Neglecting the narcissist

 

It’s Narcissist Friday!

 

 

If I missed writing on two successive Fridays, would I be neglecting the narcissists?  Well, I decided I couldn’t risk it.  After all, who knows what might happen.

 

Actually, my thoughts today are more purposeful than neglect.  How about ignoring the narcissist?  Did you realize that one of the more effective techniques for gaining some ground with your narcissist is to ignore him?  To be marginalized is one of the narcissist’s primary fears.

 

Not everyone can do this, of course.  It does take considerable strength.  I am not talking about the “silent treatment.”  That’s her technique.  No, what I mean is simply not treating him or her as the center of your life.  Make a decision about something and do it without asking, without even taking him into consideration.  Don’t confess it.  Don’t rationalize it to him.  Begin to think of the narcissist as only a part of your life, rather than your whole life.

 

Be careful.  You know what reaction you will get.  It may not be worthwhile if your narcissist is violent or will exact too high a punishment for you.  Don’t put yourself or others in danger.  Just put him in his proper place as you think of your life.

 

Narcissists cannot stand to be ignored.  At home, at work, at church—wherever.  They believe that if they are the center they are in control.  When things happen outside their knowledge, they can’t be in control.  If they can’t be in control, things could happen that might affect them negatively.  If you can learn to feed attention and influence to your narcissist, you have a way of controlling him.

 

Obviously, as I write this, I am thinking that every situation is different and I am afraid that someone will use this technique and may suffer for it.  So pray and think about this.  Is there some little area of your life that you could take back?  You may find it helpful to talk this over with a counselor or a wise friend.  Ignoring a narcissist can be a very powerful tool in your limited toolbox.

73 Comments

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73 responses to “Neglecting the narcissist

  1. How do you know if you are being controlled by a Narcissist? http://www.squidoo.com/whos-pulling-your-strings

    • Cali

      Right now I am getting barraged with text messages from a narcissist I was dating after he hurt me and insulted my intelligence for no good reason other than to let himself off the hook for his manipulative behavior. Now he is apologizing for getting angry at me having had enough and letting him know whatever and that the whole thing was stupid. I blocked him on facebook, blocked his number on my land line, but I can’t block his texts. Now he is apologizing but defending himself at the same time by trying to say he had no agenda with me (sex.) It seems really important for him to turn tables and make himself look good to me so he can continue contact and make me feel bad. Screw this. I am so angry. I just stifled an urge to tell him I think he’s an empty sociopath and to just go away. But, I am just going to continue to ignore him. It seems to be getting to him. No one is on the other end to give him for a forum for all his self-delusions. I just feel horribly stupid and traumatized that I was friends with yet another one I tried to date. I am going to do my best to just keep ignoring him. Silence on the other end, I think, has the best chance if making him see his own crap (or not) but at least seeing that I am not playing anymore. But boy do I want to tell him off.

      • Penny

        Good for you, Cali. Silence will win the day, but be prepared for it to take a while (until he gets distracted by another victim). Delete the texts B4 reading, b/c “apologies” eventually turn into attacks. I call them “non-apologies”. Are you sure you cannot block his cell number/texts? I have AT&T, and they have a feature that can block a cell phone number which would also include any texts. But beware: I know of one N who then began borrowing a friend’s phone to trick his victim into taking his call!

      • Cali, please don’t beat yourself up. If you have read my posts, you have seen that I call the ability of the narcissist to trick people into liking them their “super-power.” Of all the things they have learned through life, this is the one most important. They learn to manipulate what others think of them. So the fact that you were deceived really is nothing against you. This is just what they do and they do it very well.

        I really appreciate your comment because it brings out the narcissist’s tendency to be obsessive. Because he failed to bring you fully into the trap, he must connect with you again. This time it is not so much to get you back as to tell you that you were wrong. If he can’t get what he wants out of the “relationship,” maybe he can at least win the argument. The narcissist must have the last word.

        The best thing you can do, in my opinion, is just what you are doing. He will give up eventually. If I had to bet, I would bet that he doesn’t even acknowledge you the next time you meet. If he can’t win, he simply won’t admit that anything happened. You are the winner here and he knows it.

        Let us know how this turns out. Everyone’s story teaches us all a little more. In fact, I decided to use this idea for my post tomorrow. Thanks!

      • dgaletorn

        I can completely understand! It’s hard to ignore them but I think that is the best policy. Also, keep good notes to prove (at least to yourself) that you’re not insane when they try to gaslight you!
        You may read my blog of healing if you’d like: http://torn-whybatteredwomenstay.com

  2. sam

    ignore them. move on. it’s the only thing that gets their attention. how crazy is that?

  3. Annie

    I tried as in sticking up for myself or being myself OR even doing my own thing. The escalation in violence showed me it was not worth it and I became more controlled and crushed. My only relief to be myself was to get away and truly be myself.

  4. Angela

    There are two things that are helping me in trying to “ignore” the narcissist in my life, or at least helping keep me from going completely under while I am still in this relationship, 1- I take the dog for VERY long nightly walks, teeny bit longer each time, and for my own sake have had to act like it was a chore, or the dog had to drag me everywhere (ie the walks were not for MY benefit)..and 2- like the kids with the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons whose voice was garbled to the point where nobody could understand her, I have learned to tune most of the noise, lies, accusations, blame out. And keep my mouth shut. I obviously was not my own vindicator as when I tried defending myself..then like in the above post, the violence escalated.
    One day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time.

  5. This blog right here just saved me! Bless you! I work with a narcissist, he’s just a pay grade above me, but my superior nonetheless. It’s gotten to the point I get physically ill when around him (nauseous, angry, my skin crawls. Its an awful feeling) Politely ignoring the narcissist will be an answer to my prayers (and believe me, I have prayed CONTINUOUSLY) I love my job and don;t want to quit it. I did my best to please this man to no avail. My hair was falling out! I will continue to be kind, courteous and polite. But no longer can I be the one who massages his ego so much that its downright despicable :( Ugh. I hate to be in the office alone with him)

  6. Cali

    Thank you for replying to my comment, Pastor and Penny. I believe he has left me alone now. After two angry texts that I did not read, but saw the first word of, two more came as I said – one standing up for his dishonesty as being honest and then the next telling me to take care of myself, he thinks I’m really great and he will always be my friend. I almost…almost wrote him this long winded message (as I usually do) and instead just wrote back, “Leave me alone.” This was followed by the boundary-disrespecting volley of another text that I did not read. I had a friend delete it and she could tell it was more anger. But by the the time I went to bed, I had to chuckle about the fact that I probably went cold on him so fast his head spun and he was left only with himself and whatever is wrong with him. The truth is in there somewhere.

    What makes it hard for me to forgive myself (though I will) is that I have been through this before. I feel there is an epidemic of narcissism in our culture. There are varying degrees of it from I have learned but pathology is the inability to sustain any positive change in the long run and I’ve had to realize that these people don’t really change and it is best to just disengage.

    I got out of a relationship with a narcissist that was on and off for 4-5 years, so when I then got involved with another one and then another one, I started to wonder about myself. They say to be careful as you are likely to pick up another one if you don’t have good boundaries and know the red flags.

    I thought this last person was a narcissist but kept telling myself I could still be friends with him if I kept a good enough distance and this didn’t work out so well either. They are still good at finding a way to creep back into your space and I think it is what you said, Pastor, about their super power being that they can be really likeable. And being that I tend to be an emotionally generous person who gives a lot of chances and tries to be the compassionate one, I get duped a lot.

    In a way, I feel badly for not being able to end this recent situation on a more positive and kind, compassionate note, but on the other hand, I realized that compassion has to start back with me and it was the kindest thing I could do for myself, knowing my own track record. Because I did not slam the door hard enough on the long-term narcissist who was on and off for that long, I allowed him to keep coming back around.

    Now I have a situation where a woman friend who I have gone around and around with twice who I also think is a narcissist or a sociopath called me up to see how I was. Sounded really sincere too, which she can be. However, once she gets into my life, all kinds of resources and time gets drained away from me and I’m not a well enough person to just give and give and then get devalued and discarded when I finally say no to something.

    Part of me feels bad for these people. It must be very hard on them in some way, but on the other hand, it has been hard on me too to keep giving all these chances and always the same result. I feel guilty ignoring this one old friend of mine, but it can’t be a sin not to respond or express final annoyance and tell a narcissist to leave you alone, can it? But maybe that is what they need? To really see?

