To have a strategy is to have a plan. A map that clearly indicates how one gets from point A to point B. The majority of people don’t have a strategy for their lives. They go about their business and take each day as it comes.
The most successful people create maps for their lives, because a map tells them where they’re going and the steps they need to take to get there. The map is the most direct path to where you want to be. It’s important to have a strategy for the big picture and for the little steps in between.
People that are involved with emotional manipulators need to have strategies in place, because codependency is a reactionary disease. What I mean by that is that the emotional responses of codependents are dysfunctional. As adults they are still using the same maladaptive coping mechanisms learned in childhood, so the wounded child is reacting to adult situations.
Some people withdraw and hide when they are hurt. Some cling, play victim or cry. Some become defiant and rebellious and lash out. Either way, none of these are healthy adult behaviors.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to learn healthier ways to cope when we are faced with difficult emotional situations. The way to do that is to have a strategy in place so that we already know how we want to react, instead of letting the wounded child react in the emotionally charged moment.
Creating A Strategy
We need short term strategies in situations where we know we can’t trust ourselves to control our behavior and also in areas where we have not learned how to have proper boundaries. A strategy in this instance means that when we are in a more positive emotional state, we create the mode of behavior that we would like to exhibit when we are faced in a emotional situation.
When a Narcissist relationship ends there is a chance that they will make contact somewhere down the road. This is a dangerous occurance to a codependent because by the time they make contact much of the anger has left us and we’re more prone to be missing them and wishing they’d come back, so the better chance they have of worming their way back into our lives.
No Contact: They haven’t made contact in two weeks and you’re sticking to your guns and then suddenly your phone goes off. It’s them. Your heart is beating fast, you’ve got butterflies and you feel nervous and excited all at once. The codependent self is so relieved and wants to pick up or respond to that text message. But you know you shouldn’t. There’s a tug of war going on inside of you.
If you’ve decided to go no contact it’s because your partner has treated you in a cruel and disrespectful manner. It’s because you’re tired of being hurt and confused all the time. So you’ve made the decision to respect yourself and get out of this. But now that time has gone by you’re starting to weaken.
In this scenario a codependent needs to have a plan in place before they feel themselves weaken. Create the picture of how you want to react beforehand, so that it is your go to behavior, instead of scrambling around in the moment and acting out of emotion. Be prepared for any contact they may make, be it via text, phone call, email or face to face.
If they text – I’m not going to read it and I’m not going to respond.
If they call or email – I’m not going answer or respond and I’m not going to listen to/read their message.
If they show up at your door – Pretend you are not in and don’t answer the door, or speak through the door and tell them to leave or you’ll call the police.
If you see them out socially – Avoid them, leave, or nod to acknowledge them and engage no further. Then go about your evening.
Find a way to make yourself accountable so that you will honor your commitment to moving on. Ask your friends for help or even give yourself a mandate that you will wait 24 hours before you respond. In that 24 hours the emotional charge of the contact will have lessened and will probably have turned to anger that they would have dared contact you. That’s where we want to be – so implement the 24 hour rule on all contact and in that time find every reason not to.
Relationship Boundaries: When you are in a relationship you should always know where your line in the sand is. Cheating for most people is a line. Pathological lying is another. Not pulling their weight or squandering funds is another. Being abused, being humiliated or talked down to is another. Healthy people have a point of no return for certain behaviors they deem unacceptable in relationships. Because codependents were never taught boundaries, emotional manipulators are able to run roughshod over any protest or concern their partners may voice.
When singer Gwen Stefani discovered husband, Gavin Rossdale had been having an affair with their nanny, she made the difficult decision to end her marriage. She didn’t doubt what was happening. She didn’t give him 50 chances, she didn’t blame herself. She realized he had crossed the line and that there was no going back. He betrayed her and could no longer be trusted. Did it hurt her? Take a listen to her song Used to Love You, where she says, “Never thought this would happen. I’ll let it sink in, you’re gone…You thought there were no boundaries. You just pushed me too far. I guess nobody taught you how to love.”
