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You're-the-problemHow to Tell If YOU’RE the Problem In Your Relationship

Love Me at My Worst

I read an excellent article today over at the Huffington Post. Excellent that is, if your in a normal relationship. If I Cant Accept You at Your Worst, Maybe You Should Stop Being So Horrible is awesome advice for people if you are married or partnered with a Narcissist, simply because that is really their attitude about everything. They believe they are entitled to your absolute devotion, no matter what they do to you.

But the danger is then, the advice can easily be turned against us. Narcissists blame us for their actions, they pin all the relationship woes on us, and our behavior. Being that we are good people who just want the relationship to get better and get back to the honeymoon stage we lived blissfully in before, we will take this advice to heart and try desperately to change and be a better partner. We will think that we are the problem, we must be. His accusations and complaints are only trying to make us grow into a better partner, right? He must really love us!

Reality Check

And the tough thing is, maybe we do need to change. Maybe we have been negligent in taking care of ourselves, or of the home, or even of the kids. Maybe we have ignored the aesthetics of life, desperately trying to survive, and were only focusing on the things we know are most important; protecting ourselves emotionally, and trying to do the same for our kids. Making sure the kids know their really loved, and are getting their homework done, and have enough time to recharge and play, and not on making sure they keep their rooms clean or get their chores done.

Maybe, we are not perfect. And yes, we use that knowledge to beat ourselves up, struggling to become the perfect Pinterest wife hes demanding we become, despite anything else we have going on in our lives. We could be working six days a week at a “regular” job, and be expected to come home and cook, clean, manage all aspects of our kids lives, do the laundry, ironing, take care of the dogs, and even make sure the cars get oil changes and have gas. And while were juggling all this, he is telling us were not good enough because we are gaining weight, (probably from stress) and the kids are not the perfect little trophies he wants to show off. (Because, you know, their KIDS and aren’t perfect!).

But we don’t see it. Maybe when he complains we take it to heart, thinking we need to do more, be better. Maybe there is a little resentment because he uses his free time to play and not help out with stuff. Because he actually HAS free time. Because he doesn’t see or appreciate what we do, but we keep on doing it because that’s our job and that’s what moms are supposed to do, right?


Here is where it gets tricky, and dangerous. A narcissist will gladly spend all day listing your faults and trying to get you to be “better”, but will never, ever accept any true responsibility for their own faults. Even if they SAY they do, they go right back to their old habits with no real apology or effort to change. They will attack you for your character, not simply your actions. They will never blame anything except you and will call all your explanations of why something happened (even if it was totally out of your control) “excuses” or “defensiveness”.

So, I have to say, I read these articles and I cringe. Pretty much all the marriage /relationship help articles assume (rightly?) that both partners are mentally healthy and don’t really want to destroy the other person. They assume a desire to make the relationship better. And Narcs use this to guilt us, saying we must not want to improve, we must not really love them, or even that WE are the abusive ones. Its part and parcel with the gaslighting and crazy making they are so fond of. And we end up second guessing ourselves. Maybe he really isn’t a narcissist, we think. Things get so much better when I do as he asks, maybe it is me! Maybe I’m just a bad partner, I need to be better!

But the truth is, its not. Narcissism is not just pointing out a partners flaws. And being married or partnered is not about conforming to your partners ideas of who you should be. (Or societies, for that matter). Helping someone become a better person does not include name calling, yelling, blaming, and anger. Ignoring your spouses struggles is not love or helping them become better. Ignoring any reasonable explanation of events and still blaming someone is not normal. Total lack of empathy for what your partner is going through is not normal. Ignoring anyone’s problems but your own is not normal. Continual criticism and anger, not normal!

Its Not Me, Its YOU

We need to be very wary when reading these articles, when liking or sharing these articles. Because, anything we like or share or say, will be used against us. Its almost like we need to become two people, the one who is functioning in a highly dysfunctional relationship, and our real selves, the ones who know hes a monster. I will say, from my own struggles of trying to balance the two, its the hardest thing I have ever done. I struggle with my own authenticity. I struggle with feeling guilty for what I write here. I struggle with my desire to just have peace and not fight this. I struggle with knowing the truth and not letting him get into my head. Its HARD.

But when it comes right down to it, HE is the one destroying our relationship. Destroying our family. He is the one who is not normal. And while I’m not perfect, I’m doing the best I can while under extreme mental attack.

Don’t accept his blame and accusations. DO try and live your life as you would if he wasn’t there. Be yourself, don’t act out of fear (if you can) and choose your own right. And HOLD ON to what you know is true and right and real. Don’t let him convince you its all your fault. I promise, it isn’t.



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47 thoughts on “How to tell if YOU’RE the Problem in your Relationship

  1. Kristi says:

    Never have read something that affected & made me seriously think about what it means to be on the other side.

