my eyes, like he was a little kid. That was a long time ago and it happened naturally (and luckily bc I was pretty clueless). Now what has helped me get over exes is to train my mind to see them differently, like what naturally happened w/my cerebral N. Emotions then follow suit and it’s worked well for me. Essentially, when positive, desirable thoughts come into my head about them I stop, make myself aware of the thoughts and then gently replace them with TRUE things about the person which are unattractive and reveal them to be weak. I also remind myself that if they are a narcissist, they are unable to love me anyway and we never had a “connection”. The mind and emotions resist this at first- unconsciously I wanted to hang on to the romantic thoughts and also the anger (which actually makes them seem strong), but as I practiced this diligently every day, as thoughts arose, it really worked and I became indifferent to the person who had hurt me. While I don’t think we can ever know someone completely, I was basically teaching myself to view them more accurately. It’s funny bc I’m not great at mind training or disciplines like that- I think I was reading about mindfulness, etc. and it led me in this direction.
@SU — Interesting tactic, I will definitely try it, since thoughts of my N still enter my mind.
You are so right. Our Ns truly are terrible, and at their core, not attractive at all!
Also, thank you so much for your kind comments. I got here to this place of self-awareness thanks to Savannah, this blog and the help of other posters like yourself.
I will try your tactic as I want and need to become indifferent to my N also. I often focus on the good points I remember about him but there were way more bad than good and I need to remember this.
Been trying your tactic. It’s rough because I find myself becoming angry now and reliving everything. I know it will take time and I’ve gotta keep at it, I hope to get to that indifference point.
It’s been two-and-a-half months since I kicked my N out of my house, and a few weeks since he’s tried to contact me (which I didn’t respond to).
I wanted to share with everyone a strange experience I had this weekend, because I hope it will help all of you when you move on from your Ns and begin dating again.
Since the break up, I’ve had bouts of depression and felt numb, like I wasn’t at 100 percent. As part of my healing process, I reconnected with my friends, fixed my apartment, went out a lot and spent my free time reading self-help books.
Dating and sex has been the last thing on my mind. I’m not on any dating sites. I’m not actively looking for a new relationship because I know I’m not ready, and I want to make damn sure I don’t wind up with an N again.
Well, I wound up meeting someone. I didn’t seek him out. It just happened. I got no bad vibes or red flags, at all. I decided to let myself LIVE and just let it happen.
It was everything I needed and never got from my N: Passion. Reciprocity. Actual intimacy. Having my wants and needs cared about. I felt attractive. And, shocker, he kissed me! My N never wanted to do that, and the few times that he did do it, he was horrible at it. I cannot fully express how nice something that simple felt.
I spent a wonderful weekend with this new, normal, non-narcissistic man. He never made me feel uncomfortable. Never pushed me. Never upset me. There was no future talking. No promises were made, other than to plan the next date and have fun.
So, what went wrong?
Thoughts of my N flooded my mind when the new man first kissed me. I could actually feel my body shutting down and going numb. However, I pushed the feelings out, was able to focus on the moment and enjoy truly enjoy myself.
Once the weekend was over and after the new guy left, it hit me and I didn’t anticipate it coming: I cried. Really hard, because I suddenly missed my N. I wanted to be held by him. Wanted to hear his voice. Wanted to talk to him.
It makes absolutely NO SENSE for me to crave my N. He was selfish and rather bad in bed, clearly didn’t love me or care about my well-being, and didn’t view me as a person. How in the hell could I crave my N, after being with a genuine, sweet man (who is much better looking, too?!)
It’s because my N was my drug. The highs and lows of life with him was so extreme: him keeping me off-balance, his crazy-making behavior, his lies, his criticisms of me, the constant fighting and reconciliation – being on that rollercoaster and the mind-fuck that came along with that relationship completely CHANGED what normal is for me now. It’s just like how drinking alcohol or taking hard drugs can change the chemistry, reward centers and receptors in your brain – being with my N fucked with me that much. That’s what it feels like.
I am so used to being treated like shit that it felt STRANGE to me to be treated so well. Sad, but true. Being with my N conditioned me to be miserable, and being around an actual good guy scared the shit of out me. I think now that my body was shutting down at first not because I didn’t want it – I was looking for a reason to sabotage things with the new man. I was looking to find things that were wrong about him.
This experience made me realize a few things: I truly was (and still am) addicted to my N, and I need to further examine and understand why; I’ve made many strides with No Contact and need to keep up the good work there; I went through something traumatic and therefore need to be kind to myself and take my time; things can only get better from here.
Very wise, NR. Just want to encourage you- you’ll totally get there- you seem smart and focused. I was going through something similar to you several years back and by reading good books (like you) and having a support system of friends who taught me how I should expect to be treated by men (and seeing first hand that there were strong, confident guys out there who were gentlemen) my “type” changed. It took a few years but it miraculously happened. Be gentle with yourself, stay self aware and you will heal over time.
I never could understand why I kept going back to my narcissist who started out as my boyfriend and later became my husband
Of the past three and half years,
I did not realize it was an addiction but thought I was merely a codependent enabler not understanding that it went much deeper.
