Why do you still love him (or her)?

It’s Narcissist Friday!

 In several of the recent comments I read words to the effect that the writer still loved the narcissist.  Few people will understand how a victim can continue to love the one who caused so much confusion and pain.  Family and friends think you are foolish to allow him or her into your life again.  And, actually, you have trouble explaining it yourself.

Will it help for you to hear that this is quite normal?   Continued positive feelings are part of the relationship, in spite of the suffering.

Why?

Narcissists are parasites.  They feed off the attention and kindness and love of others.  But it is even deeper than that.  They feed off the life of others.  After a while, the narcissist needs new life and new energy.  No matter how fawning and submissive Victim #1 has been or still is, Victim #2 is fresh and provides more energy.  It is a recognized characteristic of narcissism to move from one relationship to another, either at work or at home. 

But, in order to do this, the narcissist must recognize likely victims and have skills which attract their victims and disarm the natural suspicions.  Most narcissists have developed these skills over years.  As children they found ways to make others like them and do things for them.  Controlling what others think of them is the narcissist super-power.

And narcissists give—just like certain parasites give.  They give something that attracts and holds their victims.  They understand intuitively how to manipulate people and they give whatever they need to give to accomplish their purposes.

Keep this in mind as you look through the following list.  One or more may apply to you.

 Ten Reasons You May Still Love Your Narcissist

  1.  You still need what the narcissist pretends to offer.  I have seen hungry fish hit a hook again after being caught and returned to the water.  The bait still looks good to them and they are still hungry.  Sometimes even a lie is good just to hear the right words.  Find someone who will work with you to discover what needs you bring into a relationship. 
  2. Your family taught you to be narcissistic supply.  Very often, especially when someone moves from one narcissistic relationship to another, the cause can be traced back to early family dynamics.  Children of narcissists can become either narcissists themselves or easy prey for narcissistic abusers.  You will either repeat the relationship of your parents in your relationships or you will have to consciously do something else.  If you are not prepared to battle the inner defaults, you may well continue the narcissistic patterns.
  3. You are too depressed to think clearly about change.  The battle with the narcissist is draining and the victims often find themselves in difficult situations when the relationship ends.  There is little strength to build a new life and, when you are confused or frightened, there is a draw back to what is familiar.
  4. You want to be nice.  Nice people are supposed to love, right?  You should blame yourself when things go wrong, not others.  You should not judge others for hurting you, but just accept it as part of what is necessary to make a relationship work.  I hope you are rejecting these things!  Some people have been taught that being nice is more important than being a person.  The path of least resistance is the best path, they say.  There is a time to be a nice person and there is a time to stand up and say, “No!”  You are under no obligation to welcome the narcissist back into your life.
  5. Associating with special people makes you feel special.  Almost all narcissists have a following, a group of people who look up to them hoping that some of the greatness (or benefits of greatness) will fall their way.  This is especially true for narcissists in entertainment, politics, sports, etc.  Groupies are often willing to suffer abuse just to be close to their idol.  Since the narcissist sometimes projects this greatness, it isn’t a surprise that some people are drawn to it.
  6. You think he needs you.  You are important to his drama and it feels good to be important.  Narcissists often tell enough of their story to make people feel bad for them.  You see yourself as able to help, even though he never really changes.  Then you feel bad that you can’t do enough to help him.  Maybe if you just do more…  This is a trap!  It is part of his bait to pull you into his net.  Ted Bundy sometimes walked with a crutch so young women would feel sorry for him.  Then he beat them unconscious with the crutch.  He doesn’t need you.  He needs real help. 
  7. You have to stay connected to him.  This is hard.  Maybe you have a child together or you are married and don’t want to be divorced.  Maybe you see him or her at church or in the neighborhood.  You can’t move or hide and you are forced to be civil.  So be civil and never let him into your heart again.  It is possible.  Talk with someone to learn how you can do this.
  8. You miss the energy.  Narcissists are often creative, witty, and fun to be around.  They can have great humor and are willing to take risks.  Normal boundaries fall before them and that can be exciting.  In the beginning at least, the physical relationship can be intense and filled with pleasure.  Life seems boring without your narcissist.  But that isn’t love.  That might be adrenalin addiction or rebellion or a desire to stretch your boundaries, but it isn’t love. 
  9. You are still under the control of the narcissist super-power.  Don’t underestimate the ability of the narcissist to twist your feelings, particularly your feelings about him.  It is what he does.  Just about the time you think you are in control, he calls and you are wiped out again with confusion about the relationship.  Again, get some good counseling.  Find some help in setting up and maintaining your boundaries.
  10. You are simply lonely.  It is hard to leave a relationship, especially one in which you invested a lot of yourself.  If you have been controlled and manipulated, you probably are too tired to see yourself in another relationship.  Or maybe you feel that you are too damaged to offer yourself to someone else.  Yet, you need a companion.  Please, there are options other than welcoming back the person who hurt you.