  2. devon says:

    I know I am trapped in a relationship with a narcissist… and she is exactly as all of these articles say. She got mad at me once for not getting her what she wanted for xmas so she threw the gps my sister got me long b4 i met her at my head and missed and it hit the wall and broke… fast forward to now… she got me a new gps last xmas and i wanted to take it with me in the car (my car does not have gps) and she argued with me that the only reason i’d need to take it with me to go to work is if i’m going some place OTHER than work… i explained to her that her car has built in gps and she has it, i want it in my car.. .and she said, “no that’s not why you’re taking it… you’re up to something.. this is a huge red flag.”

    i’m 40 yrs old… i’m a gamer.. and i have gamer friends…been gaming since i was 10… and when i met her she saw my computer and my game’s friend’s list was open and on my screen… and she asked me what that was and i told her it was the list of all my gamer friends… and she asked me if any of em were girls… and they werent… and she made me go through each one and explain to her when/where/how i met each person and why i’m friends with them….

    i’ll be on my computer surfing the internet and checking email… and i’ll have multiple tabs open on my browser and then when I’m done with one of em, i’ll close it … and sometimes it just so happens that she walks by and sees me closing it and immediately jumps all over me, “what were doing? i saw you close something just as i walked by.. why? what were you looking at? who were you talking to?” … and i was doing none of those things .. i told her i was reading an article and i finished.. she says, “LIAR! you’re hiding something and i’ll find out” …

    one time omw home from work… there was a nasty T-bone accident and i had come upon it moments after it happened and traffic was backing up… it took me 15 mins just to get through the scene… my total commute time from my office to the house is 15 mins… so i got home 15mins late (30 mins total) and she immediately asks me when i walked in, “why are you home so late? where were you? what were you doing?” .. she didnt say ‘hi honey.. glad ur home’ or anything like that… so i told her about the accident.. she didn’t believe me and she then got onto the computer to check to see if there was any news or info on an accident where i said it was at…she couldnt find anything online so she called me an F-ing liar and made me sleep on the couch that night and wouldnt let me come back to bed until i apologized for lying to her

    yeah, this is just a tiny tiny sampling of what i’ve had to endure.. and it’s only been 4 years… but it feels like 20 already… i am stuck, trapped and out of options… my mom can’t help me bcuz my step dad is controlling… my sister has fallen off the grid… my cousins other relatives are out of reach and too far away… i’m broke, i have nothing… my life is hell and it sucks…sometimes i wonder, ‘would prison or death be better than being with her?’

    1. Amber says:

      I live the same life as you! Good grief…I wish i would have seen the signs before I brought two wonderful little boys into this situation. My spouse will EVEN EAT EVERYTHING THAT I MAKE FOR A MEAL BEFORE THE KIDS HAVE A CHANCE TO EAT! Selfish!

      1. Megan says:

        I know exactly how that is

    2. Stolipup says:

      Sounds like she doesn’t trust you for some reason. Have you hurt her in the past?

    3. Giorgio says:

      I was with a woman like that for 6 months too… It just ended recently and I’m still totally in love with her… still have a hard time admitting that she is a manipulative lying selfish bitch… but Im trying…

      I mean… anybody who at 32 lives with her mom, has no job so uses all her dads money (and mine) all the time without remorse, has a child that’s kidnapped by the father who is a stable university professor, who does nothing to better her situation – only dreaming of setting up some kind of art centre and women’s rights community because she is always the victim and all men just want to use her and put her down, and who gives rage fits in the middle of the street where she hits you with an umbrella because you said something she didn’t like or agreed with.. etc etc
      can’t possibly be a good person.

    4. Lindsey says:

      Hi there so sorry to here how someone you love can be this nasty, you need to keep reading about them and play them at there own game like don’t show her this crap bothers you say well it’s the truth and if you love me you trust me turn it around , also start saving cash anyhow you can if it’s her house then start making plan b to get the hell away don’t live with this much control who the hell does she think she is my husband is the same major trust issues tried to resure him 6 years now and to be honest I feel like I can’t love this man no more he makes me mad in side so bad I have kept things smart I don’t need him for money and this is my house so in all fair ness he don’t do nothing for me just holidays and even at that he wants to spoil them if he can he is a drama king and will bring it to the table any way he can this is what they live for give her the slilent treatment that will kill her give yes and no answer don’t keep sucking up to her these people get me so mad they don’t deserve us they like wolfs in sheep clothing let that mask slip every time we do something in there eye wrong the quicker I’m on my own the better he have some one else with in 4 weeks they can’t help them selfs cut off the narc supply off which is you and you cut them dead you soon see the real lies they told you love they don’t have a clue good luck

  3. Mary says:

    i find it interesting that narcissists and their victims are almost parrellel, especially in narc/empath relations. They both seem to be almost twin flames for different reasons and they attract one another like moths to flames. Interesting that a narc wears a “mask” to hide his true self, and in this article the victim wears a “mask” to keep others from seeing what is actually going on for fear of the narcissistic rage or revenge.

    1. Robyn Mason says:

      Oh my gosh, I totally agree with you. I get so frustrated he doesnt care about me or listen to me that I act out and will raise my voice. I have been asking my friends lately, is it me? All I keep hearing from my husband is that I need to change and then we will be fine. But, I do and he still finds something else I have to change, I cant get ahead and he is perfect. I don’t know who I am anymore, because he is killing me.

