What would you do if your 11 year old daughter didn’t come home for a couple of weeks? What if she said nothing to you, you had no idea where she was, or if she was ever coming back?
Or what if it was your elderly parents? They just, all of a sudden, were completely unreachable. They weren’t answering phone calls, or texts. They weren’t answering their door when you came calling to see if they were all right. What would you do or think?
You’d probably be in full panic mode, right? Both instances you would find completely unacceptable and something you would not tolerate under any circumstance. Yet many people, when it comes to their romantic liaisons, not only tolerate disappearing acts, they’ve become accustomed to them.
Narcissists are really good at disappearing. Not all of them do, mind you, but some have it down to an art form. Many people that find sites like mine are suffering, because they find themselves in love with someone, who keeps popping in and out of their lives and they don’t understand why. Many will blame themselves and think that it was something they did or didn’t do.
Some disappear because they’re living a double life. They may have a wife, or a husband waiting for them at home, or in another city, or perhaps even a steady partner. Some play Houdini, because they fear intimacy. They feel you getting too close and they cannot have you discover their true selves. Some buckle under the weight of the relationship expectations they imagine you might have, while others always have their focus on something exciting and new.
Regardless of their reasons, if your mate keeps coming and going from your life, chances are they’ve got their own play book. They’ve done this dance so many times that the process doesn’t even faze them. They don’t feel guilt at what you must be going through. They don’t feel responsible for whatever circumstance they left you in. Their focus is always on what they need and what they are feeling. They must always answer the monster within and this monster is capable of abominable behavior.
The most baffling part of a disappearing act is the reappearing act. Emotional manipulators have this incredible ability to magically reappear, after everything they’ve done, and act as if nothing happened. I can only imagine that this feeling is genuine for them, since they don’t harbor any guilt or responsibility for what they’ve done to you.
I can recall, after a particular disappearing episode, by my boomerang Narcissist, that lasted two weeks, I got a text message and my response was angry and accusatory. He was acting as if he had nothing to be sorry for and told me, under no uncertain circumstances, that he wasn’t interested in fighting and that that’s not why he contacted me. I was then punished by another week of no contact for my defiance.
This is a clear example of Operant Conditioning. Narcissist train a conditioned response into their victims through reward or punishment. They lower your defenses by inflicting punishment (leaving), which causes you immense pain and suffering, they will eventually reward you by returning (as if this is a reward) and if you accept them back with no fuss no muss, you get to win them back again, until they of course decide to leave again. If however you decide to get upset and cuss them out for hurting you, you will be punished, they will leave again until you learn not to upset them with your feelings.
After repeated disappearing episodes, their victims become conditioned machines, acting just the way they Narcissist wants. It reminds me of an experiment I remember reading about in University, where they would put a dog in a cage that had electrical current running through one half. When the shock was turned on, the dog would jump and cry and look for a safe place to stand (I know its awful). So they were conditioning the dog to stop responding to the current and just move to the half of the cage where there was no current. Then the researchers wired the cage so that the current would run through the entire cage and the dog would have nowhere safe to stand. The dog would, at first, cry and move around, looking for somewhere safe, but after repeated exposure and knowing there was no where safe to go, it became accustomed to the shocks and stopped responding completely, whenever the shock was turned on. This is called learned helplessness.
Learned helplessness is behavior typical of an organism (human or animal) that has endured repeated painful or otherwise aversive stimuli which it was unable to escape or avoid. After such experience, the organism often fails to learn escape or avoidance in new situations where such behavior would be effective. In other words, the organism seems to have learned that it is helpless in aversive situations, that it has lost control, and so it gives up trying. Such an organism is said to have acquired learned helplessness. – Wiki
No one likes to be in pain. We will do anything to escape the feeling. The unfortunate part of the escape process, when you’re dealing with a Narcissist, is that it puts you right back into the middle of the fire, only to be shocked and shocked some more, until it conditions no response from you what-so-ever. This is the science behind how they manage down your expectations until you give no response except the one they want, which is compliance.
A romantic partner has every right to be furious when their partner takes off. It’s cruel, disrespectful and incredibly selfish. The behavior in and of itself should be enough to show you exactly what you mean to the person causing you such heart ache. The healthiest thing we could do for ourselves is to walk away and understanding why you feel like you can’t, will, hopefully aid your decision to step off the merry-go-round for good.
On top of this,the damage that the emotional upheaval of their repeated disappearance has on your emotional and physical health must also be considered. When you are abandoned, your immediate feelings are typically, fear, sorrow, anxiety, depression…
When someone keeps treating you like you don’t matter and that you don’t deserve any better, it takes an immense toll on your self-esteem. Those repeated thoughts and feelings cement those neuro-pathways in the brain, so that your thoughts on the matter will always go through that filter.
Ester Hicks always says, “Beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking.” So when we keep exposing ourselves to someone that has those beliefs about us and keeps making us feel that way, we run the risk of creating these false beliefs about , ourselves. When we believe something, we act accordingly. It changes our behavior and who we are and it’s a very difficult habit to break.
Feelings of being unworthy and low self-esteem, paired with feelings of helplessness and a lack of control, lead to depression and a general negative out look.
Studies have shown that anxiety and stress cause problems in immune system functioning making you more susceptible to viruses and infections, as well as digestive disorders.
The bottom line is, if your partner keeps coming and going from your life, it’s causing you a lot more damage than you realize. They are skillful manipulators and they are, in essence, training you how they want you to behave, and training you to believe that you have no control. Don’t let anyone ever do this to you. Their behavior is shaping your beliefs, your health and your behavior.
No one deserves to be treated like somebody’s option. You didn’t do anything wrong. You didn’t say anything so horrific that it caused them to run off. The type of person that repeatedly does this is sick and their behavior has nothing to do with you, despite what they want you to believe.
If someone walks away from you, it should only ever happen once. Every time you take them back, you are allowing yourself to be conditioned to accept that kind of treatment, to the point where it will have no effect on you at all. It will erode all of your resistance and no one should ever be allowed to run roughshod over you. If you’re doing this dance right now, make sure it’s your last turn on the dance floor. Get out now and don’t look back.
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he has disappeared again and is many many times already and always blaming me for his disappearing acts and also losing business.
first was a day, followed by 2 days then it got longer and longer. . this is the first time I decided to play disappearing act after we had an argument. I have not initiated any contact for 5 days which I always stupidly will be the one in contact first. all I got from him was just 5 messages for the first 3 days, no telephone calls and for the last 2 days, there’s totally no messages nor phone call 😉 wow!
Why would a cold predator fear intimacy?A predator can’t even love.
I totally agree with the reward and punishment thing. Narcissists also simply can’t be bothered maintaining relationships. If they have supply elsewhere, they’re not interested. But as soon as it dries up, they’re back. Or they appear if they want something from you. Narcissist never contact you just to see how you’re doing. There’s always something in it for them.
Here is how it will play out:
Step 1: You will be “love bombed” and idealized in the very beginning, as the NPD lures you into his/her trap. Note that you are their “new source” and be certain that someone else has been cruelly discarded so he/she can now focus on their new victim
Step 2: The honeymoon will fade with time and/or you actually confronting their abominable inhumane behavior.