Most people are desperately hurt when they go through something painful like that, but the difference between people with a healthy self-image and a codependent is that healthy people will arrive at anger a lot quicker, they’ll become indignant and will ask, how could you? Instead of, why her and not me?
They will respect themselves enough to walk away from someone that didn’t respect them. Later in her song Stefani says, “You know I was the best thing that ever happened to you. Now look at what you lost.” Healthy people know their worth and know it isn’t dependent upon someone else’s ability to see it.
Healthy people have boundaries and if their partner breaks the rules of love then there are consequences. Every time you disregard your boundaries you are disregarding yourself. So as a codependent, once your line has been crossed you have to have a strategy in place to enforce the consequences, because most codependents have never even seen someone have to pay a price for hurting them.
If your mate is cheating and that’s one of your lines, then – it’s over. Know that the codependency will be trying to make you doubt, trying to make you feel sad and unlovable. It will push you to give in and go back, because it wants you to fail. So make sure you have your strategy in place before the scene plays out in front of you and you are just acting on emotion.
In sports athletes practice plays over and over and over again. They do this so that they don’t have to think they just react in the moment and that’s what this is about. When it’s time to leave don’t think, just react, make the play that you’ve been practicing and stop making rookie mistakes.
A codependent type behavior in these situations might be to respond to the text right away and quickly pretend that nothing has happened, or they might make plans to see them again, maybe even that night. They may hop right back into bed with the person. They might send an email to their ex to tell them all the ways in which they’ve hurt them, hoping for an apology or an acknowledgement of guilt. They may start a screaming match, or throw a drink in their face. None of these are healthy. Once you know your boundary has been crossed – you’re out and you deal with the hurt and the anger on your own. You don’t owe these people anything, but you do owe yourself the ability to conduct yourself in a mature and dignified manner.
Remember there is nothing they have to say that you need to hear. Their actions have spoken for them. They are not going to give you the closure that you need so you have to learn to deal with not having it from them. That’s all you need to understand. The why’s and the who’s don’t matter. You don’t need to figure out what’s wrong with them, so you can figure out a way to fix them. All you need to know is that people who purposely hurt and manipulate other people are sick. They do what they do, because there is something wrong with them. They are responsible for their behavior and you are responsible for yours, so make sure you have a plan ahead of time and stick to that plan.
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I have been married to my Narc for going on 17 years. He has crossed every boundary multiple times. I have been disturbingly codependent every single time. Unfortunately, I cannot go 100% no contact right now, but I am divorcing him. As soon as he moves out after the divorce I intend to go 100% no contact. I have been reading your blog for about two days now, but the journey I’m on started last year. I’ve finally begun learning to trust my intuition and have respect for myself with the help of a therapist. I’m really not too good yet at anticipating what boundaries need to be set beyond the obvious. I’ve been told this period will be the worst of our marriage. And it has been really rough. He begs me daily to reconsider, and there are lots of crying spells, and confessions and admissions of guilt. I hate those in particular. It doesn’t do any good to apologize if the behavior isn’t going to change. And I already know you were wrong. I don’t care why you made those choices (because they’re usually my fault in his opinion), but the confessions are the worst. When he starts clearing his conscience at my expense is truly the worst part of this. I just get up and leave when they start. I’m trying very hard to maintain my dignity and integrity – I don’t want to be nasty because it will make me feel terrible about myself later and become a seed of doubt my codependency will water and fertilize like crazy. I tell myself throughout the day that I’m strong enough and smart enough to do this. But I honestly don’t feel least of the time. Thank you for your blog.
I love this article, particularly the part about not trying to figure out what is wrong and fix them, but accept they are sick, they have hurt you and leave them. Thanks for sharing – I can’t tell you exactly how helpful this is
Thank you for explaining this difficult material in such a clear and inspiring way.
