A Narcissistic relationship thrives in an environment of doubt, secrecy and fear. They engage in a plethora of behaviors designed to create just that. Lying, gas lighting, projection, deflection, insulting, belittling, humiliating, crocodile tears, love-bombing…are just some of the many ways Narcissists go about concealing their agenda and their true intentions.
Control is their end game, because at the very heart of a Narcissist, is a fear of abandonment. Rather than enticing their partner, to choose to stay, by behaving in a loving, kind and respectful manner, they opt to do so through trickery and manipulation. Underneath their bravado, they suffer from an extremely low self-esteem, because of this, they inwardly believe that if they let people in, if others knew who they really were – they’d leave. And so, the fragile ego of a Narcissist must prevent this at all costs, so they choose to deceive their targets into falling for them.
They are masters at reading people and knowing just what buttons to push to gain their advantage. Those targets that are hungry to be loved, make the best prey, mainly because they are used to poor treatment and adapt to unhealthy environments, rather than leave.
Narcissists create the illusion of a deep connection by selective sharing, listening intently, giving thoughtful and insightful advice, being sweet and putting on the face that they really care.
They future fake and insinuate the perfect future together. They share just a little of their vulnerable side, that revs up a Codependent’s need to rescue and care-take. It makes them irresistible and in the beginning, a Codependent believes that they have just found the partner of their dreams. “Finally,” they say, “Finally I’ve found someone who will love me as I’ve always wanted to be loved.”
And then the mask slips.
Without notice, the doors and windows have blown out of their perfectly constructed house of dreams. If you’re emotionally healthy and no answers are forthcoming, you end the relationship. If you’re a Codependent you internalize the rejection, you make it your fault and try to figure out what you’ve done wrong. You jump through hoops trying to get the partner, that once lavished you with attention, to even answer your texts.
You become obsessed with trying to figure out what you’ve done wrong, all in the hopes that you can fix it and get back to the relationship you had in the beginning, but nothing you’re doing seems to be working. Your guts are twisted in knots, and you’re looking for anything to alleviate the stress. All of a sudden, you find yourself doing things you wouldn’t normally do. You can’t turn it off and your life has become chaotic and unbearable.
Signs and Behaviors You’re Caught In a Narcissistic Trap
A big part of the Narcissistic playbook is sending mixed messages, either because their emotions sway minute to minute, or because they’re trying to keep you off balance. Either way it makes life intolerable for their victims. If you’re exhibiting the following behaviors you just might be in clutches of a Narcissistic relationship and you need to make and execute an exit strategy.
You’re acting like a jealous maniac: A Narcissist lives to be fought and fawned over and they create triangulation where ever they can. If you find yourself feeling anger towards the competition and very territorial around your partner, chances are your Narcissist is setting the scene to suit their agenda. If you’ve ever said, “I’m normally not a jealous person…” but now find yourself constantly on edge and acting and doing things you normally wouldn’t, it’s very likely you’re caught in the Narcissist’s web.
*Healthy relationships perpetuate jealousy. They’re based on trust. They’re dependable and responsible. If you have to second guess where your partner’s interest lies – you’re not in a relationship and you need to end it.
You can’t stop thinking about your partner and the relationship: If your thoughts and behavior are bordering on obsessive and are interfering with normal functioning, you’re quite possibly involved with a Narcissist. Checking your phone, email and social media accounts every 2 minutes, declining invites from others, dropping everything at the drop of a hat, or keeping yourself in a perpetual state of readiness just in case they call, is indicative of extremely unhealthy relationship behavior.
*Feeling insecure and anxious are not synonymous with a happy, healthy relationship. If you’re having trouble functioning in your life, on account of your relationship, that tells you that you need to make a change. No one can live in a constant state of anxiety without it affecting their health, both physical and mental. Practice self-care and remove yourself from anything that doesn’t serve you.
You’re acting crazy and your emotions are out of control: Crazy making is part of the itinerary for a narcissist. They love to keep you guessing, but unfortunately for you, this uncertainty is making you unstable and irrational. You’re obsessed and you can’t believe the things you’ve done to please your Narcissist or get them to pay attention to you. You have no idea what’s coming next and you feel completely out of control.
