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Narcissistic Hoovering

I am not really sure what to title this, or even where to start. I guess narcissistic hoovering is really what happened, but it feels so much more genuine than what that communicates. Im sure many of you saw this coming, because this is what happens with toxic relationships, somehow they suck you back in…

So ill just cut right to it. He hovered me back in a couple months ago by making a total transformation and making me think he was really genuinely changed. I KNOW. How could I fall for it? (Seriously, I knew better and still, it happened!) Well, its complicated and I have actually done a ton of reflection and praying about it. I can’t tell you I know the solid answer and no two cases are exactly the same, but in my case, here is how it went.

13090484_10204578560662709_730871792_nWhat Had Happened Was…

He did change. I scared him and totally rocked his world. I straight up showed him how messed up he was and he saw it, somehow by the grace of God, he saw it. And he has changed. I will give him that, the big, giant, red flag behaviors have stopped, the yelling, sneaking around, etc. All that has ended. And there are good days. But this is what all of this has made me realize, he is actually mentally unstable/ill. Narcissism isn’t being mean all the time, its a true mental condition. And maybe he does have a bit of bipolar and BPD mixed in. The core behaviors that lead him down the dark path of rage and anger are still there, the base of self absorption and lack of being able to understand another persons feelings and viewpoint, the gas lighting. And here is the deal: he doesn’t know. He’s not doing it on purpose, so to speak, its deeper and more subconscious that that.

Maybe some people do know they’re messed up, maybe they’re really evil and just don’t give a flying f*ck what you think. Maybe a large majority of narcissistic hoovering is really genuinely, intentionally deceptive. But, I’m realizing that, at least with my husband, he has NO IDEA and furthermore, he simply cannot comprehend another persons feelings as being anything outside of /unrelated to himself.

This is not to make excuses for him, it still sucks knowing that as long as I am with him, I’m pretty much on my own. It’s liberating to realize that though, and it makes it easier, after all, I would be on my own anyway. It still sucks, and I know eventually I won’t be able to deal with it anymore. And I still kinda kick myself because I was out and now I’m back in it. But, I have my girls back every day, so thats major. And as long as he’s not flying into crazy psychotic rages, I can handle it.

Where I Ended Up, So Far

Am I settling? Totally. I know, and I WISH there was a good answer for it, but there isn’t. Any choice I make has major downsides. Thats what happens when you get involved with someone who has mental issues. There is no easy way out or easy answer. And I decided that, with my current life circumstances, the ages of my children, and my own mental/emotional state, staying is the “best” choice for me right now. Does it bother me? Yes and No, for now my kids have a relatively stable day to day life, that is super important to me. Like, number one priority. I have at least a little help paying the bills and managing daily responsibilities, and the girls have their parents around pretty much whenever they need them. Those are big positives.

Negatives: he’s still moody as hell and pouts like a baby when he feels neglected. That’s super irritating. I still doubt and double check most of the things he tells me, and always will, (thats just smart). He still refuses to really understand me beyond the surface, which is depressing because thats not my nature, something he would realize if he tried to really get to know me. Thats pretty tough to deal with, especially as the therapist we’re seeing tried to get him to acknowledge it and he stonewalls with “Im just so confused…”. (Seriously, therapy is almost amusing because now, a month and a half in, she’s starting to see though him- amazing- and push him to really talk about his feelings and he can’t do it. She also sees right through his attempts to manipulate the sessions, seriously, she’s pretty impressive). So those things are pretty isolating for me, emotionally. I hate surfcey fake relationships and to be forced into something like that with my spouse is really difficult.

I have a feeling deep down that as I continue to put myself back together and shield myself from his crazy, we will eventually be so far apart that a break up will just naturally occur. That could be wishful thinking, but who knows. I have big plans still for myself, and I don’t know that he will really be on board for all of them. I still can’t imagine being with him in 20 years, like it would be a miracle or a major defeat, one of the two. But I feel like I have made peace with life for now.

I have done some serious growing up in the last 8 months and have learned a TON about myself. For instance, that being “happy” is super complicated and sometimes the thing that gives you the most satisfaction (making sure my girls are ok) actually makes your life kinda sucky sometimes. That God is pretty interested in my day to day as well as my overall existence, that He will provide, and be a better partner in life than my physical one. Purpose and doing what you want to do are totally different things. And also, a lot of people you think have it all together, totally do NOT. I have made a lot of real life girlfriends that know what I’m dealing with and support and pray for me, which is amazing. There is a lot of good in my life I didn’t have before all this, for sure. And Im figuring out my path one day at a time. New goal: how to be married to a narcissist and not let them take over your life… I’ll keep you posted.




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56 thoughts on “Narcissistic Hoovering: the Results

  1. Donna James says:

    I totally know where your coming from. I’m stay for my own reasons but it’s like I’m still living my own life too. I do want to point out that if you have girls that they need to know he is sick and to not allow that type of man in there life to look for the signs.

  2. Mia Harris says:

    Omg, too decided to stay with my husband. Your story seems as if your living my exact life. I have been watching teal Swan on YouTube. She offers ways to cope with dealing with many of these issues. Ultimately I’ve decided lately he will not change who he is, I can only change me. I am no longer interested in being in this crazy toxic relationship more so finding out what has drawn me into the path of someone so manipulative and unstable. I need to fix that part of me so I can live a happy life. I wish you nothing but the best, check out the YouTube videos. God bless you.