Step 3: This is the “devaluation phase” where your expectations will be “managed down” to a finite, desperate tip. You will be shellshocked, grabbing for any tether of thread to attach yourself to the NPD, who is already grooming his/her next victim
Step 4: This is called the “Discard” – You will receieve the all too familiar “Silent Treatment” and will be enduring the effects of the “Final Discard” as the NPD already has a new shiny object to focus his/her attentions on.
Step 5: If the NPD needs entertainment (think of a cat with a ball of yarn), he/she will torment you with “gaslighting” and/or ” blame shifting” and constant “word salad” and “crazy making”.
Step 6: RUN as FAST as you can from this energy vampire. NPD affected people CANNOT be cured and will absolutly RUIN you if given the chance.
GO “NO CONTACT: and begin to repair your beautiful giving soul so you can feel whole again. Seek therapy and think of the NPD as dead/gone/moved away/whatever you need to do to remain NO CONTACT with this bloosucking, damaged psycopath!
***NOTE – Anything I have in quotes here you should research to arm yourself with knowledge.
Good Luck and God Bless you, beautiful Soul!
Did you read my post entitled The Three Phases of a Narcissistic Relationship – Over Evaluation, Devaluation, Discard, that I wrote almost 10 years ago? You’ll find all this info there.
I need help! I’ve known for years he’s a N. We’ve been together 3.5 years and lived together for three years. We’ve had our ups and downs…we both have vices. His is weed mine is beer. Beer causes more of a problem than the weed I’ll admit. I love him and want to be with him. We split at the new year for 2 weeks…he had gotten so explosive and we hadn’t had sex in months..I was done, I left.
I finally talked to him two weeks later on my birthday. I’m a Capricorn, he’s a Virgo we’re compatible 90% of the time. So I’ll go into the present. When we got back together we let the past grievances go. Things have been great and stressfree. I’m successful and have a great CORP America job that I love. He sells insurance and due to the times only getting renewal income. Regardless we don’t have financial issues. I’ve talked to him recently about having date night’s….we haven’t, not having sex again and out of the blue last week he pulled his first disappearing act Friday night. Said I’ll be right back at 3pm …I contacted him at 11:30pm are you okay? He replied he was fine. All was good.
We both like our alone time and it works for us, always has. We respect privacy and we’re loyal…never doubted that till last night. He’s the norm N, I have to dress conservative at work and out by myself, I never get to wear shorts. He’s critical of me at times but supportive of my success. Of course no gym, after work drinks, lunches. No friends to hang out with. Never tells me no if I want something. We’re both good looking…he’s very jealous of the attention I get from men….thankfully he finally sees that I don’t encourage it.or ask for it..strange things happen to me.
Last night, again Friday night….he left at 3pm to do mutual errands …I was working (work from home). I messaged him I’d love a diet Dr pepper, he was good with that. He messaged an hour later said he had to go get his weed ….opportunity came up..ok cool I asked if he could pick up a few beers. He said sure….then silence, crickets. I see a charge for a lot of food at KFC thinking dinner. I wake up at 6am after worrying all night and 2 ignored messages just asking are you good? he’s here, I told him I was worried, he says I don’t have to check in. I’m not asking for a check in just that you’re safe…WTF??? I refuse for this to be the norm going forward. I will have a conversation when he finally wakes up at God knows when. I’m pissed though and had to vent! If he doesn’t respond well to talking I’m not accepting this as a norm. Everyone needs time to them selves but respect who you’re with and let them know you’re okay or be single. I fell out of love a little when he made that comment. What would you do?
Please help me . I’m trying for over a year to file and walk away . I left three time I lived in a hotel and now back in my home without him and it’s still bad and I am a weak mess bc we have a child. It’s all love or hate from him . It’s scarey and both r not healthy for my child
Wow! Thank you for breaking this diwn so understandable. Thank You
Just think of her as a scumbag who has treated you with total disrespect. You don’t need to be her option! Don’t contact her anymore, block her number and, when you are feeling weak, like you want her back, talk to a friend or read about narcissistic personality disorder until your craving passes. And this is very important for you and your next relationship… forgive her.
Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you
My wife has been increasingly disappearing. I think we are working on it and the next thing you know she is leaving because of any little reason or totally random no truth accusation. She has been gone now since Sunday afternoon. Today is Thursday and I still haven’t heard from her. We have a 9 year old boy, 7 year old girl, and her is 18 now but was 7 when we meant. I consider him just as much as my own as the other two and he has always stayed with me when she disappears as well. I did report her missing again to rolled eyes (not my first time) at our location police station. They did manger to speak with her yesterday so I know that she isn’t dead and is cutting us all off again. It is a terrible terrible feeling and always feel alone. Great article and will be the beginning of my new strength. Thank you
My husband does this whenever he is out of money. He just disappears when I ask about the missing money and comes back only after I tell him I won’t speak about what he did. New friends in his life feel I just give him one chance but our old friends know very well he won’t change. I just need him out of my life.
Ive sadly been going through this for 6 years with a man and have become almost emotionally broken. I’ve got to put a stop to it, before it kills me.
Rachel, I wanted to reach out to you. My relationship after 7 years. For no real reason, just discarded. When it finally happened, I was emotionally broken. It has taken two months and the kindness of strangers. It is NOT you. Once you step away from the situation you will understand and see things clearer. Read up on NPD. I could not see what was happening. He even was mad and walked out when my twins died. Part of my soul died that day. It takes so much strength to leave the situation. I beg you consider doing so. I will help you. Send me a message if you need. Sharon
My girlfriend does this disappearing act, but in such a way that she can twist it around and make me feel like it’s me being overly sensitive, or that it’s all in my head.
We have a long distance relationship, as she works in various locations for her media “job” (that doesn’t pay the bills and involves plenty of cocaine). For months at a time, she will refuse phone calls or video chats, and only respond to my texts with emojis or one word responses every few days. She always blames it on being “busy” or “stressed” or that her internet or phone aren’t working. But the fact of the matter is that for months at a time, she’s not at all accessible. She’s even admitted that she doesn’t always even read the texts I send, because she “gets texts from so many people.”
She hasn’t completely disappeared, but she’s not there, you know? She does JUST enough to be able to vehemently insist that she hasn’t disappeared on me when I try to confront her. And then she twists it around and I end up feeling needy, or demanding, or insecure for wanting to talk to her on a regular basis.
When I try to confront her on emotionally disappearing from the relationship and purposefully putting herself out of reach of communication, she blows up at me and accuses me of needing constant reassurance. All I am asking for is a couple of conversations a week. I’m not being demanding.
Yet I always seem to be the one to back down and apologize and promise to work on my insecurity issues.
She also tries to prevent me from breaking up with her by saying, “I’m the one who has to worry about getting a text message from you out of the blue, breaking up with me!” I have broken up with her in an e-mail before, during one of these “disappearances” because it was the only way to reach her. I felt guilty about doing that, and she knows this. So she stirs up my guilt to try to keep me from doing it again.
The thing is, I actually have a pretty decent support structure built. I have good friends, and we mutually support one another. I can rely on them, and they know they can rely on me. It’s only when I try to include her in my emotional support structure that my life becomes unstable and disrupted.