      1. Louise says:

        I know what you mean i dont know myself anymore

      2. Lynne says:

        I have never read anything that was so true to my situation. Its hard when you feel alone in it too

  4. Annie says:

    My problem is I now recognize the feeling of being abused within me and I fell the NEED to defend myself via screaming, pushing etc. It makes me feel wretched and totally trapped. I must do better with self care to escape.

    1. Rosa says:

      You are not alone. I’m in the same situation. Wishing you the best.

    2. mary Donaldson says:

      Yep and then you think you are narcissist!

  5. Terry says:

    It’s amazing how this article mirrors my relationship and the snippets from other comments. For me I felt so guilty and shameful for my actions before our marriage where she found out I had paid for sex and met up with one man. Yes, I have problems and now dealing with it. My wife said all the problems are with me and I can’t change. I went to meetings and in therapy and I did it to save my marriage as ‘I was the problem’. I’m working on myself and it’s painful, especially my childhood abandonment issues but I need to be here to solve my issues so in the end I can be at peace and be in the relationship.

    What I see now is my wife is a narcissist by all the articles and comments on this enlightening website. We have a 30 day no contact boundary I set only on Friday so I can deal with my issues and gain some respect and self worth for me. After 30 days lets see.

  6. Christina says:

    “And Narcs use this to guilt us, saying we must not want to improve, we must not really love them, or even that WE are the abusive ones.”

    YES! How many times did I hear ‘You won’t change because you don’t want to’? Even though I honestly didn’t understand the ‘change’ he wanted and WAS trying to change?
    How many times did I hear about how much he loved me but I didn’t love him? So many.
    If he had any idea that I was on support websites like this (he always ripped on me for being on any support site) he would surely say I was the narc.

  7. heather says:

    I am scared, terrified because I know I have to leave him. I feel so crazy all the time. I try to explain my hurt feelings, my perspective and next thing I know everything has been turned on me. I am a stay at home mom. I am educated – I used to have an amazing career with tons of potential still when I left…to support his career advancements. But I love being a stay at home mom so I keep telling myself I’ll stay until…until…until… I’m so tired of feeling so soul-less. It’s not me. I’ve been stripped of my authenticity. The more I read about the dynamic between an empathetic person – which I know myself to be – and a narcissist, the more I know without a doubt this is my life. The funny thing is, calling me a narcissist has become his go-to these days any time I confront him on his shit. Well, not so funny because it makes me feel crazy. And I can’t talk about this with any of my friends because he has them convinced he’s Mr. Wonderful. They don’t see his true colors because he is a master at disguise. I’m sad for me. That’s sad.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I know how you feel. Its just there is always a reason to stay, but really, I think its just deep down were not ready to let go of the dream of the life we wanted when we married them. I don’t WANT to be a single mom, I don’t WANT to date again, I don’t WANT to only see my kids part time. BUT I also don’t want to live with someone who only complains and criticizes me and never laughs and makes me feel bad about myself and feels entitled to cheat on me and treat me like crap while still expecting the royal treatment for himself… I REALLY don’t want my girls to have him as the only example of a husband they have lived with either. And at the same time, I’m totally freaked out that I could end up getting tricked into a relationship with another narcissist!… I used to cry a lot, but now, like you, I’m just sad.

      1. Stephanie says:

        It is sad. I think, at least for me, it’s not that we don’t cry, it’s that we’ve been conditioned by all the verbal and emotional abuse that at some point the well runs dry and we are changed because the abuse hardens us towards the situation. I am an empathy and I will always be one but I also find that I don’t let people use me as a rug to walk on anymore. It’s been a very difficult almost 10 years for me, but it’s also taught me how to be stronger than I ever knew I could be. His words still affect me, wouldn’t be human if they didn’t, but I also know my heart and who I am so I let my situation change me to make me better for myself. It consumes most of your energy to deal with a person like him, some days it’s hard to get out of bed because I am so drained but I do, and I find activities that make me feel better. When he’s home I stay away from him and put all my energy into my daughter and help her understand this life with this kind of man is NOT normal and teach her to never allow this treatment from anyone. I just do my best to shield her and show her what love is and how much she means to me. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime and it’s up to us to figure out what the lessons to be learned are. It’s a horrible situation but I won’t let it destroy me, I will learn what I need to and then when the classroom is finished I’ll move onto the next one. It’s not easy to find something positive in such a crazy, terrible situation but if you don’t you’ll be consumed by the grief and terror and you’ll feel like the one with the issues. It’s not so easy and I struggle to find the positive sometimes, I have to always tell myself there’s something to be gained by going through this hardship. I know there is no answer for why me or any of the questions we all want to give us closure, there is no closure and very seldom in life there ever is. I accept this reality and the closure isn’t needed, it’s not important, my preservation is important and making sure I don’t end up here again is important, and the most important, making sure my daughter isn’t influenced much by this monster and she is healthy. It’s hard to do daily and I’m by no means religious but I do believe that sometimes things are better than us and I turn it over to God, it doesn’t always mean things change but it does mean that weight is lifted off my burden and it clears my mind to focus on the important things. I don’t change for people, I change for myself and to be better than I was yesterday, people who really care about us don’t want to change us because they like who we are and accept us. I’ve learned the most important thing I never knew, we are truly alone and no one is permanent and that’s ok because I have to take care of myself and it’s better that way. The only disappointment is when I let myself down, it’s freeing not to have expectations of other people. It’s very difficult to go through each day not feeling loved by the one who’s supposed to be your Batman but it’s ok if they’re not, I choose my happiness not someone else. All of the people who go through this abuse all suffer the worst emotional trauma, but we choose to let it affect us how it does. We can fight against it, and we do survive, it’s very important to find a hobby or activity to throw yourself into, it will save your sanity. Good luck to everyone and remember you are worth living, you just found someone who’s incapable of doing that, you’re not the problem, the other half has been so emotionally damaged from childhood they can’t be normal. It’s a very sad situation for both parties.