    1. Debra Blaszak says:

      Thanks for the youtube suggestion.

  3. Third Time Round says:

    I have been beating myself up because I find myself in a THIRD narcissistic relationship. I mean, how stupid can I be?!
    I have kept silent till now because I am humiliated for getting myself back into a situation I should have seen coming. I rebuilt after the first relationship. I lost everything after leaving the second. I am not able to leave the third because I am still paying the price of pissing the second narc off.

    So, spend my days pretending everything is fine. Pretending to narc 3. Pretending to my friends. Pretending to my children. Pretending to the family that couldn’t find it within themselves to help me leave narc 2 with a shred of what I was entitled to.

    I struggle with depression and pretend I’m fine so that I can help my child who is also deeply depressed. I bear the load of paying debts that aren’t mine. I ignore my own bills and I hand over every cent I earn. I don’t leave the house alone. I don’t drive my car. I ask for tampons.

    He isn’t horrible but I also don’t fight back. It would just make things worse if I did. I have nowhere to go, so why wake the beast?

    1. Debra Blaszak says:

      You will feel better when you fight back. Start small, be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for choosing these men. You must have a kind heart.

  4. Jennifer says:

    OH MY GOD!! You don’t know how lonely and isolated I’ve felt. You are the first person to publicly say exactly what I’ve been thinking and doing. God bless you

  5. Erin says:

    This post is the first I’ve gotten and couldn’t be more on target with what I’m going through right now.

    I’ve been separated for over 2.5 years, divorced for 1.5years, from my narcissist. I’ve tried ignoring and pushing away as suggested by my counselor, but he just uses my actions as fuel, and justification, for his behavior. I’m in the process of taking him back to court, which includes getting him to go to counseling. I’ve tried this entire time to get him to go but he refuses unless I agree ahead of time to get back together. He’s had a girlfriend, he won’t fully admit to, this entire time.

    I’ve finally decided to be “nice” which goes against how I really want to treat him after all the things he’s done to me in the past 2.5 years while punishing me for leaving. This being nice has made me have to be around him more with my son, and has made me realize how much my son would benefit from us being together.

    I’ve been strong for 2.5 years, not caving once, but now I’m having second thoughts. I don’t want to be with him, but if he will go to counseling, I’m actually considering going back. My family would have a fit, and my friends will call me crazy, but I want to be with my son every day more than anything.

    With all of this said, I’m not sure what I should do… I wish there was a “cure” for narcissism!

  6. Sharon says:

    You are living my life I totally understand what you are going through. It is hard for people to understand that we have to sacrifice ourselves a little for our children. I am struggling the same way. My friends keep telling me to leave him but it is not as easy as that. Mine also has shown signs of bipolar and goes through periods of somewhat normal but I am always on the alert and can tell when the bad days are coming. I have learned to deflect him and I have become totally distant and cold. I never let him know the things that really hurt or bother me because I know he will turn it back on me. It can be a lonely miserable way to live. I know that some day I will be able to walk away when my children are finally on their own. God bless and thank you for your story. I dont feel alone as I used to and I dont feel wrong for staying for now.

    1. Cat says:

      I can totally relate, married 19 years and trying to stay 3 more years until my youngest goes off to college. My husband is always undermining me and subtly poisoning my son with his ideas. For a while my son was very mean to me. I have stayed and my relationship with my son has gotten better. I realize things will be so much worse with my husband telling my son I have ruined the family if I leave. It is really about the money it will kill my husband if I walk away with Ira, pension money and alimony. The emotional abuse is subtle and comes in waves mostly due to the fact that my husband is reliant on chemicals in his body to stabilize. The other day I caught my husband in a lie about the care of our son and initially he denied and then admitted saying that he has to lie bc he can never reason with me. Basically that is code for I share an opposing opinion and he can’t tolerate that bc it always has to be his way. Then my husband followed with I have ruined our relationship. Basically I have withdrawn to protect myself and I just plan quietly for my exit.

    2. Debra Blaszak says:

      Sharon, your post was where I am at as well. I have counted about 6 years to go before my kids are gone to college. I plan for that time.

