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Married to a Narcissist ~

*(I am not a psychologist, I have experience with this situation and I am sharing from that and my own research. I have approached this from a females perspective, as that is what I am and what I have been dealing with in my husband). It’s been said that narcissism is one of the most difficult mental disorders to diagnose, for a few reasons; first, Narcissists tend to believe there is nothing wrong with them, so they do not admit to having problems and don’t seek help in the first place. Second, they are masters at appearing normal to the therapist. Often, if a couple is in therapy, the narcissist can put on such a great show that their partner ends up looking like they are the problem, and the therapist, if not knowledgeable about narcissism, will not see the real issue. Therapists can be manipulated to further abuse the victim, “proving” the narcissists accusations of their partner not doing enough and reinforcing the thought that the victim needs to do more. The victim may try and explain the behaviors of the narcissist and why it’s damaging the relationship, but the abuse is often so subtle it’s hard to verbalize and pinpoint how and why the marriage is deteriorating. It is far easier to think that you are causing the issues and if you change your behavior everything will return to “normal” (i.e. the happy honeymoon phase of your relationship). Compounding the problem is the fact that the diagnostic definition of Narcissism is fairly subjective. And for victims of a narcissist, who have been brainwashed into thinking their relationship is fine and THEY are the problem, they may not be able to see their partners behaviors clearly identified in the following definition.

DSM definition:

  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievement).
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
  • Requires excessive admiration.
  • Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations).
  • Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
  • Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
  • Show arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

further information HERE

Dating a Narcissist

1. He’s a charmer

Narcissists will do everything they can to woo you. You may think you have found the perfect prince charming. They want to “win” you, and so, in their minds, “own” you. They will complement you excessively, take you on wonderful dates, and buy you lots of gifts. The flattery they lay on is thick, and if you’re aware, you will notice it right away. Unfortunately, if you’re caught up in the romance you may miss the manipulation that comes along with it. (As I did). Ask anyone who has ever been with a narcissist, they will tell you all the red flags were there. They will also tell you that they could see these red flags, but they dismissed them or rationalized the narcissist’s bad or questionable behavior away. The narcissist is relying on you to do this, which is part of why they’re trying so hard to romance you. Your instincts are there to protect you! If a guy seems “off,” he is!

2. He moves fast.

Narcissists have to move quickly in a relationship, plowing over your natural resistance with over the top romance. This makes you much more easily manipulated, as you’re naturally a bit off balance. Also, as you go deeper into the relationship, you reveal more of yourself to him, and trust him more (Never noticing the tidbits he tells you about himself are small and or incomplete, because he is such a great listener!). That then allows him to destroy you emotionally when he stops paying attention to you or starts abusing you. Once he’s got you hooked, he knows it will be hard, if not impossible for you to escape.

3. He will let you do all the talking.

A narcissist will let you pour your heart out to him (and if you’re reluctant he will pout, prod, and beg you to tell him ALL about yourself). He will gladly listen to your entire life story, so that he can learn how to exploit your points of weakness and so that you will see him as a comfort and — again — trust him. Honestly, he sees it not so much as listening or communicating, but as gathering facts he can use against you later, and as building up your trust in him. That said, his listening skills are not the greatest (mainly nodding) as his natural self-centeredness is almost impossible for him to overcome. He may frequently may interrupt to bring the conversation back to some mundane aspect of himself, this is a red flag!

4. He will seduce you.

Any boundaries you have set up are merely challenges to a narcissist. Don’t want to sleep together yet? He will take it as a personal victory when he ends up “changing your mind” in just a few days. Have friends you’re not ready for him to meet? He will bug and cajole you until you set up a date. Anytime you say no, they will find a way to change your mind, and do it in such a way you think it was actually your idea. Narcissistic men, in particular love to use intense sex as a means of hooking their targets, and they tend to have lots of it. Once he knows he has you hooked, either you have moved in together, married, or by some other means, his behavior will change. At least that is how it will appear to you. The charming man you fell in love with, the one who who worshiped you, will fade away, or worse, you will wake up one day and he will have become an entirely different person. In reality, he is just no longer wearing the mask and is showing his true self to you. The next stage of your relationship will look something like this:  (A narc wont suddenly stop his seductions once your married, cheating repeatedly is another sign of narcissism. He just wont be seducing you anymore~ 25 Signs Your Husband is Cheating) CONTINUE READING

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579 thoughts on “19 Signs You’re Married to a Narcissist

  1. Jannette says:

    reading your article…. It felt like my life has been parallel to yours. I had the courage to leave 3 years ago but I have 2 small children that have to deal with the narc on their own. Legally, I can only protect them to a certain extent. Now…. I’m learning how to deal with a narc father… A whole set of other challenges! Your words are
    Inspiring and only validate that leaving was the best decision I made, but only for me but for my kids and their future! There is some comfort in knowing, I wasn’t the only one!

    1. vanessa says:

      My life also seems so similar to yours, and others who have posted. Thanks for posting a blog, it helps to know we are not alone. Would like to hear more details about how you are getting your life in order, how to go about opening up a separate account that he would be ok with as if you are like me, you don’t have control over the money and if you took money out of a joint account, he would know about it. Or do you earn income freelance that he doesn’t know about? Would love to see a blog that will help us know what to do before we divorce

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        Thats actually what Im working on. We are dealing with filing a bankruptcy now, so that gets that out of the way. And Im starting to write more freelance, as you said. Mostly right now, Im trying to get an income established that I can live on, and figure out what my next steps are. Once I have a better idea of all that needs to be done, Ill pass it along.

        1. vanessa says:

          Samantha, that would be great. Good luck and take care. We are all in this together and will get through it and be happier on the other side.

      2. June Renee says:

        Take 10 bucks per week extra out and hide it well scrimp as much as u can. Get a po box in your name and get a bank lock box. All mail you don’t want him to see goes to the p.o. box. The bank lock box is for valuable personal papers and jewelry One you have enough money to open an acct. Keep adding to it until you have enough money to leave. Build your credit slowly and separate from him.

        1. Jbfleming says:

          Go to the grocery store often and use the debit card. Get cash back for your account every time.

          1. Sue says:

            THAT is a really good strategy

            1. Kari says:

              It is a good idea–all but the account. You literally have to hide the cash. DON’T put it in an account. They can find it. Put all cash away somewhere—and be sure you have enough. My Narc cost us $75,000 in atorneys fees. Not worth the fight. Get your ducks in a row–know what is in the 401K plan and benefits etc. Be prepared. You are in a long, hard battle. I know. I stayed (for the kids) for 28 years. Just know–they will find someone else and it will be better for you. But never—and I mean NEVER –let your guard down with them.
              God bless! Hope this helps at least one person. It’s a horrible way to live.

              1. Susi Matthews says:

                Bless you all; I was there for 10 years, only married to him for three before he got bored and divorced me. It left my life in ruins and I’ve been struggling since, starting over at 58 isn’t easy.

                I wish his new wife could read this.

              2. Kelley Sivertson says:

                For those that say they stayed for the kids was it worth it to the kids? I’m so torn over if it is better to have nasty custody war where he is with them half the time or keep the peace but still subject them to his abuse alone. What is the lesser of the evils of how the kids turn out.

                1. Julia says:

                  This right here! I’m so torn:(

                2. Limaps says:

                  I have stayed with my narc husband for 27 years. I chose to stay because we had a son. I wanted to be in my sons life everyday. I got him into Boy Scouts, piano lessons, trips to grandparents and surrounded him with caring friends and family. In the midst of all of this my husband would have period ic rage episodes and be very demeaning to me. Luckily most were not in the presence of our son. He is grown now and is working on a Masters degree. I am retired and planning to separate now. It took dedication, determination and a lot of faith and friends to stay in this narc marriage. I don’t regret temporarily sacrificing personal happiness to raise my son. I have found out how strong I can be in the midst of crayons. Hang in there. Tomorrow will come and be better for you.

                  1. RaisingBoystoMen says:

                    I desperately needed to read this. I read on a mental health site that there are gradations of narcissism, so I think it’s important to realize that not everyone’s situation and experience is the same. But I needed your response. I think it was exactly was I was looking for. With God I can get through this and raise my boys and surround them with good people and raise them to be good, godly men. I am in the midst of emotionally extricating myself from the crazy and need to work on the financial aspect as he has destroyed our credit and driven us in to homelessness. I can’t be party to it any more, and i repent of the part I played in any of that. Now to move forward and do what I know I am called to do. And by the grace of God I will do it. Thank you again!!

                3. Gabriele says:

                  I have been married my to Narc husband for 34 years. I so regret not leaving when the kids were young. They have become lazy, self centered, disrespectful to me and they feel I am just “picking” on their father when I say almost anything to him. They are told by him not to listen to what I say because I’m crazy. They follow his lead of doing nothing unless it beefits them.. He doesn’t want them to contribute to the household and they are 25, 29 and 31! My Husband also has no parenting skills whatsoever so of course I am the “mean and overreacting” parent. Obviously they still live at home.
                  I would suggest doing it asap for the following reasons. 1) You’ll be able to mold the kids more towards becoming better successful caring adults that will not develop the traits of their father. 2) And more importantly your still young enough to change your life around to not loose your self esteem and have everyone else not believe his lies about you..
                  DO NOT put money into a bank account if you live in a state where all asset are split. Save it in a good hidden place in a strong safe.
                  I am saving and trying to figure out what to do next so I can use any suggestions myself. I am afraid it is too late to leave and I can’t afford it.

                  1. Louise says:

                    Oh I am in the same boat. He has turned the kids against. Any ideas on turning the kids around.

              3. N says:

                I needed to read this strategy. Married 32 years.

            2. True says:

              It sounds remarkably like stealing.

          2. CMS says:

            This is one of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone who asks! Cash back at the grocery store!
            Sock away as much money as you can and hide anything of value in a safe deposit box.
            Tell a trusted friend/family member, clergy person,co-worker what you are doing and why.
            Try to open any mail that comes to the house (unless he pays everything online) and make copies of bank statements, retirement accounts, credit card statements, etc.
            I had no idea what money we had, where it was, or how to get to it. I didn’t even know what banks we used, or what any account passwords were.
            I was completely In the dark.
            Ive been divorced 5 years and I’m still getting on my feet financially,
            Even in a healthy marriage, women need to have equal awareness of financial matters, and some of their OWN money.
            Even if just to buy him a gift on your own. Have some of you own money. Always.

          3. Delia says:

            Our online banking statement shows the amount of purchase, AND then the cash back, so you could be caught!

        2. Michelle Ubben says:

          I am trying so hard to figure a way to get out…my husband can’t keep jobs so it makes it hard to save money. I have been wanting to get a storage unit and start putting small stuff in there that he won’t notice missing from the house.. I already hide FB posts from him and don’t tell him if I am off work..I work at a School so if we are on a break and my job outside of this one can’t use me I tell him I am going to that job then when he leaves for work I go back to bed..he makes me feel bad if I am off work..even if I never take off which I don’t. I just have to be careful how I get out..I don’t trust him.

    2. Mary Kate says:

      How are you learning to deal with a narc father? What advice can you give? My daughter was married to a narcissist and they do not communicate at all. But we are both worried about the girls, my granddaughters who are 3 year old girl twins. Please let me know where you have learned how to deal with a narc father.

      1. sheryls says:

        I stayed too long because everyone thought we had this wonderful family. He told me if I ever left, I would never see my kids again. That almost came true. A narc doesn’t ever want to lose! He will try to take that which means the most to you. Even my own brother did this to his ex wife! If they can convince the court the kids should be with them, because you are crazy, etc. they will and they will make you pay child support!

        1. sheryls says:

          ps, by the time you see them, the victim is probably very angry by now!

    3. Marcie says:

      I have 15 years experience as a marital therapist and have found that my patients throw the term “narcissist” around far too liberally, mostly because most lay persons don’t truly understand the meaning of the term/diagnosis.
      Additionally, my experience is that it is in fact my patients that most closely fit the diagnosis of narcissist themselves that are the ones that accuse their spouses of the same. In analyzing this phenomenon it has become clear to me that it is most likely the result of the fact that if one is a narcissist, anything other than submission by one’s spouse to all desires and wishes can often be interpreted as narcissism! It is similar to a child who doesn’t get everything they want from a parent then going out and telling his/her friends that mom or dad is a jerk and absurdly strict.
      It is a bit of a “chicken-and-egg” phenomenon in my opinion. For spouse A to claim that spouse B puts themselves first is to say that that spouse A feels the need to have his/her needs put before spouse B! And when I dig deeper and get into couples therapy, I have found spouse A to fit the bill of “narcissism” far more than spouse B in a substantial majority of cases.

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        While it is true that some folks do abuse the word narcissist (our entire society in fact) it does not negate the experience of those of us living with a true narcissist. When NONE of your needs are met or acknowledged, when your opinions and thoughts are ignored or contradicted regularly, when you have been made to feel as though your feelings and needs in a relationship are nothing, you are indeed dealing with someone who has serious personality issues. Your statement that the spouse doing the accusing is usually the true narcissist is probably accurate. Those of us dealing with a true narc would probably never bother saying it to their face because A) It wont change a single thing and B) We would be too worried about what the fallout of such an accusation would be. I suspect you have not dealt with a serious case of narcissism because that spouse would see no reason to attend marital counseling in the first place. Or perhaps you have fallen under the spell of the narc yourself and don’t see them for what they really are, as we have done when we fell in love with them in the beginning.

        Its not a matter of putting our needs first or wanting our own way. Its a desire to be seen, known, and valued, and narcissists do not do that. For you as a therapist to dismiss the actual suffering we endure at the hands of these folks is deeply disturbing. I would suggest you do a little more research into narcissism and narcissistic victim syndrome.

        1. Savannah says:

          Best reply ever!

          1. a says:

            I have known a Therapist to be 1 of the greatest Narcissists of all times. A Therapist that actually advocated for the narcissist. I personally was thrown under the bus by my narcissistic husband AND Therapist at the same time. These Therapist are biased and do NOT have your best interest if they even assume what the Therapist ABOVE mentioned. It takes 1 to Be 1 is usually the best measurement if you have been accused of being The Narcissist in a Narcissistic Abusive Relationship! Run like Hell if you encounter a Therapist like this. Run like Hell from the abuser too, because it will only get worse. Trust me, I know first hand.

            1. Can you make a report for unethical behavior?

            2. Wifelosthermind says:

              If you know you’re right and you actually experienced love for your spouse, you’ll find you grieve for them as much as about them. Even when they triangulate to attack because you won’t bow to wrong, you’ll feel sympathy. The narcissist never will. After all, why should she; she’s never wrong?

        2. marliz16 says:

          Fantastic reply! I could not have said it better myself. I’m pulling a card in reference to the ‘therapist’s’ comment above. I’m a psychology student that has been blessed with professors who dare to go beyond the DSM, oh my imagine (sarcasm). The topic of npd is perhaps one of the more misunderstood and misinterpreted aspects of the psychological world. Having lived it myself, I can see why. They are, of course, master manipulators! Any therapist that is strictly relying on technical definitions of this disorder is doing their clients and themselves a disservice. My suggestion would be for anyone involved in therapy that would even try to make the determination of what is or who is the narcissist to do a lot of field study and witness first hand the extent of deceit the true narcissist will go to, via personal contacts of the narcissist, coworkers, examining life patterns out of the the therapy session and accounted for not by he narcissist themselves but by non bias documentation. While the DSM may be a valuable and good starting point, professional psychologists owe it to their field and patients to be diligent in further pursuing knowledge from multiple sources on any topic they wish claim expertise on. And my guess is that the ‘therapist’ above has forgotten one very basic rule of the experimental study that underlies psychological research because they seem to be relying on what is called a convenience sample for their info. This is just bad medicine. To truly understand they need to go further and expand their source info. Great reply and you nailed it. I feel bad for the ‘therapist’s’ clients. Seriously gives psychology a bad name.

          1. Michelle says:

            This is exactly why we are afraid to get help or talk about it. We are not believed or taken seriously. Thank you for your excellent reply. It gives me some hope in recovering from 18 yrs of abuse by a malignant narcissist.

          2. Eva says:

            I felt I was the only one in this situation! I am amazed how true all these things that have been written are!
            I’m constantly told that I’m the “crazy one”, & although I know it’s not me, it still hurts, especially when you feel no one will believe you cause he has everyone so fooled! Are there any findings that they they can be healed of this horrible illness? Please help me with any information.

            1. Samantha Matthews says:

              As far as I have been able to see, there have been no reports of a “cured” narc. Part of their disorder makes them believe they are superior to others, so why would they change that? They can, however, learn how to blend in more easily and hide their true feelings better. So in fact, treatment may make them even MORE dangerous. :/ I hate to be a wet blanket, but I really don’t think they ever change, they adapt, but don’t change.

            2. Jones says:

              They fool everyone and make you feel crazy. Convinces everyone you are if you escape you realize they are the ones that are crazy.

            3. Anonymous says:

              Never feel alone! I can I identify. I can give 2 or 3 stories for all 19 bullets!

            4. Karen says:

              There are some great books by Richard Skerrit on the subject. Just google his name and you can see them and read some excerpts. I was amazed that everything I had experienced was actually written in print and diagnosable. Also a book called, How to Stop Walking on Egg Shells was really helpful.

        3. CC says:

          Thank you Samantha! Great response. We are all in this together and one day we will all be free again, and truly appreciate it. Knowing what life is like on the ‘other side’

        4. s.s says:

          Excellent reply

          1. jim b says:

            from a person living with a spouse 40 years, attempting a reconciliation( 1 year), and having to revisited all of it again after a brief “honey moon” period, Sam gets it because she has lived it.

          2. Janet Stone says:

            Your response was perfect. I suspect that Belinda is a troll and not even a therapist, but is perhaps a narc who was recently told he/she is.

        5. Gina says:

          Well said, Samantha! Narcissists don’t need “therapy” because there’s nothing wrong with them. That’s what I was told by my ex. I can’t believe I put up with him for over 20 years. It’s very important to secretly plan your divorce from a narcissist as they tend to hide money. Find a good attorney that is familiar in dealing with business and narcassists. My ex owned his own business and I was financially screwed.

          1. Debra says:

            I am an empath and recently discovered, daughter of a narcissistic mother. My second marriage, (first husband cheated and left me) to a man high on the spectrum of NPD AND with a degree in psychology (no children together) lasted for 22 years. I was a broken woman, powerless and unable to see a way out – until a routine physical exam picked up a diagnosis of leukemia. I knew I had to leave him, in order to survive. I didn’t tell him about the diagnosis and began to make a plan to leave. He controlled all of the money (he had lots) and I started to look for papers – banking reports, investments, portfolios..etc. And, I began to save. I was allotted an allowance to run the house and not much more. I bought pre-loaded visa cards and other gift cards at the grocery store with his credit card and, used the cash-back with the debit card. I rented a storage locker and started transferring my ‘junk and clutter’ and sentimental things, there. When he booked an out-of-town conference trip four months in advance, I used that as my time-frame to leave. I researched and found, a powerful divorce attorney and booked my consultation with him, while my husband was at work. He was my saviour! We made a plan that I would move out (I had four days) while my narc was away. When he returned on a Sunday evening, I would be gone and he would be served with divorce papers on the Monday morning. No time to hide or transfer funds – everything would be frozen. We did mediation in separate rooms – the mediator saw through his crocodile tears and informed me and my lawyer that we were dealing with a dangerous personality! Vindication!!! That was five years ago and I am almost finished licking my wounds and eating my feelings. And, my leukemia has been the indolent kind and so far, no treatment has been necessary. The diagnosis was my catalyst and I believe, a gift. I received my fair share of OUR estate and have never felt so alive. I changed my residence when he found me and, my phone numbers – I went true NO CONTACT and have not seen him since the day he left for his conference. He married his fourth wife 60 days after our divorce was final. I send all of you, suffering with this life, positive energy and strength, to move out of the darkness and into the light. Life is a gift to be treasured and enjoyed.

            1. sheryls says:

              I had a similar experience. I fell into clinical depression and a dream awakened me to the truth to flee or die! Unfortunately my children are still his unknowing victims!

              1. Kim says:

                Adult children?

            2. Sherry says:

              You were able to survive a mentally challenged person who you married. They are vindictive and manipulative. Initially, coming off as charming and so attentive. Their true colors will eventually come out, by that time women are probably married to them. These pods may help other women recognize the early warning signs of a Narristic personality type. Our instincts should not be dismissed, they are there for a reason.

              God bless you and others as you all move forward in rebuilding your lives and emotional spirit.

          2. sheryls says:

            ha! I was told to go “see a shrink to find out what’s wrong with you!” Just that statement alone speaks about a true narc!

          3. A says:

            Secretly plan the divorce because they hide money….oh but wait

        6. Melanie says:

          Thank you amen that’s me!!!!! So well said!

        7. Tammy says:

          Love love love your reply! I actually read in a psychology journal that therapists tend to misdiagnose and that it usually takes a psychologist with many years experience dealing with narcissistic behavior the ability to correctly diagnose. She stayed she was a therapist. I was a single mom for many years who struggled and now that I am married all my utilities have been turned off numerous times but he always has the newest and best tools. I have to hear daily about how everyone is stupid and ignorant and beneath him. How every job site he goes to, that he is smarter than the guy running it. Worried if i don’t complement him on how hard he works, how much I love him, how I desire him he will get upset. The list goes on to the point that, as you stated, I feel like I am going crazy! There is no reality in his world – none! It’s a horrific way to live.
          Thank you for your post – it fits nearly to a T. With the exception of putting me down – he always says “we” are better, smarter, more good looking than any other people we have been around.

        8. Nxunxu says:

          You are right Samantha,Marcie has no clue what this is all about. Unless you are experiencing it, you will never understand.

        9. Colleen Easton says:

          Having read an article on Facebook on narcissistic behaviours that resonated with me, I did further research and found your blog. Almost everything you have written hits the nail on the head…..especially the dark cloud. I feel like the air is being sucked out of the room most of the time he is home…. the air of solemnity and negativity is stifling. We all walk on eggshells a lot of the time, and play pretend with our stick-on smiles. My anxiety levels are through the roof fairly often too, so it’s such a welcome relief when the man goes away on business now and then. We all need the room to breathe. I’m also pretty much a single parent as he doesn’t ‘do school’, as he hated it, so is not interested no matter what his kids are involved in. He even gets upset when I help the kids with their homework and will suddenly have all sorts of activities he needs me to help him with. Sometimes he just wants me to watch TV with him – his choice of viewing option of course. If I dare check Facebook on my mobile phone, bored by his choice of TV program, he will ask me what I’m doing. I once retorted “Is my screen too bright, is it interfering with your TV watching?”. Yet, if we are watching something on TV that he’s not too interested in but tolerating, he will check Facebook on his mobile and then actually play videos and kill himself laughing so loudly, completely drowning out the program I’m trying to watch. Horrendously selfish and rude behaviour in his need for constant attention. The man can remember minute details of a grudge he holds, down to the weather on the day and what colour T-shirt the offending person was wearing, yet he battles to remember what day my birthday falls on – we’ve only been together for 19 years!! He once told me that my birthday was not important to him, because it was my day of birth and not his. But at the same time if I dare not make a song and dance of his birthday, I’m in for some serious trouble. I don’t believe that anyone who hasn’t personally experienced this, can understand the true implications of feeling manipulated, suffocated, undervalued, disrespected, emotionally black-mailed and like you’ve lost your mind entirely on some occasions. Happily I made a friend who too is married to a Narc and we support one another and build one another up….life saving! I also made a decision a few years back to stop my bad habit of beginning every sentence with “I’m sorry”. Sorry for what, being me?! I also made a decision to live my life (this is not a dress rehearsal), and do things I want to do too. If we are invited out by friends and he doesn’t want to go, I still go and enjoy myself. Granted, he punishes me for my ‘obstinance and strong will’ with days of silent treatment, or belittling comments, or ‘checking-up’ on things he thinks I haven’t done in order to have an excuse to scold me, and talk to me, a 41 year old mother of two, like a three year old. I’ve decided that if ‘punishment’ is the sacrifice I have to make in order to still have a life, so be it. It’s not a lovely choice, but it’s still a choice and it’s MINE!! I’m working on getting myself more financially secure and then I’ll entertain the thought of the next step to regaining my life to the full. Thank-you for your words, it’s always good to feel like there are more of us out there, especially when one survives to tell the tale.

          1. Lost says:

            This is me!! After 10 years of marriage (and 14 together) I don’t know know how much more I can handle. If it wasn’t for my kids I feel like I would have been gone already :/

            1. Shelly says:

              Don’t wait for the kids sake. They will be hurt beyond measure , think about your daughters or sons married to someone like that would you be happy for them ?

              1. S says:

                Don’t stay for your kids. They will eventually understand what happened to their parents. Staying will cause more harm. I know because that happened to me. My parents were separated but I had to stay with my narc mother who brainwashed me into thinking that it was all my father’s fault that they separated. While believing that nothing was wrong with her, I ended up being in a relationship with a narc, which lasted for 10 years. Luckily, I found out what was wrong before it was too late. I have now found a man who is helping me heal

            2. Lost and Scared says:

              I feel the same way, I have a 3 yr old and a 1.5 yr old… I’m not good at keeping track of everything he does, and he hoards money in several places that I do not have access to. I don’t know if it is possible to change him for the kids sake. His mom is even worse. To top it all off his whole family and him are alcoholics. (Which I mistook for being a guy who liked to have fun for many years.) Now I don’t know what to do. Also I gave up my career for him, so if we parted ways I’d have nothing. His parents have money too, so no doubt they would hire an amazing lawyer to take my kids away from me.

        10. T Franken says:

          A reason for them to go to counseling with you? To lie, and make you look foolish. To lie because after all everything is always your fault. People believe them. They know it. You look crazy, foolish, stupid, they look wonderful. Never go with one to a counselor.

          1. Arlene Mckenna says:

            Oh my god! I thought i was the only person in the world that a counselor thought it was me that was the problem! She told me that i didn’t need to know “everything”! I truly felt worse after 6 weeks of counseling! They spent 20 minutes talking sports during our sessions because my narc is the sweetest nicest man! My “punishment has been worse since then! I don’t know how i put myself thtough this! Worse, i raised 4 sons through all of it and i somewhat knew it was wrong! I’ve committed the worst sin of all! I chose him and his treatment of me in front of my sons for 34 years! I’m more guilty than him!

            1. Amanda says:

              Arlene, you are not the one at fault, and definitely not guilty at all. This is still just a hangover from the way our partners have made us view ourselves. Please do not blame yourself xxxx Look at how many of us are, at first, fooled, and then spend years being conditioned to believe we are nothing. You have absolutely nothing to blame yourself for. All the best to you xxxx

          2. connienilson says:

            we did go to counseling with the church minister – he threw up his handsand said I was a saint for putting u with him – that was before I realized he was narcissistic

            1. Ugh says:

              There is another way narcs play therapists: “I know I’ve been bad but she drove me to it. I just can’t win with her. She just expects so much and I’m a damaged bird.”

              I once explained to a counselor that marriage to my narc (and discovering he was one) was like you’ve been propping up a person who is paralyzed and trying to make it look like they can walk.

              Then you learn the truth: “Oh, there is no way he can walk. So let’s use a wheelchair, and ramps and elevators and just adapt and move on.”

              But instead the narc basically says to you: “No. no one is to know I can’t walk. We aren’t going to use those things. Your job is to prop me up and make it seem like I can walk. And you can’t look like I’m heavy on you or that it’s a struggle to carry me along.”

              The therapist looked at me and said: “Wow. That’s a great analogy. I’ll have to use that. I think a lot of spouses will be able to understand the toll it all takes on them.”

              So while I may have helped someone else, I went through an emotionally and financially brutal divorce (yep I had to even pay an alimony buyout) after being separated for 7 of our 21 years of marriage. (He left as payback because I made him leave for a few days to cool is violent temper and acting out). Still recovering from all the problems it caused.

              If they won’t really get help. And most won’t. Protect yourself and kids. My adult kids know how awful he was and they still defend him because he’s just “weak and is who he is.” He plays Disneyland dad…then a tyrant. Then abandons them in his attitude so to keep him close they put up with the garbage until they can’t take it.

              In the meantime I’m suppose to act like nothing hurts my feelings or causes me hardship — and I’m certainly suppose to carry on and make sure the road is smooth for them. (While I don’t want to dwell I can’t tolerate some of the lies and revisionist history he and his family try to do.)

              Thank good they are generally good young people. I’m thankful for them and proud of them. But I see some of his stinking thinking affecting them. I pray nightly they don’t marry some version of him.

        11. Kim McCulley says:

          Thank you Samantha….

        12. Ginny says:

          A few years back, my narcissistic husband became very emotionally abusive. We decided to try counseling. On our first appointment my husband was able to manipulate things by being charming and acting like he was the sane one. I, on the other hand, was a wreck from the months of hell I had gone through with him. About halfway through the session the therapist turned to my husband and said, “you know that you’re her enabler, don’t you?” Needless to say, I didn’t go back.

        13. I love your response to the therapist as well. Thank you for sticking up for us.

        14. Blue says:

          I totally agree with you! I’ve spent 7 years in therapy, truly trying to figure out what’s wrong with me, so I could fix myself and make my marriage work. My childhood was dysfunctional and that has been my husband’s fuel to constantly remind me of why I’m so messed up and just can’t “get it”.
          He has renegged on our marital agreements around money, fidelity, the kids, and has berated me in to signing docs he thought would give him legal power over our finances.
          I have read many books on narcissism and what I most closely relate to is the RELATIONSHIP between the “overt” and “covert” narcissist. My husband is a full blown overt narcissist, charming, seductive, money obsessed, etc. I have found that I have covert narcissistic traits. He is one up and I am one down. We’re the perfect dysfunctional couple. I, in a sick way, set my self up to be abused by these overt narcissists and, sadly, played not the victim gets me attention and feeds his bullying behavior. In my case, I am a love addict and I seek out these people. This is what I was raised around and it has been what I attract and hook into.
          The good news is, I now see this. I am NOT a victim on any level. I have made serious mistakes in my judgement of the people I have had relationships with. If I continue to “bad guy”‘ my husband I am only feeding my victimhood and continuing to be his narc supply.
          I encourage anyone who is involved with a narcissist to take a very honest and close look at their own behavior and recognize how you may set yourself up for these relationships. It’s not your “fault”, it’s just the way we look at the world, until we know better.
          Now that I see how I play into this one-down role, I am determined to stop MY behavior that plays into his abuse. It is scary, painful and rewarding.
          I do not have children in my home, so I realize that creates an entire dynamic I don’t have to consider.
          I haven’t worked in 7 years, bc my narc wanted me to stay home and take care of things for us”. Our marriage is crumbling and I will need to get a job and find housing. My lifestyle is about to change from the 1% to a normal way of living. I am looking forward to not ever “owing” that man one single thing, for the rest of my life.
          The best thing about this, is that I am in acceptance of who he is and what I did to get here. I’ve made the choice I will not be a partner to a narcissist again. This means I have in place an awesome support system of friends, family and therapist that will help me recognize and break the pattern of my fantastical thinking that actually led me to deny the obvious flaws he had and believe he was my “knight in shining armor.
          Pia Melody’s book, “Faving Love Addiction” is a great place to start.
          I wish everyone many blessings and that you be happy, joyous and FREE!
          God Bless.

        15. Melanie says:

          I can’t believe a therapist would even begin to write that they way they did…..oh, wait….nothing surprises me. But, for the therapist to admit they “often” determine the other party to show more narc behavior tells me this is a therapist that can be swayed by the reasoning of the narc, and thereby forcing real victim to give examples this falls right into the narc “proving” to the therapist the fault lies with the actual victim. Classic narc manipulation and a therapist fails to see it. I have lived with mine for 20+ years now, and have learned that it is a trait he got from his father who is much worse. I was kept from friends, family, work, showers, reunions, holidays with family, school, etc. all in the name of “it’s supposed to be my time” or “you should only want to spend time with me” for many years. I have learned to put a stop to that for the most part, buy there are always those times that it pops it’s ugly head back up. He has about 5 year cycles which generally ended up escalating to him cheating because “I wasn’t giving him what he wanted” even if I was just working full time with overtime and going to college courses to better “our” lives, or busy planning our wedding alongside work while asking for his opinions on wedding things to which he joked about and stated he wanted nothing to do with (I found out about that external occupation of his a year after being married). And, then after some huge blowup and separation he slinks back around and declares how he is going to change and be a better person. Only more recently I have been reading more about narcs, and have realized this is what I have already been learning about his behavior all along. I have managed to fight to keep some of my identity, and over the years gained more courage to take most of it back little by little, but I did spend many sleepless nights arguing to do so while listening to the circle of blame even after I could get him to see my point there was always a “but you”. I have kept my own job, contact with family after long periods of not, and some financial stability (after having to rebuild it once before from a separation). I have since learned not to allow all debt to be kept primarily my name, but things I want to primarily lay claim to. I think it was a shock to him the first time he was denied for yet another brand new auto loan. It stinks to have your relationship feel like a game of chess combined with you sunk my battleship, but that’s what it has been. I realize I have wasted a lot of time, but I have also realized I can move on if I should be put in the same place again. Hopefully not, since it could ruin everything I have struggled to build, but I have learned that his cycle has been fairly regular over the years. It’s just amazing to read that others have dealt with the same exact details I have as described above. And, how accurate some of them are. My advice to younger people, don’t put up with it for too long. And, something I have been told……look at their parents relationship, which would have been a flag in my situation from the start.

          1. Gabriele says:

            I always said that I didn’t want my marriage to be like my in-laws. But I didn’t see it for what it was so that didn’t help. The FIL was a Narc and the MIL was the victhem but to me at the time she looked like the trouble maker as my FIL sat on his as… doing nothing and she was always doing everything around the house and had no control over any money. How the heck did I get in the same place I don’t know!

        16. Katherine Ann says:

          what a wonderful reply! It is chilling to think that a therapist would accuse the victim of being a narcissist, when as you say a true narc would never agree to therapy in the first place. I recently married a manipulative and selfish man. Reading this was like reading a diary of our relationship. I couldn’t see how controlling he was until I found the courage to leave, two days after the wedding. Nobody should ever feel 100% responsible for their relationship or partners wellbeing. Don’t let them take advantage of a kind & empathetic person.

          1. Sfh says:

            Sometimes narcissists will agree to counseling either to get attention or cast doubt on you. (Pull you in the mud with them). Most counselors emphasize the notion that each member of the couple holds responsibility — which is different than saying each is at fault. A narcissist wants fault to be shared. Even if they are the real troublemaker. One person usually cannot save a marriage if the other person is doing all they can to destroy it.

        17. LJ says:

          Well said in so many ways!!

        18. Monica says:

          I have a degree in behavioral science, worked in pharmacy for 20 plus years and currently work for The Department of Human Services in my state. I have been married to my husband for 20 years and realized 2 years ago the man I married is a narc! He had hidden mail, bank accounts, had affairs, and has mentally abused me for years. I have told his doctors and therapists of his personality disorder, yet they dismiss it and give him stimulants to feed his drug addiction. Please listen to the advice of those that say they are abused, more times than not, they are!

        19. Liz says:

          Well said!

        20. M Clark says:

          I’m sorry. I am taken aback by this “therapists” accusation, that I or any of us that have LIVED with a husband who is a narcissist..by the way I have been in this awful marriage for 32 years. Yes, 32 years. I have been terrified, browbeaten, threatened with having my girls taken and never see again, threatened to burn my car down, not there for me emotionally, no empathy for anything or anyone, no compassion, nor care about anything that is going on with me or our daughters. Don’t ever expect a compliment or words of affirmation. He can’t utter the words. It ALWAYS has to be about HIM. He doesn’t want me to have a job. He has always told us HE OWNS US. Money in our household is HIS money. I have been trying to leave for 5 years. This will be my year. I am MORE ready than ever to be done with him and live a “normal” life. There is NO NORMAL living with these people. You constantly walk on eggshells. Controls every aspect of your life. You are not free to talk or discuss anything unless they ask you. And they won’t either. They don’t want to interact with you. You only do what they want to do. Watch what they want to watch. And be ready for sex on demand – everyday! They “profess” their undying love for their children…this is a lie. Children are “trophies” to show off. They don’t want to be involved in their lives either. It’s too much trouble. And whats worse…they see they have done NO wrong. They are never at fault FOR ANYTHING! It’s always someone else’s fault. Argue over the most benign things that make no matter to anyone but them.

          Aside from living in hell for 32 years. Suggesting that I am in some way “narcissistic” myself. HOW DARE YOU. I am one the most caring, loving, giving and least self seeking people I know. You can ask anyone who knows me. I’m sure it must be so, I fell onto his radar for these traits. He knew I would be an easy take. So naive for way too long. For the longest time, I could not understand what was wrong WITH ME?? Was I crazy? How could someone that I loved so deeply and birthed 3 daughters for, treat me and our girls SO BADLY. I do give him one thing. His behavior didn’t become apparent to me until we had been married about 8 years. Then as I started my journey to seek information on what was wrong…I discovered NPD. As I read the pages…it was as if the author was describing my life in living color. Following this, he had an affair or more for all I know. However, my faith and my convictions have kept me here. My parents have been deceased for more than 10 years. Oh, and when he senses you’re possibily having thoughts of leaving…he’ll buy you something to buy your love. (i.e. car you have wanted or such) Because he doesn’t know how to love you.

          Now Ms. Therapist, I suggest before you let your “professional armchair words” go flying to comment on this subject. YOU get MORE information and learn more about this mental condition! And Heaven forbid you ever have to live with one!

        21. Heidi says:

          Your reply is so spot on! I wouldn’t go to counseling and accuse him…way too dangerous and pointless. Any feeling I have about ANYTHING is considered a weakness that will be used later for manipulation. I have to hide all emotions and negativity of ANY kind. If something breaks in my house or goes wrong, I have to try to find a way to fix it or my kids’ problems super fast before he gets wind of my “failures”.

        22. Jane House says:

          Thank you for that. I felt victimized all over again reading that post and you came in and saved the day.

        23. Kate says:

          Triangulation. I went to my therapist for three months before my husband joined and I told her then and for nine MONTHS after that I believe he’s a true narcissist. She blew me off, never took me seriously, and started getting on to ME when he came in to the picture with his “version” of what was going on. Needless to say, nothing changed and he had a follower (the therapist) that of course he used against me when we have gotten into arguments. I sat there and watched him make stuff up that wasn’t what happened and act as though he doesn’t understand why I’m upset, etc. and she’d get on to me for making things worse then he’d blow up and say he’s ready to leave me. I was really upset by then and we’d get in the car afterward and he’d say as if nothing happened – “where do you go eat dinner?”

        24. melanie says:

          Looks like this ‘therapist’ is a narcissist

      2. margaretta says:

        F u Marcie and thanks for nothing.

        1. Ginny says:

          Well said, Margaretta

      3. I have been in counseling sessions 3 times in which the counselor was charmed completely and believed I was being too hard on him, and completely sympathized with him and started digging for what’s wrong with me. Well, after reading this article I can see why this happens, even professional counselors can be deluded by these people. What I think is wrong with me is that my self esteem is so low and that I am so needy that it’s very easy for me to be attracted and fall head over heals for their BS. In my 3rd marriage, and it’s about at it’s end. Crying out for help.

      4. There are some truths in your perspective in that the only way to survive is to either adopt the rules they are living or become a non entity. Neither is healthy.
        One spouse cheats.
        One spouse lies.
        One spouse has a secret life.
        One spouse is angered if an email, text or phone call is not immediately tended to.
        One spouse belittles the other’s accomplishments.
        One spouse lies to others to excuse the spouse’s absence with ‘crazy time’ after the discard.
        One spouse places image at the top of values chat where honesty used to be.
        One spouse will secretly and constantly seek to ‘rescue’ the ‘maiden in distress’ and live off the appreciation with hopes of sexual liaisons.
        One spouse will break agreements to create conflict to justify alienation for cheating.
        One spouse will give up their career to better care for their spouse and spouse’s needs for constant attention.
        One spouse will apologize and make up.
        One spouse will tell friends and family not to intrude time spouse is home as they are now evil to take away couple time.
        One spouse will repeatedly push themselves beyond their comfort zone to prove their love and devotion.
        One spouse will agree they must be crazy and need help.
        One spouse will express emotions and self doubt which is met with satisfaction by their spouse.
        I can go on. This dynamic is 2 way and the softie has to mend past hurts before they can have a healthy relationship. The trauma bonds sticks one person. The other one admits they are making you crazy with no witnesses present. All confessions are part of the dump and result in, it’s your fault I had to be this way.
        Not all psychology professionals have empathy or compassion and dealing with this victimization requires one that does.
        Another thing thrown around is that most become psyches to understand themselves and it’s all about them, their theory, their opinions. It shows the value of sharing amongst persons with experience based knowledge when it comes to surviving this, whatever label given.

        1. Kim McCulley says:

          You have no idea do you? I’ve lived it for 10 years. I DEFINITELY know what a Narcissist is. Please don’t come here with your “I’m so smart and I’m going to let them know how wrong they are” Crap. Until you have lived it, you don’t have a say in it! Those of us who have lived it or still are know what a Narcissist is.


      5. Brenda says:

        It is obvious you have not experienced the constant manipulation. We all are a bit self-centered, there is no doubt. I believe you have put additional pain and burden on your clients with misdiagnosis.
        I have had this happen to me- and I try and try and try…there is no end to it. The more I give, the more ground he takes. I am but a ghost person or Barbie to follow the life he demands.

      6. keen reader says:

        When a child calls a parent a “jerk” that is usually a knee-jerk response by a kid who has been upset by something. He does not mean that his parent suffers from a personality disorder; And a good parent usually does not take it to heart and will try to diffuse further acrimony.

        The victim of a narcissist dare not call his narcissistic spouse a narcissist. Only an idiotic victim will take that risk. Doing so will unleash such a torrent of rage that it is better to keep your mouth shut and try to keep a semblance of peace in the home. A victim is more prone to accepting blame and to apologise than to accuse a narcissist and a victim will do so just to keep the peace. A victim quickly learns that it is impossible to express his true feelings or have a rational argument with a narcissist.

        Narcissists pick their victims well. They pick victims who are averse to conflict and who look for the positives in people. Victims usually start off overlooking the negative personality defects in narcissists until it degenerates into full blown abuse. Victims take years to pluck up the courage to confront a narcissist. And when they eventually do accuse a spouse of being a narcissist it is only after much research and reflection and they are usually 100 percent correct.

        The suggestion by Marcie that a victim is a narcissist probably results from the well known fact that narcissists are experts at fooling an inexperienced therapist. This might also be exacerbated by the victim’s inability to properly express and articulate his feeling after years of suppression and soul destroying abuse.

        My advice to victims is, do not try to change your torturer cause she has an incurable, chronic personality disorder, it will not get better, it gets worse but you learn to cope better. The only solution is….R U N… ! ! !

        1. annie says:

          keen reader, “Narcissists pick their victims well.” Sooooo accurate. I was/am the perfect platform for my narcissist. Adverse to conflict and look for positives in people. It has taken 2 decades to see what is really happening here. All the dismissals of my feelings, blame for me and no accountability for him. He is so much smarter and can twist everything. I don’t think well on my feet and get confused and he attacks. I have looked at the surveys about identifying the narcissist and also taken some victim surveys. I am the perfect pick. For years I found myself muttering things like, “He doesn’t REALLY mean to be such an asshole.” Now I know I am right. He doesn’t even know what he is doing. But he is still doing it and I have to choose now. One challenge is I signed a prenup – also a red flag (yup perfect victim) and have been a stay at home mom for 20 years. I am going on 54 years old and my youngest is a freshman in high school. But most importantly, I have to help my kids. To deal and move on eventually. I am coming to terms with preparing myself for the future as well. I take solace in your company and do not feel so alone now. That I am not the only one duped by this kind of person. It all fits.

          1. Cat says:

            Hi Annie,
            I can totally relate to you situation, 19 years married, same age with a 14 and an 18 year old. I have developed much insight over the last eight years but still struggle in the trap of marriage for fear that if I leave my husband will make things so toxic that it will effect my relationship with my younger son. I do have a plan to leave in 3 years. I have done marital therapy which has seemed to make things worse for me, having to hear my husbands excuses why he could not be there for me during my parents deaths and that I am critical and controlling. He would twist the truth in sessions and when I would object we would just seems like two kids fighting. Another thing that reAlly got to me was when the therapist asked him what attracted him to me he said he wanted to save me. He has mocked me as a therapist and a few years ago he had my son doing it too. Today I just plan quietly and I audio tape conversations when I can to play back the twists of blame. It is still upsetting to hear that the problems are all my fault but I now understand that that is part of their game. Even yesterday I caught him in a lie, which I have done numerous times, only for the fault to be placed on me. Plan ur path ahead. I saw someone else’s advice to always take cash back and the food store and I agree completely. Happy Mother’s Day! You are a great mother and sometimes the best you can do for your kids is to ride it until it is safe to leave.

