One of the greatest fears victims of Narcissistic abuse have is the fear that their Narcissist will trot off into the sunset with someone else and live happily, ever after. It is, by far, the most common theme in my inbox. I’ve written about this subject before, but the anxiety and fear surrounding this topic makes it one that needs to be revisited.
We want our Narcissist ex to be miserable. We need them to be miserable, because it’s not the way our story is supposed to end. We’re the good ones. We’re the ones that are supposed to find real love and be happy – not them. If they’re happy in their new relationship, then there’s the chance that every awful thing they said or accused us of just might be true. Their happiness causes us doubt and anxiety, because it makes us to wonder whether or not we were the ones with all the problems after all. We need them to be miserable, because human beings are very concerned with justice and them being happy and us being miserable – is not justice. It’s a travesty. It’s unfair and it’s flat out wrong.
Some victims become consumed with their ex’s new relationship and can’t move on until they’re sure they’re still the same miserable person that left them. They will even offer themselves up to become the other man or woman, just to prove that they’re still cheaters and to make sure the new relationship is doomed to fail.
I tell readers and clients that you should be grateful that there is someone else in their life. I tell them that their Narcissist hasn’t changed, that they’re still the same person and that they are someone else’s problem now, but I always get the same response. How do you know Sav?
How do I know? This is how:
1.The Hedonic Treadmill: Is the theory that human beings have a Subjective Well-Being (SWB) set point, or a constant emotional default setting and that life changes, both good or bad, will change our moods and our behavior, for a while, but they will eventually revert back to our previous emotional default setting after a period of time.
There have been numerous studies, but I’ll illustrate just one by Lucas, Clark, Georgellis and Deiner, (2003). They conducted a study to examine the adaptation and the Set Point Model of Happiness in 24,000 individuals before, during and after marital changes occurred in the lives of participants.
The results of the study showed that individuals SWB did rise during the period just before marriage and remained high during the first two years of marriage, but after a two year period, the individual’s SWB reverted back to base line measurements that occurred prior to marriage and remained at baseline for the duration of the study.
What does this tell us? That sure, if your ex has a new partner they’re pretty happy. Their happiness continues for a while and then after a certain amount of time, their mood goes back to the way it was before they even met (their baseline). Humans are adaptable creatures, we get used to things.
2. The Coolidge Effect: US President Calvin Coolidge and his wife toured a farm during his term in office. Mrs. Coolidge took a walk around the chicken coop and noticed that a particular rooster was mating quite frequently. Mrs. Coolidge asked, “How frequently does that happen?” The response was, “Several times a day.” Mrs. Coolidge responded by saying, “Tell that to Mr. Coolidge.”
Later that afternoon Mr. Coolidge walked around the same coop. He noticed the rooster and was informed of his wife’s comment. The President asked, “Is it always with the same hen?” The response was, “No it’s with a different hen every time.” The President replied, “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”
The term was first used in Psychology publications in 1955. Researchers found that when a male mammal (mice, rats) were enclosed with females that were in heat, the male would fornicate with every partner to the point of exhaustion and wouldn’t perform sexually again despite prompts from the females. If however another female was introduced to the enclosure the male would begin to mate again with the new female. (There is a biological advantage for males to want to spread their seed to as many females as possible, to perpetuate their bloodline.)
What this shows us, in layman’s terms, is that males will show a renewed interest in sex with a new sexually receptive partner, even if they have another previous receptive partner available. It’s not a stretch to say that even the healthiest of human couples will show less sexual interest in their long-term partners and more interest in newer partners.
3.If you’re here reading this site there’s a pretty good chance your partner is a narcissist or a psychopath. If that’s the case then they are lacking the tools (empathy) required in order to have an intimate and mutually fulfilling relationship. The M.O. of the Narcissist is to love bomb and study their targets in the beginning and then morph into what they believe their partner wants them to be. After a period of time, the mask will slip and they show their true selves. In addition, Narcissists are always looking for new Supply. They grow a tolerance for their current Supply and they are always on the hunt for newer and better supply. Narcissists are also impulsive. They act without thinking, always looking for a new thrill, irrespective of the consequences, or the harm it may cause to those closest to them.
So if we put all of these things together what we have is an individual, who will initially feel happy, according to the Hedonic Tread Mill, when they meet their new target and they will remain happy for a period of time. Then they will fall back to their previous emotional state and if your ex is a Narcissist that means that they will revert back to being a miserable asshole and probably a lot sooner. According to the Coolidge Effect, your Narcissist ex will eventually become bored sexually with their current partner and because Narcissists are impulsive and don’t care how their actions affect others, their heads are on a constant swivel always seeking out new sources of supply. Normal healthy males stay in relationships for reasons other than attention and sex. Healthy males often stay because of history, intimacy, companionship, friendship, love and loyalty. Narcissists are not encumbered by these things.
Back in the early stages of my recovery I watched the Facebook status of my last boomerang Narcissist and it changed every 3-4 months. The second man I ever loved, I later diagnosed as a psychopath, contacted me on social media about 5 years ago. I was curious if I had been right about him, as I made the diagnosis while I was still in University and guess what? I was, he had never been in a long term relationship and continued on his path of using people for his own personal gain.
I have no idea what the marital status is of my long-term Narcissist and I don’t care. What I know about him is that he is a miserable s.o.b. He didn’t stop being a miserable s.o.b. just because he was with someone else. It’s who he is. It’s his default setting. I can tell you that for sure he seeks out attention from other women. I can tell you that he is selfish beyond belief and that he treats her like shit, because that’s what he does to his partners.
Stop worrying about your ex’s happiness and start worrying about your own. Know that they are going to screw up their life all on their own – without your help. Even if they look all lovey-dovey in the beginning, you have to know by now that it’s only temporary. They will eventually revert back to being their miserable selves and will visit their miserable nature on those closest to them – just be happy that that is no longer you.
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I’m currently dealing with all of this, 12 years together and didn’t even realize it was happening. Then he started cheating, took awhile to find out and then without manning up and telling me what’s going on he’s leaving me in limbo and running around town with her and hanging out with our friends. Totally neglecting our son and everything. I wish I had realized years ago what he was actually doing to me. Of course he makes me out to be the “crazy” one.
Love your column. I especially love the scientific proof which makes complete sense and helps me reinstill the good images of myself and in so doing will allow me to rebuild my self-esteem and heal faster. I’m so tired of hearing the words “You’re crazy” in my head over and over again. I’m i’m so tired of thinking I was never good enough for him. He told me that I wasn’t his body type. That he’s attracted to taller women. I plan to read this particular call him over and over again because it’s exactly what I need thank you
They want people to believe their lies so they go to full extent to prove them. Because the only sense of happiness is what others think they are vs. who they know they are. They may even think they are the best thing ever even if they know deep down inside they are awful.
They are weak.
Your true happiness is the only true revenge. So be genuine because that’s something they can never be.
Be thankful because again they could never be thankful either.
Be empathetic and strong and look inward at times at your mistakes and grow. That’s what being human is about. They could never do that. Self growth is not an option.
If anything even feel sorry for them. They can and probably never will experience life to the degree of us non Narcs. And that’s just karma in itself.
Hi Kate ditto for me!!! 13yrs of a rollercoaster life!! Loved bombed, groomed me to be such a princes then the jabs came! Ur not smart enough, u dress like a whore! I don’t have a intellectual connection w you oh my gosh! I was strong, confident, life of the party and I allowed him to tear me down soo far that I thought I was crazy too!!! Oh but he’s the victim bc I never appreciated what he did or what we had. I didn’t need all the money or stuff. All I wanted was to be loved and paid attention to,! No respect for my feelings whatsoever. “Why are u crying?” “Why ate u doing this to me?” Blah blah numerous affairs but I still hung on hell if I know why??? Now I left him took my twin boys so he could marry the young girl who worked for him. I caught them and he made it look like we were in the midst of a divorce. He messed w my brain I thought I needed to be in a institution for the loonies! Wow I’m 7 urs out by the grace of god!! I started back my career and have my own business raising my boys to be godly men of character honesty and integrity! We are sooo much better off! God didn’t want me in that abusive marriage so now I’m single alone but not lonely! Blessing kate to your new life journey!!
I agree with this , ex narcissistic partner was a miserable tool when he was with me. He had his bad behaviors, bad habits of drinking occasionally, he truly wasn’t happy anywhere he was with anyone. He acts the part with every woman he’s been with even the ones he’s not with he loves womens’ attention. I grew sick and tired of that life, so I left him behind and continued with my life and like he and I both thought I dodged a bullet with him. Now if he’s with someone or not does not affect me anymore it truly is her problem now. All I have to say is good luck bless your heart sweetie. He’s a real piece of work and he’s not even a man.
