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What No One Tells You About Living in an Abusive Relationship

What No One Tells You About Living in an Abusive RelationshipNarcissist. Psychopath. Sociopath. Abuser. 

What do these words make you think of? A monster? A killer, maybe. Does an image from the latest horror flick pop into your head as you imagine the worst evil walking the earth? Surely, not the local barista making your coffee, hes so nice! Not your boss, I mean, hes kinda a jerk, but hes not a monster. Your best friends husband? No way, they were so in love at their wedding! So obviously on cloud nine! And yeah, you don’t see her as much anymore, (okay, hardly ever) but she seems okay and never says a bad word about him. Come to think of it, she hardly says anything about him at all…

Can you Spot a Narcissist?

THIS is where the narcissists hide. The abusers and psychopaths are living next door, not in the “bad” neighborhoods, not in the poor towns, not in some third world country (though they are in those places too). He is here, maybe at your neighbors who look like they have it all, maybe in your family, maybe its your husband. And this is why its SO, SO, SO HARD for an abused spouse to stand up and say no more. narcissist

Were talking about charming, charismatic, handsome, friendly guys here. They don’t have glowing red eyes, or an evil laugh. They don’t wear a sticker that says “I’m hurting my wife”, they don’t even seem like bad guys at all. But if you look a little deeper, you see the marks of someone toxic in their past relationships, in the sadness that never totally leaves the eyes of his wife, in the way she watches and protects her children (or worse, in the way she wont, too afraid to love them too much). Or in the devastated, wrecked ex-wife, whose name he drags through the mud on every occasion, who has succumbed to self destruction because she cant understand what happened to her, and still blames herself.

What No One Tells You About Living in an Abusive Relationship…

And this is where I still find myself. Even NOW, knowing everything I know, seeing everything I see, having been at the receiving end of his rages, his name callings, his careless, callous attitude, I STILL relax when hes being “good”. I still start to think, “well, what if things get better? Should I still leave?” And its insanity!

Because even when hes being “nice”, hes not. He still is a narcissist, still acts like one, still talks crap about me, doesn’t care about me, is still cheating on me, is still totally self centered and doesn’t care about my feelings. He could be the nicest, most polite, attentive man in the world for the next ten years and I still would feel alone, and still would not trust him. Why do I feel like I need a horrible event to leave him? Because its part of the mind games he plays. Everything is awesome! We are so in love! I would do anything for you! (Except be faithful, put the family first, pay the bills on time, not be mad at your for not “working hard enough”). 

Why She Stays…

But this is the WHY. THIS is WHY!! No one can understand why we “stay”. Like its a choice we make every day, “well, I guess I wont leave my husband today, maybe tomorrow…” Like were deciding to not go out for coffee. NO! Its the death of all our dreams, its the separating of two lives, its the trying to rebuild yourself so you wont destroy yourself worse by leaving, its the not wanting to really see the pain your living in. Its the not being able to handle seeing the pain your in. He didn’t just one day totally morph into a monster. It was gradual, outbursts here and there that got more and more frequent. We have been conditioned like lobsters in a pot, we cant tell how hot the water is anymore.

And worse, its doubt. Doubt that this nice guy, who is being so loving now, could really be the same monster who called you fat and lazy, the same monster who threatened to take your kids from you. The same monster who tried to kick you out. Doubt, because we cant really believe that anyone could even BE that kind of monster. Those kinds of men don’t live here. You don’t end up marrying a man like that. Hes your prince charming, he couldn’t be a monster… you would have seen that before you fell in love with him, right?

Its self preservation to deny our pain, we cant live in it, we cant survive. And if there’s kids… we cant leave them by drowning in our pain. You, the outsider, cant even begin to understand it, how much worse do you think it is for us, who are experiencing it? Can you think about it all day long and not break? Neither can we, so we don’t. We move on, and put our energy somewhere else, somewhere positive, hopefully, or sometimes, to becoming numb. 

We deny it to ourselves, or ignore it, and make the best of the situation, we try and not rock the boat. We try and protect our kids from seeing it by keeping our mouths shut. And we cry, alone, but not very often. Because opening up that pain is terrifying. Knowing its there and letting it overwhelm you are two very different things. 

The Narcissistic Mask

Because how can you tell the world who loves this man, that hes a snake in disguise? How can you prove it? How can you overcome all the lies hes told everyone about you, that your abusive, your neglectful, your crazy? How can you show them when he ONLY acts like this with you? narcissistsmask

Very few people can see though a narcissists bullshit. Usually its the ones who have been burned by one before. Make no mistake, narcs burn everyone they touch, its just that most don’t understand what burned them. I’m one of the lucky ones, I have someone who knows, who believes me because shes seen him act this way. Not in full force, but enough to know hes a jerk and I’m not lying. What about the women who really are all alone?

Don’t look under the Bed…

I find myself floundering more often than not lately. Just trying to figure out whats real, where I am , whats next. How to cope! I spend my days alone with a toddler and they fly by way too fast. I don’t feel like I’m making progress or learning anything, and I know its not true, but I confess, I’m terrified. What if I mess up? What if I can never get out? What if this is my life forever because I’m too scared to make a move? I have never been good at following through, what if this is another attempt where I fail? (Never-mind the fact that hes been there encouraging me to fail since I was 18…) 

And I don’t want to believe this is my reality. Its safer to think were fine. Its easier on my heart, at least on “good” days. Bad days hurt more when I’m hiding like this, but on good days its easy to tell myself the bad days wont come back. I wish he did look like a monster, I wish his evil was out there for everyone to see. It would be so much easier to not start to believe his lies. So much easier to be strong enough to not let him hurt me… So much easier to write him off. So much easier all around.


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209 thoughts on “What No One Tells You About Living in an Abusive Relationship

  1. anni lee says:

    I could not have described it better myself, I am so exactly there. Do you mind if I reblog this?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Please do! I would appreciate a link back to my site, and let me know when your posting it 🙂 But yes, I want as many people to read it as possible. Maybe if more people understood where we are coming from, where weve been, less people will have to suffer like we have. <3

      1. anni lee says:

        thank you I’m posting it now 🙂

        1. Samantha Matthews says:


      2. Audrey says:

        I was in a relationship like this for 5 years. My mother and some of my family saw it but couldn’t understand why I didn’t/couldn’t leave. This describes it so thoroughly. He was everything you mentioned above and physical, but he knew not to leave marks. When I finally got the nerve to take my daughter and leave I told my parents everything and she said she thought I was stronger than that. I was in the military and she thought the meant I could overpower him, but with him being on drugs there was no way. And she still to this day doesn’t understand- a lot of people don’t and some don’t believe he was like that. His mother encouraged me to stay, always telling me to forgive him,and it’s the drugs. Asking me what I did to upset him, or telling me just to go into another room for a while until he calms down. When I left him she was telling me that I tore our family apart.
        Reading this makes me know that I wasn’t alone and I hope so many more read this. Thank you so much!

        1. Carla says:

          I’ve been there. It’s so hard and worst of all, you have no fight, no strength. You’re exhausted and just want to curl up. I could barely eat. My strength was going to working and caring for the kids. It really took my family to take me in and help me through that horrible time. It was 15 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.

          1. Samantha Matthews says:

            Right? Its like swimming in mud… I know what I want to do, what I need to do, what I CAN do, but most of the time its like my brain just wont move. Its like I dont have any more energy than what it takes just to keep the house from looking like a bomb went off and the kids fed and mostly out of trouble… Moments of clarity and energy are few and far between these last couple weeks.

            1. Traci says:

              Ugh. I’m laying here on the bed fighting falling asleep and feeling guilty over everything I DIDNT get to today. Exhaustion is my constant companion. This is so hard. But we can do it!

              1. Dee says:

                I was going through so much behind closed doors! He had such a problem controlling his rages that he started to do some things fight there out where my co workers and friends both his and mine both seen . Everyone said I was enabling his behavior by letting him get away with it. I loved was inlove with this man at one time and was in a delusion that that man I once was inlove with would come back to me and this monster would disappear for ever!! That was 5 yrears ago now we our 8 years into this hell, and I’m broken, depressed, alone, broke, scared, afraid no one will back me up after all these years I left him keep hurting me . Every time someone came to my reuse I turned around and went back to the hell I crude about everyday. Everyone left me fend for myself since I ran back or took him back. Now I’m really alone have no job, and he has a upper hand once again, and I handed him the power to get meaner , I was half the problem now and felt guilty!! Why why can’t I stand up for myself love myself

          2. Korinne says:

            I just left Mine Monday…it’s freeing…thank god for my family. I feel 100 lbs lighter, I smile, laugh and finally feel like me after 4 years.

        2. Marie says:

          Wow that resonates with me as well. Thru my whole I was always told by people in certain situations to avoid this person till they calm down. So u get abused and the other literally gets away with murder. Murder of our Souls! Awful.

        3. Taby says:

          It sounds as if Your mother in law might have wittnessed abuse growing up and then experienced it in her own marriage. When we stay, kids are taught it is acceptable Behavior.. so when are abused or blames us for everything we believe it’s our fault and it’s acceptable behavior towards us. God bless you I wish you much success in your future.

          We deserve as much love and respect we believe we do! There is a hell reprocessing and retraining of our brains and even after almost 10 years of a divorce from 25 years of abusive relationship, ugly words from the past still try to rear up and take me down you just have to fight against it and know that you are beautiful creation that God made and there’s not another person like you or who can replace you!

        4. Stephanie says:

          My ex mom was the same way. She herself was abused by him she just thinks it is OCD. I know the truth but she would call me and try to convince me to work things out because she was worried about his mental health. He attacked me many times, that is way more then OCD.

        5. Terri says:

          I wasted thirty years hoping it would get better. I didn’t want to put my kids through divorce. I finally left. I’ve never been happier in my life. He tells lies to justify my leaving , but I don’t care. I’m free.

      3. Maxine Stanbrook says:

        Samantha, I have been where you are and I did end up making a stand after 26 years xx it tough and it’s been hell on earth but there is life after narcissistic. Just the ability to sleep in a bed without being on edge and waking up as soon as he came in the room was my first prize xx Getting to know myself was the second. You and all those in this scenario x you can do it just one step at a time xx

        1. M says:

          Please share the steps you took to escape. I’ve been living with my abusive narcissistic boyfriend for five years straight now but have been with him off and on for sixteen years and I want out.

          I know exactly how you mean about being always on edge and waking up as soon as he comes into the room. He makes the bedroom his domain especially. We live right next to my parents and this doesn’t even stop him from being abusive. He’s crazy. I am in the worst financial shape I’ve ever been in due to him.

          Narcissists constantly make it impossible to leave. He switches tactics from emotional to physical to financial abuse to trap me. Should our only option as women be to go to shelters to escape?
          I have been to one and it wasn’t a great environment either. There were more than abused women there. Some had come from jail.

          Please advise the small steps you took to escape. It would help the rest of us who are trying to find a way out once and for all.

          1. MELISSA RURUP says:

            1. “Act” like you believe everything they say…feed their ego with empathy & agreement
            2. Seek outside help (it IS there!) in setting up a place to go when you leave. Get your ducks in line first!
            3. Wait for the opportunity to leave. When they’re out of town perhaps. Maintain contact & the illusion that everything is great between you.
            4. Obtain a protection order if violence is likely.
            When they return to find you gone is when they will escalate.
            5. Ignore ALL their attempts at contact, apologies, promises, begging—ALL of it is lies, lies, lies. In time, they will move on to the next person who falls for their bullshit.
            6. Decide that you will not bother yourself with the idea that some people will believe they are your victim. You know the truth & that’s all that matters.
            It’s a long road but you will survive it…it’s like chicken pox…you’ll be immune to falling for it ever again.
            They only have power if you give it to them.

        2. Summer says:

          My abuser is sleeping in the bedroom right now. He had his raging fit earlier. I’ve been with him for 9 years ..i have no friends no family, I’m very secluded. I have this phone he knows nothing about. He’s never seen it. I live way out in the country no neighbors either. But I have a creek, the woods, and my favorite spot the roof. When he’s in his raging fit ,if I can get away I’ll go hide for however long it takes for me to feel safe again. One time i was hidden for 3 days , i could see the house and i watched as he petted and played with my dog, I thought it was so sweet, then all I hear is a deafening gun blast, he killed my dog. Shot her in the head, he just stood there screaming “Look what i made him do” i should have come out sooner. But i was afraid he would shoot me. Sometimes i wished he would,at least then the pain and misery would be over. I have tried to get help but the cops bring me back and he makes it look like I’m crazy. They never believe me and say stuff like well we can’t prove he gave you the black eye and busted lip or the hand sizes bruises around my arms or wrist. .after all I’m the lunatic they found hiding in the woods ..i even played them a recording of his fits and they said that audio recordings were not good enough, I would need to film it. He destroyed that phone as soon as the cop was gone. I have a vehicle but he took my keys stop paying insurance stole my license plate and point blankly told me to try and leave now. I’m truly terrified of him.
          I want to congratulate every person on here who escaped. Every story gives me hope that I too will make it. I am awful, i steal his money, so I can be free. I know its wrong of me, he wont let me work and its not like i have a way. Hes a meth head and heavy pot smoker. He leaves money laying around when hes strung out. Please don’t hate me or judge me. I’m not a thief. I’m a good person.

          Thank you if you read this. I want people to know my story. Somebody has got to know the truth. If there are others like me, i hope you can make it out safely.
          From my rooftop safety I wish you all safe and happy lives. It’s 2:30 am I’ve been up here since 9:45pm. He came home about 2 hrs ago and I think he’s finally asleep but I’m gonna stay here til he leaves for work. My phone is about dead. Thank you again too anyone who reads this and understands my pain and fear. Someday we all shall wake up free and smile again for the first time Bye for now.

          1. Kyla Savidan says:

            My love prayers and blessings are sent

          2. Dana Harris says:

            Summer, in reading through numerous replies, yours hit me like a freight train. I thought I have it bad but after reading what you wrote, I realize I am stronger than I thought I was and have been standing up for myself more than I realized. My husband is a psychopath/Anti-social personality disordered and has the potential to become physical if I push boundaries too hard. I can deal with that now as well. My power came from knowledge. Knowledge is power. I started reading everything I could when taking my children to the library, documenting every financial move my psychopath made, had documented conversations with pediatrician, my gynecologist, family practitioner, etc..l, so they were aware of what was going on (non violent abuse). With that said, I am worried about you. I don’t understand the police not arresting him after seeing you hiding in the woods with bruises for days. If anything, you could call any animal rights activist in your community which in turn, would push hard to have your psychopath brought up on charges of animal cruelty after he shot your poor dog. Animal rights activists don’t back down and don’t play around. They would keep a close eye on him and watch over you in hopes of having him arrested for crimes against you; which would stick better than animal cruelty charges. Where are you with things now? Have you gotten away from him? Please call a battered women’s shelter immediately if not. They will take you in and place you in hiding. They will advise you of all the resources available in order to get away and get away for good. Please don’t continue thinking this is the life you are stuck in; your safety, health, and happiness are YOUR BASIC human rights. You have been kidnapped and held hostage. Please get out now!

      4. Positive says:

        I am also exactly in the same situation . I was always confused and could never understand what was my fault because he would rage if I spoke anything casually . Finally after 31/.2 years of life in hell I had the courage to walk of from this monster.

      5. Stevie says:

        Thank you for describing my life for the last 25 years. I’ve been separated 12 months now and it’s still a nightmare. I am at a point where I can’t even articulate what has occurred. He is still hurting me everyday but it’s 5% better than living in it and that’s better than nothing. 5 children never want me to go back. Don’t wait 25 years it’s wasting your life & sanity.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          Good for you! And I know the feeling of not even being able to put whats happening into words. Its a trauma symptom.

          I started just writing it down like bullet points in a notebook, like
          A: called me a lazy freeloader DATE
          B: told me he lied about xyz DATE
          C: Went somewhere and didn’t tell me, lied when I asked DATE

          I found its helpful to validate my experience in a non-emotional way and document as self defense against the gas lighting. Sometimes journaling is just too painful, and this helps. So maybe just write down the bad memories as they surface and then put it away. It might help you discharge all the negative swirling around in your brain and heart.

          1. Ashley says:

            I admire your ability to be so candid. You put into words what I cannot, even when I try. My spouse watches my every move, monitors my phone/email, times me when I run an errand, etc. How do u find the time to write about your relationship and hide it? Have you left him yet?
            I’m in a fog most days. I know I want out, but how? It’s like he knows me so much better than I know myself-I can’t hide my desire to leave. He starts the good guy routine again when he senses muy unhappiness. If that doesn’t seem to put me in a cage, then he rails at me over simple stuff, like being 6 minutes late or not answering a text right away.
            I struggle with the decision to leave and HOW! He keeps me from working, then he spends all tye money he brings in so I can’t save any back.
            Any advice???

            1. Samantha Matthews says:

              I think a big part of the first steps in leaving is getting over the guilt you feel for breaking the “rules”. Its a trained fear, but its super real. You have to get to the point of being able to take yourself back emotionally and mentally before you can start taking yourself back physically. Start with small things, and as you get stronger you can do more. Don’t beat yourself up over anything, know your doing the best you can. And if you have a bad day, whatever that means for you, pick yourself back up and start over again tomorrow. Remember, you are FAR stronger than you know. I know its not like a ten step program out, but we all have to find our own way back to ourselves in a way. And that is the beginning. <3

            2. Kristin says:

              Omgosh that was my life!! The constant accusations to the point it was a fight if I went grocery shopping. I was also made to swear on my kids lives that I didn’t laugh in any conversation I had with my daughters coach. I finally found out some information regarding other women and kicked him out last week. The hardest thing I’ve ever done and he continues to try to make my life hell. He has already moved on. His children, his exes and his own mother and brother cut off all conact years ago which should have been a sign. He has manipulated me to the point I don’t know reality from fantasy regarding myself. I am praying for peace and healing while dealing with this.

    2. Le says:

      Hi. I was were you are up until approximately a year ago. I have some advice for you all and I hope to god that you read it and can find a way to use it.

      Leaving is dangerous! It really is. I am not saying don’t do it, but I am saying you are right to be scared and you should do what you can to prepare for it even if you are not exactly sure when or if it will happen. The most important thing that no one ever told me until it was to late is this…It is very important to try to document any solid proof of phisical abuse that you are able to before you try to leave. If you can record this person on video or adio, do it. Take pictures.

      When this happened to me, at first I was in to much shock to function properly. I was to devistated, and ashamed to photograph myself. Later on, I had accumulated substantial evidence in the way of police reports and medical evidence. I thought to myself, why would photos I take myself matter when there have been photos taken by a police photograper. I thought that this would serve as much better proof withough my having to risk getting caught by my abuser ammasing evidence against him.

      The truth for me has been this, the court will not hear or accept things like police reports unless the officer who wrote them is present to testify. Doctors have to be present to testify to having recorded medical evidence. The court sees these lengthy proceedings as a neusance. You may find it difficult to even get the needed time in court that would be required to call such witnesses. Do collect these kinds of evidence. BUT DO NOT FIAL TO DOCUMENT THE ABUSE YOURSELF as well. This is especially important if you have children. Leaving will almost certainly result in drawn out court battles.

      Additionally, try to think of other ways to prepare to leave if possible. Hide money-Cash or possibly money orders, keep birth certificates, pictures, social security cards some place safe and prefferably outside of your home. If possible to do so, try to find a therapist for your children. If you can somehow hide or justify the fact that you are doing this, you may be able to create someone who could be percieved as an unbias witness to speak for your children later in court. It is much easier and more commen than most people know for batterers to walk out of family court with joint or sole custopdy.

      DO NOT FEEL BAD because you waver as to what to do about this situation. It is so much more complicated and harder to get out of then public perception would lead you to beleive. You are the expert on your life and only you know the obstacles you are facing. It is not your fault that this person did not live up to the love you gave them. It is human that you continue to feel for this person. Forgive yourself for the times when you could not escape. Even when you think to yourself, “it seems like things have been better for a while, maybe this time they will be.” Understand that the love you have, the wanting to keep your family togehter is natural. Fear is natural. Forgive yourself for this feeling. But allow yourself to plan for the worst, just in case.

