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The Silent Treatment: How to Cope When Your Narcissist Finally Shuts Up…

Silent Treatment:silenttreatment3

Silent Treatment: an act of completely ignoring a person or thing by resort to silence, especially as a means of expressing contempt or disapproval. ~Webster

Silent Treatment is used as a passive aggressive form of communication, to convey contempt, disapproval, and displeasure. Narcissists often use this tactic when you confront them about something they have done wrong. This allows them to place the blame for the situation on you AND allows them to avoid taking any responsibility for their own hurtful or wrong actions, thereby invalidating your feelings.

How To Respond To Narcissistic Silent Treatment

  • Realize the silent treatment is used by Narcissists to control, punish, invalidate, and silence you.
  • Realize the chronic use of the silent treatment is Emotional Abuse.
  • Do not continue the argument or start a new one.
  • Do not beg for their attention.
  • Do not blame yourself for their actions, they alone are responsible for their behavior.
  • Do not attempt to force them to talk to you, communicate the basics and leave it at that.
  • Do not apologize when you have done nothing wrong. In my case, I was honest but respectful and not overly emotional when expressing my hurt. My feelings were not out of line, and not something I need to say sorry for.
  • Do not accept their projections and negative messages as true. You do NOT DESERVE to be ignored.
  • Do not let the silence play to your fear of abandonment. If they were going to leave, they would have. Also, you CAN survive without them. If you need emotional support or company, call a friend or family member, get out of the house and go do something.
  • Learn all you can about Emotional Abuse, Narcissism, and how you can defend yourself.
  • And lastly, DO NOT LET THEM SEE THEIR SILENCE IS BOTHERING YOU.

silenttreatment4Let me set the stage:

So, last week I apparently did something wrong. I don’t know what, but it put him in a “mood”. But let me go ALL the way back to the very beginning of this story, and give you the whole picture of what happens when a narcissist hoovers you back into a relationship.

October, 2015. We are separated, I have filed papers for divorce, he is feverishly trying to convince me he loves me and “needs” me (he does, but that’s a another post, and he hates me for his need so, yeah…). Somehow, he figured out that it would indeed, take a miracle for me to give him another chance, so that is exactly what he creates. He starts going to church, several times a week. Joins a men’s group, meets with the pastors, there every Sunday. He gets BAPTIZED (of course! Get up on stage and make a spectacle of myself while proclaiming how great (God) has made me now? DUH!) Buys a Bible he carries with him everywhere. Seriously, the whole shebang. We had amazing conversations about how things were and how they needed to be and how sorry he was. Seriously, I totally believed him. I believed him so much, I moved back in. I will say, I knew it was a mistake almost immediately, but by that time I was exhausted and thought I had beat the worst (his rages) so maybe I could hold on for a few more years until my youngest was a little older and maybe didn’t need her mommy every waking minute.

I want to be very clear on this point: I make a conscious choice to stay with him again. I knew what I was getting in to, and have been waiting and watching his behavior slowly resume his old standard, minus the yelling. That is where the silent treatment comes in. I CHOSE to sacrifice my own wants for my kids until the point where the scales tipped back and it was more harmful for them for us to stay. We are just about at that point and a lot sooner than I expected. But that’s how it goes I guess.

So, flash forward to summertime, 2016, we have  a new senior pastor at church who is filming testimonials from some of the members who have dramatic stories to show in Sunday service, saved from drugs, saved from PTSD from rape, saved from rage/my marriage (of course that is HIS) and hes asked to film one. He asked me if I was ok with it and I wasn’t really, but at that point I was just biting my tongue and biding my time, trying to “keep the peace” so I agreed. That was a few months ago, and they also told him they would give him a heads up before they showed it, just as a courtesy, and I made VERY clear what a good thing I felt that was and asked every week for the next few weeks if he had heard anything about it. Asking so I would know before hand. CONTINUE READING

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36 thoughts on “Silent Treatment: How to Cope When Your Narcissist Finally Shuts Up

  1. Tania says:

    Oh Samantha. I empathize with you so so much. I wish you the absolute very best with your goals. I know how hard it is.

  2. Suzanne says:

    It may seem like a small thing in a normal relationship, but not with a Narc. Stay strong, you are doing great!

  3. Denise says:

    Samantha good for you for getting out. I lived your story for 20 years. I know all about the silent treatment and fake religiosity. They are truly incapable of love. And life with a narcissist always chaos. Your kids will be better off for it they know what’s going on. I sincerely want you leave him forever. Because if you don’t you will end up like me when you get too old can’t be his servant. He will cash you in and get a new one. He will Hollow you out and use you up
    Narcissists are vampires and they will suck you dry

  4. Leigh says:

    Thank you for your post. I can totally understand all that you’re going through. It could be me you’re talking about. Please continue to share your experiences. It totally validates the rest of us.

  5. she says:

    I love your blog. Thank you for your blog. I feel reassured everytime I read your feelings that my feelings and emotional abuse are not alone. I appreciate that you’re not out to preach to other wives of narcissists who are still in it, still dealing with it for what ever reasons they must, that they are not alone and that you have your stories to share without necessarily trying to empower or preach about how they got out of a narcisstic abusive marriage, because I hate woman like that. It’s as if they make you feel stupid for the fact that you’re still putting up with it. Well I am, I don’t want to be, I’m not enjoying it, but for now, I must. Thank you Narcissist Wife.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thank You. I used to be like that, before I ended up in this marriage and realized what I was dealing with. Ive come to understand that no one can truly get this fight until they’re in it. Those women who say crap like “Strong women don’t get abused” and “just leave him” are coming from a place of fear. They think then if they are strong, they are safe, and if it ever happens to them, they can just leave, so its nothing to be afraid of. They’re wrong.