You hit the nail on the head with this article! My narcissist ex moved in with his new supply 2 months or less after I left. Its been a year and they seem so happy that it started making me wonder if I was the one that screwed up. I know I wasnt he cheated and abused me physically and emotionally . I am so glad articles like this are available to us.
I just noticed on my ex fiance’s facebook that he is actually dating now. I already know it’s gonna go wrong but even if I warned the new girl it won’t make a difference.
Yeah it doesn’t I’ve tried that before they are intrigued by it that the new woman in their life want to know what it’s like. She will find that out on her own.
This is so accurate. I’m fortunate enough to have left him before he discarded me and also to recognize his condition and to know 100% that it wasn’t me. It was all him and his miserable existence. My prayer is that more victims understand this fundamental truth about these monsters.
My 12 yr live in bf left 2 yrs ago and was so callus me my kids dog we all didnt matter – i just couldnt reconcile it or process it – now hes just walked out on girl he who was supposed to be “it” and a 6 mo old baby – arched his back told me he felt great (new girl im sure) theres something wrong with him watever the label – i refused to have another baby with him because i knew you didnt have kids just to keep someone but really doubted that call at the time – stay strong and sane
If I may give an advice here: block their email, block them on FB, block their number. I miss my ex, but I now know all his beautiful courtship was a tool for benefiting himself. Now I know what his subtle cold look and manners meant in the middle of the courtship. I did not understand, it made me confuse and that maybe I was boring and making him bored. But then he’d be warm again and I just thought he was maybe tired. Until after 9 1/2 weeks of his intense ways, he broke up. For no reason whatsoever. He asked for a 2 weeks break actually. When I contacted him after that, he seemed to not even remember he asked the break. He was warm at the same time, but broke up via text. After a few days we had break up sex, then he went away. When he cane back he brought me a present, came to my work twice, said he missed me. Then cancelled on me twice. Then we went out and it was like the old days, except he did not stay over as usual and did not invite me to his place. After 2 days he asked to come and stay over only to cancel 30 mins before picking me up! Then after a few days a pushed him and he said he did not see a future for us. I pushed more and he said he met a woman. And on the street! 4 days before my bday and Xmas. Then he said he had gotten me a bday present. Such a joke! I was devastated and went on antidepressants as Im in a different country by myself. He said he did not have time to help me but would pray for me haha After a few weeks I emailed him asking to give the present to a charity shop and to delete my number and never contact me again, wished him all the best etc. Blocked him everywhere. End of. Been nearly 2 months and despite he sort of poisoned me to still miss him I know that all he is and does is bases on his needs and it brings me pain and suffering. He is not even attractive! What attracted me was his kindness and that I thought he was a great human being. I feel sorry for him now. Plus in the end he confessed he was an ex heroin addict. It just gets better!
Now about a year and a half since you wrote this can you tell me how you’re feeling and what you’ve learned since your breakup with a narc? Did you see him again or not?
I need to read this every single day. My narcissist/sociopath is currently having the time of his life with his new gf. He fell for her (became obsessed) after only a few days after meeting, told her I love you less than a month, she moved in a month after meeting, and they now have their own place. He has only had 1 LTR (it ended bc he cheated) and the rest were one month long flings until her. And it just kills me inside, because as far as I know, he is being the person I wanted him to be, but with her.
BUT reading this makes me remember that he is a miserable person who is searching for something or someone to fix him. Although that little voice in my head says, maybe she’s his person. But I hope not, because he’s a horrible, cheating douche.
My N is very good friends with my doctor and when my doctor couldn’t get a hold of me after a battery of tests, my N was the second phone call. He found out I was pregnant before I did. You’d think that since this RARELY happens, he’d use the occasion to do something wonderful. Nope. He told me in a text message and followed it with “I’m sure Andrew Xxxxxx will be thrilled.”
I don’t even know an Andrew Xxxxxx.
So, here I am, five months pregnant and thanking God every day for my wonderful family and the greatest parents a girl like me could ask for. I’m back home with mom and dad and trying desperately to keep my mind in the right place to remember that he is not a me problem and I have something much more wonderful to look forward to, even if I have to do it alone.
Stay strong everyone!!!
My ex Narc is a psychopath, numerous affairs then discarded me from our family home, moved the new supply in 4 days later. Typical love bombing shit, what a mess and all in front of out two “TEENAGE” kids. The judicial system in Canada is useless and won’t do anything about the latest supply around my kids!
Me again Sav, I would like to thank you for all your blogs. I’m so glad I found your articles. I am trying to get angry, and I am trying to believe that she won’t stay happy with this new woman, that she told me was so different from me. I’m trying the no contact but Im not very good at it, however she is just being a smartass in the texts at the moment and acting different to normal. Her new girlfriend is a lot younger this time, I was older than my partner. So in one of your articles where you said they morph their new targets I so believe this because even her mean insults seem childish in comparison. It was only last week that she was missing me and we caught up for the first time in over a month night was good (I was glad to see her because I love her and miss her) I’m so stuck at the moment. Anyway, I slept with her and now 7 days later she is horrible to me. I’m trying to get angry.
I’ve moved out my partner and I were together for 9 years. My partner is a woman narcissist. I still love her and I cry everyday. I had to leave this time because I got sick and she was in such hate mode with me and abusing me because her sister became sick and she just took it out on me. She told me I should have just dealt with her abuse until she got through her crisis about her sister (who by the way is well now). When I first moved out she would show her beautiful side again and tell me to come home. But I actually did it and regretted it and blamed myself and wished I could just go back, but no she then threw it in my face and said she found someone else and it was good and nice.
She said we have no future. I know that I should be the lucky one here because she has pushed me away. But why is she in my head 24/7 and why do I cry everyday because I miss her. I don’t know what to do.
I’m divorcing a Cerebral Narcissist after 20 years together,13 of them married. Last year I became depressed to the point that I could not work and had a suicide plan. Thankfully, I sought out help (completely on my own as my depression did not offer him Supply) and was connected with a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a new counselor during the intensive gaslighting phase leading up to him leaving me. I had been demanding either a major shift in our relationship or divorce for about two years at that time, but the gaslighting was so extreme that I felt a hope for our relationship that I never thought possible. I believe he thought I would go through with my plan to kill myself and, therefore, the break would be easier on him. His having to acknowledge my legal status as his “partner” who has rights to our combined assets has brought out his true self. I have come clean on how horrible and abusive the relationship was over these two decades and have not remained silent about his sexcapades that I discovered when I got into his email. Reading about, speaking to, and researching on sex addiction, sexual anorexia, and narcissism ultimately led me to the umbrella condition: Cerebral Narcissist. Thankfully, I already knew he was miserable and would remain miserable. I felt powerless to warn others of his deviousness and the insidious abuse he will act out upon my replacement as his Secondary Supply. I have had much support through the collaborative divorce process – something he agreed to in order to look like the good guy and to save money (which didn’t really pan out since he is no un-collaborative that I have had to work through our lawyers for even the most inane issues. This method has afforded me communication counseling alone and with him. This helped me to receive validation from the counselor and put me onto the extremely difficult path to detachment. I am a month away from moving into my new home with my daughter. I am two months away from the divorce finalization that will bring with it a name change and full independence. I’m surprised I survived and if not for my daughter and the support I am fortunate to have I would not have been able to keep going. I am grateful for everyone who have shared their experiences. I only wish one of the many therapists and doctors I sought help from over the years would have connected the dots between my psychological and physical deterioration to my sexless marriage to a charming cerebral narcissist.
The (somewhat) good news is that although your cerebral narcissist will try, try again to find new supply, he is getting older, has more health issues, is less physically attractive, and his current targets have more life experience (than say, when he was 25 and his targets were also young). Many will see through him, won’t settle for his lack of interest in sex and lack of support in difficult times. The issues he carries from relationship to relationship will leave him alone and always trying to find a replacement. It may also become apparent to his family and (very few) friends that it’s not his partner who has the issues, as he will claim. He may never feel regret or empathy, but he will feel alone because he IS. We will live happy, healthy, fulfilled lives.
I was with an N for 13 months, although the l last 6 months we spent more time apart than together, due to him breaking up with me for a month at a time.
We last broke up 4 months ago, and I had moved on. Neither of us tried to make contact. I knew I wasn’t going to contact him first, but if he did, there were a few things I would say to him, even though I knew no contact is best.
Well, finally after 3.5 months he send me a message on a dating site saying how misses me, and to call him, etc. Of course he was drunk, just like every time we got back together. I messages back and told him exactly what I still wanted to tell him, which was rejection. We started talking, but this time it was different. I didn’t care. He confessed how he cried about me, how much he missed me (he might have been honest) but I kept rejecting him. It got ugly, he started saying nasty things, bringing up stupid things from the past, I could actually feel the pain and anger in him, but I stayed level headed and he couldn’t get to me. I never game him my number, we just messaged through the dating site.