Although I was used , manipulated, and being systematically destroyed, I could not break away … He was a charming wire from the beginning and proud of that fact . At first I thought I just needed to get bad boys out of my system but when he started hurting me ,
I went into huge denial having lost the respect of my children for allowing this abuse.
I had turned myself into a pretzel for this man totally disregarding my needs and what I was entitled to as a person .
Just this past weekend he told me I should wear loosefitting top because I looked fat
And clearly did not fit his image of a pinup girl in public .. I had surgery a year ago and was unable to do extensive walking in order to keep fit but did the best I could do .
He went out of town during my surgery and was gone for two months when he found a girlfriend .. He convinced me it was my fault and that because we were having marriage problems he seemed to feel entitled to cheat.
If you love someone you would have no desire to cheat so that should’ve been a huge red flag right there but not the first time I had caught him doing things behind my back .
I will divorce this man as I refuse to spend the rest of my life with a taker who does not appreciate one thing I do for him . He says he loves me and I am the most important thing in his life but he never shows me .
We do nothing together and I support myself . When I write it down it sounds horrible but I could go on for pages giving examples of what a selfish self absorbed entitled lying user he is . It is my fault if I stay .
The point I’m making years that I just realize this was an addiction and I have to break it like any other . there is no glory and sacrificing your self-esteem and your own happiness to try to save someone who is only in self-destruct mode and thinks everything is fine .
I am grateful for this article and that is showing me the light where I need to make a positive change and get out of this toxic dead-end arrangement and never look back .
This article made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.
I have never understood the dynamics of this relationship and why I just cannot break free. I have been backwards and forwards for 14 years now. He has been with at least 10 other woe that I know of and every time the latest one finishes he starts texting me. I have always had this crazy notion that he really loves me deep down and that is why he keeps coming back.
At the moment he is single and of course he is texting me all the time and I am excepting scraps of attention. I am also ashamed to say I have slept with him again!! What can I do to break this vicious cycle?
@Lynn — He’s only doing it because he knows you’ll take him back and that you’ll always be there for him and give in.
The only way to make it stop is to stop participating. Stop being available for him. Stop returning his calls and messages. If you don’t have the willpower to not respond, block his number that way he can’t contact you at all!
I found it initially hard to break it off, and the first few weeks were the most dangerous time for me, hoping he would see the light. Obviously they are incapable as they repeat the behaviours. He was trying to get to me in so many ways, through mutual friends who I also had to dump. He was using them to get to me! I startled running and haven’t stopped! It actually turns my stomach to look at him! Knowing he is sleeping with someone else with no regard for my feelings is too much for me! I am a big believer in a loving committed relationship! When I realised he’d lied to me from beginning to end that was it for me! I deserve better! The way I cope is to only focus on the bad elements of the relationship, which there were lots of! That alone is my reminder never to go back! Life is too short for that! They are not the only man on the planet! And people who love with all their heart and soul deserve a person who can return that love and faithfulness. Positive projection, you deserve the very best, don’t settle for crumbs..
I’ve been doing the boomerang for almost 3 years now. Every time he humiliates me and I think I’ve had enough, I will rehearse how I will react the next time he contacts. Only once was I able not to give in and then 2 days later, I did. Each time it seems he punishes me more and for a longer period of time. I say I want to get off the rollercoaster but keep buying a ticket! This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I give each one of you a big hug!!!
While I have gotten my self to the indifference stage I still do find it difficult to not engage him when it involves and or effects the children. I know at times he deliberately does things that he knows will upset me with the children in hopes that I’ll contact him and give him a piece of my mind… giving him the opportunity to have another go at me and worm his way back into my life. It’s a constant internal battle to not engage him!!
Same. Same. I’m divoricing my long term Narcissist. Went NC the day he walked out. Yay for me…and I don’t know how I’ll react when / if I see him. However, my boomerang narcissist, I am still so drawn to him. I have to maintain NC if I want to survive. The pull is still that strong after 5+ years. Withdrawal like you wouldn’t believe some days. Hugs to you Savannah…this blog is spot on and incredibly healing and helpful.
I need to tattoo “NO CONTACT” ON MY ARM where I can see it. You perfectly described my addiction to my Narcissist boomerang In fact that is what I called him last time I ran into him. Funny how they always just “show up”! NO CONTACT
Soooo much info is now available for help if we allow it. I spent 20 years with my EX_N on and off over and over. Every time I set a boundary he would overstep. I cant tell all of you how important it is to read and educate yourselves on the behavior of these toxic people. Its your only hope. I still struggle day to day with the thoughts of never having him again and the unbelievable amount of pain that he has caused my kids and myself. I find myself crying and wanting to text or call but I don’t. I know the HATE I feel for him is an emotion so that still means I care. Praying one day I feel nothing for the heartless parasite I married. We have to help each other empower others and stay strong. I feel its wrong to wish bad things on others but I sometimes feel like a little pain he might feel will sustain me for a little while longer to see me threw my own painful memories. I become happy Im free one day, and then wish that someone would end it all for me the next. One day at a time, is all we can do. I like so many others just want peace and the biggest magic mind eraser they could possibly make. I cant say I will ever be the same person I once was but I can tell you that the fight I have fought this long is mine to win and the only way that will ever be possible will be NO CONTACT. Im treating him just like AA. He may have stole my heart, but at least I have one worth fighting for to get back!