    • Penny

      Cali–I agree with Dave, & also want to encourage you. You have a lot of “head knowledge” and understand a lot about N, and like most of us here, you are compassionate, caring, & empathic–the very traits that a N will exploit! So, perhaps it will help to view them as predators (which thy are) and you are the prey, and they love to “bait” their prey. Bait is a curse, the opposite of a blessing. Once I finally got that concept firmly in my head , it became easier to recognize the bait! Anything/everything is bait, & bait serves one purpose: to trap you. Bait can often take the form of an “apology” (but not real repentance) or a gift (like flowers or lunch or money) but the “gift” is really an “invoice”: you WILL have to pay for “services rendered”! (Even tears can be bait, but they are crying for themselves, not you). I learned the hard way that bait is designed primarily to draw you closer, to draw you back in, just to be victimized again. Bait does not enrich your life or bless you. So, be kind to yourself as you become stronger and as you learn to recognize bait, then steer clear of anyone who baits you. Focus on those who bless instead of curse!!

      • Cali

        Thank you, Penny. That is a good way to look at it. How I learned about narcissism was during my one relationship that lasted about 5 years on and off. It took me that long to really see through it and understand and get educated. The last time he came back around, he put on quite the show, talking about marriage (and the tears too) and everything and then I realized the same old behavior was going on and then the passive aggressive punishment for me not putting up with it. Oddly enough I felt closer to this person than most and he was very kind and attentive to me in some ways but emotionally absent and uncaring in other major ways. Such a dichotomy! But what I remembered most was that the apology was still done in such a way as to be turned on my short-comings or “insecurities” somehow. There is never a real apology from them or any at all. “Curse” is a good word as I have felt cursed by narcissism ever since I figured it out and I am sure I wasn’t being paranoid and painting a few extra people with the same brush. They just happened to be in my life due to there are a lot of users and head-trippers out there with no real empathy and I became prey to them. A couple of them were even “very spiritual” people so that was hard to take as well and made it more difficult for me to reconcile the cognitive dissonances of it all. I have been suffering from depression most of my life and severe fatigue that got a lot worse having these folks in my life. So it is time to take protection seriously and pray for that too and for more blessings in the form of genuine, caring and kind people. Thank you!

  7. Penny

    It is written ,” Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being,
    And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom.” Psalm 51:6
    Jesus Himself responded to the enemy with scripture, in order to keep Himself from “bait”. That is a powerful truth that keeps me grounded. I’m not suggesting that you spout scripture to a N, but rather, to your own heart. God wants to bless you thru His word! Bless you, Cali!

  8. M

    I used it today. he didn’t care at all, but for me I felt am at peace that I didn’t get emotional from his recent abuse and instead I acted like he didn’t do anything and everything is alright. he is a control freak and if I wasn’t at work I would have been beaten and swore at.

    • Boundaries are about you. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t care or didn’t like it. What matters is what the decision does for you. Normally we would not approach a relationship this way, but a relationship with a narcissist seems to demand it. Refusing to enter into an argument or listen to a rant or answer a demand may be just the thing that helps to keep you sane and in control. I have even suggested that people act dumb. The narcissist won’t notice because he already looks down on you. If you tell him you are ignoring him, he will get angry and push the issue. If you just “tune out” his stuff, he might shrug his shoulders and move on or he might think he has won. You don’t really care what he thinks. Right?

  9. I am 37 years married to a covert narcissist. Losing my reputation with friends and family because my husband carried out an expect/covert slander campaign almost unhinged me. My faith in Christ Jesus took me through years of abuse in which I thrived as mother to our five children in spite of his manipulation. It was during those years that he covertly worked on the minds of family and friends with expert and cunning charm. He believes his lies are ‘truth’ therefore he is very convincing. He manipulated our two older teenage children into participating in the character assassination of their mother. I hate that he destroyed out family just because he could. Little by little I am getting stronger and attempting to find a way through and out of his control and freedom from the isolation. I’m learning to hold my head up again in spite of it all. I have two dear friends in whom I confide. Recently I’ve become aware that he is ‘adopting’ my faith in Christ as a way to continue to suck the life out of me. I can not see my way out at this point but I am determined and desperate. Learning to deal with the rage is a biggie for me at this point. I feel blessed that our youngest sees more clearly than I that his dad is a compulsive liar and manipulator. I fear that husband is looking at our youngest and scheming for ways to gain his confidence. Though I want to protect our son from his dad’s heartless manipulation I find great comfort in knowing that he sees his dad clearly. After reading many comments from this site I am looking at my situation for ways to rediscover myself. I’m sure I am nothing like altruistic young woman I was when I met him. Recognizing myself when I find me will probably be another shock. =) By God’s abundant grace I will break free in this lifetime.

    • Donna, please keep going. He is not in charge of how you see yourself, nor how God sees you. God sees you as lovable, valuable, acceptable, and precious. He wants you to know His amazing love for you.

      Just to write what you have here is a victory for you and shows that you are getting stronger. You will find the person God loves in your heart. Narcissists might be expert manipulators and liars, but they don’t win in the end. And your story isn’t over yet. Pray for your kids. Pray that God would open their eyes and draw them to Himself. But even if they won’t hear the truth, trust the Lord. He does His work.

      I am praying for you.

  10. David

    Beware of Neglecting the Naricisists. Take time to evaluate all the circumstances in your life especially if you have children. In my case my business suffered the loss of a major customer which therefore decreased our income, a lot. We desparately needed to refinance the house pay off debt and re-balance expenses with income. My wife would not do it because she told me her daddy said it was a bad idea. We have been married for 23 years and have a 16 year old daughter. I told my wife we could loose the house and our credit would be ruined. It became a big raging fight about wether we should do what her daddy said or what me, as the supposed husband of the household, should do to make everything work out. There was screaming and raging all about a simple issue that most families sit down and talk about in a reasonable grown up manner. “We have a problem, how are we, as a couple going to work through this hard time” I finally disengaged, crossed my arms, and zipped my lips. All that was happening was a big yell fest. The problem was not being addressed. Because she could not get me to continue fighting verbally she kicked me where you should not kick a man. She has hit me about the head several times over the years but I can block that, but this kick was unexpected. But that is not the real problem. After that kick I grabbed her shoulders and pushed her back 3 feet. She did not fall or become injured in any way. But she did provoke me to place my hands on another person in anger which I have never done in 50 years. That was the real problem, she provoked me to violence against another human being, a line I dare not cross.

    The next week we were working in the kitchen cooking and we both became a little frisky. I told my wife we have to address what happeded last week. She acted like she did not know what I was talking about. So I could not make love to her. To many times in the past her transgressions been wiped clean with sex. But this time I just could not do it.

    About a week later she was out with girlfriends at a party and she comes home drunk and wanting sex. I told her ” wife we have to address the issue of physical violence” it can’t happen again. My wife is an incredibly beautiful woman and extreemly sexy but I just could not do it. She told me there were 5 guys at the party that wanted her but I just looked at her like she was nuts and kept my mouth shut.

    She emailed me about a week later saying how she missis the old David, the one that loves her. I responded that the old David is still here but he is not coming out until the verbal, mental, emotional, and now physical abuse stops. Period. Its not good for me, you, or out daughter. It has to stop.

    She told me she was divorcing me about 8 weeks later. She just could not bear the shame of what she had done. Because I could not give her the Narcistic Supply she so desparately needs to survive, she is seeking it elsewhere. From what I can tell it is with many men which hurts so badly. Its killing me.

    Now our family is destroyed, my daughter is a mess, and my wife has become the high school pass around. All because she could not say I am sorry I kicked you. I was out of line and I regret it.

    So my fellow survivors, if you still have children at home and you are dealing with a mentally unstable person, sometimes it may be better to just have the stupid sex until the kids are out of the house so the crazies don’t go looking for it elsewhere. I know, I know, its really not the sex, its the attention, but it still hurts really bad. I know my wife’s brokeness so it pains me not only as her husband but as a friend to see her treat her own body with such low regard.
    These people are crazy, and capable of anything, so be careful.

    • David, your story is sad and a little scary. I hope this serves as a proper warning to anyone who reads this post. While I stand by what I have written, your comment is a good reminder that the Ns can become violent. Even those who are not violent can do damage in other ways. These are unreasonable and ruthless people. Their goal is to succeed, whatever the cost. If the cost is to you, they will not hesitate. I think that, in most situation, the idea of ignoring the N gives strength to the victim, but understand that there could be consequences.