We ended contact with hi wishing all kinds of bad things on me (to get raped, for my parents to die, things like that) I reported him and got his profile deleted, 3 times. He kept making knew ones just so he could talk to me.
I know we’re not supposed to break contact, but I tell you, it felt like the best payback for him coming back pleading and begging and confessing, and I kept rejecting him. It was worth it for me to wait almost 4 months. Helped me move on even more.
So no he’s not happier without me. He has been trying to find someone, but all he’s been doing is sleeping around, sabotaging the good relationships or looking for those that could only be short term sex partners. He thought he could get me back. He said himself, “I could get you back with a snap of my fingers”. I told him “keep trying, because all you’ve been doing is begging and you keep getting rejected”
It was also great to see that I’m stronger than before and he does not have me under his spell. I haven’t been dating, and I won’t for probably another few months. I’m enjoying my single life, I’m meeting many men who are great friends (i’m only looking for friends to go shooting or hunting with” and they respect me and are not psychos like this one was.
I will never give up for him what I have now. All the people in my life are healthy minded, caring, compassionate and respectful individuals and I see such a huge contrast between them and this disturbed guy.
And I did lear a huge lesson. The next boyfriend will have to trust me 100 % that i’s ok for me to have male friends, and of course I will trust him the same way with female friends. If we won’t have this trust, I’d rather stay alone. The N completely isolated me from everyone, checked up on me every 2 hours and accusing me of cheating, yet he always found a way to make me jealous.
Oh my word did I enjoy reading your post – I would love the same “payback” and you know always thought I could with the 70 or so break ups over the course of almost 2 years, but no, he was such a great con artist and had me so controlled I would always give in to leave, for him to go off again and when bored there I was. I am once again in another round of “contact free “stage, 52 days, but this time I have KNOWLEDGE…..and I had a little bit of this as payback which was sweet (not as good as yours) I deleted and blocked him from cell, but he was still in my speed dial in car, i hit it and hung up – he immediately called and it was blocked so it went into voice mail…”hey you called calling you back” what??? then an email at work – I don’t know if I’m still blocked or your dialed me by mistake – so I unblock him and email back,” not blocked, mistake” he then immediately texts me and asked “would you like to see me tonight” – I now had all my narc psychopath knowledge- in the past I would have said “no I”m busy and he would have pushed with who, or tell him off or ignore, until he would continue with he missed me lies. he just was so used to me being available. All i texted back was “no”….It felt great! I know he will hoover back, but I hope it is six months out when I am completely healed from this. Everything I read on this sight is so spot on, both on his part as the narc and now I’m learning about me as the codependant person – so exciting to finally get out of this mess that I know I had before him, but now I will never get sucked back in.
I broke off my “relationship” (I use that word loosely – nothing with a N is ever real – it’s a carefully constructed illusion) almost a year ago. I’m one of the lucky ones – my relationship was short lived, and walking away wasn’t all that hard. I realized what I felt was tremendous disappointment – that he wasn’t the person he pretended to be. I wanted so much to believe (like everyone involved with someone whether that someone is a N or not) the best about him, give him the benefit of the doubt – all that good stuff he baited me with. And what he was attracted to in me (we knew each other in HS and had crushes that were never acted upon so he felt we had this “history” and special “connection”) was my strength (and I’m not too shabby to look at, I’m intelligent, have a vivacious personality and have my sh*t together). But what he was attracted to turned out to be my best defense and my best weapon against him – he couldn’t sustain the fake persona (because NO ONE can, N or otherwise) and I quickly ended it. Took him back once but ended it again a short time later. He’s hovered a few times and I’ve rebuffed those attempts. It’s been since around xmas since the last hovering attempt, and I’m told (not because I asked) that he’s got a new GF (who lives in another part of the state ) and my first thought was… oh poor girl…. If she’s got any serious co-dependency issues (because everyone has at least a little co-dependency) she’s in for a terrible time. I hope to never hear from him again, and I’m truly sorry for every woman who winds up in his cross-hairs. Because anyone he sets his sights on is just another target (an apt analogy).
This is what I wanted to contribute to this discussion. My mother is a N. I’ve been in therapy off and on for years, and by the time the N came into my life, I was far too emotionally healthy and aware of my triggers and my tremendous capacity for empathy that, even during the idealization / love bombing phase, my red flags were up and my warning bells were ringing. Though I didn’t know at that time that he was an N – I couldn’t tell anyone why I wasn’t head over heels gung ho “he’s the one!” about him. I just felt things were off, something just didn’t sit right – that nagging in the back of my brain. The narcissism is something I discovered over the course of a few months. But when I did, I understood my attraction (we’re attracted to what we know), and that brief relationship was instrumental for me personally to help me break that cycle (of being attracted to what I know, i.e., people who are like my mother).
In looking back, and reading the articles and the comments here on this thread, what I want people to try and understand is – nothing about the relationship with a N is real. I know you believe it was – you think “there’s just no way that that connection wasn’t real, the intimacy wasn’t real, all the things you shared, the time you spent together, the things s/he said, did for you, claimed to feel for you” weren’t real. I’m sorry, but the reality is – they weren’t – not in the way that non-N, emotionally healthy people understand what ‘real’ means. Those things that were said and done in those moments were meant only in those moments and only to advance the N’s agenda, and because the N felt good in that moment (thanks to you) and they wanted to reward you. Those things also helped him/her perpetrate the illusion that s/he’d created in seducing you, in luring you, and in keeping you.
Because if those things WERE real, why didn’t they last? Why was one week so incredible and the next week you were wondering “what the hell happened?” You looked at your N and felt like you were looking at Jekyll and Hyde …
Because you were. If you really want to understand and get over a N, you’ve MUST accept that nothing about the person they pretend to be is real. NONE of it. It was such a huge disappointment to me – this man that I’d known all those years ago, that swept into my life (after a divorce, and 2 affairs which should have sent me running in the other direction immediately – loose moral compass is an absolute deal breaker but oh, his sad stories about his terrible ex-wife and loveless marriage…), who seemed so sincere, so in tune with me, that we had such an amazing connection – who was almost too good to be true – WAS too good to be true. Why? Because whoever he is, he certainly isn’t the man he pretends to be. Like most Ns, the split that occurred during his childhood (and so profoundly wounded his ego) is so deeply embedded in his psyche that I really don’t think even he has an inkling as to who he is. And what he does know, like any N, he absolutely loathes. There is so much self-hatred as to be palpably apparent. He’s called himself “a weak, terrible person” to me, and I know from the way he spoke about himself, and the way he used to fish for compliments, and seek my approval and validation on so many things, that he really can’t stand himself. He HATES being alone with himself and sought to fill every waking moment with things to do. In learning more about NPD, both through my own therapy and literature I’ve read, I’ve come to understand how terribly, deeply and profoundly disturbed Ns are, and how hard they have to work to try and simply stay level. You and I can’t begin to fathom the depth of their misery, and I thank God every day that, for all the hurts and disappointments I’ve experienced in my life, NOTHING will ever sink me to the depth of despair most Ns live with every day of their lives.
My ex-N is also a functioning alcoholic – and he binged 4 times that I know of when we were ‘together.’ Though if you ask him, he’d tell you he binges about 4 times a year. Nice self-delusion. So if your N has any addiction issue (which in and of itself is something that should make you think twice about being in a relationship with that person at all), the problem becomes exponentially worse.
PLEASE – Please, give up the idea that – well, at one time it was soooo good. It wasn’t. It was an illusion. It was never meant to last. And those moments, good as they felt, were only really felt by you. Ns really don’t have the ability to feel because they don’t WANT to, and in many cases, they can’t. They believe they’re caring sensitive, emotional creatures, but their ability to empathize, sympathize, feel – was destroyed in childhood and without a LOT of therapy (for those who even seek it), the changes are small and slow at best, and in most cases, don’t last.
It’s a terribly sad reality for Ns because their lives are a constant struggle to simply survive. Don’t waste your life with someone who is never going to change or get well. You won’t be the one to cure them. Nor will the one after you. Nor the one after her. Nor the one after her… The cycle of lather, rinse, repeat will continue until the day they die. They might marry (but they’ll never be faithful), they may be parents (but their children simply become additional sources of supply), they may be successful (but the success is simply another tool in their arsenal, not a thing to be enjoyed for the sake of itself), and they may ‘seem’ to have gotten it together.
They haven’t. They won’t. They never will.
Move on. Take your life back and move on. NO CONTACT. No stalking on FB or other media. Delete/block their number(s). Throw away (or give away) anything they’ve ever given you. BURN pictures, letters, cards, etc. It’s a wonderfully empowering and cathartic experience to actually burn away the symbolism of those meaningless trinkets given only with the thought to keep you coming back for more.
If you need therapy, get it. Get whatever support you need. But whatever you do, do whatever you need to to break away, take your life back, move on and not look back. Learn, assimilate the lessons, get stronger, and move on. It can be done.
