Sometimes when I hear someone tell their story I can’t help but cringe and think in my head, “Oh boy, this isn’t going to end well.” It happens a lot when people are looking to get something, from someone who treated them very badly, that something being, an apology, or some acknowledgement of wrong doing.
The problem is that when you have relationships with emotional manipulators, they don’t follow the same patterns that normal relationships do. When a normal relationship ends there is communication that one or both parties want out of the relationship, which may be followed by a period of sadness and eventually both individuals move on.
When a relationship with an emotional manipulator ends it’s usually very quick, without warning, without respect and brutally cruel. The dumpee is often in a state of shock, and feeling like an abandoned piece of trash, left by the roadside. They don’t get closure, they don’t get an apology or even, “the talk.” The relationship is often left in a state of ambiguity and even if it’s not, there are so many loose ends that it feels like it is. A Narcissist does this for two reasons, one the fragile state of their ego cannot allow for the perception of them being ‘the bad guy,’ so they spend a great deal of time coming up with reasons why the break up is all your fault.
The second reason is that they are users. They use everyone they can to get their needs met and chances are at some point they’re going to need to use you again. They need love, attention and resources, like a drug addict needs their fix, so they like to leave the door open, just in case they’re running low on supply, somewhere down the road. They don’t concern themselves with how you will take it, the effects it will have on you, your children or anything else. They can be impulsive and they do have amazing powers of justification.
The process of ending the relationship is usually by way of disappearance, where no words are spoken, and they ignore all your attempts to communicate, (this allows them to come back as if nothing ever happened). Another way is by behaving in a passive-aggressive manner, where they do something they know you cannot tolerate (like cheating….) – so that you’ll do the leaving. “I didn’t end it, she did,” because they love to make themselves out to be the victim. Some will be quick to pick fights over seemingly benign issues, they will use projection (blaming you for things they themselves are doing), While others will do the slow devaluation, where they act like you’re an afterthought, always thinking only of themselves and making your life miserable in the process.
Anytime a relationship ends it’s likely going to be painful. Healthy people will communicate their feelings, be empathetic, and feel some type of remorse that a friendship is ending. In contrast an emotional manipulator almost seems to get off on the hurt they cause.
A male friend of mine, whose empathy chip is firmly intact, told me a story about how a woman, he had been dating for about 8 weeks, was doing things that he didn’t like – drinking too much, too much partying, being irresponsible, acting lazy, sleeping all day…. When he did tell her he wanted to break up, she was hurt and asked him why.
Knowing she was already hurting, he didn’t want to hurt her anymore, so he said, “Please don’t take this personally, but I really want to be single right now.” Had he been missing his empathy chip and had a strong need to make everything someone else’s fault, he might have said something like this, “I can’t stand to be around you. You’re lazy. You’re stupid. You smell funny. You nag me. You’re fat. Sex with you is nauseating for me, (Take your pick).” The sensitivity is completely absent and you know they’ve spent a lot of time nursing those reasons in their head.
They are miserable people in general and since they still feel miserable with you – their miserableness must be your fault. So they go on the hunt, or sometimes it even just pops up out of nowhere, for something that will take away their angst. They see something – they want it (usually another partner) – they water the seed of desire, until it consumes them – they find a way to justify their behavior (by blaming you) – they test the waters (because they are cowards) – they act.
The problem many of my clients have is that they know their partner is a Narcissist, yet they keep expecting them to act like they’re not. They want to have ‘the talk,’ they want an apology, they want reassurance that it wasn’t all their fault and they want to hear that they are still loved by them. I’ve said repeatedly on this site that, Narcissists don’t do apologies (not real ones), they don’t accept responsibility, they lack sensitivity and they don’t do loyalty, or nostalgia, so if you’re hanging around waiting for these things, you’re going to be in for a long, long wait.
I can remember saying rather sarcastically to my boomerang Narcissist, after he took off for the third time, “You fooled me again. Good for you. You did it to me again. ” I felt like such an idiot. Like I said they are cowards, they know what they’re doing is really, really shitty and they stay away, usually because they can’t face what they’ve done, so when you show them that you still want to play ball, they’re kind of shocked. Any sane person wouldn’t want to have anything to do with them, but here you come, offering them up your love again, like a fast ball right over the plate.
When you look to someone to give you something that they don’t have, it weakens you. This is the epitome of giving away your power. You can’t get self-esteem from someone else – because they don’t have your self-esteem. You can’t get closure from someone else because they don’t have your closure. You can’t get self-worth from someone else because they don’t have that either. Never approach an emotional manipulator with watery doe eyes and try to appeal to their sense of decency. That’s like looking for water in the desert.