          2. Martha says:

            Another thing that makes a person susceptible to being with a narcissist is having been raised by one. What other’s view as dysfunctional is so familiar that it’s “normal”. I was used to being lied to, never being a priority, walking on eggshells, taking the blame, dealing with drastic and unpredictable mood swings, broken promises etc. It wasn’t until after I left (I found out he was in a relationship with another woman) that I saw all the signs. One really sneaky thing was that he seemed supportive a lot of the time and agreed with a lot of things I said but I realized he was only saying what he thought I wanted to hear to “get me off his back”. For instance, when I would bring up the topic of having children he would say he wanted them too but ‘not yet’. I respected that he needed time but after 9 yrs of marriage he wasn’t any closer to being ready. In the texts I found between him and his girlfriend he said he didn’t want to have kids (I know I’m better off for not having had kids with him). He pretended to share the same values and goals because he wanted me to feel secure and give him the space he needed to live his double life.

            1. Martha says:

              My husband never berated me in public. He always played the good guy role. I found out after I left that he had been talking about me behind my back for years. Telling people not only very personal things about me but making up complete lies to make me look bad. He would sometimes do something really messed up and when I’d get upset he’d ignore and avoid me and act as if I was being annoying. I would sometimes end up sending him angry texts because that was my only outlet and found out later he would show those texts to his friends and others to prove how “crazy” I was. But they never knew what he did to get me so upset in the first place. I on the other hand didn’t share most of what I was going through, even with those closest to me, because I thought I was doing the right thing by protecting him and our relationship.
              In the company of friends he would sometimes say something which might seem innocuous to others but he knew would be a trigger for me and I would say something in anger and again I would look like the bad guy because people didn’t know the backstory. He was so good at maintaining his composure when around other people. It’s strange to think of it now but his emotional detachment was something I used to admire in him. He never got nervous about anything. Emotions never got in the way of decision making. He wasn’t sentimental about anything or anyone. I don’t know why but I thought that meant he was more evolved because he wasn’t ruled by his feelings.
              Incidentally after I found out about his infidelity he didn’t express any remorse, told me he hadn’t loved me in years and blamed me for his cheating.

      7. Kim McCulley says:

        My husband is a true Narcissist. Every single sign a narc has. I’m not just saying Narcissist, he is a Narcissist.

      8. Ginny says:

        My husband and I went to several counselors because he had become extremely abusive. Every one of them were fooled into thinking he was the sane one, and I was the one with the problem. Eventually it became physical abuse and got to the point where I had to call the cops and get a restraining order. You have no idea what it’s like to need help desperately, and trust that people are going to help you, and then be treated badly.

      9. Ginny says:

        Marcie, sorry to disagree, but you are wrong. My husband became extremely emotionally abusive after heart surgery. I tried many different avenues for help, and we went to several counselors. Every one of them was duped into believing he was the sane one and I was the one with the problem. Eventually the abuse became physical, and I ended up having to call the cops and get a restraining order.you have idea what it’s like to need help desperately and have no one believe you. I was treated very badly.

      10. Juliana says:

        I agree with Samantha. You have been taken in and that’s understandable because you are human. My grandfather was a sadistic child abusing, woman hating, wife beating cheating tramp YET when he died the entire church was FILLED TO THE BRIM with mourners while his family sat at the front in black doing their duty but not one family member mourned his death……….we were all glad to see him go………….and if he can fool all those people trust me a narc has, will and will continue to fool the best of us because they can read us like a book.

        1. BLKSTRM says:

          Amen Juliana!

      11. Claude says:

        My father is a fullblown N and my mother his life long passive aggressive enabler. I sadly discovered recently and after living under his roon several months several years, that my best friend is also a N and on top of that, also a recent friend of 3 years. It has been devastating. I dont think I am misdiagosing, I wish I was. I certainly have some narcissistic traits but I am not one, I wish I was one, being an empath has been so painful so far in life but it has also advantages for inner growth, thank God !. There are many more true N outthere we can ever imagine.

      12. Cheryl says:

        Can you please help me? I live my husband and want to love him forever. He clearly has narcissistic characteristics and has left me because I would not ask my children to leave my home. We’ve been married almost 8 years, together 11. Please help me. I am a shattered person right now. Also, I’m educated with a Masters degree, earn a very good salary, am totally not dependent on anyone. U didn’t want you to think I needed him… I simply love him very much.
        Dear God thank you for anything you can do to help me.

        1. lkanony says:

          What an advantage to be self-sufficient to where you can actually have peace of mind and a completely new start with a new partner or ALONE. A number of wives on this post don’t have the same privilege and have to really put a strategy in place to start anew. I say that to say, APPARANTLY YOU’VE GOT OPTIONS that MANY don’t. So what you decide to do with those options to give you PEACE is your own destiny. Sometimes we just have to cut our losses in the game of love in order to free ourselves from the shackles of disappointment and the road leading to NOTHINGNESS on the count of someone else. Otherwise, considering you’re self sufficient, if love is what’s holding you in the marriage despite his tendencies, then seems you’ve decided to take what you can get….simple as that. Perhaps you can cope by treating him as an “estranged” husband….channel that energy of frustration to do what YOU want to do without him, or even the thought of him holding you back….just do you. Also, and to be frank, since you still have the lovey feelings for him, you come together as his wife only for sex since it’ll for BOTH your pleasure and your outlet of loving him….because bending over backwards doing anything “extra” in the name of love for him to make him appreciate and love you in the same manner WON’T make a difference in HIS line of sight, and he’ll certainly have a lot to say when you don’t do something well so again use the energy (when not in bed) to invest in YOU and YOUR development.

      13. sheryls says:

        its obvious you never lived with one. They will make you crazy, until you figure out what is going on. My ex. didn’t do every “narc” thing on the list, but the majority.
        Maybe there is a camp you could attend! These spouses are tricky. And, I agree, you could be working with 2 narcissists! But that is not usually the case, since narcs are attracted to “servant” type good girls!
        However I have a son married to one! And he is a marine!!!

      14. Raya porter says:

        I am sure that those cases except. However like someone said above the therapist can be manipulated by the narcissist probably to even believe that! There’s only one problem with that theory if the victim has been in one or more relationships that were normal before the relationship with a narcissist there’s too much information and evidence to draw and contrast from. That is me. I had two very significant relationships one involved an engagement I really should’ve married that guy he wasn’t perfect either but definitely not a narcissist we were just too young. it really was a marriage how long we were together I’d rather not say I don’t want to give myself away. Anyway both of my significant relationships before this one I never in my life was made to feel as the narcissist does. There is this really uncanny way that they have about them you feel like everyone else in the world thinks you’re special except your spouse to them you are just the cook the nanny the slave, mine is even worse because he also has a very low libido so on top of everything else I made to feel unattractive and unwanted, although I’m 5’8, 130 & never leave the house without make up. I stay for the kids, I have 6 yrs to go and I came to this website to get advice about how to prepare really appreciate all the info

    4. great article but to fight a monster to survive a monster you have to attack his weakness that will make him or her run or disappear from your life expose their lies laugh in their face and disrupt their revenge personal attacks treat them like the monster they are they will cave in and collapse in public for all to see they have strong emotions that gears towards angry and revenge they love admiration don’t give them time to think they listen to action they move fast but they got helpers they don’t work alone isolate him show his helpers the real monster in public i won the battle a long time ago with the father of my boys speak to his mental illness not to him protect your kids and keep the monster caged from harming any one else that’s your duty the monster love new victims unless you can convince him and trust me you can he falls easy for lies he’s dense and shallow his brains is slow and does not connect well with the human instinct of recognising the truth that’s a narcissist weakness i ‘ve always been a hardcore bad wolf and he knew what he was up against when he use threats i give him two knives one i give to him the other i give myself in his face he feels defeated and walks away it works he’s or she personality disorder traits is the biggest coward you will ever meet he’s no charmer for long he’s a seething angry little boy or girl inside and that’s the man child monster you got to deal with not his face or his looks . trust me i have won the battle this narcissist do as i say and trembles when i speak 17 years my boys and i took the abuse until today i am a survivor i did not run i did not go mad i got angry i got even and i got the arms of the law always on my side the monster wins only when you run that’s his goal to use abuse and make you leave when he needs to abuse another victim money and business is their power but it’s also can be use to expose them they don’t like their names dirty with the law they will run to the hills away from humans lol be strong be you use the time you got as the weapon and never become a doormat for a monster .

      1. Traci Bennett says:

        Sandra, would you mind emailing me? I’d like to correspond through email with you if you don’t mind. Thanks so much!

    5. Cynthia says:

      Sadly, and thankfully I appreciate this article. It’s been my life for the last 5 years since I met and married my husband. The one saving grace for me is that he lives in another country, and therefor I do have the ability to be able to walk away without fear of physical harm. The emotional damage is already done, but for the first time, I now know I am not crazy, and that there is hope for the recovery of the hurtful, hateful, shameful damage this relationship has caused me. Your right, he doesn’t care. He has absolutely no remorse for the things he has done, or said to me, and of course it’s all my fault. This entire article, and others I’ve read in the last 48 hrs is my life, and what I am dealing through and through. I know that some part of me accepted this, denied the signs from the beginning that lets me know I have some inner work to do on myself for even allowing a person like this into my life to begin with.

    6. Darcy says:

      This article is really enlightening. While I know there is no total and complete stereotypical narcissistic spouse checklist, there were definitely things that you said that we’re hitting the nail on the head. It’s gotten to a point after 11 years of marriage, my mom will only talk to me if I call her, (she hates him, and vica versa) and when hanging up, she just says to call when I’m leaving….it’s hard though because for my lack of relationship experience, I didn’t see or choose not to see the signs. And even now, with knowing, I still don’t have it in me to do anything but love him…which really does leave quite a self esteem conundrum.

    7. Sfh says:

      Janette – I sympathize. I stayed much longer with N husband because of my kids. When they r with u get them around as many healthy people as possible. If u have a faith, be involved in the community. Have them see u relate to family, friends, strangers in a healthy and respectful way. My kids not only had him but his parents who were major enablers. I sometimes had to ask my extended family in my side to “compensate” when around the kids (don’t be argumentative on little things kids see to much of that, etc). I’ll be keeping good thoughts and prayers for you and all the others on this board who must deal with Ns while raising kids. It’s not for the faint of heart.

    8. Ricki Mandel says:

      My daughters husband is a narcissist but she doesn’t see it. We were so close before she married him but has become distant to me and whenever they come to the state I live in they will not come over stating that the hotel has so much for their two young boys to do. Her husband has never even called me by my name or had a conversation with me and when I try and bring this to my daughters attention she makes excuses for him She never ever talked back to me and certainly never cursed me but now that has all changed. She always looks exhausted and never has a moment to herself. When I first went to their new home she whispered to me, “tell him how great the house looks,’ like I wouldn’t do the right thing. he walks by me like Im not even in the room. If she calls on Mothers day or my birthday or even Christmas if I can’t make it to go to their state she always has an excuse as to why he isn’t getting on the phone. She spilled a glass of milk once and he snapped back to her, “who does that.” I’ve endured it for years but my daughter is also so distant now, she used to tell me everything, and when I remind her of what she told me in the past she says she never said it. His mother was not controlling, quite the opposite. She was still driving about an hour and a half to pick up his dry cleaning b4 he met my daughter who does everything and she is so thin and constantly looks exhausted. I am so worried for her but she is unreachable at this point. He never called me, texted me and avoids me like the plague when I am there. If he gets up from the table to get a drink he won’t even say, “van I get you anything.” I have basically lost my daughter, Financially he gives her everything but of course she has to plan everything to his liking. His mother is on his payroll and my daughter even told me in the beginning how she charges for everything. When she and I watched the children once when my daughter and her husband were away she asked for my receipts and I said what receipts. She said for the food you bought to cook for the children. I said they are our kids. She said well we have to eat too and I said, “oh, if you were home you wouldn’t eat,” and she didn’t know what to say. I need some guidance and don’t know what to do. I love my daughter but she walks on those eggshells you spoke of and especially when my husband and I are there. I don’t want to lose her or my grandsons because they are my life but he encourages arguing between us and he so subtle which she doesn’t see but I do. What can I do since she won’t confide in me anymore. She used to hug and kiss me all the time but now in her home she also walks by me like I am not there. I thinks she afraid he will get angry if she shows me affection because he want her all to himself. I saw this in him from day one but I had to let her go. If she had asked me I would have suggested but she had already begun to shut me out. My fear is she will stay because of her children and because I don’t think she is ready to admit it. What should I do. PLEASE HELP ME BECAUSE I CRY EVERYDAY AND NIGHT.

    9. Carol says:

      Me too Jannette I had to leave also his affairs were taking place in our family home, grosse! Although here in Canada little to no protection for the children I’m petrified everyday and we have to live with supervised visits!

    10. Suma reddy says:

      Even I got married to a narcissist, but for one year we got divorced, but I don’t know while living together that he is a narcissist ,after breakup only I understood everything, it’s really horrible to live with narcissist

    11. AJ says:

      I too was slickered by a narc. I didn’t realize until recently that there was a name for it. This happened in the 70s and played out exactly like you said. He was charming and we went anywhere I wanted and he was happy to do anything. When we decided to get married I was so happy. The night we came home from the wedding reception he became a totally different person. I thought it was because he was tired and it had been a long day. Well, it wasn’t. We had a few good days when our first son was born. Then he just got worse. I could not go anywhere with friends, I had to beg to go to the store to get groceries or get something that the baby needed. He would go ballistic if we had to spend “his” money. We attended a Christmas party for his work one time and he made jokes about me and riduculed me in front of his coworkers. At first they laughed and that is what he needed to keep going and saying worse things. It was an awful night. I kept wondering what I did to make him do these things, what was wrong with me? I was expecting our second child and he treated me badly not caring how I felt. The day I had to go to the hospital he wouldn’t get out of bed. I kept telling him we had to go and he ignored me. I finally decided to drive myself and he did then come down and drove me. When our child was a few weeks old he said he was leaving me. Now I was not back to work yet and didn’t have my own money so I begged him to stay. I had actually right then decided I was done but I had to have time to get back to work and get some money ahead for when I said he was leaving. About six months later I felt confident I could make it on my own with the two kids. He called and said he was working over and to have his meal on the table at a certain time. I took advantage of the situation and decided this was it. I didn’t make him dinner, I didn’t do his laundry,and I didn’t iron his work shirts just so.I fed the kids early and put them to bed so they would not see what was about to happen. I really didn’t know what he would do. I just knew I had to end it because I felt he was on the verge of physical abuse. I was prepared to be hit, yelled at and maybe even be thrown down the stairs. I was ready to fight back. He came home and was upset there was no dinner waiting for him and upset when he saw his clothes were not ready for him. He didn’t say anything but gave me a “looks could kill” look. He went and packed a few things said he was leaving and left. I let out a big sigh of relief and thanked God it went that way. But you never get rid of a narc. Since we had kids I had to deal with him. I met someone and we got married and moved 600 miles away from him. I wanted to get my kids away from him so they wouldn’t grow up like him. He was on top of being a narc an alcoholic that he had hidden from me while dating. I tried to protect my kids but they still do have a few of his traits though they are not narcs. Just know this-you are not the problem. He is the problem. Make a plan to leave. It may take you a while but you can do it. Do it for your children and yourself. He will probably continue to harrass you as mine did for a while. He even tried to be nice to me when we first seprated (like when we were dating) and I knew what he was up to. You are strong and don’t deserve this kind of life. You can do it!

  2. Teresa says:

    I wish I HAD armed myself when I left. I lost almost EVERYTHING I owned but considered myself lucky I escaped without it being worse. I was so stupid

    1. vanessa says:

      Teresa, by armed do you mean setting up a separate bank account in your name that you start to fund? Or what else? Any advice would be appreciated as I am starting the process of trying to extricate from my situation. TIA!

      1. Vanessa says:

        Vanessa, (Great name by the way!) Careful opening an account, if you are still married he is still entitled to half. If you can’t “stockpile” a fund at home, I would suggest a safety deposit box. I filed for divorce a couple of weeks ago and we are working on the details right now. I have to supply a list of all my accounts. Your best bet is to talk to an attorney.

        1. Hi Vanessa! Sorry for late response, but my situation has been resolved now and I am in the middle of a divorce from my narc husband. Your advice is correct but I did not have to hide any money in my situation since the divorce was filed pretty quickly after I decided to go thru with it.

      2. YaYa LeVens says:

        OMG please please please make sure that you not only take money but make sure that it isn’t in a bank account. Money orders made out to you in a safety deposit box, cash, whatever. Depending on your state 50/50 and he will have access to it all. You will have to submit a financial statement etc. If you want to chat and really look at my divorce I’m here. My ex had done some really over the top stuff. My divorce had been extreme, even my shrink never anticipated it would go where it has. Please move slowly and methodically. Your long term well being depend on it!!!!

      3. Carol says:

        Vanessa it’s awful dealing with divorce and a narcissist, mine lied, exaggerated, cheated and had me arrested in my own home to protect his new girlfriend. He’s a psychopath. 21 years of marriage out the window for nothing and now we are going to lose the house. Even the dog was abandoned. He refuses any counseling I have had to take all the counseling and I have been back to court 8 times fighting for my good name because of the arrest on harassment charges! You see here in Canada a spouse and do anything the choose with cheating but if YOU react God help you!

  3. Betty says:

    Having been through this for 15 years,I feel an utter idiot,not having seen it sooner.
    Their lies are so convincing,most so unimportant, that I now wonder,what was the point of them.
    Some so big,that they’ve left me feeling betrayed.
    As for him….I’ve found out,he’s left a trail of destruction behind him.
    They don’t feel love,empathy,it’s all about them,and always will be.
    Am I angry? Yes I damn well am.

    1. Lindsay says:

      You’re not stupid. There’s no high school class about how to spot these a-holes. And what parent would be able to prepare their children for this unless they had the experience and survived? You didn’t do anything wrong. These f-ers lay a detailed trap and then pummel you back in every time you try to get out. You need to forgive yourself and know you are not an idiot, just manipulated like any NORMAL person would be.

  4. MISSY PANICK says:

    OH MY…THIS IS MY HUSBAND TO A “T”!!! It has been very bad for years, him not caring about my feelings, everything is my fault, goes into a RAGE if he thinks I am choosing anyone or anything over him and his feelings. And on New Years Eve, he finally got physical. I am sitting here in pain, with a broken finger, broken tailbone, sore all over my body because I didn’t support him in an argument at a bar. With my best friend. On the way home, he tried to grab the wheel and wreck us, I almost hit a sign. I accidentally hit him trying to get his hands off the steering wheel and gear shift of my car. Made it home and he shoved me down so hard onto a set of stairs that I was in and out of consciousness for over 2 hours. He kept asking me if I needed help but would not call for any. He did dial 911 but hung up. The cops showed up. He lied, they left. And not 5 minutes later, forcefully grabbed my hand and broke my finger. Then spent the rest of the night into the early morning trying to convince me that it was all my fault because I didn’t take his side. And now he is being the “perfect hubby”, doing laundry, etc but it wont last. He tells me he loves me a hundred times a day but gets FURIOUS if I don’t say it back. I haven’t loved him in a long time, the verbal abuse made sure of that. But I say it back just to avoid the rage. I’ve been called every name in the book and insulted in every way possible. Every time, he says it will never happen again. And now he has hurt me physically which he said would never ever happen. And he is still saying its all my fault. Ugh. Need to get him to leave sooooo bad but I am scared!! Any advice??

    1. dianaK says:

      You need to leave him. Make a plan. You need somewhere to go and money to live on while you sort yourself out. You also need at least one safe and trustworthy friend to turn to. More would be better. Staying with him in the hope that it will get better is madness: it won’t. I’m not a fortune teller but I think all of us who’ve endured r’ships with N’s will agree that they just don’t change. If anything, they get worse as they age.

      1. Shelly says:

        Leave him leave leave leave !!!

    2. Lori says:

      If you can get on a computer and type this, then it should be safe to go online and try to look up a hotline for your situation. There are institutions set up specifically for women suffering from abuse, and considering your situation, the sooner the better. They can walk you through it and get you where you need.
      If you’re still hurting and can get any evidence at all, contact your best friend immediately, if not your parents, or the police, anyone willing to help. You have to file a report as quick as you can so they can gather evidence. But don’t start packing or anything until you have a witness there to back you up in case things get violent again. In many cases, an officer of the peace can probably come in a supervise things to make sure things go well. It doesn’t matter how “mad you got them” they won’t be able to justify hurting you to that extent. Either way, you have to get out of there.

    3. vanessa says:

      Missy, i am so sorry you are going thru this. I am going thru verbal/emotional abuse as well with the rages which I so identify with, and the blaming, but mine does not hurt me. I cannot imagine how it must be with that added into the mix. You do have the power to get him arrested and get a restraining order. Go to a womens shelter and get information about your states laws and see how they can help! Be strong, you can do it! Take care!

    4. Kelly says:

      Do you have a friend in another state or city that you could move in with and start a new life? Do you work outside the home?

    5. jennifer says:

      I can totally relate and am trying to figure this out myself… how can I leave safely… how I can I keep my job…how can I find a safe place to live and afford it…the fear of leaving is more than the fear of the daily abuse… and the moments of niceness. No one in my family sees what I go through, only the kids that have moved on to college can attest to the behavior. It’s really hard to manage without any real support. No one deserves this and asking him if he’d like his daughter treated this way gets a response of “depends on how she acts”…as if he acknowledges his behavior is wrong – it’s so odd and explainable or understandable yet I try to keep the “magic” alive when it’s really all an act at this point. I literally have to plan a weekend trip alone with him to justify seeing my father that just went though major heart surgery, only to have him accuse me of cheating (not one issue ever in 13 years but still makes dumb accusations) while AT the hospital…with the nurses and docs… off the wall crazy. but there’s no one to help per my research. He’s already done time for abuse and the judge released his restraining order so it didn’t help me get him out. He’s quite convincing…

    6. Cynthia says:

      I’ve never had the physical abuse, but the name calling, blaming, posted naked photos of me on facebook, sends me photos of him with other women, and laughs and tells me what an old b**** I am, and rubs it in that “this” is what he will be having today. The excuse is because I don’t value him the value in our marriage. Thing is, is that I am the only one who has put anything into the marriage. I am not allowed to have a life. Go anywhere, have anyone over without interrogation, of who, what, when, where, and why? The latest was a photo he sent me of some poor woman who looks like she’s been down some really bad road, and hard times. My thought was I felt so bad for who ever this woman is, and then knowing he sent it to let me know that this is his opinion of who/what he thinks I am. He has no shame, no remorse, no respect. Everything and anything is and must be about him. His wants, needs, thoughts, feelings. I am very broken right now, and looking into ways to recovering. He can’t understand what my problem is. Why I am not the fun loving happy person I once was. Takes absolutely no responsibility. Any small part of any admittance to anything is followed with a “you made me” “you drove me to do it”, “it’s all your fault” “you have messed up my life” “your not there for ” “you stopped supporting me” just simply……I can’t do it anymore. I told him that to, and I meant it. Since then, he’s tried the ignoring card, and that didn’t work. So I got more photos, and that didn’t work. Then it was “he loves me so much” “he misses me so much” and then tells me “I belong to him, and there is nothing I can do about that”. It’s back to ignoring me again. I am beginning to really appreciate that part – over it!!!

  5. Fae says:

    Oh goodness, your postscript scared me. I was hoping I could take my half and leave and be done with all of this, but it sounds like it will be a lot harder than that… Still, I’m determined this is the year I will be free!

  6. The Lucky One says:

    Wow, everything you said in your postscript is exactly how I feel. We broke up 4 months ago and he has started with a new (much younger victim – by 13 years) and I still feel devastated. Even though I know the best thing is to be far away from his craziness, I still long from everyday. Or should I say, I long for the illusion he laid in the beginning. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with this for so long. The signs are all my ex, including making me feel everything was my fault. Scrambling to “fix” myself to make our relationship better. Cheers to you, sister!

  7. ec says:

    I also was married to a narcissist for 11 years. Leaving was the best thing I ever did for myself and my children. Living with a narc is hard, leaving is harder. They don’t just let you go. Prepare for new forms of abuse. Bottom line though, it IS worth it. You never really know how much they’ve harmed you and your kids until you return to a stable loving life. I think narcs are created, in that, it’s a learned behavior. It’s a way of thinking. I’ve seen generations of it. Raising children with a narcissist will make your children narcisstic or they’ll choose a narc partner. My father is a narc,I was drawn to people with NPD not knowing any better. It is never ok to stay. If you figure it out, you have a duty to your children to save them. If you don’t, your just as guilty of abuse as the narc.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t think its possible to save them, as you say, from the narc. He is their father and I cannot take them from him, hes not abusive in any way the courts would acknowledge. All I can do is model healthy behavior, not let him continue to take advantage of me and manipulate me in front of them. And hopefully, one day, I will be able to show them what a healthy marriage looks like.

      But dealing with him will be something they will have to understand at some point. He will hurt them when their grown, and yes, they might have issues with attracting narcs themselves. I know, but I cant keep that from them. None of us is perfect, perfectly protected from harm in our childhoods, perfectly mentally healthy, undamaged from this world. My kids have an advantage others may not though, they have me and all my knowledge of what their facing, what they’ve gone through, and I can help them understand and heal. And if I’m not enough, I can help them find a therapist who can.

      As much as I am devastated by the situation we have found ourselves in, and as much as I would give anything to protect them from any pain in their lives, this is something I cant save them from. All I can do is be their safe haven and pray God protects them and helps them heal and still be ok in the end. And know, that knowledge kills me.

      1. LearningToLiveAgain says:

        Hang in there Samantha! I have been with my Narc husband for 27 yrs now and put up with all that you have described for the past 25 yrs of our marriage. I raised two children with my husband and will never forgive myself for not trying to end this relationship before now due to the damage he has done to both myself and the children.

        I watched both of my children follow the pattern of marrying a Narc their first go arounds, but both realized what they did and immediately changed the situation. The kids are both now married to wonderful partners and are raising children of their own in a very healthy environment. You just need to continue to be there for the children and talk to them. It is amazing how much your children see and understand about an abusive home life.

        I have the full support from both of my children and my boss at work to help support me as I start the attempt to get divorced. My husband has already promised that I will need the cops to come and remove him from the property before he will leave. Thankfully the house and land we live on are mine through inheritance and he cannot touch them. I know this is going to be a messy process no matter what, but I finally woke up and decided that there is no way I can continue to live this kind of life. We do NOT deserve to be hurt, humiliated, and used by anyone!!

        There is hope and healing when all is said and done.

  8. Monika says:

    20 plus years in a marriage of exactly what you described, day in, day out. 4 children, who also copped it.
    I got days on end of silent treatment, filthy looks, muttering under the breath. Purposely not eating dinner I made and going out and eating take away in front of me whilst I made sits cold in front of him. I could go on and on.
    Two years ago I left. I left with no possessions. It was the only way. Our eldest came with me, she has refused to have anything to do with him since.
    Police had to be involved due to his threats, yes he did get violent.
    But I am still not entirely free, not until our 12 year old turns 18. But for now I don’t have to see that angry face everyday, I don’t walk on eggshell or have that dark cloud residing in my home. To walk away with no possessions was worth it.

  9. BK says:

    Very interesting article- I just wanted to let you know that you used the wrong “you’re” (used “your”) so many times that I had to stop reading because it drove me crazy. I’ve been in your situation so I found it interesting to see it spelled out from someone else’s perspective, but fix the grammar!! Best wishes!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Argh! I hadn’t even realized! Thanks for pointing it out. 🙂 Sometimes I get on a roll and don’t proofread as closely as I need to. 😉

      1. doodle says:

        Please do not apologize (to BK) for not spelling a word correctly. If someone doesn’t want to read and get YOUR message, then they can stop reading. I am confident YOUR message was met with more people interested in knowing YOUR story and having a voice they felt they have lost, vs. “OMG she didn’t use the correct YOUR” … BK I’m annoyed by people like you who have nothing good to say but yet you reply to articles.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          Thank you 🙂

          1. I am usually a Grammar Nazi also, but reading was so engrossing I didn’t even notice.

            1. Agreed! I usually always notice misspelled words & grammatical errors, but in this case I was so caught up in this article, until I didn’t even notice a single one.

        2. fluffgoup says:

          Spelling is not important here. Perfection is for narcissists.

          1. mich says:

            My narcissist is dyslexic… and Head of English at our work… God help anyone who points out his spelling errors… 😛

            1. Micaela says:

              I wake up at 4:30AM – go for a jog, and then my 2 hour commute to work, and manage his properties on the side, all while doing all the cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, homework, baths, and driving them to all their activities. All while trying to study for a certification that will help me at work. I do send out the laundry – that’s my only short cut. I eat paleo, so I cook all our meals, and it’s time consuming. If I doze off while watching tv he accuses me of being lazy, and acts surprised that I am SO tired. “Why are you so tired all the time?” He says. “You have an easy life, someone else does your laundry. It’s such a turn off” he says…I’ve to find help. He is not physically abusive, but manipulative, controlling, and talks me down every moment he gets. I fell in love with a great listener who was up for everything, and little did I know that he was just storing all that information I was feeding him – so stupidly – to use it against me any chance he got. He loses control, yells, throws tantrums and fits, while I can’t even squint without him accusing me of being rude, and stupid. I’m so over it – Just need to plan my exit and it won’t be easy…Custody, dividing the real estate, uhhh…How did I not see it? How did I miss the signs?

        3. anna says:

          I think BK is a narc.

        4. Cindy says:

          Can’t believe, fix the grammar? If you have been anywhere close to her situation you would be more interested in her fixing her life and not the grammar! Shame on you!

    2. Ellen says:

      Seriously? Grammar Police?

    3. Seriously??? If that’s the best & only thing you could post here, you might be not understand significance of this article. And you honestly would’ve been better off saying NOTHING.

      1. BTW, my message about “…better off saying NOTHING” is for BK.

  10. Melanie Bonanno says:

    Exactly what I have been living … In the middle of Divorce … It’s been 31 years and I found out 2/12 years ago what I have been living with All these Years … I Will be Fine One Day Soon and hope to find a Group therapy for what I have been living through … My biggest concern now our my Children though adults they are Webbed in his Narcs games and Control … When I am Free of Him I Will be able to be more help to the kids there were times my kids turned against me the last few years and had no relationship … But this last year they have now seen what and who he is … For now he has dismissed my daughter and he wants her not in his life and my Son has been out of his life for a couple years and now back in as Long as he goes along and does what his father demands of him. My divorce should be done in the next 6-9 months … We have A lot of settlement of Properys to deal with !! I Am Counting the Days and it is just not going to Be Soon Enough .. Thanks for sharing and the Hope that there is light at the End of this Nitemare of a Tunnel ….

  11. Jodi Smith says:

    I left my husband 10 months ago and this article described my life exactly….as said in the article, leaving the relationship does not end the relationship and my former husband is trying to do everything possible to destroy me and our 21 month old child. The sad thing is I have tertiary qualifications and studied behaviour disorders. He still fooled me. Best of luck to all the women out there…

    1. dianaK says:

      It’s different when you’re emotionally involved and really close to the person (or think you are). No amount of training can train the heart not to respond with trust and love in situations which are horribly wrong for our mental health and general happiness. We deliberately dismiss or try to ignore persistent niggling feelings of unease, telling ourselves we’ve got it wrong, he can’t have meant it ‘that’ way, we’re paranoid, blah blah blah subtext: it’s our fault. It isn’t. This is a kind of brainwashing that we’ve eagerly accepted because we thought we’d found love. We hadn’t. Doesn’t matter how many degrees you’ve got, education isn’t really relevant here.

      1. Fae says:

        Very true. My husband employed gaslighting against me so well I thought I completely doubted myself. I have a Psychology minor and had extensive training on recognizing signs of all forms of abuse, including emotional, during years as a preschool teacher. And it took me 4 1/2 years to see it in my own house.

      2. Ginny says:

        So true. And then people will treat you like an idiot for not leaving. I think so many of us get very codependent and have been beat down to the point of not believing we’re capable of making it on our own. And they make sure that you feel like you can’t make it on your own.

    2. Lucky escapee says:

      Did you find that things were pretty bad and then when the baby came it got so, so much worse?

      I left mine 4 years ago and he tried to destroy me several times over and in many different ways.

      Slowly but surely his power over me has weakened, and as my natural personality emerged (this took a long time), I started to stand up for myself and eventually finding someone else was more attractive to him and he got bored of me.

      Just over a year ago he found a new victim, within 3 months they were living together and expecting a child and it’s all pretty quiet now. The odd flair up when he feels out of control in his new life but nothing I can’t cope with. We communicate over email and text and I only see him in the holidays when we can’t use the school day for drop off and pick up.

      It does get better, and slowly they do lose their hold on you and you will get your life back. The most terrifying thing I’ve ever done but looking back I only wish I’d done it so much sooner!

  12. PotMeetKettle says:

    At first while reading this I felt a prick guilt of being the narc. As one who was raised by a narc and then also having devastating experiences in childhood and young adult years, I can attest that you have to guard your heart and mind and not allow the dysfunction to warp yourself into narcissistic patterns as well. Courageous enough to leave the situation must also be brave enough to wrestle your own demons and rise above being merely a victim but a victor.

    1. fluffgoup says:

      The rage I feel sometimes made me think maybe I am the narc too. But I read that narcissism is on a continuum & the true narc has no empathy so I know I’m not a true narc, thank God. My mother is a true narc. The attention he showed me at first is what fooled me. He would do anything for me including quitting drinking & smoking. We’ve been together 7 years & I recently noticed that he follows me around the house; if I go outside, within 2 minutes he will be asking me, “What are you doing now?” I’ve been very sick lately & have to have CT scans every 6 months to make sure some places inside aren’t growing. He yelled at me that I am slow to get things done. It hurt my feelings so I tried to explain that I am exhausted, but he just keeps blaming me for everything. I laid down in bed & just sobbed. Then he scolded me – said I was scaring the dogs; he comforted the dogs right in front of me, but not me. I was shocked at his behavior; I just realized today, after reading about narcissism & am still in shock that I could have been fooled again. I am unmotivated & I’ve never been before.I’m living a nightmare & truely believed it was all my fault. Is it uncommon for targets to fall in love with another narc, even after their first husband was a narc?

    2. thankgoditsnearlyover says:

      So true PotMeetKettle – it is very hard to move out of that feeling of being a powerless victim after life with a narc. I lived with one for 17 years (married for 11). I actually didn’t have to leave him, he would regularly disappear for days, weeks, occasionally for months – if I asked where he was going he would say “WORK of course!!” mean while bank accounts were drained every time. I wasn’t allowed to sit in his car and he had various locked areas around the house that I learned not to press the point and ask what was in them. When I finally said I couldn’t take living like it any more and wanted him to leave he said I needed to talk responsibility for ruining our marriage because I had put too much focus on our child…. Considering I worked full time from when she was 11 months old to enable him to pursue his business plans (or whatever happened to take his fancy – he is very obsessive regarding hobbies)…. He left while I was at work without taking anything or saying where he was going – assumed that I would be begging him to come back shortly.
      It it very hard to start again and remember that I AM worthy of a good life regardless of what he called me or thought of me. Its also very hard to realise at my age I have no close friends – many good acquaintances through work but no one close enough to just call in and chat to or go out with. Its hard but at least the black cloud is gone and I have my daughter.

  13. anon says:

    Document EVERYTHING! Everyone who commented here,and who are in the middle of the Divorce. Whether it is property or behavior with children, document, document, document. Don’t wait to get a therapist or medical help. Get them NOW. Because parallel documentation (other than yours is necessary) to create credibility. Next, set boundaries. Try to talk to a counselor in a domestic violence center or read online literature. Have everything written about visitation or schedule or anything even minor that may create a streamlined schedule for you and the N. the N cannot tolerate any change (however minor) and use everything written in document for the divorce. Next research NPD as much as you can, there is a ton of information out there. Talk to other survivors and reach out to other people who have been through similar situations. and pls stop using real names in open forums. Read Psychopathfree.com

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Good Advice! The wonderful thing about the internet is that even though your privacy less, you can also hide. Don’t leave evidence against yourself here. Come, find support, but set up a separate email account, a separate facebook, twitter, whatever, and use a new name for them all. Be very very careful. And also, psychopathfree.com is a great resource.

      1. anon says:

        I agree! However, I found this article of your v.good as well. http://www.narcissistswife.com/manipulate-narcissist/

        The first method is similar to graystone method…a term coined by a woman who recd. this advice from an absolute stranger – which basically asks you to become a stone…with no sign any emotion. N will die before being associated with a “emotionally dead” person, since they need their supply of drama fairly regularly. Also, make sure that one goes through retraining their neurology for triggers and other drama that the N had us trained and hooked us on. Good luck sister…you are doing a wonderful job helping other women out while fighting your battle.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          Thank you! <3 Im overwelmed by everyones support. And sad that there are so many of us in the same boat... never thought the world was such a dangerous place. 🙁

          1. Lucky escapee says:

            One thing for certain, you are not alone!!

            Look up one mom’s battle, I am thankful that my ex is ‘only’ as batty as he is!!

      2. anon says:

        The email you list at the top of the article, sammatthewshw@gmail.com, doesn’t seem to work — do you have an updated address?

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          my apologies, It seems my site autocorrected the address wrong, its sammatthewsnw@gmail.com. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

  14. Linda Witt says:

    I have always been a compassionate person. I felt if someone was being done wrong,there is a way to fix it. When my EX came into my life, every portion of it was as you described. I didn’t know about people like him. So many times over a five year period I asked him to leave. Not until he came home one day and I asked him to leave and he threw a huge fit,grabbed my arm and I grabbed his,my fingernails sunk in and drew blood,he called the police. I spent the day in jail.He did too. He was a large man and told them I snapped on him. How very funny.

    He tried to take everything and was married to someone else within 3 months. So very glad he is gone. Sad and wasted chapter in my life!

  15. Roz says:

    I was married to a man with many of these traits and unfortunately I have a daughter that is just like this too. She is so conceited and self absorbed she can’t sustain any relationship with men.

  16. The Lucky One says:

    I’m curious, did the narc in your life constantly say how much they hated drama? Mine said he hated it and would do anything to avoid it, yet he was the one always causing it. Just found it so odd and convinced myself I must be the one causing it.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Yep, but he surrounds himself with drama all the time. I am the one who ACTUALLY hates drama…

    2. lilly says:

      Absolutely!!!! that was one of his favourite quotes! ‘I hate drama’ and ‘I don’t want to fight and therefore i don’t tell you what is annoying me’. (that was the excuse for days and days of silent treatment and a house that had such a dark cloud that i could hardly move)
      I am 3 months out. and still shell shocked. and self medicating. Id rather go to war then have that again. a decade of my life gone. And the one thing that would help would be ‘no contact’. But kids, shared custody and for the icing on the cake.. he is my boss at work.

    3. LA says:

      THAT IS MY HUSBAND he screams he wants harmony, but then literally every word I speak has to be defended. Everything I do irritates him. I can do absolutely NOTHING right, and anyone who challenges him on anything is the problem.

    4. Kim McCulley says:

      SO TRUE!!!!! Mine said it last night and I wasn’t talking. He came in and tried to start an argument and said I needed to stop being a drama queen. He needs help and I need out!!

      1. lkanony says:

        YES…..I HAVE….As a matter of fact, when we were dating, he said he really didn’t like to be in a situation where people like to cause a scene…..and of course…GUESS who was ALWAYS THE ONE CAUSING A SCENE when he felt “slighted”. When he pulled that stunt one day, I literally left my food on the table and walked right out of the restaurant and told him that I’ll meet him in the car. THAT’S how I shut those episodes down. I TAKE CHARGE as oppose to being the person trying to keep the peace or sit cowardly silent feeling embarrassed or contributing to the “scene”. Hence, he got the message and although he tries me every now and again, I simply keep eating, looking into my food and DON’T ANSWER HIM. He shuts up soon after…when he sees he’s not getting the reaction he was likely expecting. On a side note, when he attempts to be or behaves intimidating, I stand my ground and I told him flat out that, when he behaves that way, he’s really NOT intimidating me AT ALL but TURNING ME OFF. I told him it’s NOT attractive at all so if he EVER comes towards me aggressively, he better prepare for a sex strike because I’m NOT attracted to such behavior. He said NOTHING….I think he CLEARLY got the message because his episodes are now far and in between. I mean I even don’t have the energy to waste on humoring his behavior so I say my FEW words about how I literally don’t want to waste energy on things that seems petty to me and leave him be….simple as that and that shuts down the “argument” and the “blame it on the wife” game.

    5. Alive! says:

      Drama is totally him! But if he has a say, I caused it all. Resently he has caused so much drama my boys won’t talk to me. This was another method of his to isolate me from people. He said he just won’t tolerate there actions. He will handle it. He knows best. We have only been married 9 months and he really did not know my boys until then since he was in another state. Says he was only trying to be there friend. Friends don’t control friends.

  17. katherine says:

    I’ve “been there and done that”, but I have another view. Yes I married a narc and suffered for 28 years never understanding what was truly going on. But, please allow me to say that there is hope for even a narcissist to change. It took a devastating, traumatic event that I would never wish on anyone, but it changed him. Oh, he still has his moments and he’s still a work in progress, but there is documentable change that has happened. Would I ever tell anyone to stay with a narcissist and hope for this change to happen? Probably not. I have a lot of years of healing to take care of and it’s not fun. But, I am amazed and grateful for the opportunity to heal and have my marriage at the same time.

    1. Grace says:

      Yes I believe my husband does a majority of these things as well. Our marriage is a constant roller coaster. I think my husband has made a lot of changes as well due to a horrible accident he had. But in saying that he does show some of his olds ways at times. The hardest part has been having no one to talk to even though I constantly talk to God. Lately I’ve been keeping a log and that helps me vent as well as examine myself to see if any of his claims are accurate. Thanks for sharing. I really needed that today.

  18. Susie says:

    That’s not just a narcissist, that’s an abuser. Mental abuse is just as, if not more harmful. He may also be a narcissist, but first thing he is, is an abuser who uses mental warfare and may someday get angry enough for physical if he doesn’t already. =[ I hope you’re ok.

  19. Lee H. says:

    I was adopted by a man whom I now know has narcissistic personality disorder. My a-mother was infertile so he procured a baby for her, and that baby was me. She was not interested in mothering. I ended up marrying a man whom I thought was in no way like my father, but in fact he is just a watered down version of him.

    By God’s grace I divorced my husband who is also addicted to about anything you can think of. My neglect as an infant and child was so great that I now have a dissociative disorder and PTSD.

    Everyone in town worships my adoptive father, and he is one of the wealthiest people in my state. I won’t be in the same room with him any more, but I am learning how to manipulate him via email so that he will pay for all my therapies. As long as I tell him how great he is he will give me whatever he wants…

    I truly believe that male narcissism (though not limited to men) is the scourge of our society…without it our world would be so peaceful at the hands of women…

  20. Freeatlast says:

    Thank you so much for writing this. You have articulated it better than I ever could. 17yrs I suffered, and my kids were suffering too. We’ve been free over a year and the changes are awesome. Yes, he continues to use the system to abuse and I’m fighting a long hard battle there. Luckily he isn’t nearly as smart as he thinks and I have lots of evidence for my cases and it’s not going well for him. For those that are not out yet, make a plan. I cannot stress this enough, MAKE A PLAN! When he realises he’s lost control of you he will try to destroy you. I lucked out with some things, especially the restraining order which the judge insisted be served on him before he returned home, so my kids and I are safe in our family home. But I got very lucky with so many things. If was making a plan but circumstances threw it all out the window. My next piece of advice is research, research, research. Research narcs, research abusers. Research divorcing them and going to court with them as they operate on an entirely different level and according to their own self entitled rules. Being able to predict their next move is crucial to your case. Hugs to you all and best of luck in getting out and healing.

  21. Robert Zimmerman says:

    Why are these articles always written as if Narcs are only men! I’ve been trying to cope with my highly toxic narc (eastern european) ‘wife’ for 11 years. She hates me because I finally sought out help for myself after 5 years of marriage and learned how to confront the person. Talk about adding fuel to the fire when I shut off her ‘supply’! Her power trip was over. …until she found another sucker to feed her. He loves the thrill of her roller coaster emotions – because he does have to deal with it 24/7 and support the kids, nor does she because they are both Narcs. Now that we are finally getting divorced, she’s kicking and screaming to keep the financial support… even though she has 6 degrees and countless ‘suppliers’/aka suckers kissing her ass. Unfortunately me and the kids with have to cope with her the rest of our lives, married or not.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Well, I write the narc as a man, because that’s what I’m dealing with, but your right, there isn’t much written about women narcissists, unless its the daughter of one writing. I would think the warning signs for a female narcissist would be a little different, but a lot would be the same as well. Maybe you should write about your experiences, I have found it to be really helpful emotionally.

