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how to manipulate a narcissist

How to Manipulate a Narcissist

How to Manipulate a Narcissist ~ Surviving in a Narcissistic Relationship

This isn’t the post I started out writing. In fact, I began by writing a several hundred word tirade about how the Narc is acting like the poor hurt puppy in this narcissistic relationship and how dare he, after all he’s done. Then, I had to take kid one to school and came home again, a little mellowed out. The Narc apologized (hah) and I got to doing some research. I found my answer from others who have lived with Narcs longer than even I have, children of narcissistic parents (my heart goes out to you all! Mine included… ).

Turns out, I really am the perfect narcissistic supply. And even as I have the strength, empathy, and forgiveness innate to my personality that make me a perfect target, these traits are actually a double edged sword. Once the Narc no longer can control my emotions, I can use them to cut him down.

How to Manipulate a Narcissist

A Narcissist survives by eliciting a reaction from you, usually sadness or anger. They solidifies their sense of control over you when you lose control. This is actually not their primary preference, they would prefer you adore them, though they do not deserve it, and defer to them in all things, including your thoughts and feelings. They believe they can tell you how to think and feel and control your reactions to life and themselves, and in that they confirms, in their own mind, their god-like status. Do not forget, these actions are not based on logical thought processes, or even conscious thought processes, but on deeply embedded personality traits.

(WARNING: YOU CAN NOT CHANGE THE NARCISSIST. This is not intended to try and help you make him into the man you once thought he was. You cannot change another person based on your actions, no matter how many times they try and make YOU responsible for their behavior, you can only control your reactions to them. They themselves control their behavior and change can only come from within them. This is why it is so rare for a narcissist to improve, their very disorder makes it near impossible for them to recognize the damage being done is perpetrated by them. His world revolves around himself and you cannot force him to change his orbit. These insights are ONLY meant to help you manage your life and control what you can in your narcissistic relationship while you make your plans to leave. Staying will not benefit you!)

So, my natural reaction to my continued learning about narcissism and how its affected him and seeing the games he has been playing with me is this:

 

How To Manipulate a Narcissist: Method One

I do not mirror for him any longer, meaning, I do not reflect his moods back to him, I do not react to his rages (mostly, sometimes he does go too far and then I coldly and calmly point out that hes full of crap and here is the proof of why he’s lying and then he changes his tune), and I do not let him make me his emotional puppet anymore. In fact, that is now his primary complaint about me, and what he’s whining to me about almost daily, that I don’t love him anymore and what can he do to make me love him again? Obviously, he sees my tears, emotional outbursts, reactions to his anger, and attempts at making up (i.e. trying to get him out of giving me the silent treatment), as love. I can only conclude from this that he is (of course) feeding off my emotions because he is incapable of producing any real ones of his own.

I see him for what he really is. And I think somehow he can tell. I am no longer impressed by his stories, and I no longer flatter him endlessly about why he’s so good at his job, how he does so well with money, and “what can I do to help”. In fact, I am telling him “no” when he asks me to do something he could easily do on his own and calling him out on his crap when he complains that he can’t do something like make a simple phone call because he has to work, and he’s so busy with his job that he just cant do it. (Never mind that I also work and yet, since I am still at the house most mornings he expects me to do everything for the house as well, and take care of a 14mo old).

Beginning of the End

Now, for some people this will not solve your problems with the narcissist, indeed, I think this may actually end up being the spark that lights the fire under our divorce. He will probably go find someone else to adore him and then play the poor victim in our separation, saying I just stopped loving him and no matter what he tried, and he tried SO HARD, I would not give him another chance.

Ironically, with my Narc, my using this behavior has resulted in the rather unexpected result of him backing off with the anger and rages. He seems to be going back to trying to be charming and lure me back in. Situations where he would normally rage at me until I caved in, he is backing off and “apologizing” (I use quotation marks because its not a true apology), and though he usually follows up with reasons why he is hurt by my actions, it’s better than the anger.

Basically, in a way, I am giving him exactly what he needs to make  all about him and let him play “poor little me” (incidentally, that is exactly the tactic he used in telling me about his girlfriend before me). And hopefully, then he will not fight me for a divorce, because honestly, who wants to live with someone who has no feelings? (The irony of that statement has not escaped me). So for me, I feel this is my best option of how to manipulate a narcissist and much easier to stomach than the next method, which I tried first, and was much too hard for me to deal with because I am simply not that good of an actress.

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239 thoughts on “How to Manipulate A Narcissist

  1. Sofia Leo says:

    Be very careful – if he doesn’t have a new supply lined up he may take out his anger on you and empty your bank accounts, etc. before you can get out. Cross your t’s, dot your i’s and be aware that he’s probably starting a smear campaign against you with your family and friends. I’m assuming there’s no threat of physical danger for you, but be aware that “boiling over” can result in that final bridge being crossed.

    Much luck to you getting away from your monster!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Im pretty sure he has lined up a new supply, hes been lying to me about where hes going, (we have GPS on our phones which he sometimes turns off for “no reason” but last night I caught him, pretty sure California Pizza Kitchen doesn’t have bowling) going out to eat for lunch and spending far more than it costs for one person to eat (hes spent over $500 on lunches in the last 30 days). And yes, he has already started his smear campaign. I have some of his text messages to prove it (they ended up coming to my tablet as well as going out from his phone). Yeay. And yes, Im aware of the bank account issue. I will be taking my name off the accounts as soon as I can (so I cant be liable for overdrafts) and I have already established a separate deposit for my paycheck. Blows my mind that this is happening, but here I am. :/ Thank you for your concern! I appreciate your advice so much.

      1. Renee says:

        So glad you are gearing up for the the end. I was blindsided about my divorce and found out all of the destruction coming my way, WAY too late. Best of luck to you!

      2. T says:

        Have you already separated your credit? Talked to a lawyer about spousal debts? I’ve heard horror stories about divorces where a spouse has to take on the other spouse’s debt. Ruined credit, through no fault of your own, can be just as abusive, and haunting.

        1. Sarah Bengel says:

          I realized the importance of putting passwords onto my utility accounts to keep him from shutting them off. If you explain to the utility companies what could possibly happen, they will help you.

      3. Nini says:

        I went through a similar situation and unfortunately I didn’t know enough about narcissism. My situation got violent and my narc tried to kill me rather than let me get away. I’m here to say I will never again be caught blind by the narcissist. He still reaches out to me even though we are now divorced and I have an order of protection. It’s his need to control me and once again have me at his side that drives him. I have moved away and left all my friends because I cannot trust anyone to not fall for his sob stories. It is true that a narcissist will not change.

        1. Kat says:

          Can i Know is name?:/

        2. Yaz says:

          Crazy I went through something similar with my crazy ex. He threatened me and even destroyed my car when I tried to leave him. I had to really move away myself and not tell nobody where I was. They are very crazy people. Thank god you got out safe!!

      4. Lettie says:

        I learned you can’t be fair in a divorce because he never will be. Go for the juglar.

        1. Davis Susan says:

          AMEN TO THAT BEING FAIR WILL GET U SCREWED CALLING HIM OUT WILL GET U SCREWED DIVORCE COURT AND FAMILY COURT IS MY NARC PLAYGROUND AND STAGE TO GRANDSTAND HIS LIES AND MANUFACTURED CIRCUMSTANCES TO DESTROY ME ITS ONE PROMISE HE KEPT TELLING ME “I WILL DESTROY YOUR LIFE” in 2009 AND YES I ASSURE YALL HES DONE EXCELLENT WORK SO FAR YES AFTER ALL THESE YEARS HE STILL NOT DONE WITH ME

          1. Hope says:

            My divorce was in 2009 also,and he still wrecks havok and wants to destroy me and now my 16 year old son tht won’t go to his parenting time. Why would someone want to when its just verbal abuse the whole week hes there.

          2. smd6145 says:

            OMG MY SAME EXACT WORDS I HAVE SAID OVER THE PAST 7 years OH BTW I STILL HAVE HIM CHIPPING AWAY AT MY EXISTENCE BECAUSE HE TOO VOWED TO DESTROY ME HE HAS KEPT HIS PROMISE WITH A GREAT DEAL OF SUCCESS. THE MEMORY OF THtE HE VOWED HE WILL DESTROY ME I KNEW HE WAS NOT LYING WHICH 99% HE DID SO THE BECOMES THE NORM I KNEW TRUTH WHEN I HEARD IT . A HELL ON EARTH WITH HIM

          3. Chelsea says:

            Im hearing you. For some stupid reason I actually never contemplated a complete fairy tale of lies in court. I was defeated by his lies. My case became aboout defending myself against these stories. None of which were true. But a fantastic case of smoke and mirrors to distract everyone from seeing reality….and it worked ??!! My 8 year old daughter and i were locked out of our home. Judge ruled this was fine given he worked from home. He didnt. I Sought help from the salvos for housing and he continued his affair with a woman less than 100mtrs away in the house , furniture everything, my savings paid for. His life carried on.
            Have all your hard evidence . Dont defend lies as k he proves the truth.
            In the end .. i lost nothing, but gained so much.

        2. Elena says:

          Haha, go for the jugler! I love it! I’m in a somilar situation. I have been reading all your comments. Feels so good to know I’m not alone in all this.. Beginning of the end…

      5. Mandy P says:

        Sounds just like an addict,you might want to consider that he could be also doing drugs because this is exactly how they act as well!!!Trust me I know!

      6. Amber says:

        I had a seperate bank account for my savings my husband the narc couldn’t access or view that was only accessible by going into a bank and not connected to my main bank acct online or even on my debitcard.After our split he drained my bank account,stole my vehicle,Still has everything I have owned to this day,But he had AT&T family maps on my phone which I found out later is a gps service provided by att.Not only that but he could see and read every message or call thru the phone.I would suggest changing your passwords,If you have some people who you can truly trust and are willing to help make a plan with you.Tell them of your plans and go over with them before you make you make your move to leave.This way it ensures your safety along with them possibly being able to give you security for your belongings and a place to stay.If I didn’t have a savings I would have been in BIG trouble.If you are afraid there are domestic violence shelters to help you with no cost.They can supply you a packet to plan your leaving along with other paperwork with resources.

        1. Latisha says:

          How do they do the text message phone thing? It is an app they put on your phone or what?

          1. Amber W says:

            Att family maps it was an application that he added to the family plan to watch me with out me having access to login to the at the account and only him having this access left him open to stalking me without me even knowing.

            1. Samantha Matthews says:

              YES! And he can also remotely wipe your phone, erasing all of your contacts, pictures, etc. He can also just turn it off compleatly, disconnecting the phone number. Its a good idea to change your phone, get a new plan without him, as soon as possible. I did that when I left the first time and it was a good thing because he did exactly that. Its really a weight off my mind that he cant track me, monitor me, invade my privacy that way, or turn it off on a whim.

              1. KC says:

                Yes, I discovered my ex Narc had been using ghosting software and my phone’s icloud backup to read text messages, emails, calendar updates, etc. for over a year after separation and splitting of accounts with our phone provider. Please don’t forget to change your cloud passwords too!! (especially if your phone and/or calendar appointments backup to them) You can get help from your phone provider or manufacturer to factory reset your phone to remove some of those apps. Also, companies like Certo can scan your phone for ghosting apps and software. The ghosting software can be scary (yet sadly legal if you and your spouse/soon to be ex-spouse share ownership of an account through a phone provider)! Some have key loggers so passwords you change on your phone can still be detected…so a change in password does no good. The Certo license I purchased covered 3 devices (if I remember correctly). It was totally worth the annoyance of a factory reset and a less than $60 software scan for the peace of mind. Please stay safe!

      7. Caterine Harper says:

        My divorce happened in 2009. We live in a no-fault state .Affairs didn’t matter. He filed first,(he talked me into waiting until he had the money for legal fees) so it’s on the official record that I was at fault. Make sure he cannot access medical records and bank accounts. He probably knows your mother’s maiden name, SS number, etc. so make sure he is barred from all accounts and records. Call and give explicit instructions that he is NOT to get any private info.about you. Go in and sign documents to that effect if needed. You have rights. I didn’t think to do that and paid a price. My ex also talked me into not asking for alimony. It was tied up in the child support I was given. Then a few years later he sued for full custody, got it and cancelled the child support. And he convinced the kids he had NO affairs and that I was lying because I’m crazy. Now I haven’t seen two of my children for a very long time. This is only a small amount of what I’ve learned. Much luck!

        1. My ex narc did the parent alienation. They are in 30’s late 20’s and early 20’s. If they speak to me at all he calls them on it and makes them feel guilty. So they don’t talk to me at all. I can’t even speak to my grandchildren. He has had 10 girlfriends. This one he has had the longest 10yrs. She believed his sob stories and has joined in on hurting me with my kids. I could type forever about stuff but the actual problem is you never recover ever

          1. Liz says:

            My god, I am reading about what happened and is happening to myself, he and the new wife have alienated my adult kids, never met my grandchildren, he has made contact with firends from way ago that were our friends, and from a little investigaion I am aware my mother…he will do this till one of us dies, he does not care about the kids well being it’s all about him and yes his “poor me” syndrome. Thing is if I was her I would be thinking why are you not over her (me) yet and moved on, she though likes or want me to not exist.

          2. Lin says:

            You can recover!!! There is a program by Melanie Tonia Evans that really does help you recover even after years of being separated from the narc. Many stories of how after doing the program, people are hearing from their children after years of having no contact with them. When you learn how to heal from the abuse inside, your outside world shifts!

          3. Vicki says:

            I completely agree with you Heather, we will never recover. Verbal abuse is sooo much worse, because it plays in our heads like a recording! And the way they put our children in the middle and use them to hopefully “hurt” us not realizing they are truly damaging our children!!
            Best Wishes to each and every woman who has had to deal with the Narc in their lives!
            God Bless
            Vicki

      8. Chanda says:

        Thank you. The comment that got me most was they like empaths which I am. I thought I was seriously going crazy.

      9. Cyndyvh vh says:

        Thanks for the great warning, I’m currently trying to figure out my own narc tornado.

          1. Matthew Zeit says:

            Brilliant. Description!

    2. shelly says:

      i just had mine evicited.he has been a hotel for two months with no reason to stay in this state other than harass me..i have ppo afraid to use it..Know he’ll be waiting and twice as mean..i don’t know what to do..i make it 5 0r 6 days ..black mail ..cutting wires at my business.wipe out my micro soft account,,i started get packages ..i think he;s sett in me up for some kind of mail fraud..he took my kids credit card and joined every porn sights.things i can’t make up…i can’t take anymore..

        1. IBikeNYC says:

          I SO needed to read this (“Gray Rock”) today.

          I got reamed, AGAIN, BADLY, last night.

          Sometimes it’s VERY difficult to keep that vague look/air on/about oneself.

          The concept of channeling a gray rock is brilliant, and the objective of being boring has given me something solid with which to work.

          Thank you.

          1. Samantha Matthews says:

            There really isn’t a whole lot else you can do. Arguing escalates the situation, and agreeing doesn’t make them stop, so why humiliate yourself? Sigh…

            1. Sarah Bengel says:

              You can’t propose a rational viewpoint or have reasonable discussion/argument with an irrational and unreasonable person. Nothing sensible will make sense to them because they have only self-serving interests and cannot possible see anyone else’s point of view.