Okay, I know this is hard for some of you to read.  Some have probably stopped before this.  This is one of my longest and maybe one of my most important posts.  Please be aware that opening the door to the narcissist again may hurt you beyond what can be healed.  Understand yourself and why you have these feelings. 

I recommend the book, “Help! I’m in Love with a Narcissist,” by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol (2005).  They have several helpful chapters that talk about these strange continuing feelings for the person who hurt you. 

Also, please feel free to contact me.  Better yet, find a good counselor who understands narcissistic abuse and how to help people through it.  You can be happy and full without that pain. 

So what are your thoughts?

164 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

164 responses to “Why do you still love him (or her)?

  1. Thankfully, I stopped loving my Narcissistic X weeks before I left him. I didn’t know he was a narcissist at the time, I just knew there was a special kind of evil in him that I didn’t want for me or my son. He stripped me of my self worth. Months after leaving, I THOUGHT I had made a mistake and that I had abandoned My X for selfish reasons. I felt guilty because I had once loved him and it was so, so difficult to realize that my first mistake was falling in love, not leaving him. As good people, we beat ourselves up and blame ourselves (just like the narcissist liked to do) and then when I discovered what he was, my confused love became a raging anger. How could someone be allowed to get away with treating another human as cruelly as the narcissist did? How could he go from calling me the love if his life one minute to calling me a lying whore the next? Trying to reason this just angered me in the beginning stages. So, I think letting go of the love means inviting the anger and most of us have an easier time loving and sympathizing with someone than we do with hating and being angry with them. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • EnoughisEnough

      It is amazing that after reading everyone’s comments, it feels like we all fell for the same dysfunctional heartless person! I too, fell for a narcissist, even though I identified very early in the relationship that he had issues WITH EVERYONE. He doesn’t have a single “healthy” interpersonal relationship with anyone; not his family, neighbors, business colleagues, anybody.

      I love(d) his energy. He is funny, charming, handsome, spontaneous. But he is also manipulative, self-indulgent, draining, lying, cheating, critical of others, and mean. I would start fights sometimes to give myself an emotional break from “our” madness.In other ways, I am and was dysfunctional before I met him. I wanted someone to love and who better to give it to than a narcissist who craves it? But, it is static love. The dynamics of getting love in return never came in return. I battled with why I embarked such an dissatisfying relationship. “Why do I give him so much power when he needs me more than I need him?” Everyday I have to wake up and convince myself that I have all the power (not him) to bring something good into my life. I feel like I am in some sort of rehab program for my mind. I am trying to find the self-worth that I was missing before I met this person. If my self-esteem was in tact when I met him, I would have bolted and spared myself a great deal of heart ache at first sight of this narcissist backlash.

      Anyway, I too struggle with the feelings that I have for this emotionally damaged person and realize that what I feel for him is not love, but an inadequate amount of self-love that I have for myself. It is all in my mind. When I learn to control my mind instead of letting it control me, I will put the power back where it belongs —— Winning his conditional love is a waste of valuable energy because we all know that these NPD individuals are incapable of giving true love.

      • Majeesa

        Fantastic comment. Really well put.

      • My narcissist fooled me. I had no idea what hit me. I was separated from my then husband of 26 years, no real dating experience. My narcissist came into my life at that point, I am sure I was an easy target even though I always thought myself to be a very strong woman. He swept me off my feet, I told everyone I didn’t stand a chance. He seemed perfect, we got along so well and spent hours talking. He did tell me about his life and past romantic experiences. Something that always bothered me was the number of failed relationships he was in, so many. I felt that he didn’t value relationships and saw them as something to just throw away and move on. He has his own business and has money and uses that as a power to attract unsuspecting victims. With me he didn’t use his money, I had know him for many many years. I really didn’t think he had a lot of money, he never spent it on me, I guess he spent it all on himself. But I did see after our relationship ended he likes to show woman, I have two boats, I drive a Porsche, look I have rental property. One day after we broke up, wait I mean he dropped off the face of the Earth and quit answering my texts, so mature, we talked and he told me most people envy my life, I have this and that and so on. I thought to myself who is this person, so full of himself, I was so disappointed that I loved this man. And trust me, that style of breaking it off, he had done that to my at least 3 times before that, it was as simple as I questioned him for keeping in touch with every ex he ever has, he is a collector. He would get mad and say just go home you weren’t spending the night anyhow. Then he wouldn’t speak to me for a week or two, but I would not fall into that, I didn’t text or call either, I would go out and date. He would come back begging me to take him back and I would (not so smart). Our love seemed so intense he always said he loves NEW LOVE….I can see that hence all the failed relationships. I started catching him in small silly lies, if you lie about little things you lie about big things. He occupied all my time, he wanted to be with me every minutes, he was suffocating me. He always said the right things, you’re my soulmate, your the best thing that every happened to me, you are the love of my life, my best match in 25 years etc etc. I took care of him through prostate cancer and two other surgeries. He is a selfish, unappreciative man, and I have cut off all contact with him. He wanted to be sex buddies with me after we decided to go our own ways, I declined, he said we will see where things go, really. I didn’t fall for that, it was time for me to move on, I sent him a very harsh email which really scares the narcissist away. I told him I hope he finds the doormat he is looking for. I too often wondered if he ever loved me at all, but them realize this is his problem not mine, he is a lost soul. I have a chance to find true love, he doesn’t. This keeps me moving forward. The only reason I understand any of this because a friend of 45 years told me he is a narcissist to look it up. I was shocked and all I read, it explains so much. I can’t say it makes the hurt any less, I gave 3 years of my precious life to this uncaring, undeveloped human, but life goes on and so must I. Thank you all for your posts they really help.