*Healthy relationships do not have a power differential and they do not have these intense peaks and valleys. They are more flat line and don’t leave you twisting in knots.
You’re stalking, doing surveillance, tracking their social media, looking through their phone: Without trust there is no relationship. If yours has progressed to the point where you are playing detective, you’ve got to start asking yourself what the hell are you still doing there. If you’re doing these things, it’s because either you’re crazy, or they’ve done it before and you’re just waiting for the next shoe to drop and you’re gathering evidence so you can present your case of relationship crimes. If you’re at this place, it’s already too late and you need to call it a day.
You’ve stopped talking to your friends and family about the relationship: If you have to give up communicating to your support group because of your relationship, that tells you that you are on the wrong track. If you feel like you can’t talk about what’s going on because you know they will disapprove and tell you something you don’t want to hear, that behavior tells you that you are involved in something you know you shouldn’t be.
*While secrecy may seem titillating, when it comes to your relationships, if you can’t be open and honest with those closest to you, you’re on dangerous ground. Your family and friends are the ones that love you the most. If you’re hiding things from them – you’re not doing right by you and you need to come clean and start following the advice of those who want what’s best for you.
If you’re engaging is several of the above behaviors your relationship is toxic and needs to end. If the one you love perpetuates anxiety and hurt and seems to thrive off of your pain, you have to ask yourself, exactly what kind of person you’re involved with. People whose empathy chip is firmly in place don’t go around creating angst and harm for the ones they love. They care about them and try to keep from hurting them. There’s no way around this truth. There’s no justification that makes any of it ok. If it’s happening, you’ve got to do right by you and get out.
If you’re unable to end your relationship and it’s affecting your ability to function in your life, you should consider seeing a therapist.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at freedigitalphotos.com
Almost 3 yrs out of a 15 yr hell!! I really believed I was doing so good with my healing and was proud of myself. I decided to dip my toe into the dating world again and was so excited. I met first guy that was a really amazing man with everything my ex couldnt dream of. I was going slow, things were feeling good and we finally decided to have sex. Right after I felt myself shift allowing the crazy to make its pressence known. This man understood and didnt run until he didnt call and hadnt showed up!!! I was suddenly in full blown crazy bitch and he was gone. I took a bit of time to get my balance back and figured it was because it was the first guy its normal. A year plus later I was reconnecting with a guy I knew as a little girl and was my very first crush. Things were going so good. I realized that this guy was the one that I used as a model of what I wanted in a man and here he was right in front of me. I had a sparkle in my eyes I dont remember seeing before. My daughter had noticed this magical difference in me as well. Then one day, lets just say I fucked it up bad. After this guy giving me a couple chances because he knew exactly how my ex is and had seen me years ago when still with my ex, during the darkest time. I took it too far one too many times and that was it for him. We still talk but its very short, to the point and no more. I have been inside a dark dark place within myself since. I am punishing myself for destroying what was such a blessing. I am obcessing over how I fucked up and Im fully aware what allowed me to fuck it up. What I need to do for me to ever have any chance of ever having a relationship with a good man that I dont scare away is the tools to heal the problems inside of me caused by the ex. How do I heal the anger, the jealousy, and all the feelings that are locked together and obviously keeping me unhappy and alone???
I am an avid journal supporter and I admit it really helps with whats closer to the surface. What can I do to get to the really deep negative to clear it and ensure it no longer has any ownerahip of me and my life ever again?? I would love some words of advice and some self help material like books etc.
I am wondering is it possible that since you were fooled by your ex that subconsciously you are sabotaging your current relationships? My biggest fear if I were to be single again, is that I would be fooled again and find myself with another narcissist, or other abusive spouse. I have examined my situation under a microscope and to be honest, the only reason I do not leave this relationship is that I will just end up in another one just like it. I have chose two very toxic partners. The second one was the typical narcissist, in that he charmed me and made me think he was my knight in shinning armor.
If you want to have a relationship, my advice would be to take it very slow. Don’t rush the physical part. If he wants someone now, maybe that in it’s self is a red flag. I was told and do not know how true it is, that you should date someone for 1&1/2 years before getting married or moving in. They said if the person is putting up a false front they can’t do it past 1&1/2 years. In my situation the narcissist was pretty insistent on us getting married quickly. We got married 6 months after we met and boy what a big mistake that was. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you can heal completely.