    2. Anon says:

      As I read the comments, I was SERIOUSLY wandering was I the only man that had been married to a (NARC) wife. I won’t say much because I chose to forgive her and move on with my life. However, I did lose everything including my business. Left with 1 pair shoes 2 shirts 2 pairs of pants. ( judge believed her lies she was very good at telling). That was several years ago and I have been blessed to marry a WODERFUL WIFE and start a WONDERFUL life again. God is able to bless you with a true mate and friend. Don’t lose hope on moving forward.

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        Thanks for sharing your story! I wonder if female narcissists are really less common, or if they are just better actresses. I know there are many daughters and sons who can testify to the destruction of women narcs. Whatever their gender though, they destroy everyone around them. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

        1. Kipp Powell says:

          I used to worship this man. Could not believe I hit the jack pot. I saw the red flags, but he was so convincing that I was over reacting that it really was not what it seemed. He was a listener and now uses everything I had said against me. Then he asked me to marry him. This is when I should have ran not walked to the nearest exist. He kept bringing up how I was in a hurry to get married. No I wanted to live together first. But then he came up with religious reasons as to why we should not do that and really aren’t things just perfect? I have been married 9 months. Should have left after the first month. Someone ruffied me one night when we went out. He kept saying the drinks tasted weird. I tasted nothing then wamo it hit me. He left me the next day saying blah blah blah and how it was all my fault and we can’t stay married if things are going to go this way . He would have to have some me time to think this over. Well I know for a fact now it was him who drugged me in an effort to begin his control on me. The second time he left was he needed his me time. You see when he leaves he gets me going on the worshiping and praise to keep him because I simply can’t live without him. I caught on to this. So this last time he gave me the me time I agreed with him. Ignored him the 8 days he was gone. Actually took this time to see an attorney and move things around I did not want him to get a hold of. I am planning on leaving, but will provide him with his needs (choke gag) while I silently get things in order. He even has the old girlfriend on the side. I used to hate it, but that fed his ego. So now I confuse him with how she needs him. Oh there’s so much more. My counselor told me I have a NARC on my hands. So glad I found this site.

    3. Bill says:

      Samantha is writing based on her experiences. That’s important and as she says, writing a journal IS important and therapeutic. With that said, everything I see on line says a higher percentage of BPD and NPD by far occurs in women. Not a doctor myself, so that’s a statistic I didn’t create. It would be more healing and helpful for all of us to see and acknowledge mental health issues AS mental health issues and keep the gender bias out of it. When each one here tries to share their experience of living with and trying to get away from a BPD / NPD spouse – it can get lost in all the pain and grief expressed as anger and disappointment directed towards a man or a woman. Nothing is good about the experience and abuse we’ve endured. We can’t express ourselves without the pain showing – that is true – and fine too if this is only a place to vent. Can you actually WANT to hurt your spouse who is ill with a mental disorder and incapable of cognitively engaging life and you and your kids? Not me. I find this to be the toughest part of it all – to do the right thing and if not that, then the necessary thing. To protect yourself and for some of you, to protect your children. That is why. BPDs’/NPDs’ suck the life out of you until, like a mouse played with too long by a cat, you can’t recognize who you are or were once. Marriage is an end game for these people. You weren’t a damaged person getting into the relationship – you were preyed upon. See this for what it is, not for what it isn’t. Don’t get eaten alive. Sites like this are good and helpful but healing must be the purpose. Not to wallow in the insanity, but help each other out of it. Think about it, looking back, would any of us have had anything to do with our ill spouse if they treated us then like they do now? Of course not. They are good at winning you over and know how to make you want them in your life. I’ve been tricked like this before myself. Not my first time. It’s damn hard to see them for who they are. We can’t blame ourselves for not seeing it but we WILL have to look at ourselves in the mirror and know why we stayed rather than got out of the abusive toxic relationship. Heck, I’m living in a cabin/shack with no electricity or running water. I carry water and use an extension cord to bring in limited power. It belongs to my deceased sister’s husband. Being served with papers while away from ‘home’ out of the blue meant being cut off with what was on my back and in my pocket. My ‘work’ was in the 15 months of marriage, to build a commercial kitchen to begin a “Pizza on the Farm” business to earn income to live on – to pay a new mortgage my wife had gotten before the marriage. One week after we were married she announces she’s quitting her job when that was the only income. Marriage plans were to marry 12 months later than we did, but she got an impulsive idea to marry earlier – so the impression was that we both now had all this debt and no income – “why am I not taking better care of her?” (when she entitles herself to make all the choices and decisions herself without any input from me) What a nightmare! Nothing I did pleased her and it ever did, it was merely a lull in the criticism, demanding a blaming for a few hours.

      I am blessed to be where I am at! I can say that. That is how incredibly scary and alarming the abuse gets to being. Never knowing what is next. I don’t miss her at all. The divorce is not final yet but should be in August. She’s busy with her smear campaign activities – having gotten her feed on Narcissistic Supply. It’s not going to be me any longer. That is how you deal with them – don’t play. Stress and drama seem to be fueling their energy and appetite for more and more and more when it will never be enough. They can commit crimes and still blame others for them doing it. To get them to leave on their own you have to become boring – not get drawn into their fighting and just be boring. They can not stand things to be peaceful and serene else they’d risk seeing what they have done and how they have hurt so many people. It is this they are famous in starting affairs with others for. Their “mouse” has no life left in them, need another to take it’s place. Societal, cultural and community influences somewhat confine their appetite for more Narcissistic Supply. Set someone new up to be destroyed. Allow yourself to see the ugly truth about this illness, learn from experiencing it and allow yourself to get out, to find happiness. That’s what I’m working towards. Yes – it’s an illness. But there is only one person that can DO anything about it – the ill person only.

  22. KE Ranes says:

    Hello all. Its been 40 years of this for me. Finally found out in 09 that he is a narcissist and it all clicked. My father was one. My mother a co dependent who coped in horrible ways. She raised me to tolerate abuse. She modeled tolerance and acceptance. I was raised to be a victim. I married mine 3 months after meeting him. Hes cerebral, passive-aggressive, compulsive giver.
    He gives things for apprival. Coming from nothing, the quiet attention, lack of verbal abuse and gifts were the enticement. All the traits have been there particularly exhibitionism for attention and a porn addiction thats extreem.
    Now in isolated retirement all of the bad traits are much worse. This article is 100% true. I wish I saw it years ago.
    Hes a total fake person and has fooled everyone for years. All co workers think he’s Wonderful. Of course. Those he wants approval from get the most gifts. Time, money, rides, lunches… you name it- he’ll give it. No one would believe me. And my emotional outbursts when I cant tolerate the emotional abuse- are proof that I’m the crazy basket case that he puts up with. That makes him look SO good. Its textbook.
    So I take meds just to cope not because Im crazy. Im 60. No money. No family. So thats just how it is.

    1. jb says:

      It is said many times in response to these article “I am stupid”. Firstly NO YOU ARE NOT! If you knew about narcissism prior to meeting one you would have run a mile. When the narc is your parent – you make excuses for their bad behavior and keep a low profile so as not to attract the venom, but no-one explains to you what narcissism is. Many people think it is just someone being in love with themselves or “up themselves”, and constant preening in the mirror.

      We all know it is far more dangerous to your mental health and well being than someone who just preens too much. I hate to have to admit that I am in my mid sixties and I have only just realised that my daughter has just broken up with one. She didn’t tell us the nasty side of her relationship because she was ashamed of what was happening. Why was he on 4 or 5 dating sites talking to other women around the time their daughter was born? If her father and I had known I am sure the penny would have dropped sooner. It wasn’t until my husband died last year – she decided she couldn’t do it anymore. The narc was back on the dating site within 2 days of his death.

      At that point I started researching and reading and bingo a total epiphany occurred when I realized my son in law was a narc. Followed by a realization that so was my own father, my grandmother, and my mother in law. Suddenly all the pieces fitted together and it was like a cloud had lifted.

      My late husband and I were so very lucky that the miserable childhoods we had didn’t interfere in our lives. We had a wonderful 44 years, I wish it had been more.

      Because we don’t teach children to recognise these badly behaved individuals – as we try to do for arsonists and people who hurt animals. They slide under the radar. The next thing you know is you are trapped in misery. Once you are in the know and know the signs you will never get involved on a personal level again.

      Not stupid just a normal nice and caring person who was unprepared to deal with a nasty vindictive parasite with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    2. lkanony says:

      ….and even at 60 from what I’ve come to observe and see, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO TAKE BACK SOME KIND OF CONTROL OR START OVER, or make YOURSELF the priority with and for yourself OUTSIDE OF HIS APPROVAL OR NOT. Otherwise, what you COULD do is continue to cope in your marriage to a narcissist (like a lot of us) and MAKE SURE you hoard money and at this point, wait for him to die to at least benefit from his life insurance policy for all that you’ve dealt with, but frankly, that’s typical. If that’s a little too long to wait for, again, you’re NEVER too old to come to the realization that you have to start being YOU outside of HIM and let him pout, insult, yell, ignore and whatever else he may do…at least you see THAT coming compared to him seeing the new YOU in action taking him off guard and by surprise. If he threatens divorce, SO WHAT? You have to realize and make up your mind that he’ll actually be doing YOU a favor (and his narcissistic mind doesn’t even realize that). It may seem complicated and scary but it’s funny how things just always have a funny way of working out when you’re determined and persevere. I just turned 40 and from my mid 30’s (when I REALLY discovered my marital state of being married to a narcissistic man which is now going on 15 years) up to now, I truly realized I’m my father’s daughter, and so I began to gradually become more and more independent. He has even told me, in an attempt to make his words or the intent seem dismal, that “you’re not the same person that I dated and married….”. My response to him was ” I KNOW THAT and I hope I’m NOT the same person I was when you met me because then, that would mean I haven’t evolved…I’m not suppose to be the same. I’m suppose to grow and become wiser.” …and wiser I HAVE become. He’s stumped at that point. I then do one of HIS tactics and turn things around on him and say “I hope you evolve too and grow and learn for the better and learn to appreciate what I’ve become because this is me now…our situations and life makes us different than before”. Nevertheless, I enrolled in school to earn my master’s in health administration (whether he supported me or liked it or not…frankly I wasn’t going to make that my problem….it’s exactly what it was….HIS PROBLEM) and this fall, I will enhance my credentials even more by starting another master’s program to earn yet another master’s degree in none other than clinical psychology (go figure 😉 ). People in my class sessions were of ALL ages. As a matter of fact, I recently came across an employee at work who is technically close to retirement (according to him) but he stated that he wants to fulfill another dream of going back to school to earn another master’s degree in art (his first master’s is in education). Now THAT’S living. So again, if divorce is not an option for whatever reason, when being married to a narc, I discovered that YOU MUST start living as oppose to waiting for HIM to be ready to have a full life with you because believe me, HE is living for him and doing what he enjoys whether you’re on board or not. Again, USE HIS TACTIC TO BENEFIT YOU and instead of using your energy for him and wondering what or why he’s doing whatever it is he does, USE YOUR ENERGY FOR YOU AND YOUR NEEDS….INVEST IN YOURSELF….DON’T WAIT for him to make you his priority because that’s neither here nor there when it comes to their type (although they’ll forever try to convince you that YOU matter and are their priority and should feel “lucky” to have them as a husband). So even at 60, people start over as long as you have breath in your body. You just have to change your frame of mind. IGNORE what he does that’s unpleasant but CERTAINLY cut the riffraff off by telling him the truth about no longer being able to tolerate his disdain/tantrums or no longer having any more energy to put towards it and don’t say anymore than that…leave the room or house. Moving forward, you need to channel that energy into enhancing YOU…60, 50, or 40 years old, no matter HOW LONG you’ve been married.

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        You are AWESOME. Thank you for your power and energy. And you’re also totally right. I did three things today to get started on gaining my own independence back and I feel AMAZING. One step at a time. Make a plan, and go for it. Life is too short to spend it living in someone elses shadow. And maybe Ill get lucky and he will divorce ME! 😉

        1. lkanony says:


  23. I have recently documented my 11 year relationship with a narcissist and the ongoing aftermath in the hope that it helps those in similar positions.

    I found the most comforting thing was knowing that I was not alone (or crazy!).

    My hope is that by sharing my experience, maybe someone will be helped and realise that they’re not alone, and with enough awareness maybe in time the issue of narcissistic abuse will be properly addressed.


  24. Sarah Hall says:

    WOW!– This really hit home for me. I was looking for answers elsewhere, but, this really zeros things in for me.

  25. I had a relationship for 19 years w/a narc, drug addicted, twisted, lying, hateful man.

    There were lots of times we had these horrible fights, then I would get the silent treatment.

    The worst thing is I didn’t know about this until this past year. A good friend randomly posted on Facebook about narcissism. I was competer floored, as if someone slapped me across the face and I didn’t see it coming.

    I cried. I wept. I was relieved. I was pissed. Every emotion was spinning me like a blender on high.

    So not too long after that is when I started my Facebook page Enough – Take Back Your Life From The Narcissist. It was so freeing to post all about these types of people. My own therapy & hoping to help others.
    I get messages & comments from people thanking me for helping them, how much they appreciate what I do etc.

    If I can help one person I’m happy, but to hear it from many makes my heart feel overjoyed.

    I put this on my page and it did pretty well. I’m going to look up your page and hopefully we can make more people aware together.

    And yes there are wonderful men out there! I was very fortunate to find one and he’s wonderful. He treats me like a queen, he is sweet and loving. I’m so lucky I’ve finally gotten out from under the narc thumb. It’s a lonely, dark, miserable, nightmarish place to be.
    Once you are free, though it takes awhile, life starts blossoming again and everything gets better and brighter…

  26. I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely loved
    every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new things you post…

  27. carolyn says:

    My sister went through this. I saw it straight off on their first date. He hated me cause he knew I saw through his act. Happy to say she left and is thriving. It was messy, it took time – but she is full of joy and life. All I can say is start planning now. Do it safely but do it. The women with these men have had too many years of being brainwashed into believing they can’t, they suck, they have no power or skills. DON’T BELIEVE THIS BULL!! It takes a little while you can rebuild. Have kids – start with a lawyer. Do not try to tell him what is happening – these people can be dangerous. Life on the outside make look hard and at first it may be but, you deserve a life!!!! It will rebuild. Find a womans shelter find something but find a way out. No one has the right to smash the light of a soul – Find the strength ladies there is only one life and in fear is no way to live.

  28. Michelle Ubben says:

    My husband displays alot of these signs. He does not have alot of friends, can not hold down jobs, and has many addictions…Sex is a big one. I am suppose to want it and give it to him daily and sometimes more than once a day. He flys off the handle and yells horrible things…curses and throws and breaks things if he does not get his way…and sometimes even after he does..which I know has to do with the drinking also. He hates for me to be gone…even if it is to take our girls to their extracurricular activities..Thinks :Holidays are stupid..Birthday parties..unless it is a party he can drink at…and is always so negative. Then he will turn around in a blink of an eye and be a sweetheart…sometimes crying and saying how sorry he is and that he will change. We have two girls..and our oldest is really have a tough time..they want me to move out. They love their Dad they are just tired of his constant yelling and complaining. He hates everything it seems. It is just hard to up and leave just like that….besides he would destroy everything I left behind before I could come back to get it..I just wish he would reconize he has a problem and try to get help…and I am done..

    1. Jessica says:

      This sounds to me (and from personal experience of NPD) like BPD – borderline personality disorder (which unfortunately I also have personal experience with). The anger and negativity and destructiveness is so characteristic of BPD.

    2. Kipp says:

      OMG. I have the same thing going on with the sex! All about him now that we are married! Daily several times a day. I see him over and over in these posts!

      1. Alive! says:

        I am not trying to be cruel, but I have learned a way to avoid several sexual demands a day is to suggest we have it now several times a day. Since I have been doing this since it’s not his idea or on his demand he usually turns it down. What a relief. I enjoy sex don’t get me wrong, but it the all about me sex that gets to be a big turn off.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          Thats brilliant, seriously. Because I have noticed whenever I try to have a “nice” evening at home (not romantic, just a good dinner and maybe a movie after the kids go to bed, just relaxing and being people) he has to pick a fight or start criticizing me over everything. BUT, if I barely get dinner together and rely on him for bedtime etc., then he’s fine. Its like they are naturally contrary, wanting whatever you DONT want.

          1. Kate says:

            Yes! Exactly…

  29. Another 'victim' says:

    In some ways it is harder to deal with a Wife ‘Narc’, as no-one can accept that a women/mother would behave in this way, and they (she ) is so good at putting in the show in front of other people.
    Also other men may think you are weak, when really you are being strong trying to keep the family together for the sake of the children, and avoiding the arguments in front of the children that narcs love to have.

    I’m now in court proceedings she has started, as I took her power away by leaving, she earns more, has all the marital assets etc, so she has reacted in the only way she can, viciousness and lies.

    If you are with a ‘Narc’ get out, cover yourself legally and talk to friends; at first they may not believe you, but you will be surprised how many already knew, and don’t like your ‘Narc’

    Good luck and be safe, it won’ be easy, but it will be better….

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  31. revista says:

    Excellent post. I am facing many of these issues as well..

  32. Joan Parker says:

    I especially liked reading your postscript. I grew up with a narcissistic father and swore I’d never marry anyone like him. Unfortunately I did worse. I am still trying to get divorced 2 years later because he won’t agree on the separation of assets, etc…. I foolishly thought we could come to a viable agreement without going to court – couldn’t have been more wrong. He cheated on my probably the whole marriage (20 years),threatened me with guns, and brought home a pretty big party favor from one of his affairs (thankfully by some miracle I didn’t end up with it), in addition to all the 19 points above. I have been in counseling and lately feel as if my counselor thinks I should be over it. In some ways the “party favor” was a blessing because it forced the separation, but I wasn’t mentally ready to do that (as you say it took 1 1/2 years to prepare) and then I had a year of testing to make sure I didn’t have what he did and many anxiety ridden waits. I feel like in the past 9 months I have finally been able to realize the breadth of the damage and now I’m not sure how I am going to survive financially and with two kids in college (I was a stay at home mom) and limited job skills. The thought of going back to college and starting over is terrifying. It helps me to know other people don’t just move on. My advice to anyone trying to leave. Get your life in order best you can. Set up another bank account. Spruce up your resume’ if necessary. Get that extra degree or reestablish the one you have. When you have been at the hands of a narcissist for your whole life – first a parent then a husband you truly wonder what’s wrong with you. It is hard to change a lifetime of being told you are worthless but in the end it will be worth it. I have seen my daughter learn from me. She dated a boy who ended up stalking her and then the next one had many narc qualities. She has learned she deserves better and is now dating someone who is the epitome of caring. If anything I am glad the cycle will be broken.

    1. Robin says:

      My post is below. But I have walked in your shoes! You WILL make it. Just having “peace” in my soul was/is so worth it! I slept on a blow up bed, that I had to fill up EVERY night with a hair dryer! I didn’t even have a pot to heat soup in! BUT I WAS HAPPY!!! AND I knew in my heart things would work out…and they did…and and I’ve never looked back!!!!

  33. Robin says:

    You have described my 25 year marriage. Thankfully ended. But because he couldn’t relinquish his control, it took him 3 years to sign the divorce papers! I really didn’t care, as hard as it was, I totally removed myself from his life. I left with 1500.00 and the clothes
    on my back! Like you, I did have a plan in place when I walked out at 5am. The last thing I said to him was ” you have lost the best thing you’ve ever had in your life” But truly it was the BEST THING to happen in my life!! Sure I was scared, sure I had doubts and I made mistakes..but they were mine! Thank God I found & (re)- married a truly wonderful man. One I thought never existed, and we have been happily married 12 years. Don’t let the second chances pass you by. My thoughts and blessings to you.

  34. Ane says:

    OMG exactly my relationship!and much more worst!i cant go out from the relation i cannot escape nowhere!im in his land in his house together with the parents!we leaved together before in my country thatone was the nice time and when i moved since 2 years to his country i leaving the hell near him!i had 5 terrible months was like a hell i go at home with some reason and i decide was the last never but never again im coming back here!in this 5 months im was insulted day by day beated almost every day i wanna even to sinucide..i felt he want love from me afection so i change my tactic i suport him insulting beating me and still i did all what he wanted in all the way sexually i act like a good wife i served him i bring the food to the bed i did staff like the lighter was just near him but he asked me to wake up to go around to give the lighter than to come back ..i did because if not i risked to be beated again..so i did all just to can get at home from here and never again to come back..pass 3 weeks and i come back!since 2 weeks im here and its more worst than before!!!in this 3 weeks i changed my nr 2 time i block all the social network and begin non stop to call my mom and he force us till i begin to talk to him..for 3 h he was crieng like a baby imploring that im his everithing and he deserve a last chanse,i said no im sorry but this chanse u missed at all i tried to broke u to manny time and i belived your lies enough!till here!..but no he bring the stars for me that he will show all hes dieng without me ..ok i couldnt resist i said i will give this last chanse to him..he toke all my money i didnt had anithing(my family have 10% of the money what his family have)so he buy my ticket to come back here…when i get here he laugh in my face that “i told u i do with u what a f***k i want” than he told me by details how he cheated on me with a women who could be his mom without protection!than he beated me hard and till now my arms are very blue(his family with who we live together have no idea about nothing!i have to hide if not he kill me) when i asked why he answear all the time that i deserve..i still serve him but my face i canot chnage i cant smile so i get insulted non stop “ugly face””b***h” and manny another things..one h hes ok he talk about marriage in the another hes screaming at me like an animal and i not even know why!hes repeting that all its because of me, hes sorry for himself how he could stay with one like me in all this time when he could have any girl..hes repeting that since im here im so busy to fight with him and non stop im stressing him(untruth!if i open my mouth suer i will be beated)this is what happened tonight to me…i asked him to put a film to watch together he said ok..he put to download than he begin to surf on the net to talk to some girl ..i asked again if we watch he said to wait a little…pass like 2 h and half..im laying a normal game(he called game for b***hes)he begin to scream at me that its the last time that he asked me to watch a film and he dont put nothing animore i stay shocked he become agresiv he beat his laptop than i said with a scared wondered face u are sick….guess whit what i remain?he burn my neck in 3 place with his cigaret and he slaped me so hard that i ge blue near my eyes…i go to the bathroom crieng and when i come out he was a very angryone without a word he moved to another room…next time when i have the posibility to leave will be at may but he wanted to marry me right now by force….my luck that i didnt bring any paper only my passport i have no idea how im going to resist but i need a very good plan to escape definetly without to cant contact or find me if not im scared that he will be able even to kill me..i know its the mistake of my life that i forgave and i gave this “last chanse” but pls i welcome any advice ,,thanks a lot

  35. James K says:

    I came across this while browsing the net and this sounds JUST like my wife. I’ve been looking for a way to express and describe my situation with her and you’ve put it so perfectly! Thank you!

  36. Micah says:

    I think there’s an issue here that goes both ways. For example, it’s possible to be married to a narcissistic woman – I have a friend who’s had these same experiences with his now ex-wife. While the likelihood of a narcissistic woman is far less than that of a man, according to science, it can still pose an issue for the males of this world.

    That said, being male in this society, I frequently see our culture turning young men into narcissists. Parents give children a sense of entitlement, especially male children. A boy who knocks over the block castle of a girl without asking if he can and the parental excuse is “He’s just being a boy” is a road that will lead a sense of entitlement and lack of responsibility. “I can’t help myself because I’m just being a boy.”

    If you look at the mass shootings that have occurred because a boy feels that girls owe him sex and/or love and and attention is a reflection of that type of upbringing.

    Yes, run from these relationships as fast as you can, whether you’re male or female.

    Also, if/when you have children please be sure to parent and not be their friend. The culture changes when the parents start acting like parents and teach respect, love, and discipline.

  37. Kay says:

    I could write a book on this subject. I guess the best question is WHY am I still here? Met him l0 years ago – charming, bigger than life, extrovert, fun, energetic… and had been divorced twice. I discovered his first lie when I found women’s clothing in his house. He claimed she was an ex and was living with her daughter now. No, she was in a nursing home and they’d lived together for four years. I was horrified and flew out of the house. But I came back.

    This was just the beginning of all the lies he told – the online chat rooms he was in… and I’d take him back time and time again. He was involved in a very expensive hobby so spent every penny he had digging that financial hole. Eventually – he filed bankruptcy.. Did he learn from it? No. We’d break up all the time – I’d go back to my house and he’d spread lies about me to his family, destroying my reputation with no hope of them ever accepting me.

    Fast forward.. 2011 I agreed to marry him. Was tired of the roller coaster – it was either stay on it or dismantle it forever. I was pushing 60 yrs old and really tired of it. I paid for the wedding. He did not take me on a honeymoon. We hadn’t had a vacation in 6 years.

    It is now 2015. I pay my own way. Kept my own house — Refused to commingle finances preparing for the day we’d get a divorce ( counselor predicted that)… so wanted to make things easy. Maybe a self fulfilling prophecy? Who knows. His kids hate me – barely tolerate him – we never see them. Four grandchildren that we only see at Xmas. Breaks my heart.

    He made l04K last year. I made l0K. We never eat dinner together. Rarely go out – and I am responsible for my own bills while he dumps money into his hobby.. Thousands and thousands of dollars.. He is running up debt and lives paycheck to paycheck to support his habit.

    My kids have lost all respect for me — wondering why I would tolerate such bad behavior and neglect.

    I wish I knew. Am not a stupid woman – had a great career once but with the economy – things really took a downward spiral. Does he help me? No. I even pay for the oil he puts in my car. He’s all about the image. Loves fancy clothes. Always keeping up with the Joneses.. I could care less.

    If there is a basic difference in values… you will have a problem – narcissist or not. He will never ” get it” and insists I knew what he was when I married him. The sad thing is… He never noticed what I was.

    Now I am 65 — on Medicare ( have some health benefits now) – and I stand to get a good pension from him if he dies. What do I do now? If I had no income coming in tomorrow.. would he help me? Nope. He’s all about himself — the next thing he can buy — but I look good to his friends and I make him look good.. I’m useful. Just like an accessory…. Would love to have a meaningful conversation with him but that day will never come. He’s as shallow as the day is long..

    Why do I stay? I wish I knew.

  38. Anonymous says:

    i read your article about being together with a narcissist. It is all true, amazingly try even! But, one thing is off, I was together with a female narcissist of the intj mbti scale. No one would ever believe me until she tried to use her narcissist charisma to try to give her my house. Please make people aware that there are female narcissists! It is rare but they exist it is I think only a small percentage of the population but the impact they have on a man is maybe worse than otherwise…

  39. Blush says:

    Hi , im here to tell a sad truth.
    Im a victim of a narcissist who actually posts on and subscribes to a person who has posted this somewhere else.
    I have read what my ex has posted and it tears me to bits inside because they have made me out to be the evil one who abused them when in fact they are the abuser. I am totally crushed and actually still very much in love with the person. I have been cheated on who knows how many times by them, lied to, abused, been spoken against to everyone to make me look bad and evil when all along it is them. They read this article and posted a horrible lie about me. Its sad that actual narcissist are posting things as if they are the victim and actually the ex is unaware that they actually are a narcissist , at least that’s what it seems.
    I have read all the 19 points and it blows my mind how accurate it is. The darkness also touched an emotional nerve on me as I felt the very same thing and described it in the same way and this is before I knew that my ex was a narcissist or what a narcissist was.

    It breaks my heart as I love them and wanted to help them to trust and love deeply, I didn’t realize the terrible game that was played, it pains me to know im in love with a person who doesn’t care at all about me. I know they are seeing someone else now and it hurts knowing they are intimate but the sad truth right now is I still love them and even after all the abuse im scared I would take them back, I want them back but I know its wrong. I feel so screwed up.


    1. Onna says:

      You do know what? so do I. I feel majorly screwed up too. I became romantically involved with a Narc last year. He was a few years older than me, and he smooth-talked me into loving him. I fell for the trap, I ignored the inklings and the signs that something was wrong. I eagerly devoured his sugar-coated falsehoods like a hungry animal, and waited for seconds. He told me everything I needed to hear. In just a few short days, I was totally hooked on him. And then that’s when he reveled his true colors. He became controlling, jealous, obsessive, but I heedlessly pushed them aside, as if they’re irksome flies. I ignored the signs that might be something more to him than what met the eye. Finally, I received my wake-up call, and long story short, now, I’ve kept to the “No Contact” rule. Believe me, it has richly enriched my life in so many ways. You can do this too, I believe in you. I believe that you will heal fully and completely.

      PS: I will be praying for you! <3 *hugs*

    2. Jo says:

      I know you posted about your narcissist in 2015. I feel the same way like how can I still love and want the person who is so bad to me. Just curious how your life has turned out since then. Are you back with the Narc or have you moved on? I am separated from mine but some days I feel weak like maybe I should take him back so things are normal again but really they were never normal. Its almost like an addiction and idk. Yesterday he hurt me and my parents bad and last night I felt like I missed him. I think its how he twisted me up so much. He plays the victim since I left and takes no responsibility for why we got to this point just wants to blame me for choosing to separate and make sure everyone knows its not him. Why do I not hate him at this point ahhhh Anyway just looking to see how your situation turned out

  40. Mary says:

    hi.thank you for this article.a very enlightening read for me esp that i havent been talking to my narc hubby for a few days now.i guess i just got tired all these years. we’ve been together for 14yrs and during these years i tried awfully hard to work it out. the only time really that we dont fight a lot was when i made him feel he is the boss and when i resigned from a paying job and did volunteer work instead.i was having the idea somehow that he liked the feeling that i was dependent on him. he wasnt so strict though on me going out because i rarely do that except when i go to church and what do i do with the meager amount he gives me and expect me to make it last for an entire month!lately i just got fed up with him treating me nowhere near a wife should be treated. i feel more like a chambermaid who should be responding to his wvery whim and only feel like a human being when he needs me.everything else in between im just a shadow expected to do house chores and take care of the kid.i mean i am a woman.every now and then, i need to be validated.i am not even asking for a compliments but atleast let me pick the movie i wanted to watch. and there was never a time i could recall that he asked me what i wanted first. everything works in his favor and at his convenience. so sad because i really love him with all my heart, never cheated on him but i guess like any worn and abused appliance, you just malfunctions and though you still wanted to go on. you simply just stop.

  41. KAY says:

    Very comprehensive article ~ well done and I agree with everything you have said. I, too, am married to a narcissist ( somatic) and have lived a roller coaster ride for nearly 9 years. I was always attracted to bad boys – challenging guys who didn’t follow the crowd.. and I got one.. IN SPADES. I have been lied to, flim flammed ( his Dad taught him to be an excellent b.s.’er and says… if you want it.. dazzle them with b.s.).. He was married twice before.. 3 kids and grandchildren who practically ignore him ( and me)….

    Family despises me due to all the stories my husband told after one of our thousands of breakups. It always got ugly.. and he gave his own twisted rendition making me the MOST horrible person who walked the Earth.. I am honest – trustworthy – faithful — treated him like a King – and put up with his selfish, beer drinking, cigarette smoking ways… so to be dragged thru the mud like he did to me over and over.. that was just SO nasty..) I have never recovered from that treatment and kids will never believe I’m a good person because they won’t give me the chance.

    My husband was THE most charming man… funny… energetic.. outgoing.. and was a powerful magnet compared to my quiet, unassuming, and dignified demeanor.. I love his zest for life. I do not love his love of spending money (Most of the time I have known him he has been broke because of a VERY expensive hobby).. Had to wait 3 yrs for a honeymoon ( I paid for the wedding with very little funds)..

    I pay my own way. Am on social security and do part time work but I INSISTED we did not combine finances due to his bankruptcy and horrid way of mishandling money. He hated that idea but I stuck to my guns. He contributes NOTHING to my life, financially – except the majority of health insurance. He is loud, self centered, easily distracted, and rarely puts me as a priority although claiming, otherwise.

    In his heart – he is 15 and most of the time he acts like it. We cannot have a serious conversation EVER and he will make promises to the end of the Moon that mean absolutely ZERO. He is NOT dependable or reliable and consistently late.

    I was married 31 years before him. Was a great wife.. Great Mom… and I wanted to have SOME FUN. So this guy was wildly attractive. He’s a great dancer ( I don’t dance) but LOVED the energy.

    My advice on the narcissist thing? Unless you are independent, financially/emotionally and NOT needy in the least.. have your own life.. and don’t mind showering this endless hole with constant complements and attention 24/7.. ( I don’t care if you are tired or sick or hungry.. it will NOT make a difference)… then by all mean go for it. He wants to talk all about himself all the time.. and it is true.. they are NOT interested in YOU or YOUR DAY or what YOU need……… Be prepared to be cheated on as they think they are entitled and just remember, ladies.. it’s not ABOUT YOU.. It has nothing to do WITH YOU and how lovely you are or how great a cook you are or how skinny your waist is… It is about THEM .. their insecurities.. their bottomless pit of wanting attention.. the thrill of something new.. or just the fact they are bored. They will NOT leave if they have a cozy little home with a wife who caters to every need.
    WHY would they?? Yes, it is exhausting.. VERY exhausting.. I’ve nearly given up a thousand times — but I always go back … He is giving me something I need… not sure what it is… maybe I’m hanging on to my fading youth, too.. and wanting that “last ride”.. Don’t know… My kids can’t understand why I’m still with him — they think he’s awful – the way he treats their Mom.. but I know it’s a personality disorder and I make concessions.. Do I have to? No. Guess we have to take the good and throw back the bad when we can.

    But narcissism is not for the weak hearted. Hugz to you all………… Remember!! It’s not YOU. It’s them.
    If you can’t handle it.. get out. It’s a difficult roller coaster.. new story every day.. never the same thing twice — will make your life interesting.. but secure?? No.

  42. devon says:

    I’m currrently engaged to a narcissist and we’re planning on getting married next month. I know she’s a narcissist but since her weight loss surgery and losing 116 lbs, she’s seemed to have turned a corner and has drastically improved. Then there’s a flareup…
    I’m a gamer, I love playing video games instead of drinking /smoking/watching tv… i’m 40 and have a steady FT job. I’ve written a book and am currently writing another, she doesnt like video games and doesnt understand how a 40yr old man would want to play video games, even though i’ve been playing them since i’ve been 10 yrs old. She dvr’s a lot of shows and she sits there for hours watching them and i’ll go into the other room to play on the computer and surf the net and talk to gamer buddies. i dont want to watch tv bcuz it bores me.. unless the game is on or maybe the news… so we’re apart doing our own things and she gets upset becuz i dont want to spend time with her.. that i’d rather be on the computer than snuggle with her on the couch.. and that my video games are going to come between us.. “go ahead and play your childish games… no other woman would put up with this kind of crap” .. this is an argument that we’ve had more times than i can count.
    i once wanted to prove to her that i can go without video games so i stayed away from it for 10 straight days to prove a point… and she insists to this day on downplaying the significance of that gesture. Honestly, i play video games about 10% of what i used to do before i met her… and that’s STILL too much time spent on the computer…she thinks that i half-ass do stuff so i can quickly get back to playing games…
    i enjoy playing the games during my down time… any free time i get… and if i dont spend it with her she gets all pissed off and an argument ensues and she says that it’s all my fault becuz i play vid games too much…. but if i’m on the computer writing / working on my book, then she’ll never get mad about that…
    i feel like i can’t do anything w/o her permission first… and if she decides to go to bed early (730p) and i’m not tired and would like to stay up for a little bit playing on the computer… she gets angry and says that i never want to come to bed with her and just snuggle and spend time with her… like you said in your article, it is very exhausting being with her.. i feel like i’m constantly defending myself just for changing my clothes or breathing or not being hungry when she is… or any other stupid thing you can think of….

    i know i’m marrying a narcissist and i don’t know how to get out.. i don’t have a place to go… i have no $$$$ .. i have a small child (my cat Payton) whom i love dearly and would never leave with her… i just dont know what to do……………………

    1. devon says:

      follow up to my previous post:

      when i would be at work and she emails me, if i didn’t reply to her emails within a few mins after she sent them, she’d then call me and start yelling at me for ignoring her and then accuse me of being interested in someone else at the office.

      the biggest mistake of my life was that i actually cheated on my wife with this woman and chose her over my now ex-wife.. .can you believe that? and she was with me when i was signing the divorce papers. i had been married 8 years to a non-narc woman who was amazing… had 3 masters degrees and loved video games as much as i do… and yet i still strayed which makes how i’m being treated worse, yet i deserve it… at least that’s what i told myself…

      so as we’re sitting there in the lawyer’s office and i’m reading through the divorce papers and signing each page, my heart is breaking inside because the reality of it all is hitting me and i miss my wife and the remorse i was feeling was immense and i started to cry.. .well she saw this and got mad, when we got out to the car she b*tched at me for crying… “why would you cry? the only reason you’re crying is because you still have feelings for her.. you should be happy that you’re rid of her, not sad… now we can be together… there’s no reason you should be crying unless you want to go back to that thing”

      the funny thing is… the 2 women have never met, not even so much as talked on the phone or email… and yet my new GF acts like my ex wife is this horrible awful insane person… she doesnt know my ex like i do… i left a perfect marriage for this????

      i can never mention my ex’s name ever… because she says if i ever want to talk about my ex-wife then that means i still think about her and have feelings for her.. and she’s not going to be with me if i still have feelings for my ex

      when we’re driving in the car somewhere and i look in my mirrors to check cars behind me and on the sides of me… she’ll turn around and look behind us and look out the sides to see who’s in those cars and if it’s a woman she argue with me accusing me of looking in the mirrors just to check em out … “if you’re going to be looking at other women then i dont need to be with you” … in the grocery store shopping for food… same thing.. i have to constantly look at the ceiling or the floor because she watches me and what i’m looking at…

      1 time we were watching TV and there was a show with a lot of women on it dressed in beautiful evening gowns like u’d wear out to dinner… some were low-cut others werent… and we sat there on the couch watching the show… but she was watching my eyes…and if my eyes went down lower than the top 1/2 of the screen, she’d instantly jump on me accusing me of looking at the women’s tah-tah’s and checking them out…

      and she’ll say, “am i not sexy enough for you? am i not pretty enough for you? why do you have to look at other women?”

      sometimes i think going to an actual prison would be better than living with her…..

      until i can figure a way out… my life is a constant effort to minimize anything that might possibly set her off…

      saying i need help is not a strong enough statement…. more like, an intervention…

  43. crystollee says:

    Reading this helped me realize im not alone ive been dealing with my ex for 2years made me believe we had a chance to fix it but he found someone new & still trying to do this to me

  44. Carrie-Anne Germany says:

    This really hit home to me. I ended up being with this guy for 6 months and in that time everything happened that I just read. No we didn’t get married but before I knew it we had got engaged and I fell pregnant. After that everything changed and I started to see signs. Everything was mine or my families fault, I wasn’t aloud to see my friends but it was ok to see his ect… Aswell as became abusive.. Lucky enough for me I got out because he told me to eff off and put my things in my car… Now I’m back with my parents in a safe environment and he can’t contact me at all.

  45. Justin Stevenson says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have identified my wife 100% in this. Everything you wrote has matched my life with her to a tee. I am glad to see that I am not weak or crazy for behaving the way I do with her. GOD BLESS YOU!

  46. Marcia says:

    This hits the mark on all levels!
    I know I was sucked in , tormented, and finally
    Abandoned by my narcissistic husband of 20 years!
    I wish I would have read this earlier!
    Thank you

  47. Michelle says:

    My ex-husband (married 22 years/divorced 6 years) was the epitome of your decriptions. It is an extremely difficult pattern to recognize & break, especially if you’re unaware of previously abusive behavior exhibited by those earlier in life, ie parent(s). It feels “normal”. Now, I know I can recreate the relationship in anyone & it is my responsibility to myself & my soul to have the boundaries to protect my heart from the garbage that slows my ascension. Flying is my ultimate goal and with emotional weight of this type, it is impossible. Years of body/energy work of all types have helped in the releases needed but, complete healing is perpetually fleeting. Best advice: LET GO, LET GOD mantra…Peace & Love to all who are still struggling to be free of whomever presents this situation. It is worth it! Don’t be a victim; the grass is greener on the other side!

    1. Dre says:

      I needed to read this today. Without a daily reminder I risk falling back into believing that he can change…we’ve been married for 20 years for crying out loud. How did I not see this sooner? Oh it’s probably because I’ve been busy raising our kids alone. Not focused on him enough and when I did. Holy cow I’m married to a monster. Just discovered steroid use and a love for teen porn. I’m physically ill and broken. Have no financial independence or resources but I know I need to flee this craziness. I’m reading and learning how textbook this is. I’m the perfect target for this type of person and have lived for years wallking on eggshells in my own home trying to defend my value to someone incapable of seeing it. …truly starting to believe it myself that it’s all my fault. Pure insanity.
      Thanks for letting me share. Any advise is most appreciated


  48. K says:

    If just started reading your blog. You are describing the my life for the past 23 years and my Ex to a TEE. I mean it’s eerie!!!
    I finally got up enough courage to leave last year. For our 22 year relationship I went through literally every phase that you describe – his charming and *win me over* phase, all the way through to doing marriage counselingwhich was an ababsolute JOKE because Narc was so darn good at manipulating our poor inexperiencetherapist. I got more beaten down in our therapy sessions by both my Ex and the therapist, than I did in by regular miserable life with my Narc at home!!! It is truly amazing how very skilled Narc can make themselves appear so very reasonable, so very much the
    poor put upon victim, to any outsiders who are not in an intimate relationship with them. It just further makes you doubt your.own sanity!
    I applaud you for being so courageous and learning all about this very dangerous disorder, and beginning to plan your escape. My own was the most difficult thing I have ever done, and the most frightening. And it still is..One year after leaving I have spent over 20th on attorneys fees battling absolute NONSENSE with my ex. He makes agreements and then simply changes his mind
    Court orders?? Don’t apply to him, he does what he wants. Support? Court ordered, but of course he doesnt pay. He kust continues the financial control.So I am stuck having to pay
    an attorney and keep gping back to court, just
    to get what’s reasonable and fair..And of course in his.mind it is me that’s being difficult.
    You were so spot on in this article.about two things: 1) when you are with a narc, there is most definitely a dark cloud over your house, and your life. That dark cloud is an all enveloping storm that you NEED to get away from or it WILL swallow you whole. I got away, but I still am not truly free. Which brings me to the second major truth in your article : that if ypu.plan to.leave a narc you better be ready for the fight of your life. And then some
    .And then some.more. Because when you.leave a Narc their revenge, their hatred, their anger will no know bounds. They have no consciemce, so they have no qualms about twisting facts, manipulating the court system and even outright lying, and they will do so. They simply want to win, at all costs and punish you, because you dared to leave them.
    I am in the middle of exactly this right now. And it is hell. Pure he’ll
    .But on my good days when I’m feeling strong I tell myself that well, I defied the Devil himself..And being the Devil
    well he’s gonna come for me with of his evil fury..

  49. BT says:

    This was an excellent article that opened my eyes to the fact that my wife of only a year and a half is actually on the scale for NPD.

    While dating, she was the PERFECT lady around family and friends, but behind closed doors, I was just “talking furniture” to her. The tricky part is that there were moments of genuine empathy from her, but now its exposed in its full glory and its very tragic to contemplate divorce a year and a half into my marriage. I’m currently taking care to document our life together, the good, the bad and the absurd. Everyone has flaws, but those with NPD have the same blueprint, and that’s why this article hit me hardest.