Too many people keep thinking, ‘it’s going to be different this time.’ The million dollar question is, ‘How many times does someone have to kick you in the shin, before you go out and buy a shin guard?’ How do you not see the same thing happening again? When you show an emotional manipulator that you still want them I’ll tell you straight up what’s going through their heads.
They think, “I can still have him/her. They still want me. I’m so special. I can get away with anything. What can I take from them? Good to know I can always go back there. He/she is so pathetic, don’t they know I don’t give a f@^# about them…..”
In my conversation with my male friend, whose empathy was fully intact, he explained that the last thing he’d want to do to his ex was cause her anymore pain, so he had no problem taking the blame for the ending of the relationship. Only a sadistic f$#@ would sit there and keep stabbing you after they already cut you deeply.
He also expressed the hope that she would be able to move on and find someone else. This is how healthy people behave after a break up. A Narcissist doesn’t want you to move on, they don’t want to give you closure, because they want you available and they want you hurting – that’s ambrosia to them.
The thing that we always have to remember is that a relationship with a Narcissist ends when you decide it does. Sure they may have been the ones to initially leave, but you decide when the door is permanently closed. You have to give yourself the closure you need, because you will never get it from them.
Once you close it, don’t open it again, because it won’t be different the next time and believe me, you will feel the fool. And by God, don’t show them, by word or deed, that you still want them. Never give someone the satisfaction of knowing how much they hurt you. You are just giving away your power and igniting their feelings of superiority in the process. Once you know what you’re dealing with, act accordingly. Feed it nothing and shut the door in its face.
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Thank you everyone on here.You make me feel strong when I get that urge to contact him. Like you say anyone can be fooled once, but it takes participation to be fooled two,three or four times. I come here when I feel down its like being with my family. You are all so supportive. Thank you Mel x
Thank you! Finally I can understand the process I went through a year ago. This article is well written and informative. Definitely helped me understand what I was going through. Amen to Esteemology.
I am at the point where I have grown to disrespect my narc mate and genuinely despise his selfishishness. If victims of this insidious abuse would take a long look at what they “love” it would make them physically sick. What is loveable about a cold, brooding, nasty, mean, secretive, miser with the emotional content of a robot?? I’ve put up with it for 5 years and I just realized I can’t stand the person he actually is. Remember it is always all about them always. Everything is only a means to an end. Only way it ever changes is if you say bye bye and don’t look back.
And I feel so bad today, I reopen the cycle again. We share a child together. He left his wife for me and after 5 years, caught him cheating with his friend’s mistress. It was the biggest deception and betrayal I’ve ever had. I just gave birth to our amazing girl. She was turning 1 when I found out about the infidelity and btw, her daughter from his previous marriage, also turning one when he took me as his new supply.
16 years. I’ve had 16 years of this crap. I had been working with a great therapist and getting my self esteem back, setting boundaries, trying to have a healthy relationship, or at least get the courage to leave. Now he has done it again, crossed a boundary. And I have filed for divorce. I cannot get him out of my house though. I can’t get him to leave. I am looking for an apartment, but I am so terribly afraid of the confrontation that will come when I leave that I’m starting to reconsider the divorce altogether. Ack! I’m in a new city (that’s why I don’t still see the great therapist), and I need to find a new one.
This is my life and situation completely. Im so glad i read this. My narcissist just tried to rekindle after me going no contact 4 months. and i know its because my bday is coming up and my dad (her ex-husband) is visiting from out of state. Thank you for reminding me this charade shes played is STILL the game she is playing. I feel way better than i did 3 months ago.
I have a question to you and to everyone.
I have done NC now for 2 weeks…..but it was her that blocked me from her phone and Social Media page, and our last contact was on the Tuesday and she asked me to come and pick her up and sending me passionate messages, then on Thursday being abusive and blaming me for carrying on and it’s always about me..THEN BLOCKED ME FROM HER LIFE (I should be happy) BUT I’M NOT ITS KILLING ME
MY QUESTION: I know she has someone new and moved in with her and at the moment doesn’t want me, BUT why do I still want her to come back to me, even though I know in my head it’s wrong.
Why do I still love this woman and seem to just push all her bad to the side. I attempt to get angry and then the anger goes away and I start missing her. When will it get easier
I joined your website in August. I’m from Australia and Savannah you are a god send for me. Thanks again.
Thank you, I need to read your articles every day to remind myself not to waste any more time and to heal from the pain. I want to go back to being the light hearted happy girl I was before I fell for him. I feel I’ll never be her again. Why can’t it stop hurting???
Hello, interesting thoughts and commentary.
I only take exception to saying that it is the narcissist who terminates a relationship by simply disappearing and refusing to have the talk. I had to “ghost” or I wouldn’t have walked out. Having the talk would mean enduring more gas lighting , more verbal and emotional abuse. I know now that saying look everytime you accuse me of cheating without foundation it erodes our relationship and my self esteem would have led into a dark, never ending spiral of a shit storm of how I do him wrong.