      To anyone who has to deal with physical abuse: make it a big deal because it is a big deal. Take pictures of bruises, go to the doctor, tell family and friends. Physical abuse does escalate and your situation can become dangerous. Yes, I understand that this is especially hard for a man, but there are people who will listen. If your children are being abused, deal with it. You may be their only hope for getting away.

      Thanks, David.

      • David

        Thank you for your kind words. The problem with these people is that logic just doesn’t sink in with them. They must win and if admitting a mistake is interpreted as loosing in their minds then they just won’t or can’t do it. I believe your advice is correct about egnoring them but it also depends at what stage of the relationship you are in. It also depends on how dependent they are on you for their lifestyle or other considerations. If they think or actually have the upperhand in the relationship egnoring them may just worsen their fellings of superiority. Then the devalue and discard process begins. The devalue and discard stage is so painfull especially when you consider all the things you have done for them. Two years ago she had a torn ACL and I patiently and lovingly took care of her. Helped her go to the bathroom, take showers, take her to physical therepy, meals in bed etc. And now, when I am at a low point my value to her is -0-.

        My daughter is strong in spirit but she is still only 16 and very confused right now. My soon to be X completely abandoned her on Easter. They had planned to spend several hours together in the afternoon. When my daughter called her mom to tell her she was on her way to see her, her mom told her she was at a party and wouldn’t be available until later that evening. Her mom is posting pictures of herself on facebook yucking it up when she was supposed to be with her daughter. Well, her mom never did call or text that night and my poor baby girl cried in my arms for about 3 hours. It just broke my heart. It took her to the christian councelor I have been seeing for the last 5 years so she could talk about the way her mom hurts her in the presents of someone that knows about such things and can help her sort through this mess. I rarely mandate that my daughter does anything because she always does the right thing, but in this instance I mandated that she come talk to the councelor at least twice without me present and to tell him all the ways that either her mom or I have hurt her. Let it all out. Get it off your chest. Don’t let it bottle up inside.

        I am very confused right now based on the choices my soon to be X is making. I thought we were on the same page as far as raising our daughter in a loving, safe, comfortable home, but apparently I was mistaken. As the grace message makes so perfectly clear sometimes bad things are used for the good. My tiny little mind can’t see it but Jesus does and so I just have to trust in that.

    • HOPE

      I agree with Dave – BEWARE, because the price may be too high. I have 5 children and my husband will punish me by punishing the kids. He can easily go an entire week without speaking or interacting with ANY of us when his supply is not met. I am torn between continuing like this and avoiding divorce because of the effects on the kids, or knowing what the kids are learning by observing us – my boys learn control and manipulation of women, and my daughter learns it is OK to be treated like this.

  11. Kat

    Yesterday I was successful at ignoring my narcissist boyfriend. Then today I had a relapse. I got that guilty feeling that we all get. You know the one that says, “I don’t want to seem heartless he has called a dozen times so I better call him back.” I knew and know what I’m in for now. He is 48 and I am 40 and I have gone through hell. I’ve been asserting myself a lot more. The hardest part is letting go even though I realize he won’t change. Ive moved 35 minutes away from him when i used to be 10 minutes away. He hates that. He’s started to lose more weight and worries incessantly about his hair thinning. I keep myself in good shape but it’s not good enough he still acts like he can do better. The whole “no contact” on my part started because he dumped me while my mother was in the hospital. He felt like I was dismissing him when my mother was obviously not doing well and I had to be there. I didn’t talk to him for a whole week then today I broke my rule and contacted the jerk. No apology nothing. Again it’s my fault. I was the problem. He finally apologized after I demanded it but it was so fake and almost too late. The mere thought of him makes me shiver and I go through wanting him and my being able to live without him to “raged and hating him”! I can’t understand what I will have to do to finally get over him. He has cursed me out in grocery stores, left me at a casino. I’ve met ex girlfriends that he introduced as associates. He’s rationed sex and I know he has sex with others. I’ve found phone numbers d other women in his house. I have to get strong and let it go but those mind games are difficult to endure when I’m not strong. Any pointers from anyone on how I can finally cut the cord would be appreciated. Thanks

    • David

      Kat, one way I am trying to get them out of our hearts and minds is to hold a wake of sorts. Find a photo or it could just be a fond recollection of this person that owns your heart before the nastiness reared its ugly head. Imagine that this person has died in a horrible accident and that they are no longer in this world. That person we fell in love with is dead. They no longer exist, we only see glimpes of them from time to time in the person that now inhabits that body.

      Imagine a happily married couple that has spent the last 60 years together and then one day the husband dies. The wife just can’t admit to herself that he is gone. Years later when the clock stikes 5:00 PM she readily expects her husband to walk through the door after work. She absent mindedly sets two places at the diner table, she can’t clean out his side of the closet because she just can’t admit that he is never coming back.

      I believe this mental gymnastics is what we with spouses and boy/girl friends are going through. In my case that incredible and awsome soulmate that shared my life with me is gone. In my case I just kept waiting for her to miss that connectedness as well and that we could resume that intimate relationship, but its never going to happen.

      If we met a person that exibited all of these nasty characteristics when we first met them would we even want to be in the same room with them, NO we would not. So look at the person and see who they really are and ask yourself, why do I even bother? Sometimes its the lifestyle, and sometimes its children, and sometimes they have so completely destroyed our self esteem by putting a microscope on our flaws and our self respect by us actually tollerating the abuse, that we thing we must stay. The first step away from the abuse, whether staying in the relationship or not, is to regain your self esteme and and self respect. Your self esteme by recognizing that we belong to Jesus and that our identity is in Jesus, not the abuser. Our self respect by setting boundries and limits about what you will tolerate.

      Remember this, every act of abuse is a manifestation of some unresolved inner tormoil that the abuser has in their heart. Because they have no true self esteme they tear away at ours. Don’t let the abusers inner tormoil define who we are or how we feel about ourselfs.

      Sorry about the length of this post but writing acually helps me make some sense out of my situation. The pain is unbearable at times but we will persavere.

  12. Your words are always so powerful in regards to this subject. Thank you.

  13. Hi, I’m a christian women who took some mental health classes years ago. I started to date a guy that was very charming. In talking with him he told me while being under the influence he was adopted and he was also abused. When I asked him about it again he refused to talk about it. Slowly I realized he was alway’s talking about himself and his job. Sometimes he would ask my how was my day. I would reply and expound which he would get upset about me expouanding. I begin to notice that he got very angry when he did something wrong, and he never wanted to apologize unless I mentioned to him.He also tries to put me down which doesn’t affect me because I put him in his place when he does. Once he came in my home and was dressed very nice and I complimented him. He told me to leave him alone he did not fill like talking. I told him that if he every told me that again it will be the last time. So far he has not. I often have to tell him that it’s okay to make mistakes, we all do because we are only human. This tends to calm him down. But in noticing I begin to look up mental ilnesses and npd came across and he fits the bill to a T. I believe he knows he is N, and tried to tell me in a subtle way without really telling me because he didn’t want to lose me. He has been divorced twice and admits to cheating on his ex-wife and hurting her, while at the same time saying he was trying to feel a void which is true. My delima is I Love him, he can get under my skin sometimes, but for the most part I do ignore him or try to make him realize that he is only human and he, as we all will make mistakes. It seems that he wants to control his NPD because if I begin to praise him to much he tells me to stop. I believe he has cheated on me but will not lie about it, he just goes around it. I noticed lately that he has shyed away a bit, we don’t see each other much, and we don’t talk on the phone much. I’m pretty sure he has found another victim to try and manipulate. Should I let this go? or should I stick around and try and guide him back to God.

    • Yvette,

      You get my last response before my travel. It looks to me like you have the answer you need already. If he has been divorced twice and cheated before, and you believe he is cheating on you now, let him go. He will only hurt you more. If I were working with you in counseling, I would ask you to tell me what love is and how you know that you love him. Narcissists are very good at fascinating and exciting people. They have energy and a willingness to do things others won’t. But it is all manipulation. He has probably been able to connect with the needs of your heart in such a way that you believe you love him. But if he doesn’t love you, or if he loves many in the same way, he will hurt you.

      I know this is blunt and I certainly don’t mean to sound uncaring, but let him go. You can do better.

      Please feel free to write to me again.

      Dave

    • Angela

      Yvette, I don’t believe that you can guide him back to God because it is obvious he doesn’t even respect you enough to hear it.
      People like this don’t need God because they have people like us willing to supply all their needs. It used to make me feel so good, useful, important, loving etc to be someone’s “savior”. And if it had worked, I wouldn’t be one of the many that have searched in desperation for a site like this one. Let him go. Be at peace.