Unfortunately I work with mine, but thankfully I don’t have to see him that often as he comes in to get his truck and go. Thank god for that! I have no problem in maintaining the no contact as I never want to have anything to do with him again… Ever. I blocked all contact I could and will only speak to him if he comes in and it’s work related. Three years of my life gone, my last chance to have a child gone, and my most beloved horse dead was too higher price to pay. I have regained control of my life and am now doing everything I want to do. I have my good and bad days. I saw his dark empty soul… He had nothing inside.. So I turned and walked toward the light. The last gift my beautiful horse gave me on his death was to set me free.. He had been cheating on me for nine months, and two weeks after my horse died I caught him with her for the third time. I had always promised myself if I caught him again that would be it and I stuck to my guns. When I dumped him he went straight to her, and she is welcome to him. It takes some time to deal with the damage, and I’ve never been damaged until now. I never knew such people existed. It can be soul destroying if you let it. I will not allow him to hurt me anymore, and I won’t give him the time of day! I was once married to a beautiful man, so I know they exist. Now I am armed with the knowledge of these bad men, I can pick one at twenty paces! Thank you savannah for this website, it has helped me to understand and move on, so much more quickly than I would have normally. God bless you xx I miss my horse more than anything in this world and would give anything to have him back, but without his passing, I would not have been set free. This is the universes way of giving you the power to end what needs to be ended. No looking back now, only forward..
Thank you, Savannah! This absolutely describes my feelings and experiences with my ex-N. I have not seen him in 2 months, and I stopped replying to texts and emails about a month ago. Since that time, I feel myself beginning to heal and I’m getting stronger every day. Interestingly, one of my good friends left her N of 7-1/2 years at about the same time as my ex-N and I split up. She and I spent a lot of time together keeping busy and supporting each other, but she recently started seeing him again. I was honest with her that I thought she was making a mistake, but her addiction is strong and she couldn’t resist his proclamations that this time he would change. Anyway, I’m having a hard time maintaining our friendship because I’m afraid her backsliding might rub off on me. Anyone else have similar experiences? I greatly value her friendship, but I am trying to focus on my own health and healing right now.
No contact…what about when you live in the same house but have no contact through commuication either.
Just relapsed after 1 month no contact- discussed my addiction to my ex narcissist w therapist as well- thanks for posting this- totally relate right now. As hard as it is to accept my progress and start over once again w no contact- this article empowers me to try again and stop getting sucked into his false promises.
After reading all your comments, I can totally relate. I too feel as though I am addicted to me x narcassist. He discarded me two years ago and I went no contact for that whole period of time. But a month ago he contacted me vis text. Can you believe that after two years and a very bad break up he contacted me?! And, it gets worse. He is engaged to be married in 6 months! Why is he contacting me? I was so curious, I responded to his text. Stupid, stupid, stupid! That’s not the worst of it. He tells me that he is happy now but at the same time, all he wanted to discuss was our sex life! I kept changing the subject and he kept bringing it back to that! If he is so happy, why is he contacting me and why does he wasn’t to discuss our past sex life. He also said that he meets to get together again like special friends! I was so mad. He contacted me three other times after that and when I failed to text him on his bday, he stopped texting. I have no idea if he will contact me again and nor do I want him to! I am mad at myself for breaking my two years of no contact. My curiosity got the best of me. You know, he never once apologized to me nor acknowledged how badly he treated me at the end. He was still going on about being the victim!
I guess my question is, why did he contact me after two tears and especially now since he is getting married? Is he really happy with her? It shouldn’t matter to me but for some reason it does. I don’t want this new relationship of his to work out. I know he isn’t a changed man but it bothers me that he is going to do to this new woman the same thing he did to me. I don’t want anyone else to feel what I have been feeling for the last two years! It has been brutal. I still think about him each and every day. I can’t get passed what happened and how he targeted me! I have also not forgiven myself for falling for all of his manipulative stupid games. Therapy is helping but it isn’t fast enough. It’s been two years, shouldn’t I be over this already .
@CL — Your ex N contacted you because he needs a harem of admirers to feel good about himself. Savanahh has a few other articles about this very topic on this site.
Our Ns cannot be happy with ANYONE! Soon enough, his new wife will be crying and maybe even commenting on this site, and her life too will be ruined.
That is their M.O. That’s what they do to everyone they date.
Your N is hoping he can come to you for money, sex, an ego boost, whatever it is — because that’s what he does. You most likely are not the only women he’s called.
I hate to sound harsh, but be open to these possibilities. It happened to me, it happened to all of us.
Refuse to be a member in his harem!!!!