      Read Lundy Bancroft’s “Why does he do that” or anything else he has written. Or watch his videos on youtube. His advice is the most honest and helpful information that I have yet to encounter.

      1. Sintoya says:

        I really appreciate everything you said, especially documenting for the courts dealing with custody. I just got a 3 year criminal restraining order, but that will expire…

      2. Shruti says:

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.every word is relatable.. I wanted to take videos and pics n he immediately stopped n behaved normal.

    3. hecheatedandhurtme says:

      I was afraid to read this because minus the children this is my truth

    4. Nichola Carland says:

      I literally have just cried all the way through reading this. I know my ex was just like this but am so lost without him too

  2. Renee says:

    Wow. Reading your account literally gave me chills. I can totally relate to what you are feeling. Still picking up the pieces of his destruction here, rebuilding slowly. I have been there – free now. But not really – children with a narc leaves the door open for never-ending abuse. Keep writing!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I know, I will never ever be rid of him completely. It sucks. And I hate seeing other girls in my position, with no kids, thinking about having kids with these guys. They just dont know! I was there, you think it will work out, its just a rough patch, and then your stuck with him forever, hating that he was ever born and still, realizing you wouldnt have your beautiful kids without him… hardest thing ever.

      1. Kristi michele says:

        Samantha you couldn’t have said it better with the swimming in mud, knowing what you need to do, but can’t move. I’m there now, I have 2 kids and I can barely muster the energy to feed them ‘I do’ but I mean it’s hard work just to wash a plate lol and I’m losing weight like crazy. It’s just insane that I’m letting this person do this to me. How do you get out of the mud? Seriously I want out of it. This isn’t me I don’t know why I would even allow this for so long. I’m a little in denial thinking maybe I’m the problem, maybe it’s me who changed him. And if God would just come down and say Hey get off your butt and get out or stay I’d feel more secure with making a decision. Plus financially I’m stuck it seems. I have no family or friends to go to. I’ve saved a little money and I wish I could get up and get a job or something but the depression has got me good right now! I just need something to pull me out! Or a for sure sign it’s him and not me or vice versa.

        1. Samantha Matthews says:

          I wish I had the answer, but I dont. Right now Im seriously considering going to the doctor and getting on anti-anxiety meds or something. Maybe that would help…. sigh

        2. amanda says:

          I am About to leave for my parents house but other women in this situation have gone to a shelter for like 8 weeks and were able to find some geared to income housing.

        3. Trina says:

          Hi Kristi, You need to leave sweetheart.. This person is not good for your health & well being. You need to be happy & healthy for your children.

    2. Eileen Waters says:

      agree with this so much. children with a narc leaves the door open for never- ending abuse. Should one tell children what their parent is????? Really need answer to this, eldest child-24, 2nd child-21 3rd child-16. Not really children but they are my children! He is using them now. I am no use to him anymore. I got out. Take heart, it can be done. After 29 years of marriage.

      1. Arlene McKenna says:

        Eileen Waters, did you ever get an answer to your question, about explaining this to your children? My sons are all adults too. 35, 26, 22 and 19. I thought maybe giving them at least some information may save them but not sure if I should or even how.
        Can you email me at

        I would appreciate it if you but will understand if you can’t
        Thanks Arlene

        1. Jenny says:

          I have told 2 of my children (ages 20 and 22) about narcissistic abuse after they were upset about their fathers irrational behavior. I sent them links describing it. They were both feeling like failures, because they couldn’t make their dad happy ever. I told them they never would, because of their dads npd. I don’t know yet if it helped, but I feel like they needed to know. I didn’t want them to feel like I did for so many years, thinking I was just not good enough!

  3. Teresa says:

    SPOT ON! I am no longer in the toxic relationship with the narcissist but after a 7 year stint as his whipping girl I am still in recovery. And after I left and moved on he slandered me all over the small town we live in, threatened my career, ruined other friendships I had when we were together. There are parts of my life that are totally ruined now because of him and things I USED to love and enjoy I can no longer be a part of because of the flashbacks caused by him. I pray others read your story and see the danger signs. I cant tell my story even in anonymity because there are too many tell tell signs and if he read it I live in fear that he would retaliate in someway. You are much stronger than I will ever be because you did speak out!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thank you. I dont know if Im stronger, you left him and have began rebuilding. I would say your pretty freakin strong! 🙂

      1. Teresa says:

        I can be strong but I almost feel like I am hiding, living with my head in the sand and ignoring what he did to me. Only because I feel like I need vindication but I also know it wont do me a damn bit of good because he would still make it all about him. So I hide and try and move on. But you are right, there is strength in moving on and rebuilding my life 🙂

        you hang in there too!

        1. jane says:

          Be proud of yourself, my husband of 15 years is exactly the same, i left him 3 days ago and I am hiding in fear because I know i will take him back if i see him face to face simply because I am so conditioned to doing what he tells me to.

          While a small part of me enjoys tbat he is suffering at the moment i know it won’t last long and he’ll be with another woman and telling anybody who’ll listen how badly i treated him. My mom said the best revenge is being happy.

    2. Shannon says:

      Same here!!! But after 30 years, and as I was STILL trying to recover from cancer drug side effects. He’s a covert, “nice guy” narcissist, and so even I couldn’t believe the unbelievably weird, then evil, crap he and his increasingly evil GFs were up to. When his crap got discovered, he kept screaming, “I’ll ruin you” and he certainly did everything possible – the smear campaign while I was not entirely well was brutal. But just reading you all sharing has made me feel better already – everyone blames ME for not knowing what he was capable of, mostly because none of them have dealt with anything this weird. We were seemingly respectable, high-earning dual career couple with responsible jobs, and when I saw what he was willing to do, it SHOCKED me so badly I am still nursing that scar. Tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars later – all needlessly wasted while trying to separate – oh, he was going to make it a fight even though I no longer wanted to be married and he had a GF (married, but, oh well). So where was the problem? hah! I learned that a narcissist will make you a victim no matter what the circumstances – it was his only goal, and he pursued it relentlessly and he achieved it. Now that I type that out, I can see that people were unsupportive because it didn’t make a bit of sense, and he appears to be VERY rational. that’s how I got fooled – it was so unproductive, why would a smart guy do that? NARCISSIST. ; )

      1. icanrelate says:

        I can totally relate!!!! I see so many similarities in my on relationship before I realized it wasn’t just my imagination.

      2. Traci says:

        Wow! I’m so sorry for what you went/are going through. My husband is a covert narcissist as well so I’ve been hoping when I leave he wouldn’t be so horrible. Hoping he won’t try to ruin me or our son. 🙁 guess I better get ready for the fight.

  4. Jodie says:

    I don’t know if it will help, but after 13 years of enduring what I now know was narcissistic abuse, the ‘event’ happened that finally made me stand up and fight. He started to fall for my best friend and she for him right in front of my face. I can’t tell you how long I put up with it, the misery I went through but I finally drew the line in the sand. I gave him the ultimatum…it’s her or me. He hesitated and I knew it was over. But I didn’t quit then, I held on for weeks. Finally I was able to say the words that set me free. I asked him…”if I was doing what you are doing – would you want to be with me?” and he said “No, probably not.” And I finally said it, that sentence that had sat on the tip of my tongue for years…”I don’t want to be with you anymore.” It affected him so greatly that 5 minutes later he was literally asleep in his chair. Twelve hours later my ‘friend’ split from her husband and the rest is, as they say…history. The damage he did, well I’m still dealing with it and I still struggle with the term ‘abuse’. I have periods of great strength and growth when I know I’m making progress…but there are also back slides where I still feel like I don’t deserve better than him. Thankfully I’m happy being on my own, my kids are secure and stable in my care. I rarely respond to his tricks, I don’t trust him and I sift through his words for grains of fact – knowing that everything he says is twisted and out of context. But I’m better. Growing every day. And I cope. I cope with being alone, independent, and responsible for our two children and with dealing with him day to day. So know this….the day will come, you will break free and you will be fine. Just don’t wait too long because they don’t ever change, they just get worse. Your power is in your strength to endure, just don’t endure so long that you break.

    1. LD says:

      Jodi, OMG! Your “friend” did this to you, too? Sounds like she’s a selfish, disgusting, immoral Narc also! I know a guy whose wife did this same thing with her “best friend’s” husband. He is still trying to recover years later and as far as I know, so is the ‘best friend’. The two families used to do everything together. Suddenly, the two narcs divorced their spouses and married each other and tried to force all the kids to sing songs about how great it was that they could finally be together and married! There are 3 kids from each family who were all devastated. Can you imagine trying to sing songs and put on happy faces cuz these two narcs found each other and actually wrote songs about it for their kids to sing to the neighbors at Christmas? (No lie here – they made their kids do this to the tune of a Christmas carol for the neighbors. So sick.) One day a woman is mom’s best friend and the next she is now dad’s wife while mom is at home devastated and alone? And for the other kids, the guy that was mom’s best friend’s husband is now married to mom and dad is home devastated and trying to go to work to PAY support for this sick woman’s now blatant affair! If that sounds confusing to read it’s because it IS so sick and confusing! And these kids can’t speak out against this atrocity—no, no, no! These narcs have no moral compass and expect everyone to smile and congratulate them on their sickness. They bought a house in the same time town and show PDA in the stands during the kids’ soccer games while the dejected spouses are alone and sad on the other side of the field. What is even sicker is the amount of people in that town who stood by that sick woman and still friend her! And the man was active in the Catholic church and they turned a blind eye and married these two sickos. The Narcs, the townspeople, the church…all of them…. No healthy shame whatsoever. Sadly, we live in the worst day and age for narcs to survive when you have the “Dr. Phil’s” of the world claiming ‘there are no victims’ and ‘there’s no right and wrong, just different.’ Screw that! Wait til you are the VICTIM, you will suddenly see there is truly right and wrong! Anyhow, Jodi, I’m sorry you went through that but you clearly did not have a true husband and you did not have a true friend…just mask wearers who deserve each other. Remember that we will all stand before God one day for these things. Please, God, have mercy on us all!

    2. Stephanie says:

      Your true freedom will come when your kids are grown and you don’t have to be reminded of what he did to you every time you see him. When the kids are grown, you will only have to see him on special occasion regarding the children. I hardly ever see the fathers of my boys now, and I rarely think about them or the that life.

      At some point you need to honestly forgive them. Not for them, but for you. Then you need to forgive yourself. He made his choice. He walked away, obviously long before you did. Be strong, and remember “This too shall pass”. There are way better men out there. I know it will be hard to trust after this, I have been through it. You might consider some therapy, it never hurts. And I know it’s hard, but be careful what you say around the children. They are smart enough to figure out what is going or if they are young, the will eventually.

      Peace be with you. Stephanie

    3. Shruti says:

      Strength to you

  5. ann jackson says:

    This is the absolute truth. Wish I had truely realized what I was living with maybe I would have got rid of my monster sooner. Although he is living the life of Riley and I have to watch every cent. I don’t have to deal with his crap anymore. Wish I could help others to stay away from these men. It took a massive almost fatal heart attack and triple bypass surgury for me to escape

    1. Ty S. says:

      Ladies, I am so blessed to have ran across the site! I have been married to what I found out is a Narc over the last 10 months or so. I have to stay on the net looking around for people in my position in order to keep in mind that it’s not me that’s crazy like he will have me think. It’s such a slow and subtle progression from the happy beginning where he swooped in, swept me off my feet, moved me and my kids in with him and poof! made all my bills disappear to the monster that I am with now. I don’t recognize him as the man I thought I married. Everything is all about him! Every dime, every conversation, EVERYTHING! After our 1st year of marriage he decided to answer his “call from God” (really he called himself” into the ministry. So now he is a Pastor and of course has EVERYONE enamored with him, everyone he runs across is absolutely in love with him, he can do no wrong! I let him sweet talk me into resigning my job in Nov of 2014 since he makes 3 times what I was bringing in by sitting home waiting on his 3 direct deposits. The only people who really know how evil he is are the objects of his domination…all of his ex wives (four) and his GF’s who he would move in.

      He always ends up divorcing them and putting the GF’s out. He has to move quickly and move you in with him before you figure him out. Weve been married almost 6 years and I’ve been with him the longest. He can’t stay with anyone that long! Well he’s had it with me and has barely spoken to me this YEAR! We go to church and pretend, of course my kids and I are the only ones who know he is an arrogant, egotistical liar, hippocrit, and a wolf in sheeps clothing. He’s playing games with the church and since this is his new supply and is about to build an actual building, I am old news so he’s been telling me to get out for the last 3 weeks. I don’t think he’s said a word to me since Valentines weekend consistently. I am fed up this time so no more groveling and taking the blame. I haven’t said one word either because it’s useless! I got him a birthday gift and cake and left them downstairs without saying a word and he hasn’t touched either and far as I’m concerned they can sit there til they rot. I alternate between pain of losing my marriage and the urge to get away and be in peace when I consider it was never real, because I was unwittingly fresh supply “which then makes me feel mad as hell! He kept tormenting and threatening me until I shut down just like him. Threatening me to drop me from the cell bill and car insurance and saying ” you think I’m playing don’t you?” “I’m telling you you’d better find a job and somewhere to live!” He can have at it. I had an exit plan for when my daughter graduates in May 2017. He’s ready to move on to his next victim, he stopped wearing his ring in January. He will need to have her waiting in the wings but if he wants me gone now, like I told him, he’d better do it through the court system, he doesn’t get to dictate how and when I leave!!! Damn that evil that’s driving him! I’m in the throws of his stonewalling this very moment. He walks around like I’m invisible to try and hurt me. Theres a deep hatred here but so much sympathy and love for everyone else. My kids see it now, they saw their strong mother lose her power but I’ve taken it back!!!

      I thought I was gonna write a few words but they just started flowing out of control. I’m so full! When this is over I am going to get out here and educate women about these monsters in disguise! 99.9% of people you meet are clueless about this!
      They don’t know the signs nor know how to put a name to this crazy making behavior! No one deserves to live like this! I’m praying and planning! I’ve consulted with an attorney to find out what my rights are and updated my resume and shot a few out there and I’m cosigning with my 21 year old son for an apartment next week so he can move out first and I will slowly move things in until the shoe drops. I’ve called his bluff to see when the divorce papers show up. He’s serious and wants me gone bad. Hes tired of me not working for over a year despite having more than enough for us but he wants all his money to himself. I found papers where he’s opened secret accounts and has been moving funds. I’m ready to cut my losses and get out with what I can grab while he’s gone and take what every else I’m legally entitled to and start over. Heck my baby is about to graduate and the other is already grown. I know it’s a healing process because I was truly in love for life.

  6. Ditto says:

    Ditto, I couldn’t have summed it up better myself. Even after 14 years of therapy. My son now 19 I left 3 years ago and fought for an equitable divorce. Brutal. Take each day and build yourself up until the time is right for you and make your move with clear thought and faith. God Bless.

  7. Hayley says:

    As I was reading your article I just kept thinking “I’m not the only one.” What makes it worse is the fact that we know what kind of monsters they are but we stay. We stay hoping that one day things will change and maybe they will actually love us the way we want them too. Maybe they will change. I have been living with my “fiancé” for almost 8 years. He started being verbally abusive to me about a year after we met. He wasn’t working and lived with me. He hated my family and would threaten me and and tell me that if I ever left him then he would kill them and me. So I stayed. There were some good times, some great even. Neither of us wanted children so when I got pregnant he wanted me to have an abortion. I even made the appointment, even though I had no intention of going through with it. It was then that I finally told him I wouldn’t do it and he agreed that it wasn’t the right thing to do. After the baby was born is when the abuse got physical. Our son is 2.5 now and he has only been physically abusive a handful of times but he scares the hell out of me that one day he will kill me. I have tried to leave but he makes it difficult because everything we have is together. In the 8 years we have been together he has worked maybe about 2 years. I have always been the one to take care of everything and every time make a mistake he is right there to tell me what a fat, stupid, lazy, botch and whore I am. Every time I leave to go to work he accuses me of cheating on him. It’s so hard to live this way bit it’s even harder to get out. My friends don’t want to hear it because they don’t want me to be on this relationship anymore any Monday even his own mother has told me to leave him and go to a shelter. Why should I have to leave everything I have been working for and take my son to a shelter because he is a psychopath? I feel like I am stuck and I will never get out.

    1. Meagan says:

      You deserve to be and feel safe. I know you feel stuck, I remember feeling that same way. The abuser does a good job of convincing us we are worthless. I left my abuser over a year ago and I was completely terrified. I was scared of what he might do and how I was going to take care of myself. I secretly made a plan with my close friends and mom. One morning after he had left the house, my friends and mom showed up and we moved all my things to my mom’s place because I felt I would be safe there. Make a plan. Do it the way that is best for you. My life has improved so much! I have had people tell me that I have a light about me that I didn’t have before. I’m still not ideally where I want to be but I’m working towards my goals. You and your child deserve to feel safe. Going to a shelter may not be the most fun thing but you would be safe. They also have the tools and resources to help you on your way to an abuse free life. I know you have been working hard for what you have and that just shows what an amazingly strong woman you are. Just think, you can keep working hard on those things that are important to you but without an abuser around to rain on your parade. You’re not stuck, there is a way out! Keep your head up! 🙂

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        Thank you so much. All these are things I know, but its so good to hear it from someone else as well. I really needed to hear that this morning. <3

        1. Meagan says:

          You’re welcome! I felt like like I should share that. My friend and I started a domestic violence support group called Hope 4 U. We’re on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hope4u/302543473269219
          Keep sharing your story!

    2. Carla says:

      I was exactly there and got a restraining order. I went to the clerks office of my local court house and they walked me through the steps. I got the house and car and he had to leave and stay away from me and the kids. That gave me time to breath and start planning my path away from him.

    3. Traci says:

      Oh Honey! Pleeeease think clearly. Kick his a** out. Use a restraining order and whatever else you have to do. I’m 45 now and all I can think of is what a waste of my life I spent with losers. A waste to be scared, unloved and mistreated for one more day than you have to. There is happiness, peace and love be to be had. If he wants to be miserable, let him do it alone. Not to mention the mental and emotional damage that will happen to your child living in that type of household. Please please please, do what you have to, to build up the strength to move on.

  8. Amanda Cantu says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have been with a narcissist for almost 12yrs now and thank goodness we only have 1 child together. (9yr old girl) Although I’ve gotten up the courage to leave him 4 times, I somehow always end up coming back. Each time that I left him it was because I caught him cheating with numerous women and cause I’d reach my breaking point emotionally. But I must say, he is so good at playing mind games with me. He cries, begs, pleads, and makes so many promises that I always end up taking him back. Not to mention he makes sure that I don’t make enough financially to stay on my own too long. So I come back and everything seems perfect for at least 2-3 weeks but then something sets him off and he unleashes 10x the terror than before the break up. But being that he was so kind and convincing of his change, I dismiss the 1st couple of outbursts because no one is perfect and I can’t expect him to Change overnight.

    I never speak of the way he really treats me and the names he loves to call me every single day like b**ch, wh*re, worthless, pathetic, useless, tells me he hates me, that I am a mistake, that I should die, no one will ever be faithful to me, and so much more. How can I tell anyone what really goes on behind closed doors? It’s embarrassing.
    He cheats on me constantly and has slept with or tried to sleep with every female I know.

    I feel so alone most of the time. I recently bought a new pistol and I can’t say that it hasn’t crossed My mind to take my own life. He makes me feel so low at times that I start to believe that my daughter wild be better off without me.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      No! She would NOT be better off with out you! Dont ever think that. Your husband is a jerk, the worst kind of lying scum. Everything he tells you is a LIE. And if you have a hard time really believing that, just keep telling yourself over and over and over, He is a Liar and I am worth more than Gold. Narcissists are master projectors. If hes calling you names or accusing you, its probably the exact things HE is guilty of.