  14. ali

    I am lost and believe I am a victim of a narcissist. I am married and so is he. We are having an emotional affair. He hooks me in and drops me. He asks me if we would be happy together and I say yes. He comes by to see me then says he will stop by and doesn’t. He does this constantly. Recently he calls me after seeing me and says this is wrong and he is complacant in his marriage and we should be friends then tells me he will see me when i return from vacation. I don’t know what he wants from me. We do kiss but that is it. He knows I am head over heels for him. He was supposed to call me the next day and didnt. I am going to throw my marriage away for him and I keep trying to justify his behavior and actions but I am on an emotional roller coaster. I am left in limbo because now I don’t know if he was serious about breaking it off or not. Is he a narcissist? I think he randomly checks to see if I still want him. Since we are off during the summer.

    • I am going to answer this personally because once I approve the comment and readers see it, you will hear some strong concerns.

      First, my best advice is for you to run. Whether he is a narcissist or not, he is certainly using you. He knows that he has connected with you emotionally. He also knows that intimate emotional connections are extremely powerful for most women. He has not yet asked you for what he wants, partly because he wants to be sure that he has you under control. Once you commit to him, leave your marriage and suffer whatever cost, you may well find him to be a very different person.

      I have two serious concerns about this situation. First, the man who will leave his wife for you will just as easily leave you for his next “soulmate.” If he doesn’t leave her, then where does that leave you? Are you willing to be the secret mistress who gets the leftovers of his life? How could you ever trust such a person?

      Second, the fact that he hasn’t pressured you for an intimate relationship suggests to me that he is playing a game, much like a fisherman has to play with the fish before it is hooked. I would guess that you are not the only one he has done this with and maybe there are others even now. It sounds to me like this is about him getting his kicks from hooking someone’s heart. Then, when he has had his fun, he discards his “catch” and heads home. He enjoys the fact that you are still interested, even after he has tried to push you away. He is playing with your heart.

      Please don’t throw your marriage away for someone like this. Find a good counselor and talk through why you have been open to a new relationship. It may be that this guy is so good at what he does that you have simply been overwhelmed. Some narcissists are that powerful. But he detected an opening and used it to get to you. I don’t know what is going on in your marriage, but this relationship will almost certainly not make you happy.

      So, if you are asking for my advice, I say to run. If you are asking simply if he is a narcissist, I say that it sure sounds like it. At least he is a user.

      What do the rest of you think?

      • ali

        Dave:
        I want to “run” but I have told him things so deep and personal. I have given him my heart also. I desire him constantly like an addiction. I have gone through physical syptoms as well headaches, crying, detachment from friends, husband and children, lost 20 lbs since he came into my life 2 months ago, had another condition that is brought on by stress, and ended up in ER w/ chest pain and difficuly breathing. I am 40 he 43. He has asked many things of me such as sex video; oral sex; ect. Which I am not willing to do because at times I realize I am a classy lady not some whore so I don’t. We have had a few opprotunites to be more intimate and have sex but just before he will say I can’t and has given me reasons like his kids, vows, this isn’t right, he doesn’t want our first time to be at our work place and he has more respect for me than treating me like a whore and having a quickie. I am not being concided but I am constantly hit on by men; I am attractive. I am athletic and fit and have friends who tell me I am beautiful inside and out.He tells me I am everything he wants and more. He asks me if I love him, I haven’t said yes to that but he wants to know, again I don’t understand why? He asks me if I have had sex w/ my husband which I havent. One reason he gives me why we can’t be together is because he doesn’t want to ruin his kids through divorce so I asked him will he wait 7 yrs for me? He replied; I would only for you. I have had emotional meltdowns and have been seeing a counselor for 5 sessions now. I can’t break free it is very difficult for me I don’t understand why I can’t. I am very addicted. Being that I work at a school and I will see him again if he is re assigned to my school it will be hard for me not to fall back as I do now when I go in on occassion during the summer. He drives by and knows that I am there and comes in and see’s me to see If I still want him I think. He stares at me with bedroom eyes and I just meltaway. He hurts me constantly with false promises after he sees me like calling or returning but never does; I ask him why the next time I see him and he says he was busy. He gives me false hope. I also have no way to contact him he has all the control. He told me a week ago, if I was lucky he would give me his pager # and still I have nothing. I do not know why he won’t have sex w me I have been practically with all my clothes off and he always stops and says we don’t want to get caught. I was 9 days on vacation out of state without contact and I fell into his arms again. Even after I just had my counseling session a few hours before. I guess I want some truth or honesty from him but I guess I am his victim and I will never get them from him. So lost :(

      • ali

        I must also say that when I tried to pull away once he came to me and said ” your starting to get over me” and that he could sense it. And broke me back down by coming around my office more. And another time he said “you’ve figured out who I am” and when I asked what he meant replied “nothing”. I don’t know what he is! Whatever he is he has turned my entire life upside down in a matter of 3 months.

    • Angela

      Ali, Dave is 100% right. What feels overwhelmingly attractive now is something you will deeply..deeply regret if you allow this to continue. Trust me, the regret is a lot longer lasting than the “love” is now, because regret is real, the “love” isn’t. ..and the regret will be much deeper because you can’t turn back time. Invest time in reading all the past letters from people that have written their stories here. You could very well be the next one writing a heartbroken story of a ruined marriage, misplaced trust, bewildered, confused, shattered self esteem- all because you hoped and believed this new guy would love you better.
      Run.
      You might cry and grieve, but run anyway. He doesn’t even deserve an explanation. Treat this like an addiction, you might be drawn towards, but fight back, and don’t look back.
      I feel sorry for this guy’s present wife. She could very well be a sweet, kind, trusting person who just became “old hat” to him. He is a user for sure.
      Be strong. That is something you won’t regret, maybe not today, but one of these tomorrows you will look back and say “whew! I am so glad I got out of that in time!!”
      I am joining with others in prayer. I am praying that yours will be a success story, a story of one woman who was rescued BEFORE she was tripped into the mire, how sweet that would be to hear.

      • prodigalkatherine

        praying here too.

        I’ve often thought that anyone who tries to coax someone into an affair is the complete opposite of loving. If you truly care for someone, you do not want to mess up their lives and the lives of their children.
        Perhaps the way you resist having an affair is to think of the children who will be touched when a parent’s heart has left the family. This is no win for them. Children are crushed by divorce.

  15. Angela

    I don’t know, I am no expert, no psychologist, but I wonder sometimes if addictions so overwhelming that it is like you are so drunk you can’t think or reason- can’t be counselled away, therapied away, medicated away…maybe it is completely a spiritual issue. The story of Sampson and Delilah? I know I had an experience like that too, years ago, lost 20 pounds in a couple of weeks, couldn’t stop crying, my whole system was out of whack. Looking back now…I don’t think there was any earthly thing that could have “cured” me. For sure it is NOT love. Maybe I am way out of line writing this, but perhaps sometimes- could it be an intense oppressive and destructive spirit??? Either way, I am continuing in prayer for freedom.

    • ali

      Angela: I really didn’t realize what happened to me. It happened all so quickly. I feel as though I am in a tornado that has spiraled out of control. I must get myself out of this situation before I ruin a 16 yr relationship/ 13 yrs of which are married and I have two 11yr old boys. I can’t believe I allowed this to happen to me. I am a strong woman generally. I have never ever let my guard down. And one day now that I realize it. He found his “in” when he jokingly said “well your happily married”and I was angry w my husband and I replied “who said I was happily married” that is the moment my world change. My husband thinks I am having a midlife crisis since I just turned 40 he is trying so hard to make me happy and save my marriage. And all I desire is this other man; he constantly is on my mind; its torture. I need to stop feeling this high when he comes around because all he does is play with me and degrades me. Please pray for me; that I can be strong next week when I go to my ofc and if he happens to show up that I can be strong enough to stay away. I am scared and heart broken. I am breaking my heart and my husbands.