    2. Anon says:

      my narc played a sweet angel convinced me to give up a great job, leave a great apartment, then I married him and my life has been hell ever since. He has turned into a mean, spiteful, monster with no soul. He has no compassion towards me. He laughs at me when I tell him what he has done to my once great life. He has convinced his friends and my friends and family that I am the problem..they all think he is wonderful. I know I am a good empathetic woman. He calls me a narcissist all the time when it is he who fits every trait of a malignant narcissist. Despite his horrible emotional and psychological abuse, it makes me question my own sanity. It is not us. It is them. They are monsters and have no genuine emotions or caring or concern for others. Mine admitted to me he does not understand human emotions!!. He is only capable of feeling rage or contentment. i have been unable to find a decent job after he got me to quit my good one (I now know that he didn’t like me working on the overnight shift with male coworkers, it’s all about control with these thugs.) I currently work at a job with aggressive disturbed teens. I come home with bruises daily. However, the kids are great kids, they act out because they don’t know better and I truly care about them. I want to leave but I don’t know how I will support myself in the low pay. I have been unable to find a second job but I’m looking. He has sucked all the joy and contentment out of my life. no one deserves to live like this. I never want to date again for fear I’ll meet another one. No one deserves being treated like this

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        I had a dream the other night, I met a wonderful guy with sparkling eyes… I too am terrified of being tricked into another narc relationship. But, my dream reminded me, you cant fake joy! Your narc gave you the key, he cant feel. Someday when your ready, you could find a great partner with joy in their eyes, and the difference will be so big, you wont even have to question. <3 At least, thats my hope for all of us!

        1. karen says:

          This is right on. I’m still dealing with my ex, five years later because of children. I kept my mouth shut because of the children, unaware at the time he was blaming me for everything. My children have suffered and continue to suffer. I pray for anyone in this awful relationship. Five years and I’m still in therapy. My children are still in therapy. This monster has a way of making it your fault and making you feel like your crazy. He also makes everyone else think you’re crazy and you are too emotionally drained to care. It is hard being on your own but its better than the alternative or worse.

  8. Bellabee says:

    THANK YOU. This article articulated what my brain goes through every single day. I just thought it was me, being crazy or “overly sensitive”. I feel so much relief knowing that I’m not alone.

    My situation is a bit different in that my narc’s supply comes from religion, where he has the reputation of being a really kind, charismatic guy who is strong in the faith and will do anything for anyone. At home, though, he is extremely absent as a parent and a spouse. He devotes his time to video games and television, and when he does help, I get the sense he expects compensation for it.

    He’s also got anger issues and can blow up easily when he doesn’t get his way. He makes excuses that he’s just having an “off day” or blames me for setting him off.

    My staying in this marriage is his compensation, because it works for him on so many levels. He does not see AT ALL that I am suffering, severely depressed, ridden with panic attacks and PTSD . . . because of HIM. He says he loves me and he cares but they are just empty, parroted words. I feel nothing from him or for him, and sometimes this makes me feel coldhearted and cruel. I’ve completely shut off emotionally. Around him, I am a brick wall.

    Then the blame I get for his own abuse and complete irresponsibility. The minimizing of my hurt. The way he expects devotion from me without having to do anything for it, like actually putting effort into our relationship or trying to empathize. It is pure torture, and no one sees it because everyone else sees the charming guy who shows up at church and drops everything to help other people.

    I have been told so many times by him that I’m not making effort, that I’m selfish, that he’s doing SO MUCH for me and I’m just floundering. I want to see it as a setup, or some manipulative tactic he’s using, but to be honest, most of the time I just think it’s me. I’m too gullible, maybe, or in the moment, I’m swept up in all of the guilt from his very convincing arguments against my character.