        2. Madalynn McAdams says:

          How can you portray the boring grey rock method if you have constant contact with him due to children. And he uses the children to get reactions out of me. Accusing me of being a bad mom (when I’m not), threatening me to take me to court to try to get them, trying to harm them not illegally (get ears pierced) against my permission. I can’t help but last out at him when these issues occur. How do you stop reacting to someone when they threaten to go harm your infant by getting her ears pierced?

          1. Hope says:

            My ex tells me that me not responded and no contact is giving up on our parenting agreement and giving up on our children. I wish the court system would quit enabling him to abuse our children and me. But after years of this they still think hes a victim and being the perfect father.our 16yr old son wants nothing to do with him and guess what? Im supposedly alienating and not allowing his parenting time,yet our 14 yr old is still going on the same schedule. He expects me to be a real mom and not a weak mom tht i am and force him. Yet he hasn’t been able to force him. Lol he wants me to do all the work as usual and the court system is a joke. Im in macomb county michigan.

            1. Mrs. Ex says:

              Believe me…..ALL of the court systems are a joke, does not matter what state or county!!! All they care about is the $$$$ (lawyer’s = billable hours; court’s = motion after motion after motion, where nothing gets accomplished except $$$ in their pockets!!!). I finally realized this and just gave up! However, my ex Nar has hit rock bottom so Karma at least took over and helped me out there!

    3. Sarah Bengel says:

      So true. This happened to me and it can be like getting T-boned in a car . . . you never see it coming and the results are more than just emotionally damaging, but socially and financially crippling.

    4. jim b says:

      have to agree with Sophia here. The surprising behavior is not real or sincere. You must remember you are living with a damaged, compromised individual who has no conception of who he(she) is. That person is not healthy, unaware, and in constant suffering. On a primal level, they are not capable of seeing past their pain and will attach it to whatever target presents itself.
      I took all of those steps, escaped, lived a quiet peaceful solitary life for three years but, wrongly decided to return to the hell for the sake of maintaining my family. my two adult children distanced themselves from me after the smear campaign and i weakened and returned.
      Bad call.

      My advice:

      build your support network before you bolt. it will free you, get you past the painful transion, and allow you to really connect with healthy people. you will have to be stronger than you have ever been in you life to truly escape and live healthy. i know now that a big piece of this story was me. you has to accept that you played a large role in the destructive dance.

      be well, be strong.

      j

    5. Susan says:

      Oh yeah she’s right be prepared for discovering he’s been running a smear campaign for the last couple years so when you leave or he files first in the end it doesn’t matter who left who because once he’s got his next supply replacement locked in you get out to find Nobody will believe you not the neighbors, friends ,school staff ,the kids Drs , family appointed therapists, my sons therapists, anyone even your family members. He’s been working on this smear campaign longer then you think. He will drain joint bank accounts while you are still writing checks a joint account can be drained and even closed without your signature I m afraid for you beating em at their own game isn’t realistic and may even be dangerous all you need to is start researching reading what really lies ahead prepare for leaving divorce and hell it comes with you need to survive a narcissist or you might I can’t imagine what happens when one is under the impression such your methods of manipulating them even possible he’s years ahead of you with planning everything. You’ll wake up or make it all that worse for yourself I just can’t imagine what that will be. I read what to expect for a couple yrs before he finally left my dad took him SMEAR CAMPAIGN you have no clue what he’s said just know it’s bad your cretability guess what you don’t have any trust the more you try convincing everyone your telling the truth the crazier it sounds and you look don’t do it it’s playing into his plan that you’re the crazy one and the more talk proving ect you will appear undone mess crazy

    6. Rey Brown says:

      I live with a bipolar Narc. We own properties and a great deal of valuable metals together. He is very mean, and has threatened that if I leave, I will leave without anything. Miserable here, but making my plan of escape anyway.

    7. Crystal says:

      I agree I have been married to one for 13 years and hopefully the divorce will be finalized soon. He has apparently turned our church against me despite the fact that he is the one who has cheated multiple times and they know about it, he is the one that filed for divorce because he got another younger girl pregnant. Btw its all my fault despite the fact that I have been completely faithful and devoted to him. Makes me seriously question if I ever want to be in another serious relationship or just finish raising my kids and become the dog lady at least dogs are loyal and love completely.

    8. connie nilson says:

      wow I am new to this mine is 85 he goes after the sympathy while pretending to be disabled – he is pretty much textbook has said the I will destroy you line as long as I agree with everything he says he is “ok” whatever that means – hasn’t got violent just verbally violent I am ready to file for divorce but it scares me sometimes at age 85 I think I should stay but there really isn’t anything here for me other than to be a servant and I don’t do that very well – if someone can do something him/herself I don’t do it for hem

  2. M says:

    I finally realized that I have to do what you are saying in method one. So many people have websites that only have no contact as the only option. While I would give my life (and basically am- to be able to leave, I cant. Beides financial problems, Im so afraid to let him have the kids on the weekends. He told me he would fight me tooth and nail to get custody of the kids, and I know he would. One of his friends is a lawyer and nobody thinks anything is wrong with him. My kids are the only thing that matter to me. I dont trust him with them for alot of reasons. But in the meantime, Im falling apart. Trying to put a happy face on for my girls.
    I hope you are doing ok and having success with your plan to leave. Im dreaming of that day. Stay strong and realize you arent alone 🙂

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      yeah, well, its a plan, not set in stone. Its a hoped for date, not concrete, sadly. We will see if it happens, and Im slowly making progress. But I understand where your at. My heart is with you!

    2. Linda Keegan says:

      Your story tells me you need to move way out of his sight , before he dose something very hurtful like throw your kids over a bridge or drown them in the car and believe me if you live in Australia victoria. you would remember the dickhead thowing his little daughter over the west gate bridge to her death while her two brothers watched horrified . And left with nightmares . You know this has happened in many other way to distroy you . Legally change your identity and of you kids before it’s too late . Only have one person you can trust know what u r doing . Good luck and god bless you .

    3. Renee says:

      M – I’m in the same boat. Stayed to protect my son from the alone time. He has friends who are cops and lawyers and high powered contacts. He makes a lot of money and trades out his service work for the lawyer fees. All my friends and family are out of state. So we stay. our son is now 14 and I’m hoping that he won’t fight for custody the way he might have when he was younger. Especially knowing that our son doesn’t want to stay either. Best of luck to you in forging through this time and putting your girls first.

    4. Mrs. Ex says:

      The “No Contact” rule is for AFTER the Nar is out of your life! And if you have minor kids it is suggested to have as little contact as possible…..ONLY things to do with supporting the children! Do not communicate with the Nar for ANYTHING else…..ignore all emails, texts, phone messages that do not have to do with the kids!!!!!

  3. M says:

    Mine had a new supply lined up but wouldn’t let go of his servant ( me) – so I had to step it up and stop supplying him with whatever it was that was keeping him there – that was cooking and cleaning and hosting all his friends at all hours of the day or night – the only thing I had going for me is that he would never ever do anything to jeapordize his social status / appearances – and I had to be willing to look really bad to everyone we knew – in order to get my freedom – so I stopped taking care of the house, stopped cooking for him , stopped doing anything domestic that was for him – he finally after 2 years freaked out and said ‘I want to divorce you’ – and went into his usual tirade – I walked away and started the process – I knew that if it had come from me he would have lashed out ( I know I made that mistake about 6 years before ) He was stunned – but went through with it – since i constantly reminded him that it was his wishes I followed – it didn’t end with the divorce though – it took a few more incidents before he finally moved out ( also we have a child together -which means I will never be free of him – until death. ) But on the plus side – I have most of my freedom back. Good Luck to you and I hope it’s better than the rest of us out here in this situation.

  4. M says:

    No Contact is great if you have no kids together – otherwise you must strive to reach as minimal contact as possible – make sure all contact is through email ( so that you control when you have to deal with it) – also so that you have proof in case you need it for court. And the most important thing you can do for yourself – DOCUMENT everything.

  5. Mrs. of Narc says:

    I thank you for writing this and having this wonderful blog. I have been in denial for so long that I have finally faced the reality. When I did, he noticed and took flight. However, the flight has been to move out but make everything impossible on my end, removed all financial resources, doesn’t care to spend time w our children and communicates only when he wants. Has zero remorse for what he has done or continues to do. In regards to divorce, how can one go through this process, what to look for.

    1. Trish says:

      This has been my life for the past 27 years (married 24 years). He’s lied and cheated. The whole world needs to revolve around him. He constantly seeks out admiration from anyone who will offer it up. I am just the person who cooks and cleans for him (sex stopped years ago) and makes him feel validated. There is no emotion in our relationship, and I am now just an empty, broken woman. I can’t remember the last time I actually felt really happy. I always knew deep down inside that something was amiss with him, and it has taken all this time to realize what it is. Just not sure how a person my age (59) leaves and manages financially.

      1. Ruth Dodds says:

        Yes i understand as I am in the same boat

      2. sayresgirl says:

        41 years for me. I felt like you for over thirty of those years. My divorce was final last week. I got nothing in the divorce and I was the major breadwinner….I choose not to go to court as a narc loves a show and I wasn’t about to let him humiliate me publicly one more second. I walked away with my self respect something that any price is worth.
        Do not be afraid as fear is a liar. People will believe what they want. Who cares? You owe no one an explanation.
        In the end, they will always be that old pathetic creep at the end of the bar who still thinks they are irresistibly sexy.

        1. Andi says:

          Best comment ever. There is no substitute for experience, and you’ve done a marvelous job in keeping your head up and seeing clearly. All the best.

      3. Kim McCulley says:

        Exactly my life to a tee! I’m 57 and financially I’m screwed. I am sad all the time. I work a part time job and come home to a mess everytime. He works when he wants to. He picks me up an hour after I clock out and could careless if I walk to work and doesn’t care if it’s at 4:30 in the morning.

        Woke-up to findind my husband gone. Took a walk towards the garage and saw him coming out of another woman’s apt. at 2am. I said nothing and went home. I didn’t want to show any emotion and make a scene and look crazy.

        1. Debra says:

          I hope you know you deserve better.

          1. Kim McCulley says:

            I do, but I’m stuck for now. Last night I was alone and fell apart on the kitchen floor. I was bawling my head off. Sometimes I beg God to take me away because I just can’t take it anymore.

        2. Glenda Davidson says:

          Hi Kim… I have walked in your shoes. After 18 years of being together with a egotistical,lying,cheating man I escaped. He was at the bar strutting around like a peacock and I and 3 friends were moving my possessions out !!!! Thankyou Jesus that I got away. After 40 months he is still stalking me and trying desperately trying to get me back. How DARE I leave him. He wanted to be the one to leave. I have been sad,I have felt freedom!! I was in denial for years thinking that my husband was true to me and not a cheater. I was wrong. Life is too short to be miserable. Stay safe and be smart about getting away if you feel you need to do this. Make a secret plan. Stay safe. My friends were my safety net.

          1. Kim McCulley says:

            I am so happy for you Glenda. One day it will happen for me. God bless you and I wish you all the best in your future.

            Kim

      4. Mrs. Ex says:

        Been through it ALL now…..married 23 years and went through all the legal hoops that didn’t do ANYTHING for my benefit! I am no longer receiving the court ordered Alimony because he ‘doesn’t feel like paying it’ , I am 60 y/o and haven’t worked for 30 years, I will start receiving my small annual IRA payments in Jan and my even smaller SS payments at the end of 2019. I am currently trying to sell my house but that’s not going very well and I will probably have to go through a Short Sale or Foreclosure……so I probably won’t make any profit!!! My car is 16 yrs old and I can’t afford another one so I can only hope it keeps running. I have no idea what my future holds, but even with everything I’ve been through I am so glad that miserable fool is no longer in my life. Karma is on my side so I will continue to see how things play out there! Good luck to all that have, are or will be going through this horrendous ordeal!

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  7. Roux says:

    Thank you for writing this. I managed to get away from my narc by just walking out straight to mama and papa bears house after having no where to go! I had a slip up after he manipulated all my friends and family playing a victim and then realizing that I might have been the problem after all, I went back for about 4 weeks, trying. Tryi g very hard. Then I figured out he just tried to lure me in so he could dump me back to boost his ego. Sitting in my therapists office after being advised I need help from my narc, I was told there’s absolutely nothing wrong with me and that I am a victim. This was the most emotionally draining relationship that I ever had. Tomorrow is my first date after leaving the narc, with a guy who didn’t give up on me. Let’s hope he’s got less issues than the last one! Thinking of you! You deserve better! X

  8. H says:

    Thank you! I too am going through this – hit out of the blue 2 weeks ago with the announcement “Im not happy, I want a divorce” after 16 years of marriage. I too, listened about his unloving/caring/ ex wife. His issues with his mother. (huge) I have endured 2 affairs. (the 2nd I found out about when she contacted me via fb on mothers day weekend a few years ago) I have helped him through a narcotic dependence, several surgeries. ANyhow – now he wants a “amicable ” divorce, so not to “hurt the kids” and wants to be friends, and will even help out w/ the house stuff, and wants to do family stuff still, and would even like to still “date me” , just not be married anymore. I’ve learned a lot the last few days,… what you wrote sounded a lot like what my kids psychiatrist told me. Thanks – I definetly will pin and refer back to this!!! Honestly – Im sick – that i want the well being of my kids, and he’s using that to manipulate me into a better divorce settlement. sick.

  9. BTDT says:

    I feel for you. Just found your blog today but I hope you are staying strong. Sadly, I can tell you from experience that it will likely get worse before it gets better. Divorcing a narcissist is NOT for the faint of heart. Be prepared to lose friends, your good reputation, your children’s trust, sleep, and probably a few pounds too (a grim upside). Still, it is worth it. You will come through and eventually find yourself to be a whole person again: a person with value and opinions and strengths and talents and likes and dislikes.
    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Just keep in mind that you are not dealing with a normal, rational person. Sometimes the only thing that kept me grounded was remembering that I was fighting a disorder, not a person. It helped to dehumanize it a little bit.
    I wish I could say, too, that maintaining separate households from my narc has ended the drama he injects into my life and the control he holds over my time and decisions. It certainly helps. However, with children in the picture, he will still be able to manipulate your time and behavior to a certain extent. It is a dramatic improvement, though, over what you are enduring now.

    1. kitkat says:

      I have just come through divorcing a narcissist.
      I agree, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to steel myself for. He did all that was mentioned above- tried to destroy my reputation, my relationship with my kids, my health, my finances, my mental health….

      I began to win when I realised that he had won if I had a reaction. I tried my best to not react. I just stated my case to the professionals in an evidence-rich and factual manner.

      He has just lost to me in court. He is so used to winning- well, he didn’t beat me, as I was armed with knowledge about NPD.

      You can win over them. Knowledge is power.

      1. Linda keegan says:

        Yes I agree knowledge is power . The power you Cain from knowledge , you need to understand the Narsistic completely. Turn him around play his game . Backfire on him . you can win . Have a plan and stick to it and be the women you were born to be . Good luck x

      2. ibikenyc says:

        Congratulations!

        That non-reaction thing is SO cool; glad you have it in your arsenal.

        Reading about your experience has given me a booster shot of hope! Thank you for posting.

        1. Kitkat says:

          Google ‘grey rock method’ of winning over your narc.

          That is, act bored and act boring. Even if you are less than calm under the surface.

          Hopefully then they will get bored. Even of they don’t, you’ve learned to under-react.

