Paying Attention
Bill McDonald’s Website Newsletter
April 2011 - Volume 11, No. 4
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The Narcissist and His Woman

I wrote this originally for a few of my clients. I wanted to present a structure of understanding to help interpret what was behind that pervasive feeling of craziness many of them suffer. After some very positive responses, I decided to remake it as a Newsletter offering.

For certain, the narcissistic personality disorder phenomenon has various degrees and shades, and my interpretation here covers only a narrow perspective. Yet it is an honest attempt to make sense of a pattern I encounter all too often in the relationships of female clients. I generalize that the narcissist is male, which is frequently the case. In the case of a female narcissist, her narcissistic slave could be either a man, or (very frequently) another woman.

•   •   •

He carries that inner bind or split
    The conscious - his need (hunger, necessity) to succeed at all costs.
    The unconscious - his deep fear of an immanent, illogical annihilation, [1]
         - which is the source of a third element, though often very well hidden - his rage.
He cannot understand the inner split that renders these elements irreconcilable, and if he could, the resultant anxiety would hit him like a tsunami. So the splitting must remain unconscious.

However, in his initial relationship with a woman he senses a hope - a hope of reconciling the irreconcilable within. But the structure of that hope carries an enslaving split for the woman - having the same idealizing and devaluing ‘pattern’ of his own inner bind:
    He must idealize her - have her perfect for him, and
    He must devalue her - make her an unworthy, inadequate, lower being.

He will never see the relationship between or even the presence of these two elements. He can comprehend cause/effect, but this is not cause/effect. He cannot see what he does (to her). And especially because he cannot see, the second half of the formula (her devaluation) must be played out unconsciously, and sometimes brutally.

She carries that inner duality which it is the heart/womb dream of every (perhaps I’m idealizing) woman to reconcile:
    To give herself completely (in love), and
    To be herself fully (as a person in her own right and integrity).
This duality has the same ‘pattern’ as the narcissist’s bind, except his is a pathology (a destructive mental illness) and hers is inborn nature to a woman, albeit her duality also shares that same character of being irreconcilable.

For the narcissist, he finds a relief from the narcissistic distress in finding a woman to ‘love’ him - i.e. whom he can use, ’perfect’, and then destroy. This “love” of a woman becomes the enslavement of her.

For the woman, her deep self yearns to find resolution from the inner duality of her nature through loving and being loved by a man (or an other). Such loving of a woman can be a man’s greatest gift to her, in which there is no need for idealizing or devaluing.

Perhaps you can see the setup for a disaster here. He is the perfect persecutor, and she is the perfect prey. And in the beginning of a relationship, narcissists are wonderfully attentive - too wonderful.

But the narcissist, being split himself, cannot ‘love’ or allow himself to be ‘loved’ - nor allow this to happen in/for her. Therefore after the initial wonderfulness, all that’s left for him to do is to take and demolish.

Because the narcissist cannot stand to ‘know’ this (because he is, of course, a wonderful, good and upright person), he must deny feelings, especially any feelings of empathy for his woman - or anybody else for that matter. And, to make matters worse, if he does happen to dip into his well of feelings, the top layer frequently contains that old nemesis, his rage. A close second to the rage is a lifetime supply of dissociated (buried) anxiety.

Let me add a further comment about the narcissist and feelings. It’s difficult for most of us to comprehend that he doesn’t have feelings. What he has instead is an excellent catalog of mimicked ‘feelings’ - as if he’s studied human nature perfectly in order to mimic it. He’s the perfect actor, having no feelings of his own to get in the way of his ‘act.’ This is where that original inner necessity of ‘perfection’ shines. These people make excellent salespeople, business leaders, and politicians. (I could easily add some preachers and lawyers to the list as well.) Just look closely at their wives. But what I’m saying here about him, he can’t ever know - he actually has no idea what real feelings are. The only ‘crack in the armor’ is when the rage shows up. And it’s an open question of whether he actually ‘feels’ any anger, or is limited to only seeing (not feeling) himself as angry after the fact, if at all. But when you’re the object of that anger, you can’t or needn’t tell the difference. You fight or run - and in fighting you’ll rarely win on your own. Either way you’ll feel guilty, especially if you’re female.

Sometimes the woman herself cannot ‘feel’ his absence of any true feelings until it’s too late - especially if she has not ‘felt’ the difference, or the presence of real love, in her own formation (upbringing), or at least somewhere significant in her life. All that’s left for her to ‘feel’ is that she’s ‘crazy.’ And, of course, he’s all too ready to tell her that, again and again.

One difficult outcome is that even after such relationships, the woman will be constantly tempted to doubt herself - her thoughts and feelings (and her sanity). And the narcissist himself, though quite contrary to his protestations, will easily find a replacement - often again and again.

For the sake of these women, let’s all pay attention.


[1] Somewhere in my reading, I came across the following example or metaphor of the inner psychological structure of the narcissist: It’s as if his (generalizing to a preponderance of males in this category) parents have constantly insisted on his perfection. He is at all costs to excel in all (or at least all the important) things, so that they can be ‘proud’ of him. That’s the conscious message - which is bad enough. But there’s a double bind here (i.e. a contradictory and unconscious message) - that is if he supersedes them (i.e. becomes better than them) they’ll have to ‘kill’ him. It’s that unconscious destruction of self that he then must (unconsciously) project elsewhere.

Comments (81)

  • timing is everything

    And so we bear the cross of the damage done by the narcissistic male in our lives but each day it gets a little lighter. So true are your words and insights on this subject, and they couldn’t have come at a better time.

    — Teresa Hersha, 4/1/2011
  • Bill,
    I finally understand my first husband!! And, I have the scars (both physically and psychologically) to prove it. He’s been gone from my life for a very long time but every so often, I get that feeling that I am just not good enough and now I know where it came from. Thanks!!!

    — Doris, 4/1/2011
  • Lesson Learned

    Bill, Thank you for more insight on this topic. It was a mystery to
    me for many years until a wise Professor first brought it to my
    attention. Another profession you should add to the list is the
    My major regret from the experiences I’ve had is the inability to
    trust in another relationship.
    For many people, it is impossible to believe that someone is capable
    of mimicing sincere emotional feelings in a relationship. Now,I am
    quick to recognize the patterns of narcissism and may be inclined to
    rush to judgement. Forever scarred?

    — Dawny Cromwell, 4/1/2011
  • The quandry

    Do you think the spouses of narcissists could be salespeople, business leaders, politicians, lawyers, and religious leaders? Probably not unless they too are narcissists. Like who is the narcissist, Bill or Hillary? (joking)

    Narcissists are like big prey animals. They tend to be loners in the sense that they don’t share their hunting strategies with others. If they could share they wouldn’t be narcissists, would they?

    My father was a narcissist. I have had relationships with narcissists. I get so angry when I figure it out. When you say that the female may never have ‘felt’ the difference, I understand that idea. I have narcissistic traits. Learned behavior or a biological trait?

    — Donna, 4/1/2011
  • You describe the 1 to 10 of it. I wonder how many relationships contained a volume of 3? Something to pay attention to (as you say) and neutralize when discovered. thanks.

    — scott, 4/2/2011
  • can they change?

    Do narcissists ever change? Your description fits the man I have been involved with (off and on) for over a year. I have confronted him with that “split” as you call it, and asserted my self-confidence. He has involved in a 12 step program for several years. I have not seen any real change in his “accountability.” I have also given the ultimatum that he get professional help. How does it happen that this type of person achieves mental health, if ever.

    — Terry B., 4/2/2011
  • Aren't We All A part of This?

    Great article, Bill. Helps me understand things with an added dimension. It seems most of history and currently today throughout the world, things are set up this way you describe. The masculine expression has a hunger to succeed at all costs and at the same time, we all fear that expression will annihilate, and in fact, often does destroy life. While the feminine expression is both idealized and devalued, unworthy and inadequate.

    This lack of balance has created our religions, politics, legal systems, finances, food, health care etc, where life and natural abundance are not nurtured, rather a very sick definition of “success” is accepted. When anyone tries to speak up and address this- whether it’s global atrocities or whistle blowing within a business or within a relationship, the response you describe is predictable and acceptable- the undervalued position is deemed crazy, stupid, revengeful, pitiful etc.. Although painful to go through it, this power structure seems to be breaking apart, imploding in on itself with all the political uprisings we are seeing, women owned businesses, recognizing Mother Earth as an entity in Bolivia, the financial crisis, growth of alternative health care, organic and life-sustaining food, etc. It’s kind of exciting to me.

    And I have a question. What’s the source or purpose of the masculine rage and anxiety from an archetypal, historical view? I can kind of see it from a survival/ tribal perspective. I’d like to hear your views. Thanks!

    Meg Carver, 4/24/2011
  • Rage


    So much of what you’re writing also seems to apply to bipolar disorder. As the bipolar brain tries to find some balance where none exists, as the emotions ebb and flow, the rage builds up and flows freely. At the same time, the bipolar is trying to maintain control of his environment in the desperate – and always futile – hope that this time he can control his emotions, this time he won’t snap. If he can arrange things just so, then this time the rage won’t boil over.

    Or am I misunderstanding things?

    — Daniel L, 4/26/2011
  • This is a “wrong thought”, still I find comfort in knowing I am not alone with this problem. The getting over “not good enough”, “not trying hard enough or thinking enough or right” If only I had done it right or done the right things everything would have been fine.
    I want Doris to know the scars will never go away, which keep us from falling into the same trap. Like all scars they lighten and fade with time. Finding your own answers with help, will be the “lighting of the load”. No one is perfect!

    — Carol, 4/2/2011
  • The Scars

    There’s an old tradition that says from our own scars can come gifts for the healing of others. Bill

    — Bill McDonald, 4/2/2011
  • Over It...

    When your bruised and battered and truely believe you are crazy,as he likes to put it,there is always a part of you,somewhere in the recesses of your mind,that screams it is wrong.It is a subtle overtaking that convinces you that you must be crazy,because isnt he the one that the community and your neighbors are just smitten with.The one who everyone says is such a wonderful man?You do begin to lose faith in yourself and he likes it that way.Eventually,you start to become just like him.You begin to play a part,to act like nothing is wrong.The only difference is YOU know its wrong,he never will.When your soul is finally emptied(which is what he likes to do)and when you begin to not care if you see onother day,that tiny part in the recesses of your mind that has always told you it was wrong ,kicks in.You stand up and finally fight back.You leave.You get help and you slowly put your life back together.Its not as easy as it sounds because by this time you are drinking too much or acting out in innapropriate ways just to numb the horror of what you have allowed him to do to you.When you wake up one morning and actually marvel again at a beautiful sunrise or feel the joy of watching a child play you realize you are truely healing.Its like a re awakining that brings feelings of pure joy that you havent felt in years.Yes,that narcissist may have bent you,but he didnt break you.BEWARE OF THE NARCISSIST...

    — Darcy C., 4/3/2011
  • More than just personal

    I can’t help myself, but I find myself looking at this issue vis a vis the world at large (politically) more than just on an interpersonal level: How many of the right wing ranters out there do you see who follow your paradigm? The need (for the individual – only – no “community” here!) to succeed at all costs; illogical (and irrational - “Where was he born?”) fear of imminent annihilation (“When will they attack again?”), followed by a rage (:"Nazi!!) Sounds like a birther convention with Glenn Beck as the keynote speaker.

    — Jim K, 4/4/2011
  • Response to Terry B.

    I’ve both anticipated and dreaded this question. The most accurate answer is no, narcissists don’t change. It’s not that they can’t change. It’s just that they have no sufficient reason to change. Since they don’t ‘feel’ they don’t have any discomfort. And their ‘personality’ is the easiest place to hide from any discomfort – and besides, in their (inner) world, they can still be very successful.
    I’ve got a corner of my library with some pretty heavy books that do offer the possibility of significant change – though like personality disorders in general, the ‘personality’ or ‘character’ is pretty firmly fixed after late adolescence, and the amount of genuine hard work on the part of the individual is a major undertaking. I’ve tried a number of times, and each time the individual eventually just walks (or sneaks) away. The only positive outcome is that I’ve become wiser in not being personally taken in by them. I may spend some time acting the ‘taken in’ role in hopes of getting to that inner place of emptiness and pain. And I’ll hold on to a hope that perhaps my diagnosis is wrong. But time and again, once I begin to hint in that direction, they’re gone. Perhaps other clinicians can weigh in on this.
    You mention 12-step programs. My experience is not great here, and my first thoughts are that I would hope maybe they could provide something that can ‘crack’ this personality. In fact they are based on the (statistically inaccurate and logically questionable) insistence that “once an addict, always an addict.” I ponder that perhaps their acceptance of that incongruity may have the power as an antidote also to counter that narcissist bind I’ve described. It’s an interesting thought. However, my own experience with 12-step clients hasn’t given me any hope yet.
    As do all sufferers (even in this case where the suffering is born out only by the partner), the narcissist deserves the hope and possibility of achieving mental health. So I personally want there to be an answer, and am stubborn enough to keep that door open. That’s why I keep reading those books, even though they don’t help me much (yet).
    One thing I note about the nature of women in relationships, that is you want to try everything before they ‘give up’. That’s both the blessing and your curse of your gender.
    So my answer to you is twofold. To you: statistics and wisdom say, there’s too little hope. For myself: I’ll keep working at it. A major difference is that in the meantime I don’t have to live with my clients.
    — Bill McDonald, 4/2/2011

    — Bill McDonald, 4/2/2011
  • Great information. Lucky me I found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later! payday loans

    payday loans, 6/23/2012
  • Stand true

    Free Spirit
    I appreciate your willingness to write on my blog. As many others have also shared (just scroll up, there are so many!) it’s a difficult journey. You demonstrate so well the experience of the “soul sucker” - the one who sucks your soul out of you almost without your awareness. The current cult of the ‘vampire’ betrays this same pattern. When one party in a system steals from another party, the system can still appear well-balanced to the outsider. Your experiences of emptiness, aloneness and inner deadness have in common the ancient concept of soul-loss. To rebuild can take tremendous effort and much time. How does one heal the heart when the heart itself has been stripped bare?
    The home can be a place of greatest blessing, and the same home can be a place of the greatest cruelty. Sometimes life forces us to realize that the two often coexist in very close proximity. Yet the same life that forces such a horrible mystery upon us, can also be powerful enough to redeem us from within its clutches.
    I hope these words can honor your struggles. Warrior women bearing scars can bring many gifts and blessings to the people. So stand true, Free Spirit. My best to you and your sisters.