I really want to break up with her and move on, but she’s currently not accessible again because her (brand new!) phone supposedly isn’t working, and she supposedly can’t find an internet connection in Mallorca where she’s been working for the past month. But since she’s out of reach again, it would have to be in the form of a text. And guilt keeps preventing me from doing that. Why can’t I just send the text and get this toxic person out of my life, once and for all?? I know I would be MUCH happier without her!
Tess, you are not alone. My ex-girlfriend did this exact same thing. Disappears for days and weeks on end, goes on vacation during that time, completely ignores me… It’s hard. I was with her for 4 years, helped her all the time, had a ton of fun. Then I started helping her financially without her ever asking. Dude, I got played. I helped her get a new job that paid her substantially more than she made… Hasn’t made time for me since. Narcissists aren’t able to be helped. I’m telling you, run, who cares how long you were together, who cares how you do it, just run. If she won’t make time for her, you don’t owe her anything. My ex destroyed me until I figured it out. Since then Ive met the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. You don’t think anyone else will “love you” what your gf is giving you is disrespect, nowhere near love. I’m glad to help you if you’re still in that situation.
I am currently going through this.. luckily i have only been with the guy for 3 months which have been nothing but up and downs! he has lied left me put me down and then left me and i finished him twice which he managed to worm his way back and like a fool i let him! then he said he was in love with me and he doesnt wanna loose me, i met all his family and thought we was happy then he caused an argument and left me and finished with me! ive not heard anything since!
This was a great read. This method is also used by those who withhold affection or financial means to keep their partner in a loop of anxiety and unmet needs.
has he responded to u
It was 3 months for me too. It turned my life upside down though. Love bombing for 1,5 month, messages all day and night long, make me feel special, the most desirable person in the world, a princess. As soon as he knew instictively he won me, he started to play with me. Begging to see me, arranging dates which he was then cancelling, or never confirmed. For example we arranged to meet at 10 (because by no means I could earlier) and then at 9.30 he was messaging me : “baby can we meet now” ? While he knew I couldn’t. Then we agreed at 11.00 and he was disappearing I couldn’t find him anywhere. Another time we arranged to meet on Friday evening and expect his confirmation, while he disappered for 3 days telling me afterwards he was busy with work and he did not informed me because he fell asleep! For 3 days! When I withdrew due to his behaviour, he love bombed me again, so I was thinking that it was my mistake and I was too sensitive. You have to keep in mind that I was not clingy or something, but I demanded respect, and his actions didn’t show any respect. I told him once that if he was bored to go out with me, he could let me know, there wasn’t any problem from my side, but not keep me hanging on. Deaf ears, Then he started asking me out like “can we meet right now??” while he knew I couldn’t. And then blame me, like telling me, “whenever I ask you out you can’t make it, what is happening” ? He wasn’t able to make any plans while he knew from the beggining that I could not leave my job to meet him or leave my children alone to meet him! I blamed my self, that I did something wrong and he swift his energy away. I asked him to stop our “relationship” and keep no hard feelings, he drew me back. Then our relationship became intimate, the worst thing ever, he was a completely different person, cold, cruel, indifferent, aloof, an empty body with blanc stare, I felt like a toy, an object I felt bad about myself, dirty and unwanted. No intimacy, no cuddling, nothing. I thought he was punishing me for asking him to interrupt our relationship. Afterwards he sent me one or two messages, I replied and then he gave me silent treatment which I immediately gave him back! I was dying inside, because I thought I did something wrong, I wasn’t lovable, how was it possible to chase me like that, make me fall for him, and then suddently treat me like a garbage? It should have been me doing something wrong, there was no other explanation. If he didn’t want me why he drew me back, for sex? He could have have it from the beggining without acting like that! I wanted to reach out at him, ask what happened, but his behaviour made me mad and I kept telling myself that if he thought I was a garbage then he didn’t deserve my attention. Because i believe that is what he wanted, my attention. He wanted to treat me badly and then me to beg him for explanation, to make him feel superior. No, even though it was a hell inside me, I couldn’t give him this satisfaction. 5 months now I am still struggling because I could not go no contact, we still meet, I can not avoid that, but just say hello when we bump into each other, which we both avoid. But do you know something? Although I never ever asked him anything, he is hiding from me and he is acting like he is totaly uncomfortable when i am around, especially when I am with friends having a good time. This is something that satisfies me, because the more he acts like that, the more I believe he is like an immature child who wants an intimate partner to boost his ego which is something I am not. There were signs from the beggining that something was wrong, he was telling me “I want to mess with your mind, to make you crazy to show me that you care” but I thought it was a joke. Then he tried to control what I was wearing, “Why you are dressed like this and not like that ?” Then he always called me baby, not with my name, only one time as I can recall. Because I was unpersonified, not a human being, but an object like other objects. Let alone, he could confuse the names so perhaps he was texting to many other girls the same time. Anyway, I am on therapy know, trying to solve my problems, like why was I involved with him in the first place ? I discovered I am a codependent, dealing with persons with narcissistic trates all my life. Be strong, nobody that wasn’t in our position could understand what we went through !
Excellent, so clear to the ones who see it from the outside!!
Should one insist to a friend who is totally blind and doesn’t want to hear a word about this, that they are going through such process (and it’s not the first time!)?
Or should they be left to experience all over again and maybe someday learn by themselves?
Should we tell them about how the process of codependents works even if they can’t see it, just so they can take a shortcut when they finally start accepting reality?
Thanks, thanks, and thanks again!
Amazing how these narcs seem to all follow the same BS playbook…. I went through two years of the cell phone game, triangulation, disappearing act …etc… etc… Finally, four months ago, I came across an article on narcs and realized what I was dealing with… I wanted to vomit. I work with the narc – and a cray-cray woman he used for triangulation… a nightmare.
Savannah, your articles are invaluable – definitely a life saver. Anyone who hasn’t experienced a narc has no idea… I tried to explain it to friends – but they really don’t understand.
I’m also learning about my own codependency and taking steps to change that behavior.. I’m getting stronger every day… thank you 🙂
My N was the perfect man for a few weeks after we met then started on the second phase, putting me down, belittling me, cursing at me and even insulting me. Nothing I did was right…. It was a real roller coaster relationship with days of silent treatment after which he got furious if I asked about it or mentioned we should have healthier ways of conflict resolution.
I got enough of his mind games and manipulation.
The last time he gave me the silent treatment for days gave me the opportunity to look up narcissism.
He fits the personality disorder to a T
I decided to end it before he got to phase 3….I feel so empowered because I was strong enough to end it and initiate no contact.
I cannot describe how relieved I feel.
I came to realise my husband was a N about 5 years ago.. after our first child was born he couldn’t handle not having my undivided attention. For 10 years I’ve put up with him telling me all our relationship woes are my fault. He disappears all the time as he travels for work, but for the last two years he’s been going away to the U.S for at least 1 to 2 weeks every month without hardly any business in the diary (I’m based in UK), he is v successful at what he does and uses a pseudonym also, then I just found out from someone he’s been having an affair for the last 2 years, and leads a double life, he’s quite openly with her when he’s over there. So it sounds like he ticks all the boxes.. I knew something was amiss and have been questioning him all this time and even until last week he still denied it. He is now in Bali and has taken her on an exotic holiday, but still denying it saying he’s on his own and is working. (He’s never taken me anywhere like this). But I’m now in the discard phase and he is wanting to seperate saying he’s told me over and over why he’s not happy yet I haven’t tried to change. I know it’s for the best, and although feel angry, betrayed, humiliated and sad for our children and the rest of it I know I have to see it through and that it’s a blessing in disguise… I read your site every night currently to keep strong and resilient while I look into getting a divorce…
Your husband and my husband could totally “Bro Out” together as they sound like the exact same person.