  6. ELIZABETH says:

    Samantha,

    I am not sure if this will encourage or discourage you. I met Mr. Charming 24 years ago, he was 41 and I was 31. Second marriage, lived together 3 years before we got married. He fooled me that long! It ended in a domestic shelter with our kids, then 6 and 8. That was 10 years ago, those kids are now 16 and 18. I understand staying with/for the children. I thought mine would drown in the pool of our Florida home if I had left any sooner.

    I took the kids to church with me and he too, wanted only a Bible for his birthday just before I left. He must have known, but he did not give his testimony or get baptized. When I studied 40 Days of Purpose at church and he found the book, his response was, “What do you need this for? I will tell you your purpose”. One of his closing lines was, “Just crucify me then”. Sick, sick, sick. But I had little children, I had to protect them. He used to hurt my little boy, but there is no real protection. DCF, the agencies, they can’t really protect you. My permanent restraining order was just a piece of paper. After observing him with the kids for an hour supervised, the “agency” decided he was a great dad, I must be crazy – of course he can have unsupervised visitaion! We were safe in the shelter, but we were locked up in there – the fence, the gates, the security – it was scary for all of us. But not as scary as him.

    You are so right, he cannot love – he doesn’t understand. When I was leaving Florida, after 7 years divorced and his 1st wife living with him during this time, caring for my children (at least they were eating!), he decided it wasn’t over yet between him and me. He still wanted me back. Sick, sick, sick. LEAVING is always the MOST DANGEROUS time – even after 7 years! Again! He wanted me to come out to the house and drop of the kid’s things off, ALONE of course. Not with my fiance or my older son, who was 30. My daughter, almost 13, begged me not to go – she thought I would end up cut into pieces in a 55 gallon drum. What daughter should have a thought like that about her own father? She has gone through so much. I did not go, but left their things in a storage unit, paid for 30 days, and gave them the key.

    I did all I could for them. The kids were raised to know Jesus, I did homeschool, and they went to counseling. I think Alateen was very helpful for my daughter, Al-Anon helped me. Not to promote these programs – but to deal with those we cannot control. And to let things go. But mostly to trust in God, only through God am I alive today. My verse for the month is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

    The laws were not in my favor, I could not take my children with me to Minnesota – a long way from Florida. Many may wonder, how could I leave them? To them, you may not fully realize what goes on behind closed doors. I could not protect them when I did live with him. Now, I can give them support – and I am alive. I am stronger, it has taken me 4 years, but I get better each day. If Mama doesn’t take care of herself, she cannot care for her children. The destruction to the mother in these situations is unbelievable! I do believe it is better for them to have me far away than dead. I am just a phone call, text, or airline ticket away. They know I love them fiercely and fought and will still fight for them.

    The hardest part is watching my 16 year old daughter, who now has to care for her 65 year old father. He still works, but puts her in the ‘Woman of the Home’ position. She has to cook and clean for him. He even calls her little Elizabeth. I will forward your post to her, he gives her the silent treatment. I had airline tickets for her 2 weeks ago during a school break for 5 days. He wouldn’t let her go at the last minute. It was a nightmare, with lawyers, the sheriff, everyone I knew in Florida. That is my own drama. He may have won the battle, but he will lose the war. We count the days until she is 18. It is so painful. But he will one day answer for all that he has done.

    How could I leave them? Please, I beg you, do not judge. The bleedout has stopped, I am alive and so are the kids. Both of them are excellent students and involved in long term, loving, healthy relationships. They now know the man behind the mask without my interference. They understand why I left. They see me in a happy, loving marriage and truly enjoy visiting here. We live in an old farmhouse in the country and have chickens. They know who they can count on, it’s not him. They know they can move here if they want to. They never want to leave when they visit (2 or 3 times each year).

    My goal as a mom was to help them be independent and function well in the world. I can see better now, how twisted he is, how sick and dependent. It’s all about him for sure, but his kids see it too.

    It is still difficult to talk or write about it. Writing was (and hopefully still is) my passion. I always journaled my feelings. But after I left and he read all my journals, even that was too hard. This year I am trying http://www.nanowrimo.org. I hope I can help someone, anyone, even one person. When I was in the shelter, I found very little written by women like me. My message – you are BRAVE, you are STRONG, you are SMART, not stupid like he might tell you. You can do it! You can get your power back! You can find REAL LOVE and RESPECT. Don’t give the bully one more drop of your blood, another piece of your soul. Be WISE, be CAREFUL. It is all real, and it’s not you.

    Please pray for my daughter, and I will keep you in my prayers as well. Never give up!

    Love,
    Elizabeth

    1. Amy says:

      I am praying for you and your daughter. My story is too long and I am too exhausted to tell it. I am living it everyday.

  7. ELIZABETH says:

    I know my reply was long – please edit as you feel. I am just starting my website/blog. Probably should take my last name off of the post. Thanks!
    Bless you!

  8. jbr says:

    Don’t feel “petty” because it’s a “really small thing….”

    I stayed in an emotionally/financially/sometimes physically abusive relationship for 13 YEARS because there was never any ONE THING that seemed worth destroying a marriage over.

    But all of those little things add up to the weight of the world.

  9. Lisa says:

    Samantha,

    We have very similar lives. I finally left him after 20 years together. When my husband was still at home, the last time that he was angry at me ( for standing up for my son!) , he did not speak to me for ONE MONTH! I decided that I was tired of being the one to try and hold things together and I would just see how long his silent temper tantrum would last. One entire month. I realized then that he did not care about me at all. I was just an accessory for him. I was done with the emotional abuse and could no longer tolerate his anger and mind games with my children. Trust me,you willl know when you’re had enough. You’ll have a moment of clarity just like I did. I can relate to everything that you are going though. And, it’s not easy getting out of the mess with a narcissist. But, eleven months later, I much more at peace and he is self destructing.
    I wish you strength and peace.

