We all have that little voice inside of us that feeds us thoughts about how we are lacking and not good enough. This voice has become an expertly skilled detective, that is always looking for clues to prove its case.
I get a lot of emails from readers describing how horrible their relationships were, but they are devastated now that their former partner is with someone else.
We always want to know – is he different with her? Does he treat her better than me? Is he happier with her?
We want to know the answers to these questions, because if the answer is yes, then our little detective can put that information in the evidence pile, that it was our fault thus proving that we aren’t good enough.
Is he happier with her?
In order to answer that, we first have to know what we are dealing with.
Emotionally Unavailable – possibly. It depends on whether or not the cause of their emotional unavailability still exists. We’ve all been emotionally unavailable at certain times in our lives. Chances are if you are still invested and pining over your Narcissist – you are emotionally unavailable right now. To be emotionally unavailable, means that our emotions are invested elsewhere, or are not accessible. This could be a temporary situation, for instance – if they are married, a widower, they’ve just divorced or separated, or if they’re in love with someone else. When they have gotten over the cause of their unavailability they may be able to have a mutually fulfilling relationship. If you started dating someone during this phase they may not have been emotionally ready to have a relationship at the time and might have considered you the rebound girl. If this is the case, it doesn’t make her better than you. It means that the timing was off and he should not have entered into a relationship with anyone when he wasn’t ready – but we have all been guilty of this a time or two in our lives.
A Broken Down – unlikely. Broken Downs don’t necessarily have a psychological disorder, but they are wrought with unresolved emotional issues. The causes could be abuse or trauma in childhood, or even a chemical imbalance, but In general – they are a hot mess. These people have learned that to cope with difficult situations the best way is to emotionally shut down or turn off. These guys are irresponsible, unreliable, impulsive and disconnected from their emotions. They usually have developed poor coping mechanisms to deal with their problems and are prone to substance abuse. If one of these has left you for someone else, consider yourself lucky. While it’s always possible that people can change, it’s unlikely these types are capable of the introspection necessary for such a feat. They have established, life-long patterns of dysfunctional behavior and thought, that would require a monumental amount of self-work to resolve and Broken Downs are generally too unbalanced to put forth the effort. While their new partner may possibly be a little more intolerant of poor behavior and may insist on better treatment, it will always be an uphill battle, as the temptation for them to resort to their old modes of behavior is always present. Is he happier with her? Maybe, but it’s unlikely that these types are capable of mutually fulfilling relationships long term. And who the hell wants to gamble their lives and happiness on someone else’s ability to deal with their massive amount of emotional baggage?
Narcissists – no. I read somewhere that a Narcissist isn’t just Somatic (obsessed with their bodily beauty) or cerebral (obsessed with their intellect) but are both, with one being dominant and the other recessive. You will generally find the Cerebral type involved in long term relationships, mainly because Somatics derive their self-esteem based on their multitude of conquests.
The life of a Narcissist is filled with paradoxes. He desires the stability that a loving relationship brings, but he cannot tolerate routine and boredom. He fears being abandoned, yet feels claustrophobic and has an uncontrollable desire to flee. He seeks love and adoration from others, but wants to be alone. Simply put, a Narcissist is NEVER happy. Always remember that the primary goal of a Narcissist is to obtain Narcissistic Supply. Everything he does – everything – is to alleviate the anxieties that come with his impairment.
If your Narcissist is acting like he’s met his soul mate and it seems like they’re frolicking through the tulips together, remember how he was in the beginning with you. When a Narcissist is in his hot phase he is euphoric and a man obsessed. This is as close as he gets to feeling love, but as always, it never lasts. Remember that all Narcissistic Supply is interchangeable eventually. When her shinny newness wears off, he’s going to revert back to his real self and treat her the same way he treated you.
The difference between one target and the next usually lies in the duration of the hot phase. If a target is playing hard to get and does not easily submit to his charm, he will very likely pull out all the stops and his pursuit could last a long time. I had a reader tell me that she had a man pursue her for almost a year and when she finally did say, ‘I love you,’ it was like a switch went off and in just a matter of weeks he had turned his eye to someone else. Narcissists love the chase, not the prey.