      • Angela

        Ali, my experience is so similar, except I just got out of an insane marriage, vulnerable, a complete wreck, and also 40. This guy made me feel alive. I won’t go into all the details that I wish had never happened between me, my kids etc. I was hooked, and it was not good.
        Now, I see that he controls his adult sons and their wives, he is the one that fixes everything for them, builds, takes them everywhere, belittles his sons, collects women and holds them too like a harem, doesn’t sleep with them, he just has a sick need to be “god” to as many as he can. None of them mean anything to him as human beings, not a single one, but they all fawn all over him like he was something special. Any ideas I had that were good he scoffed, then did those things and took all credit for them, even in my hearing. He has a need to be worshiped, and did only enough to keep me chasing after him, trying harder like a dog. Now I see how much I was degraded, and if I felt like I was trashed after my divorce, I was made to feel much worse after this, because it was like me being garbage was confirmed. All I wanted was to be righteous, good, kind, generous etc.
        The enemy seeks whom he will destroy, who is weak, and vulnerable, who is lonely or desperate. Like drugs or gambling or booze, these can all look so good and innocent and fun at first. We know that a good kid, sober, well meaning on her first big night out, can end up in the car of a drunk driver or rapist because of small steps that lead up to a big mess. An older person might see the trap ahead of time, but the girl thinks it is innocent.
        I don’t know what to say, but it sounds like your husband is a treasure of kindness. That other guy isn’t. I will continue praying for the Lord snatching you out of the “fowlers snare”. I am not a counselor, so I am not sure what would work for you to do yourself, perhaps saying over and over and over “he is a user, he thinks I am just a dollar store toy, he will break me and throw me away, he doesn’t see me as a human being, my husband is tried and true- he does see me as a person, even when I am sick or tired or pregnant and fat, or in a lousy mood and he wants me anyway. Picture a miserable woman with your face and say, that will be me within a month if I continue this. This is NOT from God, this is a trick, a trap. By the grace of the true and loving God I will be free. I am NOT a cheap toy, I am the daughter of God the Father, meant for REAL love, REAL respect and kindness…” like mantra.
        DON’T give up, stay strong. This might sound silly or trite or irrelevant but pray for forgiveness, the enemy can’t hang around a repentant person, they are no fun.
        I will keep praying, I know others are praying also. We all want this to be a happy ending for you, and I have to say, for me too, I want so much to rejoice with and for you.
        .

      • Jaap

        >when he jokingly said “well your happily married”
        >and I replied “who said I was happily married”

        This is what they do… reverse psychology.. you reacted exactly the way he wanted to.

  16. Dave

    Over the past three years or so I’ve experienced a significant drifting away from the ‘friendship’ circle I once frequented.

    I’m a pretty honest and straight up individual who generally calls a spade a spade but this has continually been getting me in trouble with mutual friends as I attempted to explain situations arising with a certain ‘frenemy’ ex friend who absolutely displays the characteristics of NPD or is indeed in fact a narcissist.

    About 12 months ago I made a difficult decision to cut ties with a lot of friends due to rumour, lies and innuendo spread around by this individual. It seemed that no matter how I tried to respond to questions arising from what the narc had told mutual friends, I was forever being told that I 1. Was in the wrong. 2. Needed to “Get over” my feelings of resentment and / or 3. Actually had to apologise to the narc, even though they had only listened to one side of the story.

    I hope that gives just a simple overview.

    Anyway, another mutual friend has a housewarming party coming up. My beautiful partner (She has been an amazing support to me throughout)and I have been invited. No doubt other mutual ‘friends’ and the ‘narc’ will also be present.

    The easy option was given to me by my partner, saying I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to. However I know she wants to attend and I’m of the belief that the above isn’t an option. Having said this, I’m pretty anxious about this particular night coming up.

    I do have my own faults, don’t we all but can tend to be reactive to someone else given a specific situation if I feel I’m hard done by via words or actions especially this particular narc who was, WAS very good at pressing my buttons.

    I fear a similar situation arising in the company of these people and would appreciate some decent ideas on how to be present at this event and be steadfast in maintaining my dignity.

    Whilst it’s been very difficult, I’ve accepted things as they are but made the decision not to put up with it so I walked away from these people.

    I’m extremely wary of putting myself into the social situation I’ve described but in no way do I want to take the easy way, not show up and not display the support for my partner that she has shown me.

    Please help!

    • Kate

      Dave, I hear what you’re saying as I too am experiencing the fallout resulting from my relationship with a friend who displays narcissistic tendencies (that only I, apparently, am able to recognize). This has caused a lot of divisiveness in my friend circle — mostly between me and everyone else, much of it due to, as you describe, rumor and innuendo, and exacerbated by my own reactions. Very difficult, making it near impossible to be comfortable in social situations where I once felt I belonged. I too have chosen to leave myself out of activities, but it often just makes it worse, affirming the narcissist in the process. I actually wince, shrink, and tighten up when I see my narcissist friend, and have physical symptoms of panic. I too seek help for what to do when these inevitable situations arise.

      Anyway, some small things have helped. This may seem silly, but I find it helpful to keep a small object in my pocket that I associate with goodness and comfort that I can hold tightly or fidget with when I want to react or hide. I focus on that object in my hand and it is not harmed by my thoughts because it has no thoughts or feelings. It can’t betray or misunderstand me either. Perhaps it is a link to someone who understands my heart — or He who understands my heart. But it helps, and it can all be done in silence. I’m curious — does anyone find this to be an objectionable strategy in any way?

      Your supportive partner is so important to healing, and when things get rough there’s nothing like an understanding gaze just for you.

      Also, remember who loves you, and have them close in mind and heart.

      I also find it helpful to imagine that this all plays out as a sitcom or story with a hapless fool at its center, and the hilarious hijinx that follow only increase the knowing audience’s sympathy for the character (you!); the cruelty experienced is felt poignantly by the silent unseen observers. Sometimes I imagine this audience as guardian angels so I behave and not feel too sorry for myself as it all unfolds. Finding the humor even when you feel you can’t win — or finding the humor BECAUSE you can’t win helps, in a “wah waaah” sort of way. It helps to have witnesses, even if they’re imagined.

      Reading this over, I see some of my own crazy in front of me, but I think we can all relate to the crazy we feel as a result of these difficult relationships! Good luck out there, Dave.

      What are other strategies out there??

    • Dave, I certainly understand. These people cannot lose. They seem to want to twist you until you give, even after you have tried to separate from them. I know a pastor who seriously abused an associate, treated him terribly, and finally got the associate to leave the church. At the closing service for the associate, the pastor came up to him and said, “So, are we good?” In other words, no hard feelings. They want it all. They want to be able to destroy you and have you love them for it. Crazy!

      So what do you do? Well, I have an idea for someone bold enough to try it. Narcissists are fearful people. They don’t like others disliking them. But they are even more afraid of others knowing the truth about them. I have not had an opportunity to use this myself, but I have wondered if they would shy away from someone who really understood them. So here’s a sample dialogue:

      N – Hey, X, have you been avoiding me? We should get together sometime.

      X – No, that wouldn’t be a good idea.

      N – Why not?

      X – Because I know too much about you and I don’t think either of us would benefit from this relationship.

      N – What do you mean?

      X – I mean that I understand you now and I don’t intend to play your game. If you push this, others may find out what I know and I don’t think you want that.

      Now, I think that most narcissists would find a way to get out of that conversation and not risk starting it again. Some, of course, would want to fight. You would have to decide whether you are willing to state publicly what you have learned about the person. What have you learned? You have learned that the N is very good at pushing people’s buttons and almost ruthless in doing so. You have learned that the N will do whatever it takes to look good in front of others while planning how to be cruel behind the scenes. You have learned that the N doesn’t care how he hurts people or uses people or dismisses people. To him, others are either to use or are in the way. You have learned that the N is a weak and fearful person with narcissistic characteristics and you no longer wish to support his fantasies about himself. I suspect you have learned even more that you could put in your own words.

      Here’s my point: you have the power in the relationship now. They might be trying to force you into a corner, but there is no corner where they are safe from what you know. Almost all narcissists want to win, but they would rather lose than be exposed. If you really don’t want any further relationship with them, and you don’t want them to try to destroy you, you will have to make them fear you. The truth is what N’s fear the most.

      I would love to know what you think of this and I hope others chime in as well.

      • Fatmah

        I think your idea is brilliant. My dilemma is that I love my son very much and only recently decided to study information on NPD and have had to admit to myself that my adult son and only offspring, has all of the symptoms. I recognized red flags and a disconnect years ago, but didn’t want to alienate him because he is my only child. I am married, not to his father and live in Centro America and my son lives in the states. After recently asking him a couple of questions that an ordinary person wouldn’t be sensitive too about comments he made to me in an email, he wrote me a letter expressing his suspicions about the questions and implied what right do I have to question or judge his lifestyle. Now, he wants to back off from communicating with me for awhile. In his letter, he stated “who are you” and “I don’t know who you are anymore.” It seems that any thing I say to him, he has to create a crisis over it. I would like to know how do you think I should proceed when he contacts me again?