I’ve been reading your amazing blogs, posts for the last 40 days of no contact. Every new one I read gives me more peace. My narc was a close male friend. I did everything while he was tried to become an actor. We did EVERYTHING together (except thankfully-no sex) dancing, hiking, drinking, going to L.A. If I wasn’t with him we were on the phone. At first there were little things, silences for days at a time when he was at his parents’ house. When he was with me, it was constant cell phone use. He was constantly, texting, chatting. Or the week I didn’t hear from him because his phone was broken. He would wait till I wasn’t around to ask waitresses for their number and when they refused he would come crying to me! I had set boundaries that he couldn’t bring someone to the house and to do his girl chasing when he was at home. He was a big triangulator too with every girl he talked to when I was around. I’m a writer and there was this big party with all my other colleagues were going to be there. I warned him. An hour into the party I saw him on the side of the house kissing someone. I kicked him out of the house the next day. He even asked why were going to go to BJ’s as we had planned after the party! He had no clue! When he came back to get the rest of his clothes I had already changed the locks. He told me to F/O! I blocked his phone, and his e-mails and he called me to say the same. It’s been the hardest 40 days of my life. At 60 days I’m done. None of my friends want to hear this any more. Thank you for being here. I learned a lot about myself. Hearing your strong commitment to helping people is amazing. You are a fabulous, caring person. I’m sorry for your pain. I’ve noticed other connections in my life are abusive too. I will continue to read your powerful, inspirational advise. Thank you so much!
I have been on hundreds of websites, blogs and ANY form of info of Narcassists, emotional abusers, NPD, Borderline personality disorders, name it…..I have ordered books (which helped a lot) but this articles (and this one in particular hit home) so much so that I could not read it without stopping, then going back, because the truth hurts….everything is soooo true…..I think the worst part for me from walking away…is that I had NO emotional support from anybody, especially family who think you should “just get over it”….this is not a “NORMAL” break-up and you should allow yourself to grieve, and stop blaming yourself for taking them back a hundred of times, because at that point, I did not knew people like this existed….I educated myself, but I still am weak, and I still do what you mention…I guess I have a lot of work ahead, and it is a scary and lonely road with most people NOT UNDERSTANDING how emotionally this messes you up…I have not been in a relationship since my split which was more that 3 years ago…he continued pursuing me into his new relationship and I fell for it…and next weekend he is getting married….This will be tough…(we have a daughter together)…but make no mistake, I don’t want him back, I just miss the “fake persona” he pretended to be at the beginning…THANK YOU for this article!
Thanks to internet research and therapy and largely your website and blogs I AM OUT! I went No Contact today. I blocked my phone, made it so both her number and her grandmother’s number are blocked, unfriended her from facebook and told both my e-mails that her email is SPAM. I am going for 100% no contact. I felt so much peace yesterday when I had almost a whole day of NC but I was not sure if I should break up by telling her and making her think it was her idea. Then I realized she would still blame and shame me, even if I used her words “against” her. So I decided “cold turkey” is my safest route. I don’t believe she will contact my parents but she might. I am pretty sure my Mom will just play dumb. I don’t think she will try to harm me or them. She has a lot invested in her own life so I don’t think she will risk that. Plus me and my mom are 2.5 hour drive from her and she works all the time. In a few days I may give my Mom a head’s up that my Ex-Narc may try to contact her and to just ignore it. I would love feedback but it is hard to go back to the threads and find my comment. I will try. You have helped me so much. Savannah, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I read and read and will keep reading and I so wish I could have had all this understanding months ago. I really believed all her lies. Her lies to me were kinda subtle. I now know she plotted and planned and tricked me many times. Her lies were that she loved me. In our last encounter she blasted me with, “I want you, but I DON’T need you. That is a big difference.” She has also told me multiple times, “oh we wont be friends if we break up.” I knew in my gut I needed to just get OUT right then. That that was a threat, but it did not click. She also said: “If