      He is a LIAR, your daughter NEEDS you. You are better than he is, and that’s why he hates you. Don’t let his hate destroy you. We are all in this together. <3

      I have also heard that is you go talk to a women's shelter, they may be able to help you find counseling, free of charge, without actually having to live at the shelter. Go look for some help, dont give up! I will be praying for you!

    2. s.s says:

      I feel sorry for you. I can relate to most of the things you say. Having been married 9 years now, i so want to break free but the thought paralyses me. Ive been abused physically and emotionally as well. I had my own business, u took care of the whole house and even cooked and cleaned …ran the house for 7 years and still told in the end that i do nothing for him. Im drained and exhausted and dont know what more i can do. Im told im the reason he doesnt work coz his mind is so full of stress coz of me all the time. Earlier in the marriage ive been followed around despite of the fact that he sent a servant with me where eved i went and despite the fact that i never cheated him let alone think about it. To cut it short we have no children in all these years coz of medical issues with both of us and had planned on ivf. I shut down my work n all coz i was so exhausted n tired that i didnt have time to catch up with him and he always blamed me for everything. He refuses to go to the doctor with me. Till last year the pressure on me was that he will be cut off from his inheritance since he doesnt have kids implying a second marriage i feared and now that u stopped all my work n everything just to focus on the treatment he backed out n has been stonewalling me for the past 7 months. Ended up beating the shit out of me n ripping my ear off almost saying first i have to become the type of woman he wants before he can think of a kid with me. I feel cheated, wasted and drained vith physically n mentally. I do have my parents to go back to but even after dealing with all this i feel like thats thd most difficult thing to do. I feel if i leave him i will die but then i feel if i dont i will suffocate n have an even worse death inside. Im so confused n so so helpless. I keep reminding myself to come out of my self pity n take action but then i have no energy. I dont know what is worse, living with a man who u cant ever make happy or living without the person u loved so much n thought you would spend the rest of ur life with!!

      1. Carrie says:

        You need to RUN away from him and never look back! A child is the last thing you want with a narcissist. Especially now that you know he’s a narc. Having a child with him him will bring you even more heartache. He will use that child as a pawn. He will use that child to control you. A child will mean nothing to him, except a means to get what he wants out of you. And divorcing a narcissistic when children are involved is a special kind of hell. To a narc, their children are their property. Their possessions. You’d better thank your lucky stars you don’t have a child with your narcissist. It makes it easier to go No Contact. I am 8 months into a never ending divorce with my narc. Was married 17 years. Drives me crazy that I have to have contact with him for the kid’s sake. He’s also playing Disneyland Dad with regards to Hoovering (spoiling/brainwashing) the kids. He’s lying to the court, has the court psychologist charmed & fooled, and is trying to get 50% custody of the kids. Here I have been, claiming verbally abusive man and Rage prone, and he’s “acting” normal and rational. Yes, the crazy making phase. I know he’s one person in public and a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at home. But, back to you… I too was paralyzed with fear. That’s the mind games they play with you. But I got to the point where the fear of staying was stronger than the fear of leaving. So I did. Didn’t really have a plan, just took some money out one day and left the next. Turns out, all of his thteats about what he would do if I ever dared to leave him were empty threats. Just words to control me and screw with my mind. If you can go to your parents, go. If not, find a woman’s shelter. He does not love you. He loves controlling you. People who truly love you will not and DO not disregard and disrespect you the way a narcissist does. You need to look into your heart, realize hthat you deserve better, deserve happiness, and leave. Please. Please love yourself enough.

      2. Lisa Pishny says:

        Dearest s.s., my heart broke as I read your post. I lived that life for 12 years before I escaped. I will be praying for you from this day on. Please dig deep and find the strength to go forward, leave that life and all behind, return to your parents if need be but don’t settle for that kind of life. God loves you and you do matter. You deserve to be happy, as happy as you can be.

  9. Rachel says:

    This is the part that no one gets. I am “stupid” for staying and my friends don’t want to hear about it if I’m not going to leave. Well I’m 28. And after five years with my “Prince charming”, I left for good. I was 23 when we met, he was 30, and a predator. He spent the next five years physically, mentally, emotionally,and financially abusing me and tearing my soul apart…. all the while, I thought it was me, I wasn’t domestic enough, happy enough, working hard enough, loving him enough, helping him enough. The last fight was because I didn’t fold the laundry soon enough and I “never do anything to help him”. My life revolved around him. But he is mentally sick and he will never appreciate me. I still look at his picture and think why couldn’t he just love me. That’s all I wanted. Now I am standing up for myself. I will find someone who loves everything he hated about me.. stay strong ladies. We have so much to offer. Stand up.

  10. Elle says:

    As I read your story I thought, wow, mine is like that.
    At the start of our Relationship he was so Romantic, Affectionate,Considerate and he did everything in a big way to let me know he wanted, loved and cared for me, it slowly trickled away.
    He cheats with other females and brushes it off as nothing… whether it’s physical or emotional it’s still cheating.
    I once confronted him with evidence of his cheating and asked for an explanation…he got angry, walked away and said he would show me now.
    If I ask or discuss his cheating with him, I get the ignore and freeze out behaviour, no replies to any of my emails or messages and the phone calls stop.
    I know when his interests are somewhere else, I get ignored too and his voice is without emotions when he calls me and he cuts the calls very short.
    My Man works away in another Country for a few months at a time and then he is home for a few weeks. I do understand that this can put strain on the Relationship.He says he has a life there and a life back home too.
    When one is in a commited Relationship surely Loyalty and Faithfullness are a priority for both of us…why do I feel sometimes as if I am the only one commited.
    He has this overrated opinion of himself as Valentino and a gift to every female around. He flirts with other females, (if they catch his eyes), right in front of me and has an excuse for it.
    He can tell me a lie and make out that I don’t know what I’m talking about when I confront him about it.
    He blames me when I try and discuss an issue in our Relationship, I have stopped doing that now as he says,…nothing’s wrong, what is your problem.
    When we are in company and he has a few drinks, I am teased and pulled to pieces, it makes me feel so belittled and embarrassed.
    He shines and is the main attraction at any social function or if family come over for a Dinner Party but as soon as we get home or the visitors leave, he changes to this unresponsive cold person…like a Jekyll and Hyde.
    My children love him to bits and if I had to discuss all of this with them, they would not believe it as when they’re around he gives me attention and makes a fuss out of me.
    One thing that he does not do is go into a Rage, lose his temper or physically abuse me…he controls all of that. He does raise his voice when he tells me off sometimes.
    If I say something that he thinks is out of place or he doesn’t like, he can sulk and switch off totally for hours.
    There is a kind side to my Man as well, if I need anything I get it. There are times when he is very nice to me and suddenly he switches off and becomes distant again.

    Is it possible for a Man to be part Narcissist and part normal or is this how a Narcissist behaves?
    Is he just a Man who is a Cheater because he is going through a Mid Life Crisis and full of crap?

    Through everything I remain positive and happy, happy and grateful for so many other things in my life, happy to be alive to enjoy all the beauty nature has to offer, happy to be able to enjoy Books and Music and happy to be healthy enough to enjoy my few wonderful friends and Children.

    Thank you for your time and please feel free to reply with Advice and Comments, it will be appreciated.

    1. Victoria says:

      Everything you said sounds so familiar…. Except for cheating, as far as I know. I don’t think he has ever physically cheated on me, although lying would be nothing new with him. And he is definitely a flirt.

      I hate going out with him with his friends because, especially with alcohol by his side, he always manages to “tease” me just enough to make it hurt and embarrass me. A friend of ours actually tried to make me feel better once by basically saying don’t worry, he’s just drunk. Right, ’cause that would make me feel better even if it didn’t happen when he was sober… Thinking about it now, it is astounding how much he hurts me with his “teasing”. I grew up in a family where we teased each other ALL the time but for some reason with them it never hurt me.
      He ALWAYS calls me crazy the second I say something he doesn’t like or agree with. It’s usually me trying to tell him how he made me feel. You should be able to do that in a relationship, right? That’s what I’ve heard anyways. :/ But, if I am hurting and in tears and he caused it, he can easily be in the next room laughing with his friends or napping casually as if nothing happened. When he is hurt by something, there’s no way I could be laughing as if I didn’t have a care in the world! How does someone do that if they love the person who is hurting??
      Sometimes,, it seems like he does actually care and will try to be more considerate, but more often than not, he refuses to even try to understand what I’m trying to explain to him and AT BEST I’ll get an incredibly sarcastic apology followed by “can we move on now?” and tries to say that it was a legitimate apology and he wouldn’t say it if he didn’t mean it. Usually too, he refuses to apologize until I apologize for whatever bull shit way he claims that I “hurt” him too. Because somehow me trying to tell him what I need and what kind of behaviour from him is just not ok, somehow that hurts him too.

      I don’t understand how this can happen and yet we have a lot of good times together too. A lot of them do end up in some sort of fight, but we do have good times together. There are lots of times we do enjoy each other’s company. I guess as long as things are going well. But he leans on me for support when he is feeling discouraged, like with finances right now. He says things like “I’m so glad I have to someone to deal with this together”. Sometimes we can be a team, but other times it just seems impossible…
      Recently, it even seemed like everything was getting better. But now it looks like things are getting worse…

      I didn’t mean for this reply to be so long… Thank you for letting me vent! It actually helps some. I just want to know too, is it even possible for a man to be only part narcissist? It’s not nearly bad enough for me to leave him, but I also think that if he had acted like that while we were still dating, I would have left him already… How can we seem to be so in love one minute and then the next minute, I think that I regret marrying him?

      1. Samantha Matthews says:

        Narcissism is a sliding scale, you can be super vain and rude on one end, and a psychopathic serial killer on the other. So yeah, there will be good times with a narc, I would even say that’s the more “normal” narcissist. Someone who can fit in and mingle with people, have a good time, etc. Its just that they also use horrible, destructive mind games on their partners, devalue them, make them feel like they’re only good for whatever the narc is using them for, and then treat you like you’re imagining things when you bring up how they’re hurting you… They don’t get better, narcs usually get worse with age. I hope you can find a solution that brings you some peace and joy!

  11. Marilyn says:

    My son is one of the 5% of men in an abusive relationship with a narcissistic woman. They have been together 15 years and I have only just found out. He never said a word. I feel so helpless. He tried to separate last year but went back. He is isolated from friends and now from famiily. He is severely depressed but still says he loves her. Because he finally talked to me I have been cut off from both my son and my 4 year old grandson. If I ignore her orders to stay away she escalates her abuse. Now I wonder how I could have been so deceived. I was very close to the child having cared for him one day a week and I am concerned about the effect on him but there is nothing I can do.

  12. Liz E says:

    Many times while reading this, I had to pause and breathe to keep from crying. This is exactly what I’ve been going through… down to the questions and fears I have. I recently learned that I do identify with Empathic people. I’ve been researching the empath/narcissist relationship for about a month, and finally really began to understand what kind of mess I’m in. But I didn’t really accept it 100% until this past weekend when he verbally attacked me multiple times in one day, in public. He while pumping gas, called me a b***h, then told me to look it up so I didn’t “get all in my feelings”, and made me read the definitions aloud to him. Then told me I just need to stop thinking because my processing is defective and just shut up and do what he says.
    We have been together 5 years (I was 20, he was 29… smh), married for 4, and have a 3 year old daughter, who I absolutely adore and many days is the only strength I can find to keep going.
    He started letting the crazy hang all out the day after we got married, when he ditched me to hang out with his best friend, the best man, and go do drugs in the woods. He emotionally tortured me most of the pregnancy, except for the 2 weeks I spent in the hospital 900mi away from home, where he did EVERYTHING perfect to make me feel comfortable. Then as soon as we got home, he told me that he’d looked through my phone while I was in surgery, and knew that I had a fling with an friend… My now former friend wanted to hang out and drop off the belated wedding gift he and his girlfriend got us, but we never even met up. He also almost got into a physical fight with my best friend for standing up for me… Most of my friendships have been destroyed. He got kicked out of my parents house for disrespecting both of them. I moved with him.. smh. It was nice, then complete hell. I left last year after things got physical over me asking him to please parallel park because I was uncomfortable with the spacing… yet if I would’ve taken too long to park, I still would’ve gotten cussed out and he would’ve told me to move over, and I know this from history. He verbally attacked me with all kinds of names, demanding we leave, then physically attacked me while I was driving, for crying. Then again when we got back to his parents house, in their backyard, while they were sleep. I feel ashamed typing this because I left for 3 months, him hoovering the whole time and I fell back into the trap. Now, a year later, after someone burglarized our home and business, and threatened to shoot him in retaliation to his ridiculousness, we are back at my parents’. And I am finding a place of peace with the assistance of my wonderful praying mother, and these types of blogs and forums.
    He has called me every name, completely annihilated my character, said my post-baby body was disgusting to my face, used sex to reel me back in (he’s the only man I’ve ever slept with), tried to really make me believe that if I wasnt an embarrassment and was obedient then he could be nice to me. He swears up and down that he’s never cheated on me, though I find that truly hard to believe because he talks about women to me like I’m one of the guys sometimes, blatantly stares and rubber necks, and has told me that I’m the type of woman who either gets beat on or cheated on. And he’s so jealous that I get questions about business cards in my wallet (I’m the GM at my day job), like they don’t clearly tell you who the person is affiliated with, and work emails… seems like a guilty conscience and ridiculousness to me.
    The list is vast and crazy and scary and I’m SO GRATEFUL to know that I’m not alone. I will and am surviving this madness.

  13. Cathy says:

    I just left my narcissist 5 months ago after 19 years and 2 children together. He is still trying to get me back and I have learned so much about myself that I can never do that. I sit here reading this article and all of these replies today with tears running down my face. There are so many of us. For at least 5 years I wanted to leave but he had me so scared and I am an educated professional executive. We are everywhere. I am starting the legal side of this process this week and it is creating such a panic in me. I know nothing he can do could even come close to what he did behind closed doors – so why I am I so scared? Because they control everything for so long. It’s scary to move on, but it feels so great!!! My youngest son is only 12 so I know I’m going to have to deal with him for many years to come, but it will get easier every day. I don’t rush to answer his calls and texts. It makes him crazy that he is losing control. Escaping his grip is a process. It will take time and we all need to be kind to ourselves. Reading that there are lots of us makes me feel a little bit stronger everyday. Thank you!!!

  14. Esther says:

    I have been married for the past 20yrs and this is exactly what I have been through with my children.
    About time I have to do something!

  15. Stacy says:

    Thank you for explaining this so correctly. I was married to a narcissist for over ten years and it wasn’t a nice life. He was my first serious boyfriend. He was emotionally, financially, mentally, sexuly and occasionally physically abusive. He tried to make me believe everything was my fault, that no man would ever want to be with me except use me for sex, that I wasn’t worthy…. (the list is endless). During our marriage we had children and I finally got the courage to leave after our youngest turned one even though I had thought about leaving for years. It has now been over four years since I left and he still speaks horribly about me to everyone. He acts like he is a victim of a crazy ex wife and he is innocent. Some of the stories I’ve heard about myself are so far from the truth and very nasty. I also get abuse from his wife but she is repeating the pattern of narcissist partners. I have lost friends due to him and the horrible things he has said about my friends and has tried to turn my children against any man I date. Recently he wanted us to get back together. He would come to my house to see the kids, say how much he has changed, try to hug me and then go home to his wife. It was horrible and every time I would make it very clear that I had no intention or ever would go back to him but in his head he thought I would.
    Leaving was the hardest thing I had ever done and often I wish I did earlier, but I DID leave and I never went back! My children are better off for it. My sons are learning its NOT okay to treat women that way and my daughter is learning its NOT okay to be treated that way. I would rather be alone and lonely then with someone like him!!!!! And truth is I am not as lonely now. I have moments but its nice its just me and my children. If you are in a situation like this remember you are not alone and there is help.

  16. wercnc says:

    Yup! Wow! Spot on. I am one of the lucky ones. I was able to get out, with three children. I am one of the lucky ones, and i never forget that. Raising three boys in the aftermath of that destruction is overwhelming. Phew!

  17. amanda says:

    He discovered last Wednesday night that I was planning to leave. I have been purging and packing in secret to be ready to pack up and go in a short time when the time came. My plan was the beginning of October. Well I’m leaving in two weeks now because he knows. I’ve been reading self help and examining myself for years now … What started as a search for answers as to why I wasn’t good enough and how I can be better, became the realization that it was not me at all and those things that have been on my shoulders are greatly compounded by him. I’ve been wth him 15 years. I write random diary entries and those old writings basically say things like why can’t he just love me and see I’m good …. I wish I could go back and tell that girl to get the hell out. Anyway, I found strength in reading. I’ve read everything I could get my hands on. Articles online, books … And I share what I’m going through with other women. When I started seeing the seeds of narcissism in my 5 year old daughter and back when I hear our fights replayed in her private games, that was the extra strength I needed to demand change. He promised and “tried” and actually has come some ways to personal emotional growth but I need to leave. I’ve always felt that he has the intelligence to tackle this personal issue. I’ve shared with him all I’ve learned, sent him articles to read … He seems to get it finally. Like lights have come on and are staying on this time. He got a life coach and IS trying. BUT I’m still leaving. We still have to parent together. I need to heal. Maybe one day I’ll go back but I seriously doubt it. I don’t know who the healthy adult is in him and neither does he. He is not trying to stop me and is starting his own journey of growth. I wish I had done this years ago but I also see now that there would have still been so much anger. He says he can see now the abuse he’s caused and that this is for the best, but he still hold out hope. That’s ok. I will tell all you ladies the best advice a fried gave m: no matter what other people think o your decisions, If you leave, that’s ok. If you stay, that’s ok. You might leave and come back. That’s ok. It might happen several times. That’s ok. It’s your life and it’s ok.

  18. Angela says:

    Wow. Yep! That just hit the nail on the head. Make no mistake. I’m in constant chaos of not financially then emotionally. But a good narc knows, if he can find a woman who’s openly flawed and emotionally scarred, then he will be able to more easily and believably hide. And then starts the slow devastating pick at every flaw or imperfection you have. And don’t dare bring up his behavior. You’ll be apologizing for something that happened years ago or something you never actually did at all. Turns out, I’m attracted to narcs. But I don’t realize they’re that way in the beginning. I idolize them. Until the man slips.

    The one I had children with accused me of being rude in a text message. I wasn’t. He then proceeded to belittle me. I called him to ask if he could in the future not jump to conclusions. Just ask me if I have attitude before assuming. He told me I wasn’t validating his feelings. HIS FEELINGS???!!! ONLY HIS EXIST IN HIS WORLD. FML.

  19. jaidetickner says:

    I’ve been there and was for two years, I eventually got out when i saw my old boyfriend and also a great friend on a night out and broke down in tears, i knew he would never of treat me that way. My abusive ex had made me delete everyone i could of spoken about it too off of Facebook and out of my life leaving me without my close friends only his group of friends who i couldn’t confide in.
    It started off slow and gradual like you said, it was a little blip every so often for the first wish months we were together, he’d say he didn’t like certain friends of mine, that they were just after one thing, I’d get angry at him for this and it’d turn into an argument where he’d say it was because of how much he cared and he was scared of losing me, like an idiot, I fell for it every time.
    It slowly built up and got worse and he started accusing me of cheating on him if i was a few minutes late out of college, saying i had been having sex with someone in the toilets before i came out, as punishment, aside from the screaming and calling me fat and worthless, he speed in the car and dodge in and out of traffic, knowing I’m scared of driving.
    He would also often say how he wished he had gone for my best friend instead of me, because i was fat and disgusting and she was perfect in every way, she hadn’t put on weight, because he stopped me going to the gym because i was apparently having sex with everyone there too. He would control how long i could go home and see my mum for, or how long i stayed at my dads, looking back probably so they didn’t see what was going on.
    Its hard now looking back, I know there was more that he did but i feel like I have blocked it, its probably for the best. Although i got out and have been lucky enough that he found someone else straight away, (i am hoping he has changed for her sakes) it hasn’t come without a price, i now suffer, because of this relationship with Anxiety and Body Dysmorphia which have both been a battle and still currently are but i am so relieved that that part of my life is over and would urge anyone to run far and fast in this situation, you are better than this, you deserve better than this, no one should go through this abuse, you are not alone.