  50. Brandy says:

    as i read this, i sobbed. i recently HAD to leave my husband and RUN back to florida where my family is for support AND a place to LIVE. i think my husband is a Narc. seriously. he has gotten SO bad and when i came to florida to visit family the last time, he claimed i didn’t even TELL him i was going even though he told me to get the parts to change the oil before a long drive and that i had ‘left’ him to fend for himself. i didn’t want to go back. but i felt compelled to return… he was claiming he was ‘sick’ still. after i had cancer surgery.. yes CANCER, i had CANCER and never got one bit of help at ALL, i had to cook for HIM, not heal, but now looking back… he got ‘sick’ when i got ‘sick’. his sick was harder and more intense apparently. he has ALWAYS told me if he was sick or got in an accident, to let him die and if he had a condition that would end his life..he would end it ‘before he became a burden’ and was telling me how to collect the insurance money and how to set it up so i could FINALLY finish my degree and care for the kids. ughhh! tug at the heart strings. he had me prepared to pull the plug if he was in an accident or to let him starve if he was in a coma. so… when he claimed he thinks he has cancer…. and it was throughout his body, why would i question that? yanno? he was ACTING sick and in pain but still went to work..so i felt he was being this strong person. but he kept saying he would kill himself before he got too sick and the cancer must be in his brain that makes him do and say things and not remember it. he does not remember losing his temper and hitting the children in a VERY violent manner….which is BULLSHIT! so i started to call him on his bullshit and things got SO bad. so so so sooooo bad. he NEVER took any time with the kids.. we were just ‘items he collected’ along the way. he is also a hoarder..he HAS to feel in control and keep things.. mostly TRASH… around him for SOME odd reason and if i clean it up.. i get yelled at.. if i leave the filth.. i get yelled at. leaving it alone was a better argument and ‘tongue lashing’. he is very verbally abusive to me and the kids.. but physical with the kids from time to time. i started to keep them in a room upstairs when he got home because it was easier on the kids to watch movies and play than deal with him calling them ‘stupid retards’ or ‘little bitch’. yeah… he is an asshole! he thinks his actions are fine and it’s MY fault he talks to me in such a manner. he had NO clue who the childrens’ teachers were. none what so ever. never paid attention to a damn thing i said, even when i told him our middle child was on the honor roll and in the paper. when there was a play or program.. it was like pulling teeth to get him to go and the last time he didn’t even sit with us and when asked why, he said he didn’t know, it was his tumors. he claims to start pooping blood and coughing up blood and i noticed.. if he realized i was staring at him, giving him the evil eye for not letting me take the kids to do something we wanted.. he would start coughing and groaning. it was such an ACT!! ughhhh! so when i DID leave, i didn’t leave HIM, i left the house because he neglected it SO bad there were broken windows, leaking pipes, and NO FIREWOOD for heat and it being OHIO and december at christmas.. with NO TREE yet…. i said screw this, i’m going to grandpa’s for early christmas and start cooking there for the family.. at least there the kids would have a tree. i told him me and the children would NOT be back until the house was fixed and we would be at Dad’s. he lost his shit. seriously. he went and attempted suicide two times THAT night and made sure he told me about it. and showed me the marks on his head. i asked WHY did he do that, was the cancer so bad and him in so much pain that this was it?? he said no, he tried to commit suicide because he failed as a husband. well that was a whole new can of worms in my book..he lost his damn mind! so i said he needed some help. badly. i would do marriage counseling IF he got a separate counselor because you can’t ‘fix’ a marriage if you need fixing on a different level. that was INSANE to him and he began to get angry, and threatening and menacing. saying he was going to take the children (who he NEVER has helped with at ALL) and i would never see them again. OMG! i could NOT let that happen.. especially since he as a violent anger issue with the children. nope! so i called my mom and told her i did not feel safe. when he yells at me now, he paces, like an animal and clenching his fists and saying if i left HIM i would regret it, he would destroy me, and me. and when i did sneak away to florida, he told me he had the FBI after me, a missing person’s report, kidnapping charges adn froze the children’s school records. i lost it.. so i called his brother sobbing… and his brother said my husband is full of shit and LYING… not to answer the phone again! and you can’t freeze public records and the FBI has better things to do than look for ME. it’s not kidnapping if you are married and they are your kids..to get the kids in school ASAP so they can’t say i’m not caring for them properly. all of the fear, anxiety, hurt, anger all came out. i would sit by the door at nights and wait to see if he would come down my drive way.. sitting and shaking… crying. i was SO worried he would come and hurt me since he KEPT lying to get me back into ohio. i know he wanted to get his hands on me and i took his threats seriously. i went straight to my mom’s lawyer and asked advice. a retired family judge told me to go get orders of protection immediatly. i did. i had to pay to have him served for a hearing. and he keeps putting it off and even called into the court room, and was an ASS even then, saying he wanted a hearing so we can get this over with and we didn’t waste the court’s time.. the judge had a few things to say to that of course. now..he claimed he needed to arrange for a lawyer and a flight and what not to get here for a hearing.. and i got the hearing moved recently since i NOW have counsel and the RETIRED judge could be back from vacation. she is going to fight for OUR protection orders to be for LIFE. this man is mean, violent, harrassing, menacing, threatening and she says after this court date i’ll never have to talk to him AGAIN. ever. he is ill…..and he needs help and i need protection. i do not want my kids exposed to him anymore, it’s not healthy. nothing is EVER right. nothing is ever good enough. always the negative in everything is brought up. the kids don’t even MISS him..that is sad. he doesn’t see his actions are WRONG and hurtful. he refuses help. but this might FORCE him to do so!!

  51. Deb says:

    This article resonated with me. I left my narc almost two years ago….I have been marching towards a new life, and now that I am able to look back, I am soooo glad I left. nothing was ever going to get better and in fact were spiraling down fast. One thing I did want to mention, because it really was a stumbling block for me in trying to determine if my ex was a narc or not. the money did not fit. Everything I read says narcs control the money, but mine did not. It took me a long time to realize he did, but in a very round about way. I was in control of the paycheck and finances. But what I came to realize was it was how I was conditioned. I did the bills, therefore, I knew there was or wasn’t money at the end of payday. He used that on me. He always had money for what he wanted, but if I wanted something….he only had to “remind” me that we didn’t have the money. I would accept that and never question it or see beyond that he always had money. another way he controlled money was when I would finally pay off a loan, he would find something else we “needed”. If I protested in any way, it would be a blow up until I gave in. So, he did “control” the money but in a different indirect way. This way too, when I could not pay the power or some other bill, he could blame me. I just wanted to put that out there in case others found this in their situation. I was not allowed to spend less than $100.00, but what it could be an issue, yet he had junk vehicles and guns that he spent anywhere from $100.00 and up and didn’t think anything of it or think I needed to know most times.

  52. IBikeNYC says:

    “. . . I still have moments when his cruelty tears me to pieces, even though I expect it now. . . “

  53. Kelly says:

    I would like to thank each and every one of you for posting your stories on here because it gives the rest of us more strength and we need it. Reading your stories helps validate how I feel and confirm that I am correct in my unprofessional diagnosis of my husband. He managed to trick 4 counselors, trick my family, my friends and his own family. Only by surfing the internet did I even learn what a narcissist is but he’s a text book case. I just bought a book called Sweet Relief from the Everyday Narcissist and it’s been very helpful too. I pick it up and read it every other day when I’m feeling unsure about my decision to divorce. We have two gorgeous little girls, ages 3 and 7. The youngest one he didn’t even pick up for 5 months because he was mad that she wasn’t a boy. In addition to the narcissism, he also has severe anxiety and refuses to take medication that will really help. I am still young, 44 and totally able to meet new potential partners but you better believe I will be getting to know them this time around. Holy crap.

  54. kimsark says:

    Thank you for putting the DSM definition into layman’s terms.

    It took me 23 years and my husband forcing us into a bankruptcy for me to finally break out of the state of denial I was in. My husband is very covert. He also likes using gaslighting. With him being covert it was easy for me to overlook things. I overlooked too much, rationalized too many things. Now I’m trapped.

    I really feel that the bankruptcy was a last ditch effort in having total control over me. I am now without a vehicle, a job and no way to get a one (a vehicle or job). I have no place to go, no way to get there, and no way of supporting myself.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      There are all kinds of ways for you to get both a vehicle and a job. If you cant look for work outside the home, look for places that will let you work from home. (Search on thepennyhoarder.com) There are car dealerships that will do an on site loan where you pay the dealership directly and they do an automatic withdraw every two weeks. Bankruptcy is NOT a credit death sentience, and you CAN get out if your willing to look for ways AROUND your problems that maybe are a little out of the box. Dont give up, if you need to get out, than be determined and keep looking for answers!

  55. Julie says:

    Wow, what courage to write this during the middle of the trial and with such clarity! I am a survivor. I have been divorced for 6 years- the divorce was his idea! HA! but he blames it on me HA! We have three children together, so of coarse it’s not perfect, but I am here to say that you can find healing. The evil that is in them is a miniscule fraction compared to the all knowing, powerful and loving God who lives in me! Jesus is my Savior and He daily gives me just what I need, it is true that no matter what the narc does to you, God works it for the good of those who love Him. God is good, so trust, believe, get healed and be aware. Never keep your eyes off Jesus otherwise, you will be consumed by “the cloud” and the other tricks that the Narc will try. We are all worthy, flaws and all and love is love, flaws and all. Blessings to you all!

    1. LC says:

      Very well said Julie, I completely agree with you. Because of my prayers, I have found the strength in our Lord to leave and divorce my Narc. He is not worthy of a woman like me and it took alot to realize how much I am worth. I still struggle with forgiveness towards him, but I keep praying that the day will come.

  56. Katie says:

    I could be reading about my husband. Truly. We have two young children and this is my life. I can’t believe how this piece resonates. Every bullet is an accurate descriptor of him and his behaviour. The one saving grace for me now is that he got a job which takes him away for several weeks at a time and when he’s away it’s like the sun comes out. I feel lighter and able to relax. The downside is that when he’s coming home I can literally feel my anxiety levels rising. I’m going to leave him. Him being away for such long periods has made me realise just how much happier we are when he’s not here. You are correct in your description – it really is like a cloud hanging over you. I have no love for him, in fact I dislike him intensely – he is a deeply unpleasant man. I quit smoking eight months ago and recently he made some awful comments about my weight gain (minimal – but his little trophy can’t look anything less than perfect) and said he’d rather I was still smoking and thin. Who says that to somebody they’re supposed to love? Oh well, hopefully I won’t have to put up with him much longer. We’ll see.

  57. Kayte says:

    This is just not accurate and can mislead people to believe that they are not living or being abused by a narcissist. This person can also seem humble and often plays the victim. That’s a very important fact and is a more intelligent trait that can prove horribly destructive.

  58. Jill says:

    I am getting ready to exit a 17 year narc relationship with 2 kids and I am terrified. Our kids are 5 and 8. I am so afraid the other side will be worse with co-parenting with him.

    1. Bill says:

      Hi Jill,

      I’m in the midst of divorcing my Narc – and I’m without an attorney to represent me. All men and all women are not jerks – BPF/NPD is not exclusive to one or the other. I can and do relate to the heart ache that is getting into a relationship, then married and finding out what I married after the fact – and it’s an incredible experience. Can be difficult to explain to someone that hasn’t experienced it. They would want us to be unsure of our selves, to feel guilty for wanting to get out. Every single aspect of it is 99.99% consistent with each of them. We can never do enough to satisfy them no matter how hard we try – it’s exhausting and sucks the life out of us until we’re numbed by it. It won’t get better until we leave. I didn’t file for divorce – she did. I’d stepped back and disengaged from the drama and she took it as being abandoned. Heck, I have had so little meaningful conversation with her since we were married 15 months ago that I can’t remember the last time. Truth never daunts them – it’s always, “Do as I say, not as I do”! They won’t change and blame everything on others. She won’t talk because she’d have to make sense of it – and CAN’T! Controlling us in every possible way, big and small. Once you do get it and do go, you’ll only then see it for what it is and be glad. Life is precious and too short. RUN!

      1. Tony says:

        Yes, Bill, totally agree. I was so in denial of the relationship myself my wife left of 6 months after physically abusing me and calling me everything under the sun just because I didn’t focus on her needs and when I was trying to focus on me she didn’t know what to do except leave. She left then proceeded to continue to draw money for drinking, taxing and doing what she wanted while I blindly thought that we just needed time to work out things. She kept on spending. But I then found out that she was seeing other guys and her ex comes to visit her this week. Blamed me as I said I would pay for her. Why would I pay for her if I didn’t want to continue the relationship and try to work things out? I then got upset and stormed out and then blamed me she wanted to make it clear but she’s had weeks of sending me messages (and me as well to be honest) and sending me wedding photos etc. She blamed me that I didn’t let her be clear!!!

        I’m getting out of this lightly but it still hurts. Nearly financially ruined me and she even thought I didn’t give her anything!!

        Narcs are such bad news and me being a love addict with low confidence we are an easy target. It’s not all her though, about my issues as well. She is in complete denial of what she does.

        I just re-read the 19 signs and I just went, yeap, yeap, yeap. Just all what’s happening.

        Now pick up the pieces……all you can do is dust yourself off and get back on the horse……in time.

        1. Bill says:

          So sadly, true. My Narc first divorced about 9 years ago with three kids. She is estranged from her kids today – blames it all on ‘the ole man’ (ex). They’re all three adults now, the two daughters with children of their own. Early in our relationship, she was having bad relations with them, particularly one. As our own relationship moved forward, a falling out got out of control between them. Later, I was shown cards and letters her kids had sent to her while growing up. In them, a common theme revealed itself to me – they were almost without exception, writing their mother and wanting to communicate that they love her, and just wished she could be happy. Translation; nothing they did ever seemed to be good enough or to please her. Kids just want to please their parents, to know they belong and have their parents approval. As our relationship changed right after getting married, the NPD came on like a light switch. In just a few months I’d be telling her that if she could so exasperate me in so little time, what have you done to your kids? The constant criticism and hateful mean behavior, the incredible controlling, shaming and blaming brought out a response she didn’t want to admit was true – she’s has a problem. Before we married, I was listening to her and hateful stories of her ex and parental alienation – and how the kids had turned on her and had been mistreating her, even being abusive. I made it clear to the kids that that was unacceptable and should visit when they can behave maturely and respectful towards their mother. I was swept into the hatefulness and my Narc’s kids included saying that they hate me too and as long as I am with her they will never come around. My Narc so didn’t want to take any responsibility for her behavior towards them over the years, that she recognized this attempt to drive a wedge between us. Still, in the end now, having been unable to exact the measure of control over me she wanted, she has given in to the believe that if she now ‘gets rid’ of me that her kids will be happy with her and everything will be nice. The divorce has not been finalized yet, and she’s already demanding their change of attitude towards her (the entitlement mindedness of a Narc) and they are telling her she has not changed. They are being more respectful but being clear that she needs to get help. Even have been offering to pay for it for years. So they all knew I was walking into a nightmare, including her. I reckon a lot of folks know but just never will say anything. I’d take it for as long as I could it seemed, and then I’d stand up to it at some point. That’s when you see the projection. Life’s too short. Drama stinks. I’m 57 years old and just wasted the last 3 years on this relationship. Definitely get out as soon as you can.

          1. Bill says:

            Oh yes, – after we were married, I was being told that the reason she doesn’t have her kids in her life was all my fault. Yup. I think they can talk themselves into believing a complete fiction as if it were the truth – then go out and proclaim it to be the truth. All in hiding who they really are and do. And man are they good at it.

    2. Julie says:

      Jill I was married to a narc for 13 years with 3 children. The only think worse than being married to a narc is divorcing a narc and having to co-parent. Please be prepared for the full on assault on your relationship with your children. Kids want their daddy’s love (especially girls) and if he is skilled enough will damage your relationship. Read the book “Divorce Poison” and avoid some of the pitfalls. He WILL try and alienate you from your children so be prepared on how to handle this. I am remarried now for 10 years to the most amazing man I could ever imagine so there is life after narcs. However, I do not have a relationship with my two older daughters that I had with my ex narc. They know his love is conditional and protect him and that relationship at all cost. I pray daily and give it to the Lord. I know God loves them more than even I do and pray for healing some day soon.

  59. Juddles says:

    I have just finished a on/off relationship for 2 years. Somehow i stumbled accross Narcissist over the last few weeks. My partner was very charming, everybody liked him, but he kept warning me, i destroy everything i touch, be warned. He kept saying he loved me,hes never loved anyone like hes loved me, we had a future together, then he would say it was to much and we would break, sometimes from 2weeks and the longest was 6 months, in this time, there would be the odd txt “i miss you” or “i hope your ok”….i was struggling with what actually happened to our relationship as to me we had a future, we were happy “when he was good” and i thought what could i have done better….why did it end?? What the hell happened. I dont know if he is a Narcissit or just has a mild form, but the qualities of these storys resonate with me…..not all of it, but a lot!! In the 2 yrs i knew him, he had 5 jobs, 6 cars, was slowly getting himself into debt, he cheated on me 2 times, i was his everything one minute and then the next minute it was like he actually didnt love me at all, i was the only one that had ever got him, I also thought from the beginning that he had an “unhealty obsession” when it come to his children, he used to sit there and tell me aint they beautiful, wow ive produced the most beautiful babies in the world, as a mother myself, i love my kids,and think the same…..but i wouldnt sit there and admire them and sit there in ore all the time….i just thought it was “not right”.
    Does this sound like maybe a mild case of a Narcissist?.
    He is also now in a new relationship, after 6 weeks of us seperating.
    we were going to move intogether, me his kids and mine, and then with 2 weeks to find a home, he decided that he didnt want to move in with me and my kids, and almost left us homeless…..all he said to me was “things dont ever stay the same” time changes and moves foward and so do you….it was like he actually didnt even care that me and my children were homeless….i didnt understand
    im still trying to understand even if has this condition. or hes just a disgusting human being.
    There is so much more expamples, but to much to list but i think 80% of how a Narcissist is described where i have read is possibly him.

  60. Sherry says:

    I cannot believe how I and my children have been living the past 23 years! I feel sick and like a total IDIOT! I finally figured this out between 6-8 years ago that he had narcissistic signs but I was so very busy, I really did not further research this until now! Here is my story-I was married when I met him with 3 small children and I thought I was madly in love with him. Of course, I divorced my first husband, no big loss, he was a drunk so out of one bad marriage going in to another! Oh, yes, let me also tell you, he was divorced, got his ex-wife pregnant with their third child and I still stayed with him because “he loved me!” He was sleeping with her while he was sleeping with me so I always had to deal with that situation! Absolutely terrible! I fell right into his lap, did everything he wanted me to do for years! Always thought it was me because I had an eating disorder since I was 11 years old! I had very little self-confidence or self-esteem so, in my mind, it was all in my head and I had actually been in the wrong! He also reminded me of this on a daily basis! He convinced me easily about this one! I waited hand and foot on this man and what did he give me in return? I have 4 beautiful children with him, two that are really messed up because of him but I have always thought it was me! I have 3 older children, now ages 31,29, and 27 that lived with us until they were teenagers then they left. They went to live with my family in another state. I always thought it was my family but it was actually him, the reason they all left me! I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July 2002 and did he help me with our 3 small children? Absolutely not!! He worked and that is all he did! That was his responsibility and he was taking care of! He did zero at home to help me out and moved me so many times I cannot even count them! Who did all the work? It most definitely was not him! He did everything in his power not to help me, it was my responsibility and what was wrong with me for having any other thoughts about this? When our oldest son was 3 years old, I figured out he had been sexually molested by his older step- brother. I immediately got all the help I needed to get for them both but guess who really did not care one way or another? The big guy!! What a nightmare this man is! I did not realize for years again he was the source of my problem! I cannot remember any sexual abuse by my father so where was the abuse coming from? I have always believed it had to be my father or my ex-husband’s father? I thought I knew the situation until last week when I found out my 14 year old daughter had been sexually abused by her older brother, the one that had been abused before and this had been happening for years right under my nose and I did not know about it? Why would I, I could not even figure out this man I have been married to for over 23 years so what makes me think I could figure anything else out? REALLY? I feel betrayed and so very stupid! So now I am trying to figure out was it my husband that started all the sexual abuse? I think maybe it was! How nice? I have put all my trust in him and why because he said to! I know he has cheated on me many, many times, just could not prove it! Knew it in my heart but just put up with it! He will NEVER, EVER admit any wrong doing, he is almost what people would call perfect!! He is so into himself and he has done this and that to build it all up for himself! He is the greatest at everything, just ask him and he will you! The only way I have survived all these years, I was on major drugs for being bi-polar for years, thanks to him! He is the reason I had to drug myself in order to survive each and everyday! He almost died 3 years ago due to gangrene caused by the diabetes he never once took care of in all those years because God was always watching over him! Religion is a whole other aspect he seems to play, it is only him that speaks to God directly, you know! I believe he thinks I am unworthy so he takes it upon his self to provide our religious beliefs! About 2 years before he got sick, he had taken another job where he had to travel all over the US! What a great thing this was for him because he could do as he so pleased and I had all the responsibility with the kids, the bills, and so on!!!!! Until he got sick, his life was good! At the time, I actually believed I could not live without him, I did not know what I was going to do and he loved it! Made him feel BIG! Since then, our lives have been a total hell! The only time I get a break is when his company puts him on another job! I have to rest for a good week to recover from him! I thought he was demanding before he got sick but now, 10 times worse! Expects me or the kids to wait hand and foot on him when he is at home Oh,yes, he has a leg amputation right below the knee now also so he is a real mess! The first gangrene affected his mind somewhat, he would never admit tot it but it is so true! I have such a relief when he leaves, it is such a great feeling but know the company he has been working for 4 years has discriminated against him majorly, no accommendations at all! Of course, he feels everybody owes him like he is the only disabled person that walks on the face of the earth right now. He is getting the payback of his life right now but he will be home to stay soon and I will be at my wit’s end! That man will try like hell to push me over the edge, it is not happening. I have his game down and I am getting sick of playing it! Does anyone think it could be possible that it was him to doing the sexual abuse? He was so very sexual, now hardly not at all in the past 3 years! Where did he have the gangrene, in his scrotum! I believe he has been caught and is now paying the consequences! I am still in shock, trying to figure out what to do about this mess I have gotten my kids into! He lies horribly and so does the oldest son! Excellent at it, makes me feel very guilty if I do that! If anyone can give me any sort of advice, I would be very grateful to you!!!!

  61. Phoenix Rising says:

    I was married for 35 years to a narcissist. He was the one who wanted out in the end, and I was blindsided when he handed me divorce papers and even more blindsided when I got it out of him that he was cheating on me.

    For years I knew something was so wrong, but I didn’t know what it was. After our divorce was final, he told me that the woman he left me for was the one who told him that he was a narcissist, and that he realized that he fit so many of those characteristics. (this is funny to me – to him she was the most perfect, successful, outgoing, perfect-fit-for-him – He was going to get rid of the albatross-me- and he was going to ride into the sunset with her and live happily ever after. he was the only one who didn’t see that she had him so p-whipped that he couldn’t see straight. and it was HER who finally made him realize what he is. and they aren’t together any more.)

    I finally realized that yes he is this way, and that I was a CLASSIC CO-DEPENDENT – in all its glory. I honored my commitment no matter what. Stayed for the children. Tried to see the best of the situation. Suffered for years the same things others have posted about.

    In trying to make sense of him leaving me after all those years, him turning into someone I did not know at all, me feeling lost in the desert with no water, and why I would let myself be treated like this for so many years, I started looking up anything I could find on NPD and co-dependence, and it amazes me that most of the things people say about their experiences and feelings are exactly what I have experienced and felt – I have said the exact same things.

    I feel so bad for all the women who are physically abused but don’t have the courage or the resources to leave. My husband only hit me once, and of course he said it was all my fault. I was verbally abused for years and sometimes I wished he would just go ahead and hit me so that I wouldn’t have to hear the horrible things he would say to me. I know that is sick thinking, but I really started believing all the awful things he said that I was, or was not. Nothing was ever good enough for him, and after awhile I just stopped trying.

    I feel that I spent my entire adult life wasting my time with this person. Was honoring my marriage vows. Honoring my commitment no matter what. and where did it get me? Dishonored. Humiliated. Betrayed. Worst of all, the realization that I LET this poison person stomp on me. For YEARS.

    It gives me a lot of comfort to know that so many other women have LIVED through this, and that YES there is hope for us all to go and find a new life. It is taking a while, but I am getting stronger and finding out who I really am. and who I WANT TO BE.

    1. kosi says:

      wow! Phoenix Rising
      Mind you; you have just narrated my story. The differences: i am a man (58). Married for 25 yrs.

      please accept my hearty thanks for telling my story.

  62. LC says:

    Thank you for the wonderful article! The part where some days you feel if you are the insane one and he’s normal. That is completely how a narc makes one feel! You have described what my relationship was. I just filed for divorce 2 months ago and it’s been really hard but realizing that he was a Narc made things easier emotionally because I understood it wasn’t me all this time it was him with a problem. The fact that he had a girlfriend not even 2 weeks after our discussion hurt me, but then finding out he was a Narc made me understood how that was possible. Since they have no empathy and see humans like objects, it made total sense for him to have a new supply. Eventhough, she’s not a supply yet because they’re still in the wooing phase, so he is constantly seeking the supply from me. I have established no contact rule, but he wiggle himself in somehow or using our kids as an excuse. Ugh I wish I could of known sooner, but only God knows why things happen. Good luck to all you ladies with a Narc in your life!

  63. V says:

    oh my gosh….I have goosebumps reading this!! And not the good kind!! The scary kind that tells me I am married to the exact same garbage!! We r married & still live together but I am too scared to leave but too tortured to stay!!! I am one big mess. Thank you SO much for writing this!!!!!!! I wish u had more stories & info & personal perspectives bcz it’s so helpful!! Thank u again….

  64. Maria says:

    I know that my husband is a narcissist and I know this is stupid and probably won’t work, but I’m looking for reasons to hold on to this marriage. I still do love him very much and it actually breaks my heart to be on this site commenting this.. We’ve only been married for a couple months now and we have a one year old little girl. He acts like the most loving and caring person when I’m not disagree with him on something (I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about here).

    It’s been occurring to me how bad it is.. He often has something bad to say about anyone and everyone.. Wether he knows this person or not.. He is very egotistical, especially when it comes to his car. “No one passes me while I’m in this car”. Just things like that.. If he gets mad at something he’ll start talking to me in this tone of voice that I hate and I tell him to stop talking to me like that and he’ll snap and say “I’m not talking to you like that, you’re talking to me like that”.

    The other day I told him that I was having some difficulty dealing as a stay at home mom and I told him I was feeling overwhelmed (silly me thought I could actually have a conversation with him).. Anyway, I was crying on his shoulder and hugging him, telling him how stressed and strained I am and how I need some me time (mistake). He suddenly started listing the things that I said he was doing wrong (I.e he doesn’t know how to take care of our daughter, he doesn’t help me enough, etc.) and made it completely about himself and started saying that I’m talking s*** about him. The whole time I’m leaning over him crying and trying to tell him that I just need to express how I’m feeling and that I’m not at all trying to make him feel bad. All of a sudden he gets extra pissed and suddenly says “stop getting in my face, you’re being aggressive, get the F off of me!”. I didn’t even twitch or move closer to him or anything, he just decided he didn’t like what I had to say. That’s when I really realized that something was wrong with him…

    I really don’t know what to do.. I know that the possibility of him changing is slim to none due to the type of disorder that this is.. I’m having a hard time making my decision and mapping out my plan. I just know that this isn’t good for my little girl or myself.

    1. Jo says:

      I know you posted on the Narc website two years ago but I read your post and how you described your husband is exactly how mine is. I just separated form mine a month agao and its so hard and sometimes I feel confident and strong and sometimes I feel weak. I feel like I miss him but there is really no positive to miss. Anyway, just wondered how your sitatuion eventually turned out. Did you stay with him or leave?

  65. Deborah says:

    im almost scared to write this, I’ve been married for 19 years and finally yesterday I told him to leave and I didn’t take it back or try and talk it out and try and make it work once again. I have no idea how I am going to support myself and our three kids, he does not work and gets a small amount from the va every month and I just lost my job at the beginning of the month. But I just can’t do this anymore no matter how scared I am of going it alone.

    1. Jo says:

      Hi I am wondering if you ever left your narcissist and how it worked out for you? Currently left mine. Its very hard and it hurts but I feel its the best choice for me and the kids. did you Leave, did you end up going back. Just curious

  66. Robyn says:

    You are right on the money on many aspects, but of course there are other aspects that can differ between narcissists (for instance my ex guards his public nice guy image fiercely, but saves the abuse for me in private). So many women torn apart and shredded emotionally by these men, it’s just so wrong, and there is so little one can do and be supported by others because of the manipulations of the narc. And getting away from them is just to fall into Hell and hope you can get back out. If I won the lottery I would create a place for women to go to reconnect with other abused women so that they could heal and realize how they were used and abused and find their way back to feeling good about themselves again somehow. For now, I appreciate people like yourself at least getting the information out there so other women can stop questioning themselves and wondering if they are the crazy ones, and hopefully find a way out of the hell of living with their abusers. I personally wouldn’t recommend any woman ever marry, just live with the guy, keep your own bank accounts, keep your own power, and if things start to go south you won’t have to pay everything you have and then some to the courts and lawyers just to try to get free, and you won’t have to go through the abusers circus of glee at finding ways to screw you legally and financially and emotionally when you finally dare to stand up for yourself and say you’re leaving! We all go into marriages with good intentions and dreams of someone who would care for us like we care for them, but it’s far too common for relationships to end up like you have described, more often than not, so wake up women, keep your own selves and stop letting other people take you, bit by bit, and demolish you from the inside out!

  67. Julia H. J. says:

    Holy Crap on a cracker I know I am married to one but #19–Thank You.

  68. Shelly says:

    Unbelievable! I thought I was the only woman out there! All this time I felt like everything was my fault! You just unraveled my life in these 19 signs! To think, no I was, a very emotional independent strong woman who didn’t take any cap from anyone. I strong sense of self I had until I met this man. Now I see all to clear the control he put on me early on. He forced me to divorce my husband, because he said no one can take care of you like I can. All the charm and sweetness I was lacking he gave. 6 months in would tell me I wasn’t allowed to spend time w my sister without him. Wouldn’t let me spend alone time w my children. (That arent his thank god) Drove all my friends away. Makes me feel like I am nothing but he is everything and I’m only something special because he love me. That is far from love. I don’t know what it is he thinks he is displaying but it isn’t love. Only showing his ensecurities! I need help, a support group….something

  69. Bill says:

    It was fairly easy to read your blog post above and not even see the gender designation too. This isn’t a gender issue to be sure. As I am myself reading all I can to understand my Narcissist spouse, I find there are other web sites and blogs that have a gender bias but in the experience we’re dealing with it’s a trivial matter. I read all 19 signs and see how my wife has done such a number on me. I’m 57 and we’ve only been married not quite a year and a half. I first saw it in her immediately after we were married. I asked her to marry a few months before and plans were to be married in August 2014 – nearly a year away. A day after Christmas 2013, she insisted we get married before the end of the year and I said no, that people have been told and plans begun for August the following year. She didn’t take no for an answer and kept insisting until she hit on “its not right to live together”. I “gave in” to that point. A week after we married – she changed. Nothing was the same. I had seen some things that weren’t quite right but excused it for the problems she was having with a adult kids. That angst for them continued, but now I was facing the brunt of her abusive ways directed at me and I’d done nothing to warrant any of it. I found myself trying to do enough things right to please her but NOTHING was enough. I’d be accused of lying and hiding things from her when, at first I was not – but soon I was sneaking a can of pop or candy bar when out working and away from her. She’d be horrible if I spent a dollar she didn’t decide needed to be spent. The last 15 months have been just awful and she’d never acknowledge her irrational controlling and abusive behavior. Maybe I was wrong – but I would say something to her and try to help her see what she was doing to us. To me. To her adult children. She expected me to “hate” people she did not like or hated – particularly her ex-husband. One day this past February I spoke to her ex in the parking lot after church services – to tell him “I have every reason to believe that he tried very very very hard. I said I can’t go to church believing I have any issues with him and won’t treat or regard him as she wanted me to. I can’t fathom how she could sit in church, listen to the sermon and still be so hateful towards so many people the way she is. Her ex said that somewhere in there is a good person but she has something going on that she can’t deal with. I said there’s a pretty tightly wound ball of yearn there. Talk about striving to do enough right to get “us” back to the way things were before we got married! I left it at that – we live in a small farming community and so many are somehow or another related too.

    Last fall she took a check mailed to me and forged my signature on it without my knowledge or permission and used it to open a new checking account in her name. She already had at least two or three checking accounts – and she knew of my ex-wife’s escapade in using my ID to open over 16 credit cards. I told her so much about MY life and she’d always say she can’t remember when I’d ask about hers. Am I a dumb s*^t or what?! The one thing she should have NEVER have wanted to do to me was forge my signature on anything. Isn’t it funny how Narcs can do unto you what they’d never tolerate done unto them? Amazing. I recall her saying several times how disgusted and angry with her husband about a particular thing he would do while listening to the sermon. Clip his nails with a nail clipper. Later I’d see her pulling out a nail clipper and doing her nails during the sermon on several occasions. I never said anything about it to her – but I was witnessing what was wrong in a small way. There would be many other ways too. Like sex. Before marriage – she was quite a lover, but as soon as we were married, that was cut off. Before marrying, she’d say how her ex was such a pig wanting sex all the time. After marrying – now I was the pig whenever I would try to get close to her or mention sex. It was a terrible thing to see her make something that is such a wonderful and special part of intimacy between two people and make it out to be a dirty and disgusting thing to even mention let alone desire. I immediately stopped making any indications I’d want to – and that frustrated her – I was supposed to beg her and please her enough otherwise to “earn” her “letting ” me. Makes a person feel a lot of awful emotions to be so manipulated, controlled and abused in an area so precious. The never wanting or willing to talk about anything, the hiding of finances and keeping absolute control over them – all belittled and demeaned to the point I felt like a unwanted bastard child. I’d tell her if she …”could so frustrate and exasperate me in such a short period of time – what have you done to your children?!” What I saw as unwarranted, disrespectful, undeserved and bizarre, hateful treatment of her by her adult children early on turned out to have been caused by her provoking them with constant criticism and an inability to relate to them or be concerned with their emotional needs.

    When she had forged my name on that check, and I got home that night, she met me in the garage with ordering me to lie for her. I smiled to myself wondering WTF now? So I asked what she was talking about after hanging up my jacket. She continued in a loud voice insisting that I have to go to the bank and lie for her. This is how she let me know what she’d done. She was actually quite afraid “they” were coming to arrest her for forgery. Certain that her arrest and being charged with forgery (a felony) was eminent. I asked her what she did. And she told me – and then said that it was my fault because she did it for me. Imagine that! This was October 31st, 2014. Today, June 16th, we’re in the midst of a divorce. I’d gotten to where I was going to spend time with friends and not be so isolated and controlled, only to do more and more and more of whatever she wanted from me. Perhaps she took this as abandonment – and filed for a divorce. I get restrained from all of my things, my home and money to live on and told I can not sell anything to get an attorney. It’s tough – but it is better an the dread of having to “go home” to that. I have also obtained a copy of the check from the company that wrote it to me, and taken it to the bank. They quickly saw it was forged and are going to get the $500.00 from her via their investigation and then return the money to me. Borderline Personality Disorders and Narcissistic Personality Disordered people will not learn or change until they have to face the consequences for their behavior and as I read more and more – that’s total financial ruin or run in with the courts and criminal acts. Her own divorce attorney seem to be having a time with her because she’s hiding accounts and property and preventing me from getting my some of my things. I regret not going to the police that night on October 31st now – but, I still wanted to protect her and hoped that I could do anything at all to get things back to where they were. So, it’s not a “He” or She” thing at all. My heart goes out to all of you too. I was indeed targeted for this. So were you.

  70. Ghost says:

    I just now figured out what is wrong with my relationship. This whole article brought me to tears, because the more I read the more I understood and could compare my own relationship.

  71. Paul says:

    I think I agree with you Bill. This is not a male/female issue.

    My life circumstances are somewhat different but my wife of 15 years is well described by the attributes of a narcissist. I am successful – am CEO of my company. I have all the perks that come with that. My wife is also successful – she started her own business years ago and has done extremely well financially. We live in NYC and in SF.

    I started noticing that my wife’s behaviors where changing earlier this year. We had been fighting for a long time about her constantly tormenting our children with abusive put downs and sometimes worse verbal abuse – for years! I had suffered by this same abuse for years. I would sometimes ask her “why do you talk to me like that if you love me?” I would sometimes say to her “please don’t talk to me like that”. As I pointed out my wife’s flaws to her – how she spoke to us as family members – she became distant (she felt guilty when confronted with the realities of her actions – and the fact that the kid’s therapist knew what she was doing). Then, she met another man and started an affair. I of course found out about that (and admitted too that I had an affair many years ago). So, all cards were out on the table and we discussed whether to stay together.

    I was pretty much ready to leave – really wanted out of the relationship and thought I could protect the children from further abuse. Then, I caved in. I do love my wife – that is the hard part of this. I do know her good sides and often enjoy her company. However, she carries with her some deep pain (which I won’t elaborate on) from her childhood which she fails to address. When we go to counseling, she is a master at turning it around on me or on our oldest child. At this point – I’m considering leaving again. I am starting to realize more and more the characteristics of the person I’m married to and I know for sure that if I were asked whether I would marry this person today – knowing her as well as I do – I would choose not to.

    So, I’m trying to figure out how to piece together the next phase of my life with the children. We have plenty of resources – so that is not the issue. I still want her in their lives (and she has a right to be in their lives) but I want to begin to live the life I have put on hold for the last 15 years. I turn 50 next year – my goal is to be on my path by then. I’m laying out the plans now.

    Here is my advice for anyone experiencing similarities in their marriage:

    1 – when reflecting on your or your spouses actions – call it what it is. Don’t try to cover things up any more. I often would side with my wife when in therapy about our children but I always knew there was a darkness hanging over our household. That darkness included my willingness to stand by silently and watch as my children broke down and cried over my wife’s abuse. I would sneak in later and hold them. I eventually promised them all that the yelling would stop – but of course we are all on eggshells. Call the behavior what it is – both yours and theirs.

    2 – there is a lot of pain in this but focus on the issues and move forward into and through the pain. I spent time in counseling and found that I was predisposed to co-dependent behaviors and particularly was afraid of being abandoned (I came from a bitterly-divorced home). I’ve learned that about myself and it was not easy to admit. I found that when I let go of my dependency towards my wife – I was able to view her behavior from a more rational point of view. I could see that it was abusive towards me and the kids. Of course there is the affair and her tendency to continue to seek validation of her looks (she is a pretty woman I must admit) by other men…painful to observe since her issues stem from her father….etc. In each of these issues, I had to find a focus (which I did by discussing these issues with my friends, pastor, therapist) and step through the pain to get some freedom from it.

    3 – children come first. You can protect yourself in your own ways but children only internalize this behavior and believe that they must be at fault (because they try to rationalize why their mother would behave in such a way but they can’t figure it out – since they can’t figure it out – it must be something else they can’t see – which means it must be their fault). You have to protect your children first and foremost. There may be a tendency to help yourself first because you are feeling a lot of pain (trying to reconcile with your spouse at all costs) – but you have to have a frame of mind to protect the children.

    4 – you will be ok. While I’m still with my spouse and am fairly certain that there is no hope that things will change (I am going to ask for couples therapy once more and that is kind of it for me – if we don’t make progress there – we just won’t). Finding my own voice again and being able to hear my wife’s abusive commentary for what it is can be liberating. Now – its my turn. Its my turn to make choices I want (I didn’t know what I wanted for a long time because I was dependent on her validation in my decision making). My choices are going to lead to a happier lifestyle.

    5 – you can’t change him/her. You can only change yourself. It’s sad that I know my wife will eventually go down the path of inward reflection that will shed light on the issues she has been dealing with and how those issues affect her behavior towards others. Our timing may be off – but I can’t wait forever. I can’t make her change. I can only change myself.

    All of my prayers and thoughts go out to all who are dealing with this issue.

  72. Danielle says:

    Thanks for sharing this…It took me 8 years to finally get the courage to say I had enough…22 months later I’m still trying to get him to sign separation papers…was married 2 weeks shy of 18 yrs with 4 kids…the day he finally moved out I could breath again. Best decision I ever made.

  73. I was with one for six years, long years! I agree with everything you said. Getting over a narc is another story, a long story. I wish there was more education out there explaining the codependence and how we become addicted to destructive abuse. It was a ride, a wild ride and so glad I’m “off”.

  74. k says:

    A year ago I separated from my narcissistic and abusive husband of 8 years. I have read A LOT of literature on the subject, attended group and individual therapy, had the support of the women’s refuge, etc. I have undoubtedly gathered, read, reread, obsessed over, questioned, and over-anylized in search of some kind of understanding or what I went through. However, this is the first time I have felt compelled to respond to an article written on the subject! The confusion and self-doubt that ensues when you finally remove yourself from the soul destroying hell that you’ve been living in, is not an easy thing to come to terms with. I see who or more appropriately, “what” I am dealing with but it is still very hard to reconcile with that reality. This article so aptly and simplistically describes my ex and the experience of being involved with someone so disordered that I felt the need to applaud you for sharing. It is clear and concise. All of the information is there, not just the traits of the narcissist but how they are experienced from the survivors perspective and written in such a way that allows you to correlate the two. Keep up the good work. Had I come across this article a year ago maybe I would not have inflicted so much turmoil and self-doubt upon myself. Women in this situation NEED articles like this! The destruction that narcissistic spouses leave in their wake is no small fate to overcome and anything makes it easier is in great service to those women. So thank you! X

  75. Melody J says:

    Thank you for this fantastic article. Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. We were planning on a movie and a trip to the bookstore, however I woke up to a not saying he has gone to the gym and will be back at 2. He will of course say I didn’t give him a time for us to leave. Because it’s my fault. It’s always my fault.

  76. Terry says:

    Such a thought provoking article. I’ve come to realise I’m very co-dependent to my wife and also I have come to realise I’ve been caretaking her as she’s been a narcissist to a certain extent. My wife found out some rather weird acting out I did before our marriage and she used that to make me feel guilt and shame.

    All arguments are initiated by her and blames me for all the issues and problems. She puts me down and shames me on my looks, age, size etc. Whenever I create boundaries and say no it becomes a huge problems so I let arguments go. I walk on eggshells most of the time. She did have a period of great constraint but after two weeks it came back so vengeful that it was twice as strong.

    When we separated and I thought it was final, in my love addiction i connected straight after with another women. Only in internet but we planned to meet. But I really loved my wife and we got back together. When she found out that I talked to this girl she was outraged and that’s when she started becoming physically abusing. I allowed it as I was guilty for my past indiscretions before our marriage. Also alot of emotional abuse.

    Not once saying sorry, not once listening to me. She once said that my power is nothing in the relationship and it was all what she wanted. She would contact other men and her ex whom was coming to see her. I would go and do porn and contact sex workers (though I had enough restraint not to act on it). I started to go to threapy and SLAA meetings due to my sex and love addiction and focusing on my own needs and understanding my problems and trying to fix them.

    My wife didn’t like loosing this power and the night about 10 days ago she enraged when I didn’t do what she wanted that night (I was going to a SLAA meeting and doing some work for my business, trying to meet some of my needs). She enraged and attacked me, said I will never change and packed her stuff and left. She said some very nasty stuff. After a week she came back with no sorry, no emotion, drunk and wanted me, no excuses or anything she was doing. But kept the hooks out to keep me in my love addicted self. No power I have.

    I have now initiated a 30 day no contact which she has agreed to. She says she loves me but is not really working towards fixing her problems and I don’t know what she’s doing and she won’t tell me. I know deep down she is hurting and loves me but doesn’t know how to move forward. Insecure about herself and she’s had bad relationships with little trust.

    I go to meetings everyday now, outreach when I think of her and when I want to act out, threapy once a week to sort out my issues with abandonment as a teenager. I hope I have the strength to follow my recover path.

    I still have a slight glimmer of hope she can change and go her own recovery with me but the more I understand the more I feel that it’s not possible. I love her but I think I need to love myself more and take the hard road of withdrawal and recovery.

    Thanks sooooo much for the article and the comments, full of pain but also insight and recovery!

    1. Dee says:

      OH MY…. I can relate to 99.9% of your article. I was married for a year and half before I woke up to myself and decided to leave for good. At the time, I was half way through my pregnancy, which believe it or not, made my decision so much harder. But let me tell you… it is the BEST thing I have done for myself and my now 10 month old baby. I am now 26 years old, finishing my degree and living with my parents (don’t know what I’d have done without them). During our marriage, he made me believe I was the crazy one & the one “with the problem”. I’d always be reminded that he is the man of the house and would constantly threaten to “end our marriage” or divorce me if I didn’t abide by his rules. What made everything worse, was the fact that he was a teacher meaning he used to treat me as one of his students (doesn’t really help when he’s already a narcissist). The amount of times I got called an animal, stupid, bitch etc I cannot recall. What’s really sad is as my self esteem dwindled, I began to believe I was well and truly the cause of our miserable relationship and rather than thinking rationally, fought harder to be the perfect, faultless wife. It was in those times, when I walked on eggshells, gave no opinion of my own, & abided by his rules that he would become prince charming. He would immediately change and go above and beyond by doing the laundry, giving me a massage in the spa and buying me flowers BUT… it never lasted. And I soon came to realize that he only awaited any excuse to be abusive again. He once pulled me out of the shower naked because he wanted to have a rage then and there… let’s just say that didn’t end well. A slip followed by a wounded toe was how it ended. What’s strange is that the charm would return… He would apply first aid on my toe and act like nothing happened. I have SO many stories to share but a part of my hurts every time I remember.. I guess I have not healed yet.
      But one day, I will and all you strong women will too. I highly recommend seeing a social worker who is well trained in DV & abuse.
      Do whatever it takes to get back on your feet and never ever regret leaving even if your community, religion etc look down on you. Just remember, we are all stronger than we ever thought we would be…. 🙂

      1. Leighann says:

        Thank you so much Dee for sharing, reading these stories help gain strength and finally leave my NARC for good. I also have a baby , he just turned one this week and it is him who I fight for . I will not allow him to grow up thinking that this behavior is ok Thank you again

  77. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for writing this article, you feel very alone in this situation. I have been married 2 1/2 years to a person I have recently discovered is a narcissist. At first I thought he was just a compulsive liar, maybe a sociopath, but all his lies and manipulation are for his own building up. He has NPD to a T. Our fist marriage counseling session is next month and I intend to confront him with his disorder then, he will never ever own up to any of his wrong-doing. If he doesn’t want to get it together, then I will have a clear conscious leaving. I feel very bad for my 2 year old daughter who adores him because I know he will abandon her, just like his other children I didn’t know existed until I received information about back child support on our tax return last year. I believe in Jesus Christ, and my prayers to Him have been so helpful and comforting. Christ has given me the discernment to know something isn’t right, and every time I question something, I pray that God will reveal it to me, and he does. Divorce was never an option when I married him, but when you realize the person you married doesn’t exist in real life, it changes things dramatically. This is never what I wanted, but the advice from positive Christian friends is that I cannot make myself a martyr and continue to be married to someone who is a criminal. He must change quickly or I’m gone. Unfortunately I believe it will be the latter. Thank you for your article and honesty.