    — Bill McD, 2/11/2014
  • I was very happy to discover this page. I need to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to check out new things on your site. this site

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  • think you have it BUT i don’t understand how you reached the conclusion about the unconscious message..( if he supercedes his parents they will kil him..) .and that their biggest fear is anhilation...not sure you have that part right. i think their biggest fear is rejection if their biggest hope is for uniqueness and perfection- would make sense that the converse is be a nobody/ worthless/ unloveable. but i agree they can love in a sick way...they’re addicts afterall.

    — diane charlemagne, 11/3/2012
  • Silent Screamer

    Hi, i am in the process of leaving a 15 year relationship from my partner who sounds very like what you describe. I have to keep going back to reading these articles to renew my strength and confirm what I know to be true. It is a daily struggle but hopefully I will get there (as soon as possible). We have no kids and are not married (thank god)but share a house and a large mortgage so come the new year, i hope to get my solicitor to start proceedings.

    — sophie, 12/26/2012
  • Response to Laura

    Yes, it does seem at times that the entire universe conspires to keep the Narcissist’s feeder and victim “trapped.” I’m sorry this is has happening to you. And I wrote this Newsletter article from the numerous cases I’ve already encountered – like yours.
    If I were to offer any advice, it would be to bite the bullet and follow through with the divorce, to the best extent possible. There’s be lots of people who will accuse you of 'kicking a man when he’s down.' (Not that he’s not done that consistently to you.) It’s easy for others to be righteous when it’s not their own pain. Let’s say, 55% will criticize you. 20% will cheer you on. The remaining 25% will either vacillate or never commit themselves, which means you still can’t get much trustworthy support from them. But it’s not your job to please (that’s how you got into this mess in the first place).
    You still have over 50% of your adult life ahead of you. Don’t waste much more of your time. Nobody will give you your life from here on, but it’s certainly yours to take.
    Best of luck. Bill

    — Bill, 2/16/2013
  • Trapped

    I’m very shocked how well your article describes my husband. Married to him for 23 years and have two boys, a 20 and 16th year old. Just as I filed for the divorce and I was determined to leave him, a day after our Court Divorce Mediation Meeting, he gets into a bad car wreck, which leaves him in a coma for two weeks with Trauma Brain Injury, collapsed lungs and several fractures, due to him running a stop sign, not wearing a seatbelt and his truck got hit by another vehicle. He rolled over and no seatbelt :( He has been in the hospital for the last 2 1/2 months. Confused and hurt, I had to do the right think...Be there for him, after all he did to me, but only God will know and if he did cause the accident in purpose, it is between God and him!!!

    — Laura, 2/15/2013
  • Response to Olivia

    In response to your last question, I remind you that his “discomfort” is a different experience than for you. For you it becomes an injury and then loss of self. The healing of that comes with (hard work and) rebuilding that self – which should gradually redeem your value among co-workers. His discomfort comes from a loss of his “image” being “fed.” That’s why ‘rage’ is such a common response. We would know it as anxiety, but he cannot (refusesw to) feel anxiety, and thus becomes such a loose cannon with his behaviors. It’s as if he hates you because you stopped adoring (feeding) his exalted self-image. The upshot is, you can heal, he cannot.
    It sounds like you’re doing better – my congratulations. As long as he can find a different ‘victim’ he’ll be able to handle the sight of you. And you know you’re separate now from him – that was a hard-fought battle. Keep it that way.

    — Bill, 2/22/2013
  • What happens now

    I was seeing a “N” that i met at work for over a year. I found out over time that he has been seeing quite a few other women besides myself at our place of employment. My response was to disappear. I completely reduced my exposure which only made it easier for him to control and manpulate me. I found myself having to self medicate to deal with him especially during sex, because he turned me off so terribly. I lost myself because of him. A few weeks ago I went on a text rampage that described him in horrible and vicious ways, in response to something he had done to me. He has since slandered me at work, has had people spy on me including his new victim. Ime oner him and seeing someone else, but the damage has been done. I’ve resurfaced and he seems to be undone by my presence. Does the sight of me cause him as much discomfort as he causes me.

    — OliviaWinters, 2/22/2013
  • The Mirror

    Tatiana’s story brought mirrored tears to my eyes. Tonight I have struggled with (prior to opening the blog) the notion of writing to him. There exists such a cognitive dissonance within me (i.e., I love him, I hate him; no, I can’t hate him, hate is not who I am. The struggle plays over and over) – almost boarding on dissociation. My belief system is rattled to its’ core. Perhaps we go back again and again to reaffirm our belief system? I suppose that is something I just have to sit with…throw it all out on the table and attempt to assemble a new puzzle called, “ME.”

    I consider the work of treating PTSD and the connectedness with NPD recovery…I am talking about, the pre-trauma personality (the me before that relationship), the peri-trauma (the me inside of that relationship) and now the post-trauma personality (the me now that I have finally come to know that, I knew him not). Having discovered you were repeatedly run over by an 80,000 pound, fully loaded cargo truck does more than sting! It breaks you down! It makes you take stock of all that you ever thought you were. Any therapist, worth their weight in gold, has spent considerable time in therapy themselves. I suppose I will be knocking on the door once again. I will not give up on love.

    Yes, I still love him. But, who do I really love? I do not know who he is…nor does he. That cannot be love in the way that I wish to experience its’ full essence. There comes that "cognitive dissonance."

    — Katharine, 10/7/2013
  • The Mirror in the Opera

    Tatiana’s story brought mirrored tears to my eyes. Tonight I have struggled with (prior to opening the blog) the notion of writing to him. There exists such a cognitive dissonance within me (i.e., I love him, I hate him; no, I can’t hate him, hate is not who I am. The struggle plays over and over) – almost boarding on dissociation. My belief system is rattled to its’ core. Perhaps we go back again and again to reaffirm our belief system? I suppose that is something I just have to sit with…throw it all out on the table and attempt to assemble a new puzzle called, “ME.”
    I consider the work of treating PTSD and the connectedness with NPD recovery…I am talking about, the pre-trauma personality (the me before that relationship), the peri-trauma (the me inside of that relationship) and now the post-trauma personality (the me now that I have finally come to know that, I knew him not). Having discovered you were repeatedly run over by an 80,000 pound, fully loaded cargo truck does more than sting! It breaks you down! It makes you take stock of all that you ever thought you were. Any therapist, worth their weight in gold, has spent considerable time in therapy themselves. I suppose I will be knocking on the door once again.
    Yes, I still love him. But, I do not know who he is…nor does he. Perhaps I do not know myself. I do know, that this is not be love in the way that I wish to experience its’ full essence.

    Katharine, 10/7/2013
  • I didn't know what a narcissist was until I became involved with one!

    Yes, they do make you feel crazy. He made me feel like I was never good enough. I always wanted to please him because I felt that if I just treated him right and could be the perfect girlfriend it would be fine. It’s a trap that’s hard to get out of. I tried to leave at least five times and he convinced me to come back. I didn’t realize how crazy it was u til I finally broke free. And then I fell prey to another one like two weeks after, who is a cold heartless psychopath. Jaws in such a weakened and broken state after the first one that I was an easy target for the next. It’s a cycle that can keep repeating unless you get angry enough to stop it! I finally found my sense of true self esteem and decided I won’t accept being treated this way. They tell you you’re crazy if you talk to their exes to get the REAL story. But if you do, you’ll find its much the same. I have to thank them though. I am so much stronger and self assured now that not much scares me or threatens me. And I’m a lot better at just saying no to people instead of trying to be the perfect good girl like I felt I had to be. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It is true! The initial narcissist I was involved with tried to get me back after a year. By then I saw him for what he really was: a pitiful, sad excuse for a human being. You’ve got to learn to put yourself first and don’t let anyone treat you with disrespect. Don’t get me wrong, I still have lingering scars. I’m diagnosed with PTSD due to the psychopathic one I next got involved with. But I’m 100% happier now than I ever was with them. I have now finally found myself and believe in me!

    — Gretchen, 10/17/2013
  • Elizabeth to Jane - email offer

    “Elizabeth” (comment dated 9/5/2013) has offered an excellent account (“JANE! Wait!”) of her own struggle, in support of “Jane” (comment dated 4/11/2013).
    In that comment she offeres “you can email me... I'd absolutely love to talk to you.” I do not publish the email addresses of those giving comments, but if you wish, email me ( and I’ll forward your address so Elizabeth can respond to you privately.
    And my thanks to Elizabeth for her courageous account, which I know will be read by many. I know many more read this particular newsletter than leave their comments.

    — Bill McDonald, 9/5/2013
  • Thank you

    Just as Silent Screamer or Sophie writes above,,,,,,,,,, I am at this minute hurtin suffering and realizing the monster in my life.i have to leave,,I will call him Creeper ,,, but with no money I have to take this monster to court.i don’t feel strong,,feeling very victimized...overwhelmed with hurt,anger and so very EMPTY i got what it is..and IT IS narcassism,,,,,.need advice .he has been away a lot planning a new life ,,and slowly shut me down ,,,I He is on Facebook with my daughter and gets info from her,,as she is and has tried to be difficult and wanting to hurt me also quite narcassistic ,t,hat has been a pattern with her also,,,,He has called my Doctor acting like he cares and driving me yes so i feel like im crazy....manipulating his entire family against me all along..lying and so much more ..any advice ,would be wonderful from anyone,,,,,,I need to be strong ,,,,but I have to go up against them all I guess,,,,as I have been dumped on my ass

    — Jane, 4/11/2013
  • JANE! Wait!

    Jane! Please listen to me!

    I know you are hurting and suffering – I mean suffering, I know, I understand, you think your guts are going to fall out, you can actually feeling them going. You feel like that because Creeper played you, it was a game, you were his Victim. You’re a nice person, no one deserved that, no one, you just meant well, you are human, and you were most unfortunate to cross this guys path. You were a goner from the start, you really never had a chance. If it hadn’t been you, it would have been someone else, but it was you, and you feel like a damned fool. It happened because you are nice – you were his Perfect Victim – and you had no way of seeing it coming, you probably didn’t know there were such truly evil people in the world. And he charmed your pants off, too, right? ( No pun intended. ) That’s his game, you were just a game, and now I KNOW you feel rotten for what I’ve said. I won’t hurt you, I’m nice too ... It just happened to be you, and I get it. None of these people think you’re crazy, they all understand you – and there are a lot of people ... It isn’t just you, this many lovely people are not wrong.

    Mine was a most excellent chess player – and he extended it to all facets of his life. I am a darned good chess player, and I thought I could take him — and you know what? I will, too. Mine’s a Frenchman, a french university professor with great standing in French Quebec. "Wow, how great is that?!", you are saying. Wait, it gets better : After three years of magical courtship, I still felt something wasn’t quite right ... but I swear, I couldn’t hammer down what it was. My Mum insisted I marry this man ... she held a most substantial will over my head, and in four weeks, we were married ... In a French castle, no less, wow, does it get any better? I was a widow for 9 years, and the Kingdom absolutely rejoiced at this. 6 hours after the ceremony, he was giving me total bloody Hell before my evening bag even hit the bed, I kid you not.

    You’re right, he is a monster, I can give you advice, we can talk, I can help you, you are feeling BAD – I can do it, because by Grace, I can SEE what is happening, and I won’t take it, I will win this, I have every confidence. It will be so hard, I won’t lie but you CAN do it. You have to make up your mind, be strong, pray, believe, treat yourself – Do whatever you have to, but make it out – and the day will come that it WILL be over. It will. I promise, and you will be SO proud.

    I don’t know you, but I know you aren’t crazy – but it would tickle him to death if he thought he made you that way, so Don’t Take The Bait. Yes, you feel used, empty, abused, confused, violated, stunned, eggshells, a real fool ... all of that. But it isn’t your fault – you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. You are NOT a fool ... the guy is a professional at this, you didn’t know – and then you couldn’t get out.