      • Fatmah, I feel for you in this. As I wrote to Penny, this has got to be the hardest of N relationships. Children have to choose their own paths. You feel responsibility for them, but adult children have to live with the choices they make. For some reason, he was sensitive to your questions. His sensitivity may be phony, just an excuse for being cruel, or it may be real and may reveal some conflict in his own heart. In either case, there is little you can do about it.

        So I would suggest that you try not to worry about it. When he contacts you again, listen for what he wants from you. Just love him and let him know that you will always love him. You don’t have to compromise yourself to do that and neither do you have to approve of his choices. If he pushes you to render judgment, tell him that he doesn’t need your judgment. You will love him no matter what he chooses. Don’t let him suck you into his compromises.

        I hope he calls you again soon. I think that will be a sign that he needs you and he knows he needs you. But don’t be surprised if he picks a fight again. It is part of the deep mystery of the soul that a son pushes away and pulls toward again. Keep the communication open, even if it hurts. He needs your love, even if he won’t admit it.

      • Kathy

        I understand your logic, but it is dangerous (IMHO). I have learned that if for one minute they suspect that you will expose them, they will hit with a pre-emptive strike — the smear campaign. Although I never told relatives of my in-laws the horrible things that they said and did, my in-laws did know that I spoke with these other relatives. So they ran ahead and filled the heads of these innocent bystanders with the most vile and horrible accusations they could make against me. Most have not believed them, believe me, but do not want to tip the boat and so I have no defenders. One very much believes me and can’t stand these relatives of his. Others refuse to speak with me. believing the lies. I was accused of spending $1,000 on a white pantsuit for my husband’s funeral, then claiming I was broke. When my husband’s sister died, relatives were told that I posted online that she deserved to die. Horrible.
        DO NOT threaten to expose them unless you secretly already have. The smear campaign is horrible beyond words.

  17. Portia Gray

    I ignored him for 10 months after kicked him out. I sent all of his stuff he bought himself to his sons apt . He texted saying have his stuff at his house. I dropped his air bed at 6 am and put on front porch while he was asleep. One more mission , to drop off his two end tables on front porch by front door when he’s at work . His son & wife will drag the tables inside. it is embarrassing to my narc ex to have all his stuff out of my house . Narc ex is also a hoarder too!!! All stuff is in storage. Stupid???

  18. Portia Gray

    One more thing I did to my ex narc bf. I knew his job routes. I drove pass him doing his work route acting like I not see him but made sure he saw me in
    My car looking all happy and pretty . I did this several times. Ha ha! Thts my victory! Ha ha

  19. Lifewise

    I have a question. How long do they continue to try and get you back? I left my ex fiancé narcissist a year ago and he is still begging for me to come back and give him another chance. I left because I found out he cheated with his ex. He is saying he is a changed man and realizes I am the only one he wants to be with. The problem is he has never put me down or called me names like I have heard about other narcissists. He has been diagnosed with NPD traits. He knows I have great faith in God and he uses that as bait. He says he wants to do what’s right in the eyes of God and that he would never betray me again. He just doesn’t give up. Could it be genuine? I think he believes his own words but is not capable of changing. It’s just so difficult to move forward with all of this love bombing on a daily basis. The good thing for me is he ran 3000 miles away when he was caught so I don’t have to worry about seeing him unless I was to agree to travel. I have not seen him in 8 months and wonder if I should at least have one face to face conversation. I am strong now and it’s all in my control. Just confused. Thanks

    • Lifewise, he will probably keep trying until it becomes either unprofitable or he finally understands that it is hopeless. He still thinks you will cave or that you have misunderstood him. He probably cannot believe that you have chosen to be without him. That would be very hard for a narcissist to accept.

      On the other hand, when he does realize that his attempts are fruitless and will stay that way, he will probably make you into the bad guy. He doesn’t sound like the typical overt narcissist, so I would expect that he will create a story where you are good in some ignorant or twisted way. “She thought I did something and never let me explain. If I could have talked with her…”

      Also, be careful about what signals you are sending back. As long as he thinks you are interested or weak, he may continue. If you tell us that you wonder about getting together, what are you telling him?

      • Lifewise

        Thank you. I have never led him to believe I am coming back to him. I haven’t been mean either. I have been polite and somewhat friendly but firm. I have contact due to some financial responsibilities that he had put in my name and is continuing to pay. He is also asking me to marry him which is just crazy. I think it’s all for his image so that he can return home to his family and look like a good guy. Since I wrote my post, I haven’t been feeling as confused. Maybe just saying it out loud helps to see things more clearly. Some strange behaviour is if we are arguing by text, he will send a pic of himself in the middle of it. He always asks why we can’t just continue from this day on and forget the past. It’s true that to them there is no yesterday and no tomorrow. Only today as if a year has not gone by. I know now I will never trust him and have decided to continue my life without him. I guess he was starting to wear me down. Reading everything on your blog has been great therapy. I’m going to be ok. I thank God everyday for my strength.

  20. Lifewise

    Also, we had been together for 8 years and he was very loving even while being unfaithful. On the other hand, I was basically living his life and it was all about him but not in a terrible way. Hard to explain. He is one of those charming narcissists but lied continuously which I didn’t know at the time. If he was mean, it would make this decision easier. I was devastated when the truth came out but prayed for strength every day and received it. I am ashamed to say I still love him after all the hurt.

    • Repol

      ” He always asks why we can’t just continue from this day on and forget the past. It’s true that to them there is no yesterday and no tomorrow.”

      Wow. Yes. Another similarity. “Forget what I did yesterday, because I already have. I’m here today.” If you remember the past then you aren’t forgiving, but they never have to fix anything from the past or even prove that it won’t happen again. We’re just supposed to accept their word (and why should we?) that the past is different from the now.

      • Lifewise

        Exactly! And I have done that a few times through the years but then he repeated the same behaviour and I got screwed. I told him I will never do that again. He says I need you to trust me one more time and give me the benefit of the doubt. (I need). It must be so easy to live your life without any memory of the day before. It allows you to start with a clean slate every day. Like the move “Groundhog Day. “

    • Penny

      Sadly, you seem to have described my son. There are moments of empathy, and lots of drama & discovery–but always at your expense and rarely at his. There is little to no reciprocity and an unnerving lack of “context”; he can compartmentilize his behavior, so betrayals are not acknowledged as such, but rather, as minor “events” that occur outside the relationship and thus do not matter…to him. The fact that they matter to YOU is merely evidence of your inability to understand or empathize or be supportive of his “journey”. He doesn’t do “boring”. It’s all about him, and whatever tears well up are for himself, even tho he seems genuine in the moment. The second you need or require something for him, the moment you are desperate for compassion or empathy or support, he is nowhere to be found; he is off somewhere far more important or dramatic or groundbreaking or demanding. Do not equate his eyes welling with tears as true compassion or empathy unless you actually witness him sacrificing his time, his treasure or his reputation to ease another’s burden. The minute you need him, he is out of money, time or ideas–even if it’s just to help wash the dishes or fold laundry or water plants. He is suddenly “exhausted” or must return phone calls or meet a “client”. Talk is cheap, tears are fake, plans are exciting & charm is vain…but nothing is more important than feeding the monster of “self”. Sorry to say, but it’s the unvarnished truth.

      • Repol

        Penny, your son sounds almost exactly like my former friend. Almost exactly.
        I’m so sorry you have this issue with your own son. That must be terribly difficult.

  21. Penny

    Yes, it is. He dd not learn Christ in this way. I have had to learn how to pray all over again. I believe, but help me in my unbelief.