Be strong Mama!
I wonder how you are doing a year on from this. Your story is remarkably similar to mine. I just pressed the button on the email telling him that it is over. I feel so upset and guilty but feel I don’t have a choice. Is there light at the end of tunnel out there?
I was only with him for 7 months so we never lived together so im not sure how to handle this
Hello so i need some insight becausr im not to sure if my boyfriend is a narcissit amd if i need to leave…the beginning was great filled with everything a woman wants…then he started to become paranoid accusing me of dumb things would call me out say im lieing and be mean…i undrtstamd its ok to be worried but not act out yph got tp have some trust…but some things made no semse then the next day he would be fine…very weird…he hated my kids father too would say hes controlling just every little thing i did or said he would overthink be paranoid he couldmt trust me…while on vacation i was soo stressed bevause we had to drive back home to make my daughters competition and i was afraid we weremt going to make it so i was freaking out i told him dont talk to me..he told me at the emd of the night hes not a doormat to be walked om all over and hr dont deserbe to be treated like hes some showfer that i just want his money to basically saying mean hurtful words…to brealing up with me ovet it…then takimh me back saying i must really love you…like he made it a huge deal…he would constantly male me feel like i had a bad flaw he dont derve this meanwhile he would give me shit…then i brought up how i felt about feeling neglected in the bedroom so i told him hoe i felt amd he basically didnt care said im gibing him crap im shitting on hom amd i wemt on and on …he said he ackknowledge my feelings and did care that its a shame i felt that way said were two differemt people…everything was something i did that to him was a huge deal then he acts soo mean says nasty things that has nothing to do with anything and makes me feel bad
I need to tell you my story to help those who are bound to the N control tactics. YOU need to protect yourself to the max! Sometimes i feel no one has ever experienced what i went through with my N husband who was also a raging alcoholic. Theres far too many incidences i cant tell all. But I will tell you the most important before you feel you cant get out. The first time he got me under his control was when he gave me an STD. I became a little more weary and that set off red flags. But i became stuck. I was with him for a year after that and had a child out of wedlock with him. I seperated from my N soon after our son was born due to his out of control drinking, smoking, and not providing for our child. 5 yrs later he came back into the picture said he cleaned up and wants a relationship with me again and is willing to provide and marry me. 5 more years into our marriage he remained the same: drinking, smoking, abandonment. His lies kept repeating itself. I became a doormat walking on eggshells trying hard not to make him mad so he wouldnt leave. He finally hit me left bruises and a domestic violence case was opened. We filed for divorce but reconciled and dropped the proceedings. He said he would change and take AA. Months later there were NO changes. I thought my kindess was enough to change him. His abandonment continued and he would make me feel apprehensive by leaving me so my anger and anxiety skyrocketed that i texted him bad things to get his attention that landed me in 5150. He pushed my buttons so far i did anything to get his attention even if what i said in text wasn’t intentional or carried out. But he called the cops on me and they drove me to the mental ward. I was released 10 hrs later after 2 psychiatrist evaluated me. I wasnt insane so they let me go. I learned my lesson and never to send nasty text messages or lash out because you will be along side of the N. A year passed after those major issues i learned to adjust and educate myself. I didnt want to lose my kids to CPS because i get angry with my N husband. I never used substances or drugs. I was working and enrolled as a full time student. I took Al-Anon meetings and met with a professional therapist. I went to church and got biblical counseling. I did everything to ensure myself from my N husbands destruction. Unfortunately im still stuck and figuring out what my best option to break free from these chains. My N husband hasnt changed after 15 yrs. I just want to warn those who are victims to please control your actions and dont act out on his behavior. Remove yourself calmly and walk away. as fast as you can. Seek help immediately. As for me im going to do all i can to give my troubles to my higher power and work patiently on myself to get me trough this with my children by my side.
I had a 22 months relationship with a narcissistic. I didn’t realise that until after reading your blog. He had left 4 times, the first 2 times he didn’t come home for the night. The 3rd time 3 weeks and moved out some of his stuff. This 4th time one week now and moved out all of his stuff. We had planed to go Christmas camping but he didn’t care. He just left after I had told him that he was trying to control my life :how I exercise how I treat my dog and who I can’t see or get help from. Instead of spending time with me he posted on his fb that he had gone to the bush and will be back on 3rd. I went through the 3 phases and he swept me off my ft and he moved in about 2 weeks later. He started attacking my behaviour in the devaluing phase and it’s always my fault. I can’t talk with him sensibly as he would often stand up and walked away in the middle of the conversation (if he felt cobfronted) or would burst out into a rage. I had used the term of roller coaster high and low emotions to describe my own feelings before I read your blog, of course not realising that I am dealing with a narcissistic and probably a pro too. He texted to say that he would see me in the new year. HELP ME! I want to stop myself seeing him and yet I am longing to have him back.
My situation is the exact same as yours!!! Everything you have described is what he does to me. It is very exhausting but I do love him; however I am at the point where I cant involve myself intimately with him anymore. I do want to be his friend but I cant trust him enough to be my lover. We live together and I do accept these games he plays but I cant allow myself to get hurt, so I am standing back. I am observing his behavior and I am coming to terms with the possibilities that things may never change. His behavior is effecting my mental health and has pushed me to the limit to preserve my sanity. Love does fade, mine is fading and he is making it happen. If he doesn’t change this will be a lesson learned.
This is very similar to my story. Mine has discarded me just before some very important events that we were involved in together, leaving me not only confused but having to deal with these events alone. I am struggling to get through each day but just have to as I have a son at home. I want him back and even miss him controlling me. What the hell is wrong with me? I haven’t many friends to talk to but the people I have tried to talk to about it, just don’t get it. Has yours been in touch?
These articles are literally saving my
life. Only been 3 nights since my N EX left for the (literally) 100th time in 3 years. I feel, for the first time, ok. Alive. Rejuvenated. But nonetheless full of anxiety. Bc lets face it… they always come back. I’ve gone hours, turned into days, turned into weeks… with not so much as a single inkling of contact. But they always strike back. Just like Star Wars! Only Star Wars is epic and grandiose and amazing. Not completely psychotic and self serving and sick. Rant over 🙂 wish me luck.
Thank you so much! I was told he was having Thanksgiving dinner with me and he was on his way. Its December 2 and still no contact. I am running away from this man as fast as I can. I refuse to have any communication with him. I only argue about things I care about. At this point I am no longer concerned. Wish me luck!