So I disappeared. Hopefully, I can stay strong this time and avoid initiating contact myself.
Hello Savannah and others, I have been avidly reading all your posts…so enlightening and helpful.
My story? Very similar to all the above. Grew up in a family whereby, to keep myself safe I became a ‘people pleaser’. This continued into my marriage, I knew something was very wrong with it but didn’t have the knowledge which, would have enabled me to walk away many years ago. In fact in 1996 I searched the internet and came across Freud’s’ definition of narcissism. I couldn’t/wouldn’t allow myself to believe he could really be so ill, so I filed it to the back of my mind. After the death of my mother in 2005 I realised at a deep level, this is it, we only have one shot at life and after another 5 years of abuse and threats of divorce from him, I agreed. Much to his shock but he didn’t put up much of a battle, except of course, to play the victim to family and friends. OOh what a wicked woman I am! I immediately fell head long into a relationship with another full blown narc. After 2 years of total abuse I couldn’t take it anymore and in a fit of rage through him out. That was when I started a serious search on these characters. What I found shocked and relieved me but the pain was almost unbearable. I realised I hadn’t yawned in 6 months. Yes, that’s right…yawned. To yawn is to be relaxed and I was so stressed! Again, before I had heard of the term, mentally raped, I coined it! I felt I had been raped and laid bare in every sense. How could that have happened? I knew he was without pity and thought I had a handle on it but finally and without my realising it he had penetrated my weaknesses. My lack of self esteem. Everyone has their doubts and healthy people don’t use them to build themselves up. In fact, I’m now wondering how long does their ‘kick/high’ last for? Not long as they move onto their next victim. I suppose what it does prove to them is that there’s a lot of vulnerability out there for them to prey on. The strange thing about my last narc is that he’s aware of so many of his issues and does try to soul search but not for long. Not seriously enough for him to change his ways..He’s having far too much fun. His latest victim contacted me calling me all the names under the sun, I tried to help her but she refused to listen and put it down to me wanting to separate their ‘couple’. I told her that if a harem of other women constituted a couple and she was wiling to accept the situation, go for it.She gloated over me as you said Savannah, as if she had one the prize, I knew better. Nevertheless, in spite of my logical reasoning I still felt pangs of jealousy. Well, the long and short of it is he’s popped back into my life again and again, as you said, it’s like that first puff on a cigarette after having given up. He’s a total pest, demanding, impetuous, expensive and keeps disappearing, going back to his ex. I thought I could go along with it as sadly, I don’t have much else in my life but in fact…NO! It hurts, not the way it used to but it’s humiliating, in spite of trying to pigeon hole it as a ‘little company’ nothing more. Nope, I can’t convince myself…As for my ex husband who I was so supposed to be having an’amicable’ divorce with…It is still not finallised, due to him and he has gone out of his way to make my life so difficult. Just this week he informed me the tax office is looking for me for unpaid bills??? I have paid them all, why are they looking for me? How did they get his mobile phone number but not mine? He was investigated earlier this year and accused his ex girlfriend of alerting the tax office. He told the word is that someone must have informed on him. Now, I’m am being investigated? These types stop at nothing to make your life miserable. Difficult to stay strong but have to keep trying.
Ok you and me must have dated the same guy. Every word in your article speaks to me. Day 1 of NC. I will keep reading here to stay strong this time.
Thanks again Savannah.
You did again. I feel like I can’t give up on my ex narc because I need her to tell me how I was the love of her life and that she really did love me as much as she said she did all those years. Its been 4 days of no contact………WOW and 2 weeks since I have physically seen her. Yes I let her walk back in and stay for the evening and then she takes off back to the new girlfriend and leaves me in a crying mess.
I feel like I’m the crazy one (guess cause that’s what she says when I text her)…I’m a nightmare and a nut job.
I so want my life back, and I know it can’t be with her. I am working on the strength to shut the door and never open it to her again but it’s so hard.
Thank god for you Savannah. Again today I will try to not think about her 24/7…..Wish me luck. Thanks everyone for your comments on this site, I feel like I’m not the only one now going and thinking the way I do.
I found this site about 3 months ago and it changed my life. I am now on the path of healing. Every one of these posts could be my story. For me, emotional abuse is very damaging, he didn’t raise a hand to me, but he damaged me.
2 years and 8 months ago I met the most charming, wonderful and attentive man. He swept me off my feet with his intensity and focus. Being in our late 40’s, thus was exciting. He wanted me to move in after 2 months, but I waited 6 months. Moving in with him was the beginning of the end. After 9 months we were engaged.