          Your power lies in your response. X

          1. ibikenyc says:

            Thanks for your reply; I had stumbled on it a few months ago at

            http://180rule.com/the-gray-rock-method-of-dealing-with-psychopaths/

            I especially love when he goes on and on and ON about Something Important to him; I walk back and forth around and in front of and behind him, going about my business like he isn’t even there, and when he’s all done and DEMANDS some response, I give him the shark eyes and go,

            “Yeah?” in a so-what tone of voice.

            (The REAL LIFE benefit of getting handy with this technique is that I’ll be able to work at any embassy on the planet!)

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  11. ladyfrancesca says:

    I think you may be confusing a narcissist with an abuser. Recommend you read the book “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft (the ultimate authority on this subject)

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I would venture to say, if you are an extreme on the narcissist scale, than you inevitably will be an abuser. However, it is not necessary for you to be a narcissist to be an abuser.

    2. Raquel Spinelli says:

      It’s never one or the other, these sick people usually are a blending of at the very least 2 characteristics. I can honestly say that mine is an abuser as well as a narcissist, among other things.

  12. Shelly says:

    A Narcissist is an abuser. A mental and emotional one, and sometimes it can get physical too.

    1. Kim McCulley says:

      Thank you Shelly, I was trying to figure out how they figure mental and physical abuse is different than “abuse”. Their is no difference between mental or physical when it comes to being broken, sad, depressed or beaten, because it all hurts.

  13. Shannon says:

    Thx Samantha,
    You have mirrored so many of the feelings I have about my Narc. my Narc likes to call what he has as BRAVADO!!!! I would have,… up until I found out what he was. He is the most arrogant person I have ever met. He is self righteous, self centered, an ego manic, and God only knows how many other adjectives there are but I bet he’s got them all.
    I really felt that this guy was what he said he was. I could not have been more wrong. Not knowing at the time what a Narc. was I asked him if he was gaslighting me. I am a classic movie fan and had seen the movie with Ingred Bergman. I was mirroring a lot of the same behaviors right down to being a bit of a detective and finding out what and how he was doing things. It was not easy’ to get any info but I did it and proved that he was a Narc. and I was his victim.
    Unfortunately I am still here. One of the things he did was to have my car repo’d. I have 3 cats I brought into the relationship. They are worth the wait I will not leave without them. I need to get a car. I’m saving for that day. I have a home that I payed for before we met and we are not married.
    so anyway I will be out soon.
    Thank you again for your blog.
    Shannon

    1. Carmen "narcMagnet" Jones says:

      Yep! Mine (Narc ) gaslighted me but no Joseph Cotton to save me. And we even watched the movie together! I was blind inlove. lol but no more!

      1. Carmen "narcMagnet" Jones says:

        I guess that was part of the plan..

  14. IBikeNYC says:

    One day he was all over me about how it had taken me (get ready) FIFTY MINUTES to vacuum the stairs and hallway.

    I was already NOT IN THE MOOD for it, so I just ignored him,.

    I’ve been on a slow and steady weight-loss-and-fitness campaign for the past three years, so later on I thought, “Gee; fifty minutes of vacuuming?” and looked up the calories burned and added them into my daily “fitness” outlay. It added up nicely!

    WEEKS LATER he was AGAIN (third? fourth? time) on about how it had taken me FIFTY MINUTES (!!!!!) to vacuum the stairs and hallway!!!!!

    I said, “Oh, yeah: Glad you mentioned that! I looked it up, and did you know that fifty minutes of vacuuming burns 175 calories! I’d had no idea how long it took until you mentioned it!”

    NEVER.
    AGAIN.

    There have been several other things like that. I, too, have gotten GREAT at keeping my mouth shut. I picture myself as coated with Silverstone and see his nastybombs just skittering off me and bouncing away. I do the Mountain Pose from Yoga (“Oh; that YOGA bull****,” NASTY SNEER on face, but he ALWAYS walks away and shuts up).

    I try to (PRIVATELY, OF COURSE) ask myself if there is ANY value, at all, of any kind, in what he’s saying. Like, with the vacuuming, I never timed my individual tasks, and if he hadn’t told me how long it takes, I wouldn’t have known.

    Similarly (betcha no one here will doubt this at ALL), I have heard no fewer than five times, always in these wild-eyed, out-of-control SCREAMING RAGES, about how, “I hope you don’t think you look good, because YOU look like S***!” so what I do now is when he’s getting ramped up about that, I say, “Okay; I already KNOW I look like s***; what ELSE ya got?”

    I use such preemptive strikes about other of his pet issues.

  15. Sandra says:

    I’ve been with my N for 10 years we have 3 kids, and only recently learned exactly what he is. In the last week I’ve begun to make an escape plan, but I am still finding myself feeling guilty about it, knowing he doesn’t know what he is, and that he’s a victim himself, which is why he is what he is in the first place… We are all he has, and I’m still feeling responsible for that. I don’t know if I will be able to stay away, I am a codependent, which make me part of the cause of this mess of a life we’ve made.

    1. Rae says:

      He knows exactly what he is. Run. Mine calls himself blackstewie85. Bury your heart. And run.

  16. Len says:

    I want to take this time to say thank you for all the wonderful responses that I read. The “great irony” here is that I am a marriage and family therapy doctoral student :/ I am the perfect narcissistic supplier… I just couldn’t put my damn finger on what the hell was going on! After reading the post it’s clear… I’m an idiot… LOL. I am a complicit enabler… it all makes so much sense now. But, hold on, the plot thickens… (btw I’m a guy)… not only is this woman narcissistic, her enmeshment with her son has lead to emotion incest with him! She turns to her son emotionally because she doesn’t want to deal with a grown ass man, but wants the praise, admiration, and validation from her son (no he’s not mine), who doesn’t know he’s being abused (I mean how can he there’s nothing to compare it to). So yeah, I’ve got to get the hell out… right in the middle of my studies :/ Thank you all for helping me to see the log that was in my eye!

    1. Salena says:

      Doesn’t it seem as a professional his could never happen!? I am a mental health therapist myself and have tried coaching my sister out of a narc relationship she has been in for 23 years. Only to find I’ve spent the last year with one. I realized this on thanksgiving day, this last week, as I ended our relationship (almost) completely willingly.

      He beat me down with clever and discreet strategies. I almost missed it. I began lying to cover up who I am as a person (a very giving and caring person), because I knew the truth would result in his verbal lashings and comments that scarred my very soul… Exacerbate his paranoia and make him treat me with even more disdain. I felt so guilty for becoming a liar, hurting him, causing us this pain. And now I know he did it, he manipulated the environment until I was no longer myself, and he could easily play victim.

      I keep wondering to myself how did I get into this? How did I not see it? How have I, as a strong willed, aware, mental health professional been so blind to this as he sooooo masterfully and discreetly beat me down? But I am thankful I discovered within a year and will be able to recover and move on. Only downside… I work with him. He leads our team. I go into work tomorrow for the first day since I allowed us to end things. I am unsure what to prepare for, avoidant punishment, snide remarks and glares, slandering my name, cornering me to tell me how this is my fault? My anxiety is through the roof about it. And though I recognize this is for the better, I still battle thoughts and emotions of why I loved him, what I wanted for our future and feeling of guilt that I brought the conflict into our relationship.

  17. Crissy says:

    After reading this, I feel so sorry for women who had to endure this for years upon years. My experience was a short one but it was quite enduring and exhausting. In my experience my narc came into my life to show me that I am an empath without even saying it. We were never physically involved because when he asked on the 2nd date I refused telling him I needed to know him better. His response? The silent treatment. For months. I thought I had bruised his ego and I tried and tried to make up for it with with endless texts and phone calls that went unanswered. He was downright mean. My head spun in confusion. Should I have just given in and gave him some? I questioned my own dignity over and over again. Finally after 3 months my narc gave me a scrap. He popped up at a place he knew I went every morning for coffee. He just said hello and how are you. That’s it. Nothing else. No explanations nothing. I went out of my mind. Eventually I came across blogs like these. Now I know. And I thank god I never got involved. Phew!!

    1. narcfree says:

      You are SO lucky you didn’t get involved! Look at how he treated you after 1 date? The silent treatment is used a lot in the beginning, at least from my experience. He never ignored and got back to me by text always within a few hours prior to getting me in bed. After? Well, he acted just like your story. Weeks would pass. I seriously couldn’t fathom treating someone that way. When I called him out on in aka Who is raised this way? He got very upset and jumped to-you talking crap on my parents? I wasn’t, it was a general statement I thought he’d catch, that we are all taught to treat people with respect. He ignores more. Only came back when he wanted sex. I knew something was wrong with him, but had no clue until the whirlwind ended. I eventually remained the only one left and he did pretend to become serious about us…until he met another girl. It doesn’t matter how much you love them, do for them, give them loyalty, etc. You could have years of history and it all goes out the window and your loyalty counts for nothing if he meets someone, especially if that someone pursues him. While “dating” I lol at that, he had me on a leash-in constant contact all day be it text or email mostly. I would ask where was this guy in the beginning? No straight answers. They need to be in control at all times and will take and take and not give anything. Oh, and the sure sign of a narc, pretending nothing odd happened. Going from a screaming rage fit to everything is great and not wanting to talk about it bc “it didn’t happen” They are strange creatures.

    2. Carmen "narcMagnet" Jones says:

      I was so happy to read about your experience, especially “the silent treatment ” wow. Whew! is right and mean is the perfect word. But an even better phrase, that I just realized is psychologically abusive I am so glad I’m out! Now the light bulb goes on!

    3. Mrs. Ex says:

      I wish I had been as smart as you to deny his advances in the beginning. I endured my ex-Nars ridiculous behavior for 23 years. I guess I am just a natural born sucker (very insecure to say the least)……sigh. Good for you for discovering what you could have gotten involved with, for a much longer amount of time!!!

  18. Donna says:

    Hello to everyone, after reading this article I was so shocked because every single word you said was my life in every way. I’ve only figured out what my Narc was about five years ago. It’s so terrible because I’ve been with him since 1992 & just now in the last few years have grown so tired if living this way. I’m not sure why I never noticed all these traits sooner. How could I end up marrying someone that is a polar opposite of myself. I have too much feelings for people & he has none, unless of course there’s something he can con them out of. And he lies about everything. Big outrageous lies. He lies when he don’t even need to. And I’m a honest, straight forward person. I feel like such a failure & so stupid. What makes my situation so bad is I have no one. I only have my only daughter & my narc. I lost my world when my mom died 8 years ago. My dad is in declining health & has gave up. Plus he’s pretty much a narc too. I have no job or transportation. So there’s no contact with the outside world. And don’t you know my narc loves that. The only way I get thru is to remember that I have no opinion but whatever his is about anything & everything. And never ask him to do anything or say anything he does something wrong. Because of course he’s not wrong about anything. So my only hope is to co habitat with him & start learning from others. I don’t see how I could ever be able to leave. I’m not in the best of health either. I’m only 55, but the last 8 years have been so hard. After losing my mom, I lost my job I loved & one if the best friends I ever had. So I sit here day after day waiting to see what kind of mood he’s in so I’ll know what kind of day I’m going have. I recently went to a support group Celebrate Recovery. I found out that I’m co dependent. Big surprise there. But I thought what I was doing was being a care giver. Not realizing for so long that I’ve gave up on my own hopes & dreams if anything. As long as I could keep my daughter & him happy, then I could be happy. So I am going to return to the group & learn what I can. And I’m going to focus on my faith that I had got slack on. I started going back to church a year ago. So I’m hoping & praying The Lord will show me the way to deal with this & some way some how to learn to live again. I know a lot of people don’t believe in God, but please respect my belief. I can’t believe there is so many of us. I wish they had support groups. It’s just nice to know that I’m not crazy. I read about that triangle thing that narcs do. Then it made sense why it calls my daughter everytime & I feel like I’m being ganged up on. But she knows how he is & knows all his lies & bs. But she wants to keep the peace. He just wants to make sure she thinks I’m wrong & how I’m so mean to him. And all I’ve done is ask him to pick up something he leaves in the middle of the floor or if I don’t agree with everything he’s saying. And low and behold if a make a sigh sound like I don’t want to do what he’s demanding right then & there. He’ll run and call my daughter (not his, but they have a good relationship) and he tells her we have had this big fight. So I try to keep my mouth shut. But it’s so overwhelming all the mess he makes everywhere & I’ve got to clean it up. Never any regards for what I do here to keep the house clean. I recently had to clean up junk & heavy tires off the porch because the association here is enforcing a lot of new rules. He didn’t help me do any of it. I had to lift all those tires & put them in the garage myself. And mind you I have a bad back. But he’s so good at doing nothing at all. All I hear about is how all the work he’s did like he’s the only person that’s every had or does hold a job. Which he didn’t work much the first six years we were together. He thought he had met his meal ticket because I had a three figure paying job. But because of what he put me through, I ended up quitting & going under a doctors care. That was one of the many times I was trying to break free. But not because of what he was being a narc. But because he was a bad crack addict. He spent & stole thousands & thousands of dollars from me & his family. That’s why his family has cut him off pretty much. Which they know when he calls that he wants money. And sometimes we have needed some help. But he tells all these outrageous lies. But me & my stupid heart wouldn’t give up on him when his whole family had. And he would be so remorseful. I didn’t know that was all part of pulling me in. I’ve made this completely way too long & I’m tempted to just delete it all. But I’m going to send it anyway. You can always delete it or maybe edit it, lol. But the length shows you just how lonely I am to talk to someone. Its so nice to see someone else that really knows what a terrible way this is to live day after day. I guess it’s a good thing I just realized it in the last 10 years & it’s just really started bothering me the last 2-3. My daughter says it was because I had a job myself & a few friends so all the stuff he does wasn’t so noticeable then. I don’t know. I just know that I’m going to make some changes for myself. And if he wants to not talk to me for 2-3 days, that’s fine. But he usually needs me to find something he’s lost or call someone to lie to them for him. But I’m going to try this support group for my co-dependency and see if I can implement some changes so I can at least be somewhat happy. I hope & will being praying for all the lucky ones that have a escape plan, as well for us that don’t, that we can find a way to live with our narcs. Y’all please don’t be mad cause I made this so terribly wrong. But I have no one to talk to, honestly no one. So thanks for listening. Oh wait I forgot to tell y’all he’s ADHD on top of being a narc, so he runs around here full spend ahead losing & forgetting stuff & how dare I not look for what lost or accuse him if not remembering something the right way. I never know if what he’s saying is because of being a narc or because is ADHD. Thanks & good luck to all.

    1. Westy says:

      Your not alone hun – i have the same problem. Not only Narc but adhd too. It is extreme. But we will get through this. You can’t change them. Only we can change our lives.

    2. Anna says:

      Im so sorry you feel this way, i am only 26 and have been married to someone for 5 years who has same traits that i know will only get worse by time. Its so hard for me to leave, i also have no one at the moment. Please dont feel alone, knowing that you are still fighting the fight gives me strength to try leaving this relationship too.

      1. narcfree says:

        So Sorry Donna I hope you can get away if you don’t have kids with him. Yes they lie when they don’t have to it’s so weird, and they think they are fooling us. Anna-you are so young you can get away. I know people who have not experienced narc abuse will not understand, don’t let them affect you and get out. Be it live with family a few months until you get on your feet. You don’t have to spend your life trapped by a parasite.