I wanted to respond to this…
The PTSD from bad relationships NEVER goes away. You have to know your triggers. Triggers are often warnings to run. In your post, you have been so devalued and gaslighted that you devalue yourself. Let go of the crazy – that is not you, but what you were taught. The hardest hurdle is not devaluing yourself or keeping those who do. Triggers are important because they are warning signs => “Run, Forrest, run”.
I violated my own rules and paid for them. So there it goes. The Golden Rule goes both ways – don’t do AND don’t allow. Never strike back, turn around and walk away.
Most importantly, and journals are great for that, learn to think intuitively ONLY. A friend taught me a technique that was a traffic light (see it in your mind) – red means no, green means yes, and yellow means wait/maybe/caution. Always trust the traffic light, it is never wrong. And the answer is the answer. You can expand from there. Narcs gaslight against the intuition by manipulating emotions to cloud your intuition and coerce you.
More than ANY self help book, for years, the traffic light technique helped me and the idea that the answer was the answer. Use the journal to channel the intuition. It will GREATLY help you!
To me, one of the most hurtful things was to find out about the talking behind my back (I got written proof how he, my ex-N wrote messages on Facebook about me to our common friends; it was so spiteful, so ugly, so demeaning, it took my breath away for hours!).
But then I must admit that from the start I got signs that something was terrible wrong, as he pulled his older sister whom I’ve never met in person, into our online discussions so she’d agree with him. I felt so stupid and it felt all so wickedly wrong!
Now, being outta it since 2 years, feeling a freedom and fresh air in my chest, I can only recommend to LEAVE BEFORE IT DESTROYS you completely. Any day extra is a waste.
Your life and mental health is REALLY in danger!
Greetings with Gratitude…
For several years I read esteemology weekly–couldn’t wait for the monday morning email, and it helped me through some tough times. As I gradually became detached after the divorce I no longer desperately needed my weekly boost, and things have been going just fine. And, isn’t this the pattern? Today out of the blue he texted me “I just want to tell you that I think you’re the MEANEST PERSON I will probably meet in my whole life.” I almost laughed. And then it triggered the memory feelings of guilt and pity, which I totally realize are inappropriate, but I realized that this is a hook he thew and, even though I did not and will not respond, it got me in the sense that it has been on my mind for the past several hours. That is why I am back on esteemology to be reminded that, yes, he is a narcissist, and, yes, this is bait, and, no, I am not taking it, and, yes, I am glad he is out of my life and I am not in any way letting him back in. So on with my own projects and life and maybe a good book or movie.
I’d like to add that this has been going on (and off) for 3 years. I know something is seriously amiss, but I keep trying to work it out. It’s so painful. He doesn’t love me! He won’t talk about our “relationship” and communicates entirely by text when we’re apart. He angers easily and has said some of the worst things to me. I’ve stood up for myself every time. But, the end result is always the same. I feel like I’m punished with the silent treatment. He never extends himself first or apologizes, and apparently we were broken up during the time we didn’t talk. I’ve let him go so many times it’s embarrassing but when we’re together we’re enamoured with each other and fully compatible. He tells me he loves me and then I don’t know what’s next. I have no idea where I stand. I asked if he’s seeing someone else and he gets mad at me for not trusting him.
Michelle- just want to say that you are not alone. I have been going through the exact same thing for the same amount of time. I’m starting to see that he is a true narcissist. I think it’s time for both of us to wake up and get these men out of our lives no matter how enamored we are by each other when we are together. The good doesn’t outweigh the bad and the good in this situation is also borderline unhealthy! I’m struggling too, I know it’s easier said than done. I’m seriously considering counseling. Maybe you should do the same. Keep us updated!
Sara, thank you for your reply. I know you’re right. It’s so crazy, like an addiction. I’ve never experienced anything like it and it feels impossible to get out of. I’m going to therapy this week and keeping it up. I really need to be validated and supported.