I started reading the narcissist posts a few weeks ago in desperation AGAIN trying to figure out why the disappearing act. I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years of this craziness and sad to say we’ve spent more time apart then together in our marriage. Me, like an idiot keep begging him to come back only to recieve more verbal abuse that I truly believed I could change with unconditional love and understanding. A complete delusion I must say and finally, after reading SAV posts am cutting all contact as he still continues to blame me believing I’m the one with a serious problem of anger CRAZY!! He honestly believes and blames me for the exact things he is doing. It doesn’t make sense and I finally realize it never ever change, so I’m done trying to figure it out. Definitely a crazy cycle that I now truly believe I can’t ever fix!! I, like many others, began to have serious health issues after the first couple disappearing acts, but continued even after being put in hospital once for a nervous breakdown and can you believe even though he had disappeared and one of “our” friends knew, he still didn’t even contact me to make sure I was ok. This is not of love its of a sick individual called a narcissist. Please leave and shut the door before you end up in a mental institution. I, thank God, have come to a place of enough is enough and hope those still in the crazy cycle will come to that place. No matter what you and I do, nothing will ever change and if it does it will only for a moment. Trust the writing and posts, learn from them and believe them. Save yourself, find your self again and believe you can. Find those friends and family you have lost through your relationship with your narcissist and lean on then to help get you through for there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Seek the light not the darkness of a narcissist marriage/relationship. After my hurt over and over again I have to be strong and close that door completely or I will go crazy. Every day is a new day, stay strong and think of anything other than your narcissist. Yes it’s an all day everyday chalange, but we must take this “healthy sane chalange”.
It’s truly mind boggling how these N morons blame you for the exact things that they do..WOW. When the N moron would do this to me I can honestly say that my jaw always dropped to the floor because he was SERIOUS..OMG so, so totally INSANE.
Since I’ve been away from that toxic piece of s–t I look back and have to laugh at all the times he blamed me for my actions. When I confronted him about this it of course infuriated him to no-end.
Please, please trust me when I say that you’re whole outlook on life will do a 180 when it finally dawns on you that he/she’s the sick SOB not you!! You can also look back and feel kind of sorry for them (in a small way). You know when my N SOB cheated on me I tried to warn the female but she went ballistic on me calling me a lier, etc. and the crazy part of that is I never met this CRAZY broad until I caught her with him. I can, in a minuscule way, understand why she might’ve felt this way about me. She listened to and believed all his lies about how wonderful he is and how terrible I am. ALL I could think of, good luck b–ch because you deserve each other. I honestly became immune to all his lies about me because the way I looked at it was, if you don’t know me and know that’s not me that he’s lieing about than I don’t want you in my life. At one time he tried to turn my daughter and her husband against me with his atrocious accusations and believe me these N morons are EXTREMELY good a manipulating other people in believing them because they’ve had their whole lives perfecting it.
They are looking for something that they will never find so stop trying to help them, fix them or think that they will change. Whatever they are searching for does not exist in you, in themselves or in another person. You will drive yourself crazy trying to please this person and just get caught up in their craziness. I think it is an extreme striving for their ideal of perfection and you become an extension of that. And it is an impossible dream. And you let them down. And then they blame you. It’s a cycle.
Why oh why did I think we could remain friends LOL.. This guy would demand I cook him dinners, serve his meal (cut the meat), basically cater to his every need. If I didn’t do it because i was tired or just didn’t want to be his MOMMY he’d say “she’d cook for me and suck my.. ” no remorse for the dozens of times he cheated on me. We had NO intimacy, no kissing, no SEX for MONTHS but.. he’d “allow” me to perform oral and guess what? I DID IT! He was so good at mind F8cking me…and I feel his his charm each and every time. He said, I changed.. well duh! what did you expect you never gave me any human contact…so now he’s MIA LOL and a small part of me feels the withdrawls like a drug but OMG I FEEL FREE… like I really don’t care! I’m angry with myself for thinking i could fix him, change him or just get him to actually love me but I’m ready to celebrate my freedom and start a new life of self love. Each and every one of you HELP me so much. knowing i’m not alone and the amount of support everyone provides. I hope we all can get through this together.. Thanks!
@noonesfool. #Tools and fools….. Gotta remember that!! 2 months, no contact, and he’s texting my sister saying, “i miss y’all, hope everyone’s ok”….. And here we go, right on schedule, 2 months after “kicking me to the curb” (his words). He didn’t see my sister or my niece ( we live together) that often because he was never at MY house. I know who the “y’all” is and”everyone” was fine, until he made contact. Now, I’m reliving it all again, the anger arises.. He’s getting no contact from me. He saw on her Facebook we were on vacation, and said he was jealous of the fun we were having. This fool won’t be back again because he’s bored with his current life. I feel sorry for the women he’s doing the same thing to, but, I’m out!
Before him I knew that if someone left your life, it was for good. With this guy it was different. The first time he did it, he reappeared again in several weeks. Then he did it again. I waited FOR MONTHS for him to call. It was a torture – every single night I waited. This continued for more then 6 months. I feel so stupid, so weak. I still can’t get over him. I can’t stop daydreaming about what I will say when we meet again… I am almost 30 yo, how can I be doing this to myself? He even told me he didn’t want a relationship. He knows what he is… I am in such a bad place right now. I feel so lonely, I feel like I will never get over him. What if I never do? Other guys have asked me out, but I can only think about him… Every day I get worse. Will this torture end?
Yep. I kinda agree with that. We mattered in the moment. # tools and fools
And I don’t think that means you matter, it means you’re a tool to facilitate someone else’s wellbeing at the expense of your your own…just my opinion
@noonesfool. yep, I suppose you are correct, we matter to N’s, while we’re filling their needs. I know I mattered for a minute when he was trying to have a normal relationship, but, over the 3 years we were together (when i continued coming back for more) the most I mattered was to fill his need, as this site says is the norm….
I disagree with one statement you made. I think again in my opinion that ppl matter very much to a Narcissist. EVEN more than they matter to somewhat normal folk. Without ppl there is no supply. No high. They need ppl. It just happens that who that person is doesn’t matter. They keep a collection of old Toys (ppl) on a virtual shelf. And look at the old discarded toys when they are desiring something new. Sometimes take an old one down to play with when times are slim. Think of a little kid. They throw an old toy in the corner of the closet. Forget about it. Occasionally when they rediscover it the remember they liked playing with it. At one time. Without the collection they would see themselves as nothing. And that would be intolerable to their ego. They want to be loved. Just can’t return it. So sad. But it seems to work for them.
The disappearing act imo comes from boredom. They need the high that comes from conquest whether it is an old one or a new one. Think of a video game with quests. Once you’ve completed the game reached “top” level there is a let down. NOW what? They go out in search of a new one to replace the old. But in the end there is always something lacking. Something not right. Sure they revisit the old game. But it’s STILL the old game. Never the same as the first play through. The level of excitement is just not the same. So the search begins again. Wash. Rinse Repeat. We are just games. None of it is real.
After reading up on this and your articles in particular, i realized, it’s NPD I was dealing with, yet, I went back, twice more, only to be kicked out again. He exhibited all the behaviors listed, except, I met his family, who loved me, and he certainly wasn’t needy…he clearly didn’t give a damn, even tho he said otherwise. Free at last. I feel good this time. Bottom line, actions speak louder than words, go with your gut feeling. If you feel you don’t matter, it’s because you don’t! No one matters to a person with NPD. They will always try to come back until they see you aren’t going to participate. Stay strong! You’re worth more, and they’re master manipulators, so don’t feel stupid for being fooled.