  20. Lisa says:

    Omg. Same identicle thing to a T. Hes a business owner. Everyone thinks he’s superman. He uses all of them and they don’t get it. He smears my name humiliates me in public. 5 months ago he abandoned me. Shut off all utilities… Cable …my phone. And I worked at his businesses so I don’t even have a job. Then he stole all my money I had. 6000.00 so I can’t even start over. The pain…betrayal….two faced…back stabbing…I could go on and on. I’m in therapy. Rebuilding my self minute by minute. He is a fucking pathetic pitiful piece of a human being. No money for divorce. And he’s out living life like I never existed. Married for 7 years. I was discarded like a piece of trash. But……I’m learning to love myself and I will survive. No pain..no gain. My pain is indescribable so my gain but be going to heaven when I get ther.

    1. Carrie says:

      Lisa! Call legal aid! There are lawyers that will work your case pro Bono. (Free/sliding scale). You cannot tolerate him stealing your money, cheating on you, trying to keep your impoverished, etc. Talk to a woman’s shelter, they can guide you to help. There IS help out there for you. Don’t roll over and accept any more of his abuse! Stand up for yourself!!! I am smack dab in the middle of a divorce from a 17 year marriage with a narc. It took me being driven to therapy to figure out what his problem really was. He’s always had anger issues, but it’s gotten worse over the years. Never better. He’s now playing games with the court and court psychologist… being the charmer that the narcissist knows how to be. Making me out to be an over reactive woman, slinging lies. Playing the games that narcs play. He said that my claims of his anger outbursts and verbal abuse are unfounded… because child protective services have never been involved!! He’s deflecting responsibility. Typical. I have finally found my voice, and he’s TRYING to discredit me at every turn. Playing Disneyland Dad with the kids. Spoiling them. Fooling everyone who doesn’t know the real monster he is in his own home. I’m over it. I’m continuing my fight. You need to do the same. Find your voice. Speak up. Reach out…fight for YOU! Fight for your self respect back. Get your money from that wortbless bully!! Find a legal aid. Google. Please, you deserve your dignity back. You’re worth it.

  21. Tamara says:

    I myself am trying to figure out who I am and if its me or what the hell is happening to my life. We were supposed to be together forever even planning a family. My mother worried started sharring information about this sort of thing. Now im sitting in a hotel room with my kid while he uses the hotel room we were supposed to share to be with other men! I showed up at the door with my kiddo at ten at night jus getting back into town from having to say my goodbyes to my dog. He answers the door in drag slams the door and proceeds to yell at me thru the door to not f*&^ this up for him he has someone on their way. Give him an hour and my son and I can have the room. He is done with me and im just using him for financial gain. Mind you he has nothing. Dragging me down with him and im letting him because he made me fall inlove with him. Right after getting out of a ten year marriage I was not wanting or looking for any relationships and then next thing I know we talking babies and marriage…. huh>>>????? what???? How did this happen. So now here I am and am just learning about all this and feeling completley alone and empty inside like im never going to survive this. I have to say I have never felt so empty and scared and unable to live my life since meeting him. What is wrong with me???? The pain is unbearable! I have a son to raise and trying to keep myself together is impossible. So lost and confused and all I want is to just have him back and have him hold me and tell me everything is ok. Even though I know he is poison I still feel like I can’t live without him….

  22. Dede says:

    I am adding to the comments here because I want so desperately to get all of you OUT and safe. I was married to one of these people for 22 years. I have been free of that abuse for more than 5 years now. I am 47 years old and just now finding peace in my daily life. Do NOT wait ladies! Your children will be damaged for life! My 2 oldest children (25 and 21) are suffering terribly and it will be many years before they heal…but I suspect they will always be scarred. It simply is not worth the damage. You need to look deep inside and try to find the resolve, the strength and the courage to get out. These men never, never, never change. Mine is happily abusing my ex-best friend now. It’s really sad. They do not know how to love and will not ever know how to love, so you must painfully let go of the dream that they will love you back. They cannot. This narc life is terminal. I wish i could hug you all and give you the strength to do it. It doesn’t mater if you have to live poorly …freedom and peace have no price! Find someone and make a plan. Secretly begin throwing away your things or sneaking them to some kind of storage or other house. If he notices (and they always do) just tell him you are finally getting your act together and decluttering.just a little bit… he will think his “amazing wisdom” has rubbed off on you and hopefully leave you alone for a while. Then, as soon as possible have an escape plan and do it. Middle of the night, middle of the work day…while he’s partying at a friends…whatever. DO NOT go back for anything! Disappear and file a restraining order. File for divorce. DO NOT be nice! They will fake being nice to try and lure you back, they will cry, they will lie to everyone (including the judge) but DO NOT give in. Also, even though you most certainly will not feel like it, DO get dressed to the nines every day, DO put on makeup and look classier than you feel. It will pay off in court and everywhere else…and he will hate seeing you look good if he happens to see you. He longs to see you looking pathetic. Don’t let him. He will never love you. Remember that. Every one of you is so valuable and God created you. You NEED to know this. <3 Prayers and hugs from a former victim.

  23. mabel says:

    When I want to describe my narcissistic marriage I can’t find the words because it’s so upsetting that it feels like there’s no way out. I found some descriptions on your blog. Thank you☺

    1. Carrie says:

      Mabel, I am in the middle of a divorce with my narc. After almost 17 years, I couldn’t take any more. Now he’s “playing” the good guy, Hoovering the children and has the court fooled about who he really is. Narcs are one person in public…charming & friendly. At home, they can be pure evil in the blink of an eye. I feel as if I’m in the middle of hell. He’s brainwashing the kids every chance he gets & spoiling them. Suddenly, he’s Disneyland Dad and Mr. Yes Man. The kids have bought his about-face act. He’s playing a game trying to get as much time with them though the courts as possible. To him, they are possessions. They are also his ticket out of having to pay more child support. If he can get the court to give him 50/50 custody, he pays less. He has the balls to call me a horrible person and say that I’M using the kids as pawns. Classic narc deflecting tactic. Meanwhile, all I have ever done all these years is tolerate his bullying & abusive behavior. He had me conditioned. I feared his irrationality. Whenever he screamed and yelled at me in front of the kids, verbally abused me, I took it. I never engaged, never escalated it and never ever dared call him names. I tried to be the bigger person, turn the other cheek. And yet in his eyes, I’m the horrible person. He said “Jump” and I said “How high”. Now he’s being rewarded for his terrible behavior with 50/50 custody by the Michigan couts and I am devastated. It’s as if narcs NEVER get any consequences for their bad behavior. He’s playing a game of he said/she said. Trying to make me out to look like an over reactive liar. I hate him. And I KNEW in the back of my head, should I ever divorce him, these are exactly the games he would play. It really is hell. I wish I could go No Contact, but with 3 kids, I can’t. The youngest is 8. I have 10 more years. 🙁

      1. Cathy says:

        Carrie- You just summed up my life. I left him mid August,filed for divorce mid September and it’s still not final. My 14 year old twin girls have not seen him since august and they don’t want to. It’s such a mess and all his friends and family are on his side and think I am unreasonable. I am dealing with the same custody laws here in MN. The girls want to only see him every other weekend and Wed’s and only during the day hours so they can always go back to my house/their rooms and sleep there.every night. And it seems like the courts love a dad who (appears) engaged, concerned and loving- how could they not grant 50/50? So frustrating! I keep trying to fight for them but it is so exhausting. Thankfully I only have 4 more years to deal with him because of the kids. My anxiety is relentless like he is.

        1. Carrie Coyle says:

          Cathy, so sorry, how is it I’m just now getting your reply?? How are you?? How are your kids? I’m still trying to figure out how to get this insane 50/50 custody order changed. My 16 year old confessed to me back in November that her dad told them (the kids) before they were to talk to a court psychologist that they need to “choose their words carefully, watch what you say about me and I will know what you said because I’ll be getting a copy of the psychological evaluation report.” When I relayed that new information to my lawyer, he said “Wow, that’s coercion and intimidation!” But no one seems to know what to do about it. Trying to get the original psychologist to see my daughter again and have my daughter tell her, in her own words, what her dad said and did. But she’s acting like she doesn’t want to touch it with a 10 foot pole because in her words (via email reply to my lawyer) “I’ve never encountered anything like this before”. I think she’s never encountered a narc!! He manipulated and charmed her too. Convincingly lied through his teeth during his interview with her. But i digress, my 16 year old daughter now doesn’t want to spend so much time with him, lIke your daughters. Because as was the case when I was still with him, he has one face in public and takes the mask off in private. I wish I knew what I can do. In a sense, my hands are tied, because I didn’t learn this information until after we settled our divorce. Now that he has 50% custody and 50% joint/legal, he HAS to be informed if she goes to talk to a psychologist (or see a Dr., etc). I don’t sleep at night. I get maybe 4 or 5 hours. 3 months with little sleep is taxing. Oh, and are you finally divorced yet? Because mine took almost a full year!! I hate that you (and all of us in this forum) are going through this hell.

          1. Cathy says:

            Hi Carrie- just finding time now to reply. Well, it’s April 25 and we are finally going to mediation early next month. I had no idea this would take so long. I was rereading all these posts and your’s still feels the closest to what I am dealing with with the kids. They still don’t want to see him. Their dad cannot understand why they are so resistant to see him and blames it all on me. And it’s not easily answered because his behaviors were unusual and the subtlety of the jekyll/hyde stuff ,at least from their perspective was really confusing, I’m sure. And because they don’t know first hand what a normal dad is they have a hard time explaining themselves. Does that make sense? I feel like he has duped not only his family and friends but his therapist as well. Plus, he did not have an affair like a normal guy, he had an obsession with our oldest daughter’s best friend for over 3 years. This friend was at our house daily for about 10 years and became like a daughter to us. Late high school/early college years he started bugging her and would not let it go. It was so slow and manipulative that the girl had no idea it was happening plus this was a father figure so she trusted him completely. Anyways, it’s really involved and confusing but I hold no grudges against the girl because by her finally figuring out what was going on and revealing it to me she really saved me and inspired me to have another solid reason to leave.

            I hate how convincing he is- especially with the finances- “I had to cash out all the remaining funds/lines of credits and then take you off of the account because it would be easier for me to manage everything from my own account.” So he has all the money and I have access to zero. I just applied for SNAP . I never ever imagined that this would be my life. I’ve basically been a SAHM for 22 years working part time here and there- which was our plan, but now that I’ve stood up for myself he’s pulling all money in hopes that I will give in and crawl back, I suppose. Never ever would I go back after tasting freedom for 8 months. Even with all the daily bullshit I have to deal with from him at a distance is a thousand times better than living that old life.

            So, how’s it going with you and the kids now? Your situation sucks for sure! I’m sorry that you can’t change that- how frustrating. Does your daughter go to see him still? I can relate to the lack of sleep for sure! Too many thoughts rolling around in my head about all the shit going on every single day. Divorcing him is a full time job. I’ve resorted to ZZZQuil- a sleep aid. Works great!

            I sure hope my lawyer can handle him in mediation and court. She has seen many crazy conversations that I’ve sent her and update her constantly on his financial ploys. I’m not sure she can handle his swirling conversations and statements that make your head spin. Yeah, I’m sorry we all have to go through this but it’s nice to know we are not alone!

            1. Carrie Coyle says:

              Hi Cathy! Well, it’s Memorial day, 2016, and I’m just now getting somewhat of a notification about your April reply! Geeze! I’m still stuck with the 50/50 custody situation. I had the worst lawyer ever. Especially one for dealing with a narcissist. My lawyer didn’t fight for me and seemed like he was intimidated by my ex. (Which he wouldn’t admit, but he did tell me he was an asshole!) So, my laywer dropped the ball by his inaction and I don’t have the money to hire someone new. I called legal aid & they can’t help either, unless something major changes in their living situation. Apparently, the court system doesn’t care that he won 50/50 custody by the coercion and intimidation of his children. He lied to the court and pulled the wool cover their eyes. As long as he’s not beating the kids, the Michigan courts don’t care. I hate it. What’s the word with you and your court case???

              My narc actually apologized to me a couple of weeks ago. I took it with a grain of salt. It started on an angry note, where he came storming out of his house calling me a bitch because I had dropped our son off from a Dr.s appointment and asked him to write me a check for his half of the medical expenses. He tried telling my son to tell me he’d get it to me later. Last time I heard that, I had to wait 3 weeks for reimbursement. So anyways, true to his nature, he comes outside all worked up and i am, once again, a fuc* ing bitch. But this time, I speak my mind. My opinion. My truths. He ends up having a civil conversation with me in his driveway for 2 hours. Ended with him sincerely apologizing for everything. While it was rare, I still feel like there’s some motive. He told me the next day that he slept the best he had in a year after apologizing to me. So, I’m sure he meant it, but I’m no fool. I may “forgive” him. But I won’t forget. And I WILL NOT get suckered back into his web.

              Hope all is well with you.

              1. Cathy says:

                Hi Again! Well, almost 2 years from your last reply- STILL dealing with the kids not wanting to see him. They are 16 now and going to his house reluctantly for a few hours here and there. We have a PC involved now and he is actually going to declare a permanent parenting schedule pretty soon. We shall see what happens! How are you doing??

  24. Ex wife of a narc says:

    I stumbled upon your site quite accidentally. It’s been 18 years since I left my Narc….we had a small child together, were married for nearly 7 years. The first year was hell, I had to file bankruptcy due to his large gambling debts. He was also an alcoholic. I was beaten down. Dead inside. I snuck away during a time he didn’t expect it. It was the only way out for me. He tried to manipulate his way back in many times. I stood strong-but felt so weak. I am here to tell you- YOU CAN DO THIS. If I could do it, anyone can. It was not easy. But I survived. I’m on the other side. It’s beautiful here. It’s worth the pain. It’s worth the unknown. I stayed strong for my daughter. I feel like a true survivor. You can be one, too. Thinking of you and wishing you strength and peace.

  25. Ann says:

    I feel like I just read my own life story. I recently got divorced from my narcissistic husband. I have three kids that are now subject to his lies and manipulation. My daughter says I walked out on the family, but she has no idea what I had gone through for 17 years. He had multiple affairs and everytime I would do anything to build myself up, he would tear me down using sneaky tactics. I was a teacher and he wouldn’t let me leave for work on time and he would insist that I leave work immediately because I didn’t get paid enough to put anymore time in. I eventually quit because I couldn’t take the stress anymore. After I quit working, I stayed at home raising the children while he was out having affairs. I was told I was a guest in his home and didn’t have a say in matters until I made as much money as him…yet he also didn’t like when I was working. I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. I couldn’t stand living on pins and needles anymore. I filed for divorce…I ended up releasing my attorney because of him. I ended up getting taken advantage of in the divorce process. My kids are angry at me for leaving and I have not told them all the details of why I left, but they will find out someday. It’s hard to tell them at their ages…15, 12, and 8. All I want is to be able to spend time with my kids but he has control of them and their schedules. The only positive thing is that I am no longer under the same roof as him and I do not have to fear his physical presence anymore.

  26. Deb says:

    Why do I stay with him? Well, when you are in chronic health decline and no money, you reallly cannot take care of yourself…you have not choice.
    I would to God I would have known all of this back when I was healthy enough to either kick him out or leave and take my children. Life would have been very different.
    I would like to say that this kind of thing needs to be preached and taught and clarified.
    Those who are caught in abusive situations really do need help and a ton of support.

  27. Karla Bro says:

    Someone very close to me is going through this right now. As she tries to leave he keeps twisting it into her trying to hurt him. I suggested she put on repeat to him, “You are the one who screwed me.” (Without profanity you could use a word like violated, or abused, or mistrested.) It has been very strengthening for my friend to befriend the other woman because he’s been just as awful and deceitful to her. The are each finding strength in that bond.

  28. kelsey says:

    I am So sorry you are going through this. This was exactly my life a little over a year ago. It’s amazing how much can change in a year, and you are stronger than you know! Don’t give up, things will get better faster than you imagine they will. I am here for you! Our voices need to be heard.

  29. Prerija says:

    I’m living it now..

  30. Dani says:

    Thank you for this. I unfortunately know all too well

  31. Chris says:

    I was living the same way for 15 years. Very sad. And yes you have described the life perfectly. No physical abuse but the analogy of the lobster is most accurate. I have been divorced for over 2 years now under very strange events where he became a “born again” christian which I believe was subconsciously an attempt to drive a wedge between my family and isolate me from my friends so he could “control” me back. He is now getting remarried to a co-dependent version of me which is also most strange.

    The best advice I can give is the following if you have children with the NPD man/ ex-husband. First as you remove yourself from the situation know that you are the “drug” he is addicted to if you are initiating the divorce. He may do strange things that if you were “alcohol” would make perfect sense. Second you need to learn to deal with him in an emotionally distant manner since the no contact rule can not apply with children. This takes time, self awareness, healing and forgiveness of a man who will never ask for it or understand that he needs it. This was 2 years for me. I can now look at him as a hostile co-worker who I no longer have to work in the same department and who would love to see me fired or dead of a heart attack but I still have to correspond with over many important matters (my children). And third, even though this man was awful to you, your children still love him and will have to deal with the issues on their own if he is not physically abusive to them. Unfortunately we made the children we love with a NPD.

    I hope all of you are able to heal from this experience and teach those who are close to us what it truly means to love someone close whether it is child or significant other or just a friend. My thoughts and prayers go with you all. Remember step one is survive and after that you can learn how to thrive!

  32. Kathryn Cole says:

    Exactly……for 35 years

  33. staci says:

    I have felt this way for 19 years! I really did believe in the beginning he was a great guy. I grew up with a narcsisst as a mother I did not even see the signs in him until years later. I did believe it was all my fault. My mother told me the very same thing my whole life ( they are buddy’s as is his narc mother) I’ve been told I was controlling or abusive because I didn’t do something the exact way he wanted. Or if I called him out on not recognizing my feelings! I have never been allowed to have them. Finally, this week after some crazier than normal events I went to an attorney and filed for divorce. I’ve spent all weekend crying, questioning myself. Its not easy I’m not sure it ever will be.

  34. Tracey says:

    Absolutely hit the nail on the head!! I lived this for almost 20 years and finally was rescued by his criminal activity. He is still incarcerated but getting out soon. In the 9 years since i was able to break free i have found myself and now happily married to a wonderful man who is the opposite to my ex. It is never easy to leave

  35. Peggy says:

    This is the best article I’ve ever read about what it’s really like to live with an abuser. You described my life when my kids were toddlers. PLEASE – listen to my story. I stayed until my kids were teens. Now I wish I’d left when they were babies. They were honor students, varsity athletes, afraid to not be “perfect” when they were in school because that’s what their father had drilled into them. Now, as young adults, they are foundering. One dropped out of college, one withdrew before even starting his first class due to extreme anxiety issues. They both suffer depression and extreme anxiety. They could deal when they were in school, with the structure of the school day. As young adults, with little structure, they’ve melted down. They had to be “the best” for their father. Now that they have no relationship with him, they don’t know how to find motivation from within. Everything was externally driven due to his threats and yelling. They never learned how to do things for themselves, because they wanted to, not because they were afraid of disappointing someone else. I pray the find their way through this and find jobs and live good lives. I’m not worried about success or degrees – if they are alive, stable, not miserable, and employed, that’s successful. And for me – five years out and I still have my bad days. The pain just wells up from inside, more about what my kids saw and heard than about the actual abuse I endured.

    And the abuser? Still the pillar of the church, Mr. Big Man in the community, convinced everyone I’m the crazy one… you know the story!