      2. Susan says:

        It’s really hard because it’s complicated for all of us for varying reasons but they planned all our complications he may leave first but I’m in this hell since 05 the discovery of my husbands real identity he finally left (laws vary state to state) but I couldn’t leave that’s called abandoning the house once ya do that not so easy if ever get back in just as well the mortgage was over 3grand a month couldn’t afford it but I didn’t really want the years there are of dark psychological abuse fear sick all the time gaslighting ect… It was all traumatic memories

    3. Carmen "narcMagnet" Jones says:

      Donna
      I ABSOLUTELY feel the pain of your situation.It was like reading my own story.But good news! After all these years I am finally out! I tried the communication route, then loving with no conditions and , it seems nothing fixed it and he blamed me. It seems when they love(need)you they hide it /fix it/ admit it. Or at least remorseful. So I realized that the FULL narcissist was out when Of course he never saw any fault in himself and I was wrong… cuz I had my own opinion ha! Or I called him on yet another lie!! Unloved and no respect were my signals to go and So to save myself , my dignity, I couldn’t take being with someone without empathy ,emotions or feelings any longer. Being with someone who NEVER had real empathy became terribly humiliating.
      For I am a deeply emotional person and proud… that’s what humanitarians do… they feel.
      All that said be strong hold and pray!!!

      BTW I find that most seem to be attractive, now that’s the hard part! lol

    4. Raquel Spinelli says:

      Hello Donna; With a few minor differences, you just told my story and actually, it’s not long enough! I’m 57, married to mine 30+ years, only opening my eyes to reality about 3-4 years ago. The past can’t be changed, our kids are grown and gone and the damage is done and can’t be undone, so all I can do is live for me, which is I have been doing, little by little. I too was gravely ill and couldn’t work, and it took me a number of years to recover physically, but I did and went to work part time, recently going full time. I’ve returned to the gym and now am physically active again, and this past year I started going out salsa dancing, something I’d always wanted to do! Each time I took a step it was a war, but I didn’t care – let the chips fall where they may I thought. What’s the worst that could happen – that he would leave?!? Ha, of course he was all huff and puff and out the door I’d go, and there he’d still be when I got back. There were threats of course, all empty – and all documented in my EMAILED responses to him btw. And I am happy – despite the depths of the horrors, I’ve actually been happy, but in spite of him, not because of him, and that’s something that was born inside of me, God-given. My own determination to overcome anything and live each day to it’s fullest and love my life. No matter what he’s done to me and he’s done a lot, I’ve managed to somehow spin it so it works for me. He’s humiliated me publicly in front of his favorite audience – his family … therefore, I no longer attend any family functions with him which was literally handing him the opportunity to do so on a silver platter every time I did. Good, more time for me to do something fun with my family, or my friends, relationships I’d neglected for far too long because of him. Now my post is getting too long lol … anyway, now that I’ve actually started making decent money again with this new position, that puts me even in a stronger position – a dangerous little game I’m playing, but that doesn’t matter to me anymore. I wasted too many years being afraid and getting nowhere, and it just seems that the more I accomplish, the more I defy or stand up to him, the more I can count on him standing down, each and every time. My way can’t be everybody’s way because everyone and every dynamic is different but this is what’s working for me.

    5. Letitia says:

      Every single thing you wrote here, I could have written myself! Except I am sixty!
      But every word is what I have gone thru ,and am going thru. God bless you.

  19. Wendy G says:

    Oh. My. Gosh. Thank you for articulating my exact experience. Very insightful and helpful in how I deal with things in the future!

  20. Kari Hofmann says:

    Have you been able to get out of this relationship yet?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      emotionally? yes. Physically, its something Im still working on, and being free of him emotionally is actually harder, because all I see is all bullshit all the time from him. (Pardon my language). But, I’m working on a two month goal now. It totally freaks me out, but I cant keep living in purgatory like this, I have to make a move. And since there is no going back to my ignorance, and he wont ever become a decent human being, guess that leaves me only one option.

      1. ibikenyc says:

        “I cant keep living in purgatory like this, I have to make a move. And since there is no going back to my ignorance, and he wont ever become a decent human being, guess that leaves me only one option.”

        Oh, THANK you, my dear. Your words are speaking to me LOUDLY and CLEARLY.

        I would LOVE to hear how you are doing now.

  21. Nicci says:

    Wow. This is incredible. I feel like I could have written it. I have felt so alone for so long, it’s amazing to find other women dealing with the same stuff. My narc husband has a history of pathological lying and Infidelity, manipulation, outbursts, etc. The passage about asking to do things he can easily do himself has caused so many arguments in our relationship. He has a smartphone and a laptop and works in IT, yet needs me to google phone numbers for him. I mean what? I am a sahm of three and am slowly plotting my escape.

  22. Amy says:

    I am overwhelmed reading this, and it’s with relief…I have lived with my boyfriend and father of my 2 kids for 10 years now without ever knowing what was truly wrong and why he treats me the way he does. And then I stumbled across some quotes about narcissists which led me to this post. This is my life. 100% what I have been through and I never knew until this moment that I am not alone in my struggles. I would give anything to talk to you more in private messages. You have no idea what you have given me, and to know that it really is him and I’m not crazy and others go through this to, I can’t even explain it. Thank you so much for posting this, I’m not sure what led me here but I’m so grateful and I feel I can use this to help me move forward with leaving.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      You can contact me directly through facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Narcissists-Wife Just message me there! 🙂 <3

    2. Kim McCulley says:

      Amy, exactly like my situation (except no children between us). I know what your going through, it’s hurtful and belittling and heartbreaking. You can always message me on facebook Kim McCulley From Huntington Beach, CA.

  23. Lea says:

    I have lived that life & am free of an abusive Narc. Your post is almost my story & I hope you have gotten out!! It was the best thing that could’ve ever happened for me & my children. You are right about everything & these people are actually psychotic. Prayers for you & your little one(s)!

  24. Summer says:

    Thank you for this. I’m at the end with my husband. I don’t know what else to do. One word to describe him would be impossible narcissist. He’s impossible to please impossible to talk to… Just impossible. Method two is always on my mind but it’s so hard to be fake just as you said. Thankfully there’s another method. I am definitely going to try that because I cannot seem to follow through with #2. Thanks again.

  25. nancycakes13 says:

    I left without having my finances set up, but thank goodness for my parents! While we are fighting for custody (he wants full, giving me ‘supervised’ visitation) I am living with my parents and working when my kids are with him. It’s hard, but doable. It’s definitely better leaning on my parents for a while than back living with him.

  26. Klo says:

    Thank you.
    I’ve finally got my sparkle back and kicked my narc out of my house. I have a 4 year old and don’t want her growing up thinking his behaviour is normal.
    He made such a decent attempt over the years to pretend it was all my problem and my fault! What an asshole.
    Now I’m free of him I’m beginning to realise what a disturbed individual he was.
    My advice with narcs is don’t wait. As you say they NEVER change. Love doesn’t change them. Once they’ve charmed you all they want to do is break you.
    Run. Run.run

    1. Sarah Bengel says:

      YOU ARE SO GREAT!! You said exactly what I learned and finding the truth out can both hurt and help. But I would take the hurt of a healthy choice over the pain of allowing a ruined and mentally unstable person run my life and try to put me into an early grave!!

  27. Tami says:

    I have been with someone for over 20 years. He used to be kind and loving and showed me attention. However, after we had kids. Kids he begged for he began to ignore me and was always angry. He had his moments before kids but I would just ignore them. As I have grown older I have realized that he is an angry bitter soul. He snaps at the strangest things. He’s the nicest person when we are in public. Friends think he’s great, coworkers love him. He comes home and spews evil about how the kids are losers. Anytime they do anything wrong it’s always my fault. I work full time and I’m always here for the kids and he is always away working or hunting or fishing and taking huge man trips leaving us at home. Only to come home to happy kids and a clean house he will hunt around to find anything wrong to tell me I’m an idiot or speak to me like I am a child. For years I labeled him verbally abusive due to fights with awful name calling and swearing. Last night I found your site and it hit me like a ton of bricks. He’s a narsissist! Omg how did I not see it. Now I am at a complete loss. I know I can leave but I fear my kids getting hurt. He tells me I can leave whenever I want but I will never see my kids ever again. No judge will ever allow me to have them. I always laugh and say “whatever”! I know that being divorced from him would far be worse than staying. I am drained and feel exhausted running around making sure everything is perfect, that I’m always happy and smiling.

    1. Sarah Bengel says:

      I wish you could find a way out of your hell before it kills you. Maybe this will help? I left my ex when I realized I was teaching my daughter it was okay to allow someone to treat me so badly. Then I pictured her married to someone like him and decided in that instant to stop the cycle! Don’t let your children learn the wrong things from your bad marriage, but the right way to be strong and survive despite the struggle. Struggling after divorce is far better than being married to a cruel unfeeling monster! Please, GET OUT IF YOU CAN!!

    2. Jaelyn Shipman says:

      I completely understand how you could be broad sided by this!!! So was i!!! How could I not have heard the word and definition and not see it?!?!?

  28. amber says:

    I’m so truly sorry that you are in this position. My ex husband is exactly your story to the “T”…I will say a prayer for you! Be strong for your baby and know real healthy love will find you. Be safe, and my God be with you! Xoxoxo

  29. narcfree says:

    I was under the impression narcs threw new supply in your face? I know he is a narc but when he cheated he refused to give a name. It constantly changed. Not even a first name. I’ve been free for a little under 2 years. I was stunned when someone sent me a picture of what appears to be him, with a girl, wrapping his arms around her and hiding half his face behind her head, while still very much with me! It’s clear he knows what he is doing and bending down and angling his face to not see his ears and features recognizable. My friends think it’s him and last summer (I thought he was single) we met a few times to talk. He was wearing a shit I never saw in 3 years. Thought nothing of it till I ran into him a few weeks later and he was in an outfit that doesn’t fit the personality I know. Started thinking, does he have a double personality? Got to narc info and realized he morphs into what he thinks his next vic would like. So fast forward 6-7 months since I’ve seen him in person, this picture pops up in my email. I nearly shit bricks…..he’s wearing the shirt I’d never seen that he wore when I met him, and of course the worst-the time/date stamp confirming his double life. I confronted him via email he denied it and asked for the picture. I just said why? I loved you 3 years, I know it’s you…he played more games. Then I wrote: “you screwed up when we met at such and such bar, its the stripped grey shirt I asked you about, the shirt where you wrapped your arms around my waist and kissed me” ” Well you are behind her and hiding your head behind hers”……crickets….She changes her profile pic of my ex and her of 1.5 years it had been her profile, to….another man! Even if this guy is my exes doppelganger, and she coincidentally knows my exes friends, she puts up herself with a total different man and it is clear even with only a partial face showing of my ex. She does this within 4 days of me detailing the pic. So my guy friend writes her saying wow you need to know about I’l call him bob, he was in another rel and prob cheats on you if he cheated on his ex. She doesn’t confirm or deny it? she just keeps saying he’s my boyfriend stop talking about my boyfriend. A few of my friends have sent her screen shots of emails and texts to me while with her and she doesn’t acknowledge it, in fact, she changes her profile picture from i assume a friend, back to my ex and half his face showing. They said, look if this is mistaken identity why won’t you say your boyfriends name and clear this up? Or post a picture with his full face….nothing? What can he possibly be saying to control her to this degree? I am not with him and now he’s been outed, why the secrets?

    1. narcfree says:

      The most telling part it has to be him is, if you started to receive random messages providing an email and phone # wouldn’t you tell that person-hey someone is sharing your emails with me. If it truly was not him, cheating while with me, he would know I was passing around his info and be pissed and say something. It’s mind boggling!

  30. naomi says:

    Wow!! You wrote this so wonderfully!! I can’t even find the words to thank you for this!! Hugs to you!! Thank you for finding words to build me up again!! I’m 5 yrs separated and went through PTSD and I’m on my way to recovery! But he hates that so he has put in 3 months of being the ‘perfect husband’ and staying grey rock is tiring! Great article to rebuild my strength!! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

  31. Dee says:

    I was just sitting in the car crying because I’m emotionally drained from work and we just had another ridiculous argument where he stated that even though I work and travel 3 hours a day, he’s not a house hitch and I should be doing everything. He has been giving me the silent treatment after abusing me for not taking my kids to the pool. Mind you I’ve had gastro and vomiting for 3 days and it’s been 37 degree heat, but apparently the Vitamin E (yes E) will cure all that ails me.
    He told me he is sick of me saying I’m going to do things then not doing them, despite the fact he does that himself.
    He will have days off work if we argue and goes to his mums twice in the afternoon and atleast 6 times on the weekend. I know he’s cheating but he steadfastly denies it.
    The arguments we have are factless and frustrating with him citing that women do almost everything even when they are working. When I remind him that his boss does most of the shit in his house he denies it even though he’s told me the stories while putting his bosses wife down.
    He expects me to quit my job, even though he earns shit money in an unstable job, and wants me to cook, clean and give him porn style sex without complaint all while treating me like rubbish.

    All that I have read tonight has lifted my spirits and now, after only a mere 2 years, I have to again plan an escape from another failed relationship.

  32. jenn says:

    I did these things too. I learned the game to survive. It’s a true game of Survivor…outwit, outplay, outlast

  33. lenie says:

    I have had a relation like that. I wish you well and strenght… you can’t break for ever.. for your child. Prepar for the whurst of emotional war…hy will putt you throu…please remember better live whitout dan living slowly and dying…whit in.. .
    i am nine years later today. And still have hell whit my ex… because its always my fault…extra.. the childrens suffer from him. Its breaks my heart every time. So be prepard emotioly…. good luck..

  34. lenie says:

    Sorry i forgot something… be prepart for every thing.. because he will do every thing to get you back….
    I realy mean every thing… including to your child.
    Its good your preparing, but please do not forget a safe house..and i found it eseaer to play along so hy does not, have a clou.

    Be carefull and mindfull…
    Succes

  35. Tootsie says:

    Well… My comment would be that you are not manipulating him, you are settling and making rationalizations. You day you work, if you have always had your own income, why have you waited?

    Don’t mistake narcissism for a spouse who simply left you emotionally years ago and all his issues are really about unhappiness in your marriage. These men come off looking like a walking textbook of personality disorder traits but seem to do fine as long as they are with women who can keep them happily preoccupied. Of course these men are never happy for long, but do a great job during the honeymoon period of any relationship.

    Why waste time thinking of manipulations? Taking time out to write a blog about how you are going to leave him, instead of just doing it makes me think you like the negative attention. Think what you could have done to get your freedom in the time frame you processed and then wrote about your plans.

    Forget him. Pretend the world just changed. Each person has to figure out how to kill zombies and keep their kids safe. There would be no time for his rantings and coddling, even if its fake coddling. Lure him to the zombie territory emotionally and run.

    Women who are in their child rearing years have way more ops than they believe. Do not wait for kids to graduate, houses to be paid off or anything to cause delay in your happiness. Senior citizenship and a bad marriage is like walking through hell in a tight pair of heels with a plastic spoon. Your children are grown and find your issues trite and may disown you if it stresses them too much. You are no longer cute or even pretty enough to attract a potential male friend because stress took its toll.

    Housing ops are not there because, uhhh you have no minor children. No favors from the govt to help you finish school or even re train you to work in a more profitable field. You are retired remember?

    I could go on for hours but won’t. Let the slob have his new space and you get yours. Just see a good lawyer, forget about hiding a few dollars here and there. There is no more egg money, chicken coops are not that popular anymore. You are not going to have suitable funds by sneaking $10 bills here and there. When women attorneys tell women to put away a few dollars from grocery money for leaving a spouse, I have to laugh and ask what century do they live in?