It is our duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. To find a voice for those without one. Well done Savannah. Please share if possible the details of this experiment you refer to – the electrically wired dog cages, so we can be a voice for them too.
Thanks for this Savannah. This is just what I needed to read. A year ago I found out my “disappearing” ex was in fact seeing someone else at the same time he was seeing me. After I confronted him about it, he chose to be with her instead. I didn’t see or hear from him for 9 months. Then all of a sudden, out of the blue he called me one night. He had broken up with the other girl about 2 months prior because he felt she was using him and they just weren’t right for each other.
He said he was calling me to apologize for what he did to me. He didn’t sound like he was ok, so I asked him what was wrong. He told me that he was so depressed and had serious anxiety. He said he felt so lonely and had no one to talk to. Feeling bad for him, I just couldn’t turn my back, despite what he did to me. So I offered to help him. I gave him books to read that had helped me in the past, I referred him to a psychologist, I was basically his shoulder to cry on for about 5 weeks. I told him to stay single until he was comfortable being alone, and only then would he be ready for a relationship. He seemed to understand. We went out a few times and he was calling me everyday.
Then, as I should have predicted, he suddenly stopped calling/talking to me. I haven’t heard from him in 4 months. I was bending over backwards to help him, even though he hurt me more than anyone ever has. He knew that. Yet he still disappeared into thin air again. Several weeks ago I saw a women driving his car, which I assume is his new girlfriend, and the reason for his most recent silence/disappearance.
He just could not stay single long enough to even straighten himself out. He had to rush right into another relationship. I don’t think I will ever hear from him again, but if I do, I will not be his soft place to fall. He used me because he had no one else to talk to, and then left me again. I was just starting to recover and feel normal again after what he did to me 9 months prior, and him calling me up and wanting to see me again just re-opened that wound I had worked so hard to heal. I feel like I took 3 steps forward and then two steps back. I am sad and depressed and feel like I am in a downward spiral again. How does one come back from being re-contacted and then re-abandoned? Any suggestions?
It’s so easy to see why others should leave a relationship but not so easy when it’s your child. My step-son has played the “disappearing act” twice now – we just started the second round. I’m not completely convinced that he is a narcissist. He’s 19 and seems to be trying to separate himself from his parents, which is normal. However, he suddenly stopped talking to both of us and wouldn’t tell anyone why. After two years my husband called him out of the blue and he answered. They were able to reconnect somewhat but now he is pulling away again.
It’s confusing for both of us (I have a brother who is NPD and I’m used to the silent treatment) because some of the things he says and does are narcissistic and selfish. Should my husband continue to reach out to him or leave him alone? Will he “grow out of it”? He is supposedly in counseling but it seems as if he’s just blaming his father for everything negative in his life. If that is truly what he believes then the counseling isn’t effective.
A bit of history: his father has put his heart and soul into his kids. I don’t consider him smothering – but he does ask if his son would like to go on trips with us, or camping, or out to dinner. If he says no, that is respected. The son has never given of himself to me, and not much to his father. He doesn’t call anyone in the family – they must contact him.
Looking back at his behavior over the years I think I see someone who was always reserved, refused to share emotions, never helped anyone, never shared his things. He was quiet though so he seems to be “a good kid”. My husband always says things like, “but you two were so close when he was young!” The truth is, I never “felt close” to him.
It is so much easier to write off an ex-boyfriend or husband – it is expected that people might have a marriage or relationship break up. But your CHILD? Should one walk away? At what point do you give up and say that nothing is possible in this relationship? Should you write your kid out of your life? How do you know, in fact, that they are a narc and not just trying to emancipate themselves?
I think some of these answers will come with time, but I’m losing hope.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Savannah, I’d really like your thoughts on this type of situation… HELP!
I am so grateful to have found this site. I am on day 2 of No Contact and sit here in my office praying he doesn’t come over.I took him back 4 to 9 times in 6 months. I have a degree in Psychology and I had the ahhh moment when i read the article about learned helplessness and how the N manages your behavior until you are compliant. His house I can see from my house so i bagged up all his clothes and took them back and left a note saying “don’t contact me ever, never ever, signed my name. no love no nothin This was the comment his x said to him about no contact after he got arrested for a sexual harassment charge with a graduate student. he repeated it to me saying all his relationships end with them hating him. I said they don’t hate you baby it’s your behavior . I forgive him the moment I see him so he knows he has me if he can just see and talk to me. I feel so much better to know why I was sad even when he was here and giving him his precious time and great sex. He is a visual artist and alcoholic and so talented and smart and knows he is a N. i was complaining i didn’t feel apart of his life, didn’t feel like he shared his thoughts and dreams and goals with me. I felt alone when he was right by my side on the phone triangulating me with fb. His response was he always feels lonely. So, he showed me a text from his father in Kenya begging to have word that he is ok. He hunted me down for almost a year I could not have accepted in my life a more difficult man. Kenyan Visual Artist alcoholic and young (32) talented good looking and self aware he is a N. No contact was my only choice as I was spiraling down from learned helplessness. thxs to Savannah and everyone
I was thrown out of my beautiful home by a Narc that was furious that I wanted to spend time with my daughter. He went so far as to bring ALL of my personal possessions to GOODWILL, filed for divorce and had his entire family send me hate emails. This blog gets me through the tears everyday. I feel for everyone that shares their story. I still have to make it through a divorce. NO contact for 6 weeks….never gets easier. I’ve been told hurting people hurt people, how TRUE.
It is so very empowering to block his phone #, delete all text messages, delete any email from him AND block his email address. Yes, I do have thoughts of anger & rage that sweep over me at times, as I construct a dialogue as to what I would say to him if he ever crossed my path. I will NOT ever go looking for him, but The Universe sometimes sends you opportunities to heal in strange mysterious ways. I’d say “NO, what you said & did is, was and never will be ok with me!! Get out of my presence!!” Anger is healthier than depression!!
I am constantly amazed by my exact life being described in your blogs Sav. I spent last weekend grieving over the good memories of the bad relationship. His daughter, grAndbaby, even his X-wife were very dear to me and the thought of not seeing or speaking to them breaks my heart.
My NAR doesn’t disappear per say, twice he has said ” you need to go” out of the blue and tossed me out. He knew my house was rented an I had NO WHERE to go. The last time this happened on a Sunday night, I had work the next day, trying to find which plastic bag he had thrown my clothes in. All this, and I had NO idea what I had done. Later he told me he thought I was putting money in my savings snd that he thought I might be planning on leaving. And I thought things wee going good up until I saw him let my horses loose and my belongings in the driveway . The big WHY of all this just eats me up. And I now know thanks to you Sav, is that there is no logical explanation for what the do during one of their moments.
This last EVENT has been more painful than most as he sends me pics of him and his very young girlfriend at the places we would go . Not sure what a 30 year sees in s 65 yr old man. Not sure what I see in him to make me so miserable !!!! I went through s divorce with my high school sweetheart after 22 yrs with 2 young children years ago that didn’t come CLOSE to hurting this long or this bad .
This is my narc ex’s favorite thing to do.