  22. Fatmah

    Dave, thank you for your reply and I will follow through on your advice! Yes, it is extremely difficult to accept that my son has NPD. I gave birth to my son at age 23, he is 47 now. I was single, gainfully employed and had lived the single life for six years before my son’s birth. I wanted a child, he was no accident. I even prayed for a son and The Creator answered my prayers. His bio father and I never married and we broke up when my son was 3 years old. I was a single parent for 19 years of his life and we traveled extensively coast to coast in the US due to my employment demands. I never abused him and never hit him, because I had a horribly abusive childhood. However, I was a tough love parent and a loving parent without spoiling him. When he was old enough, he was expected to be responsible by making his bed everyday, changing his bed linen once a week and was given chores. I taught him to respect others and have good manners. He seemed to make friends easily. I taught him how to cook, clean, to put cuffs in his pants, iron his clothes and some banking skills. When he became a teen, I would bring home blank applications from my jobs and teach him how to fill out employment applications; he was a good writer. I exposed him to a lot of things that he would have to deal with in the adult world. We did fun things like riding bikes, hiking, visiting aquariums, zoo’s, spend time in libraries and the beach together. We did have struggles during his boyhood from time to time with him wanting to dominate me. I would have to remind him that I was the adult and he was the child. I held the reins as tight as I could, without being hurtful, but he definitely wanted to be in control of things. He was a born entertainer, a communicator, gifted artist and loved music and was an athlete. I would catch him in lies and he would deny, deny, deny. The first time he showed any physical rage was when he was about 10 years old, he became so enraged with me because I wouldn’t let him play school sports until his academic grades improved, that he punched his fist into his closet door mirror, in front of me, and broke the mirror in a million pieces. I was so upset that, I had him to sit outside of our apt. bldg. (in daytime) until I calmly figured out how to deal with him after he cleaned the glass up off the floor. I wasn’t a perfect parent, I made mistakes, but I was a conscious and serious parent and did my best to make his childhood development as positive as possible. My son was a difficult child and the greatest challenge of my life. Single parenting made me a stronger person. I prayed all the time for guidance and help with rearing my son and it helped. There were times when I just cried in my pillow after seeing behavioral red flags that my son displayed. When he left my charge at age 19, he and his girlfriend lived together for awhile, she became pregnant and my granddaughter was born. My son abandoned his first child, but not before he he assaulted the mother and she became so afraid of him that, she decided the only way she could get away from him was to enlist in the US ARMY. Her mother, her four other offspring’s and I took care of our grandchild. Six years later, my grandson was born, a different mother, and my son abandoned him also. He seemed to care only about himself. It was very disappointing to know that he chose to be irresponsible towards his own children, but he always had women in his life. He never legally married and said that he never will. My grandchildren are adults now and I suspect that my son has a lot of guilt for abandoning his children when they were young. I suspect that he has told them untruths about me to suit his purpose, because they never initiate contact with me, I always initiate contact with them. Whenever I do, they never ask me anything, and I always have to keep a dialogue going because they seem detached. My grandson only contacts me when he wants money from me, but I don’t play his game. My granddaughter never asks me for anything and seems to be doing well on her own. As for my son, someone said that some people are just wired to be N’s and I agree. I love my son and always will; I will not make any judgments when I hear from him again, but listen to him and avoid his maladaptive behavior, and let him know that I love him. I am so grateful for your website. It helps to know that there are others who have similar issues that helps me understand more about NPD. Thank you for your comforting words and my prayers to all for God’s abundant strength.

    • Penny

      Fatmah: I am so sorry to read your story, & so sad to hear about your grandchildren. Thank you for sharing your story–you sound like a loving & caring person. Your son sounds so much like mine, and I agree, sadly, that some people are wired to be Ns. Altho I am sad that I will probably never be a grandma, I also know that my son would be a terrible father, so that is a divine mercy. Unlike your grandchildren’s mothers, my son chooses women that would be terrible mothers, so again, God’s sovereignty has revealed His mercy. I too love my son, and pray constantly for him; it must be hard for you, as it is for me . How i long for him to come to the cross. I will pray for your son too.

      • Fatmah

        Penny, thank you for your caring words and prayers. I will pray for your son too. I pray for my son daily, that’s all I can do. I understand what you mean about your son not being a good father to your grandchildren and I’m sorry to know that you may not have the experience of being a grandma. I never would have believed that my son would abandon any child he fathered. It was heartbreaking for me to witness. But, I will tell you Penny that, the emotions you feel for a grandchild are unlike any you’ve ever felt before. Although, my son told me in his recent letter that he has God in his life now and he’s in a good place and therefore, he doesn’t have time for my “questions and foolishness,” just from these very words alone, I don’t believe he is at peace and he has changed like he wants me to think…more deception and pretense. It has been a month since I’ve heard anything from him, but as he’s done in the past whenever he turned on me, he’ll contact me again. I’ve been keeping this issue about my son to myself for so many years, it brings me to tears to be able to share my story with someone who can relate to what I’m going through. Although my husband would be empathetic and kind, I haven’t shared these developments with him, because he is not my son’s bio father, and he never had or wanted any children of his own and I don’t want him to worry about me. I’ll be fine because my faith is strong in The Almighty, and as the saying goes, I’ll feed my son out of a long handle spoon from now on, tell him I love him and try to avoid agitating him. Penny, I welcome any comments you have and I am here for you. Your support is appreciated! Blessings to you…

  23. Penny

    Fatmah~thank you for your kind words. There are many tears shared on this site, and mine are flowing now. I am so sorry that you have carried this for so long, alone, and am so glad that you have found this place. This is a ‘safe” place for all of us, and the fact that you even found it tells me your heart is searching for Godly wisdom, not just the world’s opinion[s]. There are a lot of sites out there, but none like this one that offers truth and wisdom in a practical and understanding way. Pastor Dave has a ministry unlike any other I have found, and I hope you will find hope and peace for your heart and your spirit. He blesses us with truth and wisdom from God’s word, and is always good about speaking the truth in love when we get “sideways”. He always points us to the cross, and that is the cry of my heart. I want my son to seek the cross and I know that is God’s desire too, so I know that when I pray for that, it is pleasing to Him. If there is any good in a mother’s heartache, it is in being driven to my knees in prayer and to His word. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness, so God knows what it is like to have a child wander in defiance and selfishness. I too have received similar letters from my son, and it is good that you can discern the pretense, even tho it is disappointing. I love your comment about the long-handled spoon! That is a good word picture, and one I will remember. Dave advised me to keep on loving him, and I think that is good advice (altho my flesh despairs at times). I know that even tho Jesus felt compassion on the rich, young ruler when he walked away, unwilling to let go of his “treasure”, Jesus did not chase after him. He let him go. I guess that is where we are: we feel compassion and empathy on our sons, but we let them go…. and keep on praying. Blessings on you, too,

    • JD

      After thirteen years surviving a marriage with a female narcissist, I began to involuntarily emotionally detach as an adaptive technique. This could be considered neglecting the narcissist. As a result, her nasty behavior escalated and even began to include adultery. I am now in the middle of a divorce and we are separated. She still cannot recognize my autonomy and tries to interfere or manipulate me at least once a week. If you neglect the narcissist, please be prepared for the consequences!

      • Fellow Survivor

        JD, I was in my marriage for 23 years. Same thing with me. I just pulled away emotionally and couldn’t feel connected to her in any real emotional way. The lies. The blatant lies are what did it for me. You know the feeling when they look at you and basically say “why don’t you believe me when I lie to you?” with a straight face. I told her if she would admit that what she did was wrong and promise me it wouldn’t happen again she would have my emotional attachment and undivided attention again, but she couldn’t.

  24. JD

    It is easier for them to simply find a new source of supply rather than to be held accountable and change. My soon to be ex’s family is aware of her infidelity and many other “things”. She has made no real attempt to reach out to them. When they do come into contact, she acts as if nothing is wrong. It is business as usual. When I come into contact with her, it is like we were never married or ever even had a relationship. We have been separated about six weeks. This just shows how incapable Narcs are at forming intimacy. When one no longer believes the lies and actively contributes to the confabulations of the false self, they are then discarded or raged upon. Funny thing is, when supply gets low they come back to haunt you again. I had children with mine so I will not be free for a long time. I have temporary custody and am sure that the weekly interferences have a lot to do with her trying to regain control. I had hoped her new source of supply would help keep her occupied, but her appetite for supply has always been insatiable. This is noticeable in areas such as finances, food and adoration.

  25. Ashley

    I have been spending time today reading past articles/blogs. I have found this one to be so true. Over the past year I have learned not to get trapped into text messages and emails. My ex expects an emotional response and in the past I have played right into it. Now I ignore the message, take time to pray and do other things, then either don’t reply at all or just reply in a very neutral manner. I either get a ranting or begging response or the silent treatment. Either way I just file them in my “divorce document” files for evidence as needed regarding custody. I have found praying and not responding brings about a feeling of calm that I have never had before. I have realized for years I was trying to get him to be a “Godly man” and I needed to own that.,,the realization that there were red flags that I just ignored thinking I could help heal the “hurt inner child.” Now I just offer him up in prayer every night. I also never tell our son anymore that his father loves him. Words of wisdom from a therapist who is an expert in this area. I realized it would be teaching my son that the way his father treated me and him is love, when it is not.