I know exactly how you feel, I felt the same – like we were soul mates, had a soul connection, and it felt like an addiction. The truth is though, that this is trauma bonding at work – he has engineered these feelings in you, and you won’t recognise this until you are out of it. I started my counselling (regressive hypnotherapy) to try to undo the root cause of why I was accepting this treatment (abusive mum, absent dad, low self esteem, etc) and through therapy realised that my life was never going to improve while I loved this man who used my love as a weapon to punish and hurt me. I’m out 3 months – read Savannah’s articles on what to expect when leaving though, as these men do not want to lose someone they have so much control over – they are not fighting to keep the love alive, they just don’t want to have to go to the bother of grooming a new target. I wish you luck, and hope you find the strength – it is worth it.
I’m in the same relationship I left on Friday after he slap me senseless spat in my face verbally abuse me thru me out of his bedroom carry on till I was fit to travel home with my belongs all cause I told him he was gas lighting me constally . I stay away till the Thursday night know what would happen sad poor little man has been well blah blah blah all nicey nicey I didn’t acknowledge him what so ever keep it to closed answers got to to cosy up to him after not touching me for 2wks always punishing me. So I did fell a sleep do nice to me the nxt day it was my dad 70 birthday who I recently lost from cancer. I said I didn’t have to go home so he ask my to go home & come bk later constally beds space I said no!
Not comming bk it was a test I knew what he was doing kept doing it’s to me for the past to wks he’s stop taking his deeper soon meds omg he’s like jerkel&hide exstremr raged phycopath unnerves me ! But now I know what’s happiness to me I’ve left him doing the no contact although a have to get my baby pic of his computer he’s drama ding that I will get them when he’s ready. Before I left I told him to F off I ain’t waiting around for you forgiveness to something I hadn’t even do I told I don’t wanna be with you which made him go crazy I just ignored him & walk out of his house haven’t been bk yet going to go down Thursday night look as hot attractive be his little trophy girlfriend so he still thinks stay over get my pics before he can tell me too go home I will just get ready & leave like nothing’s happen play right in to his hands them bam see you later BBy never to return again knowing he will be living inside his own term oil I can’t wait knowing he is suffering every day for the rest off his life cause he can’t connect with anyone or anything normal I’m his only form of human contact he has no friends & has fell out with his narc family he’s totally alone. Thk you everybody who has reconised this disorder & share your exsperince with me all what I read I’ve been through or is going through over over again the never stop love & light every X
I feel like I’m at fault because I’m the one who goes back to him after weeks or months of not speaking. Clearly we’ve broken up, but never in person and always because of something small I did. He goes quiet and won’t reply to my texts or phone calls. I end up angry, telling him that his behavior hurts me. But I want so much to resolve it. I’ve called his behavior emotionally abusive and later feel like I went too far. He’s lied to me about online dating, substitutes me quickly and is never wrong. But then I miss the man who “loves me”, we see each other and he finds a reason to get mad at me or make me mad. Am I crazy?
That was my comments to Exhausted, sorry did not indicate earlier.
Wow Michelle, I am in exactly the same situation! I’m 39 and never moved in with or depended on on a man. He was so sincere and loving in the beginning, until I lost my job and moved in with him. I usually am a good judge of character and can see right through people, but he was so sincere and convincing, I fell into his trap. I was helping him with yard work and tore an abdominal muscle so I’m unable to work, when it starts to get better and the pain somewhat subsides he comes up with another project. He’s determined to keep me here. He’s even told me I’ll die with this injury. Nothing I do is good enough! In the beginning when he hellme I felt so special, but I’ve since realized it was never me he was holding. He just wanted someone there. It’s like I know the truth, I know what I have to do but I want that special and loving feeling back. I feel like a failure because I can’t “fix” him, but realistically that won’t happen until he admits he has a problem
Let him slander you as much as he can, he is actually exposing himself to whoever is listening (accusing you of what he is) – the TRUTH will judge him coz his listeners will start noticing the difference between what he was saying about you and what he is. Just be calm – don’t even defend yourself about the accusations coz nobody will notice the difference between the two of you. He is gonna reap what he planted.