After almost two years, I reached my limit on June 2 when he crossed the one line I cannot forgive or allow in my life. I told him good luck, have a ball, glad he’s got everything he wants in life, including WHO he wants, but I was the one leaving this time.
Haven’t heard a word since. Next week will be four months since I’ve seen him and a month since contact. I think I’ve finally made him mad enough by turning down his requests for random sex, by telling him his recent choice was the entire reason I was done, and by cutting off his supply in me. I must be right – not a peep.
It hurts, I cry daily, I try and shore myself up by reminding myself why this is happening. But it doesn’t help. I will be grateful for the day when this doesn’t hurt every second of the day.
My narcissistic husband never leaves me- PHYSICALLY. Instead, He will spend days acting as I don’t exist while living in the same house and sleeping in the same bed…. I used to worry and beg, now I just stay out of his way and do my best to not provoke his wrath… Walking on eggshells
I love your articles and your readers who write in. Your articles are educational and focused. Your readers help me when I am berating myself for having stayed so long. I just want to say to Kit that what happened to the dog is over. Let the poor dog’s pain help you. I have two labs. They are my family now.
Once again – right on comments! My Narc husband believed that he should be a pro-football player so he left for a tryout but wouldn’t tell me where or for how long he would gone – or even how to pay for it! He said he wouldn’t tell me because I wasn’t supportive of his dream. I never said anything – just wanted to know how we were going to pay for it! When he left for good he wouldn’t tell me where he was going and these were the days of no cell phones. He said he would “look me up in 25 years” and maybe we would get together again! When I served him the divorce papers at his parent’s house 3 months after he left he finally contacted me…..to yell at me about how dare I ruin his birthday and why was I divorcing him!?!? Guess what? He came back – not 25 years later – but 35 years!! Stayed for a couple years as a friend but realized I wouldn’t have an affair with him and is now gone for good. Can’t make these stories up! And….not only that, he even self published a book about himself and his life and INCLUDED all of this crazy behavior from his younger days and with me, his first wife. However, it all made sense to him and he could even justify it!! Right there on Amazon.com. There are many copies of the book left because there wasn’t anyone except himself who wanted to read it. All the craziness that we think we deserve! Thanks for the reminder to keep my issues a priority and not to keep trying to fix him!
Still picking up the pieces and healing from a 5 year relationship with my once perceived soulmate now ex-narc. I am currently 1 year no contact and this post has helped me to peel back another layer of cognitive dissonance.
My ex was an expert at cultivating learned helplessness through brutal cycles of blissful intimacy, new experiences and sex followed by unpredictable stints of the silent treatment, with drawl of affection and emotional indifference. The first couple years of our relationship were so painful and confusing…but still I stayed ignoring my intuition and awaiting the next euphoric phase of the abuse cycle. (Damn it was an amazing high tho.)
I convinced myself that this was how normal and mature relationships were. According to my ex, “This was my issue”. I just needed to cope with my own insecurities and toughen up.
Of course… with a little (hmm? extensive) post discard education, I now know that this was intentional conditioning. It not only managed down my expectations of the relationship but also perfectly executed learned helplessness. My ex was pretty proud of himself. It kept me committed and loyal to the relationship three years longer than it should have.
My first year of no contact has been the most challenging, emotional recovery of my life. Every day requires a conscious commitment to healing my heart, strengthening my mind, connecting with my soul and stepping outside of this mess in a new way.
Sav- I am so grateful for your work. Your gifts of wisdom and insights on emotional abuse and co-dependency recovery are incredible resources. Thank you for continuing to inspire me (and so many others) through your writing.
It’s been a while since I’ve written in but I have some somatic narc gossip to share.
Years ago I was depressed upon being discarded for new supply by this somatic d-bag, but in the interim, his ‘new’ supply and he have broken up multiple times (don’t know if they are together or not, as I refuse to look) and on top of this, I came to learn he has a Hot or Not account. Yes, a 39 yr old man with a Hot or Not acct.
So keep this in mind: at one time, he professed his undying ‘love’ for this new girl (who left her marriage for him and has 2 small infants), and if they are still together then he is using her for a place of residence and she also has to contend with his Hot or Not acct.
Yes. She ‘won’ him, but this is what she has won. An arrogant, non-committed man child mooch who needs endless praise about his looks. (Which is the only thing going for him.)
I also noticed, in relation to this article, the patterns this guy had, where he’d only take jobs that were owned by national chains, thus allowing him to up and transfer should he meet someone else. All his jobs involve travel.
When I met him he claimed to be an engineer making 100K a yr but he’s actually only a high school graduate working as a truck driver with a history of incarceration and a registered sex offense to his name.
Being with a guy who is constantly connected to his phone at all times and sharing photos of himself with random women for ‘ratings’ is pretty much akin to being with no one at all.
In the years since my interaction with this idiot, he has not changed at all. These guys are pathological and do not change.
My narcissist broke up with me after 6 1/2 years without warning this past February. We were playing scrabble and chatting (with the normal amount of tension that was between us, me watching what I say, etc.) then the conversation turned to him coming over in a couple of days to watch the Oscar ceremony, like we did every year. What I would make for dinner, etc. He got mad because I didn’t want to make burgers, was looking to be more healthy and wanted to make a nice skinless chicken dinner with lots of veggies. When he went on and on, I stopped talking, and I finally said “uh huh” I think and he went ballistic. Saying I was being disrespectful, etc. He went from 0 to 120 in no time on the anger meter. Then he abruptly got up and left and said something like “I’m done”. I didn’t hear from him for a month, when he needed me to help him with something. I asked him why he was asking me to help him since he broke up with me, his answer was “well I don’t hate you”. Complete bull right? Like a dumb ass I helped him. Must have rocks in my head. Anyway, after I helped him, I reminded him that our facebook status still says we are in a relationship. He then went crazy and said he was aware of this and that I could do whatever I wanted on my end. He would take care of it when he got ready. Well, on my end I figured out how to hide this from the rest of my friends without actually breaking up with him. But on his end it still shows, to everyone mind you, that we are in a relationship. This seems incredible to me. The only reason I feel that he is doing this is so that I will finally break up with him publicly, and he can then do the “poor me” routine, to make everybody feel sorry for him. Or just in case he “needs” me again. I don’t know why. But I found out that after he initially left me, there was some else he was interested in, but that did not pan out. Now he’s moved on to somebody else and here is my dilemna: My ex, the narcissist, confided a bunch of stuff to me over the course of our relationship. Like I was his priest or therapist or something. Some criminal things mind you. One of the criminal thing stands out, he molested someone that was under the influence after she passed out on their first date. He swears she didn’t know and then he proceeded to date her for several months after. He then had the nerve to point this person he molested out to me at a party! I was incredulous. How dare he do such a thing to someone first of all, then have the nerve to tell me. Then point her out. Mind you, this was some 25 years ago that this thing happened. He has been sober for 27 years, so he was sober when this happened. But as I said, she was not. He told me in a way as if to say “I can’t believe that i got away with that”, but absolutely no remorse what so ever. Makes me sick. And I feel sick to have stayed with him, I have told no one about this. My ex told me this about 1 3/4 years ago at which time, I ceased having sex with him, so our breakup was inevitable. Although I did not tell him I was repulsed by him, he did not know why I wouldn’t. I just stopped coming over to his house and would only meet him places, or he would come to my house. We even did couples therapy, which was a joke. He has told me other equally repulsive and horrible stuff, but nothing so detailed. So back to my dilemna, He is now dating someone who is a friend of the person he molested. She also has a young teenage daughter and I’ve watched him leer at young girls and also say stuff about them. This worries me. Should I inform any of these people about what I know? As a warning? Anyone out there with any input is appreciated.