We spent my money since I had an executive position and he was unemployed. That didn’t stop him from ordering 5-6 tall beers each time we went out 4-5 times a week. I had no experience with alcoholism, I just thought it was strange.
The other red flag I ignored; he always made fun of people, cut them down, and it got worse with each beer. Why would I ever think he’d do that to me? He had a constant need to feel superior. He refused to make me feel special, ever. Not even for my birthday.
Dust ups occur in all relationships, however, even tiny things he got out his ax. When I challenged him on how he spoke to me, I loudly received the silent treatment. Everything was turned around on me, it was all in my head he’d say, or I’m “too sensitive” when I’d tell him he was disrespectful. I had no experience with narcissism, I just thought he was confident and knew what he wanted.
I became a zombie; afraid of his moods, how many beers, waiting for the next hurtful comment. I couldn’t even answer the question “what do you want for dinner?” because I was so anxious about what the right answer was that night.
I turned myself inside out trying to please him and gain his approval. How did that happen to a successful confident independent woman? Slowly over time. I felt the pings of discomfort and confusion, but I ignored it. I was so focused on re-capturing the first few months that I lost myself. I was in love with the illusion he created, the dreams and ideas we talked about.
He had treated me so poorly for months that I finally got the strength to move back to my home 6 weeks ago. Reading the posts on this site made me realize it wasn’t me. I wasn’t bad or undeserving. He has problems that only he can own. He would get cockier the more I cried and begged for warmth. Who does that?!
Then we saw each other weekly, and he was mean and drunk. Made sure I knew he was better off now living by himself. 4 nights ago he was brutal with his comments; how I’m so insecure, in my head, irritating, wasting his time, etc. I left his house crying. Two nights ago he called all charming and wanted to make plans for a road trip. I got sick to my stomach and the next morning text him, kindly, that I couldn’t have contact with him anymore.
For months I’ve felt like the little ball with the string attached to paddle. He would be warm and charming, when I’d feel safe, BAM! He’d squash me like a bug. Then I would crawl away weeping and ignored. Push pull push pull. He loved having the control and derived power from beating me down with his mean words and negative outlook. He always made it sound like I was the lucky one. I spent hours and hours thinking about why this was all happening. I knew at that very moment that I couldn’t do it anymore.
Of course I miss him and still wonder what could I have done differently. I think if I had established boundaries early on things would have worked. I still can’t reconcile that this wonderful guy in the illusion would willfully stonewall, gaslight and manipulate. That’s why I stayed as long as I did.
At least I don’t have to worry about him contacting me. I have to remain strong and not call him. Since I said no more, his big ego won’t reach out, he’ll be out trolling for the next sucker right away. THAT actually hurts. The next girl will get his wonderful illusion, maybe he’ll be better for her, or maybe it will be the same heartbreak and grief. I’m no longer alone, I have everyone here. I was alone when I was with him.
Thank you all for this great site!
Thank God I found this website. Thank God for the articles that speak directly to what I’m going through and give a road map out of hell. Thank God for everybody’s comments and sharing that give me hope, compassion and strength, and courage in knowing that I am not alone… and that I can and will get through this. Thank God for good friends who expressed their shock, indignation, and anger when I confided in them about the way my Narc was treating me, when I was unable to access those feelings myself because I couldn’t yet let go of the fantasy.
I am two days of NC after breaking it off with my Narc 4 months into the relationship. I broke it off – though I wanted to stay and work it out- because I realized that I was at the beginning of a torturous and long descent into psychological hell. The flags were just too many, too red. My friends all urged me to run for the hills. And these blog posts… encouraged me to admit to myself that this person before me was not going to change. And not capable of love.
I met my Narc while traveling. We hit it off and kept in touch after I left. Precious, hours long, daily Skype conversations ensued for 3 months- deep soul sharing, soul mate kind of stuff. Constant messages, multiple daily phone calls, intense and joyful connection. He said he was considering me as a life partner, that talking with me felt like he talking with his future wife. He thought I’d be an excellent mother. He wanted us to pool our experience and expertise to start a business together. And it didn’t feel weird or crazy that he said any of these things because I felt so open-hearted and safe and loved… it felt so comfortable and natural with him, our connection felt so deep and real. He was everything I had ever wanted in a partner- emotionally available, supportive, protective, attentive, caring, spiritual, funny, intelligent, etc. He supported me though some difficult transitions I was going through…he felt like my defender, my champion. He told me I was amazing, special, wonderful. We would talk and laugh for hours. He was gorgeous, funny, talented. He became my best friend. I could hardly believe my luck.