  10. Kathy says:

    Hello Samantha,

    Funny you would blog about the silent treatment, since I experienced that again, night before last. We were semi-retired for four years. When we got back to the States, he got a job in a call center, for $9.25 per hour, or $16K per year, with the caveat that he would find something else, within six months. Four years later, he is still working at the call center, now for $26K per year. You might be thinking that I have high expectations of him. And you would be correct, if he had not been a $76K per year, mid-level manager, in his last job. He receives Social Security, and now, so do I, but it is not enough for us to live on. And, since he refuses to even look for a better job, I have to contribute my paltry income, from S.S., in order to just make ends meet. I don’t appreciate him never making enough money to meet his financial obligations, and after four more years of it, I’ve had enough. So, upon telling me how broke he is, and how much he hates it, I said, “Hey, I’m tired of it, too. I guess you will actually DO something about it, when you are tired enough of never having any money.” Ooh, not a good thing. He was furious! First I got raged-at, then I received the silent treatment. I don’t care, though, since I am into telling the truth, whether he likes it, or not. It was/is our compliance they seek, for purposes of control and to ramp up their feelings of omnipotence. Knowing this, I refuse to be compliant in any situation that is not clear to me. I only believe what I see him do, and I no longer take anything he says at face value. My checking up on him, has been noticed, and he does not like it. This imparts a kind of perverse pleasure in me. I have been given the run-around, for years. Not anymore. Now, there are checks and balances, for him, too. I can endure his silent treatment, since we haven’t had a real conversation, for years. Like me, it appears your feelings for him, have changed. If it can be said that we no longer love them, then that blame should be laid squarely at their feet; exactly where it belongs.

    I wish you well,
    Kathy

  11. Beth says:

    I am married to his twin. I filed for divorce after 38 years. He has narcissistic personality disorder and is passive aggressive to the max. I’m done. Finally realized I haven’t loved him in decades but stayed because I was not gonna let him have shared custody of my sons. He moved out and the solitude and silence is bliss. Like all narcissists, he never shuts up. Good luck to you. Remember, there is no cure for narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve read everything I can find about it.

    1. Kathy says:

      Hello Beth,

      I admire you for not allowing 38 years “together” to stop you from filing for divorce. This one has not been diagnosed, since there is NOTHING wrong with him. I stayed because I did not have anywhere else to go with two young sons. I’m still here, decades later, for the same reason. I am accused of not loving him, and in the now, don’t know exactly what I feel. Cognitive dissonance can do that to you.

      I wish you well,
      Kathy

    2. Trisha says:

      Good luck and God speed. You should get out while young and strong. I waited and am now unable. After 18 years, a good day is getting a shower and making the bed. This is my hell. I will never have relief. Every morning I wake up is a disappointment. Literally.
      Take care of you first. Leave while you have the strength and desire. You won’t always. I promise you!

  12. Carol says:

    Those words you spoke right there, it could be me writing it word for word and I did have a plan and I did get out and I’m glad I did as you will be…stay strong and remember the Grey Rock if you don’t know about the Grey Rock Google it because that’s all you need to give him from now until your plans dated exit.

  13. Cindy says:

    OMG! Please let me just say I just turned 50 been with my narcissist since 1987! I’m a mess 3 adult age kids later I realize I stayed for all the wrong reasons. They are so DAMAGED! AS well as I am!

    I tell my daughters to NOT make the same mistake my narc cheated on me “to my knowledge from 2012 to 2016!” With the neighborder whore who lives across the street! This has been torture! I feEl so stuck! I have been arrested for felony dv! OH he’s a cop BTW! We live in a small town so!

    Please you are so much younger KNOW this will NEVER get better! I am so alone!

    1. Kathy says:

      We are never alone. If nothing else, we have one another to turn to for support. Things never seem to get any better on the home front, and they probably won’t. As the narcissist devolves into his particular brand of mania, his symptoms only worsen.

  14. Jackie Brock says:

    You are a great writer and inspiration. Six months I was discarded. A night that left me traumatized, ptsd and a life to rebuild. I knew it was domestic abuse #butheneverhitme… until he did that night. I saw the face of a man I didn’t recognize. The evil leaked out, despite his best effort.

    A no contact order was placed on him by a judge the next morning before he was released. Charged with first offense domestic assault and DUI. It was so hard, but also what I had prayed for. I wanted out but it’s so hard to leave. The five weeks before he broke the no contact (no I didn’t call police) gave me room to breathe and get off the jello world he kept me on for 14 years. He tried to Hoover but after seeing the evil that is inside, I was too scared to take him back,

    I was told by my therapist that it was never about me. He was basically a cutter and I was his arm. I was an object, like a coffee maker. When a coffee maker does it’s job, it makes the morning better. When it’s stops doing that you take the thing apart and change out a few parts, resorting in exhasperation to banging on it to make it work. But then, you go get another coffee maker and throw the other away. As much as the first coffee maker thought it was loved, in the end there isn’t a funeral or desperate measures of going without coffee. How can anyone be sad? It’s an object that can be replaced. All they want, is the coffee. In my case, I no longer fed his ego nor allowed him to take his frustrations out on me.

    Look up going grey rock. It works well. Any time you respond, cry or show any emotion, your filling his coffee cup.

    Stay strong. #notyourwoobie (think Mr mom and the blanket).

  15. Lys says:

    How do you get past being heartbroken? Because at times it feels like I am drowning in heart break. Even when I know I shouldn’t feel that way and that I AM better than this

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Honestly, I’m not 100% sure. Whenever I think I’m good and I don’t care anymore, something changes and I end up dying inside again. Sometimes I think its just the overwhelm of the whole situation, like sensory overload. Sometimes sleeping helps, sometimes a distraction, like a good book, Pinterest, or watching a movie.