  78. Susan says:

    Thank you so much for your posts. I am going through the same thing. I feel drained by my evil narcissist husband more every day. He gets worse every day. He goes through my things, has to control everything in the relationship, and tells everyone that will listen that I am the crazy one. He also “accidentally ” let’s my indoor cats out when I disobey him. I also have an aging mother who I now know has narcissistic traits. It is too much to deal with them both. I am saving to leave him although my mother wants me to stay with him. It has been a living hell. Thank you for your posts. I do not feel so alone in this nightmare.

  79. Vi says:

    As hard as it seems, start a new life. It is worth the struggle. If you stay your children grow older and judgmental of you and if they do not live in it daily anymore, they do not understand people like this and think it is normal because you tried so hard to hide it to make your children’s lives normal or appear good and take the brunt of the daily abuse. You’re only fooling yourself, hurting yourself, and eventually your children with alienate you for wanting a better life for yourself. Yes I am talking from experience, and remember no matter what age a woman is please note…..if he treats his mother and females in his life well he will probably treat you well, hang around with female family members and friends and see how he treats them in an ongoing relationship and do it often, if he is quick to leave he cannot act long enough, this is a warning. Councillors do not live in your world and will fall victim as well but at your expense both emotionally mentally and monetary wise.

  80. anna says:

    OMG! As I am reading this I realize why I am so exhausted and feel like a useless loser. I thought I could be better for him. Clean more, be more attentive, more attractive, more active, more gd everything!!! I’m pissed. He stole everything from me. I gave up my friends, my family, my education one year from graduation from college. I have been completely alienated- and now I don’t know what to do. He makes my kids miserable. My son is 16 and walks around with his head down walking on f-ing eggshells JUST LIKE ME! F him. I F-ing hate his guts now. I’ve been living with this tension like a dark cloud for 18 years. I am so tired. I left him 4 years ago, but every f-ing body convinced me to go back because I was being selfish and doing him wrong! Now he’s worse- oh but not at first. He worked really hard to woo me back. Now its a worse hell hole than before. He’s even preparing to alienate me from my children when they’re grown. Says he cant wait til they’re gone, too much trouble, we can do more things. Makes them feel guilty about needing f-ing clothes and food. Picks at the kids til they get mad and then HIS FEELINGS are hurt! What the F??? And this really makes me feel like an idiot, when we split before, he went to a therapist at our church because I refused to have anything to do with him until he got help. He seen her once and then convinced me she was mean to him and he almost committed suicide because of her and I believed it and felt sorry for him and didntl make him go back. We were supposed to have couple session that night— I bet he told them things he didn’t want me to know or didn’t want me to find out how sick he is. Bastard! I even left my faith because of him. He has zapped the happiness out of everything in my life that doesn’t concern him. Holidays–I’d rather die than celebrate another with him. He has ruined the way I wanted my children to be raised. I’m crying, I’m disgusted, and I’m leaving. It will take me a long time to get a second job. My paycheck goes into a joint account he controls. Housing, a car, insurance, the kids needs, how the hell am I going to do this?

  81. broken apart says:

    I didn’t know what he was until.I read this article. I am a destroyed lost woman. My children are destroyed, I have lost everything that gave me happiness, including hope and dreams. I am very alone and no direction, help or family. Maybe the hatred I have developed for him will give me strength to leave before I lose them love of my youngest child. I would run away to anywhere just soni could breathe and not be scared all the time of what negative experience I was go through next. I am a broken lost woman.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I know how you feel. Dont give up, and dont keep telling yourself that either! Our self talk becomes our reality, and you putting yourself down wont help you get better. Feel your pain, yes, but know that the things he says are not true, and you are so much more than you realize, or remember you are. <3 You have the internet at your fingertips, you can find what you need to start healing and moving forward. Stay Strong!

  82. Katie says:

    I’ve been living with a narc for a year and half. I’m so relieved that there’s a reason behind all the silent treatments, blaming, rages, and egg-shell walking. What’s so hard is that it was picture perfect in the beginning. I was sure I had finally found the One. Now that I know the truth, it is still so hard to give up hope that the relationship will return to how to once was. One of the biggest clues for me was how weird he is with money..anyone else experience that? He earns over double what I do, but insists that I pay as much as he does for everything, be it for groceries, HIS house, vacations… He buys me cheap gifts for my birthday. He also has a strong sense of entitlement about sex, and if I don’t give it to him often enough he will sulk and punish me by ignoring me and withholding all affection. He doesn’t take any responsibility for his share of the problems in the relationship and everything is my fault. Needless to say, I need to get out of this.

    1. Anon says:

      Hi Katie, I’ve been married to one for two and a half years and I go through the same thing. Hes very irresponsible with money and although he makes twice what I make also wants me to pay half the bills. Don’t do it! I think it’s a way they keep you trapped with them because u won’t be able to save anything to move out. I have started paying less and am saving and he’s pissed about it. Very stingy except when he wants something. He will buy everything for himself nothing for me. He is very weird about sex also wants it only when he wants it doesn’t like if I initiate, and will pout and sulk if I don’t give in to him. I usually don’t anymore. It is all about power and control. These creeps don’t want u to be happy they don’t care if you are miserable. They are totally self centered, immature, and have no empathy or compassion. They also get worse with time. Mine did a total 360 after one year went from a really sweet guy into a control freak. And in the past year he has gotten worse. Make a plan, save up and leave. Take back your life! He isn’t worth your time! I wish you the best

      1. Katie says:

        Wow, thank you so much for responding. I was starting to think maybe I was the one who was wrong about the money issues. Once I bought myself a purse with my overtime payment from work, and he exploded with “Oh you have so much money huh? So how come you aren’t paying more of the bills?”. Yet he’ll spend $200 a week on junk food that I don’t touch. He drives a fancy BMW and I have and old clunker. It’s scary to think that his insistence that I pay 50/50 might be part of a plan to trap me, as you say. I have now gone behind his back and secured my own apartment. I’m going to be dead broke, but at least I have an escape. I hope you find a way out of your marriage (if you decide that’s what you want). It’s so sad to read the stories on here of people who have been married to narcs for 10+ years and feel like their whole lives have been a waste. I’m 30 and don’t want that for myself..but I’m also scared that by giving him up I will have lost my opportunity to have kids 🙁

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          I seriously JUST had this conversation wit him about money. Apparently, my spending $10 here and there means Im hiding money. Guess I should take that as a red flag that hes hiding money… shit

        2. Rachael ann says:

          Omg PLEASE do Not have children with this man guarantee there is someone else out there will not be a narcissist there are no words for how It is to be married to one please run for the hills

  83. Sue says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! It was so helpful to identify what was really going on and define behavior that I was unable to accurately describe. I knew it wasn’t all in my imagination but couldn’t explain it adequately to others.
    Thanks again!

  84. Mimi says:

    My husband decided that he didn’t want to be married no more. Just packed up and left. This article was everything I went though in the marriage. Now I don’t feel it was my fault. My husband also have Bipolar disorder. Everything was my fault, never his. Hey would apologize after the fact but the damage was done. The lashing out at me in front of others, thinks he comes first before my children, jealous because of friends. He pushed my friends away.He was very self centered, it’s all about him. He was always right. The man had the nerve to say he’s going to be a preacher but was very judgemental and critical of everyone when he is the main sinner. Now when the divorce is final, I can sign them with no regrets. To the woman that he’s cheating on me with, thank you for taking away the headache of him. One thing for sure, Karma is a bitch.

  85. Voice in the light says:

    I am a husband on my way to a divorce. I read this article in an attempt to see the thought process of this subjective condition because my outgoing wife of over 30 years, accused me of being a narcissist, well she did not accuse me directly, I found out from correspondence between her and her lover and found a book in her possession on the subject. Let me put it out there I don’t thing I am, matter of fact it does not fit my proven, observable character and action or behaviour and was not an been accuse until now but what else am I going to except that I am not. The thing is based on what I am now reading as to the diagnosis of what constitute someone being a narcissist, My wife fits this profile to a T, these symptoms was always there throughout the marriage, we or I tried to addressed them not thinking they were systemic problems that would manifest itself to the degree it has. I read your article and others to try and see where I fit if I fit this diagnose and I realize that this diagnose fit my wife perfectly, who I deflecting by accusing me of being the narcissis and learning about the condition,fitting me in the pages of the books and articles like this. The reason I am commenting is that reading your article, it is quite informative but deceptive and will lead people such as my wife to find solice, that they are not the problem. Your article, yes is coming from your personal story, but for an article with the intent to assist others with self diagnosis and to identify themselves as victim, your teaching article went from teaching, shining the light on any and all narcissis, to shining the light on a specific spouse, the husband. It sets the narrative that the husband is the problem. And there are some points that in the normal course of a relationship could be construe and fit into this diagnose but can be innocent behaviours. I personally see some action that based on particular circumstance could be read into and taken and give life to that I was a narcisis, but were only based on particular circumstance it was taken that way, if the other party was a narcissis and use situation to fuel them being a victim when the need arise to use issues to make them self the victim and fuel abuse on the other party. Your personal story is your real personal story but in the hopes of offering true assistance to others, bare in mind that narcissis read your article and they are not able to see themselves in the role of a narcissist, so please try not to shine shine the light with every paragraph that in this case, the husband is the narcissis, or that the wife is the narcissis. Be neutral so hopefully the abuser and the victim will put themselves in the perspective role.

    I pray you speedy recovery of your situation

    A voice in the light

  86. Lostself says:

    Thank you for this article. I have been married for early 9 years to someone who I believe is a narc. Of course, he has never been diagnosed. I have been to many a therapy session but he believes therapy is useless and is convinced there is no such thing as mental health. Lol.

    I left him once and was hovered back in a year ago. I am now leaving again. We have a young child together…

    I can relate to almost every single one of these. 14 and 17 are the only ones that differ for me. #17 14: He does not confront me, he is extremely passive aggressive and believes I should just know what he is thinking. #17: He completely ignores me and only communicates when he needs something.

    I have lost myself and am trying to crawl my way back to where I was. Thank you for this validation.

    1. Rachael ann says:

      I am just curious as to your methods of trying to reestablish your independence and interests I’m trying to work on that myself

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        well, I started with this blog, writing and figuring out my feelings really helped. Plus, Ive started making a little bit of money online, writing here and ghostwriting for other blogs. I am really just taking back responsibility for myself a little at a time. Getting my own bank account, going out with my friends without him, sharing my story with you all. And Im working on un-believing the things hes told me about myself. But Im not sure I have any hard fast methods to share, yet.

  87. Mike says:

    Is there a version for narcissistic women?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Im working on one 🙂

    2. The Jewel says:

      yes there is, just read the article and replace the “he” with a “she”, I am living with one and wish that I had read that article 9 years ago.

    3. dhawker7 says:

      yes there is, just put her in place of the guy and it’s exactly the same, i am living with one now for 4.5 years and i left my ex wife for her BEFORE i knew she was a narc… man was i wrong, now i’m married to her and feel trapped with nowhere to go… if only i knew better.. let this be a warning to everyone.. try and get to know the other person BEFORE committing to anything.. ask her friends, ask her family, ask her coworkers if u can… or u’ll b paying for it later like i am

  88. Rachael ann says:

    Oh where oh where was someone like you before I got married! This list is situation to a T. When we were dating I was a musician I had loads of friends constantly did stuff with my family. Now I have all but ceased playing or writing he never comes out and says it but it is very clear that he has no interest in it and he especially hates any responsibility with the kids if I have a music event so I just got to the point where I removed it from my life.

  89. The Jewel says:

    Waw! I wish that i had read this article earlier. only I am married to a NAR woman, and it’s really taking a toll on my life. At the beginning of our relationship it was great, but there were signs that I missed because I was lured. The major part is that they are always the center of the universe, in a conversation I used to count the number of “I” that she uses. Even when I mention some issue with someone she would ALWAYS say: “I wouldn’t react this way in that situation”. When we take a walk somewhere she always criticize people around her, no body is ever accepted, she always looks for flaws in people. The best part is that she is so manipulative and ALWAYS uses what I or other people say against us.
    As far as a woman with NAR disorder, if she wants me to succeed or to see her kids succeed it’s just for her own image and social status. She doesn’t care how it’s done and at what cost as long as her image is not tarnished. It’s true that I never win a conversation or an argument with her because she has a way to turn everything around and twist words and edit the conversation to make it turn to her advantage. Living with her is not walking on egg shells but walking in a mine field, one minute we are ok and in a second later it’s hell for a stupid issue. It is even worse because I feel that she also has an OCD problem or maybe that’s just part of her NAR? I don’t know.
    This relation is extremely exhausting because I always feel that I have to be ready for the next fight, and I am really tired because I have more and much more important things in life, like living.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that. Its amazing how many men I have heard from who are facing this problem with their wives. In all my research, the claim is that its primarily men who exhibit the narcissism personality disorder, but Im beginning to see thats not the whole story. Maybe women are just flying under the radar, protected by loving husbands who refuse admit their wives are abusive? Or maybe its just social stigma saying only women are abused. Either way, thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and all of us! <3

      1. Bill says:

        “I’m so sorry to hear that. Its amazing how many men I have heard from who are facing this problem with their wives. In all my research, the claim is that its primarily men who exhibit the narcissism personality disorder, but Im beginning to see thats not the whole story. Maybe women are just flying under the radar, protected by loving husbands who refuse admit their wives are abusive? Or maybe its just social stigma saying only women are abused. Either way, thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and all of us! ”

        Seriously Samantha – the need for hurting people to express their anger and disappointment is being fed by the error of not making it very clear to posters that this is not a gender issue! Clearly, it is not! Reading the above quote – it seems as though you know this to be so. Women aren’t flying under the radar – the bias is in the courts and therapists – perhaps better defined as simply, indifference. What man will admit he’s being abused by his wife? That’s the guy that is still strong enough to keep it to himself. Is it stupid pride? Not at all. Men are protectors and raised to assume that role. No – he generally won’t utter a word until he can’t not utter a word! By then, he’s endured so much irrational, hateful and abusive treatment that he’s lucky if he can speak of it coherently. I can say, that “taking it” for so long – I felt betrayed when my soon to be ex (wife) Narc had me served with a Divorce Petition. There was no pleasing her but she was never daunted by the many times I’d point out how it was hurting us. What ended the marriage was that I was beginning to step back, spend more time with friends – even staying at a cabin some nights. I’d get the texts asking me what I was doing?, why can’t I do that there at home? When would I be willing to talk? – but when I’d get “home” – she’d not want to talk, the door would be locked or she’d hurl more abuse at me, now that I am alone with her, away from eyes and ears of any witnesses. Oh so incredibly expert at knowing when and where she could turn into the monster she is. I put up with it for a long while, even made excuses but there was no genuinely honest way to deny that this was sick behavior. At my age I wasn’t going to be able to allow myself to be abused endlessly – and would confront her without being angered. Sometimes that was not possible and I would get angry – then she’d say, “See?!!” Because Narcs function driven by their “emotional facts” and not through intelligent, rational thinking, there is no way to help or heal the relationship. My wife met me at the door one evening last October (2014) shouting that I needed to go to the local bank in our small town to lie for her. Of course I asked “Huh?” She said they’re gonna arrest her for Forgery. It took a while to get her to explain what she’d done – she was so purely focused on blaming me for her behavior and now had committed crimes and was desperately trying to remain in her controlling role and order me to do something for her – to lie for her. She did blame me, saying it was my fault and that she had done it for me. Turns out, she’d forged my signature on a check from a client to open a checking account in her name – when she already had other checking accounts. I was only eight miles away on that day, working and we had a joint account nearby – she wanted to show me she’ll do whatever she chooses no matter what I say or think or feel and this was about just that. Except, she was questioned and caught in her fraud by the bank. She was so adamant that I had signed the check and she had permission to do this that the clerks in the bank had her also endorse the check below where she’d forged my signature. In the end, they opened a checking account in her name but they’d made their point in suspicion of the forgery that it scared her out of her wits. I had some choice, carefully stated words regarding what she’d done. It mattered little to her what I think or feel – I was supposed to go in and lie for her. ( I was under the understanding that she’d attempted to open a joint checking account and that I was needed or expected to go in to the bank to sign a signature card so it could be a joint account). I told her I never wanted the account and had told her “no” in the months prior to this – that we don’t need multiple checking accounts. I said I just don’t need to go into the bank at all and there was therefore no need to lie for her. Heck, I still didn’t know she’d gotten the account opened at all until days later. May 1st of 2015, she had me served with divorce papers and a restraining order – cutting me off from my clothes, tools – everything. In her eyes, I abandoned her and was not attending to her endless demanding and controlling. And she can’t allow that. In October 2013, we made plans to be married in August 2014. Her daughter had a Harassment Restraining Order against her that would end on January 1 2014 – so she’d been rejected by her adult children and cut off from grandchildren for most of 2013. The holidays cam and went without any contact from her adult children and their families, and it was hurting her. A lot. The day after Christmas 2013, she insisted that we marry before the end of the year – and we did so on December 31st. A couple of days later, she went to her daughter’s house uninvited, expecting to see them and the grand kids – but was pushed away and the police were called again. I was emailed a page long message from her daughter that says her mother and I were not welcome and never would be welcome – especially as long as I am around. In the coming months I’d be being blamed for all of her problems with her adult children. In the second week in January 2014, after we married, she decided she was quitting her job. My income was in finishing a project for a client when we met each other – no other income. She had a good paying Surgery Technician job with great benefits – and walked away despite having no income, no health insurance and a new $140,000.00 mortgage. She would not discuss this and insisted that it would be alright. No idea how things were going to be done and refused to work out a plan for her to quit her job. Who does this? It never occurred to me that she had other income that I knew nothing about ( as she controlled finances). I came up with an idea to start a wood-fired oven Pizza on the Farm business, which required a licensed commercial kitchen and she agreed to do this as a plan for how we’d make ends meet. She was not able to quit her job until her 55th birthday passed on March 29th, 2014, and so worked through that period. When she filed for divorce, she claimed she had $4987.0 a month income and $1459.00 a month expenses. Last week in court, she reversed all of that and said she was confused by what to write – and changed it all to say she has maybe $525.00 a month income and took a 2 day a week $7.50 an hour job and the judge and her lawyer seem to be saying that it would be unreasonable for her to have to pay me for half of the improvements value of my work in building the kitchen. I don’t have money to eat, haven’t found a job yet and am restrained from selling anything of mine to live on or afford an attorney – but she’s got one. It’s gender bias for this to be all so lopsided. I have to prove that she is lying, will cheat and engage in criminal behavior to get her way, even violating the Restraining Order by selling the two Holstein heifer calves. How do I do that? I’ve decided that I need to keep my points to a few and all associated with already sworn statements and testimony. A Narc throws a wide band of emotionally charged (false) facts to win sympathy but leaves huge holes in her story. For instance, her and her attorney stated that I have not contributed to the home in court on the 15th of July, they said I hadn’t even lived together with her since January 2015, that she retired at the end of January 2014, that she made a mistake in her original financial statement and reported a high monthly income and now she can barely eat. The selling of the heifer calves was in violation of the restraining order but she had a trip planned to Mexico and wanted them gone so that no one would have to care for them (be around her place) while she was on her vacation. I want and need to show the judge that any financial issues that she has are due to her decision making and choices, that she is not “retired” but actually quit her job due to an escalating feud with a co-worker and her supervisor.

        What would any of you women out there think or do if you just had a planned wedding for the coming August of next year, moved it up 9 months, planned and executed in 5 days and then announced that I was quitting my job and health insurance while I have a two year old mortgage of $140,000.00 and no plan for this? Isn’t that dumping an awful lot on a new marriage and husband without any discussion or planning before hand? Clearly she’s caused her problems and the Narc has to blame someone else. She’s unable to take responsibility or be accountable – let alone show love, empathy, compassion or passion – unless it’s to manipulate to get what she wants. Seriously, it feels like she’d jump for joy if I killed myself! Who could believe a 6 foot 2 inch 275 lb man would have fearful thoughts of having to be around her? If you’re going through this – YOU WOULD know! I Sooooooooooooooooo can not trust her to ever do the right thing that this includes staging or entrapping or even self harm in order to point a finger at me. That’s the fear and ironically, the closer I may get to proving any of this, the closer it pushes her to possibly hurt herself because she just can not accept that she could do any wrong or harm. What a horrible existence her life must truly be! So this isn’t all about one gender or the other. It’s not helping anyone to keep saying men are the usual abusers!

  90. Elaine says:

    I have to agree on all you said about a narcissistic husband. I’ve been married to one for 11 years.
    I didn’t realize I was married to a narcissist until 2 years ago after my husbands son moved in with us.That is when I learned not only is my husband a narcissist but his son is too.
    After dealing with the mental and verbal abuse from the both of them for 2 years I finally had to leave.
    It was really hard for me to leave and I cry from time to time thinking about the situation. I know it will probably be years before I can move on with my life and even trust a man again. The reason I say that is because my first husband was a paranoid schizophrenic and we were married 16 years.
    I waited ten years before I began dating again. I was even afraid to date again after all I been through with my first husband.

  91. Belinda says:

    One must be very cautious about throwing the term “narcissist” around too lightly.
    It is in fact often the narcissist her/himself that tends to perceive their spouse as narcissistic because that spouse does not bend to their every need.
    “How dare my spouse put himself first!” may often be the same as saying “How dare my spouse not put me first!”.
    “There is a black cloud in my home” may often be another way of saying “It is difficult living with a person who effectively defends herself against my manipulations thereby leading to conflict”.
    “It’s always my fault” might really mean “Shouldn’t it always be his fault?”
    So look deep into yourself first before drawing conclusions! As the saying goes, “people in glass houses…”

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I feel perhaps you did not read my article in full, or at all, and probably have not read any of my other posts either. This has nothing to do with not getting our own way or refusing to take blame for our own actual shortcomings. Those of us living with a narcissist have often spent YEARS taking responsibility for the defects in our relationship, trying everything we know how to do to change and be the spouse they want us to be, usually losing a significant portion of our own autonomy and personal identity in the process. Your comment can only be labeled as ignorant of the real situation we face.

      While I do occasionally dump all of my anger and frustration at the state of my marriage into a post, I have not created this site to “throw stones” as you say, but rather to give support and information to those facing a similar reality as myself. To save as many spouses as possible from drowning in the never-ending quest to satisfy an impossible partner. I have looked very deep into myself, I don’t write these things lightly. I don’t think you can say the same.

      1. Belinda says:

        Samantha – Sorry I obviously touched a nerve with you. My comments are not “ignorant” however but your response just might be. For one, I have read your article in full, as well as ALL of the replies posted.
        While undoubtedly many of the posters on this site have suffered some amount of narcissist victim syndrome, there is also no doubt that some fall into the category of “professional victim”, also a recognized diagnosis that is not mentioned at all in your writings but which in intimately tied into the types of relationship issues described by your readers.
        Your site encourages lay people to diagnose their spouses with an extremely complex condition that many psychologists and psychiatrists have difficulty diagnosing and one which has major overlap in terms of characteristics with normal individuals. It also discourages people from taking responsibility for their own issues and performing a fair, balanced analysis of their marital problems. For example, not only do narcissists often accuse others of being narcissists, but mentally weak individuals generally suffering from feelings of inferiority and insecurity even outside of the home are far more likely to label the behaviours of self-confident and secure people as narcissistic. It is actually a defence mechanism used to rationalize their own flaws. So, I’d strongly encourage you to bring these issues up with your readers otherwise you are doing them a genuine disservice and most will likely move on to make similar mistakes and then accusations.

        1. Amanda says:

          Samantha is totally taking responsibility for her own issues and problems in her marriage – she just refuses to take all of the responsibility. You would understand that if you read her writings with an objective mind. When someone is so self absorbed he ignores his own children and can not relate to others, cannot be disagreed with bc he will throw a childish fit, and constantly wants conflict and negativity, there is a problem with his behavior. Stop trying to tear down the victim! Please like you are part of the problem honestly

        2. Samantha Matthews says:

          It is true that narcissists do often accuse others of being narcissistic. That’s part of why it is so hard to actually spot one, they are experts at blowing smoke and confusing everyone around them. However, just because someone is “mentally weak” as you say, that does not excuse a stronger willed spouse of abuse.

          My intention is not to diagnose Narcissism here. My intention is to show those of us who have been living with constant criticism, emotional, financial, mental, and sometimes physical abuse, that this is NOT normal behavior. It will not change, they are most likely affected by a personality disorder and when it comes right down to it, it probably doesn’t matter which one it is. These are SIGNS of narcissism, not a diagnosis (which is stated very clearly in the article).

          I think your losing sight of the big picture here, the reality is, abuse is abuse and its terribly damaging. I don’t think the extreme similarities of all our experiences can be discounted. As I have said many time, narcissism is a sliding scale and some are worse than others, some also have accompanying other mental disorders. I am not diagnosing, I am raising awareness and trying to give support. I don’t encourage folks to be victims, but to regain themselves and become a whole person again. While some may indeed try to stay in the victim role, my hope is that by having more knowledge of what were up against, we can regain our independence and get out of bad situations.

          In addition, when your in an abusive relationship, there is no such thing as fair and balanced. That’s a dangerous statement. We have to learn how to set boundaries and protect ourselves, not open ourselves up to more destruction.

          I appreciate that you are trying to keep people from making false accusations in their relationships. But if someone finds my site, and identified with the things Ive written, they do have a serious issue on their hands. I have had people comment who were obviously narcissists looking to place blame on their partner, and I have not approved their posts. That is not the majority.

          The bottom line is, this is my blog, these are the things I have witnessed, these are the problems I face and the comments here are the testimony of each individual person who has been faced with the same reality. If you don’t like my site, then perhaps this is not the place for you to be.

        3. Samantha Matthews says:

          Belinda- You have expressed that you will not be back to my site, yet here you are repeatedly returning and making comments. Your comments will no longer be approved here. I will not allow you to continue to abuse my readers.

    2. William says:

      Belinda you’re so far off it’s not funny. You can easily find that people being abused by a spouse with BPD or NPD ALL describe the same abusive behavior. Going through getting away from one is not something to make fun of or to minimize. While the actual narcissist might project that onto victims, both can be very distinctly identified, and ye don’t need a PHD either!

  92. E says:

    First of all, I can’t get over how much this article hits home… so my life. Coming up on my 3rd anniversary with my husband and it has been the toughest battle of a lifetime. I have a question for all of you… was your spouse controlling over everything? I mean I am dealing with, for instance, if we come home and we wore flip flops.. we have to use wipes in the garage first, put socks on. Come in, wash feet, put new socks on. Then he makes known he has to bleach everything now etc. Everything is controlled to ensure no damage every happens to the home. I agree in taking care of things don’t get me wrong. But we walk on eggshells and are hypersensitive to every sound we make and giving explanation for what it may have been. If we were to drop something, um, that is a big no no. I have three children under 12. I could use any support I can get.

  93. The Jewel says:


    I am not an expert or a psychologist, but it seems that your husband has also an OCD condition. My wife is a NAR and also an OCD which makes me feel that I am always walking around a mine field. Mistakes, innocent ones, unintentional ones happen, and the secret of happiness is “understanding” our mate and giving excuses. For example, in a good relation if a wife asks her husband to pick up her laundry and he forgets, she would tell him: “It’s ok dear, I know you must be so stressed out and tired” whereas in an unsuccessful relation she would say:” you always forget what I tell you! you only think about yourself!”
    My wife once dropped my laptop and broke the screen, my first reaction was it’s ok don’t worry about it. Material things can be bought, repaired or replaced, but when the soul is damaged or broken it’s very difficult and even sometimes impossible to mend, the scar will last forever even if we forgive. Each one of us has priorities in life.

    1. E says:

      Thank you for your reply. I’m sorry for what you have to deal with. Yes, I would agree some OCD conditions. Everything is micromanaged beyond anything I can explain. We are hyper alert at all times. My children are beginning to beg me to leave every day. My one daughter cries and gets very frustrated and doesn’t understand why I would be here still. If I try to talk to him about anything he tells me I am trying to cause issues. The other day he was speaking to my son (7 years old) with his finger in his face saying, ‘You better not be misbehaving.” Saying it with a smile on his face. In that moment I felt, “Oh my goodness, how confusing to a child. Words of correction, posture of threatening, and yet with a smile.” My son hadn’t even done anything. I asked him nicely, “Please do not point at him when you talk to him.” He said, “Do you mean like this?” And proceeded to continue to do it. He then gave me silent treatment the rest of the day/night. In the morning told me it wasn’t silent treatment but he was avoiding me because I was disrespectful and making issues. I am so careful how I approach him and it still doesn’t matter. It’s as if he has no concern or ability to feel other’s feelings on anything or even care. Then give it a couple days and he acts like nothing has happened and expects us to respond the same way. It’s a vicious cycle of silent treatment and then honeymoon. The rollercoaster is growing weary for me. I’m tired of pretending and pushing down my emotions in order to keep his at a semi-neutral level.

      1. Jewel says:

        You know how I ended up in this site? for the last 10 years of my marriage I was and still am struggling with the roller coaster effect like you put it. One day I am the king and the next I am a total stranger. Anyway I was doing a search on the internet and placed her symptoms, like always self righteous, shifts the blame…etc and to my surprise the search engines flashed “Narcissist behavior” i discovered and learned about the Narcissist personality which fits her 99%. The interesting part is that the word Narcissist comes from a legend of a man called Narjis who adored himself so much that while looking at his reflection in a river saw a beautiful face and when he leaped to take a closer look he fell and drowned. The man, as the legend says, was in love with himself; That’s probably the case, they are self-centered, the world revolves around them and only them.
        we all have our own needs too, but most of us learn to compromise and let go

        1. E says:

          Agree. It’s so difficult. Right when I think I am strong enough to make the break, I feel bad because he gives me that glimmer of hope. He reminds me yet again that I am the only person he wants; that we are forever; that he enjoys doing everything with me. The problem is, though this may be true (because he is like a one man dog for lack of better words. I do know he would be just fine if it were just him and I and no one else in the world), I also know that if that world of him and I, it is still a world of eggshell walking. Tomorrow is our three year anniversary and each and every year I am at the same place asking myself, “Why another year?! What are you doing?!” He will even go as far as to tell me things don’t hurt when I say, “Ow.” Or ask him to please stop doing something to me. He will say I am thinking about it too much. That it doesn’t hurt or that it shouldn’t hurt – things that I know most people would call painful and not want done to them. I am speaking of things of a sexual nature. “Funny” thing is, he is super sensitive to pain. If I even accidently bump him I am apologizing because he will say, “That really hurt.”

  94. devon says:

    i know they’ll never change but i’d like to think that she is still a good person. I’m not in denial I know EXACTLY what she’s capable of and what she’s all about… I care about her and I’m doing my best to be a good husband. Since our wedding nearly 4 months ago… she has improved tremendously. However, there are blowups still but not as frequent. It used to be every single day multiple times a day.. now it’s like once a month.

    Like just last night we wanted Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner (tuesday) and instead of calling the order ahead before I left, I just wanted to go there, order it and wait for it.. well she immediately started questioning me about it. “Why would you just go there and order it? Why not call first? you’ve never done this before.. every time you’ve gone to get food you’ve always called ahead first then went to get it… why are you changing it? why are you acting so suspicious?” I can’t even go get dinner w/o getting the third degree… or we’ll go over the bills that need to be paid and she’ll tell me everything that has to be paid and i’m listening and i agree and i’m fine with all of it… and when I think she’s done… i start to walk away to go get a drink and she’ll say, “where r u going? is there something else more important than paying bills? why would you just walk away from em? this is what I mean when I say you’re immature and you’ll never grow up.. you don’t know what it means to be an adult and handle grownup responsibilities” …

    i’m 41 years old and was married 8 years prior to meeting her… like i told my sister.. living with a narcissist is managing chaos… it really is… she’s 45 and she’s never been married before.. and i keep asking myself sarcastically.. “i wonder why?!”

  95. devon says:

    … and another thing

    I can’t go on Facebook, (which i don’t anyway even before i met her, i just don’t like it) .. she argued with me and we fought when we first started dating one time because i refused to give her the password to my email and she’s like, “the only reason you won’t give it to me is because you’re trying to hide something..” now remember, we just started dating for like a month.. and i’ve had this email for over 20 years.. the same email address… and i hardly know this person because we just started to get to know each other..

    that’s just one in a loooooooooooooooooong line of things she snaps at me about… i mentioned i was married before.. well i am no longer allowed to mention my ex wife’s name or even her existence… i am to act as though the 8 years i was married before never happened.. she has said to me, “the only reason you’d want to talk about her or even mention her name is because you still have feeling for her”

    being with a narc is that it’s always 100% all about them… they don’t give a sh*t about you, your time, your freedom.. nothing… i wrote a book, living with her i dont know how i was able to ever finish it.. but since then i cant seem to find my creative side because she’ll b*tch how i spend too much time on the puter and i ignore her and dont want to spend time with her…

    btw, if you’re interested in checking out my novel, you can find it here:

    1. devon says:


      sorry… link didnt work when i posted.. here it is..

      The Gem of Zyenar

    2. The Jewel says:

      Oh my God the similarities! I also wrote a book about her its about 300 pages now and counting on more just so that I can remember her manipulations. I too was married and have kids and can’t even mention my ex or even my kids in front of her because she will always be judgmental, accuse me of all sort of devious things whereas the best part is that she mentions her ex in whatever way she wants and I am supposed to “understand” whatever sh*** she vomits. Life is all about her, she has a skill of turning whatever story I have to tell her and focusing on herself and ego.
      I would love to read your book please and appreciate if you could provide thelink

      1. devon says:

        see my post.. i put the link there.. my book is not about her.. it’s something else.. it’s about dwarves and a gem hidden under their mountain…

        .. oh she can mention my ex wife all she wants whenever she wants and it’s perfectly fine… like sometimes i’ll refer to something i did during when i was married and i’ll say, “i did such and such back when i was married,” and she’ll say, “do you have to say it was back when you were married? just say that you did this or saw that… we don’t need to know when it was or that you married at the time”

        and she is so controlling over me (and i feel powerless and i can’t control her) that she refuses to agree with me playing MMORPG games because women play them too and she thinks i’ll start talking to them and flirt with them and want to have sex with them… so those games are a no-no…

        i DO stand up to her and yell right back at her because i don’t give a sh*t… i’m not going to cower to her… i’m going to stand up for myself and show her that i’m not afraid of her…

        I even had to go over each person on my Steam Gaming friend’s list and tell them who they where, when i met them and why they’re still on my list… and yes, they’re all guys…

        she even made me, yes she made me delete every single picture i had posted online of my life during my previous marriage and i had to take the photo page down… she even forced me to delete all of my pictures of that time i had saved on my puter… unbeknownst to her, i have backups of them hidden on an external HDD… yeah, it was really frickin’ bad for a loooong time… like i even thought this but would never do it… “would killing her, getting arrested and going to prison for the rest of my life be better than living everyday with her?” … it was THAT bad… seriously

        1. devon says:

          if anyone checks out my book and reads it and you want to post a review, all i ask is that you don’t mention that i told you about it from this blog web site.. she doesn’t know i am blogging here, obviously, so just keep that part out if you post on my book site any comments you want to say about the book…

          i’d greatly appreciate it.. thanks so much


  96. LA says:

    Dear God, when I read this I could barely hold back the tears I feel like I am so alone. I have been married to what I am most certain is a narcissist for 3 years. When he is nice he is amazing, but he is horrible with money when he is mad he says the most awful things. I really need to leave this relationship, but financially he has ruined me. He took a trip to Vegas in May with our rent money stayed at the most expensive hotel and every month we are facing eviction because he can’t pay the rent. OF Course everything is my fault. I don’t make enough money, I don’t do enough. I am currently working 3 jobs and renting out a spare room on AirBnb just to make ends meet while he fuels money into “business” which is supposed to be a blog but thus far all he has seemed to do is a bunch of half naked photo shoots with girls. My Co Worker saw him on Tinder but of course he had an excuse for that too. He was just “curious” Today he told me I have no value he wants a divorce and I am annoying and bitchy. But it’s not new he asks for a divorce often. I kept holding on hoping for a miracle , but I feel my spirit slowly dying and drifting away. I feel helpless and I don’t know what to do.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Grant him the divorce! Sounds like your the one making money, your in the drivers seat, whether he wants to admit it or not. Call his bluff and see what happens. Give him papers.

  97. Angie M. says:

    I’ve been married to my husband who is a narcissist for 28 years. He is a serial cheater and habitual liar. Not enough space here to tell my story – I could literally write a book but your article is amazingly correct. Seems his highs and lows are very cyclical and your article pegged him to a T. When he is cheating he becomes silent, cruel, verbally abusive and withdrawn. When he gets his fix from his latest victim and discards her, he reintegrates into the family and acts like nothing happened and he’s a happy family guy. We have 2 boys in college and all of us walk on egg shells constantly around my husband because we never know from minute to minute who we will be dealing with. Right now he has a new girlfriend and is treating me with incredible disdain and cruelty. No part of this is normal at all. I feel like I am done here – really emotionless and I know the boys and I would be better off not around my husband but the thought of striking out on my own at 55 is daunting. My husband is 59 and his new girlfriend is 39. He is older then her mother and father. He acts so justified and self-righteous about the cheating – constantly lies and turns every discussion around to me and all of my faults. I can’t stand the craziness any more. He has terrible anger and throws fits when he doesn’t get his way or gets found out. I caught him tonight lying about where he was going – found his car at the girlfriends house – it was her birthday. He saw me drive by there checking to see if his car was there and then texted me and was so angry at me that I had seen his car there. He told me earlier that the problem in our marriage is I don’t trust him….but he doesn’t understand why! And he refuses to go to counseling or get any kind of help or even talk civilly with me about us. This scenario has been repeated over and over in our 28 years of marriage and I know I am stupid for not leaving much, much sooner but his inability to see how he is wrong and not blame me is just ridiculous! His infidelity is his choice and I still don’t see how that is my fault. I am an RN, educated, attractive, fit, friendly and hard working but I have never been enough and he has never been satisfied. So sad. Most of the time I have to remind myself that I am dealing with a mentally ill person to keep myself from going crazy. No one should have to live their life like this and I have no idea why I am still here. Your article was great though – thank you for the insight, and the comments from others make me feel like I am not totally alone and will get through this or away from this some how and be ok.

  98. Kat says:

    Sorry in advance for the long post, I’ve just found this website and I really need to vent so I can get this off my chest and start the healing process. My husband is a text book narcissist and I can relate to all of the 19 signs that I’ve just read. The irony in all of this is that I’m a registered psychiatric nurse who you would think would have seen him coming from a mile away. The sad truth is that love is blind and it’s very easy to play down certain behaviors when someone is showering you with flattery and “love”, or even worse, to start believing that their bad behavior is our fault, caused by something that we must have done to upset them. My husband and I have been together on and off for over six years now and married for just over one year. Since the last time I left him and then came back again just over six months ago things seemed to have improved to the point where I thought that I had the man back who I’d first fallen in love with. I can’t begin to tell you how very wrong I was. A few days ago I had a biopsy done confirming that I had a skin cancer on my face that needed to be surgically removed. The scar was much bigger than I imagined it would be and when I mentioned this to my husband on the drive home and he said the only thing that mattered was what he thought about it and nothing else. He then told me that one of his favorite camping stores was having a sale and did I want to go. I told him that I just wanted to go home and rest. He became irritable and went on about how we were going to have nothing warm to wear for our holiday to Alaska (almost 12 months away). Later that day he received a phone call from a work colleague whom he hadn’t seen for a few months due to being off on work cover. His friend said that he would drop by the next day around lunch time for a visit with his partner. My surgeon had told me to rest up for the next 2 days due to the risk of swelling and bleeding. While I was lying on the couch my husband told me to get up and help him with the house work. He had spent the past several months lazing in his pj’s watching foxtel after having surgery on his shoulder while I showered and dressed him, cooked, cleaned, looked after my 12 year old daughter, worked full-time night shift and studied. I couldn’t believe he was asking me to do this after having earlier told him that the doctor said I needed to rest. He started to become irritable with me so to keep the peace I began to do the laundry but the pressure on my stitches from having to look down was too painful so I decided to sit down and rest. All day and night he made cracks at me about not helping as he emptied every single cupboard in every room of the house sorting through their contents, pulling out the fridge and cleaning behind it etc. The house was never messy to begin with but because his friend was coming the next day he had embarked on a full spring clean of the whole house including the double garage. The next day I had an important meeting at work so I tried to have any early night. Just after 2am that morning I woke up to him vacuuming the house. A few hours later he woke me up and told me to clean the lounge room. When I didn’t move straight away he started swearing under his breath. I did as I was told (as much as I loath to admit this to anyone) to avoid an argument and then started getting ready for the meeting. As I was about to leave he said to me “Daa you haven’t finished cleaning the lounge room properly”. I left to go to the meeting and returned later that evening with my daughter and her best friend for a sleep over. My husband said to me in front of the two girls “You think it’s acceptable to have a sleepover when you didn’t even help to clean the house?”. I had to hold my breath and count to ten. It’s been three days and not one word has been spoken between us. I can’t even stand to look at him. He knows that I find out this Wednesday if the cancer is all gone or if I have to have more surgery, yet there’s been not one word of support from him, nothing. To hear him talking on his phone over the past few days to his friends laughing and joking makes me feel sick to my stomach, I wish they could see the side of him that I do. The irony to all of this is that the friend who he spring cleaned the house for didn’t even show up. I wont do this any longer. As long as I continue to stay in this toxic relationship I am no role model for my daughter. I’ve also finally realized that it’s much lonelier to live with a narcissist than to live on your own. I’m leaving today for my daughters sake and for mine.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I have been in a very similar situation with my husband. It seems like they’re insane when they go off like that! Good for you for leaving him! I hope your cancer is gone and you can live a happy life now. <3

      1. Kat says:

        Blinda what your doing on here is trolling. Your loitering around a site that is trying to provide support & understanding to people who have been abused by their narcissistic partners and you are blatently judging and belittling ‘their stories’. What your motivation is for doing this we will never know. Deep down you obviously must be a very sad person who has anger issues and I hope you are able to get help for them before it consumes you. I’m not sure what part of the world you live but if you need any reputa elf help resources I would be more than happy to post them for you. Take care

        1. Bill says:

          “Belinda” – I have not been successful in trying to have a reasonable, rational and mature discussion with my Narc, about anything. You do not seem to know or understand what the abuse exacted by a NPD person is like. Minimizing thoughts, feelings and devaluing are key components and goes on long enough to make a person question their own sanity at times! You just can not have a rational conversation with an irrational person. Period. People on here are often for the first time seeing their experience written and described in the lives and relationships of others dealing with the same abuses perpetrated upon them. By minimizing their experience and assuming a number of them are or may be “professional victims” kind of makes it look as though you could present some of the NPD traits yourself. I don’t think it is helpful, nonetheless. Samantha ought to block you as this is detracting from the scope and purpose of this forum.

          1. Kat says:

            I agree with Bill Samantha, Belinda hasn’t opened up and shared her story with the others on this site, it appears that her only agenda is to cause trouble and I second that if she continues to do this then she needs to be blocked.