I had been single for 6 years, after being dumped stone cold by my previous Narc, who had wanted to marry me. All that time, single, I had done work on myself. After zero interest in romance for so long, I finally felt ready to open my heart again. This guy felt different, like The One. And I loved that we were getting to know each other slowly, over our talks about anything and everything… It felt like a deep emotional and spiritual connection was being built before the physical, with it being long distance. I was planning a sabbatical and was going to spend months in his country to see if it could work, with us spending time together on a daily basis.
Then he came to visit me for an extended vacation. I don’t know that I’ve ever anticipated anything so much in my life, the months of waiting for him to come. I was so nervous, spending all my mental energy preparing for his visit, hoping he’d like me as much in person as he did over Skype. When I should have been spending that time getting clear on my boundaries and on what I wanted in him. Because very quickly the mask fell when he came to visit. I was in no way prepared for that. Didn’t see it coming. He was the opposite of all the things I loved and trusted about him. He constantly nit-picked and criticized me, from my accent and idiosyncrasies to the sweat on my upper lip as we waited in 100+ degree heat for the subway. He said I talked too much, with no regard for how it impacted his energy. “Verbal diarrhea”, he called it. I was an “over-thinker”, a “negative spiraler”, and if I wanted to do something on our trip and tried to communicate it, he’d respond with mocking me, “Me, me, me, I, I, I… It’s always about you!” Most especially, he attacked my lack of spiritual progress and mental clarity, dug deeply to plant the suggestion that I am inherently flawed at my core. He said I drained his energy. That he hadn’t anticipated there’d be so much about me he’d have to deal with and he wasn’t really enjoying his vacation…. “You don’t love yourself and it makes it really hard to love you.” And all the while he was constantly checking FB messenger and being shady with it. He was also bossy and moody and irritable, distant and cold, and often times, flat out mean. Ugh… He even play fought me a lot and got a little too rough at times and berated me for not being tougher when I protested. But there were moments, glimmers of the person I thought I had come to know. Moments of fun, of connection, of us together on vacation having fun and enjoying an adventure. And of course, there was lots of sex.
I was so confused…really couldn’t get my head around the reality of how crappy he was treating me. I didn’t have it in me to challenge him then and there, and tell him to fuck off…. I was just dismayed at how the trip was going and wanted to salvage what we had. I wanted to reflect and figure out what was going on and how we could work it out. I wanted it to work, so badly. I wanted that fantasy I had been building those months we talked long distance…
His last day here his mood lifted and we had an awesome 24 hours together. He left with vague overtures about us spending time apart and seeing what was there after some time to reflect. We had good reflective talks before he left that made me feel hopeful we could work things out. He knew I had plans to travel a month later to his country, but didn’t ask when or make plans for when I hit there.
He was distant when he got home. Still connected, a dry message here and there, but less available- and not responding to my messages for hours, not calling me when before he called all the time. We’d both be online at the same time, the “active now” status on messenger, but he wouldn’t message me. A total change from before. I thought he just didn’t like me anymore. But then he told me that loved me, that he wasn’t ready to give up yet, wanted to work on us… then he didn’t call for days.
It was hell- the wondering why, worrying, figuring out, being in limbo…. I don’t think there is a worse hell than being stuck in that kind of relationship doubt, enduring treatment that is demeaning, with hope that this person will change, being given crumbs that taste like what you had before and feed your optimism, holding on feeling crazy and alone, waiting to see if things can get better- feeling awful, anxious, insecure.
The breaking point. We have to take a long, hard look down that road – at what it truly is they are offering- and see it for what it really is. A dead end. What you’ve seen so far is what you’ll get, or worse, if you stay. If it feels bad, it’s bad. Let us save ourselves further heartache, torture, and despair. Let’s reclaim our lives. Take back what they wanted from you in the first place- your joie de vivre.
In all honesty, I feel horrible right now – because in letting go of him, I have to really come to terms with and acknowledge what happened, and take ownership of my mistakes. Sucks. I am awash with feelings of grief, shame, hurt, sadness, self-recrimination. The person I loved wasn’t real, was a fantasy. And I have been here before and that is frustrating and disheartening. I thought I had turned a corner. But I have been duped and I could have prevented it.
And yet. I’m having glimmers of feeling good, like I can finally put my attention back on myself and my life and where I want to go from here. That feels good. I went to a dance class the first day of NC, even though I wanted to stay home, curled up in a depressed fetal position wallowing in my pain. It felt great. My pain was waiting for me after the class, but for several hours I was thinking about something else. Progress. I downloaded new music and that makes me feel good. Sang along while driving. I’ve got songs on repeat (Sia’s Alive, I highly recommend). I’m making new plans and looking forward to them.