    May I give you a little advice, please? Do some nice things for yourself, just little things. If money is a little tight, buy yourself a nice flower, and keep it by your bed ... a fresh beautiful flower, all for you. Buy yourself a treat, if it’s chocolate, get a little box of four really nice ones. It might not be your thing ( it isn’t really me, ) but go to YouTube, and watch “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child – corny, but wow, will it fix you up. Don’t give One Single Thought to anything nice he’s ever done for you – it was just a plot, Luv, he was setting you up. And if that doesn’t do you, remember this :

    These men get off on knowing about your pain – they enjoy watching you squirm – I’ll bet you did, too. They enjoy and thrive on manipulating you, just watching you become smaller and small, and less and less confident. Now, if that doesn’t galvanize you – don’t give him anymore pleasure, you hav given of yourself enough, you were naiive, you didn’t anticipate it; If you have seen it coming, you’d have been out of there like a puma on fire. Cut yourself off, and I mean OFF.

    Then the really hard will come : He might come back. It will take every resolve you have, but Win This Game – not taking his bait will make him feel BAD ... so now you know YOU are pulling the strings – You are in control, now. And then pretty soon the confidence will return, you will feel Top Of The World, you’ll know you have WON, and it will make him feel ....... Aaaaawfulll.

    I don’t know what works for you ... maybe you like WonderWoman, or Ripley from Aliens – My thing is “Brave”, a Pixar Disney animated film – So I bought myself a beautiful nice card – with music, too, as my present to myself, and I keep it by the bed. It says this :

    "You are an amazing girl!"
    Everyone loves your briight spirit and style,
    How you do your own thing with spectacular" style!
    You’ve got a great shot of your dreams coming true – Just keeping being joyful, original YOU!"

    I look at it every day, and it brings me pleasure, and boosts me up just a little more.

    I hope I helped. We are all in this leaky boat together ... and we’ll get out of it together, too.

    You can email me if you’d like – I’d absolutely love to talk to you. Sometimes you have to look at where you’ve been, to see where you’re going. You let me know if you want to talk, and I am there!

    Love : )

    ~ Elizabeth

    — Eliizabeth, 9/5/2013
  • Truths

    I hate to think of myself as being totally victim to my N. I’m struggling to find the strength to leave, even while I know he’s seeking out new supply. I sincerely felt like I had found the ‘one’ when I met him, and we both (seemingly) fell head over heels for each other. I’ve tried to talk to him about the days when he would just praise me, look up to me, tell me how I was so different than all his exes because he viewed me as his ‘equal’ and he hadn’t had that in some time. I believed him that he just hadn’t met someone as special as me. In fact at the time he was ‘trapped’ in a horrible marriage. I’ts almost two years later, and he is now divorced. Still reaching out to his ex wife on occasion, telling me I don’t understand. He has broken up with me so many times, and our relationship is constantly riding on the tails of his moods. When he’s up, we’re on. When he’s down, it’s all my fault and he must get rid of me. I have gotten him to admit that he feels he’s better than anyone else. He has a hard time accepting anything different from him, so I also think he has some borderline tendencies. I know he’s lying to me, but I just can’t leave because I love him so. I have started drinking too much... half the time he texts all night about how he’s going to ‘grow’ and how we needed to separate to grow, and now I’m becoming more and more attractive to him. Half the time he’s shouting about how I’m trying to manipulate or control him. He’s in counseling, and I believe he’s got his counselor wrapped around his little finger. I’d go to the same counselor, as he said he’d like me to do... so I could possibly expose him more and get some real help, but he doesn’t take my insurance. Good Lord, I need some help.

    — jeanette, 4/5/2013
  • Geronimo's Ex

    GREAT NEWWLETTER on the topic! Nice to see it disected and explained this way. However, I do believe that a narcissist can be changed but it is very difficult and very rare. They have to “see” something that they want enough to really fight for it. I don’t mean a girl but an “aliveness” They have got to want it. Then their true self has to be fed instead of feeding their ego. The key is for them to get a real good look at this “aliveness” and want it so that when their ego fights to contain the real self, the real self has something to hand on to as truth. Don’t feed the ego. Feed the real self by showing an example. Ignor their ego because it isn’t real anyway. They will run away but they will come back. The real self will hunger and the ego will think it can overcome you. But don’t ever think it’s your job or that you are special or the only one who can make a difference. Just do your part and let everyone in the universe do theirs. And stay off of facebook for Pete’s sake. Facebook feeds all of this.

    — Mandy, 7/28/2013
  • Recovery

    It isn’t easy leaving, but it’s almost always essential that you do. Often the boundaries of what should have been normal in an appropriate relationship have been smashed to bits. For a long time I held on to my own denial of how bad things had become. You lose faith in your ability to see and judge what is happening to you and a narcissist is only to eager to make you feel crazy. By the time I had finally hit bottom with him, I had no idea who I was, and what I enjoyed about my life anymore. An especially difficult admission given that I am a mother of two wonderful boys. The shame and guilt from having allowed myself to get to that low point was overwhelming. When I was first told in therapy to be gentle and kind to myself, little did I understand that the kindness I needed to develop was the ability to forgive. Not of him, but myself. Looking back at my upbringing did shed some much needed light on why I would have found this type of dynamic appealing. Having a relationship without emotional availability seemed familiar and acceptable. Each day should be a quest to regain yourself and your power in small steps. Start telling yourself that you are strong and capable, and start reaching out to friends and family to help you along your path to self-discovery. All those years of pushing your feelings down and not being able to embrace them have got to be worked through. Learn to welcome, label and feel your feelings again. My therapist gave me the poem “The Guest House” by Jelaluddin Rumi. Read it when you have the urge to deny and refuse the feelings you are having. It’s a gift to be able to sit with your feelings. One the narcissist will never experience as completely as you do!

    — Sara, 7/26/2013
  • Thank God

    ..that I found this tonight. I left my N husband 4 weeks ago and I am hiding at a friends house in a diffrent state than him, while waiting for help to get back to Europe where I came from 2 years ago. Im psysically and mentally exhausted, I am broke and I am far away from home but eternally grateful for finding the strenght to leave, now for the scond time. This time I know I cannot go back to him, he is destroying everyhting I am. Thank you for this blog since it saved me tonight.


    — Suzanna, 9/30/2013
  • My Tumultuous Storm

    As a licensed therapist, I want to let the readers of this blog know that, even those of us who are supposedly well studied are not immune to victimization by the Narcissistic Personality (NPD) in our personal relationships. I comment on this blog for three reasons: 1) to let you know we are all vulnerable; 2) to express my gratitude to Bill for the work he is putting out there, and 3) my own attempt at the road to my recovery.
    As a therapist, I assess and treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in children and adults. My clients are victims of violent crimes – shootings, robberies, child sex abuse, domestic violence, etc... I am an expert in PTSD (or at least immigration, domestic violence and child abuse courts have deemed me such). Yet, not even this knowledge and years of study could protect me or rather; enlighten me early on that I was involved with a NPD.
    Five years later having just uncovered his most recent lies, the depth of my personal pain is greater than I ever imagined. There have been days when I have felt very crazy, days when I could not find myself and the gnarly fingers of his deception reached in to grab and twisted the innermost core of my being as I lay on the floor trying to find my true self. I agonize as I attempt to ‘peel back the layers of my own ugly onion’ (Fritz Perls). It is awful. Never in a million years did I dream that I would give my love (once again) over to such a pathological liar! One day I hate him, the next I feel sorry for him and guilty that I have reacted to his deception in ways I never thought I was capable. I have said things – mean things to him – called him a Narcissist to his face (which by the way infuriated him). I have felt like a Mack or Volvo Truck hit me!! It is sad and it STINKS (I would rather use a more graphic word?! But, I will work through my hurt and I will emerge a better lover. His insanity will not destroy me!
    In my restless attempts to sleep last night, I could hear my inner voice talking to me. I awakened this morning with some newfound peace. Somewhere in the night, I reconciled on what I believe to be a subconscious level, that I really am a good person, I really did the best I could with what I had now I came to know him and stayed with him? Yes, of course I did. I am a good person. I did not deserve to be strung along and lied too repeatedly!
    Oh, my storm is far from its’ completion. I replay the drama repeatedly. I am certain if you are reading this, you do too. However, know that you can survive; you will be stronger but only if you do the work. In the paraphrased words of Byron Katie, ‘You don’t need his love; you have just told yourself you do.’ It is time to change the story…this is your life. No one has the right to walk all over you, or me. So, I rise. I rise and awaken on the other end of this, my tumultuous private storm. Peace be to all.

    Katharine Bingham, 10/6/2013
  • Even Grand Opera

    My high thanks to Katharine B for her forthright response.
    Yesterday I saw the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” (The Met Opera Live in HD in a local theater). There it was! - Onegin the narcisissist, and the beautiful (initially innocent) Tatiana the victim. The primary story is the inner growth of Tatiana so that at the end, when Onegin finally recognizes too late how much he also ‘loves’ her, she is able to leave him for good. And yet, she never stops loving him. He awakened her, betrayed her (many times over), and yet still her love grew from that of a girl to a strong hearted woman. But as her love strengthened toward him, so did her ability to fully forsake him in the end. And in the end, Onegin becomes desperately aware of his loss, which is now permanent.
    It’s a timeless struggle.

    — Bill McDonald, 10/6/2013
  • I escaped this time thanks to his daughter

    I am reading this to remind myself how lucky I am. This time I was saved by his daughter before things could have gotten out of hand.
    I have repeatedly returned to my NP. This time I was only back two days when his daughter stepped in.
    The first time I was with my N was almost twenty years ago and that’s when he turned on the charm. I was severely depressed, so full of pain that I was contemplating doing heavy drugs to escape the pain I was in. My N stepped in and made me laugh when no-one else could and gave me the strength to get through it.
    However, this was not to last, that very first time I left him, but I always missed this guy who saved me from myself (or at least his act did). About 8 years ago he asked me back and I said yes and couldn’t believe my luck to be returning to this ‘wonderful’ guy. The games at this stage were insiduous, he asked me to marry him and yet would only come up to my home when it suited him. There was never any respect for what I wanted, but I kept asking and being let down and accused of asking to much. All I wanted was to go out and have fun with him. (This position was exclusively taken by his sister). He got bored and dumped me when I wouldn’t obey him. I moved on and met someone new but he threatened us and we moved out of Dublin because we were so frightened of what he could and would do. Before we moved we lived in fear and barricaded ourselves into my flat.
    Eventually I moved back to the city and we got back together. That’s when my punishment really took off. He raped me, threatened me that he would shoot me etc and that he knew when I was lying and that he would ask me questions and if I lied he would shoot me. He also used various other tactics, having me followed, having my home watched etc. Needless to say I was very scared and within a short time extremely broken. Once I was in this state he dumped me again, but still had me followed. Then after about 6 months he phoned me and told me he was so sorry and that his behaviour had hurt him as well and would I give him one more chance. I fell for it and went back to him, this time he tormented me to such a stage that I became suicidal. Again he dumped me, then a couple of days ago, he asked me back, told me he was on a 12 step program and that he was attending counselling and had learnt to deal with his anger and rage and that he had tried to commit suicide after we split up that he wanted me so much. He genuinely sounded sorry and I fell for it all over again.
    But this time I have been so lucky, within two days his daughter sent me a message telling me that he was with three women and I was one of them and that he was planning to rob me. I woke up and I questioned him, that was enough for him to feel that I had disrespected him and gave me the chance to be free. I dumped him, gently, blocked contact from him online and barred his number. I am so greatful that she did this because I have moved on and am building a life for myself as a mature student. I have a future and can see that future. I am not alone in this world.
    During our times together I also noticed that I had a lot more thefts. First 500 euros went missing out of my account, after we split up 8 years ago my home was broken into and last time my laptop disappeared from my home one day. I don’t know how I could have been so stupid to look past all of this...I was searching for that guy who made me laugh twenty years ago, I was searching for the lie.

    — sophie mullervey, 12/4/2013
  • Divorcing

    I am in the process of divorcing my husband of 15 years. We have been together for 22 years. Three kids, our oldest daughter will not speak to my husband, or middle daughter is his favorite, , and our son has just been left out. From reading what you have to say I do believe my husband is a narcissist. We have both done a lot of bad things to each other and the bad times far outweighs the good times. He is very good at material things and buying people. He always took care of us to make sure we had money but could never give me the one thing I wanted which was love and attention. I know that I do not want to go back to him but my issue is seen him with his new girlfriend and all the stuff he does for her. I am truly hurt because I feel that should be me or I feel like why couldn’t we be happy together. We have been separated for almost 2 years and I don’t feel that it’s getting any easier for me to deal with this. He only spends time with our kids whwn it is convientvfor him, but spends time with his girlfriends kids. My kids are starting to see his lies and tell me about them. He is refusing to sign the divorce papers and I don’t know why. Could you possibly please help me understand.
    Thank you.