      2. Kat says:

        Thanks Samantha xo

    2. Susan says:

      I feel for you, my husband of a little over two years gave me a whirlwind romance, and a one year honeymoon phase. Now his mask has fallen off and I see what he really is. The relationship is totally one sided, there is no love, caring, or concern. I also work in the psychiatric field, and am well versed in all the disorders. Do not beat yourself up about not being able to see who he was, or not realizing previously that he will never revert back to the wonderful guy that you met. You know what he is now, and that is the strongest weapon against him. The only thing that frightens him is being outed, and you do not have to take that dangerous action to feel empowered. You figured him out. You are the one in control. These lowlife creatures are predators, nothing else, and their craft is well honed. They have spent their lives conning people, and it usually their significant others that can only see who they really are. Don’t feel bad that no one else can see what he really is, chances are he has been making you look like the bad guy for years, while securing his false golden image to his ignorant family and friends for years. You are not alone, there are many of us who are in similar circumstances as you. Just take the best care of yourself that you can, don’t knock yourself out trying to please him in any way, it will never be enough for a monster like him. It is not because you are not enough, it is because he is unable to be pleased by anyone, and is nothing but a bottomless pit of need. He is incapable of reciprocal love. I’m glad that you found this site for support, it has helped me tremendously, and I hope it will help you too You are not alone, and you are in my prayers.

  99. Irene says:

    Mine compares himself to others and, because he is not as bad as others, refuses to see anything other then he is a great guy. There is always something to blame for my ‘attitude’, no matter what I give up there is always another reason for our conflict. This last row was hard. I’m no a wimpy gal I’m a fighter, my punching bag is the only thing that has kept the peace. The longer is continues the more I refuse to play the ego game. What to you do with a guy who decided he doesn’t have an issue because there are others so much worse?
    Thank you. Sincerely, End of my rope.

  100. Kat says:

    Thank you for your kind words and support Susan they mean a lot. I sincerely wish you all the best and hope you are able to find peace and happiness.

  101. Tron says:

    WOW that explains why I could never keep her happy, or any thing else. After 36 years and 6 kids I escaped. Life is wonderful now without the finger pointing the eggshells and lets not forget the dark dark clouds that they seem to enjoy so much. Free at last free at last.

  102. Bill says:

    Geesh “Belinda”. I don’t feel threatened by you or what you have to say. Not in the least. My wife – that’s a different story! If you would read the entries on this forum by others – many having just reached that point of knowing they’ve been enduring the maltreatment of a narc, you would see the common and detailed accounts of the behaviors of a narc. Considering that it might be possible that someone might be wallowing in self pity or victimhood is too naïve on your part. Again, if you’d been through it you’d be whistling a different tune! I am 57 years of age, 6’2″ and about 295 lbs – 50% of which is heart. I got to where I just didn’t want to go home anymore. 100% of the time there’d be a confrontation over something and I’d be hearing stupid I am, how ugly I am, how worthless I am, etc etc etc. It wears a body down “Belind”. What does a newly wed husband do when within days of getting married, she changes into something you hadn’t seen in the previous 14 months you’ve known her? Constant criticism, shaming and blaming relentlessly – blaming me for things I had never done and she’s just done herself? A court judge ordered a Restraining Order against her on behalf of her adult daughter prohibiting any contact with her and her family. The daughter had had it with her – but in the privacy of our home, out of sight and earshot of others, she blames me for none of her adult children and her grandchildren being in her life. She does this in a low, deep voice just inches from my face, telling me marrying me was the biggest mistake of her life. Nothing I could do or say could make sense to her. I’d tell her that there shouldn’t be anything that I could do to prevent her children from loving her. I’d say that if it was my fault, why aren’t you (her) welcome into their homes and doing things with them, going out to lunch or dinner, having holidays and birthday parties? How could their anger towards her ever be my doing? Six months into the marriage I’d say, “if you can so exasperate me to this point – what in the world have you done to your children?” NOTHING I could say or do could help her see what she does and what it does to people. There is no way to reach her – it would require a conscience. There is none. She won’t take responsibility for anything she says or does and frankly. You’re never going to be able to do enough things right – or enough things for her. She’s never content or happy. Something is always wrong but rarely if ever explained. Conversation or discussion about what’s upsetting her is rare if any. Being clear about her feelings is not the point. She got into such a cold dark and depressed state one day, that I called her older sister to come and talk with her. After her sister left, she turned to me and in that low, gruff voice said, “don’t you ever dare do that again”. NOTHING is more important to her than her control of what people see and hear around her. She’s masterful at this. In her mind, she thinks she has fooled everyone, but, over the years people can and do connect the dots. They remember things she’s said and done one day and then a week, month, year later or more she contradicts her spiteful, angry words and stories spewed out to smear someone. These people may never ever say anything to her about it. Some have told me examples of how they figured her out years ago – but of course, they almost never confront her. I would and have confronted her. Not to be mean right back – but hopefully to reach her and make sense of things. My experience says that I am a pleaser and too eager to trust in order to get (her) approval. I have reflected on my life and up bringing and examined how I got myself into this. I know I need to make changes to that in myself. Wanting love and a trusting relationship that you’re willing to do whatever is needed for the relationship to be a success is idealic and naïve. It’s my inner child looking for the approval that never came as a child – I’ve wondered, why would someone abuse that in me. A willingness to care, be compassionate, understanding, supportive, sharing and nurturing? Trust is a currency for me – and I give generously, never imagining that this person who seems to be returning all the same sentiments and characteristics would hurt me or change suddenly over night (practically). Am I to be and remain bitter? Ought I dare to never trust again? Are all women a like? I refuse to believe that. I believe what the bible says in 1st Chronicles defining what love is. The alternative, for me, would be my end. So, I remain hopeful and appreciate what I have and love who I am. My narc would want to crush me, stuff me in a sack and discard me if she could. She can’t do that, so now she sets out, as if it means anything, to destroy me in the eyes of our peers, friends and neighbors. That intent and action on her part, is in her mind and not in everyone else’s. It hurts too, but I feel powerless to do anything about it. And I don’t care to try. Like I said, she’s awesome and all powerful in her mind. I’m an incredible blessing to her one day on her Facebook page around my birthday in 2014, but off line, out of sight behind closed doors, she’s terrorizing the hell out of me with her abuses. Now with a divorce just a year and a half later, I’m the devil incarnate!

    Are you absorbing any of this “Belinda”? The people on her are not here to pose as experts or doctors. I read your comments and it tells me you’d like to tell us what we are feeling and going through is nonsense and we’re all just a bunch of cry babies wallowing in BS. Until you’ve reckoned with trying to respond to someone who professed endearing, lasting love for you before you married and then right after revealed that they are a sneaky, self centered, hateful, angry, deceitful and manipulative person that is not regulated by a conscience in anyway – you are not probably going to understand. With that said, by devaluing those on this forum, minimizing their grief and hell they’re living with and blaming them for their experience – it is in lock-step with an abusive NPDs’ behavior. So unless Samantha blocks you, you will continue to play with other people’s lives in this way. It’s good to see others call you out on your comments and stated opinions. It tells me that I am not so wrong about what you are doing. It says they are strong and getting stronger. To ‘hear’ someone expressing the horror that is living with a narc and then know you would come on here and essentially say they’re full of crap and ought to just go away is not casting a good light on you.

    1. Kim McCulley says:

      That’s my life 24/7, my life is a living hell….

  103. Mel says:

    I can’t even say how speachless I am about how true your article is. I just got out of a relationship, luckily not even two years. His behavior was off from the beginning and today I know why I still was with him (I started therapy at one point myself, and my tendency towards a certain type of guy is, as so often, connected to my own childhood). My ex was verbally and emotionally abusive towards me. At one point he admitted, after a fight, that he has depressions. Today I know that this was a strategy to make me stay in the relationship. We both worked on our Dr. degree (he now quit the program, so I won’t have to see him again). I had the feeling from the start that he is competing with me, especially since things were a bit easier for me to achive than for him.
    What kind of experiences did you all make when you left your narcs, in terms of threads? And what would you recommend to do? I informed already my advisor about the situation and also my familiy and friends, just in case something happens.

  104. Anon says:

    Need some support and to vent. Married to a narcissist for two long years. I lived with him for one. He was wonderful so sweet and attentive. I never married before, and never wanted to. I was engaged a few times, I always called it off. The guys were never good enough for me. Then he did the Prince Charming act and I stupidly fell for it. The honeymoon stage lasted for exactly one year after we married. Then he stopped his charade. Now I see who he really is. A full blown narc.

    No screaming or hitting but all mind games. Too many things to go into here but he really hates me going out with family and friends and it’s a problem. I stopped seeing people for awhile, but I’m tired of the games and need to connect with others who I love.

    He breaks my things or hides them after I go out and claims I’m crazy. He put program to track me in my cell phone. I figured it out because he knew where I was going all the time, all my texts and emails, even my conversations with friends! . I thought I was going crazy but checked it out with local police, they said its standard for abusers to do this nowdays!! Who would’ve known!! After that I got myself my own phone. He was furious. Denied doing anything.

    Police wanted me to file report against him when they heard about the cell phone, his anger and angry acts towards my animals, they said he will only get worse and it’s likely to escalate to violence against me. if I filed report I had 24 hours to get all my stuff and go. Only reason I didn’t is I had nowhere to go and no money. I’m afraid of what he will do when I leave but I need to stop thinking about it or it will paralyze me, which is what he wants.

    He has shoved my animals who I love more than anything, denied doing it even when I saw him do it. He also admitted to hitting them then denied he said it. I went to domestic violence counselor, who said his anger against my animals will increase and it has. I care about them more than myself and they are what is motivating me to get out. I do not love him anymore at all. It has changed my world that monsters like him exist. How to trust anyone anymore? He told me once life is a game of predator and prey. I refuse to believe it. There have to be good people out there.

    If it was just me I’d tell him where to go and how to get there, but I think now he allowed me to get the animals when we first met to use it as a means to control me. He’s certainly doing it now. What kind of low life does that?

    Every time I go out with friends,trying to keep and build more of a support system, he pulls some stunt. I once confronted him, it does not work and makes things worse.

    I can’t stay with family and friends bcuz of my animals but I’ve had enough. All this week after work I went out or talked to family and friends which I never dare to do because he gets so mad..

    He’s very jealous If I spend time or attention on anyone or anything but him. He hates If I read, watch tv, play with pets go out with family or friends, He says it’s fine that I do, then breaks or hides my things or worse.

    I’ve had enough and if I had the money I’d be gone now. Tonight after we went to see my elderly parents, he let my indoor cats out. I left him alone with them for 60 seconds and I come back, and he says, “oops your cats got out”. With a smirk on his face. So evil. Then he helps me to find them and wants me to thank him. He is out of his mind.

    He has done this before. he would love to see them disappear. I am the one who is going to disappear. I’ve had enough.

    We sleep in separate bedrooms, another weird rule of his. I know now it’s so he can monitor me. His bedroom is down in the basement, he lurks in the dark like the creature that he is. Every time I get out of bed during night he runs upstairs to see what I’m doing. He creeps around in the hallway seeing if I’m texting. I’ve literally run into him and he has fled down the stairs or into the bathroom? Who in their right mind would do this stuff but a narc? I think he may be off the deep end even for one of them.

    He used to come around for sex. I have stopped giving it to him, he knows nothing about love and certainly doesn’t deserve my lovemaking, and this has made him more furious. I don’t care.

    I’ve had enough. I don’t know how I’m going to afford it but I have to leave before we sign another one year lease in October. My family and friends love me but also fear how I will afford it. I do too but I’ve got to get out. I’m tired of walking on eggshells, can’t even fake a smile at him anymore. He sees this and is getting worse.

    Sorry rambling entry, not well written but needed to vent. Thank you for this site. Reading the stories of others has given me strength and I haven’t felt so alone. Good luck and my best wishes to all of you out there dealing with this. U r all in my prayers. No one deserves to be treated like a pawn. We deserve to live by our own rules and to find the live and respect we deserve.

    1. Bill says:

      Hi Anon. Read your post. Every time I check on this email alerts to this forum, I see yet one more descriptive of how a narc does harm those of us closest to them. In yours, the jealousy stuck a cord. I noticed this about my narc, (wife). If I read anything or spent time doing anything but paying attention to her she’d get pissy. Checking email and researching for a small pizza business we were getting into as a result of her arbitrarily quitting her job right after we married with no plan and a $140,000.00 mortgage she’d taken out before I had met her to build a new house. She so wouldn’t even discuss quitting and making a plan to quit first – she wanted to and that was that. I came up with the idea of building two outdoor wood fired masonry pizza ovens – which required a licensed commercial kitchen to be built as a means of providing for us. I certainly didn’t have the money to do this and in quitting her job, it was shown to her that her pension would pay just $213.00/month! So the pizza business she agreed to and rolled her pension into an IRA to use the funds to work with. I had a contract to complete a construction project that was winding down to completion. I had the skills and tools to build the masonry ovens and the commercial kitchen – so set out in earnest to build it and get it bringing in an income. One week she’d be gungho about doing it, the next not, the following week, excited again, on and on and on – preventing it from getting done. Controlling behavior. I was committed and excited about getting it going. In the year before we married, we had a great time doing all kinds of things – shared interests – so this project was an extension of believing in her and how we’d talked about some day finding a way to earn our living from home. She sabotaged getting it completed by refusing to follow through in getting what we needed in materials. I worked on my contracted project sold my crane and other assets because she would accuse me of not doing enough or contributing enough. Then when a buyer bought my stuff, she demanded that I deposit it into a line of credit account she has (still in her previous married name) ” so ‘we’re’ not paying so much interest’ on it. I’d not have any access to it and she was royally pissed when I said no, that I’d sold it to have money to proceed with getting the business up and running and making money. Money was controlled by her and it angered her to see me take that control away. Now, after it finally sunk in that she can not control me I and I finished the pizza kitchen and many other improvements done, she’s filed for a divorce – tells the judge I hadn’t contributed to the marriage or even lived with her since January 2015. In the moment lies right in court under oath that I now am faced with having to disprove in the final divorce hearing. Huge, gaping holes in the strings of lies from a narc. Easily proven that she’s been untruthful with the court and the judge. She filed a financial statement initially and when it was questioned, she came into court telling a completely different story – asserting she should not have to pay me for the value of uncompensated improvements that increased her property values. A narc can not help but lie and act out in the moment – there is no conscience or forethought. These people don’t have a soul. Their very being and existence is propped up by lies and deceit – is empty and devoid of guilt or empathy for anyone else. What they do only works on the people who will be adversely affected by their self absorbed egos and abuse. They hide it from any and all else. This tells me they are aware of who and what they are and will never take responsibility for their choices, decisions and behaviors. Any of those things would mean she’d have to face herself, and that ain’t gonna happen. As their mate, you want to please them and make help them be happy. You sway from hurt and shock attempting to and resolve to try, try and try again to preserve the relationship (marriage). To do what’s right. To love as love is defined in 1st Chronicles. Think about that. The devil would want you to not. It is pure evil for anyone to prey on another. We are vulnerable to their snare of deceit and abuse out of our own innocence. We forget and fail to see the picture of two small children struggling for what they perceive as real, as truth and as what is meant to be. What is skewed in us all from our earliest days tends to stay skewed throughout our lives. This is a truth we don’t learn easily and too often only with time and hurts. Always, check what you should gain from every experience and remain faithful to truth, God and yourself. I’ll get through this and so will you. We were created in God’s image. God isn’t ugly, disgusting, worthless, no good, a liar, a cheater, greedy, fearful, powerless, weak or shameful. Our narc abusers declare we are all of those things and more. Good and evil. Light and darkness. Narcs can not operate in the light – nor can a devil. Not preaching here – just trying to describe the difference and contrasts we miss. Hoping someone incapable of love will love us is our problem. Not believing they are worthy of being loved or are lovable is their problem. The older I get the more I learn that so many of the answers in life to what hurts us most turns out to be simple answers, actually. We were just skewed or ‘trained’ to believe a perception of truth was truth when it was not (and only served someone else – an adult), and wonder why we keep getting hurt. Narcs are toxic people we can not change nor will they ever want to change. For tightrope walker to lose his balance and fall is their greatest fear, so stay focused. A narc’s greatest fear is being seen and known for what they know themselves to actually be, lose their sense of balancing their lives and exact their controlling and abusive treatment of those closest to them to maintain their false sense of ‘balance’ of their own lives. They so fear being exposed that they will lie and say anything in the moment to prevail and or ‘survive’. It’s why they most often will never change unless they are caught in their treachery through run ins with the law and the courts. They can not abuse the judge or guilt him into doing what they demand. They have to lie.

    2. laurie says:

      Your life is so much like mine. So many simularities. I don’t know what to do.

  105. Lisa says:

    Excellent article! I have been living this for the past 18 1/2 years, but only woke up to it about 7 years ago. I married my mother, except without the physical abuse. My sisters and I were awarded to our grandmother by the courts because my mother was physically and mentally abusive-he says that we were probably bad kids.Hates when I speak with or go to see my sisters, I cannot go see friends if he’s home, and we don’t go to our neighbors’ houses anymore when we are invited. He never says he’s sorry for anything, throws temper tantrums, pouts, criticizes, blames me for everything, says nasty things and then says that he did not say or doesn’t recall saying them, has humiliated me in public, in front of my family and his, is not empathetic in any way and cannot take constructive criticism from anybody (but he can sure give it and does so freely). The sex is bad and he looks at porn-it has felt like such a chore that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore. He is very controlling, manipulative, negative, sarcastic, critical,and is unable to communicate in a healthy manner. I wanted to be a teacher, but he was VERY nasty about it, said that it was a bad idea, and pushed me into Real Estate, so then I really had no money.He was the only one who thought that it was a bad idea, although I had been subbing for a while, did well with the children, and really enjoyed it. All of my friends and family-EXCEPT for him-thought that I would make a great teacher.He does not like kids and thought that I wouldn’t make enough money. I will say this-he is a very hard worker and a good financial supporter.Unfortunately, he is also very materialistic and money motivated with no idea about how to be emotionally supportive.I had a long talk with him a couple of weeks ago to explain how I feel and he has turned everything around on me. I have hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s, and Celiac-the stress that I am under daily having to deal with him is slowly killing me. I work full time and am putting away money from each paycheck so that I can move out. After we had that talk, it seems that he is unhappier than ever and knows that I am going to leave. I don’t have kids, but have 4 cats that I will be taking with me because I do not trust him. My sister called this a long time ago-I should have listened to her. I feel like since I told him that I was unhappy and couldn’t live like this, that he is expecting it. He’s being more passive-aggressive than ever. I was going to tell him that he could still be a part of my family and go to our gatherings; after all, he’s been with us for a long time. My 90 year old grandmother and 60 year old aunt love him-but my sisters don’t. I feel a little bit bad about cutting him off because his family is in Florida and Texas and I believe that he feels like mine is more comfortable for him despite everything, since he has been up here the whole time that he’s known me. However, I have been reading that in order to save yourself from a narcissist that you should have NO CONTACT for at least 6 months.I’m wondering if it would just be better to go ahead and set up a rental, leaving while he is at work. We co-own our house, so at some point, I am going to need to speak with him again before filing any paperwork. Thank you so much for this!

  106. Dee says:

    Hi. I was speechless when I read this.. My husband of less than a year falls right into this category.. Totally seduced by his charm & then he was diagnosed with cancer. He endured awful treatment & complications but this all had a secondary gain & that was an endless supply of attention!
    I worked effortlessly to care for him, go to work, financially support us & ensured his children got as much time with him at both hospital & home as they didn’t live with us.
    His treatment was successful & now life has a new normal… But his behaviour has deteriorated & up until I read this, continued to make excuses for him. Now my eyes have been opened, my question is how do I deal with this? He isn’t violent but is alcohol dependent, which is just crazy considering his a cancer survivor. He has recently been made redundant & now in a new house, with 3 months redundancy pay, frightens the crap out of me. He’s talking the talk about £100k jobs, but guess what, no one is even interviewing him!! He has no money, only debt & all my pre wedding fears are becoming a reality…. He is a liability. I know I will have to dig into my divorce settlement & savings & if he doesn’t get another job, then the house will have to go in 12 months.
    His son lives with us, he favours him & had bought him a car, if I do something for my son, he tells me I baby him!
    I know that many of you have been at the hands of a lot worse than me, so I need some advice? I even remember asking him one day, if he loved himself more than me? He said that was very strange of me, but that’s how he makes me feel. I want to stand my ground, I know there will be complications but I know he won’t be violent, he’s a manipulator & thinks he’s clever!!!

  107. Jason says:

    My story is fairly common. I married a woman 11 years ago who went through rages, wouldn’t speak to me for days when we disagreed, and told me that every problem we had was my issue. I suffered emotional abuse and was confused why we couldn’t get along. I met with multiple counselors thinking I really had a problem that I needed to fix. In the meantime, she was breaking off relationships with her parents and four siblings left and right. I was shocked to watch her family fall apart over things that I saw as meaningless transgressions and tried to help repair the relationships. Finally, after a long argument, I threatened to leave the marriage 5 years in. She broke down and admitted that she was awful to me and needed help (for the first time and only time ever). She had counseling, group therapy, and saw a psychiatrist and was put on medications for what I was told at the time was therapy for her childhood abuse. She told me her family was “toxic” and we shouldn’t speak with them. But in our relationship, things started to improve and we had children (now 4 and 6). Once we had children, the control issues came back and the abuse started again. She was obsessed with pictures of the kids and our family. The whole time she was painting this beautiful shell of all of us, while behind the scenes I was told that I couldn’t keep up with her and that I was failing to meet her and the kids needs. Two years ago, after two tramautic family events in the same week, I finally realized what was going on in my marriage. I read into NPD and BPD and became convinced that all my wife’s behaviors fit the pattern of narcissism. I confronted her about it and she repeatedly denied that there was anything wrong with her and that I must be the problem. She told my family I had a brain tumor. We went to counseling and it was a complete failure, as her goal was to have the counselor fix me. When counseling failed, she decided it must have been the counselor and we went to see a new one. Same result. I rolled over again and decided to take the blame to stay in the relationship for another year. There was no improvement. I just was a bigger threat to her as I was constantly setting limits on the abuse I would take. My favorite question to ask her was “how do you think that makes me feel?” She never could figure out the answer to that. I finally filed for divorce a couple of months ago. Divorce is now completely high conflict with no chance of mediation. She has to be told everything by the courts in order to comply. Kids have adjusted to two living situations nicely. At mom’s they get to go everywhere and are paraded around as the best kids on the planet. At my house, we ride bikes, share feelings, watch movies, and play games. My soon to be ex frequently scolds me for sharing information with the children. She is trying to split me from them through placement and accusations of poor parenting. I won’t give in. Courts have consistently sided with me and she is already on her second attorney. Divorce is awful, but my soul is feeling saved. I am happier and I am excited about the possibility of giving my children a normal, loving environment half of the time. They’ll have to decide if they want to live under their mother’s control or their father’s empowerment. Maybe both sides will be good for them. I have hope that they are resilient.

    Not sure what the future brings, but I’m climbing the mountain with high hopes of a better view.


  108. HM says:

    I have recently been researching NPD and feel my relationship follows a lot of the common problems mentioned in this blog. I have been married for a little over a year, but I have been with my husband for 6 years prior to marriage. My husband and I did not live together due to work. We are finally living together again but more than ever before, I feel as though i am trapped in my marriage and completely under his control. When I look back on things, I feel so dumb because he has manipulated me for years (from the start) and I was so blind not to see any of it. I constantly find myself walking on eggshells and tip toeing around things because everything is turned into me being insensitive or not loving him. The truth is when ever we try to talk about an issue, I eventually give in because things are made into being my fault, he never sees things from my point of view and i hate confrontation so eventually I just shut up. For example, a number of times while shopping for groceries, he will yell loudly at me or throw things into the cart like he is angry (make a scene for what ever reason), I usually get really embarrassed and ask him to stop or be quiet and he gets mad and walks away (says i am too sensitive). In the car ride home he will then turn the situation into a way of reprimanding me for being too sensitive and that I have to learn to calm down and stop judging him. By the time we get home, I feel as though I am the reason why the entire situation happened in the first place. My husband is also pressuring me into having children. However, with the way i have been feeling, I do not want to bring a child into any of this confusion. But to keep from making him complete loss it, I just get quiet and nod my head in approval. My latest concerns involve being made into a slave instead of a wife, or even better a person with feelings. We moved recently, I packed up our entire house and threw out more than 12 large bags of garbage by myself, all my husband did was move them from inside the house to outside of the house (not even down to the curb, the garbage men helped me do that). The entire time I was packing my husband either spent the time in the pool or with his family. When we got to our new location, I unpacked everything…my husband says this is because he did not want to get in the way of me “doing my thing”. I really could have used the help in both cases but I just kept my mouth shut and got it done on my own. My husband constantly says he has a sensitive personality and he takes everything to heart…this is what keeps me from voicing my opinion and my concerns. Recently, he has addressed his concerns about me in a letter to me…he feels as though I take advantage of him. This letter made me have so many feelings and truly makes me think he does not ever try to see things from my point of view. I have started writing back a response with every concern and feeling I have…I feel like this is the start of my escape…but who knows? I just hope I am strong enough to not allow him to manipulate me anymore. It’s so weird because people always tell me how lucky I am and that we have the perfect relationship but the only way I can explain how I feel is like a duck…above the surface of the water I am calm, but underneath the water my legs are moving a mile a minute…just trying to keep my head above water. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I still always feel like I am to blame or like I am being too sensitive…and even worse that I am dumb.

  109. Lori Marie says:

    I lived that life to almost every letter written. It’s been 13 months separated/ divorcing. The past experiences in marital home has taken awhile to surface, 8 months counseling. The daily interactions with him in sharing a daughter is monstrous. I pray for you and every woman living this way. Nothing seems hard once having lived with a narcissistic abuse.

  110. Shelly says:

    I just read this. Explains why my stbx acted like a jerk when I was crying out in agonizing pain physically and emotionally after the c section birth of my first daughter. I was getting no sleep, had high blood pressure and joint pain and he had absolutely 0 empathy and seemed “put out” when the Drs suggested I pump so he could get up with the baby and I could recover. He was so angry! I thought it was my fault for not “thanking” him enough. This was a big complaint in the marriage, not being thanked enough or properly. Now he’s left me and our two small girls and I’m starting to get it– he has npd, which his father who left his mom when my husband was small had too.

  111. Stephanie says:

    I feel like I could have written this. I left my husband 4 years ago. At that point, there was not much left of ME. I felt so small. It has been a long hard road, but I am much bigger now. I am finding me again.

  112. laurie says:

    This is my life. I stupidly married this man. I don’t want to be married to him. But I need his income. I’m scared if I kick him out, he will shoot me with his gun. I know, crazy huh. Is it better to separate or to stay with him. I don’t like him at all. I need help.

  113. James says:

    My only wish is that this would be written gender neutral. I appreciate all the advice but as someone married to a narc woman reading this makes me believe it is all my fault. I’m tricked by your article. Other than that thank you so much for the help. I’m truly sorry for your situation and hopefully I can find the support I need to help me make the right decision.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Hi James,
      When I wrote this article I was completely unaware of how prevalent female narcissists actually are. I was expressing my own feelings, sharing my own knowledge, and perhaps revealing a bit of ignorance on my part in believing this was primarily a male condition.

      As I don’t have any experience in this situation, and there isn’t really much info online, I would love to extend the invitation to all men dealing with this to email me at sammatthewsnw@gmail.com and tell me your story. I want to write a similar article for men, as I think female narcs approach the male empath/victim in an entirely different manner. I think our society is slanted towards a man accepting this kind of behavior from their mate and just dealing with it or they’re just being a baby. I disagree, abuse is abuse regardless of the gender is it coming from.

  114. Hold on a second ... says:

    I would like to respond to the so called therapist above who has said the spouse complaining is the narcissist quite often.

    1. How dare you come to this womans blog with such a black and white statement? You’re a therapist? If so (and I have serious doubts) you’re an awful therapist if that’s how you handle such scenarios. To prove how awful you are the fact that you only discussed one aspect of such a situation and didn’t even acknowledge the original posters feelings at all … certainly proves the point.

    You possess less empathy than the non-professionals attempting to support this woman!

    I’m not surprised because the worst relationship of my life was with a narcissist who was also a therapist. Her friends who were also therapists were highly narcissistic as well. That’s currently an epidemic in this culture. Narcissists and sociopaths becoming therapists, counselors etc.

    Why you ask? CONTROL what better profession to control/manipulate other human beings while attempting to convince them you are an absolute authority? All while feeling better about your questionable being because you perceive your patients as inferior to you. The perfect job for such individuals.

    You may very well be one of them my friend. Congratulations!

    Be careful people these snakes pose as therapists/counselors far more frequently than you may realize. You must test your therapist functionally (and well) before trusting them completely. Any profession that involves any form of control or authority is literally crawling with these dirtbags.

    They are attracted to such professions like moths to a flame. Just like pedophiles are attracted to jobs involving children. Same concept.

    To the narcissists wife I’m sorry you’re going through such hell. You’ve figured this snake out and you’re leaving. Good for you! Don’t make the mistake of looking back. No contact unless absolutely necessary. I believe you as you’ve described a narcissist to a T.

    Remember they are phenomenally insecure, hyper sensitive and anxiety ridden individuals wrapped in an obnoxious ego. You can destroy them by being the first to leave the relationship and then ignoring them completely. Giving them no power. They will leave you alone eventually if you don’t give them what their ego desires… a victim.

    If he’s a sociopath on the other hand he may stalk you or worse so be prepared for anything. Have your ducks in a row. Find your healthy support network and accept their assistance.

    I’m wishing you only the best of luck!

  115. Valerie says:

    I can understand the frustration being felt. Is there help available for this dissorder? As with most disorders the person with it may not even be aware of it. Is it treatable? I would think if you loved someone with this disorder you would want to get help.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thats the main issue with Narcissism, there is no effective treatment. Its not like being bi-polar, or depressed, where you can find the right medication and feel better. A narcissist feels fine. You can’t give someone empathy and care for others medically.

  116. laurie says:

    My story…I will just give the highlights. I really need to talk to someone. My first husband passed away and I was so happy and free. Then I met my current husband. He was everything I wanted at that time. Some one to date. But I was stupid. We went on our first date . He was really nice to me. Charming. Said all the right things. He was homeless..so to speak. He was living in a hotel. All of the sudden after our first date, he drove up with all of his belongings . And moved in. He talked me into it. I was soo so stupid. What was wrong with me??!! I must be the crazy one. I married him. Things changed. He lies about everything. Lies to get out of trouble like a child. He is very immature minded. He is very self minded. Everything is about him. He turns all conversations to be about him. Talks about himself to everyone and keeps on talking. He’s one of those people who won’t shut up. Talks to strangers. I hate it! All arguments are my fault. He took advantage if my kindness in the beginning. I tell him he conned me. He says if I didn’t want him at my house, I should have told him to leave. He was good for me at the beginning. I didn’t know he’d be a control freak. If life was just the two of us, we would have the perfect marriage. He wants ALL of my attention. He’s had many jobs in the past 8 years. He talked me into quitting my job. Promising he’d take care of me and my boys. He takes care of me, but is hateful to my kids and grandkids. We get in huge fights when I want to spend time with my family. We won’t let me go any where alone,without a fight. We are together 24/7 unless I can some how get away. He gives my stuff and my kids stuff away, but if anyone touches HIS stuff, he acts like a spoiled child. I wish he would leave . It would not hurt me at all if he did. But he says he’s not leaving. I feel like I am the unstable one. I can either be a witch to him and tell him everytime he makes me angry or I can ignore him and then he thinks he is getting away with lying or treating my children with malace. I want out of this marriage. But for financial reasons, he has to stay. Please someone give me advice. Just knowing that I am not wrong will encourage me. Thanks for this site. Laurie

    1. Kathy says:

      Wow! My situation is so like yours. He promised me a great life with no worries – something I guess most women with no job and no health insurance would jump at. His family will have nothing to do with him so he adopted mine – trying too hard to make them like him. Once we got married and retired to Florida the trouble started. We were together constantly. I didn’t have a car to drive so he took me everywhere (didn’t want to drive his truck). Our only friends lived in the apartment complex and he did everything to impress them – talking over and over about his money and career – bragging actually but he wouldn’t admit that. Things would be going well and then he would decide that I needed to be reminded that he rescued me during a tough time so he’d pick a fight then not speak to me for 3 days. It continued until I had enough and left. He wants a second chance to prove he’ll change but no way. It will be tough but I’m better off.

  117. Sh says:

    You may have touched on this and I missed it, but narcissists PROJECT all their bad behavior and disordered thoughts on you. Mine was also a hoarder, a huge mooch, into emotional affairs and accusing me of real ones — and was very cheap and withholding on family needs until we divorced and he took all my money in an alimony buyout (not required in my state but the only way to get the divorce settled) and lavished himself and my kids with designer everything. He also used his mother and stepfather as accomplices in his terrible plans. I suffer from PTSD and adrenal fatigue due to the years of this mess. And he has found an older and wealthy woman as his next target — maybe she’ll have more money to take care of her health when he’s gone. I stayed separated for a long time without divorcing because I didn’t want him to have so much exposure to the kids. That said, he has done a number on them and they are only beginning to get it. It’s a terribly hard road and I would tell any woman if you have the slightest hint you might be married to a narcissist demand he get help and if he won’t get out fast. Ideally before you have children. My children are a true blessing and I am thankful there were some good family memories but they came at a terribly high price.

  118. Virginia Artrip says:

    Yes 18 of these apply to my situation

  119. Angela says:

    Thank you for this article. It was like you were writing about my life. We have been together 10 yrs now married for 5 of it. Like you said the red flags are there in the beginning you just rationalize them away. Trying to “plan my escape” so to speak and I am going to take your advice on doing my research. Plan to hide and stash things away that mean a lot to me and he would try to keep just to hurt me. I just cant believe I let myself fall into his trap that was so obvious but I was to blinded to see it all in front of me. Im now focused on me and my children and working to give us a better life. Thank you so much for this posting.

  120. Lace says:

    I read your posts and I feel like we are married to the exact same “man”
    I have only been married a year and a half, and I left 4 months ago.
    It is a devastating thing to go through
    Thanks for posting

  121. Josh says:

    I agree with your article. I am trying to divorce a narcissistic wife. She has managed to drain my finances, my son’s savings (not her child) ruin the family business, tried to run me over with her car, has all the neighbors hating us due to her loud rages about how everyone should treat her, she’s been spending lots of money on drugs, drinking and driving and be arrested for both, still she wins the court judge over and now my son (he is 12 years old) have to find a place to live. Kicked out of the home I bought before marriage. Some great court system we have in nevada.

  122. Nicole says:

    Great article! Could have been written about my ex-husband. At this point, sometimes it hurts to read articles like this realizing how delusional I was during my marriage but, on the flip side it makes me feel better realizing that I was indeed not crazy all those years. My life has changed so much in the last two years since the marriage ended and I’ve never been happier! I would have never gotten to where I am now if it weren’t in part for articles like this one! Thank you!

  123. maggieds says:

    I was married to a narc for almost 7 years, we dated for about 4 years beforehand. This man completely brainwashed me and tried absolutely everything to isolate me from my family and my friends. He was a real charmer and up until we were married, showered me with gifts and compliments and I felt like I was the most important person in his life. Fast forward to just after getting married, his mask slowly started fading. Small things started to change- he decided that we needed to control our spending and gave me a limited amount of cash a week, fueled up my car and bought me cigarettes. He still had the bank cards, credit cards etc. and had full access to everything and used them freely, but when I needed something it was like pulling teeth and then he’d have to come along when I went shopping so that he could control what I was purchasing. I run a small business and pretty much worked part-time while we were married because I had to do everything at home-cooking, cleaning, laundry, and pretty much take care of him because he never lifted a finger to help. Nothing was ever good enough though, I didn’t bring in enough money and he belittled me every chance he got about it. We moved about 30 mins. away from my family to a house where he picked out absolutely everything, any choices I made were always criticized. At this point he tried to force me to change jobs and pretty much cut ties with my family who was on to him and his behavior. I started to fall in to a depression state and it only deepened after his family moved in- they had financial problems and we decided to help them out by letting them stay with us for a couple months until they found a new place and were back on their feet. Well fast forward 7 months they were still living in our house, kids running all over the place and pretty much taking over our space-we had finished our basement so they’d have their own space and just had to share the kitchen with us. He had absolutely no problem with this as he was never home and never had to do anything anyway. At this point things clicked and I had enough and left but not without the narc blaming me for absolutely everything, making up lies, and bringing out things that other people had told him. I started to have anxiety attacks, the depression got worse to the point of a nervous breakdown. This man had me completely wrapped around his finger and at first I actually took all the blame for everything and even contemplated on going back. Thankfully he showed his real face by this point and my family and my friends were there for me to fall back on. I have been separated for 11 months now and haven’t had any contact with him in 10. He’s still lying, manipulating and trying to push all the blame on me as well as trying to destroy me financially but at least I am away from him. It’s a very difficult road to get out of a relationship with a narc as they will do absolutely anything to destroy you because you hurt their ego.

    1. maggieds says:

      I forgot to mention, I was wife #2. I wish I had listened to family and friends and heard her side of the story about why she had left him. Him and his family made her out to be a psycho and blamed her for everything, just as they are doing to me now.

  124. batere says:

    i know how u feel. i really do. it took me 2 years to gather my guts and stand up for myself and start believing in myself again.
    have courage. stay strong.

  125. YaYa LeVens says:

    You’re so right, my ex narc has gotten away with everything but murder. It’s been five long grueling years, we’re divorced but still financially tied. He filed a fraudulent bankruptcy, destroyed a very large estate, manipulated children family and even the judge. There is no end, well there is but you have to make the decision to be unaffected despite the attempts at destruction. Some days are easier than others, but it can be done, just know your in for the fight of your life.

  126. Jean says:

    I have been married to a N for 25 years. (his third wife) I just learned about this when his daughter visited us and told me he was an N. When I did research I learned why he did the things he did. It only took the first year of marriage to realize I had made a mistake, he seduced me away from my Ex. with flowers, cards and trips which my Ex had never given me. He was a friend of my Ex and he even warned me and said wait until you find out what he is really like. But I ignored him because my N had swept me off my feet. I wanted to leave after just a year of marriage but I was not eligible for SS and had no retirement income. I had inherited enough money to build a very nice home and I was not about to give him half of that. So with no income I have been stuck with him all of these years. He is 14 years older than I am (age 80) and I just hope and pray that I will have some years of being single and free. After he got erectile dysfunction 11 years ago he acted like I had the plague, he has not given me a foot rub, back rub or anything in 11 years because what would he gain from doing something for me when it can’t lead to sex. He has 4 children and could care less if he ever sees them, they can’t stand him They have only come to visit a couple of times in 25 years. My two children hate him. Luckily I can afford to travel so I travel a lot to get away from him. I tell him I travel so I can be waited on. When I had an operation I had to stay at my mothers because I knew he wouldn’t take care of me. He is very lazy and expects me to do everything for him and wait on him hand and foot. I have been trying to leave little things for him to do, but he resents having to do anything. He believes because I’m living off of his retirement that I should have to do everything, even though I do have a small income from being a care giver and have contributed over a half a million from my inheritance. He loves the nice home i built for him but he makes people believe it was from his money. I chose to stay and have a good life rather than wonder how I am going to eat or live. I have good self confidence and don’t let him tear me down, I get in his face if he tries to. He knows I have a much higher IQ than he does and that drives him crazy, he tries to diminish me when ever he can. I sleep in a separate room and try to live my own separate life. As long as I wait on him he seems to be happy with this arrangement. I could go on and on but just wanted to vent!

  127. Bonnie King says:

    I just got out of a relationship with a man that is 100% a narcissist. All you have stated on here pertains to this person. I have read many articles on it after I suspected his disorder. He really fooled me and like you said , I thought he was the ultimate partner. I was strong enough to leave, before he destroyed me mentally or financially. I urge anyone to run if you are involved with a narcissist. There is no cure.

  128. Sophie says:

    Thank you for sharing this- this is something I’ve been going through for 10 years. I’ve decided enough is enough and I’m leaving it now.

  129. Pat Shaw says:

    I am a fifty seven yr old man married for 35 years to a woman that more or less fits every aspect of what you have described. As an empath myself the cloud metaphor clearly stood out.
    I have waited till the kids have all graduated college (4 of them) and cannot believe that this is so real.
    You want to “believe the best” but they just won’t let you.
    At my age I am focused more on finishing well than getting started. I’m afraid of what I see coming…sometimes life is way more real than you want it to be.

  130. ellen says:

    Wow. Describes my ex to a Tee. I had same experiences with therapists. Telling me it takes two. If I change it’ll get better. Etc my ex always flew under the radar. Such subtleties. Crazy making and made me out to be the crazy one. Spins a good tale. Divorced over 4 years, he’s remarried and still out to destroy me.

  131. Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I truly appreciate your words..

  132. Michelle says:

    Thank you for your website. I too am a narcissistic wife. Married a decade and didn’t even know I was being abused until now. Everything was good in beginning. So in love … As I thought. He was so gorgeous and I thought it was too good to be true. Red flags came up and I ignored them. He referred to himself as God . He was extremely well groomed and a lot of energy . Things started deteriorating slowly , always putting me down and eventually only sodomizing me in bed. Going on vacations by himself and trips to the Midwest. Coming home late and only to leave again. I found out he was having an affair and he was quick to pack and tell me it was my fault. Leaving me 2 months ago after stealing thousands of dollars and taking my wedding band and diamonds. Saying he was moving out of state with no forward address. Saying he didn’t care if I filed for divorce. Leaving me crushed ! I hate him but I still love him so much. I’m surviving because I have to. Thank you all for reading.

  133. jane says:

    My life have some similarities to yours. I’ve been with the father of my son for over 10 years, we have an 8 year old non-verbal autistic son. However, I always REFUSED TO MARRY HIM (and good thing I did) because that would of made the situation much more difficult. We have separate bank accounts, our car payments are separate but unfortunately, our home is under both of our names and it has been paid off for completely. As the years passed by and I’ve acknowledged his narcissistic behaviors and I’ve invested a lot of my time in trying to change him….I even conducted a narcissistic quiz (without him knowing), where I asked him a number of questions, and the results came back as him being a complete narcissistic individual. I showed it to him and he looked at me, as if he was slightly embarrassed but then quickly disregard the test, as if it’s not factual and then, blamed me for his behaviors?? What a moron…lol..as the years passed by, I’ve opened a successful business, aquired some investment properties and I’m becoming an entrepreneur…I’m a down to earth person that doesn’t show off my accomplishments to anyone (if anything) I try to build up those around me and try to help others, the best to my ability. The father of my son however, is a show off, he’s better than everyone (in his mind) He’s quick to go off on my friends, family or anyone that has a different opinion then him (it’s disgusting) I’ve lost friends, and part of my identity having to put up with his crap, and defending him (telling others) that his misunderstood and he’s had a tough childhood. He pays NO ATTENTION to our angelic son (yes, he’s autistic and non-verbal) but his a beautiful soul, that loves to feel loved. The father of my son, prefers hanging around people like himself, than spending time with us (his family) I’m tired of this negative, lonely, empty, dark life I live with this demon guy. He’s racist, he refers to most individuals (including myself) as useless idiots. He’s cheap, when it comes to buying what we really need for the house, such as (groceries, toothpaste…etc) yet, he’ll spend over $100 on a pair of shoes for himself. He looks down upon me, our son and everyone else (his disgusting behavior) makes me nauseous. The truth is that HE’S the loser…individuals like him, is the part of the problem of today’s society. He works a crappy job, he never finished college, he’s not financially successful, he’s a horrible father that does not display much affection at all, etc…(but in his mind) he’s superior..lol..bless his dark soul. I am going to leave him soon, I’m already making my plans and they will be put into action starting January. My son and I have to get out of this toxic environment in order to live peacefully. I will not tell him that I’m leaving….one day, he will walk into the house to find it empty with a letter on the door. My advise to anyone out there, is to NOT settle and accept with what is going on….try to keep the peace as much as you can (if possible) and put a plan together to get up and leave for the sake of your sanity!!

  134. Keysha says:

    Thank you so much for this post!! I have being living in this exact relationship for 25 years…

  135. Rosa says:

    Omg this was just brilliant. It described the ex husband to t. Very informative and so true.

  136. Farrah says:

    I was raised by narcissists (covert mother, classic father) and then I married one. My biggest takeaways is narcissists are not interested in resolving a conflict; they want to win the argument, and they do this by trying to get you to doubt or dislike yourself. Don’t bother arguing with a narcissist, your POV is irrelevant. They’ve all ready won the second you try to defend yourself against the endless accusations. Don’t give them that time or energy. I would simply repeat “you’re certainly entitled to your opinion but I disagree”. If he persisted I’d ask “who are you trying to convince”. You can’t fix a narcissist. Learn everything you can about why you made a good target for a narcissist and move on. Don’t dwell on the abuse. Look towards the future with optimism about yourself and all the possibilities for your life. If you’ve lived with a narcissist things can only get better.