If not anything else, he won’t get another day of me wrapped around his finger. Not to say I’m not thinking of him… am going through serious withdrawal…but I know I’m craving something that wasn’t real. And each day I move my heart one step further from him. I wouldn’t want to have to start all over again in my healing, so I’m not looking back. Working on acceptance and self-love. Far, far better than feeling like shit wondering why he’s not calling.
I just ended a relationship with a guy who was a text book case of someone with NPD. I am ok with it because my home is at peace now. I will admit thought that he damaged me to the point of needing anxiety medicine and therapy. I wish I could end all contact, but we have a 4 month old son together. How do I handle this?
Thanks for the article. It’s very helpful. I wish I could think like that a year ago. It’s been 6 months with no contact and I feel free of his emotional abuse and manipulation. It’s very hard, but it was the best decision I ever made.
Excellent articles. My former husband of 33 years exhibits all the signs except that we somehow managed to hold our marriage together for that long. I’ll admit that I felt that I needed to stay one step ahead of him for the last 8 to 10 years of our marriage, that it was only a matter of time before he made a move. The reality is, he could have been unfaithful to me many times over but I felt loved, cherished, even more often than not. I think he (we) could be an interesting case study. Thank you for your posts. I would love to speak with you Savannah. I might actually investigate how to do that!
I can’t expect a narcissist to give something they don’the have. I can liken my expecting any empathy, compassion, comfort from a narcissist to my going to a ice cream parlorand expecting to get a haircut.
My narcissist can’t give what has never been “installed”. Kind of like the people who get a wild animal for a pet and then are surprised when they attack them. That’s why they call them wild animals. It’s taken me quite a while to get some acceptance of narcissism as being an actual disorder. Kind of like being deaf or blind.
This is exactly what I have been allowing myself to go through for 4 years now. Why do I always hold out hope that it’ll be something more than it is and always has been? The cycle feels never ending. I feel so powerless. Why can’t I love myself enough to stop this ride?
Rachel to answer your question see my post last week entitled Savannah’s 13 Steps to Change and Leaving Abusive Relationships.
I also got an apology 1 year and 3months later… and also worthless because he still heaped all the blame on me and played the victim. We agreed to be friends and I thought everything was cool. HA! Only 1 week later he almost completely ignored me at a bar where we first met. I thought, ‘ok, maybe he was having a bad night’ but then he completely ignored me the following week at that same bar. I caught his drift and that was that. Now it’s been No Contact for about 2 years. He made it very easy for me. Hey thanks A-hole! I discovered Savannah and all of you in January of this year and have made great strides. Thank you Savannah for your on-point teachings!
This was just for me and right when I needed it. I had just agreed to go out this weekend with my covert narcissist ex. As you said, I have been hoping for more than 2 years to get some empathy, an apology or validation for the devestation I experienced when he left me cold after 4 months of marriage. This has driven me to see him from time to time – Sometimes we even have fun but it always leaving me as empty and sad as before. He criticizes me for always bringing up the past. It’s total crazy-making.
Though I have seen him for what he is, and truly no longer want to be with him, I still really struggle with not getting that “closure.” When I read your blog this morning I wrote him a letter and cancelled the date. Praying now I have the strength to maintain no contact. I have read and re-read so many of your blogs to give me strength and perspective. Thank you again for keeping me from a weak and stupid moment.
I still don’t know if I believe my ex is as calculating and sinister as NPD many are so often portrayed. I think he is deluded by his own disorder; a sad victim of his own disfunction, pain and abusive childhood. Honestly, these people are truly to be pitied because while I know we can learn and heal. Those with NPD will never truly find the happiness they crave. Though, of course, I feel more sorry for his next victim. Thanks for spreading the word Savannah!
Yesterday I shut the door. After 9 months of being ‘narced’…shortly after we began dating first there were some lies. I saw a photo of a passport in his phone. He actually wanted to show me something else and then suddenly this photo came up. He tried to swipe it away, but of course I noticed…he explained this passports was his sisters trying to move to the country. As he entered the country a refugee from one of Africa’s most horrendous countries, I cut him some slack when we was being emotional or difficult. Everyting that happend I tried to put in that perspective. He comes from war, his son got killed and he lived through severe imprisonment. The passport was from his wife, he admitted. But as he promised me they do not have love and I am the first in his life he ever loved. He said he cut off his marriage because of me. Then I found some online dating profiles and around ten different facebook accounts. A girl had been sending him naked photo’s and then I walked away for the first time. He came to my house drunk and stoned and one time called me being so drunk I thought he’d be in danger. So I went to his place and called an ambulance. Even went with him to the hospital and sat there in the middle of the night. I gave in and we got back together. He deleted all online profiles and stuck to one facebook account. If I had a death in the family, a birthday or even my graduation, he would not be there for me. But somehow managed to make even these life-events about him by texting me vague messages about where he would be at the moment.