This is what I’ve started doing. When I first realized what he what he was doing I stood up for myself and broke him down to tears. Now nothing I do is good enough, he expects more and more. I now ignore him or tell him to do it himself. He backs off when I do, but as soon as things calm down I’m in complete hell, worse than it was before. So now we’re stuck in a circle of control
My situation doesn’t warrant much sympathy, but I was involved in an emotional affair with a beautiful coworker narcissist. After the initial love-bombing phase (now almost a year ago), she gradually devalued me, but kept giving hints that the “true feelings” were still lingering within, and, were it not for our married situation, we’d surely be together forever. The undeniable fact of our existing marriages (mine good, hers not), and a previous affair of hers that was quite traumatic, provided the convenient cover to constantly play emotional peek-a-boo. I never knew where I stood. Actually, worse, I THOUGHT I knew where I stood: that she truly loved me, but she couldn’t admit that to me or herself without being overcome with guilt due to her previous transgressions. And what I wanted more than anything was the validation that she would only provide on rare occasion, briefly sneaking words of “truth” into the light of day as if she couldn’t contain them. Words which were replaced the very next day with words of admonishment for expecting more of the same: “I don’t think of you as anything more than a friend.” Wash, rinse, repeat. A sad addiction that I’m finally beginning to overcome.
This is a great article. Thank you for it. Can you write your thoughts about Narcissistic Friend relationships? I’m sure the tactics can be very similar, including narc injury resulting in rage, and over the top punishing behaviors, but the signs may change as its not a romantic relationship.
This is such an awesome summary of the relationships I’ve allowed myself to be in for the last 20 years. The most recent one causing me to hit rock bottom-all of the criteria above met. It’s truly amazing how emotional abuse can do so much harm physically and emotionally. My prayer is that anyone who recognizes themselves in a relationship as described above could find the strength to get out. It can be a challenge but it can be done through much prayer and continuing to tell yourself everyday that it’s necessary for YOU-for your health and wellbeing, for your children and the family who loves you, and most of all so you can be the loving person you know you are.
I ended my most recent relationship 9 months ago, which left me emotionally fragile, and after a series of other small life events ended up having a nervous breakdown about 3 months ago. The damage from that relationship left me unable to cope or do much of anything that requires effort or energy from me. I quit my job 2 months ago in an effort to heal, due to the anxiety becoming so intense. I’ve experienced a racing heart, depression, anxiety and hopelessness-all effects of this toxic relationship and believing in something that wasn’t real. Its like you have to live your life in reverse in order to heal and undo all of the emotional wounds. My relationship only lasted 1 1/2 years, I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like had I stayed any longer. Prayers for anyone going through this horrible experience-use this as a time to rest and reflect on who you are and how valuable you are as a person (especially in the eyes of God), and I pray that you have the strength to go no contact and heal. Best wishes to you all 🙂
This describes my current relationship perfectly. This is my life in the trap. I’m tired of beating myself up for being vulnerable and falling for every trick in the book. Sadly my narcissistic nightmare moved in, and refuses to leave. I can’t just block him or lock my door. He’s depleted my resources, I’ve voluntarily surrendered my car for repossession. I’m actually fantasizing about selling all of my furniture and hopping on my bicycle and living the life of a wandering hermit. My hope truly is to be homeless, I feel that is the only way to escape. I have tried everything I can think of but he won’t leave me. He is so cruel and manipulative and deceitful it’s exhausting. I feel so trapped. It’s as if he caught me with a bear trap and the metal jaws are clenched around my ankle and I’m so desperate to be free, chewing off my own limb seems totally reasonable.
I have just been learning an increadible amount of knowledge regarding Natcissitic behaviours.
I had no idea that I was involved with one until I started looking into opinions and analysing this person that I was o cloves with.
Sad but true I was totally sucked in by this man and have had a huge lesson in my life .
I think it is important for people who attract this type of person to learn as quickly as they can to recognise and be aware do not to feel too much pain when the discarding comes into play.
I have managed to pick myself up and have learnt so much.
I will read more about your work
I’m so sorry. I felt your pain as you wrote your story. I just pray for my ex boyfriend. No one can change him. Only God. 2Tim 3:16.
God Bless you. I pray you heal and God favors you with a love from Him.
A friend recognized the depth of what I have been going through after betrayal by my husband of 21 years, who continues to lie and manipulate. She led me to this website and opened my eyes.