    — Taneya Kratzke, 12/12/2013
  • Narc Vs Borderline

    I met a Narc male on
    I’m a Borderline and I could just see thru him within 2hrs of meeting him. So I played him at his own gave, put on my charm, was obideint, lets him add women on his Facebook. Basically, I never criticised him.
    He started to pay me money, as I was so nice and he knew he had screwed ever woman in his life. Once, I’d collected a few £££s off him, I turned the tables on him. Told him I caught his cheating with photographic evidence via Fcbk. He could not deny it. I won!
    I dumped him, kept his money, played hard to get and moved on with my life. Do I feel pity – no I do not, as he was out to screw me and I did this to leave a permanent reminder that women are NOT to be treat like this.
    So in my opinion, a Borderline woman can out smart the Narc male.
    In his conquest to win, he will lose to the borderline woman mostly.

    — Woman, 12/26/2013
  • Free Spirit Wanna Be!

    Bill, Thanks for this article that I stumbled upon just at right time. I knew about Narcissistic personalities but didn’t know the insight that this article has provided. I feel as if this article was written exclusively for me and relates to my life – Narcissist (my husband) and His Women (me). I recently filed papers after being married for 34 years. People call us ‘Dynamic Duo’, a very powerful, well educated, successful couple in every respect with great presence and successful children. No one could ask for more. For outsiders – a picture perfect family. If they only knew how broken it was inside. I have gone thru infidelity, physical and verbal abuse. My kids literally picked me up to take this step, even though, all these years I knew too, yet I shied away. I look a very strong person – I could not fail in keeping my family together. There was always one more thing I needed to try to make it work. More I tried more he demanded. Nothing changed rather it became worse as over the years I got tired started standing up to him and that made things worse. Constant pendulum between nice and nasty…
    I am the one who filed papers and yet I feel so empty inside as if my world is shattered and I am being cheated. First twenty two years of my life I was my dad’s daughter, and the last thirty four his wife; who am I now or will be. This question is constantly pondering in my head. I doubt my thoughts and feelings even when my head says I did the right thing. My heart is heavy and I feel so alone even when I am surrounded by loving kids, family and good set of friends to support me. I am blessed but my vision does not go any farther than five feet, as if, something died inside me. Am I the perfect ‘Prey’ who does not know how to let go.. . I thought I was lot stronger than fit into this role. I have no faith in me anymore – would I ever be able to pick up the pieces and move on? For this blog I named myself ‘Free Spirit’ because that’s what I wanna be – forget the last 34 and rebuild the next 34.
    Free Spirit -

    — Free Spirit, 2/7/2014
  • It's like putting on a pair of eyeglasses!

    Your article, unfortunately is like putting on a pair of eyeglasses. It describes exactly what I’m feeling today. I’ve been married to my “N” for 20 years. The thing is that his n tendencies have become very obvious in the past 2 years. Looking back I can definitely see signs of it in the earlier years. We have just separated. He moved in with a friend who is actually the one who told him he was a N and is wanting to help him seek counseling. His friend told him he needed to remove himself from the ones he was hurting before he lost us for good. I happened to stumble on your article but described EXACTLY my feelings. As a matter of fact, it is exactly what I told him I felt before he left. He said he wants to go seek counseling to get better for us but I just don’t know if I believe him. My struggle is that I DO love him and when I married him I thought it would be know the whole better or worse, sickness and in health thing but I don’t know that I can do this anymore. I need help.

    — Michelle, 2/27/2014
  • A pell lady brought him back even after i cheated

    Well, today Jim asked me if we could be back together this morning. Of course I said yes. Thanks to you priestess Munak, thanks to the spirits, thank you God. I cannot thank you enough priestess for bringing him back into my life. I didn’t think it was never gonna be possible possible after all i did to him, I had lost my hope and most of any little faith that I had to begin with, but thanks to you, I have my love and my life back. Thank you. God bless you many many times over for all the help you give to people, you have a beautiful gift to humanity, You can reach priestess just as i did priestessmunak@ gmail. com. contact her on relationship or life issues.

    — Julie krylic, 3/9/2014
  • Been There - I'm Done

    I dated a narcissist off/on for 6 yrs – I knew what he was – I had come from a dysfunctional family – My Dad was a narcissist and what did I do? I married this guy thinking I could handle him. He had energy – youthful spirit – he was charming – fun – and I was addicted to that. I liked the drama ( sometimes) as I was brought up on drama. I was as dysfunctional as he was. Married 2 yrs now – the “evil” side emerged when I stopped fawning over him. I demanded respect and my rights as a person. He started his narcissistic rages and it only made me more angry/frustrated/humiliated. The final straw was just this week. My daughter wanted to surprise me with a trip to Vegas for my 65th birthday. His reaction? "You can’t go."
    The color drained from my face, I packed my stuff the next day and I left. Before I married, I had the presence of mind to know I better protect myself. Kept my house an hour away ( he hated that) that my daughter lives in, finances separate, never changed my name, and didnt' even change my driver’s license. I knew it would end in the back of my mind. I just didn’t know how much I could stand. He started being smug and undermining me – showing ME who was the boss. I don’t blame him. I blame me. I knew what he was and I married him anyway. Can we change them? NO. Do they want to change? NO. Do they promise they will change?? ALL THE TIME. They will tell you ANYTHING you want to hear to keep you their prisoner. He turned his entire family against me with his lies to make himself look better. Roller coaster rides are fun when you are 12. Not when you are 65.
    Everybody — if it feels WRONG, it IS wrong. LOVE DOES NOT HURT.
    It should build you up = not tear you down. I feel free from the chains of lies/disrespect/gaslighting/manipulations/selfishness/. I never got a dime from this man. I supported myself on social security when he was earning l00K/yr. Always about him. It is supposed to be partnership. Not a prison. Peace.

    — Kay, 3/20/2014
  • reply to free spirit and kay

    I have just left a 38 year marriage and am broken, BROKEN BROKEN I have been searching for 18 months whilst deeply depressed suffering from PTSD going over and over and over all the vicious attacks and verbal abuse and odd affairs whilst trying to placate my husband, do a bit better so he wont loose his temper and go into rages about stupid things, never knowing when the next out explosion was going to happen living on eggshells. I knew I would eventually find someone more or less identical to myself. I too had everything materially, beautiful home, my husband a property developer, I taught Yoga, could cook well, loved to be in the garden had a glorious outer shell of a life! all APPEARED TO BE JUST PERFECT! (I have no children)
    I have just read FreeSPIRIT’S post and it could be me. I am hoping to have more posts and connection with her and also Kay and any other women on here for support.

    I have a wonderful family and so many friends supporting me, but feel alone, totally emptied of my spirit and soul. The spinning and rumination of my thoughts is relentless making me think I am going insane. I have filed for divorce but feel weak and unable to cope, the thought of buying a place and starting a new life is terrifying and paralysing/ I feel honoured and blessed to have found this site, everything on here resonates, to be able to have connection and support from others going through the same STUFF is enormously comforting..........maybe I can start to heal and believe in myself. STOP hating him, loving him, anting to go last time one last time, maybe next time......he must feel bad.............surely.?????? WHY WHY WHY has my life come to this? I WANTED TO MEND HIM FROM HIS BROKEN PAST! I felt pain for him being brought upwith such abandonment and abuse as a child. It is strange though because I was brought up just to please a manic depressive father, whom I adored, but I could do no wrong, I was desperate for an amotional connection from him that never came, and my mother provided well materially but emotionally deficient. Friends and family are unable to understand and I feel I drive them crazy as they have not a clue what is happening mentally to me, how this has affected me. Maybe on here there will be some greater understanding
    — Ros, 3/30/2014
  • Shocking Similarities

    Moving Day is April4th, in 2 days.all of this lingo is so new to me, Gaslighting, trauma bonding,projection but I’m FINALLY making sense of my lonely 12 year marriage.I went into the relationship a happy, trusting individual that lived Life. After 2 married years and the birth of twin boys it immediately changed. Nothing I did was good enough, , perfect enough. His oppressive expectations and superiority plus being an older, frazzled Mom simply wore me down. Thought I needed antidepressants to handle being older Mom to loud, healthy boys but really neeeded it to cope with the betrayal, isolation, loneliness, and confusion of living with a tyrant.
    His emotional abuse was always done in a joking manner so I was made to feel “overly sensitive ”. I worry about the children now being targets once I leave. Young enough now to easily manipulate but mouthy teenagers will bring out his worst and that is just around the corner. We have joint custody-any advice ?

    — LeisaS, 4/2/2014
  • soul loss

    How does he manage to be the victim every time? After 27 years, I see that he had something to gain by keeping me in line – so many times that he pretended to change, pulling a small false change just to give hope when I thought it was dead. I bought the change story, preferring the illusion of HOPE over the change of my leaving.
    It was such a perfect set up that even the young adult kids, who have moved on & are self-supporting, blame me. But I don’t care – I just want to leave before he self-destructs & I have to be there like that poor girl whose husband ran the stop sign. It’s going to be a long pull trying to become financially solvent @ this age, to resolve my debts, my reputation & my self-respect.

    — Alice, 4/5/2014
  • addendum

    BTW, the above is abt a person who is passive – aggressive, who controls w/ what he refuses to give. The result is the same emptiness from living w/ someone who knows but in some twisted way, responds w/ refusal, which is generally your fault & a catalyst for you to go into overdrive to gain a positive, loving response. It is another form of narcissism.
    How can you love the ever-hopeful yet hopeless person you have become over the years?
    Just think of it this way: if you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.

    — Alice, 4/5/2014
  • Am I Better

    I was in a relationship with a very controlling man years ago (to the point that he would even tell me where to sit) - long story short, I got out of that relationship not so easily – had children with him and he kept me in court – fast forward...I spent 17 years all on my own...raised my kids, bought a house, made myself proud of me. Not to say that there weren’t several years in there when I felt worthless for being alone. Somewhere in there I grew into treasuring my singularity. I went to a few sessions of therapy that were great. I read, I researched, I tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I even wondered if I was a narcissist at times. I took quizzes. I focused on my life, though. I focused on my reactions, my problem solving, my diplomacy...I began to truly enjoy the day to day life of the person I had become. So much so that when I met this latest man (and he even moved into my house), I cried for the first three months on my way home from work because I felt like I had broken up with myself. I know that sounds crazy but there it is.

    In time, this man who I adored and wanted to have a life with began to show his true colors. My private time was lost, I couldn’t go to the store alone, I couldn’t have five minutes to myself that he wasn’t right there with me – and would even get upset if I expressed a need to be alone (it is the only way I can recharge). Several times we fought and I made him leave. Several times we reconciled after he would see my point (or pretend to). This last time I kicked him out of the house for getting kicked out of college (I am in my 40’s and so is he) for aggression toward another student. The worst part is he did not tell me. I found out through my son that he had been home all week – even when confronted, he continued to lie. Then he confessed. No remorse, nothing. I was told I was being dramatic. Then the suicide threats came again – then the threats to publicly post every intimate detail I had ever trusted him with. To which I said “go for it”.

    I have never been more completely done. The instant he was gone, my spirit was lifted. My breathing was deeper. I was relaxed. I have not cried. I have not grieved. I feel like I was let out of a dark box that he had put me into. There is no craziness on my part like I had been prone to in my twenties – where I was really not sure what was going on trying to make sense of what was happening.

    Am I just that familiar with this behavior that I already know it won’t ever change and am able to cope better? I questioned if I was a bad person for feeling nothing but indifference toward him. Perhaps the cruelty was so much that the relief has taken over? What is a person to do to keep herself out of these situations, because I can tell you, I was blindsided by this one until I was already in it. Wondering what I am doing to attract these men even after so many years of being off limits. Thanks for letting me write my experience.