    It is laughable that they truly have passed the bar, but give such outdated advice that my great grandmother might have heard. It would be my luck after saving $200 in 6 months that I am robbed of it.

    Give no more consideration to this monster of unhappiness, get yourself in high gear and run like zombies are after you

    Good luck

  36. Cheryl says:

    This is an excellent blog! I’m a survivor! I’ve been out of the relationship for a year now after three and a half years of hell, I figured it out. We were not married but I knew I was going to leave, the first time HE told someone that “the dog was his best friend but don’t tell her”.
    I stayed till I had the money and opportunity to leave without confrontation. I left during a fight at HIS cabin. I was in robot mode. Went to the house, packed MY STUFF got a truck loaded it and started the 2000 mile trek back to MY HOUSE, HOME and FAMILY, FRIENDS. It was 2 weeks before he went back to the house to learn I was GONE!! Every two months or so now he sends me an email with pictures or updates. The latest came two weeks ago around the anniversary when I packed up and left. Telling me all about the cabin and what’s going on with it including a picture stating he wanted me to know since I AM such a big part of it. I FILED IT.
    Do I still have feelings…yes…I still care because I am a caring person. Do I know the predictable behavior…yes…can we be “friends”…NO.

    It will take more time to recover from PTSD BUT I am well on my way.

    I WISH each of you well in recovering yourselves!!!!!

  37. Heathercicle says:

    I went with option two. It was harder than I ever thought it was, because he was so good at manipulating me after 8 years. I looked back a few times and saw that what I left behind wasn’t worth the effort I had put into it. I hope things worked out well for you, as they have for me.

  38. Me says:

    Wow! Sadly, I can relate to all of these posts, thank you! You certainly can’t change a narc, you can’t even ‘win’ the ‘game’ because the unsaid ‘rules’ constantly change. I’m recently ‘out’, with my children, but need some advice on how to stay safe from his emotional abuse and bullying. How can I keep him away when we have children together? How can I succeed and move forward with my life? Any suggestions? He is still trying to play games with me and through my children. Why does it hurt so much, that he is with the mistress that he is still denying?

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  40. Auney says:

    I left my Narc 3 months ago! I had no idea what a Narc was until searching the Internet. I was in total love with this man that put me on a pedestal and then out of nowhere knocked me off! I had started seeing a therapist because I knew I had to eventually get out of this relationship! I have never met anyone like this- I am a very strong independent woman. He striped me down to nothing! I was only with him for 1.5 yrs- but this man broke me.
    I carry this article with me at all times- when I am feeling weak- I read it! It reminds me of all the horrible things this man did to me.

    5 Sneaky things Narcissists do to Take Advantage of You by Shahida Arabi.
    (This was my relationship for the last 1.5yrs)

    To leave a Narc:
    1. you must have a good support system! I moved in with my brother and sister-in-law. 2. Have as little or no contact with them. . 3. Keep yourself very busy the first 2 months- I am just now at a point I feel strong enough to move out on my own! (If I didn’t have my friends and family I would have gone back!).
    4. Your mind will play tricks on you! Stay focused- keep a journal! When I feel lonely and weak I go back and read all of the mental and emotional abusive things he did and said to me! It gets you right back on track!
    5. Have money or a credit card for fast cash! I kept $500 in an envelope at work.

    Good luck! And thank you for this blog

  41. Kim says:

    OH MY GOSH! I’ve never been able to put it into words so people understood what I was going through, Wow. This is my husband to a “T” and then he says it’s all my fault, and I need help, LOL. I am so happy to find this article, I was ready to walk out because he’s killing who I am inside. I appreciate you so much. He’s had “MY” Mother and Sister talk with me about my attitude, and I laughed because I couldn’t believe it.

  42. Kay says:

    I have been with him almost 13 years ( married 10). I didn’t realize his true nature up until last year unfortunately. Forgiveness is my nature and apparently ignorance. I wasmade to believe everytime something was wrong in our marriage that I was the one who had to change or step it up. He has had affairs and he would say ” well if you didn’t do/say this, then I wouldn’t have done what I did”. I started to realize that things he did in the past that I believe we’re out of love were in fact for control. A friend would invite me out and my husband would always offer up something better because he knew I would go out with him instead and cancel my other plans. It’s hard. Really hard. My divorce is actually scheduled for November 30 and I’m trying so hard not to get pulled back in his mess. He wants it canceled so he can prove he can be the husband I needed him to be………yet 2 days ago he spent the evening with his ” mistress or whatever she is” and had bailed out on our plans today. He had time for her but not me. I’m probably using this as a small rant but I just can’t take it anymore. I know even after the divorce I’ll still have no peace, plus we have kids together. He still calls me with b.s asking ” do you love me? Do you miss me?” Even though he moved out 6 months ago. He still makes me feel guilty. I pray I have enough strength to separate myself. I’m not even 30 yet! I’ve dealt with this since I was 17:(

  43. Jaelyn Shipman says:

    I don’t know how I came across this blog or whatever you refer to it as…. I’m just thankful. I consider myself quite an intelligent person for the most part, spelling and words being one of my stronger points. The word narcissist, however, tends to elude my large mental dictionary. Who knew I have been living with one for almost 2years now. He is a Gemini to boot. When I read this I felt like hugging you!! WOW!!! Thank you for the eye opener. Much luck, also.

    1. Christine says:

      My narc is a woman manipulator and a Gemini too who has to cheat and lie. He is very immature. When confronted with cheating he has frozen me out. He is handsome and has swag but no money. He has superficial charm. I chose him because I thought he was a nice friendly guy who looked good. I never let him live with me though when he told me how his ex cried and wanted more money, likely for the rent. He left for good and blocked her when he found elsewhere to go after walking out on her a few times.

  44. Amanda says:

    Very insightful. My heart goes out to you and to all others fighting this madness. I figured out after five years that my guy is a narc and I am an empath. I saved money and moved out. Still trying to disentangle myself from him (he uses our children and my family to leverage what control he still can over me). Keep the faith and never give up! Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will empower others to recognize and to reclaim their lives.

  45. Savannah says:

    I feel like we’ve lived the same life. I’ve used the same words. They’re leeches. They have no empathy and they try to suck ours out. My children and I left in the night after he’d actually become violent. We went to my grandparents house and I got a protective order right away. I highly recommend that. I signed a quit claim deed and gave up my house including most of my possessions in an attempt to wash my hands of him. Instead of refinancing the house like he’d agreed to, he’s stopped paying on it so he can take me down with him and I won’t be able to buy my own house.

    Good luck! I wish you well.

  46. Jennifer says:

    I am in the midst of preparing for my leave. We have a 10 year old son and an 8 year old daughter whom do not desire much of his attention, so I am kept busy between work and kids and planning my move out. I am at a loss of words as to how I let it get this far…feeling very guilty.

  47. miriam says:

    I have finally reached a divorce settlement with my narcissistic ex and recognise so much of this. In my case he got bored and left me, but that did not stop him from making my life a hell for two years when he realised that I wanted to move on. Only under enormous pressure he finally signed the agreement. We now get along reasonably well about the children but he still tries to manipulate me.

  48. Natalie says:

    I’m so glad I found this blog…being an empath myself I’m just now realizing my about to be ex-husband is definitely a narcissist. This is like reading a page out of my own diary!

  49. Terri says:

    Wow!!!! I have never read something more true. This is exactly what I am living and dealing with right now. You have this narcissism figured out and are very educated on this subject. You are very accurate and intelligent. I just would like to thank you for this article, for writing this. You have no idea how helpful and encouraging this was to me. I can’t ever thank you enough.

  50. lauren says:

    Hi. I’ve never commented on anything like this before, but I believe you might could help me. My father is a narcissistic sociopath. He obviously doesn’t know it. My mom is at his beck and call always. He threatens all of us. I have a 13 year old sister and a 15 month old brother… (Yeah I know big gap) he won’t let me or my mom get a car or a job… I want to get out so bad, but I don’t have the money. He has separated us from all of our family and the last time we tried to leave he came and forced us to come back. I’ve called the police, but of course they dismissed it because they couldn’t believe such a “nice” guy could do anything. (By the way I’m 18)

  51. Beefaroni says:

    …I have never once read something that relates to my relationship with my ex-husband, until this. It’s like my thoughts typed themselves out. Thank you, for showing me that I am not critical or crazy about my ex’s behavior.

  52. Patty says:

    My heart goes out to you. It’s been seven years since my divorce and I am still soooo happy I made the right decision to leave. To me the hardest part is the children. We have one 16yr old daughter and I can’t wait till she turns 18. It will be final freedom for both of us. My daughter can’t stand her dad. The abuse he dished out to me is certainly what he does to her. Unfortunately in our case the court is making her spend time with him. So try to be prepared for whatever may come your way. Stay strong and don’t give up. We were married for 18 years and it took me a long time to wake up. But thank God I did. I am so much happier now. In time things will get better…..hang in there!!!!!!!

  53. Christine J says:

    Omg!!! Story of my life for the past 4 years. He cheated on me and now he’s begging (fakely) for me to take him back. Oh no!! That’s not happening. I barely got out and I’m glad I did. Physically abusive as well. I’m done. Women beware. I’ve learned so much about my strengths because of him. He’s the best thing and the worst thing to happen to me.

  54. kfarrey says:

    In Controlling People, Patricia Evans has a much simpler defense. Whenever someone is trying to define you, just look at them & say WHAAAT? I have acidentally employed this method. Sometimes my MIL will be muttering something under breath & I say “what?” because I really didn’t understand a word she said. She usually turns away & says “nothin” Then I realize she was just spewing her usual critisism.

  55. Strong says:

    I need to stay with the kids (4) and not leave them in the care of my spouse (on the advice of the marriage counciler and psychologist) there are outbursts of violent episodes at times and when its bad its every two weeks, quite often I’ve had to stand between our children and my spouse and take the beating myself. But it’s the manipulation and controlling behaviour that’s the worst to the point where you developed depression and start to have anxiety attacks (I suppose it’s all the threats you hear about from the kids even a knife being involved once) quite often I would sit in the car in the morning wondering ‘is this the day?’ that I’d get that phone call from the next door neighbor or worse the police while I’m at work. I’ve had to arrange a safe place (next door) for the kids to run to close by if it gets out of hand. I’ve had my finances controlled and cut of to the point I cant afford to pay registration on my car and now have to sell it, I am dependant on my spouse now even on transport. I’ve been assured by my councillor that the violent outbursts will happen again and will intensify with time. So I don’t have an option but to stay and try to provide a safety barrier for my kids (I am no longer allowed to see my councillor either, but at the moment everything seems calm sort of-until next time.)

  56. Frances says:

    My bf of nearly 3 years fits this description. It’s always my fault, he goes from being my “soul mate” to wondering what he’s doing with me. If I bring up something he’s done that upset me, and as we all know, we bring it up gently on eggshells, he goes off and twists it all around so that it’s my fault. I can’t count how many time I’ve begged through a locked door that he take me seriously and resolve the argument. He started to get better for a while, stopped locking the door to his office when he was mad, stopped ignoring me, “allowed” me to talk to him. But his anger and word games are just as bad. I swallow my pride daily to appease him and keep harmony in the house. I’ve thought over and over I want to leave and I make plans, but then he’s so sweet that he makes me feel loved again and I selectively forget his a-hole side. I’m so torn because I LOVE the Dr Jeckel but resent the Mr Hide. Six months ago we adopted 3 dogs together and that’s when it really started to get worse. I know that if I tell him to leave, he’ll take one of the dogs with him, even though I paid for all of them. I hate to think she’s collateral damage and that’s ripping me apart the worst. We have a lease together until July 2016. He doesn’t work anymore and I’ve been supporting us on my disability. I know that if I ask him to go, he’ll make my life hell and refuse to leave. I feel as though I need to get into deeper debt to give him money to leave because he has none. It’s such a mess. I’m 48 years old, he’s 28. Yeah, I know what people will say about that but the first year the age difference was not even noticeable. I want so badly to settle down, buy a home and start living. I have 20 more years on disability then I’m cut off, I don’t want to have to live in poverty when I’m in my sixties and seventies if I live that long. I want to buy a house, save for retirement and ENJOY my home life. The more I stay with him the longer I’m suffering and keeping my dream of settling down too far out of reach. Yet, the more I stay with him, the more my self-esteem suffers and I know it, and I hate it…just tonight, another fight started by him and I took all the blame to create harmony. I had a terrible self-harm problem that I licked 5 years ago and the urge is coming back and I resent him so much. Gosh I need help. I’m lost here.

  57. Sue says:

    I planned my escape, called him at work at lunchtime and asked him what he’d like to have for dinner, loaded my 4 children in the car and left. He was stunned. Don’t wait for him to blow, it’s too dangerous.

  58. BoominLOLs says:

    GREAT article and the timing in my life made it EXTREMELY ON POINT. I felt like I was reading about my exboyfriend that recently appeared back in town. I used to refer to him as a Pathological Liar though. The terms seem the same….any thoughts?

  59. Tebogo says:

    Thank you that pin was just what I needed

  60. Cyn says:

    I just want to ask why you haven’t left yet…..I’ve been.there, more than once. My only regrets were waiting as long as I did to get out. I know you have you’re reasons, and a plan…..but those are just procrastinations, and a part of his hold on you…..rationalizations, that you can’t see until you’re out, and it will still take a while. You will continue to ask yourself for a long time, if you did the right thing, was it you……etc
    The only ones you are hurting are yourself and your child(ren).
    Great blogs…..but I say, get out now, write books. Child will be better off, you’re wasting your time and your life.
    Like I said, been there, done that…..took a while to be myself again, you will nvr be the same, but you can’t begin to live your life again while you’re still with him….believe me, I know!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I have. Im out and better off for it. Thank You!

    2. Jack Frost says:

      Truly, nothing left but let go. 9 years of confusion has opened up like the sun breaking through the clouds. My perspective, or frame of reference, in retrospect, was as I didn’t have one at all. To be perfectly honest, I afraid of who may be prowling around me. It was never a thought in my head. This all being so new for me reading all this restores a little bit of sanity. The ways to handle them isn’t so much of a weapon but a comfort.

  61. Julie says:

    Firstly I hope you have made it out of there and that you are happy. Truly happy.

    You have just described what I am going through! I literally withdrew all affection (he was getting it elsewhere anyway), and he can’t take it anymore because I do not love him. I caught him cheating for 2 years (it took me 3 years to get him to leave after that). Then he lured me back in by coming to see the kids, making me feel special and I said I’d take him back. Only to find out he had a gf. Who he dumped to come back to me, then picked her up again months later, and dumped again 2 days later (each time I showed my pain funnily enough). Since then I have found him on dating sites and swinging sites but this was because “we weren’t living together” and therefore didn’t count. Then 2 months later once we were living together, a woman sent nudes to his phone (denied all knowledge), then I found him on sites again a month after that. Couldn’t leave because it was daughters exams. Since then I withdrew and didn’t give him anything he wanted with him citing that I didn’t do anything for him. Then I found texts on his phone going back a year between him and the woman he cheated on 1st. Now apparently he’s done nothing wrong. Despite my requests each time about other women. I’m devastated but reading your blog I’m certain not leaving is doing me harm too. Thank you for your honesty. It may well save my sanity. X

  62. Steph says:

    As someone whose has had to grow up with a narssictic mother and at the age of 24 only just managing to get away from her poisonous clutches, I hope this had a happy ending for you (and not what my mother did to my father and tried to fleece him for everything his worth).