      • Getcurly

        Thanks for posting this, couldn’t have put it better myself. This is exactly how I feel. My Narc ex has now moved on with a Russian lady and I’m stunned to find myself in the bizarre situation of having to swallow her spending time with my beautiful daughter, who I have with my ex. Genuinely never thought I’d be in this situation but there you go!

      • cam

        not one of…BUT thee best comment I have read since embarking on my endeavor to uncover everything there is to know about narcissism and narcissistic people…I will always remember that they need us more than we can possibly ever need them….thank you, Cam

    • Ty and exactly. I have thankfully had flowing thoughts of all of the things he did to me over the years, for the past few days, because my heart hurts, I crave him. How could someone treat someone they loved like that, and then just turn it off and on the next…family like we never even existed. It is SOOOO Hard to wrap your head around, but I think I’m finally getting there after 8 years. My self esteem is affected and I’m praying like crazy for help to heal it. I too have a hard time being angry. I tried for peace for years, while he took that peace, kept his own to himself and literally plotted my demise…for wanting to leave him for the way he treated me. I’m trying to keep faith to find out how this story ends, and learning each day to keep moving, no matter what, just move even a little, out of this mess.

      • UnForsaken

        Keep fighting the Good fight, lynnederella5 ! Every step is worth it, and the closer to Christ you become, the more He will teach you His love for you. The more I realize His love each day, the more I can hold my head high. We are All Valuable to Him! I hope you realize how special you really are…

    • Michele

      Paula how are you doing now? I’m married to a narcissist and from what I gather – my marriage would have a better chance of survival if he was a crack addict rapist. I feel like you had the strength to move on and be successful ?

      • My anger is gone. I’ve found acceptance…acceptance of the experience, relationship, and my reaction to it. Today, more than ever, I feel open to love again. I seek honesty, compassion, and freedom in my relationships. I’m a work in progress, and I stopped allowing the past to dictate my future. I no longer feel shame, guilt, or remorse for the behaviors against me by others or for my own misguided behaviors due to my conditioning. I’m in the process of becoming reconditioned!!! Thank you for asking. 🙂

    • Sharon

      I’ve been in recovery (A-Alanon) 7 mos. now believing the abuse in my relationship was the result of alcoholism. It is, but my new awareness has allowed me to see that His Majesty the Baby is a flagrant narcissist as well. This relationship has been like searching for someone in a house of mirrors.
      Anger/ rage is a powerfully uncomfortable emotion to feel. Yet, look how empowering and useful it has been for you, when not turned back in on yourself. You were given an emotion that gave you the courage to change the theme nags you can and break away from your N.
      Thank you for sharing, I needed to hear this.

    • Stop The abuse

      I can relate To every single word and feeling thank you so much for sharing … I thought I was going crazy… Like you I didn’t even know about narcissism … I didn’t know people like that existed …. I’m so good and kind hearted … Full of love and gave my love to the wrong man! Like you said first mistake …. 😦 I wish no one ever have to feel the pain we did … I’m so sorry…

  2. Kelly

    Paula I like what you said. As victims of narcissists we are very longsuffering and it seems easier to sympathize than to get good and angry. This is a great post. It reminds me again of how sinister the NPD is. Just when you think you got it licked it rears its ugly head again in false guilt. I cannot believe how much I put up with in my ex-husband. He was killing me from the inside out.

    • Ann

      Thank you, I could not put into words, what the Narcissist of 3 years had done to me. Took me a year to get a way, oh, & 1 year to sit back, sad, depressed, hurt, confused, stunned, & you put it into exactly how I felt, “He was killing me From inside out”. All replys have been wonderful, this one just really described what I felt, & put it into words. The best of luck & good wishes to all of you.