    2. Kathy says:

      I don’t know if we ever get past the heart break … I think we just get used to it. I think we might appear to be depressed, because of our sadness, before we actually are depressed. We are all better than this. NO one deserves to be treated this way. The Silent Treatment is another form of abuse, plain and simple. It is utilized by the NPD as a control tactic, and it is wrong.

    3. Cadams says:

      Accept the fact that he never loved you. Ever. You filled a need. Grieve for the love you thought you had. Grieve for the dream that died. If you don’t accept he never loved you, if you don’t accept that the person you think you love is an empty shell you will never move on. You will never heal. You will never be a real person. 30 years of hell and now 8 months of happiness. It’s hard but so worth it

  16. Kim says:

    omg I am so confused! went to court yesterday.my narc. agreed to sign a settlement agreement. Made arrangements with my attorney to meet at his office where he would get a notary. All these plans made in court. Not five minites later, she calls my daughter and says shes not signing. She doesn’t want my stuff but she doesn’t want a divorce. Calls my attorneys office and cancels. She has already blasted me on social media, where we have a lot of common friends and family. 43 people felt terrible for her and I was horrible and on and on. She called one estranged daughter and tried to talk to her about how bad we were. My 82 year old mother and me. If backfired and my daughter and I started talking again. It seems my daughter just hated my narc. I guess my question to anyone with advice is this, I know of activity that could get her fired. I know of other activity illegal. I have some eividence to at least get her fired. She knows I have this evidence. I said, sign the agreement and it all goes away. She thinks I’ll use it against her. I wouldn’t. I would st ick to my word, even though I know she wouldn’t . Now this bombshell, she’s not gonna sign! What do I do now?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      you can sue for divorce, if you live in a State that requires it. My state allows divorce as long as one party wants it, and I don’t need any reason other than I want a divorce. No need to prove anything. I’m not sure of the laws where you are but you should ask your attorney what your next steps are.

      Also, as long as you get a legal separation, you are protected legally from whatever they do. That may be enough for you if you aren’t looking to get married again. Its better than staying fully married at least. :/

  17. she says:

    Four weeks? Try three years and when he does speak to me its as if he’s speaking to someone not worth his time, like a homeless person on the street begging for money that he wouldn’t give two quarters to. This last silent treatment has been the worst because I actually know why he’s being a big baby. It’s because I’m standing my ground on not giving in to his demands of sex. Hey its not fair that he should get what he needs and want’s when I get neither right? In the past I’d just do it regardless of how crappy he treated me until I learned to have more self respect and that I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to do no matter if he felt I was obligated to or not. Unfortunately dealing with the periotic silent treatments for others in easier than what seems like indefinite ones I received from mine.

    1. Kathy says:

      If you look back, you were probably able to “observe” his behavior, at the beginning of your marriage but did not recognize it for what it was. After a whirlwind romance, our wedding night was a crushing disappointment. It may have lasted fifteen minutes, from the first kiss to the last. Then he rolled all the way over to his side of the bed, and went to sleep. I laid there, for hours, wondering what was “wrong.” I thought I was the only one who believed the wedding night was supposed to be special. As it turns out, I was wrong. A retired school teacher, and friend, told me the story of her unusual wedding night. Their honeymoon took place on a cruise ship, but instead of spending the evening with my friend, he spent it drinking and gambling in the ship’s casino with his relatives, while my friend spent her wedding night alone. She must be quite a bit smarter than I am, since she left that cretin after seven years. If you take the above experiences, out of context, maybe somewhere they make sense. But why marry a woman, you really don’t want to talk to, or spend time with? That makes NO sense. Your idea, going into the marriage, was different than his. You wanted to love and be loved, and he wanted to control and manipulate you. When you disagree with his opinion, he uses the silent treatment to shut you up/out. And the more it bothers you, the longer he carries it on. He enjoys your suffering. That’s the hardest thing to realize. He enjoys your suffering. It makes him feel powerful (omnipotent), like some Big Man On Campus. HE ENJOYS YOUR SUFFERING! Why is it so hard to believe? Because,we don’t think that way. We can’t imagine the way they think, because our thoughts fall within the realm of what is considered normal. They do not, do not, do not, think the way we do. That’s why it’s called mental illness. They are mentally ill. That’s the real reason your logic escapes him. Do yourself an enormous favor: Pack your things and leave. Things/he will not get any better. Ever.

      1. she says:

        You’re absolutely right Kathy. I even wrote him an email saying practically everything you’ve just said about if you weren’t going to speak to me why did you beg me to come back to you when I tried to leave back in 1998? And what prompted me finally ask, (because like you mentioned, l already knew) was about a month ago when sent him an email telling him that we should be cordial with one another and work this out as friends then maybe we’ll see how this goes and he responded, “I’ll never be your friend!” Which made me really realize that he never really was or wanted to be in the first place. He wanted someone to control just like you mentioned Kathy. I was nothing but a piece of meat who if I didn’t do what he wanted and if I spoke up or had anything to say about it, he’d get mad and give me the silent treatment. I’ll even send you the email I sent him because I save them all.