I break up with YOU, it is OVER. There are no second chances. That is IT.” I am pretty sure this was just to control me too. I see now that narcissists NEVER leave, they just go use someone else for a while. I had to escape. And I did. I feel so shitty now at all the manipulation. She knows how much she hurt me, and she is happy about it. She had a laughing “GOTCHA” look on her face multiple times when I would set a boundary. Especially after she crossed them AGAIN, and I was defending them. Oh she loved blowing past them again and again. She would only change after she had put me through intense punishment of a 9 hour silent treatment, going home from the movies by walking 10 feet in front of me, letting me walk home in the dark, ignoring me. After the worst sexual boundary violation she lost even more respect for me. And the silent rages got worse. I was frightened. I was afraid she would throw my belongings in the street or try to hit. I slept with grandma that night. In the morning she set her terms of how to get control back again. Would love feedback. I am 100% out and plan to do No Contact forever now. Only revenge is living well. Ha. I have my soul and she can’t hurt my soul or my self-esteem anymore. Indifference is key. Thank you, Savannah!!! And all who have posted. I know she may try to contact me in the future or in 10 years, but I plan to put measures in place and have my reactions written down so I don’t have to think. I already know how to act & protect myself. She is much better at this game than I am, so I am not a fool to think nothing about her will hurt me ever again, but to the best of my ability with my friends, family, this site, and therapist as support, I will not knowingly let her hurt me again, or put myself in her web or EVER be alone with her. Amen. Thy Will Be Done–God/dess!!!
Thank you Savannah ! I needed to hear the last paragraph of your posting. I’ve reread it 3x’s and printed it out. I have a sickness to ruminate the why’s and needed you to tell me that it doesn’t matter and that I don’t need to hear anything they have to say. I can’t fix it. I can’t fix them. I have No Contact on two men and it is difficult but absolutely necessary for my own mental health. They push my buttons, lie, deflect, gaslight, project, manipulate, take advantage of my kindness THEN have the audacity to say I’m psycho when I defend myself! I’m so sick of men who appear “normal” then after committing to a relationship for over a year their true evil colors appear. I’m refraining from dating for a long time and I’m 58 years old.
I work in the same place. His group relieves us 2-3 times a week. I (the person he said he was going to bring out of my shell) walk by with co-workers laughing and joking as he sits in his area. One night he stood up and was moving around trying to get people’s attention. I kept on with the conversation going on around me, laughing and having fun. One night, he was the person working my area after me. He asked me how I was doing and made some small talk about pictures on Facebook. I’d deleted him several days earlier. I just gave a half smile, nodded and said “Hmmm.” Then I walked out the door. When he first came in, I wanted to throw up, but I felt so much better afterwards. He looked shocked by my lack of response. It felt good not to feel obligated to be “nice.” I wasn’t rude…I just wasn’t “nice.”
I plan to continue this way. My co-worker/friend who was with me said “you did GREAT!!!!”
Ok I have only been NC for 4 days. My story is exactly 100% what is described in The Three Phases of A Narcissistic Relationship Cycle: Over-Evaluation, Devaluation, Discard. I read this and was floored. I just recently discovered I had been completely used and destroyed by a N female. We dated for almost a 1 year before the discard. I am highly depressed and working through this. However she just texted me and I did not respond. She sent me another text angry that I did not respond. I prayed for guidance and found this particlar topic about having a plan which was amazing. She has a new Bf that she is treating exactly like me during the first 6 months. It’s unbelieveable she gets so angry when I don’t text her back but has ignored tons of my prior texts.
Thank you for starting your blog. I have seen several blogs and web sites about Narcissists and yours is very helpful. I am certain many women do not understand they are with a narcissist as it took me over 5 years to figure it out. It still blows my mind that I was not smart enough to protect myself from this person. However, your ability to communicate these issues to others is very helpful. Thank you. We all can read all day and find comfort, but I think putting actions in place will help us move forward is vital. It is easy to stay stuck in misery vs fight our way out and away from these harmful relationships.
Love your blog… I’ve learned so much. Thank you!