  137. Alexandria says:

    I can relate to every point you have discussed. Number 19 was especially bad for me. I never, ever felt comfortable or relaxed in his presence. His unspoken words seem to permeate the room and my self-esteem dropped to an all-time low. There was always an eerie feeling, like something was happening or about to happen, even though he managed to control his tongue and actions most of the time. I would feel desperate, lonely, a non-person and had no understanding of why until after I left. Anxiety and depression set in and was caused 100% by his indifference. Not knowing is the most painful thing in the world.

    When we went out socially, it was always to “his” friends or social events. He would discuss things with me until we arrived at the event and then suddenly it was as if I was no longer necessary. He had a bad habit of facing other people and showing his back to me while talking to them (not me ever). I would have a full view of his back for hours and I couldn’t control the tears and anger. I felt very humiliated as his friends looked at me uncomfortably, not knowing what to do. Isn’t it normal to adjust your chair so that you are in a circle and can talk to everyone – EVEN ME???? The last time this happened, I took a photo on my phone and it put it on the desktop. When I showed him, he just stood and stared at that photo and didn’t say a word.

    Eventually, I never left the house for fear that he would talk to women on the internet. This is when I plummeted as a human being. He would jump out of his chair as I entered the room, closing the lid to his computer quickly and even go red in the face sometimes, but never once admitted when asked. He always sat across from me when using the computer and was very good at closing off pages. His timing was perfect.

    He would just look at me with a blank look as if he was looking through me. No explanation – EVER!!! He was very good at hiding things but I always knew, always!! When I looked him in the face, I would see ME – mirroring my kindness, my smile, my empathy – I knew none of it was real, that his goodness was a reflection of me. The real him I never knew. The closest I ever got was witnessing him having temper tantrums complete with stomping feet and flailing arms. This is when he destroyed me with hateful, demeaning, unloving words.

    I am struggling with healing. It’s been a few months now and this horrible pain is very slow to leave. I have faith that little by little I will be the person I once was – strong and happy !!! Thank you.

  138. Laura says:

    A lot of these behaviours coincide with someone who is struggling with clinical depression. It is important that if you are reading this you recognise that if you suspect your man to be depressed, these inward behaviours are due to the inability to deal with the pressures of life. They are struggling. They are suffering too.

    Be careful not to write people off as a narc, only in extreme cases should they be labelled as such.

  139. Chrissy says:

    Thank you for expressing your feelings. I know I’m defiantly in a relationship with a narcissist. Over the years he has put my children down so much with his power trips that they have severe depression. Even now when older , they still cannot say to him anything that he does not want to hear. I tell him he is hurting us all but he does not listen to me either. Apparently I have a screw loose cause I’m on anti depressants . He will not accept that he is the cause of everyone’s problems. So true about the black cloud. I heard my daughter tell her therapist that it upsets her when she hears the way he talks to me. I have hid my feelings for so long because of him. I’m struggling to come to terms with the my children being so hurt, but because I didn’t,eave him to protect them. Feeling like a total failure. It hurts so much. I am still married now.

  140. Melanie says:

    Thank you so much. I’ve been trapped and been trying to change to make my husband happy for 23 years and now I know all the horrible things he says to me, says about me and does to me aren’t my fault and it’s ok for me to divorce this man. You have given me the strength and freedom to stand up for me and my two little girls and somehow try to get us out. Now to do that with no job…I know there’s gonna be a lot more pain ahead of me but at least I know what is really going on and I’m not the monster he paints me out to be.

  141. patricia says:

    Did we marry the Same man? I finally left a year ago and yes he claimed be was broke but could afford a 250$ lawyer. I only have one word for all of you who are tangled with this kind of person,,, RUN

  142. Alexis gipson says:

    I have found this very interesting. I too was married to a narcissist, however, a milder case I would say. Three years out and now divorced I am rebuilding my life. I am also rebuilding “me”. And trying to raise two boys not to repeat their fathers behavior towards their future wife/girlfriend.

  143. MarShares says:

    Today I met with an attorney to discuss our finances to get advice on hat are my options and how to proceed. I mentioned I’m planning to divorce my husband if 31+ years who was diagnosed bi-polar manic depressive and described my husbands behavior and expectations. The attorney referred to him as a narcissist and recommended I read up on narcissism. That’s what I’ve done, went yo Wikipedia first and the realization that he is a narcissist. Now I came across your article and everything mentioned the same words at one time or another I said, lived and so living through. Last year I finally left him after he behaved badly made comments having no regard for my Mom while sitting next to her. I made a scene yelling I had enough I was leaving , yelled at my Mom to come with me and I drove her home and moved in with my daughter and son in law. My husband was at home with our youngest son at that time 24 almost 25. He was falling apart going crazy the kids were worried about him, he even threatened suicide which he had done in the part too. Initially he didn’t know where I was, my kids kept my location secret, I hid my car, I neede to feel safe as I didn’t know how he would react. I eventually felt string enough to answer his calls which I had been ignoring. I was ready to talk but not ready to go back. He made promises and after four weeks came to my daughters and in my week moment I came back home with him. He had stopped drinking,Mobutu now he is staring again a beer or two months the weekends and last week his co-worker and wife visited us and the guys had shots. I promised myself if he started drinking I would leave and follow through with the divorce. We have three beautiful children a daughter 30, married and has 2 kids a boy 5 and a girl 2. Our 2nd is a son married with a little girl 15 months old and baby two due in March. Our youngest no 26, is living with us and having difficulty finding work in his profession as a PE teacher. He’s coaching boys tennis at his high school but the teaching position he applies for he doesn’t even get calls for interviews. He is such an amazing person and teacher, the kids all love him and he’s lost his passion because he wants to move forward with earning a real income. He is working and making money as a valet. I wish I never came back, I feel the need to escape move away but family is so important to me. My kids support me and want me to find my happiness. I come from a dysfunctional family my father was an alcoholic, verbally and physically anusive to my Mom. He eventually stopped drinking, but I think he also had some narcissistic tendencies. I thought I could help my husband, he too had a father that was an alcoholic and abusive to his kids and I think my mother in law too. Thank you for writing this information and all these replies, I’m overwhelmed that I just realized narcissist truly defines what and who I’m living with. I’m calling and meeting divorce stories to get advice choose one and move forward. I’m making this promise to myself….2016, move out, divorce, and start living a mentally healthy life. I started this journey 4 years ago reading and learning how to manage my stress, strengthen my physical, mental and emotional self. I also sought out counseling for myself and then we went through couple therapy which he eventually said we were no longer going to. They eventually go back to their old habits. I know this now and just need to free myself.

  144. john says:

    Omg. This is my wife of thirty years $

    I feel so stupid. ..she is exactly this!

    I thought all women were this way!

  145. Renee says:

    I feel sick reading this. It’s my husband to a T. We married in 2012 had two children quickly and the horror show started fairly quickly. On our honeymoon after a perfect day spent with a couple we really liked I asked my husband jokingly if he agreed the woman we were with was pretty touchy Feely (she was jumping on him in the pool overy and over) he went into a rage out of nowhere and physically assaulted me and threw me out of the room naked. I was mortified and covered in bruises. I should have left but was still on maternity leave and in shock. For the next two and a half years with a terminal mother and another baby the insults were daily the threats were constant and I was so miserable. Omg. I was feeling extremely tired and was told I was a lazy useless wife all the time. I wasn’t. I actually had cancer. I left within weeks prior to getting a diagnosis. Even though chemo and multiple surgeries he took any opportunity to insult me put me down and blame me for EVERY THIS. EVEN if it had nothing to do with me. I feel like he almost took my soul. I just finished all my breast cancer treatment and am now working on my self esteem. I feel like he was worse than stage three cancer.

  146. Lizanna says:

    My father was a “Narc” and I will tell you this I am a 46 year old mental health therapist and addiction specialist. Growing up with a self centered father who lacked empathy and NEVER VALIDATED MY FEELINGS CAUSED SO MUCH OF HARM. I’m sorry to tell you how much a daughter looks to her father for various needs i.e.; self esteem, security, understanding, advice/guidance etc. never to get that had caused me pain then to try and fix the damage was time consuming. He died September 10th 2015 he did mellow out the last 4 years so it was a loss because I finally had the father I always needed. The silver lining is it motivated me to become a therapist but it’s an on going process to deal with the neglect, lack of empathy and basically abandonment, emotional abuse. A father never there emotionally yet yells at most everything you do causes anxiety, depression and self esteem issues. That’s my experience and most of my clients with “NARC” fathers. It’s sad but it’s my reality and I’m doing the best I can with what I have.

  147. Jane Oaks says:

    I have been married to a narcissist for 25 years. I just thought I married a very selfless, uncaring, unkind, and self-absorbed man. It wasn’t until a bout a year ago that I identified him as being a narcissist. Today, Christmas Eve, his birthday…. I told him Happy Birthday first thing this morning and teasingly reminded him that I was younger than him. His remark…”You may be younger, but I am better looking. If you wanted to and worked at it you could be better looking and younger than me.”

  148. Ryan says:

    Great article! My only concern with it is that you make it sound like only men are narcissists. This entire article just described my ex wife. I wish I had this knowledge at the time and could’ve been more prepared when it came time for the divorce. I pretty well lost everything including a grasp on who I really was. It has taken a few years to “find myself” again. I became a totally different person during the relationship in order to please her and in doing so I ended up hating myself and who I had become. I am back on my feet at this point and very happy with the direction my life is going. And I’m now dating a woman who loves me for who I am. It’s very refreshing to finally be in a healthy relationship and to not be walking on eggshells anymore. So thank you for writing this article. And for those of you who are in a relationship like what was described, just know that you can get out of it and you can have a better life and yes you deserve it to be better.

  149. anonymous says:

    This is so unfathomable to me…not te post, but the reality. I just can’t get why anyone would choose for life to be like tis…esp’ when we’ve a really lucky life and our lives are so blessed and good…so so confused and know better than to try ask / try discuss it. Mouth shut. Pretend to forget today / it never happened. Leave them to re’write Christmas how they see it. Starting to feel genuinely hopeless…so afraid about the future and plain sad for them…it needn’t be like this. 🙁

    27 years…maybe I’m the narsisit for not walking away, but just refused to walk out on a person, I mean…that is love, right? You believe in them when no one else is there to say ‘I won’t abandon you; I believe in you.’…but even I am starting to think I’m just hurting them (like they say) more than helping…so so tired and scared…and just so lonely at this point…and lost…

  150. Diane says:

    Ten years of this exact same shit…freedom is wonderful!

  151. Millie says:

    This article made me ill. This describes my ex damn near perfectly, especially the early stages. We were only married 2 years before he walked out saying “I never loved you anyways.” He wasn’t as controlling regarding friends and family, which was nice, but he fit the bill on everything else!

    I was a virgin before he seduced me, and he had the audacity to call my a f-ing whore when he was in a rage, as well as other lovely titles I don’t feel like repeating. I am an artist and he made fun of me for being “one of those stupid emo kids”. As musician, I have a fond appreciation for music of many types which he also made fun of me for liking and refused to listen to with me, which is something I consider to be a loving and romantic gesture.

    As much as I couldn’t care less about him, I wouldn’t trade it for anything; we have a beautiful 18 month old, and she means more to me than getting those few years back!

  152. Tanya says:

    You just wrote the story of my 9 year marriage. I’m fighting the battle for freedom even as I type this. The cruelty intensifies once you leave. It takes much mental preperation to handle the extent of the unfathomable things that will be done once you start the freedom battle. . Emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. Don’t let that stop you. Be brave. You deserve so much more than a narc will ever be willing to offer you.

  153. V says:

    Thank you for this!!! There is sooooo much truth & sadness in this type of a marriage. As I was reading this I was thinking of numerous incidents within my own marriage that I am now legally defending my share just like you stated so that I can get out of this multilevel abuse.

  154. Freedom at last says:

    Thank you for writing and sharing this article. I have been married to the narcissistic twin of ur husband’s for 10 years now. We separated a few months ago after punishing psychological abuse and sheer confusion on my half for a very long time. I am still struggling to believe that every bad thing that happens is not my fault, to understand that his behaviour was his choice and not because I was a useless defective wife. I feel free for the first time in years. We have 2 young children. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I will NEVER regret getting the sphericals to tell him it’s over this time and mean it. Good luck to everyone who is on this emotional rollercoaster. You will get through it. There is life after the narcissist!! And if feels good xxxxxx

  155. Kristen says:

    You write such helpful articles. I hope with all my heart that you have escaped this hell by now. I have been there and know well the constant state of distress. I escaped mine years ago, but still suffer from PTSD from it. And managed to find yet another, different type of narcissist after the first. I hope you are far more cautious than I was. God bless, dear one, and please keep sharing.

  156. dangonsalves says:

    Great article, Women can be Narcs too. Either way, being married to one has been the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with.

  157. krissie templeton says:

    Thank you sooo very much for this info…I had. No idea!! Ill pray for you to have strength to go through all this and for GOD to light your path to freedom! GOD bless you. Krissie

  158. Pam Whitcher says:

    This article is so on target for my past experience. Married 21 years, going from a strong independent woman to someone that believed him when he said it was my fault the corn didn’t grow. Took me 6 years to get to a point that I had to get out. When I stood up to him, he set his sights on the kids. Now I deal with a jerk that says he wants a relationship with his kids buy his actions speak volumes of who he really is. The sad part is the legal system since the scars and bruises are not seen the courts still say the kids must go. Breaks my heart knowing I can’t protect them in his care. I lived with Jekyll and Hyde. Thanks for your article.

  159. Fiona says:

    Came across your blog and has give me strength. Been married to a narcissist for 22 years. Been through hell but have nearly escaped his clutches!!! He is trying everything in the book to get control of me again ….sometimes I think I can’t go on but my children are the reason I’m just about coping.

  160. Kay says:

    Interesting read, Samantha…
    Among all the people posting above who are / were also married to / dating narcissists; I would like to post as the narcissist married to a normal woman.
    An online quiz I just took tells me I am not a narcissist, but I can relate to a lot of points that you have mentioned in your posts (point 5 onwards). Like any good old narcissist, I can “defend” many (obviously, not all) of those things; but I could obviously be wrong. I would love to discuss this… to understand better, and maybe, perhaps change some aspects of me… but I am not sure if this is the right forum.

  161. MARY says:

    Your article was spot on with a number of points! I am happily divorced & although it wasn’t easy I can read articles, like yours, that bring back certain memories. One jarring memory was seeing a marriage counselor because he was cheating on me when i was pregnant with our 1st child. The counselor ended up blaming not him but me as well!! Crazy i know but yes, your article validated this kind of behavior. And the dark cloud must be a euphemism I have used a million times. My advice; plan & leave . . Never easy but I can guarantee it is definitely worth it! Thank you for this article.

  162. Bob says:

    Thanx,i’m just now realizing my situation it’s a hard reality,your writing put things in perspective for me, you see I see myself as a part time narc and my wife as full blown,are marriage is falling apart. It’s hard to even communicate on a simple level with her she is Chinese and language and culture prevent even the basic understanding to take place..I just feel so sad,I tried so hard to make this work, i feel so lost but thanks for your insight

  163. Bljake says:

    NOTE: Be sure you are not doing anything that could be turned into a claim for an “at fault” divorce… Not even one glass of wine. My narcissist husband assaulted me, I took him for an emergency hearing to protect myself and our 5 kids. He has a lawyer who objected to the ER record. Although I had lacerations on my neck, I was intimidated with no lawyer and asked for a continuance. He filed for an at fault divorce based on habitual drunkeness and abuse of prescription narcotics. He asked for me to be restricted from the kids and for a lot of monetary support. His case overrules mine legally, somehow, and I am at the mercy of his false accusations. I am a nurse in a highly challenging ICU environment. I would
    Never be able to do drugs or be habitually drunk and function at work, much less take care of 5 kids during the week and manage their schedule. I share this story so you can see how vengeful and malicious they can be with absolutely no merit. He has lied about me and made himself the victim, even regarding his assault against me! By the way, his alcohol test was most likely positive, as mine was negative. In a week moment he agreed to get one done, but won’t tell me his results… He is asking if I want him to drop his at fault divorce and work this out outside of the courtroom (for a sixth time over the past two weeks of which he promptly ends the day with taunting me about the case if I don’t comply with his marital
    Demands)… NO WAY PAL…. He is unable to negotiate, he is trying to manipulate me so that he can try and take all he can from me out if the courtroom. I believe he will be “at fault” for habitual drunkeness and I will let the judge order him to have what is fair. This is a nightmare after 18 years of marriage. I opted to stay 13 years ago because he threatened to say I was molesting my small boys if I tried to leave. I knew this would be hell. I had already been pre approved for a house and I was having it built. I was planning on leaving for the required year separation, had it all set up. We will see what happens in court. My house will be ready in March, but I hope he is
    Ordered out of the house until then. Good luck everyone but, stick with it and know if he is acting nice it is only to try and get what he wants for himself.

  164. mespanish says:

    A narcissist will also try to enlist the children as additional “flying monkeys” to attack you the way he would, as he devotes much of his energy into training them to see you the way he sees you, the way he wants them to see you (his target).

    My kids and I have been subjected to this type of behaviour for the past 17+ years… mostly since we split up, and we weren’t together for very long because I couldn’t stand his behaviour. He devoted years and years (all of his time with the kids) painting me negatively to them and trying to get them to hate me… it of course was all my fault and he HAD to do that… everything is the “target’s” fault, according to the narcissist. He was so controlling and needing to come 1st in everything that I had to go through the courts to allow the kids to decide their visitation schedule for themselves when they were aged 15 and 13, because he simply would not allow even to move a weekend access to a different weekend so that they could do something that they really wanted to do. His famous comment to them was always: “Well, what’s more important? Spending time with/doing ______, or spending time with your dad??” They never asked to cancel visits, just move them to a different date, and he always refused. They were teenagers with expanding social lives that he had absolutely no respect for. Just recently, he was on the phone with our 19 year old and she told him she was just sitting down to eat dinner and watch a movie… he kept her on the phone with him for 10 minutes, and when she tried to get off the phone, reminding him that she wanted to eat her dinner, in a condescending tone he said, “Well if that’s more important…” Ummmm… well YEAH IT IS! He just demands attention constantly, and you’re expected to drop everything for him… it’s really messed up.

    I’ve dealt with 17 years of incessant criticisms and character assassinations from him (and his flying monkeys), because I’m never paying enough attention to him. I was expected to allow him to have control in my home and stay out of his – for the record, I never tried to control his home, ever, and I never allowed him to control mine either, which resulted in 17 years of family court with him trying to gain control and citing me as the problem in everything (because everything is my fault, right?!). Very heavy projections (him onto me) for the entire 17 years. The only reason I continued communicating with him for the entire 17 years was because we shared kids and it was necessary… even then, I only communicated when necessary and did my best to keep discussions solely about the kids’ needs, while he wielded incessant personal attacks on me throughout all those years.

    Both of my kids are adults now, aged 18 and 20 now. My ex is STILL trying to engage me in communication with him. I can honestly say with absolute certainty that he is the most horrible person I’ve ever had to deal with my entire life, and I spent years hoping that he would finally get over whatever his issues were and simply focus on being a great dad to our kids, but he never did… he just kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny with all his crap. I feel very sad about my feelings towards him because he’s my children’s father, but it’s not something I did to him and it’s not something I can fix… and sadly, he will never own it… he will never own his own crap. It is what it is.

    Until a person is stuck dealing with a narcissist that they can’t get away from, they have absolutely NO IDEA just how horrible it is to be subjected to narcissistic abuse and antics… to be the narcissist’s target. No clue. You can’t even imagine it to a realistic degree, until you have actually experienced it.

    1. Bill says:

      I can say I DO understand mespanish! I do wonder about sharing it with others though. It can’t be done easily as it takes time – a few minutes in passing just don’t cut it! A narc will do such a number on you over time that you can hardly recognize yourself – as your “self” hasn’t been allowed to exist, or matter. Everything has always got to be all about the narc. For me, I was with her for just over a year and when we got married, she seemed to change over night. Drastic changes that included making big decisions that concerned us both all by herself, then telling me there’s the door if I didn’t like it. I did not know this woman at all when just months weeks and days before I thought I did. Sex became a weapon or a tool to punish, blame and shame. She was an entirely different person when she was sure no one else could hear or see her. I was amazed, shocked and very disappointed. I’d witnessed how angry and hateful her adult children are with her, but didn’t know or understand why. I asked, and they would only grimace and say “You have nooooo idea!” I guess once we were married, she turned her controlling, angry and hateful behavior towards me. One of her daughters had a judge grant a Harassment Restraining Order against her for one year to keep her away from her grandchildren and them too. Our marriage lasted about 15 months and I think it was because I recognized abuse and would say so to her. A narc will never own their abusive, hateful and bizarre behavior. They”ll project all that onto you and you will never talk them down from their lofty ideal of who they think they are. I can’t imagine what it is like with kids involved. Being in my fifties with no children by her, I could more easily walk away. That said, my experience with my narc did a real number on me – and that’s the hardest part to talk about with anyone. I had worked very very hard to please her and had pretty much let anything about me go – ignored or neglected for the sake of an everyday demand that I be doing SOMETHING she wanted done. There was always a list and she was never satisfied. Plumb wore me out with her crap. In seeing how deceptive, controlling a ruthless in her exploits to have her way no matter what all the while incredibly hyper vigilant to make sure no one ever saw or heard her when she turned on the hateful, browbeating and downright cruelness. She would walk the perimeter of the house, check the doors and windows first and then attack – bringing all the hate, anger and bitterness from many years before I’d ever even met her – yet she’d lay all her problems at my feet and tell me it’s all my fault. Of course I knew it was not truth but it was her intensity in her assertions that everything in her whole life and even her relationships with her kids was all my fault and would behave as though she believed it was! No – NPD is not just a male or female thing – the behaviors and antics are very much identical though!

  165. Elsa says:

    Hello from South Africa. Oh wow! I juts can’t believe it! This could just as well come from my own pen! I am in this marriage for 22 years now. So many times I’ve tried to get out but thinking of my children, our prenup and by now, a very low self-esteem, made me stay. If I decide to go, I’ll have nothing! I’ve been home with the children for 20 years. No (new) work experience, no savings of my own, no (real) friends…. No-one to talk to. Nowhere to go. I always thought I’d stay till the children are out of the house, now the last one will be leaving next year. Where do I start? I wouldn’t find a job with my experience? Where will I stay? He promised to make my life so miserable if I ever try to go. The children kept me going…. What’s gonna happen when they are gone.

    1. lkanony says:

      Well, start planning now with the timeframe of the last child leaving home in mind. Do ANY menial job to gain work experience and build your resume’ from there. For example, if you like clothes/style/fashion become a store clerk and if you like it enough, work hard and long to go up the retail ladder. Otherwise, if you have a particular talent that you can profit from immediately, go into business for yourself…the only thing is you’ll need startup money and THAT could be the challenge having no job, work experience or potential friends to invest for the start up money or obtain a bank loan. But really at this point, you’ll have to gradually take away some of the power you gave to him by making your own moves and decisions about YOUR destiny first and tell him when you’re about to start. If you choose to stay, open your own account and have your funds directly deposited into your bank account. DO NOT tell him the true amount (if anything) of your earnings. Start adding to your credentials or hobbies. If you like to sew, build on that skill…you may be able to profit from it in the long run also. If you’ve always wanted to earn a degree, enroll in school now that your children are going off on their own. You have to learn not to depend on his approval because after all, we’re women now and have been married LONG enough to at least no what to expect so nothing he may do or say would surprise you so keep looking forward (whether he supports your decisions or not must become irrelevant) and use your energy on yourself now. If you stay, you know what you’re dealing with and what you have to do irrelevant to how he’ll take it. If you decide to leave, you may have to start over but the beauty of it all is, anyone can earn and gain material things and at least you’ll have your full independence and peace of mind from HIS issue(s). Focus on being and becoming a SUCCESS outside of him whether you decide to stay or go. As long as you have life, it’s NEVER too late to start over, live, and grow and nurture yourself.

  166. Autumn says:

    I spent 8 yrs trying to put my finger on what was wrong with our marriage, I dealt with all of these things. After which It took two yrs to be able to leave. When you have kids they don’t always go away. Number 20 should be how they separate you from your family and friends to the point that they will lie about them to alienate them from you. Mine actually told my mother she was the enemy.

    I have come across a female narc recently their family is a mess.

  167. Catherine says:

    I hope you can help our family. I am very worried for my daughter-in-law. Over the years our family has realized something was “off” with my oldest son, their older brother. I’ll call him “Dave”.

    Dave is the oldest of six, I don’t know if I did something wrong in my inexperience as a mother. He was always very stubborn, which isn’t a bad thing, but the way he expressed it was sometimes. But as he grew older he had/has a unquenchable desire for praise. He even lied about receiving a Silver Star in the Gulf War, but said it was for a secret mission so no one could give him the award.

    I’m ashamed I didn’t see his interactions with women, but after he got out of the military he moved a thousand miles away and we didn’t have the money to visit often. When Dave got married the first time, I didn’t meet the woman and her daughter for six months. She had very low self-esteem because she had a jaw deformity. Dave was madly in love with her, and was going to adopt the little girl. Dave and his wife had a son, whom I didn’t meet for a few years, Dave wouldn’t bring them to visit. Suddenly with NO notice, he left wife number one. She had had surgery on her jaw and gone back to school, and he was adamant that she had left him (we found out years later that he had cheated on her and set up with #2 before he left #1) He claimed she had gone crazy after the surgery and wanted a new life.

    We believed him, “poor Dave”. He introduced us to #2 very soon after the divorce from #1, and even wanted us to come to the wedding. Again, a woman with very low self-esteem, physically believed herself to be unattractive and suffering from comparisons to her more “beautiful, accomplished” sister. Dave and she got married, we met her family, and she was pregnant immediately after the wedding. Another son for Dave, he began to pull away again, didn’t visit (he was broke) and didn’t want us to visit (he was working all the time, she didn’t want us around….) We tried to visit on FB and call often. We hobbled along like that, kind of family, for a few years, Suddenly again, he was divorced. He had left her because she was crazy. We tried to call her to check on her and she wouldn’t answer (we found out about a year later that he had told her we were very wealthy and refused to help them). She does not allow us any contact with our grandson/

    At his point we figured Dave had some relationship problems, to put it mildly. When he called to tell us he was divorcing #2, he also announced he had met #3. I was really worried, I tried to be supportive, said sometimes it takes more than one try (it did for me) to get the right one.

    He brought our current daughter-in-law to his sister’s wedding, where we all met her. “Angela” was great! She fit into the family seamlessly, like we had all known each other in a previous life. Her brothers-in-law (my other two sons) told Dave how much they liked her. His sisters (all three of my daughters) became fast friends with her, they exchanged recipes, talked all the time, she was a cherished member of the family. They had a daughter, who is now three. Angela loved and cared for Dave, did everything he wanted, stayed home with the baby, gave up her work. In August of 2015 he called me and said Angela was a raging alcoholic and drug abuser. He had left her and was with the love of his life, and he had taken his daughter with him. The love of his life was the perfect mother he said, and she would raise his daughter right. We called Angela – she was perfectly fine (coherent, etc.)She said Dave had told her that day he was leaving her and she had six months to vacate HIS house. She had gone to the grocery store that morning and found out he had emptied the joint account.

    He is trying to erase her. He tells our granddaughter that her mother loves her but is very sick. He claims he has her 5 days a week and Angela only has supervised visits. But we drove down (17 hours) and Angela has the child 95% of the time. And is perfectly well. She came up for a few weeks to visit and she has no substance abuse problems that any of us could see.

    Dave is enraged that the family has “chosen” Angela. We are traitors. He is so angry at Angela that he has said he will make sure she will never “get” the baby or anything of his. Angela is afraid to fight him, and says he is still a good father because he loves the baby. We all want Angela to come up here where she has support and love, and where she can get help to rebuild her life. She won’t come because Dave has forbidden it.

    I believe my son is a narcissist, although his abuse had been “only” verbal and lies. I think he will tire of his daughter as he has his sons. And I think #4 will be hurt by him just as the first three have been, but she thinks he loves her. But what can I do? Can I help or should I butt out?

    Any advice from those who are in Angela’s shoes, something I can help her with??

  168. Sfh says:

    I truly commend you for your honesty and your concern. I wish my exhusband’s parents would have been like you. They stay deluded by him. It’s a long sad story I won’t get in to. Here are my suggestions: I truly think you should try to find a therapist experienced with narcissists to guide you on how to talk to your son. Regarding his ex wives and current wife: I would be clear to them that you care for them and want to be a loving, uncomplicated presence in your grandchildren’s lives. That you are happy to keep visits short or help with things for the children that they need. Often narcissists lie about finances. They pretend they are financially involved with their kids and they aren’t. The mothers are so exhausted they don’t push support etc. if your son harasses you, I’d suggest you tell him you love your grandkids and part of doing that is respecting their mother. You want time with your grandkids so you will be respectful to the mother. I would also let the current spouse know if she ever needs anything she should let you know. That if you Can Help you will certainly try. Hope this helps.

    1. Catherine says:

      Thank you for your response. That’s a good idea, I didn’t think about trying to find a therapist to guide me!

      I have been doing some of the other things, trying to help “Angela” with what she needs. I really appreciate the feedback that I might be on the right path. Also, my daughters are stepping up to be there for “Angela” with my stepping back a little. I think that they might be able to reach her where I can’t. And we brought them up to be strong confident women, which “Dave’s” wives are not. They have no fear about confronting him regarding him behavior!

      1. Sfh says:

        That’s great! I hope Angela sees how hard you are trying. I would have given my eye teeth for that kind of support. One thing to consider. By most people’s standards, I’m considered a strong and confident woman. But the passive aggressive and aggressive game playing my exhusband’s did — and my innate weakness to overcompensate or enable almost took me to the brink. I was very reluctant to let my extended family or his see or know the full scope of his behavior. After years of it, I either seemed checked out and just getting through — or bitter, resentful, angry and probably over sensitive. I had tried to talk to my mother in law within the first 5 years of marriage. In part to let her know her son also had a drinking problem. While she may have “questioned him” on a couple things, Her basic response: I know my son but I’m not going to do anything about it. Then she went into Mama Bear mode. When it wasn’t sad it was disgusting. Again, just a small sliver of 21 years of that, but shared with you for the goal of more insight and as a way to commend you for what you are clearly not doing! Good luck!

  169. Karen Chaplain says:

    I am going through absolute hell and turmoil, after being married for over a year and not knowing if it was me being insensitive, stupid or illogical (all of which I have been accused of by my husband) and today I came across this article and am so relieved that I am neither. I cannot even begin to explain what I have been through as I doubt I have the space here to do it, but suffice to say that he has turned an intelligent, capable, caring and confident woman into someone who is tearful, lacking confidence and living on sleeping tablets. He has turned his entire family against me with his lies, and everything I say is twisted to suit whatever his emotional state is at the time. He drinks heavily (my fault), he has lost his job (probably my fault) and told me he hates me so many times I have lost count (again, my fault). I am now having to pretend all is okay as we have very few friends (due to them commenting on his “personality disorder”) and to keep a roof over my head. I have never been so low in all my life. I cannot believe that one person can have such an effect on me. I have a very long story, one which I have not been able to tell anyone as, like me, they probably don’t know such a type of personality exists. But believe me, when I give them an inclination they simply say just leave him. And anyone who is married to a narcissist knows that if living with one is hell, trying to leave is harder. His ego simply won’t allow it.

    1. Bill says:

      Hi Karen!
      In my reading of your experience – again I see how others have an awful time in knowing how to explain their experience with living with a Narc. Expressing how it has changed you is what caught my attention. I too was married a total of 15 months before it ended – being 57, my Narc spouse wasn’t going to be able to piss on my head and then convince me it was raining. Truly, they are abusive in incredibly cruel ways. And they know it. They are fully aware of who they are and the damage they are willing to exact to get their way. Before the marriage, I’d created two businesses that I ran simultaneously for close to 27 years that included teaching, training in the art and craft of log building construction – taking me all across the US, Canada and Alaska. The first phase of our experience is being called “Love Bombing” where the Narc appears to quickly pursue making you believe you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread! You couldn’t do anything wrong if you tried to! Then (for me) just days after getting married, she just completely changed and turned all the hate, anger and venom she’d been expressing towards others in the year and a half before – all of it, onto me. Even saying all of it (her past) was my fault. Imagine a parent projecting like this onto her own children! And this she did until they want NOTHING to do with her. She never will take responsibility for anything she says or does. One of her daughters got fed up enough, including getting a Harassment Restraining Order for a year to keep her away from her family, that she one day did a 180. After declaring many times that she wanted her (my wife/Narc) to stay away, a wedge between me and my (wife/Narc) in saying I had to go before any chance of reconciliation could ever begin. My Narc eventually caved into that sick ploy, throwing me under the bus and blaming me for all of what was wrong and what she had actually said and done, (behind my back). I was discarded like a dirty tissue because my Narc thought it would satisfy her daughter and her other two adult children and all would be grand – and it backfired on her. It was absurd for her to be willing to divorce and think it would heal what has been a mess for many years in their past and before they ever even knew who I am. And they’re right. Her daughter exploited her mother’s NPD, seeing a much bigger picture herself, however evil it all was – in order to hurt her mother enough to get her to stay away from her. How messed up is all that?

      Karen, getting out and away from your own Narc IS the best advice. You, like me, are and have been reeling in the shock of waking up one day and finding your spouse is not who you thought he/she was. This is consistent with all trying to look for answers. Leaving seems impossible and an awful thing to consider because we’re good people who CAN love, who DO and CAN have empathy for others. Narcs’ can not. It’s all about them and has been since the day we met them. Like a predator, they set their sites on us because of who we are and our way of approaching life and relationships. They know before the second date whether you can be manipulated and will accept it. They make it impossible for you to believe anything other than you have found the most wonderful and great person ever. It’s not your fault! Heck, I even once completely wrote down the verse in the bible that describes what love is, imploring her to wake up and see what she is doing to us in our marriage. I’d never hear a word in response to this approach and it showed me that she was incapable to self examination or truly being able to love me. This was just 5 months into our marriage. You, like I, strived to get back to that first phase of the Narc “Love Bombing” us – and put up with a lot of abuse in doing so. It was an illusion, Karen. It wasn’t real, and it is not about you at all. Your husband is one sick puppy, as was my wife. It may take years for me to recover from it, but I am away from her and moving on. And that in itself gives hope. It’s hard. Stop feeling defensive as if you have to explain yourself and what happened. Those people in your life that love and believe in you is your starting point to getting your life back. The Narc must go and no contact be allowed as they are notorious for sucking you back in. It’s all very much like how a cat will catch a mouse and play with it, hurt it and then eat it – we’ve been under a spell by a sociopath who couldn’t care less about you or anyone but themselves.



  170. Traci says:

    Wow! Chapter and verse! I left fifteen months ago and he still has his hooks in me. Any interaction at all with him is just the broken record of all nine points I survived 22years of. My only hope is that my attorney is looking out for what is really best for me and I’m not following the wrong lead because I have lost all confidence in my ability to tell who really is FOR ME!

  171. Sabiannie says:

    This article has literally made my skin crawl. My husband and I have recently separated( but we’re not divorced)bc of all the problems we’re having. This article describes him to the T. I can’t pick out a single thing on this list he doesn’t do? I don’t know what to think or how to feel. I thought maybe I could work on me and my family would come back together but now I wonder if I should just let him go? I don’t want to be with a narc !

  172. Katykat73 says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  173. Judy says:

    So that’s the word for it! I lived with all that for 20 years before finally getting up the nerve to leave with two teenagers, no job and basically no marketable skills. It just wasn’t worth staying for the “financial security” Took me years to regain my self worth. How exciting it was to get my first paycheck. Went right out and bought myself a few nice things. Kissed a few frogs (no narcs among them) before I found my Prince who was quite happy for me to have my own opinions and interests. Unfortunately, I just recently lost him to cancer.

    1. Rob says:

      This is all new. I’m a man have been married twice. I get along great with my x wife. This is about the last girl I was with, we were to get her almost three years. I really don’t even know where to begin. She was my in the begging she was my best friend and soul mate. As time went on I completely remodeled her house and gave her 3/4 of what ever income I was earning. Are arguments always ended with me never doing or giving enough. I also stopped seeing my family and her family became first. In the end I found myself living alone in an rv park wondering what I did wrong, and why she wouldn’t talk to me. I ended up having a nervous break down Wich landed me in jail. I remember two things she said to my that made me really question her character. One was, “how am I benefitin from you working on your truck”. And even after giving her 3/4 of my earnings which she never recognized apparently, she would say,”I want you to want to take care of me”. As if what I was doing wasn’t taking care of her.

  174. Mrs. W says:

    Hi! Are you still with your husband? How does he treat your children? I left my husband after 18 months of marriage and when our daughter was 4 weeks old. He and I married quickly on a whim in vegas after dating a couple of months. I thought he was prince charming. We just clicked (or he just sold exactly what I was looking for). After our marriage, I saw fits of rage and we had multiple heated situations of which there was some physical abuse. I left a couple times but went back because he said he wouldn’t do it again and he loved me…and then after I left while pregnant, he said he wanted both of us and I went back. I finally left because the arguing didn’t cease and I didn’t want my daughter around it and I felt he wasn’t making us a priority but putting his business before us rather (he’s very successful and does very well financially). It’s been 6 months since she and I left hime and I have filed divorce papers and been pushing for mediation. In the meantime, he has shown a stronger interest in our daughter and has been nicer to me. He kept saying if I was just nicer to him…which I feel I always was but I did want to talk things out and it caused arguments that always seemed to get worse. We are now discussing working on things for our daughter so she can have a full family unit to grow up with. And I do love him despite every mean thing has has said and done. We are going to do therapy and modify our behavior and arguing techniques. Am I being an idealistic, hopeless romantic wishing for something that is not possible? He is a very smart man (studied for 14 years), has a lot of power, control and money. Even his family does what he says. He has lied to me countless times. He goes through employees excessively because they usually quit – his schedule is hectic but he is also a perfectionist. I feel like your description of yourself is me to a tee…I’m optimistic, resilient and very forgiving. My daughter is my world. I want to do whatever I can for her and I go back and forth…is it better for her to grow up with a single mom or with two loving parents…and he does seem to really lover her – I think she may be the only thing he truly loves… Is there any hope for us? I do not want to make a poor decision. I pray every day and she and I go to church each week. Over the last few weeks, he and I have gotten along swimmingly and have revolved around her. I don’t want it to be a honeymoon phase that I fall for all over again. Please advise. Thank you in advance!

    1. Lori says:

      Mrs. W,
      I read your post through email. I can not find it in this thread, so I hope you find this. I have a young daughter with the narc that I am divorcing. If I could go back, I would lie about him being the father. And run. It’s that bad. He will never ever be ok for you and the affects are terrible for children. If you choose to coparent with him, document every single day and text and record every conversation on the phone, in person, with others…. It’s that bad. Hire a shark of attorney. Get into counseling asap. There is plenty of advice here. Keep a great attorney on retainer, consult everything with this person. Be short and uninterested in the abuser. File reports on every encounter.

      Good luck.

  175. needhelp says:

    Well, I was not knowing what is narcissist before reading this blog..I was searching about abusive wife and found this link.My story is I am married to narcissist wife since last 7 years and I am having 5 years old son.Before marriage I could see issues with her but I was not knowing about narcissist people then.My wife is quite abusive both physically and verbally.She beats me a alot on small small things. If I forget anythings she starts beating. Whole day I keep on working still she is not satisfied and tell me to do more work.She works in office but cannt handle her work , she takes my help .She rarely do anything at home.She never feeds my son, neither give him bath.She says she loves him but never does anything for him.Since last 5 years I never saw her cooking anything special for kid. Things were really worse few days back .We had big fight as I objected on beatings .She became worse as she cannt listen to no.She said she will destroy me when I will take divorce.She will put false allegations on me and my family and the ruin me.By the way she forced me to disconnect with my family .I am not in touch with my family since last 4 years.She keeps on beating me in front of my son and she bad mouth about me .She tells bad about me to my son.She keeps on beating me even I cry in front of her .Nothing pacifies her.If I forget to deposit check or get medicine from shop she starts beating. I have attempted three times suicide before but every time nothing happened.I have lost all hope . I cannt focus on my work and I cannt live like this without respect and daily abuse.
    I dont know but seems like I dont have much options left. I can either leave everything and run away Or suicide .
    But I also love my son very much.She is not capable to take care of my son.I am just worried about him when I will be gone.I dont know what to do….

    1. Teressa says:

      You can get help here. And if you leave a number they will return your call. Please call them. Please. There are 2 numbers call them and keep calling them until you get some help.

      Focus on the Family Help Center
      To speak with a family help specialist, contact us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time. ( more numbers listed here )
      Focus on the Family Counseling Line
      For needs of an urgent or serious nature, we have a staff of licensed professional counselors who are available to listen, pray, and provide guidance. You can arrange to speak with a counselor at no cost by calling 1-855-771-HELP (4357) Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time. If call volumes are high, it may be necessary for you to leave your name and number for a counselor to return your call. One of them will be in touch just as soon as they are able.

  176. sufferinghusband says:

    Well, I was not knowing what is narcissist before reading this blog..I was searching about abusive wife and found this link.My story is I am married to narcissist wife since last 7 years and I am having 5 years old son.Before marriage I could see issues with her but I was not knowing about narcissist people then.My wife is quite abusive both physically and verbally.She beats me a alot on small small things. If I forget anythings she starts beating. Whole day I keep on working still she is not satisfied and tell me to do more work.She works in office but cannt handle her work , she takes my help .She rarely do anything at home.She never feeds my son, neither give him bath.She says she loves him but never does anything for him.Since last 5 years I never saw her cooking anything special for kid. Things were really worse few days back .We had big fight as I objected on beatings .She became worse as she cannt listen to no.She said she will destroy me when I will take divorce.She will put false allegations on me and my family and the ruin me.By the way she forced me to disconnect with my family .I am not in touch with my family since last 4 years.She keeps on beating me in front of my son and she bad mouth about me .She tells bad about me to my son.She keeps on beating me even I cry in front of her .Nothing pacifies her.If I forget to deposit check or get medicine from shop she starts beating. I have attempted three times suicide before but every time nothing happened.I have lost all hope . I cannt focus on my work and I cannt live like this without respect and daily abuse.
    I dont know but seems like I dont have much options left. I can either leave everything and run away Or suicide .
    But I also love my son very much.She is not capable to take care of my son.I am just worried about him when I will be gone.I dont know what to do….Is there some medication that can help her..why she behaves in such a way..and cannot consider any one else emotions..

  177. Carrie says:

    I feel like I was reading an article I wrote myself. I have been with my husband for 15 years and we have 4 boys together.. But I really do think he loves me and I would feel so guilty if I left plus what would I even do I’m 41 there is not relationship after this, nor would I want to have one.. I think I’m pretty much stuck in this misery..

  178. Kathy says:

    10 years after my divorce I met a guy I vaguely remembered from highschool. We hit it off almost right away. When we met I was 59 and he was 61. We started dating, went on some great weekend trips, generally had fun together. He was caring for his elderly mother and having a hard time of it so I thought I could help him through it. After she died he moved in with me and I started to notice a behavior that occurred more frequently over time – temper tantrums, feeling that people were picking on him or telling him what to do (myself included). I didn’t want to get married but he talked me into it by promising a “better life in retirement”, and he proposed in front of my kids. I didn’t have a job or health insurance at the time so I was very vulnerable and, I realize now, he was a predator. We got married and moved down south for the winters. Life was good but he didn’t change his behavior and I began to feel bullied and trapped. One night I said something wrong I guess and he yelled “f**k you, I’m done with you” so I packed my suitcases and came home. He was apologetic at first and begged for another chance. He knew he had the upper hand because of the insurance but I didn’t give in. He was embarassed that a woman would leave him, then mad about it, then got nasty. I get very little social security and no other income so things are and will be tough. I have a place to live though and supportive family so I’m trying to think positive about my future. Any things better that “walking on eggshells” all the time. Prayers to everyone living thru this. Two years was enough for me!

  179. Jayy says:

    This is my ex-husband!! I left 11 years ago when my children were 9 and 2 years old. Now, they are 21 and 14. He still tries to control me using the kids. My 21 year old son wants nothing to do with him while he has my 14 year old daughter brainwashed to do and say anything to keep him happy and in her life!! It terrifies me to see her so desperate for his attention that she jeopardizes losing herself to have a father.

  180. Elyssa Morano says:

    This has been very helpfull. I have known my Husband to be a Narcissist for about a year now. I have a 15 month old daughter and another daughter on the way. Im 7 months pregnant. Im desperately looking for help. I have a fulltime job, but I need a way of escape from him for once and for all. If you can help with resources in any kind of way. I’d appreciate it.