        1. Kathy says:

          I find the most challenging thing, for me, to be acceptance. To find within myself, the ability to accept that which is, and has been, staring me in the face. I always thought if I was loving/accepting enough, others could not help but reciprocate. Especially him. But, I was never good enough, since he always believed he was superior to me. This “air of superiority” might be okay, if they are British royals, groomed to think that way. But sadly, they are not. In my opinion, they are far from it. The thing I am alluding to is that they are sub-par, as human beings. I don’t wish to sound superior, either, since I don’t feel that way about myself. How could I, after being married to an NPD? I’m saying, anyone who cannot love, or chooses not to, is sub-standard. Anyone who won’t show others compassion, or empathy, is barely human. They look as if they are human beings, and can even sound like we do. But they are another species, entirely unto themselves. Without professional training, I only have my suspicions, but based upon my observation(s) of their behavior, I suspect they are some kind of genetic throw-back — to some far, ancient past — when we had to kill or be killed in order to survive. Why else would every disagreement with them, turn into a “fight to the death?”

  18. Ali says:

    Is there someplace I can go to talk to other narc wives? I need someone who understands. Who’s living it or lived it. No one can understand this unless they’ve been there and I’m drowning…

  19. Becky says:

    I so wish I had this blog years ago. I am 27 and was with a narcissist for 1 year from age 20-21. I was raised in a toxic, dysfunctional environment and never knew what respect and love looked like. He claimed everything was because he loved me. He would scream at me for hours, then when I would finally break down and cry, would scoop me up and tell me he loved me and “you’re just tired.” He was right. I was exhausted. The constant sexual abuse where I would totally dissociate, the silent treatments, the lies, it was all done in the name of love. I had no friends nearby, he was my boss (our relationship was a secret), my mother was never a support for me. I had the moment of clarity that most of you wonderful souls mention, and spent months getting my ducks in a row to leave. He threatened to kill me if I left. I figured that would be better than the hell I was living. I never used the words “abuse” and “rape.” I was a strong intelligent woman, that stuff doesn’t happen to strong women. WRONG. I left and had to learn who I was. The worst thing is now, years later, I’m married to a wonderful man and I am constantly analyzing his every action, wanting to recognize if I have married a narcissist and fallen for it again. I have so much respect for you ladies. You are strong even if you don’t feel it. You are worthy even when he tells you you are worthless. You have the energy and the capacity to leave even when you just want to die. You can do this.

  20. Angee says:

    Wow** Just Wow*** I have been dating a minimal Narcissistic man. And this is the treatment that hurts the most… I call it silencing of the lambs… meaning even IF you are right… its healthy or positive … it doesn’t matter… you must obey the tyranny or at least fake a smile and pretend for the sake of the pathological lie called his life… or you will be punished and have all food …time…affections and fake love withheld. My narc also has an entire cult like family of other narcs… its a cult dynamic of superficial ..image…divide and conquer that’s completely in control of each other and closed off from the reality of the world… I don’t know my purpose other than being the target for blame and the scapegoat for my boyfriend and excuse for his family to blame his entire life of failure as a result of the very toxic enmeshments. I never even got to meet them as they blk balled and banned me from every home inside the faction…. His mother exhibits complete control like a narc self made victim who is in love NOT LOVES but they are in LOVE with each other. Why have I stayed ?? Because these ppl are teachers… nurses… counselor (my BF) coaches… and I was slowly groomed to doubt my own worth and ability to judge correctly. Long story short I was so desperate to help him I lost me. I am now a victim on paper as he stands on charges of strangulation… property destruction … harassment … reckless endangerment… 2 felonies…2 misdemeanors… for getting jealous and snapping in a psychotic rage over my phone going off and saying “ITS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS” when asked who was calling…. He snapped kicked me out of his home … pushing faster than I could walk… screaming ludicrously venomous hateful words … when I turned around outside next to my vehicle to push him away from me…. I was thrown and strangled into my vehicle (causing $2500 in damage from my body imprint and head being smashed) to unconsciousness and still being attacked when coming to… the entire thing is foggy at best to recollect and surreal as tho it wasn’t even me it happened to. I didn’t want to press charges… It was not the first attack but was the most severe. The DV programs in my state are minimal. Its a small town and the family has reputations across the board but father has influence thru the new wife who has family in local law enforcement. Of course it all about who you know and who you blow very bias and corrupt. I believe he is going to get away with it and I am afraid to advocate for myself. The reality for me is… The emotional and psychological abuse I have been through for genuinely having empathy and compassion for this creature who has contempt for my kindness… has used my generous heart to be a pawn and excuse to add excitement for his parents undivided attention… And being what I now see as the mistress to fuel his mothers jealousy and hate of any woman out of fear of losing her son she emotionally depends on as a husband and to control …. which actually makes him smile and feel good about his mothers extreme jealousy and tactics such as stalking him. His neighbors to see who has went in and out. All family reports to her directly as to any and all contact they have with him. She knows his every move. And altho he has told me he is embarrassed(not true) or he says he is not liking her creepy way that its his Mother and he loves her. He is just as addicted as she is they are both similar personalities ….stubborn, controlling , and attached and impossible to change. And he pit me against her to fail and be devalued to bring back an extra spark that makes them a victim of me. He actually said I was a home wrecker for trying to come between his mother and himself who have a special bond. Did I mention he has a master degree in guidance and relationships??? He works with troubled ppl… And he doesn’t even believe the material and educational info he has applies to him … He even has a prayer on his fridge that says “A teenagers prayer to his parents” …. Obviously it has been slowly escalating in a very subtle fashion… But from the beginning when he acted shocked I got banned and blk balled while he was living with his mother til now where he boldly has no remorse or verbal intention to change it is massive tactics to destroy my self worth …. And I just feel alone and unable to explain the empty hurt I feel. Maybe mostly at myself I knew but hoped nobody could ever have that type of knowledge and gift to help others just to destroy them so he could stay delusional …. I still cant comprehend whats happened. But I am so grateful to read the stories of others who have experienced the cruel and unusual punishments of a selfish superficial bottomless pit of a human being. Yet still feel compelled and attached to the hurt out of fear. He roped me the same way his mother roped him but it doesn’t cause me comfort and satisfaction bc I wasn’t raised this way. So another reason I don’t tell a soul about half of what Ive been threw or was convinced to believe. Thank you for this blog. I will be reading to grow strong and find me… without the self doubt and abuse… Maybe the silent treatment and alienations of all affections I can use to my benefit instead of feeling punished by the man who doesn’t even care anyways.