    Reading your blog post has been a great help. I struggled for several years living with my mother and her rages that she so often blamed on my sister (who has autism) or my father. I’d never know what mood or atmosphere I’d becoming home to after school or college. It got so bad that a couple of years ago I was tempted to end my own life because at the time I couldn’t see a way out. Fortunately, I met my best friend around that time and she gave me a reason to keep going.

    Then I left for university and you’d think I’d learn that she would never change but I didn’t. I dropped out because I suddenly couldn’t cope and my mother was constantly telling me she needed me home because she was worried for my health. At the time, I believed her, my health wasn’t the best but I feel stupid for ever thinking she could change, that she could become the loving mother I’ve so often craved. The last straw came last year when she had my sister arrested just because she had a melt-down which landed my sister a stint in a mental health hospital.

    Now that I’m back at university and have a closer relationship with my father and my wonderful step-mom who has quite literally taken me in as her own daughter. But I worry for my sister, who because of her autism, is vulnerable to my mother’s manipulativeness and has, on several occassions fallen victim to my mother’s brainwashing tatics. I just don’t know what to do.

    I’m glad I’ve stumbled across your blog, there are some useful technics I shall try and remember for if I ever find myself living with my mother. I hope everything worked out for.

  63. Jodi King says:

    Thank you so much for this! I’m glad to see you’ve gotten out and it’s much better. I’m in the same situation…hanging on to get to a better financial position. With my husband, I’ve found the best approach is the “oh, you’re so wonderful” that works best. I still have a difficult time wrapping my head around how someone could be so evil, but it’s getting better. He eats up my adoration, believing, I’m sure, that I have finally seen the light and it’s about time. ha ha. His gf that he doesn’t think I know about is incredibly broken and wiling to do anything to keep him. Little does she know he has been visiting dating and porn hook up sites and sleeping with so many other women. But she believes he loves her…and only her…and that he’s just with me because of obligation. My only saving grace at this point in time is that I’m not as dumb as she is.

    1. Julie says:

      Hi Jodie. I’m glad that you are well enough to be able to see what’s going on in your life. Unfortunately these women, including myself, are not ‘dumb’ as you’d like to call it. I have a degree but have had issues unrelated to this that have meant that these signs were not understood. These people manipulate you until you don’t know your butt from your elbow. He manipulated me until I wasn’t even able to cook and clean, I just didn’t know how to anymore. He scared it out of me. Please be careful when you use these words, we should be supporting each other. This includes any other women that fall into their clutches. Love and peace. X

  64. Tiffany says:

    Thank you for writing this. I needed it.

  65. susancfuchs says:

    Mine’s straight line mental; he plays with my emotions in an extremely rational and logical way. His empathy disappeared and he blames me when men come onto me, saying I led them on and I teased them. I’m looking for a job so I can walk away; I don’t care if I walk with nothing, at least I’ll be out. My kids from a previous marriage are grown so no ties. I am a huge empathic and the meds I take for depression are in part because of his treatment of me. He’ll never cheat on me because he believes it’s the one thing that will break our marriage. I’ve tried to talk to him about this and it’s my perception that’s the problem, not him. I’m tired of it and I want a job so I can get out and never marry again. This was my second one; my first was physically, emotionally and mentally abusive that I left after eighteen months. He’s worsening and I can’t deal with it anymore. I just need the job that pays enough for me to survive on my own.

  66. Sylvia says:

    I just came across your writing on Pinterest. I’m sorry you’re in this kind of relationship. My hubby is a narcissist as well, but a well meaning one. I’ll be taking your advice about mirroring. I even sent him the bit you wrote on how to tell if you’re living with one. He didn’t disagree as it is not the first time he’s been told by me and his daughter. Have you tried to have your hubby see his own behavior for what it is and how it affects you? Perhaps a therapist would help as they seem to value the opinion of a stranger more than their partner although you may be saying the same thing! The truth is that even they are variable of recognising their ‘bad’ behavior and trying to avoid their own triggers etc.
    I wish you the best! If you’re not both willing to do the work, then step away. I was a single mom too, it’s not easy but it’s possible. Ask yourself if you want your child to grow up in a home where his father holds his mother down.
    Again, good luck. I’ve been where you are and would be happy to chat if you need an ear.

  67. moclaylady says:

    Samantha,
    Thank you for this blog and all the information. Too bad I didn’t have access to this 4 years ago. My husband and I have been married for 25 years now, 5 years ago, he was contacted on Facebook by a woman he knew 5-10 years before I met him. He told me about her when we were dating, He had been one of her “customers” while travelng for his job. She was a prostitute. When she contacted him, he immediately told me and asked me if I had a problem with him friending her on Facebook. Of course I said no. Big mistake on my part. He told me that if their contact ever became a problem for me he wanted to know right away. They messaged back and forth on Facebook for a while and then began talking on the phone. I didn’t have a problem with that until they spent 3 hours a night, 7 nights a week talking on the phone. When I told him that it was becoming a problem for me and asked him if there was some way we could work it out so that I wasn’t having a problem and he didn’t lose a friend, he clammed up. After about 2 weeks of no phone calls, I checked his cell phone only to find out that he was spending 3+ hours a day (at work) talking to her, After calling him on it, things really went down hill. He was never abusive, in fact he was always supportive. Even when he was going to MN every other month to be with her. Needless to say, I was a basket case. Then 3 months after retiring, he announced that he was moving out to live with her. He sends me money every month (not court ordered because he doesn’t want a divorce (what’s up with that?) and I have talked with different attorneys who have all told me that it would not be financially advantageous for me to divorce him, as the court would not order him to pay me as much as he voluntarily does now. Plus if the money he sends me was court ordered, I would have to claim it on my income taxes. We have little to no contact so although financially life is difficult, emotionally life is peaceful.
    Thank you again for this blog and all the information.

  68. Tiffany says:

    been divorced for 13 yrs and after reading about narcs, have just now realized he was one! Just never knew what was going on! Thought he was having a mid life crisis or something, just couldn’t put my finger on it, towards the end, realized there were signs early on, just didn’t see them. Remarried 9 years ago, making sure he was NOTHING like my ex, thought I was safe until about 2 years ago. Starting to see a similar pattern, except opposite in some ways. He removes himself from the family and me as punishment. Ignores me and the kids, makes fun of us, especially in front of people, uses sarcasm constantly, doesn’t seem to have ANY feelings or know how to have empathy. Problem is, he was NOTHING like that before now, even family who saw it with my ex early on say he’s like a different person and assure me they didn’t see it at all until now. Doesn’t get mad, yell, NOTHING, just goes to his office, ignores us, won’t talk, won’t dignify ANYTHING with an answer. Acts like none of us exist unless it’s convenient for him(almost never) like he’s living in his own world all by himself, no one, nothing matters unless it effects him. Like everything and everyone should evolve around him and we should all just instinctively know when and what he wants or doesn’t want or what bugs him, etc. We ALL constantly walk on eggshells, but it doesn’t matter, there is ALWAYS something, nothing and no one is ever good enough. Is it the same thing, or am I dealing with something different? I just don’t know.

    1. Kat says:

      Hi Tiffany,
      My heart goes out to you. I was married for 16 years to someone I now realise is a narc.

      I think they change tactics, but everything comes down to power. When they meet you, they are all over you and in their best behaviour, to ensnare you. It the mask fals. In the early days, when we lived far away from my friends and family, he was more physical- damaging furniture etc- and every so often over the years his aggression did erupt- but often he would use the tactics you describe of your partner, the emotional coldness, humiliation, making fun- all passive aggressive and indirect clues as to the horrible feelings within. My ex ended up isolating himself too. It’s like they think they are superior to others and others don’t deserve their company.

      I am so sorry for your experience, and hope you will find a way out of it. These people are truly evil.

  69. Ashley says:

    Although this is an older post, everything in life happens for a reason. I have been doing BOTH. I am sick and tired, and, tired of being sick and tired! I have loved this man through his psychopathic make me feel like Im crazy non-sense!! At 37, he hasn’t figured out he rages out at ANYONE and everyone that doesn’t do what he says- they have ALL since left. I just turned 30 yesterday, and my eyes have been slowly opening to the past 7 years of pure madness!! I like you am basically left to take care of the home and our baby who might as well be a twin because he is a handful. I cannot work because his schedule needs to be open for his line of work. I sacrifice and sacrifice and all the little goodies he buys (food, a pc of costume jewelry) isn’t enough to counter his rage. I had come across narcissism before but I never looked into until NOW. This is exactly what he is to the T. One day he’s fine the next, when he’s at fault he is always finding something to fight over. this is my 5 bday with him ruining it. Thank you so much for this! This really helped pick up my spirits!

  70. Sam says:

    First and foremost I thank you. This is my life you describe, everything you say in detail I experience those same scenarios on a daily basis. I am an empath… and he is the definition of narcissist. PTSD, OCD…ADHD. Me: Let’s call me crazy.

  71. Erin says:

    I have been divorced from my narc for over a year and separated for over 2. We have a 4 year old son together, and this is the biggest issue. He constantly withholds scheduling info among other pertinent information. Obviously, as you all know, his behavior affects every aspect of our, what should be limited, relationship. I see a counselor every 1 to 2 weeks, but I’m constantly dealing with his passive aggressive, abusive behavior. Any help in handling this would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Kat says:

      Hi Erin,

      I really sympathise with your plight. I was married for 16 years to a narc, and though my kids are a bit older than yours, he still tries his best to create chaos and hurt us. Passive aggressive games and trying to mess up contacts ( and assert his dominance there) is the norm for him.

      I don’t know your exact situation, but I was given wonderful advice by the NSPCC about going for a contact order. Without one, he would have made my life even worse.

      Without clearly defined times, he would have created even more havoc and had more reason to contact me and bargain, etc.

      This way, I literally have no need to be on direct contact with him. My mum is the go between, if anything needs discussing, but on the whole as my kids get older, they can arrange things with him.

      I log anything he does to break the rules, and if his behaviour exacerbates, I may need to return to court. But as it is, I have the comforting safety net of the contact order to protect me and give some semblance of order in my life, and the knowedge that if he abuses it, he will need to answer to the court.

      I have learned to go from reacting to every little thing he does to just trying to laugh at his stupid games ( not always possible- some things he does are very abusive and triggering) but what I try to do is never, ever let him know he is affecting me, as this would be fuel to his fire.

      I try to be a graceful swan- calm on the surface, even if paddling like mad under the surface. I will never let him know he affects me.

      X

  72. jane walton says:

    Once I put up a complete emotional wall, no reactions to him what so ever….he found another supply and was gone within the month….separate all finances and stop even talking to him. A very painful way to get rid of one but it is the fastest.

  73. Kristina says:

    This sounds like my life where he’s playing the victim and he tired so hard but I just won’t give him another chance. Yet, I’m the one crying while he’s dating and moving on…I confronted on multiple occasions that he’s still married but he is still on Match.com getting that admiration from 100 of women. Your right, my crying, losing 30lbs, or confronting only fueled his narcissistic behavior and had no empathy or sorrow for what he did…matter of fact he said he deserves it and he is single because a separation will end in a divorce yet he hadn’t file….I need to control my emotions and move forward

  74. Joyce says:

    Leave as soon as possible and take “always” your child…
    I have lived 10 years with a man like this..
    We have two sons.

    Watch out with your children.
    I don’t want to encourage women to take their children and don’t bring them to their father…
    I did… I wanted to do the positive way…
    One weekend in two weeks I brought them to him..
    Now…5 years later…. he brainwashed them..
    I don’t see them anymore….
    They are 13 and 14…

    So watch out… they use their own children to punish you for leaving them. And there are always “new” women like us….to help that poor men….

    A sad mother who doesn’t give up her girlpower!
    Good luck!!!

  75. Donna says:

    Wow you described the last thirty years of my life. I’m at the point in my life that I am focused on me. He got angry at me me and pinned me in my chair when I looked him in the eyeys and said “YOU WILL NEVER TOUCH ME LIKE THAT EVER AGAIN.”
    He’s been overly nice and apologizing. Which I know is just a game so I don’t leave him. Because he doesn’t want to lose HIS MONEY.
    I am No longer his puppet. I got him by the balls this time and he knows it.
    After being treated like shit for 30 years I have learned his tricks and I’m using them on him. PAY BACKS A BITCH. I will start living my life. Its his choice of he wants to come along or there’s the door. I am no longer letting him lead. I took the lead and I feel GREAT.

  76. Lou says:

    Been going through this for 3 years now. Finally my narc has walked out on me. 2 kids and I’m 6 months pregnant. How are these “narcs” created. Who puts this AWFULL thing inside people. How is this learned!?!?

  77. Danielle Gemini says:

    So, you’re with my x? Lol LMK – and I am so glad I got out and I hope you don’t fall back into his web when you leave him. I did a couple times. They’ll never change, and they won’t get better with the next one. Trust me, I’ve heard. 🙂 all the best to you even though it’s been a couple years! Thank you for your post!

  78. Kass says:

    This is probably the most honest article I’ve read in awhile and very relatable. Thank you for sharing when it was probably very raw at the time. I hope you got a happy ending.

  79. Laura says:

    I am so amazed I came by this story! I wondered if anyone else was living the way I have had to live for the last few years. I divorced my narcissist after a few years of marriage when I could not take the abuse anymore. Unfortunately, the courts screwed me over unimaginably with child custody due to his silver tongue and his parent’s large bank account. It would have been incredibly unsafe for him to raise children, and the courts did not seem to take any interest in the situation. After a year of court battles, my narcissist told me he would stop fighting for custody of our three year old daughter and let everything go if I gave up on the child custody and moved back in with him. I had no choice if I wanted to have my daughter in my life. Luckily, during the years of abuse and court battles, I had an excellent mental health provider who educated me on what he was and what was happening so I was more prepared going back into the shitty situation. Now,I do what you are doing. I don’t react and I don’t “take offense” to hurtful things he says to me. I basically live like an emotionless shell so that he cannot react violently for the most part. Because of this, he doesn’t get angry as often or bother me quite as much. I take on an “oh, that’s what you think about me? Cool. You’re entitled to your opinion” type of demeanor and let everything he says roll off my back and take it with a grain of salt because I know what he is and I know what he is doing. I no longer care what he thinks of me and don’t let anything he says bother me because I hate him and therefore have no respect for his opinions. I know, that’s terrible, but to each their own. I hope your situation gets better as mine will someday when my daughter is old enough to decide for her self.

  80. Madelyn says:

    How can you portray the boring grey rock method if you have constant contact with him due to children. And he uses the children to get reactions out of me. Accusing me of being a bad mom (when I’m not), threatening me to take me to court to try to get them, trying to harm them not illegally (get ears pierced) against my permission. I can’t help but last out at him when these issues occur. How do you stop reacting to someone when they threaten to go harm your infant by getting her ears pierced?

    1. Kat says:

      You can manage to go grey rock with practice, and by thinking that every time you react you are giving your power away.

      My ex tries to use my kids too. If I react, my kids will only know a mum affected by him- not the real me. This is what I keep telling myself. I want them to know the real me, not a manipulated one!