  181. Amanda says:

    I just want to let you know how much reading this has meant to me. I feel so alone and frustrated all the time. Reading this was like reading my journal. Like reading my inner dialogue on a daily basis. I too am an Empath and therefore makes me even more easily hurt simply by the way he looks at me or says a simple word. Every single argument I’ve ever had with him has been turned around so that I was to blame. Even if it had NOTHING to do with me in the first place. Every time I’ve worked up the nerve to leave him, he somehow turns it all around and convinces me to stay. However, I know that he’ll never change. And when you said
    ” I often have to try and make him stop with the children as he is punishing them for having feelings he doesn’t agree with. Yelling at your kid for crying does not help the problem!”
    That really hit home for me. It actually made me cry. This is exactly my husband. I often call him “the drill sargent” because that’s how he parents my 2 kids. My youngest is down right afraid of him. He’s never physically abused us, but I’ve told him for years that words hurt just as bad a hitting sometimes. He, of course, doesn’t think that he’s saying anything bad or hurtful. He gives unfair punishments, and makes the kids feel like they are very much beneath him. My youngest is just like me, very emotional and caring. My oldest is starting to show signs that he’s like his father. I want to stop this emotional abuse now.
    When I’ve threatened to leave in the past and he’s in a particulary bad mood he says things like “If you leave then I get the house.” Or “if you leave I’m going to get full custody of the kids and you’ll never see them again.” I know these are idol threats, but they hurt me very deeply. And he know it and says it anyway. I know that when I decide to leave that he’ll make it very difficult for me. We’ve been together for 17 years and I’d say only the first 2 years I was actually happy. That is a long time to be unhappy for. He makes me feel bad about my depression (that I’ve been struggling with since I was 12) but he makes me feel more depression and anxiety than anyone. When I took medications for my depression he convinced me to stop taking it because it “lowered my desire to have sex with him.” That was not true but I still stopped taking them.
    After reading this, I feel like I’ve gotten a huge insight into my life. It also makes me feel like I’m not alone. And most importantly it gives me hope for my future. I want you to know that I feel like we’re kindred spirits and I didn’t just “happen upon” this article. I was meant to read this because of all it’s done for me. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for being courageous and thank you for sharing your story so that it may inspire others. God bless!!

  182. Nichole says:

    Thankyou ypu so much for writing this article, it’s discribes my husband to a tee I can’t even describe how miserable my last four years have been with him. It took me to have almost a complete breakdown to step back and look at my life and say.. hey you never used to feel or be this way, why now? It’s then I started researching and found many articles and have thought I’m getting to close to understanding what’s happening, but no article hit the nail on the head like yours thankyou again sooooo much for this, there are no words to describe how greatfull I am I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

  183. Nsomi says:

    Thank you soooo much for sharing! Sometimes I think I’m going crazy, almost fourth years of marriage to narc., and give children .It’s been hell at times God is my refue! I’m planning on leaving.all my kids are grown and on their own. I just resendly found out , everything and I mean everything we/ he owns is in his name and in his name only. I have always worked, and contribute all my income to the family and household. Ofcourse he handled all the finances. I have a part time job and he demands all my founds . He is retired and has a nice benefit package ? He says that’s his and has nothing to do with me . He sits home all day and if I don’t give all my income to him , he threatens me by telling me the lights and water will be shut off! So thank you for sharing m, no I’m not crazy, thank you, and yes soon we will be free, to be the woman we were meant to be!

    1. S says:

      Probably should go without saying but Please make sure you understand your state’s divorce law and get a good attorney. You might not get miracles, but I doubt he can have everything if there is proof you have been making money and contributing. Good luck to you.

  184. JC says:

    Exactly what I had gone through for many many years. One incident was when he picked me up at the airport and I told him immediately the extra security check that I went thru, and he brushed me off that there was no such checks. At that moment, I really thought I was imaging things and doubt myself. Gaslighting, blame shifting, silent treatment, infidelity, lack of empathy and always so full of negative comments about others, control freak, verbal abuses, and many more. So glad that I’m officially out of his game plan. I felt a relieve and is so much happier now.

  185. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for posting this. This is my one year Date today that he left blaming me (of course ) calling the police and staging that I attacked him. It’s so hard to believe it’s been a year. The emotional hell can not be captured by someone who has never lived this…I thought your article was spot on and took me back to those days when I felt like I was living in a world no one could see. Fortunately it’s been a year and I’m seeing the light and peace in each day. I’m also realizing that others did see it and can see through him. When you wrote …there were days when I felt dazed …the confusion. ..it I could just make him see that he’s hurting us…is he crazy or I’m I.
    If i could just just just…he made sure I knew he took care of me and I should be grateful and a good wife. As you can see after reading this …my thoughts go back to the abuse. I thank God I’m not living this today. Thank you again for your article.

  186. Ellen says:

    My husband is so much like the one described, except he is also extremely vindictive and he loves to punish me, teach me a lesson, prove his point, etc. He has ruined every vacation we have ever gone on by having his narcissistic temper tantrums because he wasn’t getting enough of my attention. He is constantly fishing for complements and bragging and of course I refuse to bite. This just makes him angry and vindictive and he will frequently storm out of the house to punish me, saying if I wasn’t such a fucking bitch he wouldn’t have to leave. I can’t wait to get out of this hell. If you think your narc will change or grow up, think again. They only seem remorseful when they think they have lost you. As soon as they feel that you are back under their imagined control they will revert to all of their disgusting behaviours.

  187. na says:

    I have been with my husband for 19 years going on 20. I am looking for help, I came across this article and OMG I realized I am married to a NARCISSIST. I have been struggling to try to keep my family together, through everything that was just said!!!! The worst is the silent treatment for months almost a year, over something small that pissed him off. I am ready to divorce, we have 3 children that I love so much.

    1. lkanony says:

      If in fact you’re ready to divorce, then divorce. What’s the point anyway?….He has managed to actually ignore you for months(? WOW….that’s new for me…weeks maybe but almost a year?). You’ll just have to help your children adapt. Otherwise, if you insist on “keeping your family together,” you must do so moving forward without wasting ANY MORE energy on how he feels but what YOU want out of life. In other words it’ll almost be like you’re “together” but living separate lives….if he’s suddenly behaving as if you’re not there, MOVE ON AS IF HE’S NOT THERE. Otherwise you give him the power and control over you by behaving sad and anxious that he’s deciding to give you the silent treatment. Live around him then, if you’re staying and use his behavior as fuel for you to improve yourself and live free and be fulfilled. Sometimes we also have to come to the realization that our marriage will never be the ideal marriage that we imagined, or the fairytale or like our parents’ or grandparents. SO, you have to either learn to live with that fact or realization OR if you’re at your wits end and feel like an exit is in order and you’re ready for a divorce, PROCEED with what would actually give you the most or best result for YOU.

  188. na says:

    After reading this article, I have realized I am not alone, there are other women like me. When we met we were both in college, we had a baby and he convinced me to go part-time to school he would take care of us. What a mistake! I worked full time, we had 2 more children and supported them all while he went to school. I eventually had to take one class here and there to work to support the family for 8 years. Now we have separate bank accounts, my husband has a good paying job and here I am struggling working 2 jobs just to make ends meet. While he pays only for the mortgage and buys himself clothes, shoes, and cologne he refuses to pay for any utilities or just household items. I have to beg him to help pay for things for our children, he throws up that he pays for the mortgage. My parents help me financially because, they see me struggling. He works 8 hours a day and comes home lays down and surfs the net with the door shut. Guess who is left with all the family responsibilities? He refuses to help, he says the kids should be doing the work not us and that it is my fault that I don’t teach them anything. He won’t take the children to practice, help with homework, make dinner or lunches for them, or anything!!! I talk about divorce he says I am a bad mother, that the children belong in their own home. I don’t know what to do….I need help. Thanks for listening. LOL

    1. Eyvonne says:

      I wish I could offer you some help, but a drowning woman can’t save another drowning woman. I am in EXACTLY the same spot as you. He only cares for, or does for, himself. He has done everything in his power to keep me from working or finishing school. I realize now it was so he could control me.
      I wish you success, sister, that you may one day be free. I hope the same for myself.

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        Totally understand, they suck all we have to give! And I thought I was doing ok… Sigh

  189. na says:

    Not to mention the silent treatment. He gets mad at me for petty things, and doesn’t talk or discuss issues in a civil manor. He got mad at me last May and didn’t talk til September and then got mad again at the end of November and still not talking. I used to try to talk to him and cry but, for what he doesn’t care. He refuses to talk or compromise until he wants too. Almost, a year of the silent treatment, this behavior has been ongoing since we have been married. I really can’t take it anymore and it is not fair to the kids they deserve to have better parents and family life.

  190. Elsa says:

    Help you described my marriage, except I’m the angry rage one now, in response to his control and lack of empathy and criticizing me. It’s my own little type of hell. I don’t believe in divorce, and I still love him but I don’t know how to survive my marriage.

    1. S says:

      I hope this helps whoever needs it. If you are married and he is separating money and living at a better level and letting you be the work horse then make sure you learn you state’s divorce laws well and you are prepared for him to go after things like a gold digger. My husband left for several years and basically lived off his parents. Even while in the home he rarely financially contributed. By the time I couldn’t take it any more I was in a long term marriage. He wouldn’t divorce unless I gave him an alimony buyout on top off half the value of the house, half my retirement fund (he wouldn’t put money in his) and child support). Just about financially ruined me because he sat in negotiations which racked up bills. In CA divorce court is very expensive and wouldn’t have been better. So talk to a lawyer now re what you need to do to get in the best position possible for the inevitable. God can change hearts but only when someone is will. Most narcs aren’t. And be prepared his standard of living will be better and he’ll start dating right away. All apart of the screw you/punishment thing. Mine can’t figure out why we aren’t friends.

  191. AB says:

    I’m probably heading for divorce. I’ve been married almost 9 years. When I married him, he was working a part time job and pursuing hobbies on the side. I was fine with that as he could cover his own expenses and didn’t add many expenses to mine. When he moved in with me he started looking for full time jobs. He went on one interview, was turned down, and then stopped looking. I suspected he was depressed, but I didn’t realize the extent of his insanity until a few year later. To make a long story short, he quit his part-time job and began to spend all his time on the computer “networking.” He claims he can make loads of money, but the problem he says is that no one will recognize his talent and pay him for it. He keeps suggesting I pay him money just for being him. Of course, he doesn’t do any housework or help me in any way. Luckily, we don’t have kids. Now he wants to go off and live with some family he met on the internet who he says appreciate his talents. He won’t give me a timeframe for his return or reveal exactly what he will be doing with this family, who live on the other side of the country. I suspect of course there is another woman involved. He even has the nerve to suggest to me that if I don’t give him spending money for this he will have to beg on the streets. I am letting him go, but I’m giving him no money. If this family wants him they can have him. He’s been a great companion for me, but I can see that he used me and gotten all he could from me. If he is gone more than 3 months I will change the locks and call a lawyer. The sad thing is that he really is a talented person, but his actual accomplishments are all in his head. The hardest thing for me will be explaining this to my parents. However, I don’t think any will be too shocked when I get divorced. I do blame myself because I saw all the warning signs. I guess I was desperate and lonely.

    1. D00000 says:

      Hi AB. When someone is leeching from you financially it is not acceptable. He may be talented, but perhaps depression is affecting his motivation to get up and do something. Unfortunately his obsession with computers is just that, and to fund and fuel this fantasy, he’ll find it elsewhere. I wouldn’t put much of a fight up if that’s what he wants to do. One of two things will happen: he’s saying this for a response, or he’s planning an affair. My feelings are is that sat behind a computer screen, it’s another fantasy he won’t have the get up and go to pursue, but either way you shouldn’t be a doormat in the interim. Encourage his fantasy, and when he leaves, change the locks…

      1. AB says:

        Thanks for the advice. I’m still conflicted about what to do, but I’m getting there.

  192. D000000 says:

    I am a narcissist: shock horror. I get so fed up with the language and neuroticism around this label. Yes I can identify with much of what is observed in articles such as this, and I have a wife of 10 years who is fed up. When I finally realised what I had done it was too late but in some cases the damage is repairable. Our cognitive understanding of what we are doing is absent. It isn’t deliberate – it’s a passive consequence of a bad childhood. I also have a very nice genuine gentle caring side and I feel a real love for my wife which is why I put my hands up and accepted what I did was my fault. My flaws were responsible for the way she felt. I had never ever cheated on my wife and in fact she was the only person I ever wanted to be with, contrary to the information you find on the Internet. As with children, or even adults depending on the context of a situation, we control our behaviour to make sure we are acting appropriately; and I felt that by considering how my words and actions made my wife feel, was equally as appropriate. I took the focus from me and my world and put it into her so that she had an equal value in our relationship and that her opinions were just as important to our decisions. I see narcissism as something that is put in us by parents, and before the treatment our parents put on us to apply this layer of narcissism, we were ‘normal’. So the challenge as I see it is that if you can accept you have a problem then you can start to peel back these layers and remove most of them, by being aware, compassionate, thoughtful and aware of the impact we have on those around us. To have someone who accepts you as you are or would like to become, as long as there is a cast iron willingness and commitment then I fail to see how narcissism can’t be overcome. When the language we see is ‘evil’, ‘unchangeable’ and ‘run-a-mile’ the abandonment puts up even more barriers. Underneath all of this can be a decent human being who feels genuine love and just wants to be loved and not adored. Everything needs balance and I think the label of narcissism should also be viewed different. It’s not in our DNA – it’s a layer put into us by screwed up parents who became narcissists themselves due to parents who did the same to them. My advice is see how willing your partner is to accept the reason things have gone wrong, a willingness to engage with counselling and a commitment to you as a life partner in wanting that person to achieve their own individual life dreams and to be happy in their lives. That’s my dream. Materialism doesn’t buy happiness – it’s a plaster which can’t supply the underlying need. It’s not all about ego and grandiose self opinion. In most cases underneath is a severe vulnerability which needs to be finally looked at and through counselling, addressed. The transposition of the symptoms onto other people’s feelings, are a natural defence against hurt and further abandonment. Psychologically we can change our responses, reject our previous reactions or responses, and adjust ourselves into more balanced people. I agree some narcissists can not and will not accept there is an issue like my own narcissistic parent, but I found blocking that person out of my life has given me my own autonomy and control over dealing with this a day at a time. Some may not do that because it’s an immediate validation which feeds this illness, but I believe that I can be a better husband and a better person and genuinely make my wife a more content and fulfilled person; and the ball is in my court to show with consistency that I am up for that challenge. The hardest part is whether she can trust me after years of emotional abuse, and help find herself in all of this. the confusion is that it sounds typically charming, but in my heart I mean every word. Thanks for reading.

    1. lkanony says:

      I have to truly appreciate your testimony and break down of your life as a narcissist because you have added more of an awakening to what I was wondering in reference to how my own husband became the way that he is…..HE has a narcissistic father from my new understanding of narcissism but my husband is more of a vulnerable narcissist compared to his father who is the more grandiose type. My husband DID share with me his and his brother’s issues with their father growing up with him. THINGS you’ve described and candidly shared in your post really puts me in the mindset of my husband which again, I had only begun to attempt to dissect and it helps me understand him even more so for that I thank you tremendously. I only wish that he chose to speak with someone to help him cope better with his feelings towards his father which frankly I DID suggest that he may need counseling because of his behavior. He only took that as an insult. Either way, it’s generally one day at a time and ignoring the bitter while taking the sweet for what it’s worth and try not to take things so personally considering I KNOW where it’s coming from and really, I CAN CHOOSE NOT to put so much energy into HIS behavior. Anyhow, thanks for sharing again.

  193. Carie says:

    I find it odd that a therapist commented below stating exactly as you said they might in this article. I’ve been with my narc for 20 years and I’m only 36. We sought out counseling long before we were married & it left him with the affirmation that our problems were my fault. Now when people suggest counseling I think back & know it won’t help us at all in fact it’s likely to make things worse for me. No he’s never abused me physically but I take verbal abuse daily. I “get” to control the money but it’s only because he wouldn’t have a clue on how to do it himself, I’m also subject to ridicule when we don’t have the money to do whatever his latest desires require. He constantly repeats: I just can’t communicate with you at all! Because I don’t respond with the stepford wife response of yes dear you are always right. In fact I got that while he cooked breakfast this morning (I suck at cooking he’s great at it but it’s just another weapon) and so we ate in separate rooms & aren’t likely to interact with each other again today until he wants something from me. All his narc tendencies are amped up by being a functional alcoholic yet I stay… It’s hard not to have low self-esteem and to believe you could do better & I don’t know if it will ever be easier sometimes I think he won’t live to be an old man due to his extreme temper & drinking habits and I think then I’ll be free. Kinda morbid & no way to live or love. My niece is now dating/engaged to a narc & I blame myself for setting a bad example. It’s good to know I’m not alone good to know it could be worse but man oh man I wish there were ways to make our relationship better. Hopefully people read this & run before committing their life to a narc.

  194. Healing Queen says:

    I could relate to almost Every statement. Fresh out and healing moment by moment. He first blamed my children and then myself. I was so torn down i admitted myself in a mental institution, TWICE!! Thought i couldn’t handle it any more. My ego was saying yes, but my soul was Screaming NO! I Knew it wasn’t me!!! Thank you, thank you. I’m healing because I left and You just helped me heal a little more! Ase’ O!

  195. Flower says:

    Oh my goodness. I’m sure my husband is a Narc. He was so sweet and 100% the Gentleman when we started dating. We married within the year. Everything changed a week before our wedding – it was his birthday and we went out for dinner with his family and then dancing with his sister and her husband. He had always been careful, only having one or two drinks in an evening, but this night he demanded would double up as his stag party as he had no actual friends. All hell broke loose. He drank shooter after shooter, danced with all the girls and left me stranded. He told me to F off and go home and called me all kinds of names, but he had the keys and cash, I didn’t even have my phone with me, and we were in the City. He refused to go home, and humiliated me in every way. Eventually I managed to get him out of the club, and after a tussle over who was driving (he got the keys), he locked me out in the pouring rain and sat sleeping in the car. I can’t describe how humiliating and painful it was.

    Stupidly I thought it was a once-off and I married him. At our ceremony I was reprimanded for associating with my (homosexual) friend and told I was never to see him again as it was an embarrassment to him. During our honeymoon, he started demanding access to my bank cards (thankfully I refused) which resulted in a horrible abusive fight for an entire day. He demanded sex until he had hurt me so much I couldn’t wash myself, and didn’t believe me till I MADE him look. He was derogatory, threatened to sleep with some of my girlfriends because I was “rejecting” him and the whole trip was about him; everything I asked to do was done begrudgingly and I was always told how awful it was and how he has a contact back home and it would’ve been better if he’d organised it, and forced me to spend hours watching dvd’s and going to the mall, which I hated. I realise now it’s all about control.

    We weren’t married a month when we had dinner with some neighbours at our tiny flat, and he got unbelievably drunk again, accused me loudly of flirting with the neighbours husband and made such an uncomfortable scene, then proceeded to puke everywhere and pass out. I was ready to leave right then, but was convinced otherwise by a friend. This wasn’t the last time this kind of thing happened, the worst time being when he got drunk at my dad’s birthday, demanding I get him more wine (he refused to get it himself) and threatening to leave me there if I didn’t.

    I protected him from my family, and my family from him. WARNING SIGN!!! They didn’t know how bad it was, just about that one incident. I was expected to clean, do laundry, cook all the meals (including his lunch every morning as he won’t eat left-overs) and also work a full day. He hated it that I would go horse-riding with my father once a week, which meant I would only get home much later. He hated my cats, had huge issues with most of my friends and disliked my family, but would spend every weekend with his parents if he could. I now realise that his mother is emotionally hungry and had him to fill the love-gap when his older siblings were about to leave school, and his father is a verbally, emotionally, psychologically abusive narc who is holier-than-thou in his beliefs.

    My husband suffered burn-out as a result of work-stress, and was booked into a clinic for 3 weeks. I was expected to visit every day for HOURS, even though I was still expected to do everything as usual. He developed an addiction to cigars, and became verbally abusive when I refused to buy them on my credit card or with the money allocated to monthly groceries.

    Eventually I persuaded him that I would leave him if he didn’t stop smoking and drinking, because it was bankrupting us. He did it, but of course now it’s always held over my head “look how much I love you – I did this for YOU”. We moved further from his parents, which is positive. I am still bullied though. At one point I actually had to put him in a headlock (don’t ask, I’ve no idea HOW I managed it) to keep him from getting into the car, horribly drunk, to go to the nearest pub and drink more. He pushed, he swore, he kicked my feet out from under me, bit me on my shoulder till it bled, but I wasn’t drunk, and I am quick. I don’t know how, but I kept him from self-destructing that night. We live in a small town, scandal spreads quickly, and it would’ve been intense if he’d gotten thrown in jail for DUI. I have never been more ashamed of myself than because of this, but I had to keep him from humiliating us both. I feel like a monster.

    My birthday was on a Saturday, and because it’s at a time when his workload is HUGE (it really is), he refused to let me invite my parents and his parents for dinner. It didn’t suit him. So I arranged to meet my dad, and when my dad said he’d take me out for lunch, my husband decided he could, after all, persuade his boss to cover for him, but he would only come if my sister didn’t, and this and that and the other thing. He promptly went from not being interested to controlling the whole thing as soon as he heard “eating out”. He wouldn’t let my lovely laid-back lunch with my family be peaceful, instead insisted we had to leave urgently, and he just wanted to go shopping. Did I mention he only wears branded cloths and drools over whatever someone else has that he doesn’t. It makes him angry when other people go overseas for holidays, or buys a new car or is promoted at work.

    I’m still married to him, and while we’ve only been together for almost 3 years, I HAVE JUST ABOUT HAD IT. I love him, but I can’t stand him. I have no sexual appetite anymore and he knows it. I don’t find him attractive, I don’t trust him, I don’t want to spend time with him, and I want to flee. Thank goodness we don’t have children. He won’t even allow me to visit my mum with my sister without him, even when I’m desperate for some family time and he is unable to join. He is completely unsympathetic. He tells me to just “get over it” when I miss my brother who died a few years back.

    I hate who I’m becoming, I’ve fought hard, fought back and said things I’m not proud of. I don’t know what to do anymore.

    1. AvoidLearningHardWay says:

      For those who have resorted to head locks or even defensive physical measures to ward off your Narc. Be VERY careful. They will try to accuse you of domestic violence. And yes ladies, Narc men have no problem lying and trying to make you out to be an abuser. Also, if you make more money than your narc husband consider long and hard whether you can afford to stay in the relationship. They go after alimony too. Understand your state laws and get some legal counsel. Children are a blessing from God, but if you are married to a narc and haven’t had kids yet, I suggest you either don’t or divorce and move on to someone who can handle being a real dad and husbands. Narcs can’t. And this is coming from a Christian woman who was married for 21 years (separated on and off for 7) and have two wonderful young adult children. My children were the blessing of my marriage to a Narc and I am thankful for them but Narc’s make parenting very difficult and your children get confused with the narc’s manipulation.

      1. AB says:

        I am very afraid that my husband would demand alimony although he’s contributed nothing to our finances in years. He quit his part time job shortly after marrying me, and considers himself “self-employed” although he has yet to make any money beyond a couple hundred here or there. Everything is always everyone else’s fault: no one appreciates his talents, etc. All he does is network on Facebook and other social media, and then he gets angry when his friends won’t pay him for “doing stuff,” whatever that is. I really think he’s convinced that EVERYONE should recognize his greatness and seek him out–except no one knows who he is. I know I should consult a lawyer, but I’m barely making ends meet as it is.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          You may be able to find one who can just answer some questions for you at no cost. Reach out to a women shelter in your area, Im sure they would have a list of recommendations. Also, alimony has changed dramatically in the last few years, at least in the state where I live. And for a man to win a substantial amount it would be remarkable. Keep in mind though, the longer you stay with him the longer you may be on the hook for possible payments. You might want to start with a legal separation and see how he reacts financially. If he goes and gets a job or another woman, that may help you tremendously. Im not a lawyer, I only know from whats happened with myself and friends here in my own state, and each state is different.

        2. AlimonyConcernWarranted says:

          Hi AB, Your concern re alimony is legit. It happened to me. Was married 21 years. Long story but short point is: I had him leave “for awhile” because he was getting violent and we were in marriage counseling which I thought would help. (Didn’t know what I know now) He returned a year later then 6mos later his parents set him up in a townhouse the size of our house which I was the only one paying the mortgage on etc. He was barely working and couldn’t have afforded a townhouse like that but I think they did some money laundering so it looked like he was paying them rent. But he has a trust fund which legally I have no access to. By this point we had been married about 14 years so in my state I was in for him taking me to the cleaners. I talked to 3 lawyers and given the bad news waited several years till he had some level of consistent income. During divorce, I still had to give him half of house proceeds, half my retirement and an alimony buyout (lump sum payment). He would have probably never divorced but would have just acted unmarried. I am a Christian believer and all of this goes against everything I believe re marriage. He supposedly is of the same faith and denomination but you wouldn’t have known it by year 8 of the marriage. It was a harrowing experience on many fronts and I’m digging myself out financially while he now has a good job and living the high life. I don’t share this to scare you. I just want you to have eyes wide open. If you decide to divorce, understand the “cost” on all levels and expect some surprises. It’s possible by that point you will have no choice but to divorce. Moreover, realize that he will in no way play fair unless he listens to others in his circle who make him see the light. Mine didn’t have those kinds of parents and he only told his friends limited info — or twisted info. I wish you well under difficult circumstances.

  196. Laura Dee says:

    Thank you. It’s like you’ve written out my life. Even the black cloud… I’ve had recurring nightmares about the black cloud in our home. ✨✨

  197. Alison Creed says:

    I have felt pretty much alone confused and questioned myself about my belief that my husband is a narcissist. 10yrs of mental abuse, lies deceit affairs and he blames me for all of it, you weren’t affectionate enough, you have nothing to be tired about, if your depressed don’t take pills they change your personality, I left my job as he was calling me 6/7 times a day for no real reason other than to make sure I got back from work on time and other menial things, it became embarrassing. He accused me of paying him no attention and resented the children for the attention they got from me. The last straw, he went to the school and accused me of shouting at the kids that I was mentally abusing them, he has done this before 5 yrs ago social services had no findings however he came across as a mad man, he told people and teachers at the kids school we are separated (we weren’t) so that he could justify perusing the swim coach who said she will get with him once he is separated, we have a 9yr 7yr & 6yr old and I am afraid that all this constant cycle of crap from him will badly affect him however I am 12K miles from home no support system no money. He said when the rent runs out of the house he will be given the kids as I will have to move into a hostel. What am I supposed to do?

  198. Jenny says:

    I feel like I’m dealing with a narcissist husband and I love him. We almost been married for 7 years and he decided 4 months ago that he needed a girl friend. I didn’t know about it at first and he blamed me for it saying I drank too much and called me mean and that was why. Now we have been going back and forth and he still has the girlfriend and we have talked about divorce and then in the same breath he says he can’t let me go and can’t seem to let his “supply” go. I don’t know how I can escape my narcissist because we have a lot of debt together and I wonder if he can truly let me go.

  199. Natalie says:

    What an extremely well written article. I am going through a divorce with a narcissist. It took him moving out for the light bulb to turn on that this man is indeed a narcissist. The article was almost scary to read and made me feel stupid, but also very wise to finally see who he really is and that I am better off. He can be someone else’s problem. I am grateful for the fact now I know what to look out for in the future. Never again will I put myself in such a situation.

  200. Jay says:

    Thank you for the post. It’s been three weeks since my narcissistic boyfriend and I parted ways. It’s been hard and sometimes all I can think of is the few good times we had together which makes me miss him so much. But he was horrible to me and everything on your article is what I went through (emotional and physical abuse). I still love him however.

  201. K says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing all of this! I’ve been reading as many articles as possible (finally had the strength to leave my narcissist a couple days ago) and your article is the best! It’s given me even more strength to stay away. My thoughts and prayers are with you! Best of luck!

    1. D says:

      Well done k.

  202. Jamie says:

    Wow. You described my life. Perfectly. Only we have been together 3 years and married for 1. I just learned about this kind of abuse today. Thank you. Thank you so much for this.

    I’m on my way out.
    I’m going to email you.

    Once again. Thank you.

  203. Jason says:

    Had a family/friendship situation go awry. The woman, who referred to herself as the alpha, suddenly began attacking me. Or so I thought at first. Later, I found it was deliberately orchistrated through people that knew us. The attacks were mostly verbal. Three weeks after moving out, I came across the narcissistic description and saw that it fit. This was an overall different relationship than the norm. I was told I was loved and family. This was a married couple who told me I was family. Kind of an older brother. She had said when we first got to know each other that she had brain damage. This explained changes of stories, facts that did not add up, lapses of memory. I noticed increased lying, after this new year. Telling me things her husband had said that later I found were not true but fabrications. She told me I had changed when tried to talk it over with her regarding her behaviour. She would justify what she was doing by instantly referring to something I had done whether comparable or not. From there, the difficulties escalated. She told her husband we had an “altercation”; physically abusing her. It goes on from there with her framing me for theft. Truly over the top nasty texts about my mental state. Heartfelt reconciliation. Framed for theft. Unbelievably unpleasant emotionless accusations designed to get me to blow my top. I was too shocked to do so. The facade had dropped. Smirks, nasty notes pinned on walls, appliances, surfaces. Threats of legal actions texted while I packed. Then, teary eyed claims that she cared about me, although still claiming I needed professional help. I refused to listen. Packed and move. Started getting heartfelt texts begging to come see her (alone of course). Photos of my cat I had to leave behind sent to me. She also changed my pet’s and my history together. The occurrences before the last few weeks were chalked off to her brain damage. Instances of changing what she told me in order to be superior, which I didn’t give any real notice. For example, she told me her IQ was 155. The beginning point for gifted. She said she knew she wasn’t a genius. After two months of bugging me, I told her mine. Six weeks later she told me her’s was 200. I told her that she first said it was 155. She said “just said that to make you feel comfortable”. I didn’t care. I’ve experienced that scenario through the years. If you want more clinical data in response to questions, let me know. I did go through the after math of recovery from this abuse. It was harrowing for as short as it was when I started a new chapter in my life. So far, I don’t look at her texts or answer her calls. Her husband is an odd bird re all this. His role devolved into the enabler. The ” honeymoon lasted fourteen months”.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Female narcissist for sure. 🙁

  204. Mat says:

    This is such a fantastic post and thread! Thank you all! I would welcome any advice for my situation. This is absolutely spot on regarding my girlfriend. I’m not sure if it is more common in men, but I suspect men are more prone to commiting physical abuse and the male victims less likely to speak out, as its still a bit shameful to admit your wife abuses you. I finally understand why my girlfriend is just so damn difficult! All of it. Eggshells, projection, no compassion, no remorse.
    She is impossible. I only wish I had seen it earlier, but my god they are so charming and subtly manipulative, you dont notice until something massive happens. I would leave her in a flash, but we have a 5 month old daughter who she will clearly get custody of if I bail. It breaks my heart the thought of sentencing her to this childhood. I am already thoroughly depressed and have lost myself completely. Do I attempt to stay and tolerate this horrible relationship to try and be at least a present father for my daughter? I am conscious she will grow up seeing a depressed, destroyed and verbally abused father anyways. I know I can get out and get happy, and be there when she needs me. Joint custody is out as I know my gf will love back to her country if we split up. Oh its just so heart breaking. My innocent little daughter. She does not deserve this. I dont dare confront her about this either. I have to tread carefully because she can potentially cut me off from my daughter and teach her any crap she believes in her warped way of thinking, about Daddy. At least we are not married, so its just about my daughter. Thanks again all. Stay strong!

    1. Jim says:

      Matt, you can get out…you can. I was married to a person who had all of the symptoms of NPD and BPD. It was horrible. Like you I was bonded and loved my child so much I found the strength to leave. Your daughter will not only see a father who is able to protect her, but has the emotional strength to do the right thing. As terrible as it sounds, it will be better for your daughter to have a normal life 50% of the time. It is the best we can do. 15 years later I still have to deal with her, but my son is 18 months from graduating from a great University and has learned through me how to deal with his mother. These people can’t / won’t change, but you can. The responsibility I felt as a father gave me the ability to do what was right. It was terribly hard, but I have no regrets. As a parent you have rights and I would challenge you to explore them. You will be presently surprised. Good luck…

  205. Deanna says:

    As I am sitting here reading all these comments as well as the article, I am crying to myself because my husband of 13 years,(tomorrow is our anniversary) have been split up for approximately 5 weeks now and I can’t get my bearings. I am an intelligent human being and I feel as if I have failed somehow, but I know that getting myself out of this situation is the best thing that could ever happen to me, but God am I lonely.
    Let me start at the beginning;
    In 1986 I married the most gorgeous and charismatic person I had ever met. I was 18 years old. The relationship moved like lightning starting with our meeting in January, I was pregnant by March, turned 18 in April, got married in September, and had the baby in December. Before the baby was even born the physical abuse began and I took it because as a child I had been abused and to me it was just another thing. It wasn’t anything abnormal I should say. Two years later I get pregnant again, again in 1992, and the last time in 1993. Mind you I had divorced this man when he was incarcerated in 1991 and when he was released from jail, I went back with him. I felt as if I had to. I can’t really explain it except to say I felt as if I couldn’t live without him, I wasn’t complete. The abuse went on for about 15 years before I started fighting back. Not physically hitting him (he would have killed me), but I would throw things and scream and I became a creature I did not even know. The emotional abuse was the real killer in the situation though. I would rather take a beating any day than to be talked down to and made to fell like I was a piece of crap. After the 16th year, he was arrested again. And then begins the current situation.
    #1 was arrested on April 1, 2013 by the 15th of that same month I was once again swept off my feet by a charming sweet talker and used this as my chance to escape, so i married him within 2 weeks! I think about it now and wonder why I’m such a crazy lady! As all of you have said, he said all the right things and made all the right moves and then the crap started again, minus the physical abuse. I warned him at the gate if he ever put his hands on me we would have some serious issues, but the controlling and emotional abuse was just starting. I was always at fault for everything, I paid too much attention to my kids and not him, he had to be with me 24 hours a day because he loved me so much, and then he started separating me from family, friends, and even my kids. To this day I regret allowing these things to happen, but I didn’t even realize what a narcissist was or even existed and here I got to experience two of them back to back and used up 30 years of my life. This time I am having a difficult time letting him go and he knows it. I realize as of this moment the longer I continue talking to him and whining about how he ruined our marriage by having an affair a year ago I am feeding his illness.
    This has been the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life and I still feel like it’s my fault even though I know it’s not. I am trying to find something to get my mind off of worrying about him and whether he’s well or not. I know he is, but I feel as if after 13 years of me taking care of him (literally), how can he just go on like we were never married. In fact, he’s moved in with the woman he had the affair with and yet I’m still feeling this way. I keep wondering how it is that I’ve managed to attract two of these types and how will I keep from doing it again. I’m bitter for wasting 30 years of my 47 on people who didn’t love me and wonder if I’ll ever meet someone who loves me without it being a dysfunctional mess?

    1. S says:

      You have been very brave, Deanna. It’s possible that you are mad at yourself. You shouldn’t be but unfortunately you have taken so much blame if feels oddly comfortable to you. I’m sure you’ve read about Stockholm syndrome. If you haven’t, please do. It will help you. God bless.

  206. gkcmj3 says:

    My God…..this is crazy….my husband was actually having an affair and one day I had taken my son to teakwood and he had forgotten something I turned around and ran back in the house to grab it and found my husband on a ” secret” phone talking to his ex….when I got upset, he blamed me for bn sneaky coming back to the house….I even was apologizing to him before it was over….I am not a stupid person and I still don’t know how he can have me apologizing for things he does or for things I did bot do….I love him tho so much and have been with him since just outta high school and am now 37 with 3 kids….how can u leave when u have nothing and have kids to care for?? I am seriously at a loss here….

  207. Anna says:

    regarding the “dark cloud”, I’ve found if I start praying silently to Jesus – he leaves !

  208. joesline says:

    I am a daughter of a Narcissist. I didn’t go through the phase 1 but the phase 2 kept replaying my entire life of 27 years until I now finally got out of it. I was diagnosed of depression at the end of my 27 years and psychologist even said that it was dangerous for me to be left alone with the Narcissist. I had signs of commiting sucide. I felt useless, unappreciated and abandoned by my own mother. Fortunately, I met my husband whom helped me and now I am on the journey of recovery. Even as much as I wish to leave her and live my own life, I knew it was unavoidable as she is still my birth mother. So I am learning to pick my stand and stand strong against her. Even how hard it is, I won’t give up my happiness again and learn to love myself for who I am. 🙂

    And, thank you for sharing this article (I understand how difficult it is to replay all the memories). Really appreciate your effort. Let’s make a better world for us by starting to love ourselves more!

  209. Amber says:

    I wish I wasn’t so terrified to leave the relationship. He controls all the finances and I have three children to care for… I will lose everything: house, car and any financial means; I’m not allowed to work.

    1. Marie says:

      Amber you are entitled to child support and alimony. Contact a lawyer for a free consultation and they will tell you everything. Please don’t assume you can’t leave. I thought that too until I spoke with a lawyer. And if you don’t work he may have to pay your legal fees. You deserve to be happy. Stay strong.

  210. Marie says:

    Wow! I am in the process of divorcing my narcissist. Your article was so almost a carbon copy of my life and just really resonated with me. I was with my narc for 12 years and married for six and this divorce might be more exhausting that my life with him. From the love bombing in the beginning to constant criticism to him spending all of our money to cheating to the final blow which was bringing a girl/s back to our marital home while we were separated and going through therapy.

    I was fighting so hard for our marriage to the point that he got me in couples therapy (on his terms of course, when i wanted to go he refused). Finally, in the end when I saw him bring a girl back to our home for an overnight stay, the day after I was there, I left. I realized I was fighting for something that just didn’t exist which was a real marriage.

    What I found is that when you leave a narc, you need the support of family and friends. If it wasn’t for them, I’d probably still be with him.

    Luckily we didn’t have kids (the smartest thing I did bc I was secretly terrified) and I have a family that is helping me with my lawyer fees. This has enabled me to cut off all contact with him, which is so important when leaving a narc.

    My dream is to start a non-profit that gives women money for their legal fees so they can get out of emotionally abusive relationships. So many women stay bc of financial fear and not all women have the luck I do with my family. Also, emotional abuse cannot never really be proven so therefore pointless for court hearings.

    It has been a long road, a year now and I have grown so much. The hardest thing was accepting that our entire relationship meant nothing to him and that it was literally “fake.” I have finally stopped wondering what I could have done better or different. That no matter what I did, it would have never been good enough. I’m finally happy and feel free. When I think of him I just look at him like he’s the biggest loser and I actually feel bad for him now. He will never experience what real love is and that’s so sad.

    While I’m still not divorced, I just don’t let it bother me. I live my life like I am and even did my taxes on my own this year. Even though he tried to get me to do them together. I cannot wait for my divorce party!

    To all you ladies, hang in there. There are unfortunately so many of us. We are survivors and should all be so proud of ourselves. Stay stong 🙂

  211. kamila says:

    Thank you. I have just left a serious narcissistic man after 13 years of marriage. It was awful and painful and he made everything my fault. Even now he puts on this show for everyone and makes it all my fault and plays it off like I was the problem with his over the top story telling. I’m now in therapy and working to heal myself. Your article was on point and so true. I wish more people would understand this illness.

  212. Jennifer Edwards says:

    Wow. Just…wow. I am married to an OCD, alcoholic, narcissist. I don’t know what else to say right now. I’m still taking all of this in.

  213. Sidney says:

    This article is among many of the others that have hit the nail right on the head for me. I was with a guy off and on for four years. Mental, physical, and emotional abuse all included in that one cocky package. I’m only 21 now and I know more about this subject than most 50 year olds… It didn’t hit me until three years in and my best friend *that happens to be a therapist* in that order, printed off hundreds of pages with thousands of highlighted words for me to read… I still struggle with him. He was good at making me fall for someone he pretended to be. Even after the intervention it still took me a year to say I’m fed up. Be strong. Know the red flags.

  214. Laurie says:

    Wow! Well done! This is the most accurate article on living with a narcissist that I have ever read! And the effects on us as human beings is devastating! I am glad you are getting out! Do it the sooner …the better! But, plan it well as that is a time of danger for you. They will rob you financially, emotionally, legally, and may become violent when you leave!

    I grew up with a narc mother constantly sabotaging me and all the rest. While, I continued trying and trying to be a good daughter and person to her. Because, i did not understand that in doing so I was that much easier to manipulate and abuse. Then, of course, I ended up married to another narcissist. Because, being treated like crap and marginalized my entire life felt normal to me. I was with him way too long. Again, trying to make it work! I am so broken after trying so hard for so many years to share love with someone who does not care and is unable to love.

  215. Wife of narc says:

    Are you mattiert to my husband

  216. Craig Daniel says:

    I’m at the end of a 9 year marriage the same one layed out in this article and so many of your stories the only difference is I’m the husband ,my wife whom I still love more then anything in this world exhibits almost all the traits of narcissism. She cut me off from my family to the point of my parents telling me they thought they had lost their son. I found out 8 months ago she was having an affair with a man she goes to church with, when I confronted her she said it was my fault and didn’t matter because she had made up her mind the marriage was over. I left at that point and from that day forth she has made my life a living hell,she kept the house all its contents,all our savings the children all I got away with was the holiday trailer and some of my cloths. She has been refusing me access to my children and now wants the holiday trailer( my home) so she can go camping this summer. All throughout our marriage she stayed home with our children only working when she wanted to, this never bothered me ( children need a parent as a role model not a nanny).I honestly believe I fall in to the empathy profile, I would come home after work and look after the kids so she could go out ,but if she chose to stay in and I asked to go for coffee with a friend she always said I was talking family time away. I was expected to do and enjoy everything she wanted to do but if I wanted to do an activity with the kids she would either ruin it or just opt out. I know lots of women will read this and just think I’m a whiny ex but the truth is the abuse of narcissism does go both ways. I just wish there was a way to fix this so that my children can have the family I promised them,and so that I can fulfill the promise I made May 5/2017 to my friends,family,God and my wife. I know in my heart my wife is a good person and I know narcissism is a sickness but I also know that I can’t fix her, what I have no idea about, is if there is anything I can do to help her ,see she needs help. I still love my wife and can forgive her for everything even the affair but I can’t live a life where none of my dreams and wants are validated. She even admitted that she stopped loving me when I started standing up for my self and our children. Any help anyone can give would be greatly appreciated.

  217. Eyvonne says:

    I have been married to my Narc foe 5 years. When we first got married, I was a senior in college and so excited about graduating. 5 years later, I still haven’t graduated. I have gone 2 semesters now and been able to finish neither! He sabotages me at every opportunity. When my car broke down during the first semester, he refused to help me fix it, so my parents sent me the money to get it fixed. He took the money before I even knew the check was in. The second semester, the tire “suspiciously” came off my car during my trip to school one morning during my trip to class. The mechanic said that someone loosened the lug nuts, but who could have done something like that….? Same story, since my car was damaged, I had to drop out….because HE couldn’t leave work to drive me, his job is WAY too important! People COUNT on him!!! Pfft!
    It is exhausting listening him drone on and on about how important he is. How I don’t show him the “Respect he DESERVES…..” All the while, I never know when he is lying or telling the truth. He sees no conflict btw wanting my “respect” and his constant lying.
    EVERYTHING is my fault, according to him. He didn’t pay the electric bill and the power has been cut off? That is my fault. If I hadn’t have been “nagging” him to pay the bill, he would have paid it…. He isn’t going to let me tell him what to do!
    After the fights, I literally feel like my body has been put inside a cloths dryer and tumbled around–I feel physically beat-up.
    Worst of all, it is cyclic. It goes in a never ending cycle, and I am constantly on point waiting for the next attack. The stress is aging me, and I don’t know how much more I can take.

    1. lkanony says:

      Where there’s a will, there’s a way…..RENT A CAR if you have to. Spend as much time as possible on campus to study and get homework done BEFORE returning home. If you feel he could do damage to the rent-a-car, start budgeting for cab rides…schedule your classes accordingly to reduce the cost. So for example, if you know it’ll cost $25 for a cab ride to and from school, and money is a bit tight, schedule your classes on the same day if possible or no more than two days a week. If the class is offered on-line, in order to not worry about transport, take the on-line enrollment option as oppose to the physical classroom option. START USING ALL OF THAT FIGHTING ENERGY FOR YOUR SELF IMPROVEMENT. You HAVE TO persevere in spite of HIS preferences, otherwise, you’ll never get ahead waiting for him to see the light or to understand your point of view. You’ll have to learn to do things differently…keep your responses short and learn to ignore his comments….HE FEEDS OFF OF YOUR RESPONSE AND REACTIONS. Get separate accounts and start budgeting for the bills yourself. Whatever he gives you if or when he decid