    1. Kathy says:

      Physical violence always escalates. Count your blessings if you are not already married to this cretin. Don’t stay, thinking you are the problem. The problem is his disordered cognition. Your love cannot fix him; nothing can. There is no “fixing” NPD, since even the “professionals” are left scratching their heads to try to explain their skewed attitudes and behavior(s). I’m sorry to say, I believe you should pack your things, and go, before your life is forfeit.

      1. Angee says:

        I am starting to realize this… Its difficult to explain the way the brain and heart get attached to a person who is always the victim and in need of all attention and time …. But it explains the red bubble that looks like a hive across his ex-wife’s head anytime she has to speak in our presence …. I remember one time meeting in the mall to exchange the children… Her head got such a welt while he spoke in such a supportive and calm manner… all she said was “I am serious this isn’t a competition . Please do not undermine me .” She also always made statements such as well since you give less to our son he could really use this or that… He favors the daughter horribly and she can do no wrong. And he is very distant to his son he alienates from (son is 16 and does also but I think bc it was always like this. ) The favoritism is so incredible one time we went out of town. While in a nicer restaurant in the resort we were staying, the waitress came and asked if we would like drinks. His daughter ordered a drink. The waitress came back with it (son had been in bathroom for order) and he said “Dad can I get a drink also?” His father said “No you can wait till we get back to the room we have drinks up there. You know Hannah is my favorite” then laughed. The waitress walked away huffing, came back , put a soda down in front of his son. Looked at his father and said “I have never seen such a disgusting display of favoritism in my life ! Shame on you! I was thoroughly embarrassed and I agreed with the waitress! She so made me an admirer of her integrity and willingness to stand up for a boy even if it meant possibly losing her job. And I used that waitresses courage and display of awesomeness on many occasions to remind him how outrageous his behavior and warped mind he has really effects other people outside his small mind. Of course he has changed the story. Thinks the waitress didn’t understand it was just a joke. Unfortunately jokes like that are NOT funny. This site has been incredibly eye opening… In a cutting them painfully open kinda way. Thanks Kathy I am trying to take one day at a time to have no contact. Its just hard when all the things you get deprived come. or don’t . We are separated and in no contact. I’m just still trying to figure out what happened. One flashback at a time.

        1. Kathy says:

          Our whirlwind courtship did nothing to prepare me for our marriage. A dramatic change began on our wedding night, when instead of hours of sensual lovemaking, our sex that night, resembled a wham-bam, thank you Mam, kind of thing. Then he rolled all the way over to his side of the bed, curled up into a ball, and went to sleep. I laid awake, for hours, wondering what I had done wrong. Although I was not aware of it, that night was an omen of things to come.

          Over a period of about ten years, I suffered incalculable emotional turmoil, at the hands of my P/N/S. It was mostly in the form of rejection and neglect, but there was also cold indifference, punctuated by periods of moody, silent treatment, and complete withdrawal, whenever I displeased him — which turned out to be fairly often.

          A little more than two years into our marriage, I became pregnant with our eldest son. I was thrilled! The only damper on my happiness had to do with his reaction: He wanted me to have an abortion. I was happier than I had ever been, but he did not want our child. This was a surprise, since he told me he wanted children while we were dating. What was his reasoning for this? We were not home owners, which to him meant our timing was, off. The thing I found shocking was that he expected me to have the abortion, whether I wanted to, or not. Why? Because he said so. It was the first time I ever defied him, but it was not to be the last.

          A year-and-a-half later, I became pregnant with our second child. Again, he wanted me to abort. I went to see my OB-GYN doctor, for some much needed counseling, and told him what was happening at home. As a lapsed Catholic, my questions to him had to do with when a developing fetus became a person. He was the Chief of OB-GYN, at a regional birth center, but answered that he did not know.

          Let me be clear: It’s not as if I would never have had an abortion. I can think of two instances, where I would have. The first example would have been in the case of rape. Because of who I am, I would not have been able to carry anything conceived in that manner, to term. I apologize to those who do not believe in abortion, under any circumstances. The only other example would have been if there was something genetically wrong; which would cause the developing child undue suffering. With test results as proof in my hand, I would terminate the pregnancy.

          That was not the case, in either instance. Instead, I had two beautiful baby boys. During my last pregnancy, I endured the torments of hell. I was so sick, and lost thirteen pounds, during that pregnancy. I actually lost about forty pounds, during that time period, if you include the weight of the pregnancy which is about twenty-five pounds, all totaled. All I did was throw up; on a constant basis. I remember when he got home one day, from work. He asked me why I was sitting on the bathroom floor, and I told him that I was waiting …

          That would have been enough, but he raged at me, throughout the pregnancy, too. I would be sitting next to the bucket, and he would say, “Sorry you’re sick! Maybe you should call your doctor — since this baby belongs to the two of you!” What? I was astounded! In his mind, the doctor and I had conspired against him, (paranoia) which was proof of my “guilt.” But, there was no conspiracy. There never had been.

          Since that time, I have been uneasy. I am apprehensive because I cannot take anything he says at face value. I kept trying to believe him, but found him lying so often, I couldn’t. After about fifteen years, I spoke to a psychologist. I told her of his various job changes, that he didn’t want our children, and that his favorite manner of control was manipulation. I asked her if it was my fault, since I believed it must have been. She assured me that it was not.