The woman I profiled in my blog The Long Term Narcissist: A Case Study said that within 3 months of her Narcissist leaving her for his married co-worker, his new target was pregnant and they married quickly. His initial plan was to keep his affair a secret and then let everyone believe that he just met someone once enough time had passed after his separation, so that those closest to him wouldn’t perceive his behavior as douche baggery. But she found out and told his family and friends and he was met with a lot of hostility. She says that he tried to blame her for everything, slandered her character and said that since he left her he no longer had obsessive compulsive disorder – a condition he had prior to their meeting. His ego was so fragile that he tried to convince everyone that he did what he did, because he had found true love and he married her quickly because in his mind it proved his argument and preserved his reputation – not because he loved her.
As far as she knows they are still married, but the question remains – are they happy? His new target had two children from a prior marriage – how do you think a Narcissist behaves when he is in constant competition for his source of supply? How do you think he treats her children? As a mother she is probably used to catering to the needs of others, but now she is constantly in the middle and saddled with a man who needs her constant attention and validation. Their relationship is all about him and her soul is slowly, but surely being sucked out of her, whether or not she’s aware of it. He very likely blames her for trapping him and will not think twice about taking out his frustration on her and justifying his bad behavior.
However, a Narcissist will project utter happiness to others, because that’s what he wants them to believe. It doesn’t make it true. He hasn’t changed. He’s still the same man, with the same impairment. How does that Bon Jovi song go, “It’s all the same, only the names will change.”
In comparison, the woman he left, spent two years after their break up doing the self-work and got an understanding of what made her attract such a man and what made her stay. She got herself completely financially and emotionally independent and is now in a mutually fulfilling relationship with mutual love, respect and kindness. Who would you rather be?
Here is the Fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s (DSM 5) definition of a Narcissist’s interpersonal functioning:
Empathy: Impaired ability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others; excessively attuned to reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to self
Intimacy: Relationships largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem regulation; mutuality constrained by little genuine interest in others experiences and predominance of a need for personal gain
So yes the new target won, but what did she win? Understand that a Narcissist is doomed to a life of misery and he will torment and exploit those closest to him. He will project his misery onto others making their lives intolerable. So, is he happier with her? Not a chance although he will try to convince everyone he is.
A Psychopath – No No No. Here’s the DSM5’s definition of a Psychopaths interpersonal functioning:
Empathy: Lack of concern for feelings, needs, or suffering of others. Lack of remorse after hurting or mistreating another
Intimacy: Incapacity for mutually intimate relationships as exploitation is the primary means of relating to others, including by deceit, coercion, use of dominance or intimidation to control others
This is pretty self-explanatory, but there are women out there that derive their sense of self-worth by what they would call ‘helping others.’ Just check the maximum security prisons across America, that are conducting marriage ceremonies for their serial killers.
There is zero chance of having a mutually fulfilling relationship with someone that is thus impaired – zero.
Regardless of the level of your former mate’s impairment, the only thing you should be concerned with is that the relationship that you were both in, didn’t work for either of you. It wasn’t mutually fulfilling and if you’re honest with yourself, it didn’t make you happy. How you feel is the only thing that should matter to you. Stop worrying about his happiness and start thinking about your own.
When someone acts like they can live without you – believe them. Don’t waste your time or dignity pining over someone that was never worthy of you, or capable of having a mutually satisfying relationship with anyone.
Within weeks of me kicking my very last Narcissist to the curb, he had hooked up with someone else. After about six weeks their relationship was over and she was a wreck. While it was validating to know that my assumptions about him were correct, it didn’t make me feel any better.
Relationships are hard enough, trying to force a relationship out of someone, who is intimately impaired, is foolhardy. You’d have better odds playing the lottery.
Your emotions are not something that you should be gambling with, be happy that it’s her turn to try her luck with him. Odds are her numbers won’t come up either.
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