You and I have spoken and you have really helped me. I am still struggling with the fact that my husband of 35 years came and went four times and finally, left and stopped talking to me about a year ago. Why did I take him back? Why did I think things would end differently than they did? Why did I take this treatment? And why is the silent treatment so damaging and so difficult, even now? Yes, I do think some of it was conditioning and lowering my esteem and expectations. Some of it was not wanting to leave that comfortable (not really) life. Some of it was a competition to win him away from the other woman. Some of it was just a deep attachment because I am real. My love was real. My feeling were real. I still think of contacting him but I haven’t done it.
Poor dog. I can’t believe that study was conducted let alone even published! It’s actually sadistic.
Senait: I agree, but that’s what they used to do back in the day. I’m sure experiments like it are still performed to some extent today. Researchers learn about human behavior by studying the behavior of other mammals.
Savannah- Thank you so much for presenting learned helplessness in a way I could understand. I have heard of it before but it didn’t really click until you gave the illustration of the dog. That is exactly how I was conditioned by him. When I did something he didn’t like…ZAP! I got the shock of his rejection. Question him about his whereabouts for the past nine days and ZAP! another shock, gaslighting, telling me I am suspicious and crazy. I am that dog! I just sit there and that it. I am so used to this mess that is all about HIM and about what HE wants. It is all making sense now. Thank you.
Dear Savannah, I have been reading your posts for over 2 years now and the words Thank You are not enough to express my gratitude for you single handedly saving me from this dancing with death! Being raised by an N mother and no father figure, my relationships have been mostly painful and confusing my whole life. You have the talent and wisdom to lay out the map and the dictionary to my problems and thus I am finally able to take charge. What a magnificent feeling it was to throw my N out of my home and turn on ” No response” mode!
He was 19 years older than me, half a million $ on his account. He was renting his home in Florida for significant sum while living in my home, never giving me a dime for a single bill. I was then a single mother. When he bought a house in my area, he gave me a written contract for me and my 8 year old daughter to move in. I was to pay him 200 dollars more than his mortgage payment and keep different strict rules. For example : could not run the heat over 65 degrees, never leave a dish in the sink over night, etc.
I remember holding that paper and realizing the level of disrespect I allow him to dare on me.
That’s when I discovered your angel line and my brain just connected everything instantly! I threw him out and never looked back in spite of his effort to hook me again. He was and is everything you describe here: multiple email accounts, bumerang style and a harem of souls I feel so much pity for.
Now I have a new problem. I have met a healthy truly good man whom I have officially accepted into mine and my daughter’s life, but internally I struggle with the lasting wounds you are describing here. I hate the shadow the N left behind and that is haunting my self esteem and confidence. I struggle to take a nice compliment, I struggle to believe a good and handsome man when he tells me he loves me and my daughter forever.
We have to be very diligent to keep on praying, learning and healing. Knowing this was a long path that got us to this point and itchy be a lifetime fight to overcome it.
I will keep reading your blog therefore and thank you for saving me from dark dark night, as I was so close to move into the Narc’s house.
I encourage all of you out there to have the courage to get rid of your toxic situations! Life is short and you are beings of light who deserve love.
Savannah, thank you so much!
It’s happened 3 times with me!! How can one smart, successful business woman fall for this again??? Most all of the above paragraphs fit this narc to a “tee”. He is,and has been involved with a lady that lives about 45 miles away, that I’m positive she thinks he loves her. All the while, seeing me, saying all the right things. This last time was enough!! I have blocked his number from my phone, and have no doubt, I will not put myself in that position ever again. This post today was exactly what I needed!!
Thank u Savannah for this post. I am 3 yrs 9 months into this w him. I am now on FIVE prescribed medications for PTSD, anxiety, depression, a muscle relaxer for my hips that is where my stress goes as a sprinter and being runner my whole life and an arthritis medication at 42 years old. I divorced a wonderful spise for him. I have a Masters degree in educational psychology and a mother that is just like him. I was prepared for NONE of this in my life. I’ve always done the right thing, risen to struggles and challenges and even did infertility and IVF treatment to have my two daughters w my wonderful ex husband. STILL I feel for this in my life. Please keep educating people on this. I am now hoping to get my PsyD. And work w trauma counseling for people and have an emphasis on Forensic Psychology. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. One that in the very long run after the pain and learning helps one get to their truly self worth and purpose in the world. To everyone who is struggling with this: YOU ARE STRONGER THAN U KNOW. Stay safe and climb out of the depths from this because those who love U, need U. I was suicidal due to this and I’m telling u, u must fight thru it for yourself and their who would be deviated if you aren’t here. XOXO.
I love animals. We all know animal cruelty exists and I help them when I can. However I don’t seek out material to read about it. Now I can’t unsee this image you conjured, which was done to make your point but at what expense. I loved your site and it helped me in the past, but if this is the material I’ll be encountering I won’t be reading it anymore.
Kit: I’m not even sure how to respond to this. I love animals too. You know I didn’t perform the experiment, right? I hope that was clear and it was done in the late 70’s or 80’s when people used to do these types of things. I used it to illustrate a point – not to upset anyone. Yikes.
If you blame the messenger and can’t separate from the person who preformed the act, than you have a long way to go…… and thats ok, just recognize it….
Dancing for 23years ~ the last dance is over, and I am left quite a wreck. But… I will rise and never dance that dance again, and never let him back in the door again. Still grieving the lost years and love I gave but I am so wise now lol feels good and I’m finally free because I can finally see.
Thank you so much what a great post iam one of those people who did the dance but i finally stopped after reading your posts you made me realize my worth.
I am currently in the disappearing act now. He came back around once via phone calls and texts messages while with another woman. Of course he said all the right things so I thought maybe it was different. I was wrong. It’s been almost 4 months since we spoke this time. I am hoping it’s the start to forever. He always comes back around. I’ve been here many times, but I’m hoping with all I learned to not fall for it again. The fear of him coming back around and having to tell him to go scares the crappie out of me. I’m getting tired of being scared.
Once again I read Sav’s post and it gets me thinking…..
Is it possible to be a Co Dependent Narcissist to another Narcissist?
I’ve realised that I’ve displayed the disappearing act (but I did tell the person from whom I was taking time out why I was doing it)… so she (my Narcissist “friend”) was aware of why I was leaving the relationship. BUT I did then reappear and expect to take up where we left off.
I know overthinking can be a problem for me, but I’m just wondering whether maybe I should be shouldering some of the “blame” in my Narc experience.
To close I should say that Ive been “no contact” for three months now, and I don’t want to “get back into the water” but it’s still not easy….. but as ,”I don’t care” it should be ok.
Thanks again for your board…. it’s a lifesaver.