  36. Coffee says:

    Here’s to hoping my story helps someone. I’m a giver. I will find the good in everyone. I’m also a fighter, I don’t just give up. All thee above is a perfect lil playground for Narcs!
    I met my Narc at 15yrs. He was 21. I was pregnant by 17yrs. Married at 18yrs. Second baby at 19yrs. Together for 8yrs. Aside from my children, those were the darkest moments of my life, which also almost cost me my life. I don’t think I have to detail ya to no end in order for you to relate. I’m sure you’ve all had sleepless nights, cut phone cords, clothes ripped off you due to being inappropriate in the Narc’s eyes. Pinching under the table at dinner. I tried to leave so many times, but he would find me. I thought the only way I could be safe or free was to end my life. Then my children sat heavy on my heart. If I were gone he would raise them. No. No. Ironically the people who saved my children & I were lifetime friends of the Narc. They gave me strength. Out of the blue I was just fed up. One night, same as many before he was shaming, and belittling me in front of our friends, laughing while “playfully” slapping me upside the head before they left to hunt. I didn’t realize it then, but the look of empathy on our friend’s faces started a FIRE in my soul. I watched as the lights faded, I moved quicker than a superhero! Kiddos & I were LONG GONE before he even thought to come home. I went to a place he didn’t know of. I stayed there for days. My detailed escape plans were useless, as I left with nothing.. As days passed I grew stronger. You don’t realize how alienated you are until you’re away from that twisted environment the Narc created. He finally got ahold of me again thanks to the (family courts). One Christmas eve on his parenting time ended with him holding a loaded double barrel shot gun to my head while the kiddos were fast asleep in my car. Him attacking me, putting cigarettes out on my chest, ripping my hair out, cutting my face w/ icicles. Ramming his truck into my car w/ kiddos in it. All in the presence of his new friend, who tried to stop him, but didn’t succeed. I had to fight back or he was going to kill me. I MANIPULATED my narc, by agreeing with his version of reality, begged for his forgiveness, enough to get the gun far away. He wasn’t finished though, and I knew it. He attacked me again. Visual* I’m 4’10-90lbs. Vs 6’4 195lbs. I didn’t panic, because I expected the attack. He pinned me under him w/ his knees, I waited for the balance I needed, pinched his thighs (his own under the table) move, then I kicked him as hard as I could in his face with my high heel, then ran like hell!!! The police did nothing, because I fought back. Fast forward 5yrs. He found a new wife/ victim. He went through therapy, became a new person, sorry for everything he ever did etc. Etc. Fast forward 6yrs, still married, has a daughter. Our youngest son wants to live with dad, thinking all fairness he deserves to know dad.. WRONG!!!!!!!!! I let my guard down!! Narcs don’t change EVER!!!! It’s been 16yrs and his main goal is still to destroy me.. I’m stronger than ever, he will fail, and soon..Hopefully you will leave this abuse. When you do, NEVER trust, or let your guard down w/ the narc!!!! Always have police or another person involved when you’re forced by courts to deal w/ the narc, never go alone!!! Never become soft or pity the Narc!!! Live in a BLACK N WHITE world when dealing w/ the Narc, it stops their Grey clouds from being able to form, which they need in order to distort (reality). Don’t give up, you’re srtong, and deserve HAPPINESS!!!!!! GOD BLESS!!

  37. PS says:

    Thank you. Based on all the responses, you’re making a lot of women feel a little less alone. Your life was my life for years. I’m so impressed by your awareness. Although I had brief glimpses during the marriage, I quickly stuffed them down. “He’s perfect, we’re a happy family!” Plus, I never would have left on my own – I wouldn’t have done that to my children (at least that was my perspective at the time). However, then I found out about the affairs and the draining of the home equity line and his lists of expectations for me. Briefly, I tried to suck it up for the “good” of the kids. But one day it hit me, this is only the tip of the iceberg and my children deserve better than having a schmuck for a mother. So, I got a house I can afford and we started divorce proceedings. The divorce will be final any day now (just under 2 years since the separation). It hasn’t been easy, but I’m thankful everyday for all the nasty stuff that forced my hand. My children are so much better off now. I’m still rebuilding but I’m stronger and more stable than I ever was with him. And I’m engaged with my life in a way I’d forgotten was possible. I’m also very lucky because our friends did get a glimpse behind his mask and I’m surrounded by support. Even with this support from family and friends, however, the self-doubt created in the marriage runs very deep. I can’t fathom facing this process without a large group of people who know I’m not crazy and see him for what he is. For the women who don’t have that support but are still able to face their situations, my respect for you is tremendous. I also think I’m lucky because he’s about to marry his mistress. I guess that sounds strange I’m done with the hurt and betrayal of the infidelity – I’m so much better without him. What I feel really lucky for is that she is providing a ready dose of narcissistic supply to him. I think this supply has kept the divorce lower conflict than it would have otherwise been. And I feel compassion for her, she’s desperately trying to be a perfect stepmother and meet all of his expectations – she hasn’t realized yet that this isn’t possible. And she has nobody, no friends or family for support. It’s an odd feeling to feel compassion for the other woman. My friends believe that the other woman will be coming to me for support in a few years and I’d like to think I will be there for her. Anyway, thanks for your story and for bringing all of us together. The more women can read about others in similar situations the more they can understand their own lives and feel less alone.

  38. KRYSTAL C says:

    I am in the thick of it right now. Wavering on that fence of whether I really need to leave or not with our four girls, am I still the crazy one, and so on and so forth. This is not an easy path and unfortunately I am glad I am not the only one who feels like this, although I wish no one had to go through all this…

  39. Kate says:

    I sit here, tears pouring down my face as I relate to every word written. I’ve been away for just under 5 months. It’s so hard, I have three babies under 4, but I got out. I’ve finally started to find my light again, my smile. I won’t go into everything I’ve had to do to make it out alive, but we did. Being here to share my story with other women is empowering, and emotional. Thank you for sharing your story, and letting us know, that we are survivors, warriors.

  40. Ruth Ann says:

    Your story describes it so perfectly. I hope you don’t mind if I share mine in return. It took something drastic for me to finally leave, but I haven’t looked back. I’m now a house-mom for an addiction recovery program and I speak to women about recovering from abuse.

    My story is still under construction and editing, but here is the raw form:

    The Woman He Thought He Knew
    by Ruth Ann McGrew
    She saw him this past weekend for the first time in eight years. In an effort to wound and manipulate, he said to her, “Our son told me that you have been a good mother since you left me. However, I told him that the good woman he sees in you is not the woman that I knew”.

    She thought about what he said and considered the woman that he thought he knew.
    The woman that he thought he knew had very low self-esteem when he met her. She was lonely and longing to love and be loved.

    After he married her, he began to tell her that she was beneath him and that he only married her to lift her out of poverty and save her from herself. She accepted what he said and did everything she could think of to prove her love and her worth; it was never enough for him.

    He often told the woman he thought he knew, “You are not a good mother and should not have custody of our children if anything happens to me or our marriage.” After he told her that he had gone to a lawyer and drafted a will naming his parents as guardians of their children, she lived in daily fear of losing them. Because of her fear, she distanced herself emotionally from him and the children.

    The woman he thought he knew caved in under pressure when he told her that because he earned the money, he should have what he wanted, whenever he wanted it. If she refused to give him the things he wanted, he said, “I will leave you, take the children with me, and go find someone who will give me the things that I want!” So she gave him the things he demanded, and lied about their ever-increasing debt.

    The woman he thought he knew put up with years of verbal, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse because she didn’t think anyone would believe her. He was an honorably discharged veteran from a “good” family. He was highly educated and had a high paying job. So, she stepped in between him and the children when he lost his temper, but never once hit back or called the police out of fear that they would never believe her and things would only get worse.

    The woman he thought he knew obeyed him when he told her that she had to start going to school in the evenings in order to make herself more valuable to him. But then, she became suspicious. Their 13-year-old daughter started sucking her thumb at night and asking her not to leave. When she asked if anything was wrong, their daughter said, “No mom; I just miss you when you’re gone.” Then, their daughter started gaining a lot of weight and seemed to hit puberty and develop almost overnight. When she insisted to him that something was wrong and their daughter needed to visit the doctor, he told her to stop making fun of their child’s development.

    Still, she remained uneasy, so she began to cut class and stay at home. She stopped sleeping at night and stayed awake, watching. When he left for work, she got what sleep she could. She was constantly on guard for several months, but one day she finally relaxed her guard. He gave her a list of errands to do and sent her out for the day. However, she came back early and found him locked in the bedroom with their daughter.

    The woman he thought he knew confronted him timidly, afraid of what he might do. He told her he was glad that she knew and that it would never happen again.

    The next day, the woman he thought he knew left their home with their daughter. When she came back home that afternoon, accompanied by their pastor, he suddenly began to realize that he had never known her at all.

    Because, the woman he had never known at all went into their home and packed things for their son and herself. (There was no need for their daughter to pack; she had a bag already packed in her closet because she had been preparing to run away.)

    When the woman he had never known at all told his family what had happened, they told her to go home to her husband and improve herself for him so that he would never do it again. They begged her not to ruin his life and throw away all that the two of them had been working to achieve. They told her that if she kept quiet, she would never lack any material thing. In spite of their pressure, pleading, and promises, she turned him over to the authorities.

    After he was arrested, he and his family began to try to intimidate her financially and emotionally; they even began to manipulate the children. However, the woman that none of them had ever known at all refused to back down. She fought for her children and their physical, emotional, and psychological health and well-being. When the family continued to fight against her, she struggled to keep the peace and maintain a relationship between them and the children. However, they left her with no other option but to limit their access. When they refused to put aside their anger and work with her for the welfare of the children, she took them to court in order to temporarily cut off all contact.

    On the day he was finally sentenced to prison, the woman he had never known at all spoke in court. Shaking from head to toe, with her mother standing on one side, and a close friend on the other, she told the judge about the abuse and intimidation, and how horrible she felt about failing to protect her daughter. In spite of his apology for what he had done, and his plea for a lighter sentence than the one he had agreed to accept, he was sentenced to 20 years, of which he served only 7 and ½.

    Now, it had been almost two years since he had gotten out of prison and their son wanted to visit his dad. When she dropped their son off for his visit, she hoped to see some sign that his dad had changed and had repented of what he had done. Instead, she found that he behaved toward and spoke to her as he always had. After all, the woman he thought he knew would have been devastated by his words. However, the woman he had never known at all felt only sorrow for his unwillingness to change.

    Still, that one thing he had said kept echoing through her mind. After considering it carefully, she realized something; she was not the woman he thought he knew. In fact, she never had been. The woman he had never known at all had always been there. Years of intimidation and abuse, and the fear of losing her children had just driven her into hiding. Although she had been afraid to fight for herself, when her children needed her the most she found the courage to step into the light and fight for them.

    With each passing day, traces of the woman he thought he knew are harder to find. Meanwhile, the woman he had never known at all, the woman who she was created to be, grows stronger and shines more brightly.

    Now that her own fight is over and her children are grown, she has decided to complete her education. With the knowledge she has gained and the new skills she learns, she will reach out at every opportunity to women who are as she once was. She will take them by the hand, look into their eyes and say, “You don’t have to live in fear”… “You were made to shine”… and “You are so much stronger than the woman he thought he knew.” July 23, 2014

  41. Janiel says:

    This is so on point to the t crazy

  42. Jamie Moore says:

    It was like reading my own life.

    I was there for a decade. I ignored the cheating on the first year even the yelling and the game blame. I wasn’t always right. Not even a good mother to our newborn baby girl. His mother said, he was just out of sorts. It will pass. Every man goes to that same phase. I believed her like I believed him, that he loved me. Everyone liked him. I became the bad guy. Our son was born, the cheating became more rampant, the accusation that it was all my fault, that I was not a good wife, not even a good mother. On the 5th year, I was pregnant again. Everything spiraled like I was crazy. I cried in my sleep. I did not wanna wake up anymore. The woman can even come to our home, be friends with his family. She can go with them to family affairs. I still stayed until the kids saw, heard and lived with me in the abusive relationship. It’s when they cried one night, which snapped me from that state. They wanted to leave asap. They cannot take the beatings anymore. I saw their behinds with more than a couple of red lashes. I hugged them.

    Women like us need more strength to leave. We need a strong force to drive us away from that dim, miserable pit and I found it from my kids. I wanna protect them and I did. We’re all in a better place now.

  43. Jamie says:

    I don’t have any words to say. I just left officially a few weeks ago and my life has been drowning in depression since. I haven’t know what to say or what to tell people. No one understands and I don’t trust anyone with my life’s information. Reading this was a Godsend. It’s almost like I wrote it because it’s everything that I have been feeling and thinking written down on paper. Thank you for writing this. It has saved me today. It hurts knowing there are so many going through this too but at the same time it gives me comfort that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy

  44. Jennie says:

    I was with a narcissist for 7 years. Fortunately, I was only engaged to him. After 2 years of trying to fix the relationship and threatening to leave I did leave. I had to or he would have killed me. He even admitted that he knew one day his rage would go to far and he would kill me. Even admitting that, it was my fault for making him angry. Because we were only engaged and had no children l was able to just grab a few belongings and flee. (I left work early and got out before he could get home.) He then drained my bank account and wrecked my credit. When tax time rolled around he claimed me as his dependent and I had to straighten that out. When he tracked me down he tried to threaten to have the police arrest them for kidnapping. (I have no doubt the threat was just to make them nervous and make me leave, then I’d have to go back to him.) I ended up getting a restraining order and had a court order to get my belongings. He kept trivial things. For example, he kept my high school graduation tassel. He claimed it was rightfully his because (according to him) if not for him I would have never graduated because I was far too stupid. (It was just a tactic to keep me engaged in his games.) And of course there was the slander. Anyone and everyone he could tell it would be how much he loved me, how I’ve always done everything I could to hurt him but he loved me so much it didn’t matter, and I’d left him emotionally and financially devestated. (Funny thing how he was financially devestated, but credit cards had been taken out in my name and had his debts paid off with them, and then in less than a year he had bought a brand new home…) I get angry sometimes, but mostly I’m glad I’m not with him. All of that was worth my life. Fifteen years later and he still uses the slander. He’s a known name in the local LGBT community now. He has a popular blog and he still will write complaining about how awful my leaving was. His followers stroke his ego, but he has been smart enough not to put my name in writing. I made it out alive though, and I’ve been happy since getting out. I have damage from it. (I have anxiety problems and I’m on medication for them.) It wasn’t easy, but escaping hell isn’t easy.

  45. Em says:

    This could have been written by me. I’ve nearly left everyday for the last 6 weeks. You’re right no one gets why we stay and the “victim blaming” that goes with it keeps us here longer. We are not stupid, we don’t bring it on ourselves and we didn’t make our own bed to lay in. A clever manipulative abuser did but still it’s us that is expected to leave our whole life behind, to better ourselves and even in some cases prove our worth as parents. People don’t realise that leaving is not the end of a long battle, it’s the beginning.

  46. Taylor says:

    Thank you for writing this. I left this exact relationship about 7 months ago. And it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But one day I had enough and told myself my children were not going to live like this anymore, and watch someone abuse me everyday. I decided to put my children first. I finally got over that hill, I finally got the strength to get to the other side. And every other woman can too! Stay strong!

  47. Sandra says:

    I have been married to a Narc for 20 years. It is only in recent months that I came to realize this. Finally some clarity to the maddness I could never understand. He has since raped me and this may sound crazy but I considered it a blessing. Since that happened I gained control over some of my life. If I report him he goes to jail which would ruin him and we all know he can’t stand to look bad in anyone’s eyes. My boundaries that he never respected are being enforced now. I know it’s a long road to freedom but I’m on my way. Even though this man was so abusive during the entire marriage I am greatful for it. I am also greatful for my inlaws. They have all taught me how not to be, how not to treat people. This life experience has brought me closer to God and I will never look back. We have 2 children, separated and still living in the same house so the no contact can be hard. Most of what needs to be discussed about the kids is done through text (always do things in writing with these type of people). If you are in this same situation understand that you must stop caring, you have to let go because it no longer matters, it never did. I don’t care if he finds someone else, I don’t care that he feels the need to hid things from me. He has no redeming qualities I care to save. Him and his entire family are toxic and I will live the rest of my life protecting my children from that.

  48. Renee says:

    More women might leave abusive marriages IF there was actual support, hope and help! There’s NO emergency housing to help while women relearn being social, getting a job, therapy, etc,.. believe me, i know! If u are lucky enough to find room in a shelter that u can take ur kids, ur in a worse position if u don’t have family, friends like myself.. I couldn’t go to job interviews cuz who would watch my kids? Here could i work? I was so duped! Police tell u, u will have support, help, they will get u section 8, etc..what did i actually get? Trying to juggle cooking for 20+ people while making sure my kids were at my side (can’t even shower without them with u! ), struggling to figure out where to go everyday with four small toddlers, how to feed them during this time, etc..

  49. Brandy says:

    I can’t tell you how many people say one day you will wake up and be done, or I’m sorry your in this position. I know they are and I know I will one day but I get tired of hearing it. Your words have never been so true!! Thank you for this it’s good to know im not the only one out there and yes I know there are others but I don’t talk about it and neither do they so its hard to know!! I hope that one day I get the courage to leave

  50. Marlyn says:

    So true especially that part of waiting for something so bad to happen that you can’t possibly stay…. I waited and waited and waited…. Then it happened. Now I’m out the other side with my two tiny children and I wished I loved myself more never to have waited so long to leave. Love yourself ultimately. It’s the only way to escape. Xxx

  51. Lisa says:

    Dearest s.s., my heart broke as I read your post. I lived that life for 12 years before I escaped. I will be praying for you from this day on. Please dig deep and find the strength to go forward, leave that life and all behind, return to your parents if need be but don’t settle for that kind of life. God loves you and you do matter. You deserve to be happy, as happy as you can be

  52. Michelle says:

    When I was reading this..for a minute I thought it was me talking. Every word you said is my life. The only thing is – I’m not married. Just have two kids with him. And you want things to change so bad. Wondering if the next day he will be sweet or actually be calm & not have an outrage over nothing and blame you. It’s a constant stuck, trapped emotion. You wanna run to everyone so they know your Pain. Yet, at the same time you want no one knowing bc you are so fearful you don’t follow through with leaving him. My man is very handsome. Not charming though. So it’s still a struggle. I’ve been in this mess for 7 years now.

  53. amy says:

    I have no body i pray he leaves me alone

  54. Miki Dear says:

    Would it be ok to post this on FB?

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      yes, go ahead! <3

    2. Samantha Matthews says:

      Yes! Please do!