When he wanted sex and I would deny him, he would get very angry and ugly. He would then contact other woman or go online and show me what he was doing. In the gym, the train or whereever he would get phonenumbers easily. He is very goodlooking and innocent looking. Because of his past he has something that appeals to everyone. People feel sorry for him and find him funny and interesting.
I never caught him cheating in real life, but I am not very sure he hasn’t. Also I got the silent treatment nearly twice a week. Sometimes it was enough for him to find out that I had gone for coffee with my mum to block me from his phone for a week. If I would get so angry about what he did and block him alik, he would then change his profile picture into some woman….usually off the internet. I was never allowed to ask him questions about where he was, because then I would be the controlling one. When we had had no contact for a week or so, he all of a sudden sent me pictures of knives. I got scared. It then appeared he bought them for me to use in the kitchen. What a mindgame! I can go on and on and I have gone back maney times. Yesterday we were speaking on the phone when he -whithout giving me any notice- started speaking to a woman voice on skype or viber or so…I was like: hello! Hello! But he continued speaking to her on speakerphone. I hang up and tried calling him again, but he never answered. I went by his house and he did not open the door but left the intercom on for me hear him talking to this woman.
Somehow this was the straw that broke the camels back. I came home, blocked him after texting him this would be the last thing I could take. I feel soooooo stupid. I feel sooooo worthless. All I ever wanted to do was be good to him and give him a new life. I gave him some money, a lot of time, all of myself and my trust. He tossed all away.
We even went to a therapy session together…he has PTSD as well. My experience with him makes me distrust men, but also the world in general this broken people coming from war into our lives are breaking more and more people and when will this stop.
Please give me the courage to stay no contact!
The last nine months have depleeted me. I have no energy left. I can not see his beautiful face no more…please let this toxine get out of my system!
Oh my goodness ladies. I’ve read all the responses and it’s insane, as well as scary to me how many women have lived through this. How many more narcs are out there and we must follow our intuition and learn from the pain. I relate to all of you. And like Danie said previously, you feel like a zombie, you beat yourself up over going back or allowing yourself to falter back into that toxic situation you know will never change. I would always be the one to go no contact bc I could no longer bare the emotional torture, I felt like the crazy one and then months would pass and I’d crack and break no contact. I’d be sick for weeks and then just “deal” with him and his behaviors again. Yes, I was always hoping for a change from him, all the while I was trying to change more and more to pacify someone who will never be satisfied. I wanted so badly his accountability, closure, but now as this article has stated…I’ve created my own closure. It ends when you decide! You choose your emotions! Keep on moving on ladies!
This is so good. Thank you for playing a part in keeping my consciousness on point!!!
Wow..How many times did I react to his late night text asking me to come over. And I am pretty sure when I would leave in the early morning that he was laying there smiling thinking “haha I got her again.” It makes me shiver when I think about it now and how stupid I was. It’s a never ending cycle until you take your power back and set boundaries.
I feel like this was written just for me. Thank you
I wish I’d had this script when I was writing it for my break up with the NXH 15 years ago and appreciate having it now, for support that I have figured it out well enough to be able to have a healthy relationship with someone in my future.
Thank you Savannah for giving me the courage to go NO CONTACT for five months now. All communication goes through the lawyers, however EVERY Sunday evening he reaches out with an email. Always the same, YOU NEED TO CALL ME. He has lost control of me and more importantly I am slowly recuperating with the help of many people. I read all of your posts and wish everyone well. NO CONTACT is extremely difficult but it will work….don’t give in!
I did get an apology – a worthless, meaningless apology from a Covert Narcissist. It was a tell warning me that he wanted to manipulate me to be able to come back when he felt like it. I’ve learned to pay attention to what people do, not what they say. One year post discard and he still tries to contact me. He’s the needy one who has to get up and out of the house everyday to find his fix of supply from strangers. A healthy person doesn’t need supply – they are happy within. Thank you for all of your insight Savannah, you have saved so many people from returning to abusive relationships with disordered people. I also look forward to your articles, they have helped me recognize and keep disordered men out of my life.
It’s such a long road to acceptance when your love for a narc is exposed as a huge lie. The straight truths you tell are so valuable in that struggle to bring the heart into alignment with what the head already knows: we’ve been had, tricked, manipulated by a pro who has done it many times before and will many times again. We want what we want so badly that we wrestle to give up our dreams of utopia, even though in our heads we know we must get far away and stay far away from the monster who would consume our soul.
You are so right about the way a narc will act like nothing happened after a cruel and heartless discard. This happened to me when I saw my narc about a year after I went no contact. She acted just as if we had parted on good terms and had just seen each other the day or week before.