I am a co dependent living with an N who says I need to stay out of his personal life! I hate the sick feeling in the stomach and chest all the time. I hate the lack of boundaries that I have been instilled with from an N father and a co dependent mother. THIS type of relationship is MY Normal, which is so very crazy. I have to break the cycle or I will be broken for the rest of my adult life with this narcissist man. Thank you for the articles, they keep me learning and also teach me how to express myself to my family in a way they can understand a bit because they are blown out of the water over what I accept from this man.
I have been in a mentally abusive relationship for almost 6 years. I cannot seem to stay angry. I a, a logical person and understand he is sick and cannot give me a healthy relationship. I stayed wanting and hoping he would change and commit. I now see he cant. he has left me 37 times to always come back. He usually lasts 2 months away. We go to the same gym, that is our only tie. At some point we will go knowing the other is there. We are good about not texting but at some point the anger fades and I place myself in that position. I haven’t been able to move on. I read your page for strength and to deal with my anxiety issue. I am a co dependent. I am the problem at this point. I know I will be harmed again if I go back. It has been a month no contact. I have been here 37 times now. I know the ending and the start by heart. It is up to me to protect myself. I just want to stay strong. Value myself. There is no explanation I need to hear. But I weaken. 🙁
I have been reading your articles for awhile. It’s like you write them with my life your thinking about. Well I quit reading for awhile cause he came back but he has been gone now for about a month. It’s like I’m just waiting for him to pop up anytime. I’m hoping he doesn’t. I am starting to read your articles more cause they do help me understand. I’m still not completely there but I know I will be. Thank you for everything. Your such a inspiration.
Gwen Stefani was dating Gavin Rossdale for 7 years before she married him. He was cheating on her throughout the whole 7 years but she always took him back. Just listen to her lyrics for the song BATHWATER. It clearly describes a codependant in love with a narcissist. She wrote many other similar songs while she was going through ups and downs with Gavin. I dont know how she finally got divorced. But I am glad she finally got some self esteem and moved on.
Savannah, every word you say here is the truth. I appreciate your sports analogies and your tough, clear-minded approach. Thank you for your articles!
I broke up with my fiancee 3 MONTHS ago. The hard part is we share a 2 year old son. We were together 3 years.
He proposed and I tried living with him multiple times. He is very successful and wealthy. A great dad to my youngest ,but terrible father to my eldest. (yelling, swearing, shouting , ordering, grabbing , demeaning). The hardest part is sharing a child now. I have to pick up my 2 year old son twice a week at his home. The feelings I get in my stomach and heart when I drive up his driveway are really hard. I am still in love with him and yet know he is terrible for my eldest son age 6. He was verbally abusive calling my eldest son retarded and a baby. I gave him many chances to get better and we went to marriage counseling many times. But under pressure it got worse and when He knew I was 100 percent committed it got worse? The odd part is he was incredible loyal, faithful, committed and made me feel more special then any man before. He owns a big house with a yard and that security I don’t have in my small apartment, on a tight budget. But I am trying to do the RIGHT THING for my kids, even if it means going into debt in court over trying to have a parenting plan and child support (attorney fees). He keeps saying “Give up court, live with me, and I will pay off your credit card bills “……I grew up in a home with a angry tyrant father and a mom who tried to even everything out. So trying to do this differently is hard. I don’t want to repeat the same pattern but have no road map. I lock my door, ignore all the times he stops by or has tried to break in. I did this for 2 months no contact and then he showed up to have dinner with me and my eldest son at a restaurant with our shared baby boy in tow. Normally you would not have to deal with this level of pressure. Some people say get a NO CONTACT order, but that is hard, because I think he is a good dad to our shared son. Thanks so much for your website and this above article you wrote, it is what keeps me feeling OKAY. Any advice you have is helpful right now.
Thank you ! Today I own that I am a codependent trained by a narc mother. Yikes ! I just could not allow myself to see it. Kept trying in all the wrong directions. Classic !!