This article made me a bit uncomfortable as I see some of my own behaviors. At least now I am beginning to heal, and it helps to know I’m not alone in this.
The divorce process is hell, but I’m beginning to understand a bit. Thank you.
What this post captured so very well is the *confusion* that comes from trying to be in relationship with a narcissist. What many call the “Narcissistic fog.” I remember it so very well though thankfully I am out of it now: walking the streets in the middle of the night, trying to figure out what was going on, whether her “friendly dinners” with other men were really liaisons, why she would suddenly go silent and put me on the shelf, etc etc. I remember asking over and over in my mind “is it her? Is it me? Is it us?”
The most precious gift of recovery from an N is clarity — the clarity that comes with regaining self esteem. Savannah says it over and over again but it’s so hard to see from inside the fog: the confusion is itself the answer. Real love and real intimacy never leave us confused. There is no fog in a real relationship. I was confused because I was receiving mixed signals, I was being lied to, there was no congruence between my Ns words (“I love you, I want to be with you”) and her actions (“I got busy, I heard from an old friend, I was too tired to call” etc etc).
I see now that the key question was not “why do I feel so confused” but instead “why would I stay with someone who is not sending clear and consistent and reliable positive messages to me?”
I am stuck dealing with my ex husband – narcissist to the core. It took me 4 years beginning to end to get separated, divorced and financially detached from him.
There is no “wanting me back” now – which is great – but since I committed the biggest offense to a narc – embarrassed him by leaving him –
Now I’ve endured 4+ years -post divorce was final – of him bad-mouthing me, using our kids as pawns (but my 8 and 11 year olds are catching on to his father’s true identity — WITHOUT my bad-mouthing him — they see it on their own and ask me “why” questions..).
I feel bad for my kids to have divorced parents, but have had countless confirmations that I did the right thing. I’m exhausted from this and see NO END to his torture. Now he has a new girlfriend (he actually has 2) who has been so brainwashed into thinking I’m this horrible person – and I just have to let her see for herself what/who she’s signed up to be with .
I have fits of anxiety, can’t sleep, feel sick every time we have to discuss coparenting topics like registering kids for sports… it’s a CONSTANT fight and ALWAYS my fault. I have zero contact, until I must contact re: something about the kids. Otherwise – there’s NO contact.
He pays me $285 a month child support and never contributes his half of kid related fees, sports, music, etc…. yet tells me I’m a horrible mother, and how dare I sign up our kid for something without his approval. Which, HE APPROVED but pretends he didnt – just so he won’t have to pay… all veiled threats including legal action he’ll take.
He called the police on my last year and pretended he didn’t know where I was with the kids. This was minutes after I hung up the phone with him and told him – MY VACATION ENDS TOMORROW, NOT TONIGHT, WE WILL SEE YOU TOMORROW! The cop told my attorney he wasted his time and that will be noted somewhere so that… next time… the police know he’s doing this as a stunt. But who pays the attorney to make sure I’m not in trouble? I do.
Threats and constant violations of our court ordered agreement and custody order. He has found every loophole in our crappy agreement and crawls through it – complete mastermind/genius at trickery and I am the one who continues to require protection and advice from attorney. Cha ching! I’ve spent over $25k on this monster – getting him out of my life and protecting myself from him.
Any ideas about endurance for post-divorce with kids – how to last through another decade? Also, anyone have advice for dealing with his slandering me to every teacher and neighbor and friend AND girlfriend of his? My kids hear him on the phone completely tearing me apart. I can’t get him to stop!
You couldn’t explained it any better, right on spot. You just described my ex to a tee!! Even when you do get evidence on them and present it, they are to good at twisting things around to make it your fault. It’s a no win situation. What I don’t get is how such a weak person with a low self asteem can behave like they are king . Nothing affects them, hearts of stone.
Hi, Hurtin’ Cowboy. Your reply helps me so much to realize what I just experienced in the past few months. I’ll past something from your reply now–
‘Real love and real intimacy never leave us confused. There is no fog in a real relationship. I was confused because I was receiving mixed signals, I was being lied to, there was no congruence between my Ns words (“I love you, I want to be with you”) and her actions (“I got busy, I heard from an old friend, I was too tired to call” etc etc).’—-Boy, this was me few days ago! The guy I was dating gave mixed signals. On one hand he said ‘I can’t handle a relationship now’ but on the other hand he did everything a boyfriend did: texted me daily, asked me how I was doing, showing he cared, planning dates with me, complimenting me and so on. We almost had sex but because he gave me weird vibes I refused it.