  55. Mss says:

    Great article… Two words: GET OUT… Find a way to get out… My narc fooled and me if one can fool me he can fool Anyone… I was one of the most distrusting and “walled off” people you can imagine and he fooled ME.. I knew “something” wasn’t right after the first year of marriage.. Took me another year and a half to figure it out… ( I immediately started documenting EVERYTHING and I mean everything! ) As soon as I figured it out, everything fell apart… The horrific verbal arguments.. The vortex of arguments that you can never get out of.. Crazy making, gas lighting, the never ending lies… Then he began stalking me… I continued to document everything.. Took out an order of protection, he broke it 3 times and ended up in jail for 5 days.. He tried to RUIN me financially but thank God I had a prenup…..divorce should be final in a couple of weeks but I know he’ll never let me have peace… I’m still suffering from paranoia, fear and depression…

  56. Suzanne says:

    I’ve found you today through a quote I found on Pinterest. I was just looking through my feed and a quote about Narcissistic behaviour was there – it was like someone had read my mind and written down what I was thinking and feeling. From there I scrolled down and then went on to find your website. Firstly I want to say how brave you are, the help you are giving women you are also bravely living through this is incredible. I have felt lost for so long, like I was alone and simply going mad. For the first time in a long time I have hope.
    So….. My story. I have been in love with a Narcissist for 5 years. I have known him for 7, I watched his previous two girlfriends treat him ‘terribly’, I supported him as a friend through both. Each time he had a new girlfriend within weeks, the last time that new girlfriend became me. The first 4 months was AMAZING. I’d never been treated so well, he was everything I’d ever hoped for. Then slowly, things began to change. It was very subtle at first, and I just thought it was because he’d been hurt so badly before. I blamed his previous girlfriend for so much, I used what she’d done to him and an excuse for his behaviour. I know now who the real victim was, and I feel awful for every bad thought I’d ever had about her. A year in, we moved in together. It was far away from all my friends and family – but nearer his work. I became isolated and lonely, when I leaned on him for support – he was cruel and abusive. After 6 months, I actually managed to leave, I went back to my parents, I was devastated.
    It took him 2 months to win me back with false promises, clever wording, ‘gas lighting’. By the time we were reunited he’d convinced me my behaviour since moving changed, I’d changed, and I had took full responsibility for the break up. My parents were furious, but no one could convince my otherwise. Within a month, he was back to being the real him, but this time worse. After 4 months I left again. This time I did everything right. No contact. I started yoga, got really healthy, slim. I got close to my friends and family again. It was a hard but happy 2 months. Then our friends got married. I had been ‘uninvited’ to the wedding as they’d sided with him after the break up, but it was at the reception that he got really drunk and apparently after seeing how happy our married friends were – he called me. He reached out to me. He apologised. He cried for hours down the phone, took responsibility for things I didn’t even think he’d realised he’d done. And then I did the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. I met up with him and decided to take him back.
    In the 3 years since we’ve broken up and gotten back together several times. I’ve given up my business of 10 years to move closer to him, only for him a month later to leave his job and move back to where we started. I’ve lost friends, left jobs, made really bad decisions – all because of him. At one point, I became so depressed and anxious I was nearly sectioned. My family cannot understand how one person can have such a hold over their bright, educated, kind and otherwise happy daughter. But it didn’t matter how bad it got, I couldn’t leave him. Whenever I tried, and I tried, I’d convince myself to go back.
    Then 4 months ago, something happened. After a particularly bad week of his mind games and ignoring me (a punishment he loved to play) we met up and he told me it was over. He had met someone else. Hi sister’s best friend to be exact. A friend that I had watched him getting closer and closer to over the last month, that he had told me I was pathetically paranoid for no reason about. After nearly 5 years, he walked away with someone else and hasn’t looked back. No explanation, no apology, nothing. I am finally free, but I am devastated. He has been controlling me for so long – I no longer know who I am. I am lost. My head knows this is the best thing in the world that could have happened, the rest of me is mourning a love that didn’t even really exist. Because it was love, not on his part. When he said forever, he never meant it, I was simply a supply, and now he’d found a new one. He has turned so many people against me, made me look like a crazy jealous ex who he’s lucky to have got away from. And still, for some insane reason I cannot understand – I miss him. I live in this endless cycle of hating him and loving him. It’s torture. It’s been four months and it’s not changing. But by reading your words on here I no longer feel alone. I know that this will eventually end, that one day I WILL be happy, be loved, I will have a good life.
    To everyone reading this, it’s your kindness, your compassion, your genuine goodness that attracts these people. It’s because you shine so bright that they come. Even when your light has been dimmed, or completely snuffed out – you will shine again. One day, hopefully soon, I will shine again.

    1. Mss says:

      Hi Suzanne… What you’re saying makes perfect sense… People who’ve never been In a relationship with a narc have no idea what we go/have gone through…the best way I can explain the love/hate feeling is this: these people have a dual personality… We grieve the loss of the “good” personality one and hate the “bad” one … I believe with all my heart they have a split personality…my divorce is final March 8 ( I filed on January 8) and he’s already moved on to his next victim..(publicly that is, I’m sure he had Indiscretions many times during my marriage)…. Be strong were better off alone and happy than with them and miserable

  57. countrygirl2angels@outlook.com says:

    This is exactly where I am now. No one understands why I can’t leave a man who has now qualms about hurting me physically & in every way possible. He has told my family that he will kill for his kids, hmmm. He has made me believe he would. How do I leave knowing my life is literally in jeapordy? You put my life perfectly into words, thank you!

  58. Rhiannon says:

    My heart goes out to all the women who have experienced this. It’s so easy to think we are the crazy ones with all the projecting they do. But on the “good” days, they make us feel so good that we forget the reality. It’s reassuring to know I’m not alone in what I endured with a narc and please know you all are not alone even if it feels that way!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thats the hardest part, not every day is a bad day. But if we sit back, remove our feelings, and really analyze, the good days aren’t really that great. Its just the difference from the bad days is so extreme and we are so used to the shadow of abuse, that they feel amazing by comparison.

  59. Mari says:

    Unfortunately my husband was on the receiving end of this from his ex wife, we are still dealing with his PTSD and it’s been a while since the divorce. The really sad and horrible thing of it is, is that they have children that she uses against him/us. Fortunately they are in play therapy, but coming from a narc mother they have a long road ahead of them. Power to the men and women who can break away from this toxicity, I hope everyone can find the healing and support they desperately need.

  60. Robin says:

    I filed for divorce, 6 months ago from my narc husband of 17 years. My narc husband gradually degraded from a “great guy” to emotionally and mentally abusive to more physically abusive towards me and my children in the last few years because he felt he wasnt doing anything wrong, he got away with so much because I just put up and shut up, made excuses for his behavior, etc. He felt empowered to control and abuse without consequences. A chance encounter caused me to meet someone who has changed my life. I met someone who was not fooled by what he saw between my ex and myself because of what he has experienced in his own life and pointed out just how dangerous of a situation I was in and that I kept my children in. His honesty, persistance and the fact that he didn’t turn a blind eye like everyone else (you know, it wasn’t their business so they said nothing, family included) is what brought me out of my fog. I am thankful everyday for his friendship and support as I heal from years of abuse and try to teach my children that what had been my marriage was not a healthy way to be in a relationship. Not an easy task without talking badly about me ex. But I carefully do it because I do not want them to suffer in similar relationships. The process of leaving my ex has been like pulling out my heart, trying to put it back in, tearing it out again and puting it back, sometimes you take a turn pulling your mind out and shredding it, then craming it back in your skull as he proceeds with mind games, the “I would have changed if you would have said something”, “you are crazy, you have a hormone imbalance, your menopausal” etc.
    It is still worth leaving and flipping my life upside down, every second that I am away from him I am healing, he was slowly killing me.

    1. Kristina says:

      I am so grateful what you wrote about pulling your heart out and what it feels like starting over….because that’s how I feel everyday and haven’t committed to moving out yet….my children and I found a place but it breaks my heart into million pieces to leave him………I still love but my mind is telling me it’s time to let go and focus on being healthy ….yet, my heart states no……ugh

  61. Taby says:

    Wow! This is exactly the truth. Unless you have an excellent support system when you divorce him, moved as far away as you can from your current location. All his lies about you will make your life a living hell. I am disabled because of my ex and I don’t have the funds to move and stsrt over. 6 years after my divorce and Im still dealing with the lies and treated and judged unfairly.

    I went to counseling, thought I was doing great but he still to this day causes problems for me…in anyway he can. I was married for 25 yrs. I still can’t trust men.

    You seem very intelligent and strong, do what is best for you and your baby and to heck with anybody else’s opinion. I hope for the best for you! God bless you.

    Love your page, as it is relatable and helpful.

  62. Lauren says:

    Record everything. Buy an expensive, good quality microphone and hide it in your bra if you have to. Honestly, from knowing one to many people with narcisstic/borderline traits, it is absolutely the only way anyone will believe the things youre saying. If things escalate downwards or he decides to leave you in a mess he’s created you’ll regret not having his behaviour on record.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I used the microphone app on my cell phone and just kept it in my pocket. It worked very well.

  63. SARAH says:

    I have been in a relationship just like this for 16 years. Have been pushed and prodded to the point where I am suicidal and filled with anxiety constantly. In the past he had legally taken my oldest children from me. I came back to protect my kids and have been accused and attacked at every turn. Have been pushed out of every successful time in my life by his fear and worry for me. The only relief will be when someone dies. That is the last hope I have. Which is a sick and sad future for my kids but I cannot protect them and stay sane much longer. These pins and posts are my only strength. Thank you.

    1. Kristina says:

      I love theses posts too….they help me remain strong during this transition….my husband thinks I should remain cordial and nice to him while he’s dating other women during our “seperation” this so called “legal separation” is while he’s still living under the same roof as his wife and kids!!!! I lost 40 pounds and three out of the four children want nothing more to do with him because of his abuse. They are encouraging me to finally leave him. I hope one day you have that support system.

  64. Corinne says:

    I have been with my husband for three years at first things were great we were best friends and happy then I didn’t see at first but things started getting bad but I just thought it was the bad stud happening in our lives but it was like he used it to his advantage. Deaths in my family”I’ll be there for you no one else cares” you don’t need friends like that they aren’t your friends till I barely had contact with anyone. He had two children and one grown child my age I had my son while we were together but not his biologically. And I stayed for the kids so long and then drugs came in the picture and the kids got took and that didn’t change him it came to point I wish I would die I had severe depression and anxiety and couldn’t get out the bed. I got so tired of being that thing I wasn’t and not having my son was killing me like literally it felt like cause he was my reason to keep going and it was only 3 months of him being gone I got up and was done he didn’t care and didn’t even want to try. I was so tired of crying everyday and him just saying go ahead and f***in cry that’s what you do best that all you ever do why would I care now. Then try to say sorry later when he wanted something. And now that I have my son back it been 2 months apart and I can be happy I can smile and laugh I am still on my anxiety and depression medicine not sure if will ever be able to get off of it but he wants to try again he is sorry he realizes what he was doing wrong he feels terrible a won’t ever do it again but it was so much I don’t think I can do it again I pretty much had to make myself hate him the rest of the way. I just am lost now and he won’t leave me alone and suffocates me with badgering make up my mind he has changed and on and on. I can’t take the stress or any of it

  65. Kristina says:

    I’ve gone through this for twelve years. This year seperated from me because I couldn’t forgive him on his time. He is on three dating websites (one has a picture of our son with him) and he’s been on dates, took the money, and he lives under the same roof as me and our kids. I lost forty pounds in two months, bawled , and couldn’t maintain life. He ignored me and acted as if I were dead. The other day I was pouring my heart out to him and he started to record me because he had asked me to stop and I didn’t. He wanted evidence for his attorney. The other day I was crying again, and he asked sarcastly if I wanted to pause everything and I said I doubt it you’ve been on dates. He said yes I’ve been on dates because I’m allows I’m single and seperated from you. I said first you still live under the same roof as your wife and kids your not single and I would have never hurt you like that. Second, perhaps I should screw other men then. He said go ahead I no longer care. I started to cry all over again because that stung. Now, I understand why I can’t move. When he’s trying to be nice I think there’s still hope, but I told him I can’t be nice to him or talk to him while he’s dating other people. Therefore, I did put up a boundary, but when he asked me the other day how I was…damn it I was on a high all day!!!! Ugh…..my daughter refuses to let me forgive him and my sons have lets face mom you should have left years again. It’s been five months living like this and I’m still freakin scared to leave!!!!! I still want him to wake up and see what he’s missing!!!!!

  66. Sintoya says:

    Thank you so much for that. It means so much to be validated. You described me exactly. I was in deep denial, diagnosed with depression, and although I recovered from depression and got off the meds. I still feel angry and pissed! I’m glad someone understands.

  67. Daniel says:

    Lord knows it’s terrible when you are physically or psychologically abused beyond your limits.
    For all victims male and female alike of which I am one.
    My ex female malignant narcissist is a hairstylist so she has a fresh supply of men in her chair.
    Five years of psychological abuse that if I didn’t tow the line she would immediately climb into bed with one of her clients or the line of ex-boyfriend’s which is substantial.
    Physically there’s no way that she could ever hurt me unless she shot me.
    But there’s nothing more terrifying than walking around on a daily basis afraid to say anything or do anything because you will be immediately replaced with somebody else.
    Her mother controls her life and her stepdad uses his badge (cop) to bully everybody in her life.
    All of her women friends follow the female code of chicks before dudes. They think it’s OK for her to talk to clients seductively, exchange numbers, talk to other men online all behind my back while they just giggle, play and make fun. Her lying cheating and betrayal knows no bounds. Her smear campaign is ferocious but using the exact same people that she talks so horribly about behind their backs.
    Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest all used to either induced panic, fear or jealousy..
    I have absolutely become so angry and hurt that I can’t believe the way that I talk or react anymore. The counselor thinks I have see Complex PTSD. I thought that only happened to veterans in war but it turns out that the same trauma yields the exact same results…
    She was mentally and physically (sexually) abused by her father, brother and mother from the ages of 7 to 15.
    God I just wanted to save her and love her, protect her. Every single relationship she’s ever been in her life someone has hurt her terribly. She has never stayed in a relationship more than a few weeks and now she’s in her early 30s.
    I attempted suicide four times, my son tried to hang himself because she’s never happy, leaves constantly. He couldn’t stand to see me cry any longer. she picked on him so bad and I let her because I thought I was making her happy. I became the enforcer against my will. The shame and guilt I feel is beyond devastating. I lost both of my kids, all my friends and family. Alienated and waiting on her to come back from her next affair. I slept on the couch for three years because she told me that I couldn’t sleep in the bed without her.

  68. Kit DeGraaf says:

    Everything you said here. EVERYTHING. I finally found the strength to leave. The drama still continues & he has turned on full victim mode. But I don’t feel alone anymore. I feel stronger. Slowly, I’m becoming me again. Thank you for your words. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

  69. Coach mom says:

    I do so hope that you’ve left by now. From 14 to 28 I spent my days ready to leave tomorrow. Pregnant at 16 i was thrown into a locker, the first time he’d ever been physical with me, and i chalked it up to stress. I left anyway, for 3 years, and then went back to “fix the family that my stupidity had broken” he preached. I believed him. 9 years later the abuse escalated to the extreme. Never leaving a mark on my face so no one knew. So i ran. I left the state sending him an email on my way telling him to be gone before i got back. Easy, right? I spent the next year hiding from him. I paid his cell phone bill so the tracking program i installed would alert me if he was close. Then one day it just stopped.
    Our son asked shortly after if daddy was ever coming back. Bawling i told him no. At the young age of 12 he just looked at me and said, “Good.”

  70. Jeunesse says:

    This is so powerful! I have recently come out of an abusive relationship of almost 3 years. Thinking back, I thought that he would someday change. That he only “criticized” me because he loved me. That he said every time he laid a hand on me, it was an accident. I forced myself to believe every damn excuse that he had. In the end, he ended it because he found someone else. But I have never been happier and I have never found so much strength as I am now coming out of that type of a relationship. There is hope out there, you just gotta grab on and decide for yourself that you deserve so much better! xxxx

  71. LucyB says:

    Thank you for this. This is where I am now after finding out my husband has been gambling thousands, cheating on me and constantly lying to me for 6 years. But for some reason he has me in his grasp and I dont feel I can get out. Not yet. I want to. But the day to day has taken over, the home, work, the kids… and I’m not sure who I am anymore.
    What you’ve written is exactly what I’m living.

  72. Robin says:

    16 yrs ago I finally was able to say enough, that I wasn’t going to take it anymore, more so my kids didn’t deserve that. It was in the “good” moments I made that decision, that’s how I realized it was right. It seemed normal to be fighting and say forget this crap, but that day, I remember clearly. He changed me, I’m not the hopeless romantic anymore, I’m able to be more reasonable, not sure if that’s a good thing. There is hope, it’s not easy, but it’s easier to be happy to be waking up with the kids craziness and not his same old self… I pray for those living in this, those just starting to live it, and those who still have flashbacks of the bad times.
    God Bless

  73. Lisa A. Volosin says:

    I just left. I didn’t even know that I was living in this. I mean I know and close family was becoming concerned. But I put so much stock in those good days. My heart is breaking and I don’t know if I’m ever going to get through this.

    1. Cathy says:

      You can do this. Stay strong. It won’t change, so you need to. Rooting for you!!

    2. Daniel says:

      For your sanity and your kids you have to get away.
      I did after 5 years finally get her out of my life.
      But not until I lost my kids, house, multiple jobs and almost my life to attempting suicide a couple times.
      My oldest son tried to hang himself to make her happy. Said he heard her say ” if he was gone, gone.. Then we’d be a happy family”
      And what did I do. Tried to please her more and more. Maybe if I just _____. She’s stop cheating and lying. If I ______ she’d just be loving and happy for more than a couple days.
      Maybe if I …. God knows what, nothing worked.
      I finally erupted, something I have never done and told her to get away from me.
      She swore she loved me with her whole heart and moved in with another guy that weekend.
      Began rubbing my face in her new awesome relationship and using social media to smear me horribly.
      I’m in a Coda group and individual psychotherapy now.
      I have a hearing at the end of next month and may get my kids back pending a psychological evaluation.
      I am regaining my life and my emotions finally. No contact is the only way to be free from the anguish yet my mind too is full of doubt and regret. But like any massive wound does heal a little each day. I now eat regularly, have begun to exercise and ironically people are opening up and asking me for advice and help. Which amazes me because there are still days I can’t stop crying long enough to shower and get dressed. What possibly can I say. I never thought I could be so weak or pathetic. I hear my fathers words ringing that a MAN should blah blah blah. Honestly I’m as far removed from his Marine Corpe strengths as I could be.
      Somehow, I am making it, bit by bit.
      Friends and family are starting to return into my life and I am so grateful for each and everyone of them.
      It’s been the hardest thing I have ever had to do getting her out of my life. Still I want to live more than this miserable existence. I miss my kids so much… All I want to do is hold them and tell them I love them and that’s my strength when I feel like I can’t breathe or focus.
      Today was a very tough day.
      But it’s so much better than the best day with her…
      Please RUN…
      No contact…
      Save yourself and your children..

  74. hank says:

    I’m a guy here writing.. and I wanna say thank you for putting into words what many experience (regardless of sex)

    personally I grew-up in a family full of Narcissists.. it’s as if they fed off one another in some kind of competitive way like a game of King/Queen of the mountain against their target (HOWEVER)

    when ever they were/are around those they sought to or seek too impress or carry on with their facade’ish life of being generous, gratious, caring, loving, OVER empathetic and even sympathitic which ironically is also how they behaved towards their target..

    I say target and used the past-tense merely because like this author of this piece.. I’ve come to identify those who were toxic and manipulative and distanced myself from them as well as anyone who exhibits the same behavior same glances same decieving deceptive smiles .. typically referred to as “Back Stanbers” by anyone who experienced being manipulated.

    sadly as I write this.. I’m reminded of so much, like as a teen keeping my friends away from my family as much as possible including a girl I totally wanted to marry and spend my life with. NO imm not boo wooing please read on.. this has a happie ending..

    in years past only being able to discribe my family (i.e.) mother and older sister for example, as the most Friendlist, loving, warm and kind people you would ever wanna meet.. with the disclaimer don’t turn your back to them cos they’ll back stab you..

    fast forward 25 years.. that girl who I wanted to marry and spend my life making happie.. well.. she her self met a fella after my “Wonderful” family got to her and played nice and kinda messed up her head at 17 and from the age of 18 til her and I began talking again she was in a relationship (Marriage) with a Guy who was the exact way towards her as my family had been towards me.. she lived 20 some years afraid to leave him and pretending he was Mr Wonderful doing everything for him and wondering why nothing was ever enough..

    she pinned this pin to her Pinterest and this is how I saw this article. for the past several years I’ve in myy element waking up soo happie her and I were on speaking terms again after repairing all that was done by Narcissists whose only motive to interfere in my life was nothing more than for them to feel a sense of accomplishment as Kings and Queens..

    better still my h.s sweet heart and I have been back together for about a year now.. she was strong enough to file for her Civil Divorse from an Abusive Relationship tho she tells me she did it because of me and I was her strength.

    I love her soo very much and for all those who suffer at the hands of Narcissitic abusers whose only marks are the distraction they cause to lives and the quality of life they hinder their targets from enjoying.. I wanna share this thought with you’s..

    as long as you love or try to love a person who is Narcissistic.. you will Never beable to please them enough.. and it will make you feel your distorted by your efforts.. (self blame that you didn’t do enough)

    I wish everyone who is a target of a Narcissit to reach out to a best friend (same sex) and confide and seek support to distance yourself from those who see nothing wrong with Manipulating others for their own self of achievement..