They may pop back up later – a month, a year, 5 years – down the road. You know WHY they’re popping back up. It’s got NOTHING to do with love, or coming to their senses, or missing you, or anything remotely romantic. They NEED supply, and being a former willing source, they’ll always try to come back for more.
You are the only one who can break the cycle. You are the author of your own life – don’t let someone else hold the pen.
Just to amend my prior post – last hovering attempt was June 8 while I was at a concert. Just when you think, ah, he’s gone for good … of course, I did not respond, nor will I ever. I always think “okay, this was the last time he’ll try” so hopefully this really WAS the last time. But as we all have learned, the very last thing we want to do is engage, or give them an ego stroke or any validation that they can still come back to you – no response is the ONLY option. Did it make me feel good? Hell no. Did it give me a small measure of satisfaction? Hell no. It just reaffirmed all the things discussed on this site, as well as what I learned in therapy and through other reading and research (my mother is an N so I’ve educated myself over the years). That an N always reserves the right to try and come back into your life. Not because he misses you or cares about you, but simply because, at that moment, he needs the supply you once offered. It’s not flattering. In fact, it’s insulting.
So for those of you who think you’ll never hear from your ex N again, think again. It could be 5 months or 5 years, but when they need the supply you offered, they will always try again. And they’ll do it in the most seemingly innocuous way. Remember that it’s YOU who determines your value. Respond, and you lower your value in his eyes and you’ll be sorry after-the-fact. I promise you, the best (and most empowering) response is no response.
Hi, this article was very helpful. I’m never totally sure if this man was /is a narcissist. All I know in the 2 years I knew him (dated off & on), I was definitely love bombed. He was married at the time but told me she was abusive and he was scared of her. I felt sorry for him and believed him. I wanted to help him. Looking back I am very upset with myself that I got involved with a married man. He ended up dumping her by walking out while she was at work and never looked back. That in itself was a red flag. But I didn’t know this at the time. I never felt so loved. Funny everything I told him about my child hood, he experienced. He hated the same foods I hated, had the same hobbies, even tried to get involved in my line of work. It didn’t work out for us as he had to move to find a new job. He ended up marrying his H.S. girlfriend and had been seeing her for at least a year prior to that while professing his love to me by emails, texts, even came into town and spent the weekend with me. I became suspicious when emails, texts and calls got fewer and fewer and looking back, I must have been in the devaluation stage. I uncovered many lies and when I started to see things and confront him is when I was discarded. He married and plasters who happy he is on social media. I stopped looking but even now I wonder if he actually was a narcissist and that if he isnt one, maybe he IS happy with her? I know I should not care, but it just galls me how he moves on like nothing happened. I would love opinions!
I’ve had such a horrible week thinking about ‘what if ‘. The only way I’ve been able to cope is because I know he is behind bars and not with his new (ex) girlfriend. I really needed to read this. Thank you Savannah
Thank you so much for such an important article. Your information and expertise are helping so many people you have no idea. Thank you for giving people hope in themselves.
What really resonated with me is the fairness of it all. Why is my asshole ex with someone for the past six months and I can’t get past a second date. It really makes me think I am the one with issues. I know I’m not perfect, but I’m surely
Not a narc. I honestly don’t care about him anymore-it’s just not fair (whining!) ;). Thanks for this!!!
Great post, the one thing I came to realize about me ex Narc is that when he spoke about his ex’s and there were many, he always said they had problems, they were all dysfunctional in some way. He probably says the same about me now. He would finish with me and bounce back to an ex, time and time again, some saw the light, some still listen to his b/s. Like you so rightly say Savannah, just be thankful he is someone else”s problem and no longer a drain on your emotional resources. Good riddance. I know for a fact they will eventually regret ever falling for him because he will never change … not ever for anyone!
Good piece. Victims of narcissistic abuse have the ability to heal and be joyful as our default. Narcs pretty much seemed to find joy in trying to demean and bring us down, and that joy is short lived, because they are always stuck inside their dark flawed selves. I’ll never forget, years ago, my Narc brother getting so angry that I had found joy in something small in his opinion. He said to me in an angry and annoyed tone, “You find joy in the smallest things!!!” But he said it as if it was a bad thing. Yes, I do find joy in the small things; like a beautiful tree, the laughter of a child, a hot cup of tea. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another Great article Savannah. Again you hit the nail on the head. As I read this today I realize how I have put myself into relationships with NC’s my whole life. My first wife( I married at 20) started looking for new supply 6 months after our marriage. She started telling me how cool open marriage was. She encouraged me to try it But it made me uncomfortable. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. But she went right on. We divorced after 2 years. Oddly she used to manipulate me with a story of a college guy who tried to rape her.Even telling me she spotted him on a street in our town.I chased after a ghost. She must have gotten such a thrill out seeing how she could manipulate me. Before our divorce she revealed that he wasn’t real,he never existed. This right after she told me about sleeping with her boss. My second wife used to use sex too get me to bring home drugs for her. If we ran out of marijuana we had no sex that week.when a finally used a counselor to stand up to her I had never seen hate in a persons eyes before,after that she started drinking heavily and our marriage crumbled year after year. But I stayed for 30 years, for our kids i thought only to teach them dysfunctionality. It took me that long . Sadly I didn’t learn my lesson. My last relationship ended Last year. It was classic case. just as you’ve put it here. She was getting a high off of hit. Love bombed me, We had a glorious first year then it all started to unravel in the last 6 months and she just came home one day and announced she bought her own place and was moving out. Found out recently she’s taken up with an old boyfriend. This last one was a boomerang. We’d been together 3 years ago and she came back into my life and I left a great woman. My counselor is helping me deal with the inner child. But I find myself scared of the prospect of being alone.I mean I am alone I have been. But the idea of it being for a long time seems unimaginable.
I wish I had this information years ago. I would obsess about my ex and was miserable thinking he was happy. He has gone through five relationships that I know after me. He even tried to make me the other woman for awhile. Finally,I opened my eyes and accepted that he was an asshole and hurt many people. He is still looking for his next prey. They are getting younger and younger, and from broken homes. SMH!!
Once again, you know us, and the Narcs. So so true. I think I can stop obsessing now. He is seeing 2 women at the moment. The new supply goes through the same cycles at least 3 times already in less than a year. I wonder how he manages Valentine’s Day?
I understand they create dramas but how does he decide who to devalue/discard when both are the only source of supply and equally important, without totally losing one or the other? He thought he could include me in his harem as well. This is a highly intelligent and functional Narc. Very impulsive but goes after what he wants in a strategic manner. He plotted and planned before going through the 3 phases, but his blind spots are his weaknesses: lack of empathy and arrogance. He thinks only he knows everything, and his strategists are fail proof. Total control at all times in all situations, or so he thinks, until those spots blind sided him and he had to lie and goes through the usual Narcs tactics over and over. This is a text book Narc. A great case study. All the descriptions fit him perfectly.
At this point, I am mostly a curious bystander, or try to be one, but no luck and not without injuries as collateral damage. I know he used me in his recent triangulation. I would like to be left alone but it looks like I need to be wary. Knowledge really is power. It has helped me a lot.
I’ll keep saying this again: THANK YOU SAVANNAH!! Virtual hugs to you.
“N” just made it known to me that he is off to the Super Bowl in S.F. for the week-end with his new girlfriend. Hurts very much but obviously I must still be a thorn in his side for him to make sure I know about this. Go Panthers Big Time!!!
My ex N and I dated for 4 years. I found out the day before he was moving back home that he was also in a relationship with a minor for almost the same duration he was with me. I exposed him to his family and employer. I thought he would move back home and get some help. Since the day he left we have had no contact- it’s been 8 months. Earlier this week I saw him on a dating website…my heart dropped. It’s apparent that he never got help. His bio is full of lies…all lies. It makes me sick to my stomach that he is on the prowl again. Looking for that supply while I sit here still trying to pick the pieces up from my life. I feel so sorry for the girls he will meet on there. I can’t stop worrying about it. I’m very glad that it’s no longer me that he’s lying to and manipulating. As much as I hate him I wanted him to get help…I’m shocked, I know after readying all of this info about N’s I shouldn’t be but I am.
Amy–He isn’t or won’t be happier with her. She is just ‘cheaper’ supply. And one of 2 things will happen:1) he will get the rich chick’s money, use it up, and toss her aside, or 2)she will get fed up and toss him aside. My money is on choice 1. But either way, rest assured he won’t be happier. He is a loser either way, and every time. Hang in there.
Glad that I came upon this article because it was. Dry fitting for what I heard today about my ex. He is now on yet a another girl since we broke up 5 months ago. This one is aware of what he’s done not only with me but ex wives etc and said she didn’t care and doesn’t matter about all the money because her family has plenty..wow he hit jackpot just what he’s looking for after he has left me with nothing..not even my family or any of my inheritance which was a fairly large sum…GONE.