He pushed my boundaries each time we met, hugging me and being extremely close to me although I specifically required not to do that (each date was the same).
I don’t think he was a narcissist because most of the time he indeed made me feel good and he stated in the beginning of our affair that he rather not get involved in a relationship.
I was guilty for wanting to seduce him, to make him want a long term thing with me but it didn’t work.
Now I know, a healthy relationship doesn’t have this confusion I experienced and no doubt also. You know where you stand. Next time someone like this guy approaches me I’ll send him on his way.
I can relate to all, so well. My ex texted me a one liner this weekend. I finally had the courage to just delete it and not respond. It is just over a year, since the hellish up and down drama has passed. I am sure you are all the same, but I have my shit together in every other facet of my life. Work, kids, friends. This was a dangerous zone I went into. As someone else said, I would have to muster up every ounce of strength if he showed up at my doorstep, but somehow I would. Maybe this might help some others, but I have started to look at him as non-human. Like falling head over heels with a robot of some sort. Not capable of true human emotion.
You didn’t miss one issue when it comes to experiencing a relationship with a narcissist.
I too was in a relationship with a full blown narcissist, for over 8 years I moved in & out of the house. Never in my life had I experienced a “love” like that. I never fought so hard to make it work. But one day I started to read a book about narcissistic’ & all their behaviors & realized I was raised by one & now I was in a relationship with practically the same person. It blew my mind & mad me so sad to know it would never change.
I had to save myself, stop being that codependent little girl, that I deserved more. It’s been 11 months since I saved myself. I call it being in recovery after being emotionally tortured for years. I’d definitely rather be alone than ever compromise my own sanity again.
The hardest part was embracing the truth & letting go. But it’s been worth every tear along the way.
Good luck to anyone trying to get out of this awful shroud of deceit. It’s worth it in the end.
This is exactly my life.
Great comment Dinese Elder, I totally relate to your situation. I too felt that this ‘love’ was like no other and fought to make it work. My ex Narc kept saying how much he wanted us to work out, all the while setting me up, pressing my buttons, denigrating me behind my back, gas-lighting etc. Once I was told by a health professional that they thought my boyfriend was manipulative and controlling it didn’t take too long to find this website and discover with horror what I was really facing. That’s when I realised my mother was also emotionally abusive, and when I realised I had to change and heal so that I could stop repeating the same relationship patterns. Your are right, the hardest part is embracing the truth – I really struggled to internalise the knowledge that I was with a Narc. Letting go was extremely hard too, particularly not responding during the stalking and hoovering attempts. I envy you having been out 11 months, I’ve only been out 3 months, and I still struggle some days, but know that I will never go back. As I was making my preparations to leave I kept hearing the words ‘walk towards the light’ in my head, and that is what I will continue to do until I’m fully out on the other side.
This is the very nuts & bolts of what I have been through the past 4 years. Thank you for posting this. I had a child with this person, was engaged to be married and became financially dependent on him through his taking me back to court so many times trying to reduce my support or by making up lies about me in court to take away my custody. Even though I am a business professional , he was incredibly savvy at knowing how to do a smear campaign behind my back to the day care owner of my child, as well as to smear me to other people in my life. It can become a spiders web and incredibly confusing. Confusing because all the while they are doing a smear campaign or plotting behind your back they are being very nice to your face. IN my case it was not the typical, womanizing or drugs/alcohol that I see a lot of women complaining about. This person has always been clean sober and no womanizing. In stead it was the ledger balances he kept of my behaviors or parenting, times I worked at my job, times I cooked healthy , times I answered my phone. He was /is very smart sophisticated, millionaire and in a very affluent neighborhood, living a charmed life. So you would never see this other side unless under the same roof. Thanks Savannah for clearly spelling it all out. The anxiety was relentless. My parents got cut out of my life, due to his not allowing them on his property and he had a huge rejection of my other son from a prior relationship. SO this was also very confusing.