    This article (and others you have written) have helped me feel I’m not alone.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Check out this website. I think it fits your situation exactly. Hopefully your church is wiser and more supportive, but be prepared to leave them too, if you need to. http://cryingoutforjustice.com/

  9. Alia S says:

    I’m reading your email, recognized my husband as a npd, with a clear yes on all the points stated in this article and yet I still question myself “am I the one causing trouble? Is he right about me being the troublemaker?” He’s too damn good at shifting blame, an artist at turning tables where I’m seriously been considering “maybe the one with npd ?! Maybe I am the one that lacks empathy, acts like a child, argue every time and say silly things that make no sense”. Even though articles and stories like this help I still wonder and doubt. I feel embarrassed, ashamed of myself. I have my faults but they’re not as horrible as he makes them out to be. I can be stubborn, I want things such as his attention, devotion, a hug, loyalty, transparency etc. I’m very traditional and he knew this, I was honest and open (I still am) and he uses it all against me. Actually what he does is he listens to me for anything he can twist into a negative so he can use it as a stick to “beat me” with. I don’t mind sharing my weak points (when I thought he was someone who appreciated, respected and guarded it) sharing my low points and what I learned from them but instead of hearing what I’m actually saying (how I’m glad I experienced certain negative points and grew from them) into “see what a horrible human you are” Yet he never uses the words. He is very careful how he uses his words. What scares me more is how he’s convinced he’s a caring, emphatic, well balanced man. He truly believes it. When I shared about my past and how I had friends that “used” me because I always listened and cared he rolls his eyes! It’s insane! It’s too much and I feel I’m about to explode. I moved countries for him, I trusted he was who he showed himself to be. I don’t want to share with family as I’m embarrassed. I have 1 friend he approved me to have and I don’t feel I can speak to her about it either.
    One other thing, next to it being my fault (I make him feel this or that way, I argue, I insist on kissing him when he doesn’t want to, I make him not want to be intimate etcetera) he keeps using his “illness” for his behavior. He uses it as a defense esp where physical contact is concerned. Can’t touch him cause it hurts (yet he can do lots of activities that would hurt him more), no kissing or hugging because I’m too pushy (I give a hug as a lover, not as a long time buddy), no sex unless he’s drunk and turned on by whatever he’s been watching, uses painkillers (this is when he’s oh so active except still no affection towards me whatsoever), always the excuse of his health. I can’t even put my hand on his arm while sleeping (in past we cuddled to sleep). He also withdraws (even in his sleep) when he accidentally touches me.
    I know pain can cause a strain, I myself am a pain patient for over 30 years. I have inflammations so bad that it can cause immobility for a long stretch of time and still I’ve always made the effort not to let it get in the way of any relationship I’ve had (friends, family or lovers). You can’t neglect others, you can’t be self centered and think me me me and my pains (at least imho). I would have stayed single if I couldn’t connect or care about others due to my pains. Other people’s needs need to be considered as well when you’re a pain patient. He doesn’t care about others it is all about his pains and how we all need to consider him, when I can’t even move he doesn’t even say a simple “so sorry you’re in pain love” Nothing! He won’t even help with the cat litter (they’re his cats!)
    My opinions, feelings etc don’t matter but oh boy if I just miss one clue about him having a headache (just a little example) I’m told it shows how I lack sympathy and empathy, I never care about his feelings. It’s always about him, even when I share a story about a friend it becomes about him and his “pain”. He will also befriend young “women” (they look like teenagers) or exes online after we had an argument. In my gut I feel he’s either flirting with them or maybe more (I know he texts them as he needs lots of attention plus he’s good at pretending online, acting all suave etc reeling them in, wouldn’t surprise if he’s sharing with them about his horrible “spoiled” wife)
    I must be crazy, I stay and I take his BS and I often question myself, is it me?!! I’m even going to seek counseling to improve myself… not for me but for himto listen better to him!!! Oh and I received an F-minus for how I apologized to him and for my actions on how I listened to a person that desperately needed to talk to anyone (very lonely person and it was obvious, I never turned away from someone that just needed someone to listen, I’ve always been like that. Don’t see what’s wrong with it unless we were in a meaningful conversation ourselves but we weren’t! He was on his stupid phone ignoring me yet again. Later I was told that he was ignored, I ignored him being there (lehrm my points were too valid to twist he turned it around on his he said that the person was ignoring him- hmm yet I got the bad grade). Here I was believing he was oh so empathic and caring towards others (which I told/used against him) and secure about my love for him so why couldn’t mister 160 IQ not get that through his superior brain. Sorry for my long rant.

  10. Belen Reyes-Carrera says:

    These articles have truly opened my eyes! I am married to a Narc and have been for 20 years. Over the years, he has gotten angrier and meaner. Blaming me more and more for everything from the way I clean the house to my weight (to fat to thin). He micromanages everything, he works out of town a lot and will call approx 3-4x a day demanding that I drop everything and check the account balance. (I am a High School teacher), He will call or text constantly, and leave mean nasty messages on my phone if I do not immediately answer it. Then he will try the house phone, or call people he thinks I might be with. (There have been times when he has left 16-25 msgs on my phone in a matter of minutes) I need to silence my phone during class and meetings, this does not matter to him.
    He can spend money any way he wishes……His parents are compulsive gamblers, he helps-support their habit. Heaven forbid I purchase something not on the grocery list. And having to purchase Gluten Free food Really kills him because of the price.
    I have 2 chronic conditions and a major food allergy for which I need to take medications. He goes with me to my Dr. Appts. to see if I can get off of the medications and go the Herbal Route. Kudos to my Internist, he straight out told him “yes you may do that if you want her to die!” He dropped it after that. I know that I know I need to get out of this situation asap.