“We want our Narcissist ex to be miserable. We need them to be miserable, because it’s not the way our story is supposed to end. We’re the good ones. We’re the ones that are supposed to find real love and be happy–not them.”
This was absolutely what confounded me when my N left. We BOTH knew I was ‘the good one’ and could not imagine why he would leave me. I was SO good to him. I loved his children, and they loved me. We connected on every level–intellectual, interests, humor, spirituality, friendship and on top of all that, mind blowing, passionate, soulful sex. Why would any person leave that??! I was SO humiliated when he left. I assumed that since I felt that I had treated him well, there HAD to be some grotesque, hidden flaw in me that I was blind to. There just HAD to be a reason he didn’t want all the wonderful things that went along with being with me. So I flung myself unabashedly and wholeheartedly into self-helpery of every sort–books, therapy, obsessive exercise, obsessive praying, whatever would help me uncover the disgusting ‘thing’ that made him leave so I could fix it and have him back.
The funny thing was, after a year of digging and searching, the only ‘flaw that I uncovered was a lack of love and respect for MYSELF. I was ALLOWING him to do this to me. He ghosted me many many times, insisting he still loved me. I actually think he DID love me, as in, enjoyed very much what I brought to our relationship, as opposed to loving me in his actions by caring about my feelings and trying to meet my needs as well. I actually believe I was very difficult ‘supply’ to let go of, because he derived so much of it from me. Want to know why he left? I was very ‘expensive’ supply. He just wasn’t willing to ‘pay the price’ to be with me, ‘the price’ being that I let him know that I required marriage, I required him to participate in the upbringing of my children, and I made it very clear after 2 years of dating I expected this progression. He tried every which way to drag me along, postponing discussing engagement rings, houses etc which I let him do for a long time, but eventually he knew he didn’t want me enough to give me those things and had to discard me. Which he did abruptly and coldly. That didn’t stop him from thinking he could still have me though. He would stop in to check to see if I was still pining for him (I was) that if I were dating that he was still my first choice ( he was) and that I would still go back to him if he ever asked me. (Sadly I would have). I naively believed that he was ‘seeing the light’ or ‘finally coming around’ each time he did this, and I ended up so devastated when I found out he was still dating a young lookalike of me, or needed a hot date for his daughter’s wedding, or had just been rejected as a sexual partner by another girl. It was awful. I finally got the memo. I was just really good supply. And I finally cut him off. He has attempted contact a couple of times, but now I just get anxiety when I see him and he doesn’t get anywhere. He is still ‘on the scene’ and prowling around for supply. It feels good to know he is not happier. I would be ok at this point (it’s been a few years) if he did get happy, but the message I got from my awful experience is that it was NOT me that did this. I did not cause his leaving and I am very happy to have come away from this knowing that 100%!
Thank you Savannah
Have you seen the film ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’? It’s on NF Streaming at the moment and I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Thanks SU hugs
I know you said that a narc doesnt have the ability to feel empathy when he ghosts on you. But do you think they feel any kind of emotional tug for the one that has been hurt? Its hard for me to wrap my head around him not remembering me or feeling some kind of regret or thinking of how I may be hurting/feeling. One time, after one of his ghostings, I asked him why he keeps doing this and he said “I dont know.” And I said, “I think you may be crazy” and he said, “you are just now figuring that out?” Well, I dont know if he was being facetious but I find it odd that a person can swing back in behaving as if nothing has happened. I cant fathom doing that to someone. It is hard to have the truth resonate within you-to accept that it was all pretend and not real. Perhaps narcs believe and feel things that they say to you, but only in the moment? What do you think about all this, Sav?
Agirlnic let me give you an analogy: Imagine that your mate is colorblind. He can’t see the color red. He sees it instead as something like the color orange. Everyone around him is talking about the color red. How lovely and vivid it is. He doesn’t know he’s colorblind – to him everyone else is seeing red as orange. He thinks that orange is red, because he has no other frame of reference. When he describes his red to other people they look at him funny, because what he’s saying is all wrong. So he learns to say what other people say about red. He watches them, how they react to it, how they describe it. He learns that there is something wrong with his ability to see red, but he’s not sure what it is, so he pretends he sees red and he learns to mimic other people’s reaction to red and pretty soon, only those really close to him will be able to spot the truth, because he’s learned enough about it to fool everyone else into thinking he can see red. Those closest to him can’t fathom how someone can’t see red – because they can see red and not seeing red is outside of their awareness, so it’s very hard for them to grasp that someone can be so good at pretending to see red – when they don’t see red at all.
The red here is empathy and empathy is required to have a mutually fulfilling relationship. I’ve discussed in many blogs that their primary concern is obtaining supply. They can’t regulate their own self-esteem – they need to obtain it from external sources. So when they see potential supply they go after it – anyone who gets discarded along the way is just collateral damage. Sometimes it’s unintentional, sometimes it isn’t because they can obtain supply from you pining over them too. Because their ability to feel empathy is impaired, they have trouble comprehending how their behavior has affected another, so when he waltzes back into your life, there’s a little of that going on and a little of – he wants what he wants when he wants it and there isn’t much more thought that goes into it. If you give him a hard time when he tries to come back he will either ramp up his manipulation tactics or he’ll pull away again and his victim will be devastated because all they want is for him to come back so they begrudgingly accepts his behavior and on and on it goes until someone puts a stop to the cycle.
broke up with my N/histrionic,borderline, two months ago. I reached a point I could not take the anxiety, the abuse, the put downs, the push pull, the one sided selfishness etc.
I honestly don’t care what she does or with whom. She put me through so much I just don’t care anymore. I guess it’s true the opposite of love is not hate it’s apathy. And I am apathetic.
I think my N stayed married and stayed with me not due to the healthy things Sav listed: history, intimacy, companionship, friendship, love and loyalty. But probably more out of comfort. My N was extremely anxious and would have panic attacks alto he never called them that. Also, I think my N stayed with me because I fit his image I think. Also there was a time I put up with his BS and still thought he was the bomb. Whatever it was I can assure you it was superficial and not real. I also wised up as the N supply activity just got more and more until I thought I would lose it. If he could have found someone else with a good career, some smarts, halfway decent looking that would have looked the other way with his extracurricular activities, I would have been yesterday’s news. Altho he might have stayed with me just to prove to his family that there was nothing wrong with him. They all teased him that he could not keep a woman.
Sorry to post so much. I’m having a tough day with the breaking of NC
Just want to encourage you- even though you broke NC you seem like you have it together and plus you were under major duress. The fact that you faced your slip up honestly and are taking the right steps now is commendable. We don’t deserve to be ashamed of having healthy hearts that feel things deeply!
And yes, i actually read his damn email when i said i wouldn’t!
I have to confess i broke NC today. I feel so bad about it. He reeled me in by promising to psy me some of the money he owes me. I knew it was a ploy as he said he is sending me money. If it were not a ploy, he would’ve said sent check so heads up…look for it in mail. He wants contact so he can reel me in. So I’m not answering. Back to NC and praying for more strength in future. I have a collection agency on my back and have to pay them a very large sum by end of next month or i get hit with big attorney fees. Money from him that he rightly owes me would help. He’s a very smart man, he knows what will get me.
I have been trying to go NC for a couple of months now to no avail. I finally went to see a therapist and was told I have BPD. I completely agree but am now struggling with my diagnosis and feel like I am programmed to stay. I am desperate to move on but feel crippled and desperate.
Voukou, obviously this man is not capable of making healthy choices. He lied to you for 11 years, making promises to you he was probably also making to her. That is a sick person, not healthy. I think it’s not been said on here that Ns can’t have long term relationships but it’s been said numerous times they don’t have healthy ones. My N was married for 20 years. Several people on here have been married to their Ns for 10, 20, 30+ years. Why didn’t he come back to you? Maybe he felt you were stronger and thus might put up with less BS so she was less of a risk. Who knows but as Sav says on here quite often, it’s not a reflection of any shortcoming you may or may not have, it’s about his sickness. Hugs
If Narcs dont have long term relationship or if normal guys stay in relationships because of “history, intimacy, companionship, friendship, love and loyalty.”..then how come mine was in a 11 year relationship (living together, not married)..he lied to me that they had broken up, we were seeing each other every day, he even introduced me to his family!! And when he first disapeared for a weekend and founbd out that he was at his house and she was still there i messaged her telling her that he is fooling both of us…so…he called me and started calling me names and went after her (asking sorry blah blah) (she left him fr a short time..moved out of their house) and they were nack together in a short period of time..if they were out there for only something new then why when he lost both of us he didnt try to win me (thew new and fun supply back) but instead went after her??..maybe he is a healthy guy who chose intimacy over passion and butterflies??…and he never attmeted to get me back…he completely erased me and moved on his life with her as iof nothing ever happened..like i was a break for these two and made them realise how they were menat for each other..was i used for their love to grow bigger???..one year later and they r still together (counting 12 years)..while when he was with me he was talking about us living together, getting married, beeing madly in love etc…
Who said they don’t have long term relationships?