So I will start making a plan that will really work to get me away from the creep in my life. The real plan will take some time since I have spent too much time in bad thinking habits. Time to do the work.
Articles like these keep reality in front of me. Your support is priceless.
I am very happy I read this, it describes the victim mentality very well!
My problem was seeing him prosper and achieving his business goals, while I cried myself to sleep every night because of the cruel discard. I saw him luring one girl after another, every single one of them very pretty. I felt like garbage for months.
I am still waiting for him to call me, but why? Because he took my power over my own thoughts and emotions and I feel I’ll get it back if he calls. Maybe he never will. But I have to understand that this is for my own good, because only through no contact I can regain my power again.
Thank you for pointing out that we shouldn’t try to understand them in order to fix them. Why fix them? Would they try fixing us? This is not love, this is about achieving a life goal – I have to have this man, because his unavailability puts him on an unreachable pedestal. And he knows it very well. Stupid assface, decides he is bored so he plays games with girls’ hearts. Agggrrrr I want to smash his head.
Karma always does it’s job. I just have to force myself to stop thinking about this turd from now on.
We think we are nice people and act so weak with the narcissists…its like handing over our power to them so easily. Its a slow process but it definitely gets better everyday as we reclaim our strength. I have regained my power back to a large extent..but articles like yours are essential to stay firm..
Brilliant stuff! The analogy with athletic training is very, very helpful. When I was playing competitive sports we used to talk about “game slippage” — the erosion of your reaction time and performance under the stress of an actual competitive game. The only way to compensate for game slippage is practice. And that’s just as true in my codependency as in sports.
So how do I train? Just like you say, Savannah, by putting a strategy in place and then executing it, over and over. For me, that means calling a trusted friend when I find myself being drawn into someone else’s drama. It means, just as you say, committing to wait 24 hours before responding to a request that might in some way test my boundaries (a favor for someone that will create a big burden, an extra project at work, etc.).
When I was early in NC with my xN, training meant keeping a list of her worst behaviors on my person at all times. When I was tempted to find an excuse to contact her (“oh, she would like that news story”, or “oh, I should send her news of this mutual friend,” etc.) I would consult the list first and that would remind me: NO! That list was my most important strategy tool.
As a true blue, dyed in the wool codependent, I still need these strategies. My instincts are to put others first, and buy into their story. Especially if their story casts me in the role of a bad person — selfish, unsympathetic, etc. This is the story my family of origin drilled into me. Other people who tap into it gain instant power over me: I feel guilty even when I have done nothing except take care of myself. Such as saying no to an unreasonable request. So I need strategies to help me remember to keep my own story front and center. The bottom line is to discipline myself to constantly ask “Is this good for me?” Sounds simple, but for me, not easy. And so, strategies like the ones you describe really help. In fact, they are essential. So, thanks for the reminder to keep using them!
Do you have any specific articles you have written on how to break free from codependency? How do we learn to do better for ourselves so we don’t keep repeating these relationships? Thank you!
This was spot on. Like you were writing it specifically for my life! Thank you!!!
Marcy mine did the same. I think you will find he isn’t stopping contact now because his experience is you always caved. Keep nc and he will eventually stop. It won’t last until one of you dies. He will stop once he decided you will never respond. Make take some time, mine did. That’s my experience any way. Hugs
Hi Sav. The relationship with the narsassist ended two years ago. Have been dating a really nice guy for a year. Problem is don’t know if it’s right for me. We never fight. The only kind of love that I have experienced is painful love. This isn’t painful. Is there something wrong with me. I should love this guy. He’s all the things I thought I wanted. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Hi Karen take a look at my post entitled Are you Mistaking Intensity for Intimacy. What you’re experiencing is very common from a Codependency perspective. You’re used to the high drama/ high intensity relationship you get from Narcissists. Normal healthy relationships don’t have the same peaks and valleys that you’re used to. You call those peaks and valleys love and they are anything but. Normal relationships are more flat line without the drama and will seem boring to you.