I am going through this now. Millionaire, charmed life. The past 4.5 years have been hell.
Rewind, I don’t think you went two years without him and then slipped from your tracks. You thought, you did! Now, start the serious work and maybe you needed this wake up make up to push you towards reality.
I am only one year of no contact and I don’t know how I would react if I stood face in face with my ex. Sometimes, I am okay, and other times I am not and I would run in his arms if I could. I don’t know what for, though??? To prove, that I am better than his present mate??? That he still loves me, when I know deep inside that he never really loved me. NEVER, EVER!!! Not even in what I thought was the best moments!!! They are not capable or love, empathy and real feelings. Just like Savannah said here so many times, in a way it’s not their fault because they are not capable; their feeling are superficial and they wear a mask, all the time!
I know all this; I have been working on understanding all this for 3 years now, and yet, there are times when I don’t want to admit the truth and reality. For what??? For an illusion, a fantasy, a vague dream???
So after two years of working on myself and healing, I slept with him again. I don’t know why…I was dealing with some other trauma in my life, he text, we met, and it happened. Wow. And it wasn’t even enjoyable. It gave me some security at the moment, but it was also something out of a funny play. He actually woke me up to have sex still wearing his cPap machine. I wasn’t sure if I was having sex with him or Darth Vader. You can’t make this shit up.
And then the silence. Which I predicted. I reached out. Nothing. Then he came over to drop something off that was mine, driving the car of another woman he is sleeping with. Then sent me a text telling me that he loved my tits.
I did the usual…wrote him an email telling him I was done. Followed by a not so nasty email kind of apologizing, then asking him to go on a day trip, to which he finally did respond that he wasn’t interested. Humiliation on my part.
Enough. I had a really good talk with myself asking what the hell was I thinking and what the hell was I doing. So I am back to working on myself once again. Except this time, I don’t have the angst or the constant though patterns, or the hope for crumbs. I am moving forward. He is erased. Permanently.
And although I said it all before and went TWO YEARS without him, I believe in myself this time and don’t plan to disappoint myself. And yes, I will see my counselor to try and make sense of it all.
But this I know…he hurts women…lots and lots of women. But not this one anymore. And I am one less woman for all the others that sleep with him to have to worry about. I have exited the game.
Funny how your encounter description sounds so familiar. I believe most narcs are pretty similar bottom line. Mine pretty much always seemed to pop in my life when I had a tragedy going on. Thats when im on my weakest point. He always comes in pretending to be a good hearted samaritin and puts his best foot forward. But I know all he wants is to have sexx and you would never guess from his appearence that he is a freak. He is becoming worse and worse with years. All he cares about is Sex day and night 24/7 like a computor stuck on a certain function that keeps repeating it hours on end. And he goes to any lenght to get it. If you are someone that wants a stable relationshipe or looking to get married have children. He will play that part untill he gets sex with you as much as he wants and dump you for the next. He mimics your taste and interest to make You believe there is a genuine connection. Likes and dislikes the same stuff just to drive you in. Once he has you, he will play and push your bounderies. Start the hot and cold game. The silent treatment when he doesnt get his way.
He also asks for nude pics none stop like a drug addict. At the end he laughs it out like the pure evil soul he is and leaves you when he is bored. His a sex addict that always pretends to be mistreated by women. Plays the poor me game to gain sympathy or acts like the hopless romantic guy that is just looking for true love and get married and the world is against him. His typical sentence is:”Women’s dont like him thats why they dont send him nudes or do what he asks them to do. “(Narc logic = No logic) His true Character is creepy as hell. Like when he stairs for hours at random women’s breast like a freak or sends you porn vids at random . (His psycho and not someone you want to stick around with) I figured that out pretty quick and ran and ignore him when he show’s his ugly head. I have a tip for folks who have a hard time sticking to there guns and staying away from Narcs or any crazies. Make a list describing what you dislike in them. Keep that list handy during your weak times as a reminder why you left in the first place. As for my ex Narc Im still wondering how he attracts women after all this. He certainly is not even good looking and sometimes acts like a 14 year old horny teenager with no responsibility. ( his 31 and still lives with his parents or at a married sibbling’s place go figure)