  7. Katie says:

    I came across your blog by accident once I started realizing that me and my 4 children were victims of a narcissistic man and needed to find out more about this. All along I thought it was me unable to please and be perfect in his life. Struggling for 18 years to make him happy and live our perfect family life. The anger and rages have started to affect my children (17, 15, 10 and 4) so I needed to make the move and leave to save my kids and to save myself. I always knew I wanted to leave the marriage. It just never felt right. I was supposed to trust this person but whenever I poured my heart and soul and unleashed my secrets because we were having a good day and I felt close to him it would inevitably come crashing down within days or weeks and my inner feelings and secrets would be thrown at me and used as blackmail. How could I ever trust this man with my heart. One day I just stopped trying. There was no point anymore. I felt like every day was an out of body experience with me on the outside watching someone else live my life pretending to happy. I had affairs to feel wanted and valued. Morally a horrible thing to do and something I would have never even considered early on in my marriage. It bought our marriage more time and me some sanity. I made a plan and saved money and got a storage unit and packed away my important items. I thought of my kids but they are now at an age where they see their father for what he is and they love him but do understand he is a difficult man full of rage. I needed to leave to save myself. My only regret is I didn’t do it earlier. Years and years of memories with friends and family that cannot be undone. Often good memories but wish I had made them with someone else. I am now month 7 living on my own and it has been hard and I am still sad and feel like I have ptsd to some degree. Walking on eggshells every day waiting for the anger and rage to appear does that to someone. I walked away from a million dollar home and no budget to living in a small townhouse watching every dime is often stressful but I am free from that huge weight that was on my shoulders for so long. I often feel as though one day I had everything and the next I lost it all. That sense of family despite the dysfunction was still family and I often miss the chaos and the overfilled laundry room and shoes at the front door. I have none of that now. It wasn’t “if” I would ever leave my narcissist husband but “when”. That thought weighed on me heavily each and every moment of my day when I was with him. He is now trying hard to win me back. I didn’t get a formal separation agreement so still in limbo. He is angry and seething one minute and nice the next. Embarrassed that his wife has left him. I am often thankful I have my own home to return to after one of his rants. He uses the kids as a way to keep me busy so I can’t have a life since I am either at work or with kids and always exhausted. Reminding me that I “chose” this life and leaving him with the bills (again, I walked away with nothing and he pays me nothing) but the next day asking if I want to go away on vacation and look at what we could have if we were back together. Haven’t heard “I love you” but simply all financial benefits since his lifestyle has had to change too since my paycheque is no longer his. Yes, I have been sucked back in some days but when he is nice to me, my life is a lot easier as he helps with kids on “my days”. His angry days has me struggling with 4 busy kids and a full time job while he sits at home laughing at me. Your post today made me realize that as much as I would like that picture perfect life it will come at a cost and that would be my soul should I go back to my husband. I will find my new normal soon and my kids are in such a peaceful less chaotic home when they are with me and I am a much better mom. I almost never get angry anymore at my kids because that anger was because of the abuse I was subjected to by him. You are not alone and one day you will decide what is best for you and your kids. Life is about choices and sometimes it takes a few tries before the right choice is made and this one is yours to make alone.

    1. Melody says:

      Struggling for 18 years to make him happy and live our perfect family life.

      I needed to make the move and leave to save my kids and to save myself.

      I felt like every day was an out of body experience with me on the outside watching someone else live my life pretending to happy.

      I needed to leave to save myself. My only regret is I didn’t do it earlier. Years and years of memories with friends and family that cannot be undone.

      Walking on eggshells every day waiting for the anger and rage to appear does that to someone.

      It wasn’t “if” I would ever leave my narcissist husband but “when”.

      All my current life. He’s hoovering with gifts and requests for date night. I hate being here.

  8. susan says:

    I have been married to a Narcissist for 30 years. I feel your pain, I had 4 children to think about and felt the lesser of the 2 evils was for me to stay. I still have good days and bad days, but now understand that I will never be able to change to him. He is mentally ill. I wish you all the best.
    Sending prayers to you and your children.

  9. Corinne says:

    Its like you just told my story too. Somehow I’m back my husband swears up and down he’s changed and not the same person but sadly it just words and a show he can get everyone else to believe but it’s behind closed doors that nobody else sees or hears or feels.

  10. Samantha Matthews says:

    Wow guys! I was bracing myself for a whole bunch of “How could you?!” and condemnation, (AKA what I/we have been conditioned to expect when I make any kind of stand for myself). Goes to show how much healing I still have to do. But it does help me to know Im not the only one making this choice!

    If its livable/manageable, I need to give my girls my day to day presence, and I figure God allowed this into my life, so there must be some good things to come out of it. I can think of three right off the top of my head, kid #1, kid #2, and you all reading my blog. Love you all! <3

    1. Third Time Round says:

      Condemnation comes from those who have never walked in our shoes, or from other narcs.
      I am blessed to have found this blog, you and a whole community of survivors!

      1. Donna says:

        I’ve been with mine for 30 years. He made me think that I couldn’t survive with out him. I lost all friends ( so I thought) and family. He has to have control. When I was young I was in love with him. Now thirty years later I’m not. I stay only because I’ve settled but I refuse to allow him to put me down. I know I’m a good person. Everyone like us has our own ways of copying. Mine is with meditation, crystals and I get spiritual readings. For me that’s made me a stronger person. I deal with him better and when he tries to cut me down I don’t allow his negative energy in my space. It works for me. It’s also helped my daughter’s get stronger as well. Mother earth is powerful.

    2. Eyvonne says:

      I left my husband for 8 years (8!!!) and he still fooled me into remarrying him. I cannot condem you. I do hope that will continue to fight for yourself though. I am still struggling, but I won’t give up…..