    — rebekkah, 4/6/2014
  • I think it's final

    My relationship ended five months ago however I have been in contact with him nearly every day since. I tell myself it’s final, it’s over and then I carry on. I wonder if there is something wrong with me?
    He knows I went through a physically abusive marriage 10 years ago and that I suffered sexual abuse as a child over 20 years ago. He tells me I always look for the negative and that if he did a million wonderful things for me I would base our relationship on the one terrible thing he did.
    He has humiliated me in front of work colleagues. Deliberately flirting with a young girl on a work do and when I left early he followed an hour later and verbally abused me and physically hit walls and the stair case in front of my terrified daughter. He drove home drunk and the next day avoided talking about the driving and insisted he could not remember discussing sexual activities with the girl in front of my work friends.
    I convinced myself I must have seen the whole situation the wrong way and that I was over sensitive and insecure. Against my families wishes, the risk of further aggression and a great sense of fear I decided to give it another try just in case it was me stopping this from working.
    He has been taking me out on dates, since the incident of aggression I thought it best to stay out of the house. He has treated me and tells me constantly how beautiful I am and all the other things he thinks I want to hear. I lie for him, I tell my family I am going to the shops or other friends houses and I stay out with him.
    A couple of weeks ago I broke my ribs in an accident. I told him what had happened and he came to visit me. I was in a very vulnerable state and experiencing a lot of pain. I hadn’t slept much and I was sickly from the pain killers.
    He sat right next to me on my smallest sofa and appeared impatient at my tiredness. During conversation I made a sarcastic remark and he told me that he was going to dig me in my broken ribs for saying it. I was offended by this, it seemed very insensitive and I just cried. He lost his patience and immediately threatened to leave me. He sat and watched me crying knowing that the upset was causing me more physical pain.
    He got angry and clenched his fists next to me. I was scared as I knew I was in no condition to move away from him in a hurry and I just had to sit and wait for his next move. I didn’t really know what would come next.
    He promises me all the time that he would never lay a finger on me, so why do I feel the threat? He tells me he just gets frustrated and that he clenched his fists as he was trying to get his anger out. I tell him that if he has been violent/aggressive in front of my child and I am scared of him then to clench his fists and show anger towards me when I am vulnerable is very scary. I am not sure if he understands this, he says he does.
    He said I wasn’t ill or unwell I had an injury. He said I was sat there acting like the victim. I was hurt by this because I hadn’t asked to break my ribs and I wasn’t playing on my pain in any way. He has called me a victim player before and when I say it hurts me because he knows of my past experiences he says he isn’t talking about the abuse I went through years ago. Everything he says that upsets me always comes back to me being over sensitive or it’s just my perception, it’s not actually how it is meant it’s just the way I perceive it. He says I need to find negative things about him to prove my own insecurities are real.
    If I do ever say he scares me or has been aggressive he will accuse me of comparing him to my ex husband and suggest I am stuck on my past experience and this is unfair to him.
    This time he didn’t hit a wall he went and washed my dishes and then acted as if he was the nicest guy who was going to bring food later to help out. I waited for him to leave and then as soon as I could get up I locked the door behind him.
    I have spoken to him over the phone and explained that he scares me and he says he is devastated that I think of him as a monster. He says there is so much he wants to tell me and that he knows I don’t want to hear it now. He keeps offering if I need any help to call him however he knows I won’t as I don’t feel safe to have him around me when I am not well enough to move away from him if I need to.
    I know this is not right and I know I don’t want to feel like this any more. There have been other incidents that also add up to this not feeling right. Including a holiday where he barely spoke to me for two weeks and completely distanced himself from me and as soon as we returned home within an hour he was all over me. He has also made comments about our physical/intimacy and detached himself from me making me feel as though I am not right sexually for him. Then he has come back to being all over me again and I have felt stupid for loosing my confidence in bed.
    He finished work before me and would be at my house before I had got home. He told me that I had an issue with this as I was not used to being in a real relationship before this one. He made a fuss about spending time with my female friends on our ladies night. I did fight against this.
    He used to pick bits off me, bits of fluff that I didn’t even see. He would criticize so many things I did and if I challenged this he would say he was only helping me.
    All of this has left me at a point of feeling completely switched off. I am too tired to try and work out if it’s him or me and I find myself swaying more towards thinking that I am a person who is unable to engage in a relationship with a man and that I am quite possibly damaged/irreparable.
    I really hope I am strong enough this time to make the break even if it just gives me some peace.

    — Marilyn, 4/19/2014
  • Marilyn, Your Narcs tactics are soo similar to my ex. I wrote a very long comment but it seems to long to post so I’ve saved it as a letter to you if you want it.

    Bill, thank you for an amazing article (and I have read everyone I could find on Narcissism for the past three years --not an exaggeration!). I have grown and healed tremendously and now I just feel so desperate to reach Marilyn and any and all others who are plagued with thinking ANY of the Narcs vile, disgusting words or behaviors are their fault. That is simply not logical, actually! Would you kindly pass my email address on to Marilyn if she wants it and/or ANY victim of these sick disorders. I am happy to be a support and help anyone else I can clean off the bile these evil ones spew on good people.

    Thank you for your work and for being another voice that is bringing these sicknesses to light. My hope is that victims will rise above these people and conquer this evil once and for all.

    — LD, 4/24/2014
  • Blindsided

    Hi Rebekkah,
    Your story sounded so familiar to me. I too was attracting narcissistic males. I had done that so many times in my life I married a man that I thought was so wonderful and had 2 children with. I will fast forward because too much happened in the 27 year of being with NPD’s. I found a book at the library called “Malignant Self Love the Narcissist rewound” Author Sam Vaknin. We were more than likely raised by a narcissist. All of these years of failed relationships & pain I have endured. I finally know why! San says in his book that we are attracted something familiar! It makes sense of course that’s why. What I remember is that the np male will idealize you and discard you. It won’t be evident in the begging of the relationship at all. It will hit you like a ton of bricks when the mask falls off. About 3 months into the relationship. He will slowly devalue you & figure out all of your weaknesses. He will tell you that you are the most wonderful beautiful woman in the entire world. I know I have lived this many times over! You just don’t see it coming. The big rex flags are: They require a lot of attention, they need adulation, they think that the are grand, are extremely critical of others, LACK EMPATHY !!! And there are some very evident signs, however they will hide them very well. I know a narc when I see one now! Of course I am 54 year old and know very well & have a narcissist Mother:( They don’t care about anyone but themselves. They are never wrong it will always be your fault. I am sorry that you had the same experience as I had. I now examine a male & look at motives ??? What would this man benefit from being with me ? I hope this helps because there people are very good actors. True me I know. I am not broken yet. I think that over the years I created my own cocoon. I trust nobody. If I am dating a man I find out everything I can about him, his past relationships, his relationships with his children, how long he’s been at his job, and stay clear of any alcoholism.

    — Cynthia, 12/8/2014
  • My lifeboat

    I have been, as most here, married to a diagnosed NP for five years. I got lucky that our couples' therapist picked up on this after some time (yes, he went to therapy).

    My one saving grace was individual therapy with a very capable, very experienced and compassionate therapist. I drove two hours every week and ate canned tuna so I could afford and stay in therapy during the process of leaving.

    When I thought I couldn’t take it anymore and was just about to go back to him, I called my therapist, whatever time. This person would almost always return my call at some point during the day or night, listen to me compassionately, and remind me that no, he will not change, and yes, I almost let myself be psychologically destroyed before I managed to leave.

    I just filed for divorce. You can do it too. My two cents: if you can afford it in any way, and are lucky enough to find a competent therapist who CARES, do it. If you can’t, enlist the help of a few friends who love you, explain to them that when you feel at risk of going back, you will call them and explain to them what you need to be reminded of.

    Come to this forum, read a book about NP. Patricia Evans' The Verbally Abusive Relationship helped me a ton too, as well as Sam Vaknin’s videos.

    I send my love to all of you out there. You are stronger than you think. You were not chosen because you are weak, you were chosen because of your fundamental goodness and immense capacity to love and empathize. This is a beautiful gift, it just needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of self love and self respect.

    — Almost there, 1/9/2015
  • 4 steps forward 2 back

    Hi everyone and Hi Bill
    Like everyone posting here, I too was with a Narcissist for 4 years, (from Jan 2010 to March 2014). The first month or so, we were just friends, but he was definitely ‘grooming me’ the whole time.
    I had invited him to crash temporarily at my home as he was then unemployed 2 years and telling me he was homeless, (and a real victim of life) I later learned from his parents that this was not true at all.
    Once we became involved, it didn’t take long for his true colours to show, and this was where his devaluations of me truly began. Every aspect of my life (and the people in it) were subject for rage, projections and devaluations. And like others here have mentioned, he used my past as a way to abuse me and brainwash me.
    I was subjected to every aspect of abuse there is on this earth, the very worst were his frequent public humiliations, (mostly at my workplace), and the sleep deprivations.
    Since he didn’t work, it didn’t matter to him that we stayed up all night long, he would simply drive off eventually and go sit in his car and nap.
    Meanwhile, I had a job and a home and older children to tend to.
    After 2 years, I told him that he could no longer live at my home, and to return to his parents for other free accommodation, (Yea!!).
    He was still unemployed and not making any effort to seek employment and help himself at all. His sense of entitlement that both me and the rest of the world ‘owed him’ was huge.
    My reason for asking him to leave? Because he was becoming physically abusive to my (older) children too often as well, involving them in his war against me.
    Within 2 weeks of being back at his parents he rang and lured me back into a recycle again, promising that he would seek help and admitting he really needed it, as he always did.
    He wanted me to travel up to his parents and embark on a Long Distance relationship this time, which I did, for almost another 2 years. During this time, his relationship with his parents slowly degraded again, and he returned to his frequent abusive episodes, which at times resulted in his threatening to harm his Father and Mother. Several disagreements ended with a trip to the Emergency Department for both his elderly parents, such was the stress and danger.
    I knew all too well what they were going through, and with the Mother often telling me that the Father used to be just as bad as the son, I knew the 2 of them were clashing.
    In the early months of 2013, his Mother and Father decided to sell their home and buy another home more suited to their age, they had also decided that they could no longer cope with their son’s antics and lack of motivation to get well.
    They told him six months before moving house that he needed to find somewhere else to go, of course he ignored them, (or did he?) and went back to ‘living in his car’ and hanging out at the beach.
    Around June that same year, I went up to see him, having been lured up for a wonderful night together, as always, and as always, they most certainly were NOT wonderful nights together. I awoke to verbal abuse around 1.30am, and got up, (due to arise for the 40 minute drive to work at 4am). After an hour of verbal abuse, violence, death threats and extreme personal property damages, the Police allowed me to return to his parents and try to retrieve what was left of my stuff.
    After that night, he tried to get me to return again and again, but I was not keen on the idea at all, without an admission from him that it would never happen again, in asking him for that, I got abuse screamed at me, and he slammed down the phone, ignoring me for 4 months. During that time, he stalked me, did hang up calls, and sent a newspaper clipping in the post. My attempts to say thanks were ignored, so I continued with my No Contact.
    Around the end of Nov 2013, he rang out of the blue, and over several days of grooming me, and idealising me, I was sucked back into a recycle with him.
    My daughter and her fiancé (who boarded with me) were not happy I was back with him, and didn’t want him in the house. This proved difficult, but in the end, they agreed but wanted us to get CCTV up. So we installed it on a day when my partner was out all day and night, (unemployment pay day, lol).
    He pretty soon cottoned on to the cameras, and of course tried to break them, turned them off and on etc, but I had already told him that we put them up because we had had a lot of trouble with ‘prowlers’ etc.
    As it turned out, his behaviour had began to return to abuse pretty soon after staying back at my home, (less than 2 weeks actually).So it was a good plan to put up CCTV.
    By March last year, he was becoming more and more abusive again, and more often, and the last straw was when he again abused me at work, almost ran me over, and smashed his own car windscreen in front of me and a regular customer at my workplace.
    I rang the Police, (who did nothing anyway) and went No Contact. Within 2 days he had stopped calling me, but was still stalking me when he was in town and had money.
    Several times that year he made phone contact, the first was a blind hate filled rage, and the next few were simply manipulative and designed to try and draw me back in for perhaps another recycle?
    I felt he was certainly pursuing other women though, (likely always had despite his protestations about not being like that). Unfortunately his Sister In-law began frequenting the Shopping Centre where I work, and telling me news of him, which was usually cynical, and the same dreary story, no he wasn’t working, and still homeless and they couldn’t be bothered with him.
    A few days before Xmas just passed, she approached me before I could escape, to tell me this time the news was good, before I could stop her, she proceeded to tell me that he was now working/living on a farm stay, and had ‘met his match’. Yep, she told me that he had met a lady who was a Psychiatrist, and she was ‘keeping him in line’.
    She also repeated his words, ‘he just wanted to get away from everything and everyone’.
    Vomit. Ugh....
    Why does this still hurt me?
    And how did he manage to meet/date a Psychiatrist?
    If she is ‘keeping him in line’, why did she think herself smart enough to get involved with him in the first place?

    Robyn, 2/7/2015
  • Soul hurts

    Christian couple married 3 yrs 9 mos. Didn’t know what husband was like until a month after we were married. He is a nice man, does things for me, does not call me names, no physical abuse, it’s indirect statements about women or how people don’t do things right, all to let me know what I was doing or did wasn’t right. He’s controlling, tell me I could decorate here or there, always asking why am I doing this or that like cleaning house, dishes etc. Or if we are shopping why do you want that, where are you going to put it. I don’t buy a lot of things
    I usually end up putting it back could be a rug or something for the house. His 1st wife died 11 years ago, a couple of their wedding pics & figurines he bought her are in a curio cabinet in the dining room, her wedding dress is under our their bed, a spare room can’t be used as a lot of their things are in there, packed. Most of my things have been boxed up in the basement. O feel as though it is not our house but his. I retired over a year ago, its like I have no say even if he asks for opinion it is still what he wants. I’ve pretty much shut down. I’ve recently come out of a dark place, doing better. I’m not numb any more, pray & ask for God’s wisdom. My husband has went with me a couple times, she told me he is narcissistic. He gets angry easy, yells so loud it hurts my ears. Its not me he’s yelling at its what someone else did. He rages, but not at me, he’s not physical. I’m not the same person I use to be, had fun laughed enjoyed friends. Don’t do anything with friends. I’ve not been around anyone like this as an adult. We have discussed it some, he says my temper is worse than his. If I raise my voice a little he’ll say lower your voice but he yells rages for a long time 20,30 minutes or so. I walk on eggshells what will set him off. I am praying what to do, separate or stay working on myself. I get confused because he doesn’t demean me directly, yet have felt worthless, of no value, think its me. As mentioned doing better. Just have a big decision to make. When is the right time. My mom died June last yr, brother died 12 days later, mom was 91. Husband’s mother is 91 put her in long term care in Nov, had to move her stuff out of her apt put in storage. His dad is 92 lives elsewhere. So much going on, wanted to help him. Now what? Where to go from here? Thank you for support.