I realized then the reason is everyone else is more or less interchangeable to a narc. Other people exist solely to meet their needs. Their insatiable addiction to attention and praise means that literally the moment you or I go out of their field of vision we are forgotten. They cannot imagine what goes on for others — what pain or struggles they might have — because after all what would that have to do with attention for them?
It takes a lot of learning from this site and elsewhere, plus a bit of imagination, to truly comprehend what the inner life of a narc is like. Normal people are so accustomed to feeling empathy for others (it’s what makes us human, after all) that we have to stretch our minds to comprehend what it’s like to really truly not give a shit about any other human being on the face of the earth.
So we stumble through recovery from these people constantly educating ourselves out of the thought that “the N must care, somehow, they must.” Meanwhile the N exults in moving from victim to victim, laughing inwardly over and over and thinking “these people are a riot, they truly are; no matter what I do and how many times I do it, they still think I care! Ha ha ha!”
News flash: like Savannah says, they don’t care and they never will. If you want caring — and who among us doesn’t? — look elsewhere.
Thank you so much for your insights, Savannah! I look forward to each one you write. Nothing reveals who a narcissist is more than how they “end” things with you. It’s amazing how they continue to try and keep you hooked, even when the next target is already in the picture. It ends with absolutely no contact. GAME OVER. The power we gave away returns. Stay strong everyone and keep up it up!
SO timely. I am at the point where I was considering to give another chance. After given a million chances before. He was sounding a bit sincere. The funny thing I know in my heart fully well it is not genuine. Thanks for the article!! woke me up!!!
I went back to number 36. He of course sounded so sincere. I am sick. I am the problem at this point. It seems every time the ending gets more and more cruel. He gets off on my pain. But tells me he adores me. The his world is me. I feel crushed and addicted. 6 years in this. I read and read your posts to alleviate my anxiety. My need to feel worthy. Thing is I know I am a great woman with healthy feelings and a lot to offer in a relationship. I am stable in every part of my life but this. I feel ashamed to have gone back this last time and now read over 100 tests telling me I am garbage by a man I have loved so hard. I like Savannah says am in a state of shock every time. I cant believe I am here again. So much pain. Like a walking zombie. I just pray every night that I can move on this time and stay away from a person that has verbally abused me so much and really has offered me only words. Savannah your posts are like air to me. I so appreciate your blog and your understanding of co dependence.
What a spot on article. I boomeranged waaaaay too many times and yes, nothing in the make believe relationship ever changed. And knowing now it never could is so helpful to realize I was a victim in a heartless creatures game. I saw my narcissist a week ago after two years of no contact. I saw that pathetic look in his eyes saying awl come on you know I still love you and I knew instantly it was a performance and there was not an ounce of real love or compassion in his sic, manipulative body. I walked right by him, said nothing and was so proud of my new, strong , wiser powerful self. I won!
Good morning, Savannah! Thank you for this posting. I am a Narc magnet. Someone I’ve known for 2 years and waited 6 months to date (and we dated for over a year), Narc’d me. He seemed different and I trusted him. Paragraph 3 above describes exactly what he did to me. Totally projecting, calling me fragile and other character assignations, wouldn’t be accountable for his actions, everything was my fault (nothing ever happened – he fabricated things and said it was my perception when I tried to defend myself). He created a scenario so he could exit our year-long relationship, POOF! he was gone for two weeks, then tried to reunite. I had been in a toxic relationship on and off for 6 years with another Narc and I recognized this new guy’s behaviour immediately, thanks to all your postings educating me. I’m hanging onto your last paragraph…”once you close the door, don’t open it again…” He’s never stepping foot in my door or my life again. Sadly, I trusted him as a friend. I’m better off by myself. Have a nice day Savannah!
Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is a great article and exactly what I needed to keep reassuring me what I need to keep focusing on. I have been in No Contact for a month and what you write about in this article hits so close to my situation and using a normal relationship with this man versus a relationship with a Narcissist man in ending the relationship. One of the best reads I have come across in my searches to heal from this horrible Narc. Thank you so very much, I appreciate it.
EXCELLENT! I’ve been divorced from a NARC for a year now and every article you post helps me along my journey.
I’m not where I want to be but I’m getting there.
Thanks for being a blessing, SG!
Wow, this article just underscored what I finally just realized: the relationship is over when I decide it is. Not just intellectually, but emotionally. And I just noticed that this weekend ALONE was the first one in which I didn’t WANT to make contact with him. Oh, certainly I will keep up my support because I know I may have times of weakness, but this is a benchmark in my healing, and I am so pleased. I had all kinds of excuses to make contact in the past.
I feel like every article you write is delivered at the exact time it’s needed for me. Thank you so much for this blog. It helps me a lot. I am working on the stregnth needed to act accordingly now having received the knowledge I need.