          She told me she believed I loved my P/N/S, but that he was incapable of that emotion, or of most other feelings that could be defined as human. I asked her what she meant, and she said, “He does not feel any remorse, any guilt, or any regret, for anything he does, and he does not appear to love you and the boys as much as he does, himself.”

          Although she never gave his condition a name, I remember shuddering when I asked what she would do. She told me she would have left him, as a result of his irresponsibility toward me and our children.

          By now you must be wondering why I stayed. The answer is easy. First, I didn’t know I was being abused. Instead, I was a strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man. I also didn’t have a college degree, a career, or a place to go with two children. I’d been a stay-at-home mom, in order to mainstream our autistic son, and did not realize the measure of my folly by not having a career, until many years later.

          He would lose another job, and sit out-of-work, until unemployment benefits were depleted. Then, scramble, to find work, taking the first thing that came along; all the while behaving like a jerk. I believe this was a way of keeping the attention of everyone in the household, on him. This was his attempt to prove how important he believed he was. If he was so important, why did I continually have to borrow money from a neighbor, in order to feed our family? This pattern repeated itself, over and over again, ad nauseum. I loved him, and tried to believe him when he said it was his employers who were to blame for his job losses. But over time, I realized who the real culprit was.

          One day, while listening to his tirade about another job loss, I knew his story to be exactly what it was — a story. When I called him on the lie, he lost little time in turning things around, and said his job loss was, my fault. You read that right; my fault. I was friends with the head of HR where he’d worked, and asked her, point blank, if I had done something which caused him to lose his job. She was completely taken aback by the question. “Of course not! He couldn’t do the work.”

          When I relayed this truth to him, he said, “Well, you wanted to live in that house on the hill …” I wanted to live in a house that did not take on water, due to a breach in the foundation. Every time it rained, our son’s bedroom closet, flooded. The truth did not matter since he needed a scapegoat, and decided I was it.

          Our relationship had been on a downturn, for years, but that news was accompanied by an epiphany, of sorts. I realized that according to him, he was never wrong, or responsible, for anything. I couldn’t remember him ever apologizing, for raging at me, or hurting the boys by telling them they were a burden. Something was wrong, but I still had no idea what it was.

          I was attending a community college, when he lost that job. I had taken the entrance exams, and applied for a Pell grant, without telling him what I was doing. It was the first time I did something, without telling him about it, first. I realize now, I was afraid to tell him I was going back to school. I was fearful of what his reaction might be. A friend who had inherited money from her aunt’s estate, gave me money to buy a desk, and clothing, suitable for college. When he heard I had received a gift of money, he said, “Well, you had better pay some of these bills with it!” What? That money was not generated by anyone in our household — it was a gift, to me. I was to use it for the specific purpose of going back to school. But I had to pay rent and utilities, instead, or suffer his wrath. There was never an apology, for taking money that was not his, and no hurry to pay it back. I had to put off buying a used desk from a private party, because my P/N/S demanded money I had already promised to someone else.

          I went to a community college in order to make myself more appealing to prospective employers. During my third semester, he lost another job, and we moved out of state. That ended my college-going days, since I could not afford to pay out-of-state tuition in our new location. The work I had previously done, ended up being a waste of time and effort, since there was never enough money again, for me to go back to school.

          It was then that I realized he was a saboteur. It may sound far-fetched, but it’s true. He sabotages everything he touches, so why would my going back to school, have been any different? I did not consciously know I was trying to get away from him, when I put myself in school, but now believe he might have suspected that’s what I was doing, when I was not aware of it, myself.

          There have been years, and years of wasted time. Since I was always on the hot seat, I kept trying to be a better wife, mother and homemaker. I kept myself and our home clean and comfortable, the laundry and ironing done, and good food on the table. The kids were tutored, while doing their homework. And, I was always there, for him, whenever he reached for me. But his dissatisfaction with me, and the kids, was unrelenting. I remember the night he told our youngest son how things really were when asked, “My God, Dad, do you resent me?”

          His reply was telling: “YES, I resent you!”

          “Why?”

          “Because of everything I have had to give up, since the day you were born!”

          I watched, in horror, as our fifteen-year-old son, collapsed inward, on himself. He has probably blocked that out, during ensuing years, but that scene was indelibly stamped upon my memory. He said that to the son who had never given us any real trouble. Afterwards, that same child turned into a hellion. He was, and is, as bright as the morning Sun, but he graduated from a remedial high school.

          I have not led a happy life. Not because I didn’t want to, but because my happiness offends him. Instead, I have been told, “Wait,” and, “You don’t need that,” and, “You can do without,” or, “Can’t you do without, that?” I have had items I was thinking of buying jerked out of my hands, and put back on the shelf. The problem? There has never been “enough” money to meet our financial obligations, and still have much “left-over.” I see other men support their wives/children, and wonder why this one can’t seem to do it. I realize the economy has experienced a downturn, but can’t understand how he can allow a $50,000 per year drop in income, to continue. What does it mean? It means we don’t live as well as we did. We are living below the level we once found to be comfortable.

          Last night’s argument brought this, “You think you’re entitled!” What? I’m entitled? I said, “Seriously? You are the one who turned my part of our lovemaking into an obligation. Instead of taking my loving acts as gifts, you expected them, or were disappointed. All I expected at the end of our lovemaking was a climax; it didn’t matter how we got there.”

          What I have observed, over time, is a worsening of his symptoms. We have the same kinds of arguments, but he is much more defensive, and delivers his acerbic sarcasm with more vehemence and hatred. He says he screams and yells because that’s the only way he can get through to me. I believe he screams and yells because he is a P/N/S, and because somewhere, deep down, he knows it, too. I think he screams and yells to drown out the truth; to render me speechless and to close his ears to an honest assessment of his continuing disordered attitudes, thoughts and behaviors.