  11. Deanna says:

    A friend of mine sent me this link because it mirrors my life in so many ways. I recently left my narcissist husband and have been paying for it ever since. He can no longer control me so he uses the kids to punish me for leaving him. If I had a crystal ball and could have seen how much he was going to put me and our kids through I probably would have stayed. But it’s gone too far now and there is no going back. My friend gave me some advice, “Put on your boxing gloves and never take them off.” I know now that he will never truly let me go and live my life in peace. He is relentless in paying me back for divorcing him.

    1. Ann says:

      This is what I am afraid of. I have seen 2 lawyers. Going to a therapist. Have announced to my parents that I am going to do this…and I just can’t bring myself to. It is fear of what types of games he will play with my kids to get back at me. Just don’t know exactly what to expect.

  12. tradeatease says:

    I stayed 18 more years, watched and saved to get out. Total married 42 years for the sake of 4 kids. But after N retired no more excuses. i saved to get out. Prepare, prepare, prepare to save to get out. There will come a day you are just done and no one but you can save you after the kds are all gone.

  13. KimG says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! My husband was just diagnosed yesterday as Narcisstic. He just started going to a therapist after confessing to cheating on me with a co-worker. The only reason he confessed is that he got caught and the word spread throughout the office. He has also been in an emotional affair with a neighbor for several years that I’ve cried about to him over and over, that he refused to admit to until this other affair came out. He made me feel like it was me just being jealous and insecure, not being “cool” enough to be comfortable with a female friend. At least now I know I’m not crazy.

    After being caught (4 weeks ago), he was on his knees crying for me not to divorce him as he says he is changed and being caught made him realize what a selfish jerk he’s been to both me and the children. He says he is so sorry for hurting me, yada yada yada… He wants to spend the rest of his life making it up to me – he must have been in a ‘fog’ for the last several years….on and on. Argh – I don’t believe any of it right now. I knew there was something wrong for a long time – I couldn’t seem to put my finger on it until yesterday’s diagnosis and your blog. In a way, a little relief.

    Soooo, I am kind of where you are – I don’t want to divorce as it will turn the kid’s lives upside down and right now it seems manageable (while he is in this “I’m sorry, I’ll change” stage). I confess that I do secretly want to believe that he can change even though I hate him for what he did – I feel crazy. If anything, I need some time to build my self-esteem back up, get a foothold financially, and allow the kids to get a bit older.

    I think you should do whatever feels right for YOU! I’ve already gotten some guff from a good friend for sticking around, but I know she says that out of concern and love, not a judgement. Your true friends will ultimately support you. I look forward to following your story – I truly admire your strength and honesty.

  14. No longer fooled says:

    I’m giving u a little warning. I thought my wife didn’t know what she was doing or her behavior towards me and others. THESE PEOPLE KNOW A LOT MORE THAN WHAT THEY WANT US TO KNOW. I tip toed around many diagnoses she received that were actually premeditated and carefully orchestrated to create further confusion. These monsters are master manipulators. They know, trust me.

    1. Ann says:

      Agreed 100%

  15. I’m going through this as I’m reading this now today on May 2, 2016. I’m scared Samantha. I dont know what to do. My narcissistic marriage seems and feels far worse because my husband uses silent treatments to control me and he has done this for 15 years. I’m so lonely. He walks around here all cranky and acts like he hates me and he hates me because I refuse to allow him to disrespect me any longer. Last night we had it out, which only comes every once in a blue moon. He is intentionally trying to push me out of our home simply because I wont comply with his type of love. His type of love meaning as long as he is providing a roof over my head and food on the table, that is all he needs to do, that it! Nothing else! No talking, no laughter, no communication, no confronting him on ANYTHING not even if I want to express to him how he is hurting me deep inside literally and figuratively. All he cares about is sex. Just sex. So in his book of priority it’s, sex, cooking and cleaning. But what about me? What bout my needs???? That’s not fair to keep giving him love and watching him be complacent while I sit and stew over the fact that I’ve just given up my self respect to a man who could care less about ME. Sad thing is, he actually enjoys playing this little mind game. He’s very childish and passive aggressive. He buys our teenage son’s love. He pays more attention to him and our little dog than he ever cares about me. He makes me beg to use our only vehicle, he makes me ask for food when the cabinets and refrigerator is bare. And he does all of this just waiting for me to give in. Preaching to me how things aren’t “fair”. I don’t work, because I’m on a fixed monthly income of Social Security. I raised my son practically all by myself without his help and did I ever get a thanks for that? He knows, I cant work, yet he loves throwing it my face that I’m choosing not to. He treats me like I’m a burden on him, like I’m extra mouth to feed, and even like a house slave who cares for his child while he’s at work. I want to leave him, but where am I to go?? I’ll be homeless and he knows it. I have no friends and I have no family and he knows it. I cant go to a shelter because I went to live in one before for seven weeks and I wanted to come back to him so bad, it was terrifying just being there. I have tried to apply for legal aid and got turned away twice. I have tried to apply for Transitional housing but you have to qualify for that too. Where’s the help for us?
    Just last night, he told me that I can stay “here” and that he wasn’t kicking me out…and I said but?…He said, don’t expect me to change. Basically he’s telling me to kiss his ass and accept his treatment or else leave…knowing that I can’t.
    I’m scared and i don’t know what’s the best choice for me right now…

  16. Amanda says:

    I remain married to my narc husband and father of my children. I maintain my sanity by maintaining a separate household. It works pretty well! We see eachother every couple of days. I do talk to him on the phone daily. And spend one night a week with him. Otherwise I am happy and free. If we go out or vacation out of town I almost always drive my own car in case of a blow up or shut down. I took a second p/t job to help make this happen and it’s worth it! I recommend to all my unhappily married friends.