    — Debi, 2/11/2015
  • lost and empty

    Hello everyone and hello Bill.
    I lived 7 yrs with a narcissist man whom me I loved so deeply. I left him a year ago on Feb 21, 2014. It took me a year to plan my escape. I had no family and very little friends left. He drove everyone away and made me feel guilty if I spent time with anyone that wasn’t to his approval, which ment no one. I met him a year before my mom past away from cancer. He was there for me through her illness and her death. My knight in shining armor. I moved in with him shortly after her death and still blind, I didn’t see the signs. Until 3 years in when I found pictures of him having sex with another women. I questioned him and demanded an explanation. With in 20 mins I was the one crying and begging for forgiveness. That’s the moment I lost myself and he took all control. He lied about everything. His family, his kids,being married, his childhood, even his eye color and being in the military. He lied about everything. I did everything to make him happy and not have to listen to yelling and put downs. And if I didn’t do it I heard for weeks how he did everything for me and I was so ungrateful. No matter what everything was my fault and I always found myself begging to be forgiven. He would use the silent treatment knowing I would always say sorry even if I didn’t do anything wrong. I tried to kill myself several times only to hear him say, “How could you do this to me. Leave me alone to have to pay your funeral and explain it to your f.. family. You're so ungrateful.” The pain is so alive still and yet knowing all this I have to fight not going back. I found out that 2 weeks after I left he had already moved another woman in the house. I knew he was cheating but to have it confirmed was so painful. Did he ever care? Did he ever love me? Did anything I do ever matter? I cry myself to sleep and I’m so afraid that I will never get over this pain. I still get emails telling me what an awful person I am for leaving him after all he did for me. He denies being with someone else even thow I saw him. How do I heal. Please someone help me. The pain is so much it feels as thow my heart and my soul is broken.

    — Roberta, 3/10/2015
  • 50 Shades of Grey

    Boy am I glad I stumbled across this page. I really need to tell my story as I am not too strong right now and find myself missing him. My story with a narcissist is straight out of “50 Shades of Grey”. I met him 5 years ago when I was 36 and he was 52. He swept me off of my feet with his extreme type A personality, charisma, charm, sensitivity, good guy--life of the party, whirlwind lifestyle including travel to tropical paradises and all over the U.S. He is a business owner and all about flash. He is like two different people and I, as do others, believe he is bipolar also. He was married twice, the first one for 2 years and she left him, the second for 26 years of whom he had children with. He cheated on both of them the entire time. He is into BDSM and porn so scary, it isn’t even allowed in the US. He saved me, protected me, owned me, terrified me, thrilled me, and seduced me all at the same time. I was in a previous relationship for 16 years that was also very controlling and emotionally abusive and I was as naive as they come, very trusting and gullible. I saw the wounded soul in him, the poor pitiful being that desperately needed a friend and someone to be on his side after everyone else screwed him over. I remember telling myself that I really like this guy, I just didn’t feel right with the sex stuff. One night he showed me a video on his computer of BDSM porn where this woman was being severely abused with a machine. I remember thinking to myself that the door is right there in a moment of panic if I had to escape. He is very powerful, extremely intelligent, and gifted at reading people and sensing what they are thinking and always knew how to take you right to the razor’s edge and then do a 180 to gain your trust again. It was almost like he didn’t have emotions or feelings and like Bill had wrote, he mimicked them. He slowly introduced me into his BSDM lifestyle and it was literally like he was Christian and I was Ana in the movie. Even though my gut was screaming at me that this was wrong and so many red flags kept appearing, I got sucked in deeper and deeper until I lost myself. I have low self esteem and he made me feel good about myself always telling me how beautiful I am, how intelligent I am, how sensitive of a soul I have, etc. He was my best friend. He wanted me to always “put him away” from himself by putting him in latex bags, drugging him, binding him, punishing him with torturous devices, master/slave. He kept wanting me to study this to please him. He wanted to do these things to me, but refrained after a couple of years when I got the nerve up to tell him it scared me. I always had to be on my best behavior with him and always smiling and happy, even my tone of voice had to change to be uplifting and praising when I talked to him. I went thought so much of this and felt really used up yet as time went by I started getting through to him and he actually burned a lot of the sex stuff. But I still felt that was what my main purpose in the relationship was, to be his servant in all facets. My son was living with me when I met him and he was accepting of that, but was almost orchestrating that he move back to another state with his dad. This eventually happened and he swooped in to save me and had me move in with him the day my son left. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with guilt, but was hypnotized in a way that this was okay.
    We got engaged the following year even though in my gut, I couldn’t marry him until I knew my son was going to be okay. (He was 16 when he moved to his dad’s.) Things continued at 100 mph until my mom died. I was devastated and couldn’t really function. He thought I should have been over this within a couple of weeks. Things went downhill from there as the guilt from not being in my son’s life took over and everything culminated when my son needed to come by me to heal. It took me two weeks to get the nerve up to ask him if he could and he retorted, “for a visit!” and I replied it might be a little longer than that and he said it could break us up. My son did come and it was awkward. My fiancé ended up moving out and put the house we lived in up for sale indicated that I needed to find a place for my son and I. I moved back to our home state with my son and didn’t speak with my fiancé for 5 months. In his mind, I left him as he cannot take ownership of his actions. He had indicated before we left that I could let my son know what I was losing by making this choice.
    It has now been 8 months and he is dating again and back in the game he was in before he met me of fast, beautiful, showpiece, women and has found an older, plastic version of me. He claims they are just casually dating and seeing other people as well and that he hated losing me, that he is alone now. He has her in the same places we went across the country, doing the same things.
    Why am I so upset by this? I always look for the good in people and see it in him. He has said he doesn’t need a woman or BSDM anymore, that all he needs is God. And I feel the longing to go back... Can he really change in 8 months?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    — Cindy, 3/12/2015
  • narc women

    I have read through most of these comments and they are most all by women, but you women have know idea the veracity of a narcissistic woman, by the sounds of all the comments by you women, the narcissistic male, is generally well off, same parallel with narc women is that generally beautiful. But again this has men at a complete disadvantage, that a narc man is still creppy and all you women have to do use some common sense right? Not so with us Men ohh noo... no Man in the whole world can resist a sultry speaking attractive woman No WAy NO How. Before you know it you are in a tangled web and wish you were dead! With what ever money you have left is being spent like water! All the comments on this blog and every one has recovered enough to move on and are writing here as part of the recovery process, But a Man NEVER recovers from financial Narcissistic abuse. Financial abuse is part of the female narc trap. And you CANNOT get out, you are trapped for life. I stand in soup lines for food, and I have this computer and the internet is paid through my rent, That.s a Man’s life after narcissistic divorce, after having house’s and my own business, bet not one of you women have even close to that bad of a situation!

    — pinetree, 5/10/2015
  • Very confused

    Hello Bill...

    I don’t know if I have just come out of a two year relationship with a narcissist or not, but the feelings are that I have. The way I feel about myself – that I’m the crazy one. My ex has bipolar I and I have read up a lot on this – the best information coming from forums for those who are with people who have bipolar. I notice that earlier on in this thread, somebody mentioned that some of the behavioural traits expressed sounded like BP. This has served to confuse me further. My conclusion is he has BPI and he is also a narcissist. I can’t keep a track of his moods – as it is, of course, a mood disorder, but it was like that all of the time. It wasn’t intervals – it was pretty much constant – apart from the first three months when I was put very high up on a pedestal (which I was aware of at the time). He told me he loved me the second time he saw me. It was literally instant and I was most definitely love bombed. I was aware of all of it.

    I feel his behaviour was incredibly manipulative and calculated. It transpired that he had a group of women – several exes and female friends (all of whom he’d slept with) and seemed to infer, insinuate, or outright vacillate between feelings for them, feelings for me, not being able to let them go, getting angry because he wants to see who he wants, when he wants, despite how I felt. I know for a fact that he went back to one ex (who he claimed to love very much, but who he doesn’t feel the same about now) close to the beginning of our relationship (after something I’d done). I put it down to bipolar. After he had done that, he continued a friendship with her (or, in my opinion, continued using her, as it was quite obvious that he was) and got angry when, on a couple of occasions, I expressed that I felt his behaviour was inappropriate. Keeping her as a friend there and going to her when he needed an emotional crutch. She, herself, is severely depressed. He knows this. He did admit once to using her.

    Then has an ex from 12 years ago and he said only recently that there is something still there. I had already wondered, as the ring tone he has for her (which would sound sometimes when we were together in conversation) was a tender love song. The kind of song you would have for your girlfriend, not ex from 12 years ago. I, by the way, just had the normal ring tone. Apparently, because he could hear it better when I sent him a message. There is always SOMEONE he thinks he still has feelings for, is confused by, etc. He was in a nine year relationship (after the one he can’t get over) from which he had a child and now he’s confused about that. He says how completely different they are, that she’s not for him, then the next minute, he doesn’t know if he still wants something. That he might want to sleep with her again at some point. He doesn’t know. I understand it takes time to get over past loves, especially if we haven’t allowed space to do so. I understand all of that. I have been so very, very understanding of it all!!! Constant fostering of an insecure situation that I was expected to just accept. I couldn’t. I felt like crap!

    The focus was on him for the vast majority of time. Him talking about him. Repeating stories, him being the starring role, and almost bragging about some of his behaviours. I felt right from the beginning that he didn’t ‘see’ me, is the only way I can put it. On occasion, I felt I could just be anyone. And in fairness, I saw many red flags at the beginning. I was conscious of them, yet I still went in. There was the constant feeling that something was ‘off’. He, with the help of his therapist, decided I had borderline personality disorder quite early on in the relationship, that there was something wrong with me and I was the one who didn’t understand. If I shared situations in my life with him, as we all have our own things going on, he had no time. Or I would say something and he would literally say nothing back or when he was feeling kinder, say ‘I can imagine’ when I expressed how I felt about situations in my life. That was the end of discussion. How I felt just didn’t seem to matter. If I was unwell, it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered!

    Every angry reaction he had was because of something I had done. If I happened to be a little grumpy on occasion, and I am not a very grumpy person as a rule, it would create all kinds of trouble. I wasn’t ‘normal’, didn’t I realise the effect my mood had on him, I should bring things in a different way, that it didn’t suit me to be that way, it didn’t ‘fit’ me, etc. I was being human! But I started to second guess myself all the time, thinking; am I ‘normal’? Is there something wrong with me? Maybe I am difficult and moody etc. I didn’t do anything awful, yet I’m struggling with the feeling deep down that there is something ‘wrong’ with me. That maybe he’s right and I am the self centred narcissist he’s accused me of being. He says that everything was about me!!! It has literally messed my head up. He was never violent or threatening violence, but his behaviour was so unsettling and unfathomable that I feel terribly confused. I also feel, like others have written here, that I have been sucked dry. The inability to put my finger on exactly what it is that is unsettling me.

    I was also expected to behave at all times, as he has a mood disorder, yet he didn’t put the effort in to stabilising himself, smoking, as he does, marijuana morning, noon, and night. Although he takes medication, he in no way supports his stability with his lifestyle habits. Yet I was expected to consider his illness at all times, and basically, wasn’t allowed to just be me. Believe me, I did consider his illness. I considered it a LOT, but in the process, stopped considering me.

    There is much more – being dumped left, right and centre – wooed back in. He is a very good looking, charming man, and now I can’t stand him. I feel sick around him, literally. I was exhausted, had many headaches and nausea, stomach upsets, literally vomiting. My body was screaming at me to get out. These, of course, are all signs of anxiety. I don’t like him, yet I do have strong feelings for him. It’s all so confusing.

    I also feel stupid. I’m 51 and I feel like an immature child who can’t get her life together. I am also intelligent, caring, supportive, and yet I feel I have nothing anymore.

    Thank you for reading... x

    — Tess, 6/11/2015
  • The Narcissist and His Woman

    I just now realized after reading several articles, yours being one of them, that I was married to a narcissist for 24yrs. He is a psychiatrist.
    Thank you, my family and I are now finally able to understand why he treated me the way he did. Even now 10yrs later he as taken extreme measures to not comply with court orders. He has done everything in his power to discredit and destroy me.

    joy, 7/26/2015
  • This is it, exactly. Exactly. So accurate, I’m shaken. Everything, even down to the footnote.

    I was in this from the age of 18 until 50. Two years after my husband walked out on me, after an incredible amount of pain and suffering, I can say I’m so grateful for the freedom I now experience. God is so good to me. I thank Him that He loves me perfectly, His mercies endure forever, and He is doing a good work in me.