      It’s a struggle every day, but I refuse to be his puppet x

    2. Kat says:

      I suppose grey rock doesn’t mean not reacting completely, it can mean reacting in a bored and boring way. So regarding the ear piercing, don’t let him sense your distress ( this will encourage him), but use the scratched record method to state your lack of agreement, say it soullessly and certainly. In a dull voice, state your intentions and warn of consequences. Emotions are your enemy here.

  81. Emanuela says:

    My life in a nutshell. Don’t feel so crazy and alone anymore . I need help. Feel stuck.

  82. Amber W says:

    Addicted completely to your blog

  83. Anna says:

    it’s like I wrote this myself. I got tired of the narc and his behaviors several years ago and began practicing the under whelmed response, as I coined it. It’s not perfect and there are occasional blow ups because he gets tired of getting nowhere with his banal flattery and attempts to woo me. But all in all this has brought me the most peace in a peaceless relationship.

  84. Pam says:

    Method 1 worked really well. Happily single again.

  85. Ani says:

    Just get out when you can and do NOT *under any circumstances) react. They feed off drama. When you don’t give it to them, this is where you get ahead. The last 4 years of my life have been hell due to fighting with a narc and this jerkoff married someone else without me knowing about it. (he was a drunk and left without a word – and no warning) – so they will take you off guard, and then later on – attempt to manipulate everyone and everything. I finally got my house, but in the end, he tried to sabotage all my efforts until the last minute of signing. These are really sick and twisted individuals and all I can say is get out as fast and as soon as you can. DO NOT fall for the poor me crap, as it is all about control – and that is the name of the game for these damaged individuals. They suck the life and happiness out of you – if you let them….so just let them be miserable by themselves –

  86. Linda Criner says:

    I’ve been free from my NARC for over ten years. I had no words to define the situation until recently when I google “why would an ex suddenly become nice to you” and received the reveal of my life and for the first time had a clear definition of the horrible mind games played on me and I stayed. I have many incidents that define my victimization but this one should have made it clear for my to head for the door. We had gone to a party with friends and family given at a local community center. I was seated at a table with him and other friends and family. After a short while he left the table and did not return after an hour. I walked through the center and came upon talking and socializing at another table. He saw me and walked toward and and said, I was just coming back to the table, but first, I have to go to the restroom. To which he asked that I wait for him outside the men’s restroom and he would be back shortly. Little did I know there was another exit through the kitchen to the restroom. This was the exit he took and left me standing waiting for him outside the men’s room. Another party goer had observed me waiting there and inquired why was I there. I told him I was waiting for my husband and he informed me that my husband was back at the table. When I saw him again I went ballistic…and looked like the crazy person he had told everyone I was. This past mother’s day he sent me a love bomb in a telephone text. This man had never given me anything during the years of our marriage, in fact when I asked why I didn’t get anything, he stated I wasn’t his mother. The other facts are the same–great start to a relationship, then suddenly can’t do anything right and blaming myself because he was so good that it must be something I did. Now I know he is just a convert narc…I did not answer the love bomb text as I have escaped and never going that prison again. Thanks to all of you who help define this condition.

  87. Tenn says:

    I need to speak with a friend before I lose my mind

  88. Susan says:

    I respect your optimistic methods of manipulating them by them I mean satan devil the vial evil extent they are willing to go has no bottom. It’s possible idk for sure narcissists have varying levels which I TRULLY hope that’s your husbands case. Once he suspected I saw a crack in his perfect husband parent friend, within 24hrs all hell broke loose, he went into a rage from dinner time til wee hours of morning he would stop go to bed thinking it was over hell no he would come down stairs and start. That was 06 my living hell continues in out of the courts he manipulated our court system into believing his lies he now has temporary custody of my autisc 18 YR and my 16yr old who had been brainwashed for so long my son hasn’t spoke or responded to me in 1 yr. If TRULLY is who you think then these methods will by you time if nothing else. Because everybody he will or has married all have an expiration date and everyone else in his life friends family kids all disposed when expired, divorce is just whole new hell its just paper, and no longer under the same roof but mine vowed to destroy me and it’s a promise he’s kept he doesn’t want his kids but fights to take away anything you value and the kids are the most valuable part of her life I fought for years I couldn’t give up even though I knew deep down he won’t stop til he has or bankrupts me all these years in the court system I’m near bankrupt in hindsight I knew he would get them someway he has the money to spend lots of money. This yr it was suggested he’s seems to be narcissistic sociopath after research fits like a glove but doesn’t change anything doesn’t change there are few any even exist that have a happy ending mine doesn’t end well and IM NO PESIMIST by any means I’m a realist educated by my ex and years and years of research and therapists since 05 on and off I’m back in cause I PTSD and it’s horrible best of luck hope and wishes yours isn’t as sick and evil as the man I married

  89. Susan says:

    One final thing I forgot I hope you are doing ok and update us on your ok days hanging in there days your really really scared days the only thing we wives can do is anything that’s getting public awareness by keep talking about what and who is narcissi-sits and narcissists sociopaths do we all seem to say all the time omg that’s my life tell our story is the only redemption

  90. sarah says:

    thank you, im trying to plan my escape, 2 kids involved, the hardesy part is realizing i could be sooo wrong about somebody.

  91. Susan says:

    I’m SO glad for this input. I’m trying to extract myself from yet another narcissist, my boss at work. CLASSIC Narc and I needed the method by which to survive in this job until I have another one. Can’t stomach method one. Just can’t do it. So method two it is and hope I can survive the abuse a little longer. It is effecting my health big time and I’ve already had cancer. Need to get out of this ASAP so desperately looking for work elsewhere and have heightened my Narc radar. I can’t do this again. Ever. Anyone have further advice on how to survive this person until I can get out?

    1. Anon2202 says:

      Hi Susan,

      I have read all of the aforementioned posts and realize that this blog specifically relates to narc husbands/partners.

      However if you are in a relationship with any narcissist, the same basic principles applies. I have read many articles and blogs about these disordered people and thought you might get some help from reading the following article:

      http://blog.melanietoniaevans.com/how-to-make-the-narcissist-powerless-to-affect-your-life/.

      Melanie is a survivor herself of narcissistic abuse and her blog has many helpful articles.

      Another book I read years ago deals with what Melanie is talking about in this article-the books title is “Excuse me your life is Waiting” by Lyn Grabhorn.

      The narcissist in my life is my sister and she is escalating with age. I was also bullied at work for 4 years by a psychopath/narc and was basically screwed out of a job. This woman did me a favor though as the stress of her bullying led to me being medically retired (I have MS).

      I am learning not to be so trusting and NOT the empath that I have always been.

      Stay strong and read all you can. Forearmed is forewarned

      Blessings
      Anon 2202

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        melanies blog is excellent

        1. smd6145 says:

          I left a post disagreeing manipulating the narcisisst and with concern for you putting out it there your lessons on how to manipulate a naricisit. You Must be very careful it’s a very dangerous game youre playing against evil. In my case I’ve fought thru and still am but I’m smarter for learning that I was forced to play a game that I could not win. I think your either naive or not dealing with dangerous narcisisst like many of are they destroy lives at any cost, even the kids are destroyed in the process , and while destroying your life he will be bankrupting you. Because the more I fought for myself and my kids the more I tried out smart him the more I stuck for myself the more we called him out the worse our lives got he came back us 100 fold. Don’t let your ego get in the way they will always be 10 steps ahead. I respect your opinion but don’t agree with it. Susan

          1. Samantha Matthews says:

            It is true, my narcissist is not as dangerous as others. Some women actually need to fear for their lives. However, not everyone can pack and leave instantly and my opinions are only ideas for women to try until they can escape. Grey Rock is a highly recommended avenue of self preservation, however, everyone must take into account their own situation and use their best judgement to survive.

      2. Strong says:

        Do you find that the narc behavior comes in waves ( everything is fine for a time period) or is it consistently there. The reason I ask is that at the moment it seems fine in my marriage but I have been assured by the councilor that this behavior will show again but worse next time. I have four children and really don’t know what I would do the next time it happens.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          I think its always there, but the bad episodes are SO bad that they make the more low key crazy look normal. Yes, they do seem cyclical but if you look closely, the behavior is always there, they’re just better at acting socially acceptable sometimes. For me, it seems like when hes afraid of losing me he acts better, so I have to maintain a balance of detachment and just enough “affection” to keep him from flipping out. It sounds messed up and sick, and it is. Im not proud, but hes the one who put me in this situation so Im just trying to do my best until this chapter of my life is finished.

  92. Almost there says:

    Married a narcissist before I knew what that was. 10 years of hell. Used me. Abused me. Broke me down. He ripped my family apart. Ruined my career, scared away my friends. I’m sick from him. He wont divorce me although he initiated it.. Its his goal to make me kill myself. That;s what happened to the woman he was with before me. I have had to move 3000 miles away to get rid of him. I left my child home for a couple months so he could finish his school year with his friends and the narcissist has conned my family into letting my kid stay with him for most of the time. He uses this time to manipulate my child while I’m helpless. I sold my home, moved to the other side of the country. I am flying my child out in a week or so. I have to re program my brain washed kid. The Narcissist has used this short period of time to infiltrate his new supply. Every week he has a new game. My advice…Plan, be quiet, catch them off guard and DO NOT let them have your children. My entire family hates him and only tolerates him but he is a bully. He spends more time trying to woo my people back home then his own family. In fact he has taken time off work just to plot his game. He has even become involved with my child’s school which he is on a no contact list. They are over the moon as he arrived today in my absence with a staffed ice-cream truck. Besides funerals which are a huge supply for him what could be better for a narcissist then being adored by vulnerable children with a truck full of ice-cream. What people don’t understand is he is the creepy clown that goes with the ice cream truck. I tried to explain to the school what he has been doing but it was too late. My child already told his classmates. Every-time I think he cant do more, it just keeps coming.The more he loses control and becomes stressed, the more grandiose he becomes. I cant wait for my child to be with me very soon. My own family has told me to not come back because of what he is capable of. He is of a dangerous mind. He is a super sick, predictable creature when people get to know him.I have been pacifying the situation as much as possible for my kids sake but as soon as my child comes I am going to threaten to expose him if he contacts anyone, Weigh that option too. If you have little left to lose EXPOSE THEM FOR WHO THEY ARE. I did it once and I never saw a person go so ape shit. He totally short circuited. Its their worst fear. Watch them prepare for damage control. Use your judgement for safety though and be prepared for payback. Sure the police showed up at my house after I threatened to tell people he respects what he does to me but it was frigging worth it. He is not even my child’s father. He cant buy my kid a pair of shorts for school or a pair of shoes but he can get a flipping ice cream truck for the school. He is Satan’s puppet for sure. Cant do much except leave. How do you tell the police you want a restraining order for someone who does all these awesome things for people. Narcissists are not smart on the fly. They cant keep track of all their own lies. They bank on everyone being dumber than themselves. Its only because they are evil predators that they practice and recite 24 / 7 how to gratify themselves by screwing over others. Us “normal” people don’t think like that. This has been a horror story.

    Here are a few of his favorite douche quotes.

    “I like to just light a match and walk away.”
    “I’m the type of guy who will give another guys girl flowers.”
    “I always have to keep one foot in the door and one foot out.”

    All the best to the rest of you sorry suckers and wish me luck…Its tough

  93. Isoknottobeok says:

    I took the second approach. I torched his next supply by telling her the entire truth of how he was not anywhere single, that he did not answer her phone when he was with me.
    Let him take a trip to Texas to meet up with her, just to be meet up by rejection from her. Smart kid, only 24.
    I of curse got the “call” and the “don’t ever talk to me again”, to which I was very happy to comply.
    He try the ” I still need you, but I can trust you” approach.

    I was not bitting this time. Let him blame it all on me. After he was the one to break me in every way possible, that a woman can be broken.

    I have written about it in my blog: isoknottobeok.com

  94. Dawn says:

    Do it sooner than later. A narcissist will have “back up” partners, usually two when he/she decides they’re no longer “being respected/loved” …and it will of course be your fault. To everyone. Be prepared to lose supporters who don’t see through his “poor me, I tried everything”.

    Ultimately, a healthy relationship cannot survive a narcissist. Method Two is the least stressful and better on the kids- less fighting/escalation. The first can bring on rage.

  95. Amber W says:

    If any of you decide to leave you need to put your trust into a certain friend who can ensure your safe when leaving and who can help be on standby in case of an emergency.Remember that these lowlife a like to track you by your cars on star,low jacks which the police can check for free incase you have a feeling.And make a police report for everything he does wrong and make sure to put a lock on your credit so he cannot access it nor try to lower your score by screwing you over on new accounts or ones you have together

  96. Katness says:

    This was my life! Happily divorced for 2 years now but still learning to be myself again. Get out now because it will not end well. Narcissist are also know to be cheaters.

  97. Vanessa says:

    Thank you do much for this it helped me to understand my situation and gave me the correct mindframe to deal with this all. I am planning my escape as we speak! Thank you so much may God bless you! Xos

  98. jaywhid says:

    This kind of sounds like YOU might be a narcissist. You used to compliment without reason, give the world to someone, tell them everything is good….and then you take all of it away and go cold to gain control? It all sounds very narcissistic. I think that you should consider the fact that you could be a narcissist as well.

    If you aren’t, you’ll probably consider this. If you are, you’ll probably go into an angry rage and disagree with everything I’ve said and find some why to justify yourself.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I think everyone who is married to/ partnered to a narcissist has considered the possibility they could be narcissistic as well. In fact, some psychologists call it Covert Narcissism, where a person gains their supply from playing the victim and martyr in their own life.

      However, I am NOT a narcissist. I am not super happy with the life I’m forced to live to keep the peace in my home. It kills me every day. I HATE playing games, I am a terrible liar, though sadly, I’m learning more and more how to avoid the lie and just not talk about whatever it is. I am doing this strictly to make things as easy as possible on my children.

      I see my life as a scale, when the risks/dangers outweigh the benefits for them, I will leave again. And this time, for good. My wants and needs come second at this point. Until then, and until you have walked in my shoes, you cannot stand and accuse me for how I choose to try and survive and shelter my kids. Until you have looked him in the face and seen the utter contempt he hides when hes calm, until hes screamed in your face while your holding your baby that he HATES you, over and over and over, then you really can never totally understand.

  99. kk says:

    I have been divorced from my narc for almost 13 years. Here’s what I know they will continue to make your life hell. We have 2 children together, one with special needs. I am stuck. The less I respond the better I feel. Of course his behavior gets worse and he goes from being nice to mean as a snake. Keep doing the first one. Don’t try to keep the peace for your kids sake. He will use them to get to you. Take someone else with you to go to any mediation or court appts. DO NOT do things together for the kids sake. If you remarry ask your spouse to handle any direct money issues and if possible ALL communications. Their behavior gets worse over time.
    Best of luck.

  100. Marti Moser says:

    Mine is a daughter. Different but same.

  101. Deborah says:

    My son is married to someone with NPD and they are getting ready to have their first child. A psychologist told me it develops as a child and like you said…they will never change! She is 5 yrs older than him and the psy. said she chose him because she could manipulate him! And he got into this relationship because poor her her fiancé treated her SO badly! It has been a horrible experience for our family, plus when she drinks which is a lot she 10 times worse! I see no future for them unless God does a miracle and heals her! He has left her a couple of times but she gets him back somehow! Now he’s excited about the baby but he doesn’t realize it won’t change and may get worse!!
    God help you!