    1. Tracy says:

      I also am considering remaining married but living apart as a long-term solution. We are currently living apart for the second time in our 15 years together. And it seems to work similarly to your arrangement, although, I am not ready for intimacy or overnighters yet. Thank you for reminding me that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

    2. Ann says:

      Lucky you, my N is waaaay to controlling to ever ‘allow’ that.

    3. Debra Blaszak says:

      Amanda that is a great idea. When I fantasize about divorce, I think about my kids and my vow to God and that’s all that stops me. The other day I thought—what is a life that is like divorce, without the divorce? Separate friends, separate vacations, separate lives. Whatever simulation I can do, it seems to help make me happy. I went to see my family by myself for a week and really enjoyed myself. This week he leaves to go see his friends who are educated, high-paid professionals, a few in the social service field. He gripes about me to them, and I wonder why they can’t see him for who he is? Anyway…separate lives sounds good.

  17. Leena says:

    Im not really sure what to do with my narc. We have been married for 8 years now, we do not have any kids but do own a house together.
    He is a mommy’s boy, calls her every day, eats at her place regularly.. basically pays more attention to his mom and neglecting me.
    I know he is also spreading lies in his family about me and also regularly gossips with his mom about me. Due to this, I’m scared to have kids with him, because then I will have a bond for life with him… but I’d also like to make some progress in my life, have kids, a partner that pays attention to me… but still I’m not able to leave him and scared I will fall into this deep black hole of loneliness and feeling miserable if I do.

  18. Jen says:

    Wow. I stumbled across this today and felt like I was reading the story of the past 17 years of my life. Though I just realized he was a narc in the past few months. Mentioned it to my best friend this week and she agrees. Want to leave but so afraid of what he will do. Actually I know, he will hit me where it hurts the most with the kids. He will take it out on them. My current thought is wait til they are out of college, what’s eight more years? At least now I know that I am not crazy and what I am up against.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Melody says:


  19. Becks says:

    “For instance, that being “happy” is super complicated and sometimes the thing that gives you the most satisfaction (making sure my girls are ok) actually makes your life kinda sucky sometimes”

    This. A thousand times this. I have a husband like yours, and three beautiful kids under 6. I’m constantly torn, but I know I can’t shield them forever. It’s exhausting.

    I hope you figure out some answers. Let me know, ok?

  20. Tracy says:

    Apart, together, and now living apart again. My hubby has also made some positive changes, which I’m just trying to observe and reflect before I make any future decisions. One day at a time, but I can totally relate to your story.

  21. Anna says:

    I read all these stories and it hits home because I have been married to a narcissist / master manipulator for 5 years and have 2 beautiful daughters. For five years I just lived in confusion not knowing why the man I fell in love with would act like this. how could he treat me like this but I have been doing so much soul searching and researching and I see he was gaslighting me. the man I feel in love with was a façade. he doesn’t exist. He has taken me on this roller coaster and made me question my own sanity. Made me question my own thoughts and my own “self” I felt like I was losing me and I have a 5 yr old who is beginning to show signs of his behavior. Nothing is ever her fault, she always has to be right, etc… recently things have gotten worse with the passing of his mother last year and I am finally committed to leaving for the betterment of me and my girls. Some days are easier then others, actually some moments are better then others because there isn’t a day, afternoon, night, or morning that hasn’t gone by the last few weeks that I don’t think about him or reconsidering but I remind myself sometimes the hardest decision to make is the right one. I love him and I don’t think that will ever change but I cant help someone who doesn’t want help. what will eventually happen is he will take me with him down his dark roads and my girls deserve better. Hell I deserve better. I have allowed him to make me doubt my own self worth and I am committed to loving myself again. To find the “ME” inside that is happy again, the me again that doesn’t have to walk on egg shells because I don’t know what mood he will be in when I get home, the me that can have a conversation with someone and they are interested in my opinion. I am very grateful to this site because it reminds me I am not alone and I am not Crazy which is what I have thought for a long time.

  22. frost bitten says:

    can someone clarify them not feeling empathy. for example if they were cheated on lets say, they would know how it feels to be cheated on. so if they were to cheat on you wouldnt they have to feel or understand empathy because of there experience?

  23. Anastasia says:

    This is the exact situation I am in now! I’ve just found out he’s been having a 5 year affair, ive always deep down wanted to leave his ass and if ever there was a reason this is it… So why haven’t I kicked him out yet?
    We have 3 kids under 8 and I want the best stable life for them. I couldn’t think of anything worse than sharing custody and competing with and going up against this man, He scares me sometimes, so intimidating, manipulative and controlling.
    I just want the best for my kids, a normal home life, family holidays etc. I have been a stay at home mum for 8 years and if we separated I would have to work full time, sell our investment properties (which are worth nothing at the moment but he has informed me that he will borrow money from his mum and sister to buy me out because in a few years they’ll be worth a lot of $$$)
    So that is a big insecurity weighing on my mind, daddy will have the great house with the pool (I don’t have a FT job, but am starting to pick up a little bit of work) while mummy struggles in a dodgy rental…
    I’m 34 and feel too young to be settling for this life and I do not see us together in 20yrs time but for now I’m here and I guess I will “try” at our marriage and hopefully he’ll see it’s not working and end it for us, saving me from being the bitch who divorced him.
    So happy to have found you all and have other ppl understand what we are going through.