          Being an adult child of a narcissist, I don’t see his behavior, and think, “Hmm, Maybe I should do as he says.” Instead, whenever he drops his mask of sanity, I think, “Who does this guy think he is? Where does he get the idea that he is, and always has been, superior to me?” It occurs to me this is something he must have thought from the beginning of our relationship — that this is nothing new. And it occurs to me, once again, that he is very, very ill.

          A P/N/S doesn’t want to deal with any issues. If issues are brought up he quickly dumps them back on me and walks away. He loved the romance, the attention, admiration, the sex, adoration, promise of ideal love and the hope that he had found “the one” who would tolerate his eccentricities without question. When I began to question him, and his reasoning, differ with him in my opinions or make any demands, his “eccentricity” escalated. He resorted to manipulation techniques to stop me from bringing any of his issues to the forefront. And his greatest manipulation technique is to dump it all on me. It’s my fault. I am too demanding and ungrateful. I don’t accept him as he is.

          The P/N/S doesn’t want to grow up and be accountable. He believes he is entitled to constant attention and admiration without having to invest anything more than the initial time it takes to woo us. Once I had been wooed, I should have been hooked and he shouldn’t have had to invest so much of himself, anymore. He groomed me to be a constant source of admiration, attention, sex, affection, and nurturing. The piece of the puzzle that’s missing is that the P/N/S doesn’t believe he should ever have to reciprocate.

          So many of us make the mistake of taking care of our man and catering to his needs without much concern for our own welfare. It’s fairly easy to groom a woman to play this role.

          Underneath it all the P/N/S can’t enter into mature love. Their love is immature, self-centered and needy. They are looking for unconditional love but are unwilling to give it. They don’t appear to realize that adult love is, conditional.

          And so the question “did he ever really love me?” can be answered simply by saying “he loved you to the extent he was able.” He never had the ability to move beyond the honeymoon phase, and upgrade to mature love. He is stuck in “young” love which is intense, passionate and romantic — for the brief period that it lasts.

          For a time, we might be “the one.” But when we begin to have needs of our own, or demands, or are disagreeable, the relationship changes. When we begin to question their behavior whether it be their obsession with pornography, coming home late, without an explanation, or ignoring everything we say, they will be angry with us because they want us to completely affirm and validate them, no matter what they do. They expect for us to tolerate their affairs, their addiction to porn and self-gratification, their sexual deviance, avoidance issues, their erratic irresponsibility, chaotic mood regulation, and anything else they do. They are self-absorbed and extremely immature. They don’t consider us, or our needs. Ever.

          Often we are cut off, abandoned, devalued and discarded. It is a punishment for our refusal to comply with their wishes. As target/victims of P/N/S’s we often believe it is somehow our fault that they treat us with such disdain and contempt. We wrack our brains wondering what we did to deserve such cruelty. But it has never been about us, and it never will be. What we did was refuse to cater to their every need, and affirm their feelings of unconditional supremacy. But unless we want to completely give up ourselves and be “absorbed,” it is unrealistic to play this role with him. However, we often do and for quite a long time. We are conditioned to turn a blind eye, to take them back and not ask questions, to suffer through the dry spells, rage-attacks and silent treatments. But eventually one of two things happens. Either they get bored because we no longer challenge them, or we get fed up with their disordered attitudes and behaviors and start making demands for ourselves which may eventually result in their leaving.

          We can’t know what is going on inside the mind of the P/N/S. The one thing we can know is that he is unable to give us what we want, need and deserve; a whole, healthy relationship. So whether we leave or the P/N/S leaves, we are, and certainly would be, better off without him.

          I have read it is perfectly okay to love the P/N/S, even after it’s over. If your love was real then honor and embrace that. This means you are able to love in a deep and honest way.

          Sometimes the pathological relationship shows us how deeply we can and do love. Playing with Peter Pan can be a magical experience, one that we don’t forget. It can be intense, passionate, sexy, and romantic. But we are destined to live in Never Never Land which means we will never have anything real or true. It is all only make believe.

          I believe he uses relationships to get something he wants. The P/N/S marries for money, prestige and power. A P/N/S may have only become involved with us because we are attractive and make them look/feel good.

          Love only goes as deep as we do, so if your partner doesn’t run very deep then neither will his love. If your mate hasn’t taken the time to develop himself then that’s not going to change. If you have spent your entire adult life embracing “personal growth” and your man has never picked up a book on the topic, then you can bet that personal growth didn’t make his list of priorities.

          But did he ever love you? Perhaps he loved the idea of you. Maybe he loved how you made him feel. Perhaps he loved the fantasy of what life with you might bring. Perhaps he loved the idea that he had finally found someone who would love him unconditionally and ignore his shortcomings, since he has so many of them. Perhaps he was taken by your beauty, intelligence or wit. But he was never strong enough to go to the next level. And ultimately that is what you wanted, right? You wanted an authentic, mature, loving, nurturing relationship. One that considered your needs as well as his. But you simply aren’t going to get it from a P/N/S.

          If you tell yourself that you loved him and he loved you to the best of his ability given what he had to work with, you can finally make peace with it all and let him go be who and what he is … a P/N/S.

          I sat on the fence, for a long time, while I was sifting through the research. I was trying to determine, for myself, whether their condition was genetic, or the result of improper nurturing. I believe both play a part, but that faulty wiring (genetics) is where their problems begin. If improper nurturing was also a part of the equation, I believe it would be almost impossible for them to behave/feel normal. While not providing an excuse for their disordered attitudes and behaviors, I’m beginning to believe their patterns of cognition are so skewed they can’t help themselves. Watching them unravel, mentally, is akin to observing an Alzheimer’s patient.

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