  11. Beth says:

    Man! Did I need this! I KNOW, but still have bouts of the doubting and wondering if it really is me! Maybe I AM the awful, unloving spouse I’ve been accused of! I have a list I go down when it hits hard.

    I am not the one who ignores
    I am not the one who thinks I “deserve” to keep money hidden for myself
    I am not the one who accused the other of plotting to make life miserable
    I am not the one who thinks I should be fallen all over in public “so everyone would know how much you love me”
    I am not the hypersensitive one who gets mad when people joke about something

    thank you!

  12. Doug says:

    This is my ex wife and our 11 year marrage in a nut shell. I’m stuck at the moment sharing a house with her and at times it’s hell, because she’s dropped the facade. She’s even spreading falsehoods to everyone she talks to about me and our marriage. I even believe she sabotaged what few friendships I had left after our divorce. I’ll spare the details but she has a level of control over me right now and I know she secretly loves it. I’m so tired and so broken down I struggle to move forward.

  13. Stolipup says:

    You have spoken very true words here. I too have and continue to feel all these things. Any woman who has or is going through this comes out a very strong person and even more stable than she realizes. The narcissist wants us to believe we aren’t and that will never stop me from growing no changing again!!

  14. CL says:

    What terrifies me is that it’s taken me 8 years to realize the type of relationship I’m in. There are good times, but even more bad times. I’ve never felt so alone and numb…

  15. Robin Cody says:

    So who here has successfully divorced a narcissist?
    I left my husband 5 times since our marriage in 1998. He always talked me into returning until 2008. He has all the traits you all have discussed. He lies, does drugs, manipulates friends and work associates, gambles, harasses our children, hurt me, and had sex with everyone he could. But he has manipulated the courts and I have no more money to pay my lawyer and he continues to slow each section of the divorce. This is the worst of it. He tells our children I am the one that doesn’t want to end it. (I’m Catholic) So what can be done to force him to pay child support and end the nightmare of over 25 years. Help

  16. OLGA says:

    This is exactly how ive experienced my relationship with my husband of 24 years . The 4 years we dated were amazing- or was i sooo dazzled by him i didnt seee. He was my first date my first kiss my first everything. I was 100%loyal and no one could point out ANYTHING to me as i would eat thm for breakfast. He was EVERYTHING to me because we had TRUE LOVE…. so i told myself.
    When he met me i was fat from a rich family and a culture and religion that positively blended into the society we lived in. I was also ambitious and at uni. I felt sorry for him and empathised about his struggle growing up in a family of 8 kids drunk absent dad and mother with health problems from age 30. He reeeeled me in. He wasnt even my type. I now see he groomed me to fell for him. On my wedding day before i even stepped out of church te red flags were there. He didnt even stay the night at our hotel… i cannot believe how he rationalised everything that ot seemed to me tat im being silly if i cant understand this is the best thing for us.
    Fast forwar 3 children later all with mental health issues and i left him one week ago. I took money out of our joint account- we sold our property 10 months earlier but i was not keen on starting the next stage of our loves together so no other property we saw would do. I couldnt SEE or imagine a future with him. It was BLANK. He abused me so much over the years i needed 3 years of therapy one or two days a week to overcome chronic ptsd. I needed EMDR treatment in the end because i was just going round and round in circles secobd guessing my own sanity.
    Anyway je wants me back. I just visualise moments in my relationship where i pleaded with him to stop being so cruel to me to stop hurting me to work it all out. He was a cold as ice dismissive abd arrogant. I gave him sooooo many opportunities in a 24 year marriage. Is he freaking serious? I left him almost 2 years ago for 3 weeks but was hooveted back in. At the time i fidnt know he was a narcissist. Once you do its easier. You see him for what he really is. A programmed human shell with no ability to self develop human emotion or empathy towards others. I second guess this last comment. Im not sure still if its true. I DO know he couldnt understand what i meant by terms ‘i have my heart to you and you hurts me’ or ‘in-love with’ and said ‘i guess i dont understand love i havent felt it … i always knew i could WARM to people’.
    What feelings did he have for me during our28 years? Warmth- THAT is why he could deceive me and treat me badly. When he was not feeling watmth o was not in his heart. He doesnt understand “heart connection” which we understand to mean Love.

  17. B. says:

    Can ones partner be a partial narcissists?

  18. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all your stories, it has helped me so much as I am struggling in-between knowing that he is a narcissist and that it is not me and between thinking I am crazy and to blame. It is so easy for me to let him get inside my head and manipulate me into thinking what he is saying is the truth. He does so much self deflecting… I am crazy, I am selfish, I am dumb, I am the one destroying this marriage. When in reality I know that this is who he is. Thanks again you are truly inspiring and give me a sense of hope when I have had none.

  19. Gwen says:

    After being married to a narcissist for 25 years, I have come to truly understand the meaning of the “Stepford Wives”. I have had it!