    — Emily, 8/27/2015
  • Nicole Greaney - Narcissists don't change

    I have been involved with a narcissitic man called John. I met him through work in cavan. He does so much of what is written here. I thought I was going mad but I now realise it is him. He is 45 and separated with two kids. I thought his moods and lying we’re connected to his marriage break up but instead he was playing me of against his ex and his harem. He lies and then puts you down. He has a split personality but it takes a few years on and off to see his cold heart. He mirrors and deliberately hurts but is not physically violent more passive aggressive and nasty. He loves only himself and loves his ego fed. He discards then comes back. It’s all triangulation, cheating and games. He is a sales manager for the bank and I think his NPD helps with his job. He loves to con clients and cheat with them. He is Scottish and I was useful for local knowledge on clients. Plus he moved into my house after his break up and I think it’s all parasitic feeding. He took me to his pals wedding in scotland in 2013 and made the whole trip about him. It was the worst trip i have ever been on but i lied to play along. I feared been on my own and I thought it was something but it no relationship just a sham. He is not the man I felt for in the beginning. It’s a game of cruel deception. He is obsessed with deceiving anyone he meets. I was taken in by a frauder. To the outside world he seems like a nice man but he is evil scum. I post here to warn others that they never change no matter how many chances you give. Nicole

    — Nicole Greaney, 10/21/2015
  • Textbook N

    I just left my husband of 10 years. Reading all this, I am amazed at how so many prople, mainly women, have stories so similar. Mine, too. I add to the stories, that while I was still under his spell, I did things I never would have had the self DISRESPECT to do without him. Did drugs I would have never done. Responded to his requests for kinky sex, threesomes and such. Stoke pils for his addiction. I was so hurt when after the fact he called me a cheater, when he invited another man into our bed. I was the payee for my daughter and at his urging stole from my daughter. Boy,was he pissed when I told her and paid her back. Our relationship became combative once I saw HOW he was-though I gad no title for it until recently – and called him on it, when I stayed because I had vowed to, but distanced myself and spent more time with my daughters and with friends. I decided about a year ago that the combativeness was only escalating, and was going to end up with me losing it and killing this man, all the resentment...I decided if it ever went to blows again, that would be the day I left. I told him so, too. Well, nearly five months ago, I was getting ready to go out of town for a friend’s baby’s memorial. Very sad event, funeral of a baby, 14 months and fought cancer the whole time. I had invited him to go, as usual, he declined
    Then started with me about why I should not go. I told him I ws going, that she was like a daughter to me. And he threatened to break my computer, and my phone, actually came at me with fists raised. I lost it, all that resentment...and beat him up. I called the police fully believing I would go to hail, told them the whole story, and amazingly, they took HIM to jail, for 3 days, and filed no formal chargeson him since I admitted to being the agressor after his threat. They told me to use the time wisely, so I packed what I thought I would need and left. After he got out of jail he BEGGED me to come home, begged a person who had hit hit in the the risk of sounding like a psycho, which I probably am, I was abused in a prior relationship and vowed that no man would ever beat me up again, so took steps to learn to stop it, in the process, became dangerous, myself. Abyhow, I remained firm, told him I would help him find someone to do fir him what I had done, helping him take care of things like showers as he is older and has had multiple heart attacks, considered disabled. So I managed his life from three counties away for two months, still feeling bad for being a monster to him, still trying to be the good wife, not filing for divorce but certainly not going back either. Well. During this time he quit drinking, which had been another problem entirely, and with a clear head came the rage. He made it clear to me that if I did not “come home where I belinged” he would ruin my friendships in that tiwn. Started talking trash to whomever would listen which was not very many people who knew both of us. Tried to sleep with one of my girlfriends, who is a neighbor. She told me, and I laughed. I told her he could sleep with whomever hw wanted, cause I was done. But that I hoped she was smart enough NOT to, and she, HE wants to file for divorce, so he can control the outcome. Whatever. I am just thrilled to be beginning a life without him, should have done it years ago. I’m wondering if I should seek counseling. I don’t want to everify feel threatened and let that monster out. I have already had counseling for the anger issues and tendency to go ballistic and beat some one who threatens to beat me. But I still did it, and bloody Hell, I am too old for that, too old to tussle, too old to get injured or injure anyone anymore. Definately too old to do time in prison, something I have never done...just want to live happy ever after...don’t want to take the Monster into my new relationship. I date occaionally, only one person, my best friend for the last twenty years. Not a Narc, man enough to handle me without abuse and I might add the person who honed my ability to defend myself. We have plans to build a sanctuary and as life; going slow. Just wondering if I would even benefit from counselling, as I have all the info and sessions might be just an excuse to rehash the bs in my past and look for sympathy...that’s not me! I would rather just say to people involved with a narcissist that they don’t ch as nge. It’s like a moral birth defect. Only feel good when you are depleted and broken. You, like me, are we Orth so much more.

    — Vicki, 11/22/2015
  • Response to Vicki (Textbook N)

    Each time I read these stories shared by people like you, I increase my respect and admiration for all who are wrestling themselves out of the soul-stealing ordeals of narcissistic relationships. Thank you so much for your courage and sharing. I wish you the very best for a rich future.

    — Bill McDonald, 11/22/2015
  • Ever Evolving

    Hello to all,
    It has been seven months since I left my N. Four months since I moved out of state. Not to escape him, but for a job transfer which came at the perfect time. A week before I left, I googled “does being with someone crazy make you crazy?” Imagine what I found... a site dedicated to N.Abuse. I was liberated! I finally knew what was going on and that it wasn’t “all my fault” all the time. Three days later I ended our “relationship”.
    I’m absolutely astounded at how much this has affected my life. I cannot believe that these people exist. Silly, all trusting me! I am thankful for all the wonderful information available.
    No matter how strong you are, these people will drag you as far down as they can. They will take on your personality to make you believe you have found your soulmate. Just a short time later they will steal every part of you that makes you happy and whole.
    I was made responsible for any bad behavior. I had to “keep track” of what each of us spent when going out so it was “even”. Which eventually turned in to me paying 2/3 of the time because I didn’t want to argue about money. I was forced into sexual circumstances I was uncomfortable with. I was exhausted all the time. I still am.
    All the things I used to love to do have been tainted by this “person”. And said person gets to walk away. No scars. No sleep loss. No tears. Just on to the next source. It’s a very sad situation, indeed.
    I pray that we all heal from the terrible situations we were forced to put up with for the sake of love. I just want me back.
    Thank you for reading and take care.

    — Kat, 11/23/2015
  • NarcissistsWomen

    Well i would certainly say these days that many women are more than men.

    — TheTruth, 1/4/2016
  • Questions

    I feel I was married to a narcissist which was made more complicated by the fact that he was always lying about his sexuality. So talk about having the pity card played against you as a women, after all “it's not his fault”... but then after having forgiveness and sympathy and dealing fairly, the lies shift to ommsion of communication, false representation, not holding up to agreements, and all along you are just trying to let the kids have a normal relationship with their father, but your day off means nothing to him, he is always at your side in public anyway... playing the best friend best father role, while lying about finances and dishonoring commitments in private... let alone invading your space. As if my wanting to be around him, after being betrayed sexually would have been very selfish... the power play of women, the new double standard is either we weren’t there for our kids or if we were, then we weren’t successful enough to not need support in a glass ceiling disposable labor commodity world... fed up by a system of bias, but not nearly as fed up with the bias in the social system as the display of gender confusion as a means to exploit others while simultaneously paraded as heroic. Any advice for those trying to leave a spouse who lied about their sexuality when in reality they had been having leanings and incidences of homosexuality their entire youth?

    — Twisted Premise, 2/16/2016
  • Give thanks to the narcissist

    I read recently that 'One should give thanks to the narcissist, for it is the narcissist that teaches us the greatest lesson in life-to love one’s self & not look for love in others'. This is sooooo true. Having said that, I married my first husband who emotionally & physically abused myself & his step son, spent years at the Family Law Court, which nearly killed me, had a five year break raising four children by myself, then met who I thought was the man of my dreams. He moved into my family home within months of dating, and was what I thought ‘the perfect partner’, proposed to me within 6 months, and spent the next 8 years trying to get his name on my mortgage and/or title. We were pregnant 2 years into the relationship, unfortunately I miscarried New Years Eve. Things were going just fine until then, I was still on the theatre trolley when I asked the obstetrician when we could try again, the Narc turned around in the recovery room and said “What the f... would you want to do that for?” That’s when I should have ended the relationship, but I persevered & kept telling myself that I didn’t get with the Narc to have a baby I got with him because I fell in love with him-and boy did he know it! He tried everything to get his name on the title of my family home, even suggested we use the equity in the family home to do IVF after losing the baby. He constantly told I would never get a bank loan by myself and I would have to put his name on the loan or the title of the house. For years I told him it was my children’s and my home and he was not going to get any of it. Another 7 years went by, lots of crap in between- he suffered anxiety, took himelf off antidepressents, lost his licence due to D & D, the Sheriff knocking on my front door for outstanding debts, withdrew all the funds from our bank account whilst on holidays to give to his ex wife, finding an ex partner’s husband’s last Will & Testament in amongst his paperwork in my shed,purchasing cars without discussing it with me, drawing up & making me pay for house extension plans to extend the house then deciding he didn’t want to proceed, then the final straw-not answering his mobile when he was due to collect my youngest daughter from work at 9pm & my oldest daughter and I driving past AA to see him flirting with another woman (still flirting 3 hours later), then lying saying he was out the front talking to 3 male members. He left 2 nights later when confronted with this & went to live with his boss, taking everything he owned & more including the pillow from his side of the bed (but placing the pillow slip back on the bed to make it look like the bed was still made). He ended up with this woman, who lives opposite an old friend of mine. Stood at the checkout at Coles whilst I was paying for my groceries 2 days after he left saying nothing, met me for coffee the following week (bad mistake, what was I thinking?)& grabbed me when we parted to go to our cars, rang my oldest son intoxicated twice, rang me & abused me for 30 minutes, saying I ‘used and abused him for 9 years’, then texted me bull..about how he doesn’t want to be told what to do, when to do it or how to do it. The last text was 2 months ago where he said he had changed jobs, moved out of his daughter’s flat (he was house sitting whilst she was overseas),his dog died and he really does miss me, but if I don’t respond he will accept that.
    In other words ' I have no job, the girlfriend worked me out, nowhere to live & the dog died!
    As my son said 'HE has a problem'
    It’s been really difficult not to respond to him...I still miss him, sorry, I miss the person I thought he was.
    The funny thing is when he first moved in he told me 'If ever I stuff up pull me aside and tell me, I don’t want to do anything to destroy this relationship'. He also said ' Within 7 years you are going to wish you had never met me'
    The entire 9 years I lived with him I never met one person in his immediate family, except his children, but not his father (who he was estranged from, nor his 2 sisters)

    I think the Narcs know something is just not right within themselves and us ‘Empaths’ are easy targets!

    We deserve better AND we play a very important role in ‘The Dance of the Narcissist’. We’re actually doing the Narcs a favour by going No Contact.
    Eventually they get old & they do have to face their demons! Eventually they run out of people who fall for their fake persona.
    It’s one thing to be lonely when your by yourself, but to be lonely with someone who just does not care is a whole different ball game, it is soul destroying, and the narcissist loves this....

    — Jeanette, 4/18/2016
  • Best explanation I've read

    I’m recovered from a relationship with a narccist, it was by far the most traumatic event in my life.
    I discovered that the personality was my mother, my childhood was unpleasant & I was never loved but I had no name or understanding other than blaming myself as unlovable.
    My mother has a life long habit of accusing me of taking things she has mislaid or lost, never any apology when she finds them.
    She still does this, recently she has lost three things, my limit so I wrote to her asking for an apology & explaining I’m not a thief and this might be why I visit on a bare minimum basis.
    All she sent back were hundreds more accusations, reasons why I should be in grateititude & other deflections which involved me being some sort of monster.
    It confirms my suspicions about her, and explained why I seem to have involved with the man I was taken in by.
    Horrible people.

    Jane, 5/2/2016
  • How they are created

    The two narcissists I’ve encountered both came from abusive homes. Both raised in poverty both a scent fathers.
    Both materialistic, need admiration, both competitive and compare people as ‘insult’ or ‘compliment’. As children we were compared daily to one an other or perfect peers. As for my relationship it was previous partners or other women, again it could be postitive or negative. Normal people tend not to compare at all. With my own children I just didn’t think to compare, same with relationships I’ve never done this.
    I’m sure narcisst safe unaware they even do this, I’m looking out for this in future relationships as a red flag.

    Jane, 5/2/2016
  • Narc traits or full blown narc?

    I believe I know the answer to this but am just so upset this happened. I felt great for the first time in my life, single for three years, in church, friends, good job I loved and I prayed I was ready to meet the one God had for me and my daughter. Then a week later this man looked at me and I looked at him from across the room and he said of course it just feels right and it did. We got married and 5 years later I am in the realization stage. I knew something was wrong but what? Then it all just hit me, My mother, brother, and father are all narcs. In fact almost all(both sides) of my family including husbands are narcs or bad tendencies so how is it that I have excessive empathy with all the cards stacked against me? Who knows, but my life is so messed up. I am a strong person and the manipulations I always saw thru and my intuition is very strong as well. But he says he wants to change and he knows what he did but now that he is trying I won’t give him a chance he says and he feels lost and like there is nothing he can do now. Could be true or he could be One of the most manipulative uncaring abusive narcs ever. He is young so maybe just not in control of his emotions and confused I’d like to think and pray for him everyday. Either way we have 4 children and a nice life and I am a homemaker so I have nowhere to go and no money and if it isn’t bad enough my mother who always had control of me and him are fighting for control and my mom has used my children now to hurt me by falsely calling cpd saying I’m the crazy one and a bad mother and I am not. I love my children, breastfed them all, did skin to skin, eat healthy, and was met with criticism the whole way. The reports were all unsubstantiated and I cut my mom off and just when I thought life was getting great cps showed up in another state and this time took the baby at one month because I was breastfeeding. My mistake for letting my mom know my address. It was a case of medical kidnap and I am devastated and worried for all my children and my husband isn’t very supportive. Its my worst nightmare. They got me and are happy. The social workers are narcs too I realized. I had a good one who believed and They outed her and put in a ruthless lying one. I feel defeated though I am still fighting. I feel I can’t get away from these people and all I want is to be happy. I have tried to no avail to get help. I have been isolated but God did bring me a friend who has stuck by me. Its sad when your own family doesnt even have your back but a stranger does. I don’t know what to do. I’m exhausted. I would not wish this on anyone and hope yall get out and have a way. I’m thinking of running away to a commune or even cult just to have some support and get away from this as I really have nowhere I can go and no money. He has it all. I think he wants me to run off with everything so he can say I did him sorry and with my family, him and his, and the go government ganged up on me what hope do I have. They' LL just say I’m paranoid and think everyone is out to get me and I’m blaming, not taking accountability.