    1. Escaped a narc and won says:

      If you divorce he will have to pay alimony and child support. He will also have to split every item you own, house, property, cars etc.
      I left my narc husband and understand the fears and pain. My health was deteriorating. He cheated. Controlling. Abusive to me and our kids. Since leaving my health has improved 100%. My sanity is finally coming back. I realized I was NOT the crazy one he portrayed me to be. We had to split everything. Narcs are bullies. All talk and threats bc they are insecure. All the fears I had about finally standing up to this man did not come true. I stood up to him and won!! It was hard and he tried to take our kids but courts and judges are not stupid. They see this all the time. The narcs keep us living in constant fear. That’s how they control us.

      1. Third Time Round says:

        I escaped, having faith that I had rights to half of the assets, accepting that I had obligations to half of the debt and fully willing to split fairly.
        I didn’t know that my narcissist would go to such lengths to take revenge for cutting off his narc supply, that he was willing to accept his own full financial devastation, including bankruptcy and home foreclosure, as long as it ensured I suffered.

        I didn’t know that I would have no access to legal protection because he made sure I couldn’t afford it. I didn’t know that I would be further victimized by every agency out there because they did not and could not comprehend what narc victims were up against. Every resource I turned to for help refused to help. Even my own family.

        I hate that word, by the way; victim. It means I am or was powerless. I fought for three years to negotiate fair split and still lost everything including my dignity. I cannot leave the house without deep anxiety, I have nightmares more nights than not. But, I do not and will not ever regret escaping. That’s what my narc wanted and he took everything away from me in his efforts to get my regret. He thought that if he took enough, I would regret leaving. I have not once regretted my decision and I will not ever give him that. He lost.

  24. Sue says:

    I have been married to a narcissist for 20 years — my second marriage, his fourth. I know. I am 62 and he is 66. During my early fifties I left him twice, once for a few months and once for a year, but each time I let him “Hoover” me back in almost immediately. What I mean is that the whole time we were separated, I was still letting him hang around. Long story short, this relationship has cost me in numerous ways that now make it seem impossible to divorce him. I have friends, hobbies, separate interests, and volunteer work that help me stay as sane as possible, but I still really need to learn better strategies for living with him s I can feel comfortable and content at home, too. So glad I found this page!

  25. A says:

    I feel like my life had been turned upside down! After all, I had been single since my divorce in 1992, raised 3 children (the youngest had health issues and passed away at 13), had my own home and a great job. Then I Facebook a friend to reconnect and here comes this guy back into my life that I knew in junior high. Talk about a smooth talker and moving fast! I tried to put the breaks on, but he had every reason to go forward and we were married within a year. I said I wanted to keep my house and rent it out because of memories, comfort and security and he tells me – ‘I am your back up for always. You don’t need to worry about anything.’ He then made me sell my house, those of you that know how they work to make you think it is in your best interest, I quit my job and moved in with him, away from my other 2 children, all my friends and my support team.
    We had remarried in front of friends and family exactly a year later (he didn’t want his family to know we were already married) then he started acting different, like overnight! Not even 18 months after we were officially married (five months after second wedding), he started cheating on me. I found out about it 3 months after it started. He slept with 7 whores in a three month period and started corresponding with an ex. I told him I was leaving. He begged Mr to stay and said he was sorry and it would never happen again. Then I found he was on websites to hook up with married women! How could he do this to me? He said he was cheated on by his first wife every time he was away for work. Really?! How could He? He says I am his lifeline and I saved him from self destruction, yet he could do this to me? I can’t trust him. I am afraid to even go see my friends because he will cheat.
    Then, he tells me he is worried I am seeing someone. He keeps tabs on where I go, who I am with, how long I am gone,etc. If he thinks I am gone too long I get a text ‘where are you, ‘when can I expect you’ or ‘what is taking you so long?’ Even if traffic is bad and I am behind his schedule by 5 minutes. Yet, I am not allowed to question his whereabouts.
    So, now what do I do?

    1. Donna says:

      What I would try to do is get a prepaid phone and get in contact with your friends and family. See what you can do about leaving and divorce that asswhole. Your support group has been there for you before and will be there now, they will understand. Get your inner strength back. Take control.
      We’re all here too.

      1. A says:

        I found out it is so much worse than I could ever imagine. I found out he was cheating on me the entire time. I have also learned that he was going to the Backpages of the local newspapers even while we were dating.
        I am unable to confirm that he was doing this with his first wife, but I am guessing so. His 3 children do not speak to him and his daughters even changed their last name. I am forbidden to speak to his ex wife even if she would talk to me.
        He cares more about my dog than me. He makes me feel shallow, stupid, ugly and belittles me. I never hear the words I love you.
        I really need some help and guidance. He promises it won’t happen again, but how can someone just stop?