  102. Mindie says:

    Narcs will never leave u alone…if ur married to one all I can say is I pray for u due to the fact that u havent seen nothing yet from him as far as anger. If u have children u keep an open and honest communicate with them about the narc n a way thats not bad mouthing him or her. They will use ur kids in everyway shape and form to hurt u and put ur kids against u. They will mess with the kids far more messed up than they ever was messed up to u. If ur lawyer doesnt have knowledge on NPD than please please please find a way to get them to educate themselves bout the manner. Im sorry to scare u but u should be scared cause u havent experienced anything yet!!!!!! Bless u and be strong….dont give up!!!! Sincerely, A narc survivor

  103. heather says:

    I call the 2nd tactic “Feeding the Pig” and your right about this causing you more damage. I was married to a narcissistic sociopath for 15 years. Like you I had to learn through research what he was. The best advice I’ve heard to date is “STOP REACTING! And start acting…” . It took time for this to really sink in and I was mortified by the fact that all I had done FOR YEARS was react to his crap. Constantly putting out the fires, ironic, I was a firefighter. I am a strong woman and I still got “GOT”.
    Hang in there! Go NO CONTACT as soon as possible!

  104. Mary says:

    I am finally free of my Narc. Even thou he filed for divorce, he fought it every single step. I think he expected me to crawl back to him, beg his forgiveness. But my joy of freedom from him is overwhelming !!!

  105. Lisa says:

    I went thru this and as long as I paid him attention he worked very hard to try to be my friend while we were getting divorced but is soon as I made it clear that there was no chance for us to get back together he started saying ugly things to me to and to our kids about me and totally shut me out of his life which was fine. He had taken money out of our joint bank accounts so make sure there’s nothing joint. The only way to survive an narcissist is to cut them out of your life entirely I tried to coparent with him for a while and that didn’t work he kept trying to get back together with me if I didn’t treat him just right thank him enough for what he does talk to him in the right way stroke his ego basically then he will get mad at me and it would end in a fight and he would call me names in front of our kids. So eventually they didn’t want to see him anymore because instead of treating me badly which I stopped when I wouldn’t see him anymore not even casually he directed towards the kids so ladies if you’re out there thinking about leaving a narcissist I encourage you to do it because eventually you will have peace just be very careful because they are Close to impossible to get rid of. Thankfully my ex found a girlfriend and so his attention was placed there instead of on me. I am much happier now my children are almost grown my ex father-in-law helps to take helps to take care of my daughter that is 19 now and lives in Georgia and I live in Florida with my other daughter. life is tough living with a narcissist having a narcissist in your life makes it close to impossible to have peace and contentment in your life but if you have the courage to leave it is so worth it thanks for listening.

  106. Christina says:

    I have been married to a narcissist for 15 years. I have tried everything in my arsenal. Being rational, screaming, crying, threatening, treating him how he treats me. Nothing works. I’m at the point that I just don’t care what happens anymore. It’s obvious and he can tell. I love him and I am devoted to my marriage but I am a person too and I deserve to be treated as such. The way I handle my husband is by giving him what he NEEDS, not what he WANTS. It’s not always fun and I abhor treating him like a child but it is what he needs to hear. Telling them or treating them how they want is only validating their feelings. He is a constant roller coaster and I can’t keep up. It has always been this way and I fear it always will be. We have a choice, leave or stay. There is no change. People don’t really change.

  107. Walida Smith says:

    How do you if you are dealing with a narc.. I need to know.. ASAP!! Something is going on in my relationship an it’s not good.. I feel like she’s a narc but not sure… HELP ME!

  108. Keith says:

    Document, document, document to include the good, the bad, and the ugly no matter how trifle. Your lawyer can cherry pick what is relevant for showing a pattern of behavior. Good luck.

  109. Ashlee says:

    I don’t know if my partner is really narcisist. It’s like when we argue he doesn’t understand anything i said. But he started crying when i told him that I am tired of him and I wanna leave. He said he is doing all this hardwork for our future. When We go out for a dinner, he is always with his phone just scrolling and then when I started getting mad about it he just doesnt care and do it continuesly. And when i told him that i am really mad right now then asked me what did he do. He just doesnt care he will just continue until we got back home and then went to sleep first . And in the morning he was acting like nothing happen. I asked him several times that why is that when Im upset he is also looking for something to get upset too. And then when I texted him he just replied that I am right and let’s not make any big deal about this and I dont want us fighting. And then tell me he loves me and I am the only one in his life and wanna build a future with me 🙁

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Yep, mine does the phone thing too, yet all I hear from him is how I am always on my phone and ignoring him. Nevermind the fact that he spent almost our whole weekend on his phone texting someone he wouldnt tell me who, and ignoring me. And when I asked him AGAIN who he was texting, he was obviously lying as he tried to come up with an answer.

      Sigh, this is so pathetic! Why is it so hard for us to leave these jerks? Its like being caught in a spiders web, or quicksand.

  110. I been healing from the exact same relationship & it’s been almost 4 years of no contact with my ex husband. The damage & drama was so life changing being called a survivor somehow doesn’t even fit. Like hearing Vombie apocalypse seems closer. I am holding your hand from afar .

  111. Christina says:

    It’s truly like you are living in my home with me! And can see all of this! To a normal person they would be able to see right through this! But to a narcissist it’s nothing but denial and ALWAYS my fault! The explosive rage that comes with it instantaneously! The yelling the screaming of if i would do something different, am i going to change MY WAY of thinking! ? Is the question! And if i don’t like it, i can leave, i can get the f out! Or i cant be his wife! But yet totally contradictory! Would never do this in front of friends! In front of family, ,YES! God forbid they witness Jekyl and Hyde! We have went through 5 counselors and not one could pinpoint this! It’s maddening and exactly like you’re going crazy! And fall in to such a deep depression, no stability and no security! Apology after apology but no change in behavior, only words, ands gets upset if i don’t apologize too! God help me!

  112. Chanda says:

    I’m sure this is how I’m living but how do I make sure?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Only you can be sure. But I will tell you this, the fact that you have to ask this question, tells me that you ARE dealing with this. You’re second guessing your reality, you’re second guessing your perception of him, and this is a MAJOR sign you are being gas-lighted.

      You have the right to a happy life, anyone who is actively destroying that is toxic and should be removed from your life. Its not always that simple, obviously. But no one has the RIGHT to make you feel less than. Abusers are very, very good at that.

  113. ALF says:

    Catching on, for me was the end. He did seek attention elsewhere after I quit putting him on a pedestal & doing everything for him, stopped reacting.

    Beware.

    As you know, they have perfected their game. Remember how long they fooled you! There are times, moments, when I think that being in the relationship was better than the aftermath, the smear campaigns, the blame. People will be swayed, just like you were.

    It’s hardest in the beginning when you are healing and getting used to being free, making decisions and living life without their burden weighing you down. You’ll be on the brink of madness itself. Keep your head. Remember this is what the narcissist is counting on.

    The longer you are narc free, the easier it gets. He’ll hold on. You can hold on longer tho. Don’t forget that.

  114. Wendy says:

    After reading this article…I’m wondering if it should have been called ‘Surviving a Narcissist ‘ :))) The abuse…verbal, mental, physical…these guys dish out is just horrid and worse. I have dealt with this it only in a dating situation, so it was easier to get out of than a marriage, thank goodness. I have never been married and at 57yrs old, it won’t ever happen…thank goodness..again. 🙂 But, I have also dealt with it in a working environment and I was the ‘guinea pig’ when Greg, the supervisor for many years, was promoted to ‘boss’. Wow, I was expected to take being manipulated against and stabbed in the back, not only by the new boss, but by coworkers…male and female, who out and out lied about some situations and I ended up paying for it, with abuse..verbal and mental.. by my coworkers. And My boss at the time, Greg, even had the audacity to grab my arm and
    pull me out of the office !!! I made a complaint but my HR dept didnt care. They believed my boss, Not Me. He’s been a liar and manipulator for years…but of course, cuz I’m a woman and didn’t have a title, such as’supervisor’, then I was disposable and the ‘liar’. I went thru almost 3 yrs of abuse…till I could retire…and it was total HELL !! You see I worked in law enforcement and of course the males had their ego’s to ‘stroke’ everyday.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I congratulate all of you who got out. And for those who are still being bothered by someone, if you don’t have a ‘restraining order’, think about getting one, its worth the money…but Only if you keep reporting the jerk for violating the order, who is still contacting you.

    Our sanity is worth any price to get the hell out !!!

  115. Stace says:

    It’s so sad to finally SEE the narc in a person. It sux because this one did not start out like the rest. As ALL narcs seem 2b attracted to me. N now I see it cannot n will not work out. I have never tried to change him but I did want me in his ” orbit” I’m heartbroken 2 say the least. Time wasted! Feeling so used n stupid, AGAIN !! n we’ve known each other since 35 yrs or so. Hhhhhhhhh! Smh!

  116. Carla says:

    Exactly what I been dealing with and I TOOK UR TIPS and they are working! !!THANK you! !!I was tired of “beating my head against the wall”

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Im so glad! <3

  117. Kari says:

    Oh my goodness, you nailed it!! Would love to be able to follow you since I lived through the same thing and have survived! I am happily remarried to a wonderful guy, but the scars from 15 years of verbal and emotional abuse still remain, though they get better everyday. My poor daughter still has to see her dad who I know all to well is being negatively influenced with his OCPD/Narcissistic ways.

  118. Jenny Bodda says:

    I thought I was literally going crazy in my marriage for years! I wish I would’be figured out sooner that my husband was a narcissist and what that really means for someone like me as an empath. Like you, I’m gearing up for the end. I appreciate you and others who openly talk about your situations, it’s a level of support and confirmation in my feelings and actions. Thank you!

  119. Dawn says:

    Omg, in reading this I thought I was actually reading my real life story. The only part that was missing is that feeling of shame because you know your not who you once were before the relationship. This has been helpful.

  120. Dina says:

    I was in a relationship with a narc, divorced him & married the gentleman who showed me how I deserved to be treated. I have since suffered the loss of relationship with my oldest daughter that I have with him as he decided to be her friend, let her party & get in various trouble with the law. All done in his attempt to pay me back for leaving him. They continue to hurt you however they can even if it means screwing up their children’s lives and futures. Truly pathetic. I’m praying daily for retribution. I have 2 more children with him & see the mind games starting with them. They truly get you back with whatever means possible.

  121. Lauren says:

    I’ve dated a narcissist. He would probably tell you that I was a narcissist. Sometimes two people that just don’t understand each other will call each other narcissists. Seems like you know your husband well. Why not just stick it out with him? What’s wrong with feeding his ego? If he’s happy, he’s happy. And then you don’t have to deal with it. If feeding someone else’s ego makes you unhappy – maybe consider your own narcissism in that. Call it crazy, but if you feed his ego, he may feed yours. There’s no guilty pleasure more desirable than two people feeding each others incessant egos. Of course, I don’t know you. I don’t know the whole story. But it’s always important to check our own narcissism before calling someone else a narcissist. We’re all a bit narcissistic.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      What you are describing is actually a fairly healthy relationship. It doesn’t work like that with a narcissist. To them, you are nothing BUT a tool for feeding their ego, and the more you feed them, the more they take you apart and the worse they treat you. There are only two options with a narcissist, either become nothing and live your entire life for them, never showing any interests, opinions, or feelings of your own. Or deal with the constant attacks, silent treatment, and other abuses they inflict on you for daring to not be exactly what they want from you. If it were as simple as feeding their ego and then they take care of you in return, they might be labeled then as manipulative, but that is NOTHING like our reality.

  122. Sabrina says:

    Thank you for your comments.

    I’m 18 months into the “divorce” from my ex. After 18 years I could not handle it any longer. The last days were the worst and resulted in a restraining order, followed by him attempting to abduct the children twice now. Over the past few months there has been times that going back would have been better short term.

    Remember anyone that treats you like this does not love you. They need you to love them. Get help from neighbors, friends and family. Tell people about the way you are being treated. He will be angry but you will be better off. After 18 years I only called the police the last time and because it was the first on record he got off with zero consequences.

  123. J says:

    One rarely manipulates a narcissist. Their self involvement makes them see self interest in others….( it takes one to know one comes to mind) it sounds like you have been hurt and it is human nature to want payback but narcissist only care about number one you are better of getting away or if you can’t then getting professional help…the majority of narcissist have been emotionally traumatised at some time in their life and attempting revenge doesn’t help you them or anyone else caught in the middle

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      To the contrary, their self involvement makes it very easy to manipulate them, as they can’t imagine their victim is on to them or smarter than them.

      I suspect you didn’t actually read the article or anything else on my site, and just went off the title. This is not a payback/revenge strategy. This is a survival/ overcoming strategy, which you would know from reading the post.

      The simple facts are this: When a narcissist gets involved with someone they normally choose their opposite, which would be a compassionate, empathetic, caring person. This person is chosen because they have the nearly unlimited capacity to forgive, accept and try to “fix” their partner because they love them. This enables the huge power imbalance in the relationship as the narcissist takes more and more and the partner keeps trying to give in order to maintain the peace. This kind of person (the narc’s partner) is not going to suddenly turn into a devious mastermind out to destroy the narcissist. Though we could pretty easily, with all we know, we never WOULD as our own code of conduct would not allow it. We still have to live with ourselves, after all.

      If a (grandiose) narcissist gets involved with another (grandiose) narcissist, I suspect the relationship would not last long at all, if it even got off the ground. They both need too much from their partners and are too emotionally immature to support the other.

      Don’t try and “school” me on narcissism. I have spent the last four years studying it, living with it and talking to survivors and victims. And a Narcissist is no less responsible for their actions than anyone else, no matter their previous trauma.

  124. Mel says:

    I agree with Samantha whatever has happened to them or whatever trauma they have had in their life does not give them carte Blanche to treat people with the disdain that they do. I am human not an inanimate object you can push and pull for your amusement. Thank God I got rid. Mel x

  125. Kristina Yates says:

    I’ve been married way to long to a narc. I’m tired of the pain he has put me though
    Maybe in his own messed up way he still loves me
    Its too late the damage is done. I can not trust men hardly anymore. I am trying to find a lawyer Its hard. He doesn’t let me.cook.or buy groceries. He has admitted hes jealous of my son who.is 24 . when does it end. I can’t just walk off.and leave he wants partial custody so he doesn’t have to pay child support ..I feel so stuck and a prisoner .

  126. star says:

    My brother is married to a narcissist. He seems totally different from who he used to be. He has gone no contact with me since nearly a year. He refuses to even have a conversation about why. All I got is a garbled second hand account of his reasons. If our parents ask him why, he flies into a temper. All the while his wife says it is nothing to do with her though he says he is unhappy with how she has been treated by me. She repeatedly provokes my father and throws tantrums. He seems completely in her thrall. I’m no longer contacting them and have moved on. But I wonder what if anything will make him see light?

  127. Kristina says:

    I have been separated for 2 years now but still on contact and i find myself falling for it again. Now i feel like the jealous idiot. His son just moved back with his mother and now my Narc act like i dont exist it is the weirdest feeling. I have to keep remembering why i left in the first place. I was very sad, depressed, desensitized, sick all of the time, fibromyalgia like symptoms, could hardly walk so on and so forth. How do i keep from falling back into the trap?

  128. Zumolia says:

    Oh shit I got to get my ass out of this marriage ASAP where do these monsters come from.

  129. Jennifer says:

    Just get out of this marriage.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I did! Best decision I’ve ever made.

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