  75. Penny says:

    For 9 of the 9 and half years I was with my ex the control he held over me sent me to hell and still I am clawing myself out. The control began 3 months into our (and my first long-term) relationship, when I lost my job due to pregnancy issues. Your write up is exactly how it progressed with me. May 2015 I typed all his characteristics and for the first time realised he may be narcissistic. By then I had hit rock-bottom and believed all the nasty things he said I was and believed I deserved to be treated like the crap because he said I made him become this way by not putting before everyone or letting him do whatever he wanted. I knew then, I had a tough slow carefully not quite scenic road to leave him. But 4 weeks ago I was finally broken, prepared to finally not fail and cut myself from the world so he and our kids can finally be happy. I couldn’t do it, instead I asked him if he could please see what he is doing and at least come home 3 times a week to be a family. Worst question I could have asked him. I have no idea how he interpreted my text, but all of a sudden he declared war, totally scared me, that was 3 weeks ago. I packed all my clothes, paperwork and anything he would destroy to hurt me or stop me, and the kids and we fled the house before he got back from work and socializing. He demanded the kids back, then changed his mind and went out drinking without letting me know, leaving us sitting around waiting for him, still. 2 weeks ago I couldnt get the hundreds of texts full of vitriolic belittling he’s sent out of my head. I believed I stuffed up by leaving him, hurting him and not having the decency to talk, even though I know it would be him saying I stuffed everything until I break and agree and apologise and accept I deserve to be treated poorly. Last night I found you blog and I realised that I think im on the right road, very bumpy, bu I know have no reception for him. I am now going down the no contact road, the find where I am going to pop out road… im hitting the open road to free my mind of him. Thankyou, for if I didnt find out others have and do go through this too, I would have just considered myself scum of the earth fornot being good enough for him, therefore not worthy of life. Im glad I failed his masterplan of keeping me worthless to empower himself.

  76. Jennie says:

    Thank you. I bawled thru the entire thing. After 15 years, I finally have a plan and one committed foot out the door. I’m terrified and sick and weak from stress. My support is a thousand miles away. I’m alone in HIS city and won’t be able to move home without court permission. You have perfectly expressed my daily thoughts and emotions. Thank you. Now please take that step with me and leave. My only thought now is oh how i wish i had left before my toddler grew into a teenager and asked me to take us both out of there. Teach your child the peace of a home without chaos. Leave now cause while it might get better, it will never be good. It will never be right. Blessings to you.

  77. Ann Smith says:

    I can’t believe I’m reading this… I’ve been living this life as a narcissists wife for 34yrs..This Man is crazy. I have nothing with this Fool. He’s a mess. I’m homeless.. He’s never been stable. HE HAS MENTALITY ABUSED ME FROM THE START. HE came across wonderful.. Just for me.. My Prince… He’s very education intelligent .He screwed My girls mines up. He use me as his audience just to put me down. And talk about people and curse some terrible. He drinks daily… He so thinks he’s Mr got it going on.. Driving a 1986 Bruick Station Wagon. This man I wish I never met.We haven’t been intimate about 10yrs and I’m 54yrs of age… He always asking me “Who Gonna Love Me Like He Do”.. Lately he don’t eat my cooking and I can never satisfy him. My health has caused me to slow down a lot. This blog has truly been an I opener for me. He’s crazy till after reading others story the light got brighter. I’m convinced he will never change.. He has nothing to offer me nothing. I’ve cried at least 95% of this marriage. I to have had to strokes Shingles Fribromyagial.. He push me off him when shock waves from the shingles was flared up in front of nurses. He was mad cause he drove me to the hospital having a Stroke. I lost my sister about 2yrs ago and it want allow me to mourn. This word NARCISSISTIC is what I been looking for. I knew something is wrong with him. I HATE him he destroy My and My relationship with my Daughters. I want to leave him so bad but I’m not financial to support Myself. He’ll never change and I’m tried of crying trying and been Mentally Abuse…. 34yrs. Wasted…

  78. Stacy says:

    Here is why I stayed;
    I asked him for a divorce when my youngest was in kindergarten and he had me arrested. My youngest just graduated high school.
    My mother who continually told me she would be supportive; added more injury to the situation than insult.
    So I stayed.

  79. Luc says:

    This was very good. I’m glad you wrote this and it helps me a lot. However, the insinuation that only men do this would be the one thing I would change. You constantly use terms like “him” and “he”. Women can do this too. The worst part is they are more protected by laws than men are. This makes it nearly impossible for men to get help. I was physically and emotionally abused by my wife of 5 years. The only time I tried to call police, she began to hit herself leaving marks across her belly. She was pregnant with our first child at the time. If I had called police, I think we all know who would be the one in handcuffs. I am a 6’4 210lb former professional athlete. She is a 5’4 175lb tiny woman. There was no way I would ever have been taken seriously. I am happy to share that I am getting my divorce. In April of this year, her abuse turned from me to our oldest son who is now 4. I called CPS, they told me to get a divorce and have it settled in court. When I asked for a divorce, she pushed me down the stairs. I went to the E.R. and found out that I have two different tears in my knee and will require surgery. Upon returning home, I was forced by police who told me I would be arrested if I did not let her take our children away from our home. I was not charged with anything, but I was forced to let my abusive wife take our 4 year old and 1 year old away from me. I began to ask her for the whereabouts of our children and if she would bring them home. The only answer I got was a order to appear in court where she was granted sole custody of our children until a parenting plan can be put in place. We go back to court in 5 weeks! Since that time I have come home to a completely empty house. She took everything including all of my clothes. She did however leave me my guns and ammunition with a note stating that I knew what I should do next. Even though the court order said she was allowed to take clothing, dressers, and toys for the children, I had to shop for everything new. Clothes, furnishings, refrigerator, oven,..exct. I stayed all those times because she always told me if I would leave her I would never see my children again. I had to protect them. I would come home to our baby locked in his room crying. I came home to all of our childrens toys thrown out of the house. I stayed because I believed that was the only way I could be the father I needed to be for my boys. Bottom line, WOMEN CAN BE THE ABUSER TOO! Stating otherwise is the reason good men have to put up with abuse because the world still views as all women being precious little angels. I pray everyday that I will get the chance to protect my children once again. I pray that I one day will find someone who will love us and treat us the way God has intended. I pray that maybe I can have hope for these things. Please, remember I am not the only one and do not state that men=abuser. Thank you.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. Your ex sounds like a dangerous woman and I am truly sorry for your situation.

      I will add a disclaimer to my articles from now on. Best of luck to both you and your kids. <3

  80. Alone says:

    I really am all alone. Except for my children, two are are autistic and one is as traumatized as I am. I’m scared and don’t know what to do.

    1. Carrie Coyle says:

      I really felt alone and frozen too. I used to write in a journal. That helped some, therapeutic. But I eventually got so sick of being paralyzed with fear, not knowing where to go & feeling stuck. So I reached out to my aunt, who is a psychotherapist 2000 miles from me. She let me talk. She listened. (Something the narc never did.) And she didn’t discount my feelings or opinions. She helped me to locate a therapist in this area. Seeing a therapist led me to long road to freedom. Been divorced from my narc for 7 months now. There is hope, you just have to take the proverbial first step and reach out. Unfreeze yourself. And also, you are NOT alone. We are here!

      1. Tara says:

        Reading these accounts of your lives has convinced me I am not crazy and I can leave 27 yrs married to this drunk narc with drug issues as well but he will vehemently deny everything I just have to walk away and be done with him my emotional and physical health require it all of you are so strong thank you for giving me the strength I need. My children are grown and gone I’ve made plans to have my horses moved there’s not much else I can do about losing my home and farm he will not leave so I will. It’s gonna be nasty but my head is clear enough to know that most will see thru his bull s#$@ and for those that don’t so be it I’m miserable scared and on edge all the time can’t sleep or eat ,,dammed if I do dammed if I don’t I know you all get that saying I just want to be able to relax breath again enjoy the company of friends and family that have been chased away I need to be happy and work and live a joyfully life for my grandbabies

  81. Clairebear says:

    Thank you for this.
    I wish i knew about this along time ago, more people need to be educated in the truth of what it is to be manipulated by a real narcissist..people throw that word around on the daily without understanding it fully..now that word gives me anxiety and cold chills when it’s spoken.

  82. Donna George says:

    Sharing with my boyfriend so he can better understand what I went through for 15 years. He does not get why I stayed for so long, even after I told him that my ex kidnapped our child for 7 months after the divorce was final.

  83. Gina says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Thank you for giving me 5 minutes of sanity. For a moment I didn’t feel quite so alone.

  84. V says:

    This made me cry… you put in words all my feelings and experience. Three years separated and still struggling with his control as we have a child.
    People don’t understand and it is amazingly painful when they think is our fault for putting up with a narc behaviour; they don’t understand that you are being trapped little by little, day by day, word by word…

  85. Lilly says:

    As I read this article I begin to cry realizing everything I’ve gone through and continue going through these past 7 yrs in this relationship is to the T of what I’ve been going through. Its very hurtful to realize these kinds of ppl will never change no matter what one does to better themselves or the relationship. I feel like I’m lost in a haze in his relm and I don’t have the slightest clue how to get out without coming back. However, I thank you for lighting up a light at the end of my dark tunnel.

  86. Kathy Pierce says:

    After 40 years of marriage, I finally got the strength to tell him I was leaving. The next day he tried to have me committed (I have bipolar) and hired a lawyer to file for a divorce and have me committed for 6 months so he could get a quick divorce. The lawyer actually filed a timeline to have the divorce over in 5.months. When that didn’t happend he had already started a slander campaign against me with our three grown daughters as well as our grandchildren. He has used our daughters to do his dirty work while he sits back and plays the victim. It has been 10 months since our temporary hearing, of course he played the victim with all his lies, he has removed 40 years of everything from our home, replaced everything with new stuff,of course he never so much as bought me a new broom and has not just all our community property but all of my personal property as well locked up. The courts want do anything even though he has not followed any rules. The worst part us our middle daughter, who us 40, is finally getting married at OUR home and they have made it clear, I am not invited or wanted there. I don’t know what to do, it takes all I have just to try to find something to continue to live for. He will never let me have my family back, and all of them WERE my life. How can you live with such an evil person and not see what he is doing till it’s too late. What do I do now EXCEPT give you

    1. Sarah says:

      These posts are so familiar. I’ve gone through so much of this as well. I left two years ago after 17 years but the saddest thing of all is I lost my son the process. He chose my ex over me and now will not speak to me at all it’s going on 2 years. I was hurt in my marriage and now hv a different hurt everyday. I miss my son so much.

  87. Chelsea Mitchell says:

    Wow. You have incredible insight. Thank you for sharing and letting me and my family know we’re not alone. I’m the child of a narcissist and ironically my husband is the son of a narcissist sociopath. We understand and it’s nice not to be alone.

  88. Shona Schweitzer says:

    I keep reading and it’s like I’m telling someone about my life. Reading this has just made me burst out crying! How could our lives and what’s happening be 100% the same for me? I am going to let my kids read this because they need to know that what I’m trying to tell them is true. I’ve learned that my protecting them, hiding the truth, crying alone but not too often, has done what I could never have imagined. And I bet you know exactly what that is!! Even though I believe I did what any mother would do in protecting their children, in this case, the outcome has become my nightmare.

  89. lianegregg@outlook.com says:

    I am very proud of all of you for being able to express and talk about how it is, was and how it will be. I was married to an abusive man for 15 years and he destroyed me from the inside out. After it was all over, I continued to hate myself for another 11 years because I still did not understand what had happened. I still didn’t understand how it had happened and blamed myself. Now 12 years after he permanently disabled me, I am finally beginning to start over again, I am almost 45 and attending college fulltime for the first time. I still get very anxious and begin to panic around controlling men, but, hey, we have to start somewhere! But just so you all know, the damage to my emotional state was so bad, I will never be in a relationship again. But at least I am beginning to figure out how to stand and stay on my own two feet!

  90. Cliqmo says:

    This article perfectly describes my husband of 23 years. I have only woken up to his behaviour in the last 10 months and am now in the process of filing for divorce. I hope to have the papers ready in the next couple of weeks. I have kept my plans totally secret and have also been secretly gathering evidence which my solicitor suggested I do. Of course, husband is going to go mental when I announce I’m divorcing him but that’s tough sh*t because I am not putting up with his cr*p any longer.
    I am grateful our kids are late teens/ early 20’s so there will be no custody battle however I know they are also badly scarred by his behaviour. My oldest has actually had a series of counselling sessions to help him. He was able to do this because he was away at university and my husband doesn’t know.
    I also tried some counselling and have mentioned it to my husband during an argument when I told him I was tired of the way his behaviuor affects us. Being a typical narcissist he scoffed at me for going to coUnselling! He also turned the issue away from himself by suggesting if there was a problem I should have mentioned it sooner! Thereby totally failing to take any personal responsibility.
    He also claims he has a right to be angry ( about pretty much anything) and that he can’t control being angry any more than I can control biting my nails! To prove a point I have grown my nails despite being a nail biter for nearly 50 years! This has seriously peed him off!
    Luckily my family are supportive, especially once I explained what me and the kids have put up with for over 20 years, and are backing my choice to leave.
    In a bizarre twist of weirdness I went to see my father in law whom I had dreaded speaking to as he is 90 and I didn’t want to worry him. First thing he said to me was that his son was a horrible person and he couldn’t understand why I hadn’t left years ago! That was from his own father! I then discovered that as well as financially abusing me ( I pay for everything and he pays pretty much for nothing) my husband has also been financially abusing his own 90 year old father by taking money from him repeatedly. We added it up and in the last 9 years alone ( since his mum passed away) he has taken over £80,000 – yes that does read eighty thousand- and hiS dad gave him money as he believed from my lying husband that it was going towards me and the kids when in reality we have had none of it and I have no idea where my husband has spent it.
    I stopped being intimate with my husband nearly 6 years ago when his sexual demands became too much and way too weird and also very time consuming ( to the detriment of my kids I am ashamed to admit) but I was made to feel sexually inadequate if I didn’t want to try out his nasty perversions and as it is impossible to win any argument with him about anything it became easier to just go with what he said in order to keep the peace. I feel ashamed I did this. When I leave him I have no plans whatsoever to ever have sex again because I feel so disgusted.
    Not surprisingly I have suspected him of having affairs for the last few years ( in fact I have suspected it for about 8 years) and recently I discovered he has a stash of condoms, some lubricant, some sex toys and somebody else’s pink knickers hidden in a drawer. It kind of speaks for itself doesn’t it! However, I put his sexual bad stuff at the bottom of my list of bad stuff I’ve put up with as the ongoing relentless emotional abuse is much worse for both me and the kids.
    So I have made steps to divorce him. We will have to sell our lovely house ( I can’t afford to buy him out and he can’t afford to pay for it either ) and he will go most mental about this as he treasures it as his holy shrine and his right – despite paying for sod all of it- and I don’t really care because the whole place is decorated and furnished to his personal taste not mine – I didn’t really get any input because he already had it planned in his head- and so I do not covet any of the furnishings etc as they were all his choices. Oh, his selfishness knows no bounds – he has already stated that he intends to release all the equity in the house when the mortgage is paid off so he has a load of money in his bank account. I said that as far as I was concerned the house was for the kids when we die but his response was that his parents never left him a house so why should he leave his kids one? So very very selfish. Anyway, he won’t be able to do that now as the house will have to be sold. I am secretly pleased that this will really annoy him!
    Of course, I know that divorcing means putting myself and the kids into rented accommodation for probably the rest of my life and that I am giving up owning a house but a house is not worth another 20-30 years of putting up with his cr*p. Nothing is worth staying with this guy.
    I feel myself getting stronger daily and am preparing mentally for the battle ahead because I know he is probably going to be a total b*stard about the divorce. I know it’s gonna get worse before it gets better but hopefully this time next year it will all be done with – divorce done and house sold – and me and the kids can get on with our lives away from this monster.

  91. Penelope says:

    I’m leaving my narcissistic husband. I’ve waited five years for him to change his abusive ways. I’m done. I hope you get out too.

    1. Taby says:

      Honey it’s far better to get out now then to spend 25 years like I did. I missed out on the opportunity to have children but I know it was a blessing in disguise because I would not be able to live with my child being mentally tortured by my ex. Things always look fearful but once you get out there and get around other people in the real world who have experienced and live this they will help and give you encouragement and show you the help in your area for you to get out. It will only do more damage to yourself and your child the longer you stay. He will turn your child against you eventually if you do stay.

  92. Margie Watterd says:

    I had to comment. I saw myself in what you wrote. I felt my pain through you. No one understands that we didn’t marry the nasty, mean, verbally abusive SOB. And you are right. They are charmers. I found that living with a narc is a slow, insidious process. They are very patient. And it sends that once you are sufficiently trapped and vulnerable, usually with young children they let it all hang out! Mine had his doctorate in psychology. He was a master of manipulating me. I am a nurse. A total empathy and healer. The perfect person for a narc. His mistake? He underestimated my strength. He truly mistook kindness for weakness. I was married for 18 years and had 3 kids. He told everyone i was crazy and had ” issues”. He was demanding and demeaning. Yet I stayed. I didn’t have the courage to struggle alone with 3 kids. But I built up walls. His words didn’t hurt. I cared less and less. That was his mistake. One day he tried to get me to react. All day he tried what he could to make me fight or cry. I did not feed intro his hunger for my energy. I laughed at him. He became so angry he punched me in the face and knocked me out. Now he was beginning to flirt with physical abuse but this was his first knock out punch. He got arrested. The police took him away and the kids and I stayed. Trust me. It was an ugly, ugly, ugly divorce. Once he lost all power, and he tried to wrest it back. His kids grew up and he lost his “food” source i.e. emotional energy to feed, he literally shriveled up and died. He left in 1997. Died in 2011. And I thrived. I seriously thrived! There is life and survival after living with an emotional vampire. Get out when you are ready. You already took the first step and identified his kind. Good luck to you.

  93. Kisha says:

    Like so many others I can relate. I left before only to return after believing all the lies. After learning the truth about his type.I feel sick to my stomach. I recently lost my job and along with dealing with this relationship I’ve began to slip back into old behaviors and I hate myself for it. Days like to day make are hard to face and find the strength to plan but I know I need to. I can feel the despair trying to settle in the tiredness and it’s overwhelming.

  94. Mally says:

    My update.. He gets divorce papers this week, hurray. I found out he has been sleeping with at least 4 different women and even a man so my gut feelings about his secret sex life were right, solicitor says we will keep this info as leverage if we need it in the divorce. Within 24 hours of him finding out about the divorce – because he went and opened my post and read a letter from my solicitor -he had removed his wedding ring already!
    He has never known I have suspected him of sexual dalliances for 8 years and he doesn’t yet know I know his dirty little secrets, however when he opened my post he accused me of going behind his back and deceiving him in filing for divorce and that don’t I know when you do that it always comes back around to bite you. Can’t wait for the opportunity to row that back in his face regarding his sex life!
    Xmas will be crap as neither of us can afford to move out so both stuck here until divorce and finances sorted but I look forward to time when me and kids are totally free of this nasty nasty guy.

    1. Lauren says:

      Be strong! I left my narc after 5 years of marriage. Every day you get stronger and become more yourself! It felt like getting out of prison and having to relearn life and how to make you happy. It’s worth every tear, every dollar, every lost friend. I appreciate God guiding me every step of the way!