        1. Mary says:

          I stayed in a relationship with a narcissist for 30 years and it only gets worse. We were at the point that he would ask for my grocery list and then give me a time limit to go pick them up and get back. He had me so cut off from my family that they initially sided with him when I finally left. I took my daughter and myself to a shelter as he had become threatening. I should have gotten out the first year or two of our relationship and not waited. At one point about 20 years in I was going to leave him and he changed for a few months, then when he got comfortable and he had me hooked again he slowly went back to his old ways and even got worse by monitoring every move I made. He would even drive by work and peek in the windows to make sure I was there. I know a lot of ladies are stating they are staying for their children. I did the same thing, but in hind sight I did them no favors. Please get out now before this goes any further. He may want to change but as others have stated, this is a mental illness and requires professional help. I left him six years ago and from the very first day I was able to sleep deeply through the night, something I hadn’t been able to do for years. I was able to start over in a new town and with a new job. I’ll never forget the first time I went into a clothing store after I left. I was looking through the racks thinking of what he would approve of, not about what I would like. I became so overwhelmed I had to leave the store. I hadn’t shopped for something that was in my taste for many years. It was a few weeks later that I needed something from the grocery store. I automatically checked the time. It was after 6:00 p.m. Previously I had not been allowed to go to the store after 6 and it hit me that I could now. All of these little freedoms that others take for granted. I had been living the life for so long that I didn’t realize how much control he had over me. Please ladies, it’s the scariest thing you’ll ever do, but don’t leave it too long.

          1. Donna says:

            Okay ladies I got one for you. So my Narcissist’s started working midnights. Which I love lol. So last night my daughter is putting make up on at the end of my bed, we were talking and having fun. So come morning he goes to bed. He gets up and comes down stairs with this thing in his hand and starts asking me what it is, that it looks like a small microphone and thinks I’m doing something weird. So I took it from him and started laughing. Of course that makes him mad so I told him it was our daughters eye make up spong. He thinks I’m lying cause it says ” wet and wild” on it. Omg I about fell on the floor laughing our daughter goes dad it’s the name of the make up. Well needless to say that pissed him off but damn it was a good laugh.

        2. Debra Blaszak says:

          Please leave him—adultery is exposing you to std’s, new step kids, you name it. Maybe he is a sex addict? Either way it’s not your problem. Please leave him.

    2. Debra Blaszak says:

      I hope things are better for you. I hope you are single and he has moved on.

  26. Kandice says:

    It is so uncanny to me to read this…as I’m reading, it’s as if I wrote it myself! Only very slight differences. I left him, took my teenage sons and left him. I was out. I had peace. None of us missed him at all. But, he just wouldn’t leave us alone. Continued to put us through hell from a distance until he finally cracked me. I found myself in a bad financial jam, which HE caused. I had already borrowed from my brother, my only relative that I would ever ask to borrow money and also from many of my friends. – with no ability to pay them back any time soon. Only still sinking further behind. So, feeling hopeless, I let him back in. Of course he had seen the light, he knows he does these things and he figured out why he does them. So no, I’ll never do that to you and the boys again, he says. Yeah right. We went to ONE counseling session annnnnnnnd before you know it, the controlling, manipulative, domineering asshat was back. Like he never left or there were ever any problems. Back to living in his fantasy world of his kingdom. Puke. He was back for 10 months, long miserable months. I didn’t tell ANYONE he was back for so long because I knew they would all be disappointed that I worked so hard to get out of that situation just to jump right back in. Some I knew would be judgemental, and I was not wrong about that. Some people still don’t know. But….Wednesday night was the draw that broke the camel’s back. He picked a fight with me that exploded and ended up with me kicking him out AGAIN. He left yesterday. He left me with no money, actually my account is overdrawn because HE wrote a bad check on my account. But,,,I will survive! Thanks to Pinterest, I found some very helpful info including your blog. I never really heard of a narcissistic sociopath before yesterday. And I feel so…relieved? Just finding out that there is a name to his condition and others who know and actually understand what it’s like???!! Not that I’m glad for others suffering through this, but learning that it’s not just me, I’m not alone is just a renewed sense of strength and purpose. So, thank you for sharing your story and creating this blog. You hang in there. Sont regret any decisions that you have made. You made the best decisions you could at that time so it was the right decision (at that time). Again, thank you. You are an inspiration.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thank YOU! And yes, you will survive, because thats what you have been doing all this time. You are FAR more resourceful than you even know. Your gonna do great. Just, dont believe in miracles in regards to him, he wont ever truly get better. And, to borrow amazing words from another commentor, your an strong, soulful, badass (ex) wife of a narc! You can do anything, you survived hell. <3 Hugs!