Oh Annie, hugs. I’m no one to give advice really but i do know I’ve learned not to beat myself up over poor decisions. As this article states, just make a plan or adjust the old plan. I’ve been daydreaming about running into my N and getting great satisfaction while screaming at him in the parking of our large Hardware store. But i see now my plan, my day dream should be to have more dignity and pride in myself and to completely ignore him.
Another very useful article i plan to apply to my life. I’m off to make plans! Love and light to all.
September 2014 I kicked my Narc to the curb for the upteenth time…and the final time. Today he texted me and continues to text me, leave message, etc. I changed my email when I let him go but I refuse to change my phone number. He is living out of state at the moment. I know this because he wants me to know where he is. He mails letters and cards with his return address because he wants me to respond. I shred every correspondence. NO CONTACT. It’s difficult because I want to answer the phone and lash out at him to LEAVE ME ALONE! Because of Savannah, I know that I absolutely CANNOT react to my emotions. Narcs are psychos and ANY contact is positive contact for them. He is calling me right now as I type. I have blocked his number but eventually he still breaks through. He is driving me crazy. And I know he has the power over me to reunite – it’s happened 1,000 times – I’d take him right back in my house, in my bed and it would start all over again. I am in a “NORMAL” relationship with a normal man for the past year and don’t want to jeopardize it. I know my narc won’t stop pursuing me until one of us is dead.
It’s been a over a years journey with you Savannah & your amazing readers. Every word written has supported my return to health, happiness & wholeness. Making a life plan will now further that journey with confidence as I begin dating & allowing my heart to open up a little, not too much too soon! But enough to live life more fully. My story was so similar to others . Widowed too young I grieved for 4 years then the charming Narc came into my life with all his clever lies & manipulation , the illusion I so pityingly believed for 8 months until 2 brave previous victims contacted me with reality. After my family picked me up off the floor & supported me with unconditional love through the shock, hurt & misery of this kind of relationship I was able to educate myself from this site to understand the mind of a Narcissist and strategies to overcome co-dependency. Thank you all so much for being there and much love to everyone.
I’m sure you’re right about all this, Savanna. I am one of those codependents that attracted a narcissist. Found out she was a serial cheater over a 20-year marriage, and divorced her. She made me feel like I was crazy for my suspicions all those years and, after being forced to admit her infidelity, lied about the number of men and length of the affairs (I have independently confirmed that one of the affairs was five years, rather than the 10 months she claimed). Alwsys bosses or coworkers. She claims it didn’t start until seven years into the marriage, but I do not believe that. Too many red flags, and the kind of sex and the places she was having it make it hard to believe. I really never knew this woman. I still have to communicate because of the kids, but the need to know the truth is tormenting, and she knows it. I guess I just need the closure of knowing I was not crazy. I wish I could just let knowing go, but I have been unable to do that.
Great advice. I’m obviously codependent. My husband cheated on me, I have stayed in the relationship and I’m miserable. I don’t know what my boundaries are – I must have some idea, but I’m having a lot of difficulty recognizing them. I don’t want to wait for a next time. I want to move forward for me. Your articles help me recognize myself and my husband. I’ve been living with this for almost 40 years and it’s very difficult to break free. Each note from you moves me in the right direction. Thank you.
Thanks Savannah. My husband was unfaithful last year and I let him stay. He is an alcoholic. He has never apologised and won’t speak about it. I have concentrated on that but the real issue is that he crossed what for me is a sacred line and I let him stay. I feel lower than ever almost a year on and I am finding it difficult to pick myself up. I am angry with myself that I wasn’t strong enough to act. Now I am sitting her watching, waiting for it to happen again and determined I will act next time.
Thank you so much, that was excellent
I can’t stop reading what you write Savannah!! So inspiring. I just read this and it slapped me in the face. This is so me. I give 2nd, 3rd, 20th chances to people. I don’t anger at all and take the blame and think how can I fix this. Thank you so much!