      1. Mally says:

        Thanks Lauren, I am plotting away for my new life like mad!
        Since finding a stash of his personal sex videos – I initially found about 30 but in last fortnight discovered another 200(!)
        I have discovered he has been cheating on me for at least 12-13 years including bringing some of these people into our family home. It utterly disgusts me that he has no respect for me and the kids and our house.
        I have also discovered he is advertising his sexual services on an adult website and on it he describes himself as bisexual. So he is basically a bloody male prostitute.
        It’s like my life has opened up like a bad soap opera on crack.
        He still has no idea I have uncovered his secret sex life. Sometimes he says really dumb shit that he wouldn’t say if he realised I knew! I turn away and try not to pee myself laughing.
        When our 21 year old son found out about his dads sexuality he declared that at least it made some of his odd fashion choices make sense!
        I am hoping to be out of this place in the summer. The divorce proceedings are going ok and STBXH has agreed to give me a reasonable amount of dosh when I leave. He wants to keep the house and quite frankly now I know what’s been going on in it he can have it.
        I am plotting a confrontation meeting about the secret life. I feel I have right to answers after over 25 years with this guy. I am making a power point with pictures taken from a range of his sex videos!
        We also have a family photo gallery on one wall of the house. I organised and purchased the majority of the pictures and intend to take them with me when I leave. I am considering replacing them with print outs of scenes from his sex tapes! Won’t be there to see look on his stupid face but just the concept is making me laugh.
        And I have to laugh. What is the alternative? Break down in a corner and cry? No, I am not going to let this wanker beat me. He thinks hat once I leave we will remain friends and even go for a drink together sometimes! What a total fuckwit. Moment I’m outta here and all legal shit sorted, finances done etc and he can no longer have any financial power over me I will be going no contact. Obviously the power point thing will occur just prior to this – and unless he’s a total twat he will understand the purpose of no contact due to his ludicrous and unforgivable behaviour.
        I am taking every day as it comes and am still recording our conversations ( though of course as most of us know a conversation with a narcissist is really a one way dialogue with the non- narc interjecting a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ here and there whilst the narc rants on and on about whatever bee is in his current bonnet. ) I am hoping to get tech support to isolate phrases he has said to enhance that PowerPoint!
        In all, since he found out about the divorce he has actually improved his verbal treatment of me and kids. I am building confidence daily and it’s odd how the little things make a difference such as not giving a fuck about how long I am at the supermarket because he’s waiting for his dinner!
        Looking back to this time last year when I had only just discovered what narcissism was and realised that I married one, I can now clearly see that the decision to dump this guy had been sitting in the background of my life for many years but it took his threatening our son to wake me up to it all.
        I wish I’d dumped his sorry ass years ago.

        We all deserve better treatment than this. Our kids deserve better role models than this. Leaving is the only option to become free of a narcs insidious clutches.

  95. Trixie says:

    Wow. I was sitting here reading this almost in shock. I am living the same way. Im 25 and for 5 off the 7 years ive been in this twisted relationship my self esteem and sanity have been slowly ripped away from me. I no longer feel human anymore. Deep deep down somewhere i have an opinion and there are things i enjoy doing. I never could imagine that a person could lead me to feel absolutely worthless, hidious, stupid. To have a person you love let you know that you mean nothing to them, even though you tried 100% of the time to make them happy, is a low feeling. But when they let you know they feel that way and choose not to leave is mind altering. Everyday it runs through my mind and I can’t cope. He has taken my kind heartedness and manipulated it to the point where i dont know up from down. Every decision i make i feel as though im damned if i do and damned if i dont. Not knowing his reaction to a situation is torture also. If i know hes going to be mad about something I brace myself to deal with anything from a hateful destructive rant to me getting my ass beat to where i cant walk the next day. I wish i knew how to get of this but im out of resources and dont even have a car to get away. I have hit rock bottom and theres not a soul on earth that can pull me to safety.

  96. Dennis says:

    Why do you assume the narcissist is the man.
    My ex fiance damn near destroyed me, financially, emotionally, and physically. Then claimed that she was/is the innocent victem.

  97. Shruti says:

    Best discription ever found.thank you.

  98. Hailey says:

    I’ve been out a year. He called 4 times this morning. Three unknown caller because he knows I cannot block it. He didn’t send a message. I finally took to my Facebook to refute his lies publically and bc I was so upset that he is not seeing our son just to get back at me bc I no longer react to him. I didn’t realize until right this moment that posting that was exactly that, a reaction. It made me feel wonderful, to take a stand, because I never do. He tore my world apart when I left. Smashed or took everything we (I,
    he never contributed or kept what he did for himself) had built together, refused to leave my mother’s house that we live in so I was forced to flee, he squated there holding my belongings hostage until all the utilities were shut off and he left huge bills for me to pay and destroyed it all anyway, harassed me until I got a restraining order, continued more covertly until I lost my job, tells everyone I cheated and won’t let him see our son (not true, I actually am the one who made sure he had supervised visitation in our emergency separation agreement, my lawyer met w him three times before he even asked about his son but he sure wanted to know about his guns, that I paid for and that are in my name and he is it legally allowed to possess) called child services on me and accused me of being on the drugs he is on, i literally lost everything except for my son. And I would not go back and stay for any amount of money in the world. I’m happier, even with my massive anxiety and what I know are complex PTSD symptoms, and I’m free. It gets worse and I struggle everyday knowing he is the father of my three year old who loves his daddy. How can I tell him his father is a monster, pure evil, when he makes up half of him. I get angry that people don’t realize what I survived. Even my own family. But then I realize, I never even really told them how bad it was. I was one of the ones that was alone. I had people I could tell but since I wasn’t leaving yet, I couldn’t say a word. I was also protecting them in the end. And I was ashamed. I spent over a year completely and absolutely alone. I never even responded to text messages so people stopped trying. But the phone didn’t go off and I didn’t have to submit to another interrogation. I went to work (was happy go lucky with a smile on my face) and to the grocery store on the weekend ( better get all the stuff he needs or might need but only spend X amount of money) Its a horrible existence to not talk (a real conversation not fake bullshit) to a single human for over a year. Yes, my family could see he is an asshole. They knew he was lazy and a deadbeat. They could see he was jealous and didn’t treat me right. But they don’t know the hell. They don’t know that I was to the point I thought death was the only way out. That I actually considered suicide as my only escape that would also free my child and leave him financially set. They don’t know how many times I told him to leave, begged him to leave, that I did leave. Only to have him show back up or follow he home and threaten to beat up my family members if I called them for help. They don’t know I called the police only to have them say we were married and it was ok for him to throw my keys in the woods or rip up my work clothes and the furniture, we were married. They even told him there wasn’t a thing I could do to make him leave so he stopped even doing that so that I was trapped with him every single day. They don’t know, nobody ever will, I don’t even let myself remember just how awful it truly was. How close I really was to not making it out alive. How lucky I am that I did. Or how I still shook when my phone rang and his name popped up. How I knew he had seen it. How the terror creeped up my belly and into my chest and made it hard to breath. How I may have just made a fatal mistake, exposing the narcissist to the world. The only true way to hurt them. To take away their mask so the world can see them.


    This is my situation all the way to a period. I’m scared that if I have him arrested that he might get drunk somewhere and come hurt me or one of my kids

  100. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for writing this! So many people don’t understand. I’m still staying, hoping for the best. I left once. I did my research, kept documentation, left with the kids, filed a Protection from abuse order and only stayed gone 3 Days. He agreed to counseling, so I came back and cancelled the protective order. That was 6 months ago. We both went to counseling, learned a lot and he is doing really well. Me, I’m waiting for the bad behavior to start again. I feel numb, I don’t trust him, I don’t feel like I can count on him. But he is working hard to prove me wrong. On one hand, I hope that he is not a narcissist and that he only learned the bad behavior from his father and maybe he can actually learn to behave better. Regardless, he killed the love I had for him bit by bit and I keep waiting for the real him to come back, to give me an excuse to leave. This is not the life I envisioned. I’m trying hard to do the right thing, to give him a chance, to give my marriage a chance and maybe have my kids grow up in a good environment, that is as long as the good behavior continues. I second guess myself all the time. I’m much stronger than I was a year ago and I keep getting stronger. I’m glad I found your site!

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      You dont need to have an “excuse” to leave. The fact that you cant just “get over” what happened is a valid reason. You have a right to be happy, or at least not afraid all the time. HE betrayed YOU, if you choose to give him a chance because you still love him or because you really want to, than by all means, do that. But if your staying out of some sense of obligation or faithfulness to the idea of marriage (when he was the one who broke it) than you are letting yourself down. I would encourage you to look at your motivations very carefully and see what you really feel. Doing the right thing is not living like a shadow in your life, doing the right thing doesn’t mean sacrificing your entire self. I understand your motivation, I understand why you stay, I had the same motivations. Just make sure you look at both sides of the situation and not just the side he(or others in your life) is/are telling you. Hugs!!!

  101. Amy says:

    This is me… you aren’t alone

  102. Christina says:

    This is my life

    1. Dolly says:

      There is a site called baggage reclaim which is really helpful.

  103. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this. On behalf of those of who are still “in the boat”. ❤️

  104. Kathleen says:

    Trauma bonding and manipulation erodes one’s will and self esteem- sometimes there’s also physical abuse. Or threats. Sometimes there are children involved which makes leaving difficult. Sometimes it’s financial entrapment. A lot of times it’s just a lot of ‘mind fuckery’ and games that can Drive one insane -many times it’s not quite bad enough to leave – and tthen they turn into the nice person as you’re about to walk out the door. Seems they can sense it. They do have extremely good observation skills because they have no emotions of their own so they look very closely at how others behave. And mimic it hollowly – They’re not just a little shallow -there’s nothing inside of them if you take a good look. And don’t be afraid of what you see-just realize you need to get away.
    Make no mistake they will never ever ever change. And your life will be misery till the day you die unless you get away from them!
    I tried to fix mine for four years. The previous person she discarded tried to fix her for 18 years. And somebody before that tried for 15 years same same -so make your choices -you only go around once we think.

    and by the way there are just as many women who have this affliction… It’s just likely that men do not report their feelings as much or they think- oh – women are high maintenance. And they’re not put into the positions of physical threats or financial reliance like women can be.

  105. Martha Chavez says:

    Oh my God this is all me. So true and sad.

  106. Cassondra says:

    Holy universe!! I swear I was reading my life as it is starting to be again. After 7 months no contact I’m back with my ex witch has board line personality and narcissism… I have learned a lot about reading up on them both. He just started getting professional help for it n Dec. Some days r better then some not often but I’m staying strong and if he dont start trying he has to go. Before he sucks my soul out. It’s so true everything u said.

  107. Sounds so familiar as I was just trying to explain this to my friend the other day. How does one make someone else understand that it didn’t start out that way? It got progressively worse over time. There are good times. I don’t really want to let go. I don’t want a failed marriage. I don’t want to leave who I truly thought was my soulmate until it finally dawned on me that he doesn’t give a shit about me at all and I have no idea why I didn’t realize that before. I’m always thinking at some point I’ll defend myself in just the right way that he’ll finally get it. Until I realized it’s a complete waste of breath because I only recently discovered that he’s doing this on purpose to hurt me and no matter what
    I say it makes zero difference. I don’t want to leave my house and pack my things. And all I really want is for him to see me for the amazing, loving, kind, funny, person that I know I am so how can he not see all my good intentions? I’m also praying someone else will knock some sense into him but that won’t happen either. It’s hard for other people to understand that it’s not the same as irreconcilable differences and they don’t want to get involved. Would they get involved if he punched me in the face instead? It’s frustrating that he can get away with stealing my basic human rights and leave me with deep emotional wounds yet our friends will see him the exact same way. I think there should be consequences for emotional abuse just as there would be for physical abuse. Tolerating it is enabling and it’s sad that our friends can completely overlook the fact that he is a monster causing horrific damage to my soul. I say he uses me as his emotional punching bag. I’ve gotten physically ill over a narsisitic rage episode leaving me vomiting, completely shattered, filled with anxiety and too weak to move off the couch for an entire day but they can chat him up at the bar as if nothing has happened.

    1. Natalie says:

      I recently left my husband of 25 years in March this year, because our relationship was becoming so verbally aggressive with indications of it turning physical, it was impossible for me to stay. When I left, I had no idea I was married to a narcissist. I didn’t even know I was being emotionally and mentally abused. I had been with him from the age of 16, I thought it was normal; it took a domestic abuse trained police officer (who was called after an incident involving my husband) to alert me. Since then I have gone through a kaleidoscope of emotions and am constantly doubting my decision, believing I may have been wrong or overreacted. Zero contact has been imperative, so I don’t return to my husband, because being in that relationship would undoubtedly have killed me, he had made me so low.

      I was lucky in my escape, my children are teenagers and didn’t want him back in the house having suffered too, and my parents have been a brilliant source of support, my poor dad has to listen to my doubts and fears umpteen times a day, all hours of the day, constantly reassuring me even though he doesn’t really understand the effect this has had on me. On top of this I have had outside organisations help, I don’t know where your from, I’m in the UK and I have phoned numbers like safer places and local domestic abuse help groups who can either personally help or give you numbers for those that can.

      I was lucky!! Circumstances dictated my leaving this time, there was so many other times I forgave him and stayed. If you — or anybody else that reads this comment — finds the strength to leave make sure you have a good support network to fall on. I left blind and happened upon these organisations and I wouldn’t have stayed separated from him without them, but maybe by sharing that piece of information and arm someone before they try to leave their narcissist, I’ve given someone chance to fully leave and not go back.

  108. Elizabeth says:

    Your words rang so true with me and I know the pain of being in that place – I just need to tell you that you must find the strength to leave – don’t wait, don’t make excuses just do it – don’t end up alone in a different country with no financial means of walking away, with grown up children who love you but think your pathetic at the same time – with so much isolation and lonliness that you hope you don’t wake up – that you can’t feel any reason to carry on but are too much of a coward to kill your self – just in the hope that this man really does love you and the knowledge that his only true love is himself.

  109. Stephanie says:

    This is the kind of post that is helping me to stay away for good this time. I will not let his crying and lies poison me again. I am so thankful for your post. It is also important to tell those around you that your relationship is over because it makes it real and gives you support.

  110. JP says:

    Can we also remember that men are equally victims of this style of emotional abuse.

  111. Linda Oakes says:

    Wow I felt like I was reading about myself. I left mine in 2003 and he made it hell or worse,but I survived . I just recently found out what narcissistic meant and I am blown away and not crazy it is such a relife knowing that the way he is has a name.I was married to him for 21 years and I know that I do have some damage after reading everything I can get my hands on about it .

  112. Rhea says:

    It’s taken me 36 yrs to realize he is a narc. I’m so stupid! Now I have stage iv breast cancer and I feel stuck. I need out. I need to re find myself before I die. He has made me feel crazy! I cant believe I have been so blind to what he is. Now what?

  113. Nia says:

    This is my life every sentence this is my life, and living this life for 14 yrs has created another monster in my home ..my son. This is terrifying and damaging beyond comprehension. There’s no escaping this madness and grief. Thank you for sharing.

  114. Joe says:

    I’m a male, and I realize this is far more common to happen to a female, for that I offer my sincerest regret. I have experienced everything this article mentions, and more. The worst part is that I want her back so badly, even though she just served me divorce papers and her new boyfriend (she cheated on me with him) has already moved in and my son even calls him “new daddy”. What can I do to let go? I hurt so bad, a d she was just awful, physical and emotional abuse alike. I miss her, but I know even if I could have her back I’d be the whopping boy soon enough…

  115. Linda says:

    I have been there!! Never stop believing in youself! You can get out! Be strong and know that when the time is right you will know! Then make your move but be safe. Have a plan and be prepared. Save up a little money, have arrangements made with someone he would not expect you to take cover with, or a womans shelter if beed be. Have a bag packed or items in a certain place so you and the kids can collect what you need and go. Believe in yourself! If you can get some counseling. They can assist You with making an escape plan. You know you do not deserve to be treated this way. YOU DESERVE BETTER AND HE DOES NOT DESERVE YOU!

    You need to do your very best to not allow yourself to be drawn back in by him. Yes I know that is difficult. They will sweet talk you, make false promises, and do everything they can to draw you back in because they need your energy and power they are draining from you! Be strong and know you can do this!! You are strong enough to withstand the abuse and you know that you need to get out. It will take time to heal and find yourself again. Choose to love yourself and your children enough to get yourselves out safely!

    People/ relatives will tell you that you are destroying the family. That is fine! You are choosing to save yourself and your children!! Again- he does not deserve you if he is going to abuse you! Some of the tools I used to get myself out were reading self help books and doing research on combating a narcissist (Or many other psychological disorders). I believe the most powerful book that I read was “THE VALUES FACTOR” by Dr John F Demartini. This book taught me how to recognize what I value most in my life and how to make changes that I needed to make to uphold and put my values as top priority. The book that I began my growth process with is called “Anatomy of the Spirit- The seven stages of power and healing” by Carolyn Myss PH.D. You learn about how personal power or lack of can effect our health. It also teaches about how to heal your own energy. In her book she states “The physical body cannot endure prolonged stress without producing negative biological responce” (p 158). Carolyn also says “Negative choices generate situations that recur in order to teach us how to make positive choices ” (p 228). Like I stated earlier. Love yourself and your kids enough to get yourself out. It is never easy, but you ARE strong enough to do it! You can and will be happy again!!

  116. Kerri says:

    I feel like I could of wrote this ! I got with him when I was 18 and I’m 32 now . I live this every day

  117. Heather M Quarles says:

    I have been so alone in my walk. Twenty years of hell with very few–tainted– highlights. I told my husband two years ago I would leave if he didn’t seek personal counseling and improve. He went to counseling twice and said I needed to go….or he wouldn’t. Always controlling…always threatening. Now, I have told him I would leave when our middle daughter graduates in 3mths. He is back at the beginning of a new cycle. Nice…sweet….and the always, what have I done? Babe, what has got you on this rant? Your acting ridiculous. Why would you destroy a family? I’m not ready to be on my own. Who has caught your eye? You’re having a midlife crisis…..on and on and on. But, my guilt for being so damn selfish. I feel I would be punishing my children if I divorce him. Hey have found a strange normalcy in his behavior. Why? Because I have excused it for years. I took as much of the brunt as humanly possible. I lived through physical, mental and emional abuse. For years I tried to tell my church…for years they said forgive him…ask God to heal him…stay…stay….would others stay as I have? You said everything I have always thought. My fear overwhelms me…will I be this unhappy and lonely for the rest of my life? Lord, please please have him want to leave me. Make him want to leave. I feel so alone. I want to leave. I want to break free. But. Somewhere I love him…I think…he will change. This will be the time he changes.

  118. Heather says:

    This is so very very true. Im just not sure how to share my story yet. Sometimes its easier to stay numb and block what’s really happening out of your mind. The bad days are what bring you back to reality then a depression comes over me and I start reading blogs again. Its a horrible way to live.

  119. Rhiannon Florez says:

    Thank you so much! This helped me so much just knowing that i am not alone! I am cry8ng as a type this because it is all too real. I have suffered for 15 years because i have kids and we have nowhere to go. No family, no money, ne support. I just really needed to hear that i am not alone, not crazy, not at fault. Not at fault for him deciding to drink too much and telling me i am worthless and should kill myself. Not at fault for his racist remarks towards me. Not at fault for constantly having his middle finger in my face and being told that it is all my fault because the cost of living is too high. Thank you truly for sharing your story!

  120. Delilah Tunnell says:

    There is a life without a narcissist, find help , talk to a therapist , there’s shelters, hud housing , snap benefits and Medicaid . And fight for your half of community property. Put a restraining order on your community property . So he can’t sell, give away or hide. Take pictures of everything . Get a great attorney and live your life without him.

  121. Tamar says:

    I too am in the same situation. I have been married to this monster for 28 years now and in 2018 found out I have late stage ovarian cancer.
    After promising before 5 people that he was standing by me and fighting to help me live. Swearing he would never abandon me, that’s exactly what he did. He has a new secret life and I have been left to care for myself. Oh he still lives here but has abandoned me mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically. Anything I say or do is met with instant rage and abuse. Effectively a prisoner. Seen as dead but still taking up space.
    This needs to end. These abusers a masterful in their psychological torture and brainwashing.
    We need real help and support not more abuse and allegations leveled our way. When does the responsibility reside with the abuser. Stop furthering traumatizing the one being victimized and start holding the abusers accountable.
    Too many women/men are dying because of it.
    Thank you for speaking out and sharing your story. You are in my .

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