  27. Donna says:

    I got one for you ladies. So my husband started working midnights. Which I love lol.
    So my daughter decided to put make up on at the end of my bed. In the morning he came home and went to bed. That evening when he gets up he comes downstairs with something in his hand. He starts asking me questions of what I’m doing at night that the thing he was holding
    Looked like a microphone. That something weird is going on. (that’s his favorite saying)
    I took it and started laughing told him it was a make up spong to apply eye shadow. He grabed it back and said why does it say “wet and wild” on the side? Omg in about died laughing which really made him made so my daughter told him as she was laughing too that it was the name brand of the make up. Well he was pissed, didn’t talk to us and left for work with out a word.
    I just thought I’d share. We have so much crap we take any more all I can do is laugh cause it’s so messed up. Hope I made you laugh too.

  28. j says:

    Reading this is so hard. I just learned on Friday from my husband’s counselor he is a narcissist. I’m so confused, hurt, and overwhelmed. Everything I read offers no hope. We’ve been married a long time, but everything I have read has been there from the beginning. He raped me on our wedding night. I’m a strong believer and place my trust and hope in Christ. I am so mad at myself for allowing me to get caught by his lies. All the emotions I have held in for years not telling anyone are ready to explode. I hate that my child sees this poor excuse of a father and husband. I read things and see how I have developed some of the same controlling tendencies just to be able to survive. I’m scared to get out because I want our child to have no access to him. I truly don’t trust him with our child. I’m so thankful I found this site to be able to read about other women living this pure craziness.

  29. Terri says:

    Wow….wow….wow. You all are such amazing strong women, I hope you realize that. I too have been married to my narc husband for nearly 16 years. I did up and leave him about a week ago, but he “convinced” me to come back and we would “work things out financially without having to deal with lawyers”.

    NOW he is saying he wants to go to counselling with me (though I offered up this possibility years ago, even weeks ago, and it was always a resounding NO, NO WAY, “it would be a joke”, blah blah blah). I’m not even sure if I even want to go to counselling anymore, because I just don’t think it will help.

    I will be 57 years old this December, and I’m not sure how much longer I can “play this game with him”…..it’s exhausting. I pretend that everything is okay, but I only too well remember that nasty person he was just weeks ago….and because he can’t admit it or confess to it, I know it will be back.

    Why do I stay? Because when the man is “good”, he is VERY good. He makes me fall in love with him each and every time. He has struck gold with me – when we met, I was financially independent, owned my own place, had a great paying job. I have let him whittle me down to a sniveling idiot, and I fear he is not done yet.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Yep, sounds just like my story. You stand up for yourself, suddenly hes an angel. And you believe it because you so desperately WANT it to be the truth. Because it is STILL so hard to believe someone could be so awful.

      Find one thing, one thing that’s just YOURS, not his. Don’t tell him about it. Just keep it to yourself. It might be art, or writing, or education, or even just saving a little money here and there. And once you feel good about that one thing, add another. Take your life back one piece at a time. That’s working for me, it still is hard sometimes, but I’m getting better this way. For instance, I have no more doubts or worries about keeping this blog a secret. It doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact, someday I might tell him about it because it will be the perfect public but anonymous humiliation to get him to leave me alone. I also don’t feel bad about not telling him how much I actually make per payday. Its not much I don’t tell him about, just enough to cover the extras I know he wont “let” me afford (like, you know, diapers, food, since he still thinks I can feed a family of four on the same food budget we had 13 years ago with no kids…). I don’t tell him every time I see my girlfriends. I don’t tell him every time I buy something. These are things I would never have “rebelled” about before. These are things (I hear) a healthy couple shouldn’t HAVE to hide from each other. But its something, and its mine. And it makes me feel better.

  30. Paula says:

    I have no one but this blog. I’m trying to figure out how life goes on. I feel very lonely an betrayed.
    Now I know there are a lot of women living this crazy life.
    I’ve been abusing alcohol in a way that is not me. The real me, the happy me. Love you all !!

  31. Jan B says:

    I’m 71 years old and have been married for 45 years to an alcoholic narcissist. I left 3 years ago and spent 2 1/2 years “healing”. And then I went back – b/c i wanted to be back in the heart of my family, with my children and grand children around me; I wanted to be back in my garden and my home. I loved my little apartment and the peace of joy of living without all the stuff that comes with living with an utterly self-absorbed man. But I missed the other parts of my life too much. Perhaps I was foolish – it isn’t easy and he tries all the old games and tactics, upping the ante periodically b/c i just won’t play the game anymore. I don’t even feel angry, though sometimes I still get sad. I find him kind of pathetic – he is so blind to who and how he is; he misses so much joy in his life; he is so terribly needy and insecure and expends such an enormous amount of energy trying to fit the people in his world into his orbit. He is a black hole of neediness. I – no one! – will ever be enough to fill the huge vacuum inside this sad man. I guess I pity him. I no longer love him as a wife loves a husband and I have no expectations of him. I find my companionship, affirmation, validations, laugher and fun with my children, grandchildren, extended family and dear, dear friends. And that is enough. I’m just too old to live in abject poverty, fighting a man for what I am legally entitled to, standing by as he did his darnest to push me out of my own life. This way, I have financial security, I have my family, if necessary I can manage the flow of “misinformation” b/c I am aware of it, I am able to do the things that bring me joy without involving him in my plans. It bugs him a lot that he can no longer control me but I have found it possible to be “free” b/c I am indifferent to what he does or doesn’t do – and that makes me very happy.

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