    • Fatmah

      When I was in denial about my son having NPD, and he would send emails implying that I was a part of some conspiracy against him and he would deny and distort everything I said to him, I would always respond in an emotional loving way to reassure him that I would never do anything to hurt him; that I live almost 5,000 miles away from him and don’t know his friends or associates to conspire with and try to convince him that he was mistaken in his assumptions and implications. But, he has to be right about everything and It didn’t matter to him what I said, it was his way or no way. The more I told him that he was mistaken the more he became unreasonable. I couldn’t believe how he could invent the things he would accuse me of to start a fight with me. While I would try to make sense of it to him, he would rant. Finally, the last time this happened in a letter he wrote to me, I decided not to respond at all. Before, I would always write a letter to him as opposed to sending a less personal email response, asking for a reconciliation. I found myself going around in circles and playing into his NPD. I haven’t heard from him since September this year. I don’t know if or when I’ll hear from him again. As hard as it was, I decided to let him go and let God take over and I continue to pray for him. He is probably wondering why I haven’t responded to him like I always did in the past. I am heeding advice from Pastor Dave. I think you’re right not to tell your son that his father loves him, instead, be realistic. Strength and blessings to you!

  26. Pagan

    I left my husband of 35 yrs not knowing he had this tormenting “illness”. Had to leave because he was trying to physically harm me in my sleep. I literally ran from house after he left for work grabbing what I could carry out with me. Bought a ticket and left the state. Only found out because suspected a man I was in a relationship after had every last sign of it. Seems I chose 2 men like that. The last one died two months ago, saving me from further hell. I was on the verge of leaving him and he knew it. It is a very strange illness but reading about it has made things clear for me. To top it off, man I dated his ex wife is now trying to slander me(she feels I took him from her,not so they were done before I came into picture 6 yrs before) on all social medias. She has gone as far as posting that I have hiv, I don’t. I have chosen to ignore her. Don’t have the energy to deal with another one like that. All three people have made my life a nightmare. I wonder do I attract these people or do they just choose targets randomly?

  27. Glad to have found your blog, definitely following now after Kim Saeed’s reblog of another post. Re: the ignoring, yes I definitely think this is something that helps to think of it this way…it is much more empowering for forward moving to think of disengaging from the N behaviours by using words like “ignoring” and being “bored” or “tired” of the behaviours (even though the feelings may not actually be that of being “bored”!) However not all things can be ignored…the very difficult behaviours that I need to respond to will be a repeated, brief and non-emotional message…with kids so difficult. My counsellor told me that eventually I would become better at switching off the “noise” and focussing on my own life. It’s very energy draining once one does get drawn into their details…

  28. Ann

    The person that I know that is a N and I had been friends for 15 years. Sure we argued in those years, however I didn’t realize that she was a N then. We had a horrid arguement a while back. We didn’t talk for 5 months.
    She is a severe alcoholic and has had many major surgeries, including heart surgery. I have been there with her family during these surgeries.
    Well, we made up.
    So, here I think everything is fine between the 2 of us. She goes for another surgery. Her family blew up at me for even trying to contact them to find out how she was.
    They told me that I hurt her feelings a while back. That I upset her. She failed to tell them that we made up. I was an idiot again. BUT, this time she got her entire family to turn on me.
    I do know she is going to die because of her drinking. I talked to one of her sons, the son that lives far away because he can’t stand being around his own Mom. He is a RN, he told me that they weren’t able to do the surgery due to the Fact that she has Severe Pancreatitis.
    I feel like she is punishing me one more time before she leaves this earth. I keep praying. Do narcisist do this? Is this common?

    • Penny

      Sadly, Ann, yes…narcissists do this. It is common. You have become a scapegoat. Why? Because altho their methods vary, narcissists are all alike in 3 ways: to them, you are either a toy, a tool or an obstacle/target. No matter which, they simply use you for their own purposes. If you are a toy, then it is the “fun” stage; once they hook you, it’s no longer fun (for you) but you are still useful to them as a tool: to get what they want, whether its attention, money, status, etc. You are merely a tool, which some writers call a “pipeline”, b/c they stick a straw in you and suck you dry. You exist for their pleasure or their purposes, which is never, ever, reciprocal. They don’t give back. They take & take & take. When they are done sucking the life out of you, then you are basically useless to them & you may be discarded & disowned, or they may continue to use you as a “secondary” pipeline to get attention from others (like betraying you to the bystanders to gain sympathy & allies, blaming you, assassinating your character, smearing & slandering you, all for their perverse pleasure) while seeking a new toy. Dave has often said that you are not “real” to them, you are an object. Their mission is power & control. Period. They and they alone have power over the toy, the tool and/or the obstacle. You have no say; you have no voice. Theirs is the only voice. It is like you are a TV set, & they have the remote & thus the power: to turn it on, change the channel, turn the volume up or down, kick it, get rid of it, trade it in for another toy. You are not real. They will always, ALWAYS, seek power & control. Even in death, they are the ones who find a way to have the “final word”, to hurt you beyond the grave, to disown you, write you out of the will, whatever. My advice? Write a “goodbye letter” for yourself (one you will never, ever send). Say in your heart what needs to be said, let it out, but say goodbye. Begin to mourn this so-called friendship & all that you lost, continue to pray, but pray also for your own healing & wisdom. Continue to visit this blog & learn with the rest of us. Be encouraged here! Seek truth & be kind to yourself. And know the narc will never be kind in return.

  29. Fatmah

    Finally, and after much thought, I cut off all communication with my son after receiving a removable audio flash recording of himself talking to me. After not hearing anything from him for a year, he said to me on this audio recording that, he appreciated me for all of the things I taught him as a child and for being a strong role model for him. At the same time, he expressed anger and disappointment in me with a hateful tone in his voice; attacking my character and saying all kinds of untruths about how he didn’t like the way I disaplined him when he was a young boy and other things I did that he didn’t like, which made no sense whatsoever. Being a single parent and female, I had to remind my son almost daily of who was the adult and who was the child. He wanted to be in control of me and I couldn’t let him because I was a serious parent that made it clear who was in charge; and until he became independent and old enough to take care of himself, I was the adult responsible for him and not the other way around. I never hit him, abused him on any level. However, I did take away certain privaledges when he misbehaved, or I refused to let him play school sports whenever he received failing academic grades or I caught him lying. He made terrible decisions once he became old enough to live independent at age 19, and he still blames me for his bad decisions ’til this day and he’s 48 years old now. He would never take responsibility for his own actions and prefers to play the victim; everything bad that happened to him is my fault, according to him.

    After listening to his audio recording that he sent to me in June 2014, which he emphasized that it is to be between me and him only, I decided to cut off all communications with him. No phone calls, no letters, no birthday cards/gifts, no emails – nothing. So far, I have not heard anything from him. I suspect that he is shocked that I have not responded to his audio recording. In the past, I always responded to him. I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t hurt to know that he still harbors anger and resentment towards me for being a tough love parent during his childhood. But, I refuse to be misused by my own son. After devoting my life to being the best parent I could be as a single parent for 19 years of his life. After giving all the love, nurturing, care and educational opportunities I could give; making sacrifices and working two & three jobs at times to take care of us during his development, and help him become a descent, productive and caring human being, his payback quite frankly was like a slap in my face that caused deep heartbreak and grief for years,

    That’s all changed now. While I miss having my son in my life and I think about him every day, I finally realized that he will always want to seek power and control over me, and blame me for his ills and always have to be right about everything; everybody else is wrong and he will never admit to his NPD and need for therapy. Finally, I’ve realized that he will never change, I am the one who had to change. As hard as it is to admit, in all probability at this juncture of my life, I may never hear my son’s voice, or see him again in my lifetime. This is the choice that I have been forced to make for my own health and well being. My son and I have had many opportunities to have a civil mother and son relationship over the years, but he would always sabatage any efforts on my part to forgive the past and grow forward. He would betray my trust and cause disappointment time and time again for no reason.

    I want to end my comments by saying, whether you find yourself in a husband/wife, mother/child, boyfriend/girlfriend, employer/employee relationship with a N, it might be one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make: whether or not to stay in the relationship and accept all of the heartache and heartbreaks that will entail, or disengage. My advice to you is to make you first priority. The best thing you can do is to liberate yourself to live the life you want and deserve to live. Life is too short and too fast to live it in constant disappointment, pain and misery; that’s not living at all. No matter how well intended, there are some things we simply cannot change. Some time, we have to get out of the way and let God! Strength and peace to all…..

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