    — NovemberRain, 5/14/2016
  • narcissitic

    What a wonderful thread, I was in a kind of relationship with an elderly gentleman, he told me often to find someone else, I did then he said he loved me, didn’t want to lose me so I stayed and suffered the consequences of his anger, he was forever telling me I was crazy and shoving my mind crazy down his neck,i am doing a bachelor in psychology and he said he hated these people then I find he has finally dumped me for an Asian psychologists, he told me she just came on his facebook , now I am sure he wants me to look and comment on this so he can berate me again and justifywhy he dumped me.When you are in your twighlight years this hurts deeply and now I do not know how I can move on and after all this do not have any confidence in finding another man, he did say my looks were ok but that Asian women had the perfect skin, I have had a melanoma removed from my face so this was like someone had hit me with a bit of four by four

    june griffiths, 6/30/2016
  • Narcissim with Spiritual Twist

    I am soooo thankful for Bill, his article and all those that have taken the time to write on this blog! I have read and read and read so many articles on narcissism. After all the reading I’ve done I am just now coming to accept that what I experienced in my 32 year marriage was indeed narcissistic abuse. It has taken me so long because my husband had me thoroughly convinced that I was crazy... that it was all in my head... that I was overly sensitive...and the best of all was when I finally had had enough and decided to leave, he told me that I was experiencing emotional distress because I wasn’t spiritual enough and that I wasn’t forgiving. If I could just learn to forgive it would relieve me of all the hurt and stress that I was experiencing. When that manipulative tactic didn’t work, he then told me, and everyone he knew that I was under spiritual attack and that is why I wanted to leave him. At this point, I truly did feel like I was going crazy!! When it came down to the days before I moved out, I was near a nervous breakdown. I am now living on my own and have been for 2 years. The emotional struggle these past 2 years has been brutal and there were days when I didn’t know if I even wanted to live anymore. Thankfully my faith is strong and with the strength I’ve received from reading articles exposing this personality disorder and the abuse that they inflict I know now that I am ‘not’ crazy, it is ‘not’ all in my head! It is such a comfort to hear others confirm that the N’s “do not change” because I struggled for ‘so long’ whether I should stay and try to make it work or to get out to save myself. I have had the courage to not only leave the abusive relationship, but also to have peace that I made the right decision for my life. I know it will not be easy. This is the first time I have ever had to be alone. Very scary for me. I married when I was just barely 18 and had three children (who he also abused) with this man. Thirty two years later I feel like I am just starting my life, but have no idea how or what to do. I have just filed for divorce, something I thought I would never do, and the emotions are high yet again. He recently told me that under no circumstance does God allow Divorce and if I go through with this, I am making a big mistake and that I will NEVER be happy. But I know that I will make it and I am a better person through it. I can finally feel real and normal emotions again. Most of all, being out of the relationship and looking back, I can see how damaging and abnormal his behavior was and still is. He promised me so many times that he was a changed man, and for a little while he did seem better, but then it was back to the same behavior. My only regret is that I did not get out of the relationship sooner. If you are in an abusive marriage with a Narcissist, don’t try to stick it out, don’t try to change them. They DO NOT CHANGE!

    Jan J, 7/8/2016
  • Wow- this is validating. My ex husband fits this bill to a “t”. My first feeling that something is terribly wrong was 6 months into the marriage. I remember feeling more and more lonely in the marriage as he convinced me it was good for him to leave his military career and for me to support him through school – the even spoken deal was that following his graduation we would start a family. 6 weeks following his graduation he ran off with a girl that he had graduated with – she left her husband and 6 year old child. They married and now live in the same town as we all do – however, they get very upset if there is occasion to hold them accountable for the using and planned abandonment they orchestrated which tore 3 lives apart – and forever damaged her son. They see themselves as good and honorable and she is actually running for Judge here in our town now – they had a major freak out and he called me repeatedly when I IM’ed her a meme on being hypocritical – saying if I had issues with “a decision” they made years ago – yada yada – I maintained what I said and noted to them I hit a raw nerve and their narcissistic games no longer bother me – but yes, 6 months in – I knew I had made a horrible mistake with that man – I was use to being loved by my parents, my grandparents, my family – I knew this feeling evolving at that point was not love – I agree that they don’t get it – to “get it” would destroy them – what would they have left? they have no core – sad. I will continue to maintain my feelings to him that he is a game player without decent character – and I have his number -I had it 6 months in – when he found her – also a narcissist he left – he left because I had his number.

    — Renee, 9/17/2016
  • my part in his play

    this is my life. the whole thing. first, love bomb the heck outta me. win my love, promise so many beautiful things, love, passion, romance like i never had before, the massages were an hr long, the love making was 2 hrs long.he tricked me and used me and lied to me. he destroyed my 3 childrens safety, as they all suffer from ptsd, from his rage and mommys cries. my home was a battle ground of trying to keep this alcoholic narc monster calm, and my kids safe, while i panicked and scurried trying to save my family, instead to have the bottom pulled out from me every single time i had a plan to fix this. he had a problem for every solution i had. all this, until i stared at the train tracks, and imagined me walking in front of a train, and how wonderful it would be. if it werent for the face of my oldest child, my son, i prolly would not be here today. they needed me. they needed mommy to overcome this animal and get off the booze myself, and get it together. put my soul back together, piece by piece. i got the courage after 17 yrs, but not until i joined the fire dept and went to school to be an EMT. i was not gonna die a nobody, i was gonna save lives instead. this coward, who broke me and my hope, refuses to acknowledge anything; bills, utilites, lunch for kids, garbage, small repairs in home, our marriage, ending the marriage. he refuses to sign, refuses to pay child support, he is completely mute right now, ignoring everything. well, i am leaving, with the kids. turning utilities off, getting him off my car insurance, getting him off my cell plan, he asked for this. he refused to talk, now he will see what happens when you break a woman. they come back stronger than they every knew. god bless all us survivors. we got this! god made us wayy stronger than we thought. xox

    — serenitygranted, 9/19/2016
  • Be Brave

    Married 8 years. It was the hardest 8 years of my life-but I’m out, I’m free. We all have so much in common, we have such similar stories. It’s as if the narcs all attended the same convention or something!
    We have all suffered, and some of us still do. The key to surviving, growing and eventually being strong enough to leave is education on the subject of this personality disorder. I had no idea what I was dealing with (but I knew it was abnormal) until I started researching things on the internet. The internet led me to books, websites, YouTube videos, articles like this, and finally a great therapist who gave me the strength to finally leave.
    I left in December and will be divorced by April. I have never once regretted leaving, instead I have felt nothing but peace. It’s very important to prepare yourself emotionally first. You must detach from your emotions and from your narc. Once you detach from him, you feel nothing but relief. Leaving him is a blessing. You will leave the relationship with an sharper awareness and a deeper wisdom that you didn’t have before the narc. Please focus on that because that awareness will guide you in the future.
    You are strong-much stronger than you think! You’ll go back to being the girl you were before him. Don’t worry. You’ll have a spring in your step and a sparkle in your eye. Just give it a little time and it’ll all come back. Hold you head high, be brave, and have faith in you!
    Thank you Bill for your wise and wonderful writing.

    — Mary, 2/17/2017
  • In it not long

    Met my N through an online dating site in 2013. OMG I can relate to so many of the stories. Have read much on narcissism. It has be just a little over 2 years of marriage, but 4 of knowing him, feels like a lot longer. I just wish I had never responded to his post!

    — Angela, 2/22/2017
  • Basic Point

    I would state that the proposed “duality” of “woman” is not accurate. As all human beings are pathological in some respect or another, I believe this concept to be a reference to unhealthy women. “Woman” does not desire to"give herself completely." It is against human nature and the survival instinct to do this. If some women and men have created cultural constructs where they have convinced all parties that the way for a woman to survive is “to give herself completely,” then there are many unfortunates (both men and women) who buy into this inhuman notion. Human beings are meant neither to give themselves away nor to take possession of others. A self-empowered human being need do neither. They are want to stand as individuals making decisions about how to share the talents, goods, and benefits available. Furthermore, would the same type of hypothesis hold true for “The Narcissist and Her Man?” That men have an inherent, irreconcilable duality leading them to “need” to sacrifice themselves completely?

    — isini, 8/21/2017
  • I will certainly recommend Dr. Todd Spells to any of my friends

    Dr. Todd, I couldn’t wait to update you on what has happened. I requested the absolute good luck money spell be cast only last Thursday. Over the weekend I found $100.00 laying on the ground outside my apartment, purchased a lotto ticket and won $10,000 from that and won a new car from a sweepstakes! To top it off, I went into work on Monday and got the promotion I had been wanting! I could not believe how fast your spells work. I will certainly recommend Dr. Todd Spells to any of my friends. E-mail: manifestspellcast@gmail. com or manifestspellcast@yahoo. com

    — Bill, 10/9/2017
  • OMG

    I don’t know why I stumbled across this at 2 in the morning. All I know is your words have given me what I need. I question myself daily because of what I know and feel. I just went through 3 years of misery with my husband (of 16 1/2 yrs). I begged him for help the last 3 years. I KNEW how I was being treated wasn’t right. But after 3 years, we were removed from the situation,(because of me, not any effort on his part. Good grief, that would never happen!) And now, I am, once again, expected to forgive him.Why is it that no matter how I feel, it is NEVER acceptable? I am constantly showing him what is going to happen,and he is constantly blowing me off, until it happens. Then I am “not forgiving.” Forget the misery I endured while BEGGING him to help me. He 100% matched the description in this article. He is a newly elected politician, who has
    only worked for himself since he was 21! 15 years! The question is, will I leave? He is great at pretending and acting. Right now he is acting like superdad and super husband. Because I almost left a month ago. So I don’t feel like I have legal grounds to leave at the moment. I should have left the last time he went on a rampage and destroyed my phone, tablet and sheetrock. But I know he will revert back to his norm, which is staring at his phone all day, sleeping in, and not caring at all what his wife or kids deal with on a daily basis. I consistently question my sanity. Am I exaggerating? Did I blow this out of proportion? And once I feel that way, I feel guilty. It seems this article was written based off of my own mind.

    — Amanda, 10/29/2017
  • So Distraught

    Where should I start? I am 48 years old and I’ve been seeing a 60 year old narc man for nearly 5 years. I swear he could be a poster boy for a somatic narc. I have my suspicions he’s bi. Deny is the name of the game. Presently I’m trying so hard to not pick up my phone to text him a piece of my mind of how he’s hurting me by spending the evening with his ex wife (who has recently found out she has cancer), but I know it will just make me look more like a crazy and suspicious girlfriend. How much disrespect can I take? Believe me, no one should have to go through the pains of having cancer. But is it ok for your ex husband (my present boyfriend) to be the one by your side. I will add, I am not included because she refuses to meet me and she constantly texts him, calls him and it’s possible he may have even spent the night at her house. We don’t live together, thank goodness. I don’t stand a chance of ever getting out of this without looking like the bad uncaring person. OMG he gives me just enough information to drive me crazy but when I try to tell him how disrespected I feel, the argument that I’ve rehearsed all falls to pieces and I end up inevitably apologizing to him!

    — Kim, 11/19/2017
  • < t r a p p e d >

    Yes, indeed, I was from the age of 15 to 48... But the thing is, he was trapped, too. What you wrote about the male narcissist, growing up with the need to impress one or both of his parents, resonated with truth. I believe he is deserving of our compassion, too. He has a plight, which much like ours, was not sought out.

    Rock bottom is the place where people typically examine their lives. Some feel that the narcissist cannot or will not, change. I disagree.

    It depends on which ‘wolf’ we feed. Consider the familiar tale of the old Cherokee, teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil — he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” The grandson, with wide eyes, asks, “But which one will win, grandpa?”, to which the grandfather replies, “The one which I feed.”

    There is an abundance of agreement that the narcissist is full of ‘fastidiously masked, self loathing’ — so don’t feed ‘it’ with a bite. With all sincerity, feed their Hungry Heart. This will in all likelihood, have to be done from a distance and will take a very long time. But keep planting the seed of Self Love and Trust that it will bloom, even if you’re not there to see it.

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