  20. Trustyourintuitionitsthebestfriendyouhave says:

    I am grateful you have taken the time to so eloquently put into words what goes on that the narc manages to hide from everyone and the crazy making it does to you.

    I am in therapy with my narc and yesterday I left my therapist office so triggered and freaked out. We’ve had a couple individual sessions with the therapist apart from our couples therapy and when my husband had his he managed to convince the therapist that he is just trying to be a close family and I am the one who is messed up confused and who doesn’t conform to the way he feels a family should be. The therapist was asking questions that were formed to make me question my judgement and intuitions just like he does. I was like WTF My intuition is the best BS barometer I have and now you don’t want me to trust it. The therapist even said he felt he had a pretty good BS meter and felt like my narc was being genuine. I’m like yeah I know I thought the same thing that’s why I MARRIED him. Of course he’s not going to show you his dark side, he keeps that so well hidden I even find myself questioning if it’s still there, when he’s saying and doing all the ‘right’ ‘things’… but my narc genuine lack of concern and ability to communicate on a genuine level were exposed when he got home his first question was how was your session with the therapist. At first I tried to brush it off and then I said no it didn’t go well. He said I’m sorry to hear that, but wasn’t concerned about why or willing to have a real conversation. I am lucky because I have a teenage daughter with me from my last marriage and she is a great BS meter. When everyone else thinks I am being crazy she reminds me that I’m not…

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      This happens a lot with Narcissists and therapy. I was super lucky in the fact that the one we went to didn’t take sides and continuously redirected him from trying to make it all about me. Probably why he wanted to stop going, she wouldn’t let him control the situation. (I wanted to stop because it was only upsetting me and he was very obviously not going to do any more work on himself).

      I would STRONGLY recommend finding a new therapist who knows about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome. And at the very lest, don’t go to that guy anymore, as a couple or alone. You don’t need to subject yourself to the triangulation and you will most likely never get through to that therapist about whats really gone on. You have been pretty strongly manipulated and hurt and I don’t think a “normal” therapist is going to have the tools to see, understand, and help you get through all the garbage the narc has thrown into your mind, heart, and life. <3

  21. Nick says:

    So lost! I have no clue what to do anymore. I’ve tried being the perfect wife; I work, take care of the children, take care of the house and yard work while he goes out with the guys. He makes way more money than me and works more hours, he says his stress from work is the reason he needs to go out and get drunk almost every night. The nights he is home, he eats and goes to bed right away, sometimes as early as 7pm. He makes promises to me and our son and never follows through. He talks to other women all the time and if I confront him about it he says they are just friends or it’s business related. I’ve seen some of their convos and they are not appropriate! This has been going on for 10 yrs. He tells me and other people in crazy. I do lose my temper alot, I’m not going to lie. I have so much anger towards him it’s really hard for me to not lose it. Last big fight we had he left me with bruises on my arms for 3 weeks. He told me he was having me institutionalized because I said it was abuse. I never laid a hand on him or even raised my voice. We have fights almost every morning (only time he is home sober) and sometimes in front of our child. It sucks! I know I’m wrong when I don’t walk away from the fight but as soon as I leave room he makes comments so I come back to respond. So frustrated. I just started seeing a therapist so I hope it will help me! I feel like I’m the problem, like maybe I am crazy. I’ve tried millions of time to explain to him that we need to work on things but he just says it’s all me. Feel hopeless and alone

  22. JoJo says:

    Wow. These stories came just in time for me to heal, i can totally relate. My recent bf…said it was me all the time n he didnt think he needed to apologize for anything. everyone around him..in his circle of influence think the world of him but i know him from the inside out. I know first hand how he can manipulate. Makes me sick to my stomach to know i still love him. WTH…i gave him my full attention n sucked it up a few times so we can get along. Trying to heal.

  23. Shannon Stoyles says:

    I just read this. I just came out of a year relationship with a guy named Sean who was younger then myself by 7 years,who put me through this. I honestly thought I was a horrible partner and kept trying harder and harder to do better. It was as though just as I fixed one issue he would have another 2 ready that I was still failing. I asked him one time to please write down everything he felt I was doing wrong and was making him so in happy so I could fix everything for our relationship. He refused to because he said he never has the free time. He blames me for both break ups and when he was caught cheating on a dating sites several times in our year of dating and there was always a excuse that he was doing nothing and I need not be inscure as then he would be turned off. He recently broke up with me as soon as I was told he was on Plenty of fish claiming to be single and trying to hook up with people. When he realized I had the proof in my hands he broke up with me via text blaming me for his unhappiness. I felt everything in our relationship was about me and I was selfish. The part that hurts from my end is I can honestly say I did everything I thought to make him happy and feel respected. I always did things he enjoyed, worked around his needs and wants, supported his interests and his needs, became involved in appreciating how he lived his life and adjusted my life to support his desires and wants, plus put all my love and attention towards him and yet that in his eyes is me caring more about myself them him. It has been one of the most heartbreaking relationships I have ever endured. In the end he has walked away blaming me for not doing enough to change to keep our relationship together or make him happy. he felt everything I said was filtered as he saw and heard it. If I tried to explain what I meant to convey or that I was offering a compliment not a insult as he would take things he would never believe me and just blame me for another wrong doing. …………………..In the end he claims the reason he was so unhappy was because I hurt him when I would say” You never listen to me” or ” You are very hard on me”. The sad part was that was the reality I lived and was my trulth those 2 very statements…. Thank you for this article today….. Shannon