Dear Savannah thank you for hitting my everyday topic. After 2 years of NC the woman he cheated me with is pregnant and they ‘ll get married. For work reasons I’m in contact with his aunt and all she said about him is that he finally settled down, with a woman who really is “calm” by nature and give him stability, and that his mother is finally happy bc that’s all she wanted.
Now my ex narcissist had a brother who committed sucide bc was schizophrenic, but for my understand was the only one who understood the truth : the dysfunctional family he was part of it. They all denying reality and nevertheless this drama in their family they ‘ll ready to celebrate and toast and travel: they deny the reality . My ex Narc is clearly part of it. He faked his degree exam , never found out, and is getting an enormous high salary. His FB pics now are all about their travels and their couple depicted with 2 dogs with many comments saying they look like the imagine of happiness.
I said all of this bc what I see and I know either from Fb and friends is already TOO MUCH for him.
I don’t know and I DON’t care how they’re inside their couple. What he got is already TOO MUCH.
A fake degree, an high salary, a new pregnant wife 10 years younger then me, travels and everyone of his dysfunctional family believe he the successful son . It might be all appearance but the real justice to me will be when a I’ll see Real and Concrete things happening i.e. loosing his job bc they ‘ll find out what con he’s. I repeat what he got, might be appearance but is already TOO MUCH
my ex has remarried and they seem ok (still early stages 3 months or so)I was just wondering when these narcs stay with the next person might it be because the new partner is ok with a shallow phony relationship? I was so hungry for something real and with all the cheating and general chaos – even being fairly codependent I knew deep down (after endless ’rounds’ of trying) that there was nothing to work with and finally found the strength to leave. I am still alone. I am lonely at times but it’s better than living life in a painful unstable farce…
The ‘love of my life’ i was with is now with one of my best friends.. a blonde 22 year old model/photographer. I found out through a picture they posted on instagram declaring each other the ‘love of their lives’. That used to be me. The last time we spoke was the day he tried to throw me down the stairs and spat on me. He made me out to be crazy- i left the country. He ticks EVERY. BOX. thank you for this. His rubbernecking, drinking STARING at other women was too much. Im hoping to get to the point where i dont care. Anymore
I am so glad to know how to deal with my ex N due to this site and Sav’s postings. My N had just texted me. I could have sworn i blocked his number. I guess i didn’t do it right. All he said was he sent me an email and he hoped i would read it. I have blocked his emails so i will not be reading anything from him. I’m not even curious. I now know that no response from me will have most impact. Any response from me, even to say do not contact me again is what he is looking for. Instead he will get nothing.
Could care less if my ex is dating Victoria Secret Supermodels.
Soooooo glad it’s not my problem anymore.
He was and is a jerk and I’m glad too be out of that prison.
My husband cheated on me right before I turned 40. He is still with this woman 20 years later. Is he happy? I doubt it, but they are still together. I was single for 10 years until I found love again. Man #2 love bombed and morphed into someone who, in retrospect, was too good to be true. We lived together for 6 years. I did not want to marry. He did. It was not in my best interest so I stuck to my guns. I did not need the piece of paper at my age. My word was my bond and I was faithful, loving and giving. He left me for a married woman who left her husband for him. He told me that had I married him things might have been different. He has since married his new love and has taken on the responsibility of two children. It is his 3rd marriage. They say the 3rd time is a charm. As for me – I’m done. I was cheated on twice. The first time – well maybe the marriage was my mistake and I share partial blame for its downfall. But not the 2nd time. I hurt inside but nobody knows. I’m sad, lonely but go through each day with a smile. Work is my only refuge. I have friends but I miss being part of a couple. I did not deserve what happened to me but it is what it is. Would I be happy if man #2 left his current paramour? Yes. I would feel validated. But man #1 did not so I find it hard to believe. I think they get too old and tired to leave at some point. If you made it this far – thanks for reading my sad tale.
Hi Savannah, thank you for posting this article. It helped me to understand somehow the mess in my life. I am currently separated. Reading all the traits of Narcissist, I think my strange husband is one of them. As I said, I’ve been separated about 18 months now. He is leaving with his lover for a year now. We have a daughter together. We talk mainly about things concerning our daughter (business like) I wished I could save my marriage but under this circumstances who can? It is always in my mind the question what did I do wrong? more than not having blue eyes and blonde color hair I don’t know. 🙁 I told him to file for divorce because I don’t have money to do it but he hasn’t started any process yet. I am a believer of marriage for life and I didn’t want to be the one to file. It is against my religion but I am also conscious that times change and nobody can blame me for filing divorce when he is living with someone else. I was keeping hope that he would come back but is not the case. One thing is intriguing to me, I don’t show more hostility now and try to talk civil way, but he doesn’t even look at me when we are talking. Little glances to clarify things but other than that…….zero. I know he is emotionally disconnected but, if you don’t really have feelings for the other person and are trying to leave things in the past and move forward (as he did) why not to have an apparent respectful conversation for the sake of our daughter? That is the thing that bothers me the most and doesn’t let me move on…… any comment on this will be appreciated. As I say, I am waiting for him to file, I don’t want to pay for something I didn’t want. Thank you for reading me.
Hi ladies, I have just seen the you tube videos on N and joins the Feb page.
I am a few months in, 4 weeks of no contact. Pure hell of releasing myself from this N.
I think I just found my life line on recovering from this nightmare of my life for the past 3 years. How did I end up here? Still in the worthless, low self esteem stage. I have lost everything I was because of this guy ..
I am now on my way up and plan to do this journey with you guys. Welcome to my life x
Thank you for the article. It makes me feel better about no longer being with my ex and that I was just one in his long list of supply. He truly has no feeling for anyone but himself and he will just use & abuse all of his future gf’s in the pattern mentioned. I always joked he was like a cocky rooster and hearing the example of the Coolidge effect made me chuckle, as he was always cheating with different women & lying about it. I’ve gone no contact for several months now & feel much healthier being out of the chaos.
Relief at last after reading this article….Its been 8 years of on & off nightmare!!!!and I have only had him in the 8 years he has had at least 9 that I know of, and seemed happy every time. Oh Savannah, thank you so much for this article…I think I can finally get on with my life. Will always love him, adore him, but dont want him near me…
My Ex-Narc is a real winner! Let me tell you- two years post break up and I am finally starting to get a handle on it. But I am a Denver fan so Go Bronco’s….rest assured the mask will fall eventually-we are free-time heals-keep fighting ya’ll!
WOW…talk about good timing. I was just brooding over that thought yesterday and here in my inbox is a confirmation of what I already know, but I needed the reminder, so thank you! Made me feel much better!
My exN (now I believe he is more a sociopath than an N) is dating someone new. He is doing all the same things w her that he did w me in the beginning, but much sooner and to a more desperate degree. Also, the new supply even looks like me. It’s honestly kind of creepy.
Anyway, he made a “love” video montage of them together (but they hadn’t actually met yet. It was all selfies, separately … And yes, apparently they were in love and SOULMATES before they ever actually met, which is why I say he is even more desperate, than when we were together, for supply) exactly like he made for me. The kicker… He used pics that I took of him, in my house by my bed wearing my tshirt being goofy in the video for her. Not only that but there were multiple pics he used that were actually pictures he sent to me w messages on them (snapchat) and he just cut the messages off.
While all that is totally screwed up and just proves is lack of true emotional attachment, I’ll admit it did bother me for about an hour. Lol. Then I got real w myself and realized how sick he is and my heart broke for the new supply. She has no idea he’s made those videos for countless others. She feels so special to him, just like I did. She has no idea what’s coming and she has no idea that half of the pics in that video were originally meant for me or were memories he and I shared.
It doesn’t bother me now aside from feeling so incredibly stupid for falling for it all, just like she is. But how was I to know evil like him existed? And how is she to know?
He sent me a message last week, letting me know he is back from deployment and, in his words, “in case I was wondering or worried”. My mouth dropped open. I have ignored every hoover attempt from him since August. I have blocked him everywhere I could think (he has to have a new number to have been able to message me again) and he is delusional enough to think I wonder or WORRY about him?!?!? No. He just needs to think he is important enough to never be forgotten.
And remember, this man has a gf who is his “soulmate” (I laugh at this word now).
So if he was truly happy w this new woman, he wouldn’t message me. He wouldn’t thibk about me.
And now it’s even more validation of what he was doing behind my back when we were sooooo “in love”.
These men don’t change and they are just as happy w the new woman as they were w you. The timeline with her is following the one with me almost exactly, just a little faster, which makes me hope she sees who is sooner and his mask slips sooner, and she gets out before the damage he did to me is done to her.
I’ve been separated from my Narc husband since march 2015 ..we were together back and forth for 15 yrs we have been married for 5 yrs and have a 6 yr old ..today January 2016 his new gf is pregnant and due in June. This article helped me so much today. I talked to him today and all he did was blame me for his current situation. I’m still learning about how no contact is best I’ve made a commitment to it starting after that phone call. All he did was yell and tell me how its all my fault so sad that he’s out there hurting others but truly I’m grateful its not me anymore thanks
Totally understand this. Glad that he’s going to get his just deserts eventually…. the pain of triangulation after three years together, lying and cheating…. awful. New supply has him in therapy now and has him working with her. She knows he’s a pathological liar…. still, after all she knew,she took him back because she didn’t want me to have him….. so, who has the personality disorder there her or him??
Natty I would say probably both. She sounds massively codependent with a fixer complex.
Another timely message. It’s been two years since my relationship ended with my narc. I found myself wondering again if she had the magic ability of making him more happy than I could. We share a child together. My child told me that the new victim will be her step mother. That her dad told her not to say anything to me about it.
We don’t even coparent. We just interact at drop off and pick up times. His mother fills me in on stuff. He lives in a beautiful house with her but he doesn’t seem happy. He doesn’t bring his children to her house except for our child. She keeps him on a tight leash since he drives her vehicle around. He stopped speaking to his mom because he really loves her and doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship. With me we as always had the kids, his mom and his friends around. She whisked away to another state 2 hours away to remove him from the distractions. I believe the real him will show back up again.
Very good article – the rational side of me sees my ex’s track record with this his women before me and knows that this new girl will most likely get the same treatment eventually. However my irrational side has created this deep seeded fear – that this girl – a girl he would go sleep with when we would break up, but yet always run back to me – I keep thinking he changed and turned into my prince i kept waiting for him to be. That he always said he was going to be. Did she get him? And knowing he ran right back to her – 3 weeks after we broke up- doesn’t that mean maybe he always loved her? And not to sound petty- but he said so many negative things about her – but yet he went right back to a girl that is exactly opposite of everything he said he wanted in a woman – she sleeps around, party girl, filthy mouth – I am struggling thinking he changed for this one and somehow I keep comparing myself to her……. a lot 🙁
Great article. I do have a question, if you don’t mind my asking. The 2nd guy you loved who you think is a psychopath, is this the same boomerang narc who sent you the nude pic for the leather jacket? I ask b/c this sort of guy seems to be a very popular type of narc. I too knew a somatic/boomerang type who I believe strongly is a sociopath. (Criminal history and sex offense.)
And lastly, this somatic’s new supply is a huge Broncos fan. When he knew me, he told me how much he hated football b/c I told him I found it boring and now he goes to games w her and posts is all over FB. So I really want them to lose, even though I don’t watch football. 🙂
Hi Lola: Question 1. No – two different dbags. Question 2. I’ll answer with an anecdote. My Long-term ex N hated children. He hated everything about children and every conversation we had about children he would go off on a tirade about how we were never having children. He meets new supply…new supply has two children from a previous marriage…my ex Narc suddenly loves children…he loves everything about them…now he has one of his own…that’s how they operate. They are chameleons able to adapt (for a short period) to whatever their target wants them to be.
I would be willing to bet your long terms narc’s true stance on kids is what what he said when he was with you.
This somatic claimed he hated all professional sports, esp. football, that he would rather sit anywhere in a restaurant where there wasn’t a TV with a football game playing. He only liked watching women’s vollyball b/c the players were ‘yummy’ to look at.
The annoying thing, however, is that by posting his pics on FB of him at the football games, this gets his harem thinking what a ‘great guy’ he is for accompanying her; that he’s someone willing to compromise, when reality is far from that.
I really do wonder what narcs did before FB and social media, as now, someone like him simply cannot do a nice gesture or go out w her w/o letting the world know about it with a photo.
They also keep breaking up and getting back together, she left her marriage for him, and she has 2 infants. I really do wonder if she knows of all his mugshots online, his court dockets of all his criminal offenses just from one town alone, and his registered sex offense. He told me he earned a college scholarship, made 100K a year but he lost that job and now works as a truck driver.
He’s really one of the cruelest womanizers I’ve ever encountered. He looks great though. That’s all he cares about.
Savannah, I laughed tears when I read your response…Go Panthers!!! Thank you Savannah.
Good article! I agree with it all, except for them (Narcs) being happy. They are never truly happy. I’d change that into ‘So if we put all of these things together what we have is an individual, who will initially feels he has control/power over you…’
There is no pure happiness with Narcs, there’s always the element of what they can gain from any interaction. So I wouldn’t leave that part out of the story as a lot of new members will probably only read these Narcs are happy for a short while and that will trigger them into what you are trying to make them ‘not do’ (doubt wether he/she is happier now).
Dupers Delight, yes. Control and manipulation which they enjoy, yes. Happy? Nah, they never are and never will be. If they seem happy, even for a moment, you can be 100% sure they are merely enjoying the control they have over another victim. If there’s no gain in it for them. They are a bottomless pit, so rest assured that they never feel happy like real human beings do.
Susan I respectfully disagree with your disagreement. Nowhere in the DSM does it indicate that Narcs are incapable of feeling happiness. Having said that, I believe that their happiness upon obtaining new supply, is short lived and superficial and they will eventually revert back to their angry-anxiety/shame-riddled existence. These experiments were done on “normal” people, so I also think the time frame would be much shorter for impulsive individuals who get bored easily, like Narcs.
Wow, like others have stated, great timing. I look at my ex-N, hoping he could experience just a fraction of the hurt I’m going thru but it doesn’t seem to be happening. I don’t have any contact with him but accidentally I learned thru a friend that this past summer he had a barbecue to celebrate his upcoming divorce and to introduce his new girlfriend to his friends, which is quite humorous in itself since the only friends he ever had he had to buy. Nonetheless, it hurts. I have found myself now just praying for small things which would hurt him such as his much loved Denver Broncos losing to New England yesterday in the NFL playoffs. But again he comes out on top when Denver won and now advances to the Super Bowl. So, he of course must be elated and his life just continues on a high, while I still mourn my loss. Your article Savanah really has helped me a lot this morning. To the person in last week’s post regarding continual nightmares regarding your ex-N, from what I have read you are are experiencing PTSD. I am still having those a year post split.
Don’t worry Dini: Cam Newton and his Panthers will take care of Denver.
Yes, not to turn this into a football blog but as a long time Patriots fan watching Carolina this year I kept thinking I don’t want to play these guys.
More on topic – the fact that I cared a lot more about the NFL playoffs than who my ex Narc is “with” (scamming him or them) says it all. It does get better and normal life does return. There will come a time when the pain recedes and you internalize the lesson. Then you will be free of narcissism. But the narcissist will never be. That’s the sweetest revenge.
Someone mentioned PTSD. My N/P breakup ghosting happened in July. After 15 years on and off, he just vanished one night. No contact at. all. since then. The nightmares and obsessive thoughts got to be too much for me–all that loss and pain. I started therapy. My therapist, who’s great, says she believes I have PTSD from the manner in which he left as it was cruelty at it’s finest—and we are working on it.
Ha! This is so good news! I have been hurting for so long and knew that his new love had him for good. Now this post has helped me realize that he will never be happy! The emotional abuse I suffered from for so long will eventually fade but never forgotten. It’s been over a year and I still think of him. Now I can actually move on and regain my joy back!
Omg. I cannot imagine being concerned with my husband’s relationship status. We are still married, but separated (after I found out he was using cocaine and Marijuana last November 2014) and I will be filing for divorce once I get my courage (we have a young child who I wish his dad would come around but I now know with 100 percent certainty will not. I could not give a damn what he does. He lied to me so many times, deceived me and committed an ultimate act of betrayal when he told me and our couples therapist that his vision of marriage is that he does as he pleases (play pool, hang out with friends, smoke Marijuana (even though it’s a boudary of mine)) and has very little child/marital/family responsibilities. This is NOT what we discussed pre marriage. ….at all. He totally betrayed me. His true colours finally came through and I was able to piece this puzzle together from the last many years that this man is a narcissist. Gosh so many things…..him blaming me for everything, I caused him to be a jerk, I did not shovel the driveway well enough, I did not give him enough sex, everything. I cannot believe what I have endured. It has been too much. Thank god its really and truly over. He cannot hoover me back in. I have been in therapy for 2 years and finally it’s all come together. The cycle is over.
So true Savana, the obsession of my ex being happier with our common friend ( who left her husband and has been dating him for the past 2 1/2, or 3 years ) is killing me. Specially that they started dating while i was still with him. i don’t think they have the same “yoyo” relationship we had. They seem to have a more stable one. I used to cry on her shoulder every time he used to give me the “silent treatment”, so she knows all his likes and dislikes. Which gives her an advantage on any other supplier.