    1. Ronni Lynn says:

      Omg! I8 months after I divorced my (cheating) husband , i met the most wonderful man. He was just perfect in every way. Although he was only 45 yrs old , he had led an amazing life. I was truly impressed and in awe. And , he loves ME , he loves me so much! He thought I was beautiful and perfect , he told me so. He could barely survive when we were apart. And,’man I fell hard in love with him, I was totally and blissfully in love FITB

  24. Tammy says:

    I too am in a relationship with a narcassistic. I have been with him for going on 11 yrs. It has been the most stressful time of my life. It feels like you are drowning most times and there is nothing you can do. They condition you over the years slowly so you dont realize what is happening till its to late. You start out as a confident, happy, considerate, giving and loving person and before you know it you have no self confidence and you question everything you do. I was molested by a family member when i was very young and had never told anyone before telling him. That was the biggest mistske you can ever make. Never confide anything you dont want use against you by them later on. He threw that in my face once and said it was my fault and i enjoyed it! Those are the things they say and do to destroy us. So unless you have ever experienced that kind of betrayal then you have no idea how we feel. Dont judge us we already have enough of that in our lives.

    1. Ferra-Perez Angie says:

      I’m on my 34th year of being slowly manipulated, led into an Endless Fog and was Almost Destroyed!
      From a Confident & Intelligent Child to a Compassionate, Open Minded, Faith/God and a BELIEVE ONE’s WORD (ex:handshake) & LOYALTY is ALL THERE IS ALL THERE IS!!

      I was Strong, especially knowing I was unconditionally loved by Family (Almost Perfect parents & 2 Brothers)…Those Extended…& Ofcourse MY Special Friends….I KNEW HOW BLESSED I WAS. To Have ALWAYS Felt Loved & Protected…UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED and NAIVELY ASSUMED EVERYONE FELt LIKE THIS or at least HAS EXPERIENCED THAT FEELING!!! WRONG!!

      I cried uncontrollably as I read your comment. It was like I couldn’t catch my breath! I’m so sorry, I truly am!
      Disbelief, Anger, Numbness, Paralyzed, LOST IN THE FOG…..AGAIN! , ,

      No one is perfect!! EXCEPT God! Common Sense along with my Beliefs dictated that!

      THAT DAY, I KNEW SOMETHING WAS VERY WRONG!! For whatever reason there was a small break in the FOG. I was looking for a Bright Blue Sky, BUT what I saw thru that Opening made my head spin, my stomach sick, my heart drop and a sense of Hopelessness!!!
      *A comparable word to WHAT I SAW AND FELT!??? EVIL!!

      Again, I am so sorry that you too saw the same thing I did thru that opening!!
      I hope you’re able to read this and find yourself in a Better place!!

  25. Castro.erica77@yahoo.com says:

    Reading this post made me realize I’ve been right about my 15 years marriage, wondering, what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be happy with the person I’m supposed to Love. The one I gave up everything for. But reading this makes me understand I am living with a narcissist. His mind games are so damaging. I have spend numerous nights feeling alone, neglected while his lying next to me. He makes me wonder, I’m I not pretty enough, smart enough ect ect. But when it comes to his needs I have to drop everything for him.Yet the times I have needed him more his never been there emotionally for me. Like when my grandfather pass away and I dint even get a hug or I’m sorry for your loss, or here have some money to out to say your last goodbyes. I was deserted a lone crying for the lost of my love one by myself. It hurts to think I dint have the courage to get up n go. His excuse was who was going take care of our 3 kids mind you his self employed and could taken care of his own kids. That’s one example of many scenarios I’ve had to endure for this 15 years, times where he had me lie of why we dint attend a family function. Because his so antisocial and expects me to be too. But why dont I get my kids and leave, it’s so hard to do so, for many reasons some economical, reasons we as mothers fear that maybe this is the best I can do for my kids. Because all hell would break loose If I do it. Or because I dont know what step 1 is or were to begin. All I have is God and my precious children to comfort me and worth living life as is. Please pray for me n my kids that someday we find the true happiness we deserve.

  26. Gracie bole says:

    Wow! This exactly what I’m going through with my husband. 7 years of this and two kids later I’m still here, trying. He doesn’t help with our home or our kids. Anything I do is wrong. I care for the children and am a full time activity director. My life is busy! I don’t pay him enough attention and am always at fault in any argument. He is not physically abusive now but use to be. He’s also terrible to my son from a previous relationship. I want to leave but all my belongings are in his name due to my financial hardships and student loans. I’m exhausted. I get very little rest. We have a new baby and I had a terrible pregnancy. He also throws my past in my face. I didn’t always behave the best but have changed my ways for at least 10 years. I love my family and do not want to break us up but I’m tired. So tired.

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