Jumy you never know what’s going on in someone else’s relationship. When you assume all you do is hurt yourself.
Great article. Ive been divorced from my N almost 6 years now. We went to Court again for the money he has refused to pay in our Divorce Settlement.
He hasn’t been able to keep a job, he kept our house in the affluent neighborhood to lure women, he ran out of money. He looks like a complete loser.
In Court, he blamed me for not being able to get a job because he received a Subpeana at work and was fired in 2011. Oh, the blame game continues.
I had previously been afraid of him. But since I had been working on myself, stayed off social media, holding a job, supporting myself, bought my own home & new car, I could now see him for what he really is. A great big Nothing.
He was counting on me to be scared and broke and stop taking him to Court. Surprise, Im not backing down, . I defeated Goliath. Even though I owed my Lawyer most of it, I am walking tall and feeling strong.
He is now forced to sell that affluent house. We all end up where we belong.
Don’t ever be jealous of their life, they go downhill fast. Even if they make it big, like my Ex did, its from dishonest gain. They only get ahead from stealing off others.
I don’t miss his Narcissistic Family. I do mourn the years I wasted on the vicious cycle of insanity with them all as a doormat. Why did it take me so long to jump off?
They keep you in fear.
It’s all good now. I am very careful who I let into my bubble now.
Thank you for listening.
Thanks for the reminder as my ex npd heads off on a three week trip with his new love to the place I wanted to go for years while we were married. His behaviors since the split are incredibly self absorbed and hurtful. I know he is not a fun partner to travel with and won’t be able to avoid his baseline long. I have unfriended him on all social media but still get alerts about his life through our children. It is still painful but this is a good reminder. Thanks for your blog, it has been a blessing this past year and a half.
This article is so timely. I still continue to question my ex N’s happiness with his new love and I continue to wonder at some very small level if his happiness means that I was the negative in our relationship. Yet, the overwhelming feeling I have is relief that he can no longer hurt me. Thanks for reminding me that my relationship failure was not my fault and that narcissists do not change just because they are in a new relationship. I actually feel bad for the new woman.
Wow! How timely this post is Savannah! After 12 years of cycling through with my Narc. I am finally free. We had broke up, stay away from each other, then he would suck me back in…every time telling me what I wanted to hear and giving me new hope…he led me on, played with my emotions, then finally he cheated and lied to me right under my nose…i moved out for good then…he was boomeranging back and forth between the two of us, maybe more women, I don’t know?!?…he agreed to go to counseling g , but refused to look deep within himself as to why he would do this. He would cry and promise, but would not do the things that the counselor or I needed to set things right…get back some trust…so I was done, and walked away knowing I had done everything in my power to try. He had his toys- 2 boats, sports cars, vacation home, viagra, etc…to lure in and attract other unsuspecting women…now I pity him, for he is miserable with himself…everything he is, is only on the surface…no depth. When I meet men like this now I run the other way…now I look for and attract muture, family oriented men who would bring me soup if I was sick…your blogs have got me through with my counseling to make me strong. Everyone – be Strong! It does get better!
Well this post hits the spot! My X- NP was with the same woman for 20 when I came along. Never married her, told me they were just friends, love bombed me, had me divorce, move in with him and said we were marrying in 2 months, of course it didn’t. Instead he started an affaire with an employee of his then discarded me! FOUR DAYS LATER, he called and begged to start over. I knew something was off by now but I ignored the flags. Got engaged for three months then he broke up AGAIN & had already been back with the 20 year person. For THREE more years he stayed seeing only her, of course that was a lie. He texted, called and regularly saw me. Always said how calm she was and I had such a bD temper and was so jealous. But he just couldn’t leave her because he had her her so much, ( he cheated on her many times BEFORE I CAME ALONG, BUT SHE ALWAYS TOOK HIM BACK) I was the other woman for three MORE years.mit was always my fault, I made him go back to Ellen because I was crazy, jealous, bi-polar, after his money, the list is endless!! Finally I met someone nice and found this site and began to see who I was dealing with. But by this time I had lost all my self respect, he accused me of everything he did. I was a flirt, I didn’t want to work in his antique store all the time, so I was lazy, my clothes were wrong, I drank a Coke occasionally, he was the food police. I didn’t work out, of course he doesn’t either but I needed to lose weigh, on and on. I had found someone nice to date but then he came back around and said how he had always loved me and we were going to marry. More promises, but nothing changed. I live 25 miles away and I kept trying to stop all this. I would break up and not see him but then miss him and go back. This has gone on for SIX YEARS. This time he broke up but the old girlfriend has stayed away ( for now”). This time he has a NEW GIRLFRIEND. He use to,tell me before when we were not together that Imshould be glad he always went back to Ellen instead of finding a new person!! They are just friends, of course they aren’t, she loves him! I haven’t talked to hiim or responded to his texts for four days. I am trying to go NO CONTACT,MIMAM SEEING A COUNSELOR BUTMSHE HASNT HELPED AT ALL. ITS SO,HARD TO DOND SOMEONE WHO ECEN REMOTELY KNOWS ABOUT THIS DISORDER. IMSOMETIMES THINK I AM CRAZY AND THAT HE IS RIGHT. This post today helped me see that he will NOT be happy with her for long either!! Thank you for writing this, I wait every week to read your writings, they are the only thing that has helped me. BTW, we are not children, he is 71and I am 67. I know he will,NEVER CHANGE but I just can’t accept the fact that I fell into,this horrible situation at this late time in my life. I feel so used!!!!_
All of the comments and articles are so helpful. My self-esteem is low right now and I’m trying to build it along with the empty space I feel after another and last walk-out of my on and off 20 year relationship with a narcissist.
Thank you for such a positive message to start off a new week.
We enter a relationship with narcissists because we feel undeserving of better. That makes it so hard to believe the stories of others and experts which simply tell us this is what narcissists do. We “default” to our belief that we aren’t good enough. Finally there’s scientific based “hard” evidence which demonstrates that their behavior has nothing to do with our not being good enough. That’s something the logical mind can wrap it’s head around.
If we hang on to this logic long enough to widen our perspective, then we can begin to question our own dysfunctional set point to change our unhealthy beliefs about ourselves.
Narcissists don’t have the ability to look at themselves and change. But thank the stars above, we do. Understanding a narcissist’s set point opens a new door to looking at our selves and healing. Brilliant article.
Thanks Sav….its all so true and the best thing is that I just don’t care anymore. Once I understood the actual dynamics of our relationship I quickly went back to my baseline emotional state…I have minimal contact and am moving on..and I’m happy
Great article!! When I was in the process of divorcing him I also imagined him happy with the next and thus doubted I was making the right decision. Sure enough his FB posts showed him with the very prettiest woman and I first it hurt my self esteem about myself. The best thing I did was to no longer look at his FB or dating profiles. I had to write this as just like a post here I got the elbow if I snored and had to sleep against the wall. He selfishness was unbelievable for someone with a 6 figure engineers income. I do pity him. I don’t love him even after a 17 year history with this fake person. I thought I could help him get help for his npd so he could feel real love in his life but I gave up that idea as it was impossible!
I was so upset thinking he would be happy with the next one .. I was number five that I am aware of in his relationships … Although his poor ex wife had three chijdren and 23 years of hell before me.
I now realise , and strangely believe he does too that he treated be in exactly the same way as his wife … I now also realise that , he’s sixty this year, he will continue with his viagra fuelled escapades until he drops dead ! I also realise that every relationship he has will end in the same sorry way after he had idealised devalued and discarded . So I don’t worry about what crap he’s likely to put on his Facebook page because I know what the ending will be and it makes me smile X happy recovery everybody
This post is reassuring as I know the truth of it. About two years is exactly right for his “relationships”. Also, I reckoned, for me to fully manufacture the cloak of indifference although that seems to be materialising faster every day now I know I value myself above behaving as I did ever again. I have a nodding acquaintance with his previous supply – two years there too. He was very angry about a previous girlfriend who, he said, cut herself off completely, taking some of his stuff. He used that to justify his meanness. I now know there must have been another side to that story! There were shed loads of red flags in fact, all the way back to his dysfunctional family life as a child.
He asked me straight away to move in. He said, ‘I’ve got room for you but not for your stuff.’ He always did repeat the same words quite frequently so I can guarantee he said the same to his new supply – and she did. Thank God I resisted that one. She will sit on the hard chair by the door and sleep on the side of the bed by the wall so that she has to climb out over the end or over him. She will get elbowed if she snores. She came along after I refused to have sex any more. He lIed to me and was disrespectful of her to me. Not a great predictor of future bliss. I conclude that he disrespected me to others too.
It was only when she turned up that I really began to think about how I had been treating myself by hanging on through the boomeranging. I went minimal contact and my recovery began. Neither of them is my problem.
Thank you anyway Savannah for the scientific proof and another spot on post! I’m going to get on with my day.