  3. What an excellent post. I often wondered what made me love the narcissist so much and what made me love him months after we ended and why do I still love him now? I guess I can say is that I love the good parts in him and I love what I fell in love with because he portrayed to me everything I ever thought I needed. And the physical component was out of the world and I craved that. But I have never been so hurt by a persons actions and words, I was dumbfounded and shocked much of the time and the arguments were meaningless and it seemed I spent most of my time defending my true intentions. He seemed to twist everything out of proportion until I thought to myself I must be a bad horrible person. Then I would feel so guilty. Then we would break up and my heart would bleed for him. After sometime he would come back and so I felt I was being rescued from my own pain of being without him. Again the euphoric feelings would come back and I would think I had my knight n shining armour again. That is, until the next tryst of which I endured yet another episode of belittling. Gosh, I must have been such a horrible person that I would make him feel this badly causing him to lash out at me. Yes, it was all my fault. And I really believed this. I was exhausted all of the time and my health began to wane. I ended up with three pinched nerves from all the stress. It was incredibly excrutiatingly painful to endure the emotional fallout from loving a narcissist.

    I wonder to myself, why in the heck to I still love him. I guess I just love the components about him that are good. I loved the way I felt when I was with him when he was being good to me. I still 2nd guess myself about him, thinking it was all my fault. Is this the abuse part of it? Will I always feel it is all my fault?

    I certainly dont need him to redeem me. I am slowly coming around after 4 years to be able to even think about opening myself up to another man.

    • Cecelia K

      This reflects my feelings so well; I realize all of our stories pretty much reflect each of our experiences, just with variations in the exact details. I still love my ex, too, or at least have feelings for him. Not sure if it’s love exactly. I feel like I want to be back with him, but minus the cruelty, gaslighting, and drama, of course,but I honestly don’t know if that’s what I Really want, so I have to seek what God wants, and I’m praying to learn to be content with what He has given me (and not given me).

      As you said, I want the good parts again. I do miss him and long for him to care that he hurt me and to want to restore the relationship, but treat me right this time. Little by little, I am learning to lay my desires at the Lord’s feet and trust Him to do what’s best for me, rather than looking for reasons to contact my ex in hopes that he’ll eventually agree to work out our problems with a mediator/counselor. I realize it will take more than that anyway; even if we resolved these problems, new ones would arise, if his heart has not changed.

      • Cecilia I completely understand and feel your pain. I have cried myself to sleep many nights hoping my ex N would finally realize how much he hurt me and feel true remorse. Unfortunately that wiill NEVER happen, npd ‘s are incapable of feeling empathy. Once I finally came to understand this – I was able to finally let go of a good portion of the anger and hurt that has been drowning me! I started to look at it like being upset if my dog wouldn’t use the toilet and put the seat back down! Lol. Actually- the odds of my German Shepard accomplishing that task is much higher than my ex accepting responsibly for his hurting me and showing true remorse! Somehow realizing they are truly defective -allowed me to truly finally realize it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m the victim ! I still have a ways to go to heal. I still feel love for him and that bothers me. However this blog has been such a blessing! Just reading other people stories and knowing you are not alone and your feelings are normal has been so healing! It’s helped me see I’m not weak , crazy or even broken – just bruised ! And I will survive this and come back stronger and better for it 🙂

      • Dee

        This has been a two year journey for me and I’m still in a path towards healing. Some days the feelings overtake me and it’s all u can do to function. Other times I acknowledge that he will never ever admit his part in this debacle so I have to get myself together. Several weeks ago I was taking a nap when I heard my chihuahua barking downstairs. She barks at people passing on the sidewalk but this time she sounded frantic. When I got to the top of the stairs he was standing there he had just let himself in. The last time I saw him was months ago! Absolutely zero concept of boundaries. When I had the temerity to object he told me he couldn’t understand why I didn’t like him when he had 15 other women who did! Then why are u in my house. You can’t make this stuff up. What depresses me most is that I still feel something for him and some days that pull is so strong it’s all I can do to not contact him.

  4. Kelly

    Kitty your story is so similar to mine. I struggled hard with feelings of worthlessness. I lost my health. I guess the conclusion I came to for me was that I didn’t love my ex, but rather was “addicted” to him. He was fun, crazy, hilarious and an adrenaline junky when he was being nice. He was tyrannical when he was trying to get NPD supply. It literally was like living on drugs…highs and lows. He was a total psychological “trip”. He has been in NPD injury phase since our divorce…he hasn’t had a NPD supply until recently. I noticed he is now on cloud 9 ..has yet another new gal plus her kids to worship him and his position as a first-responder. It’s only a matter of time before he moves on for fresh supply. The whole cycle is despicable and disgraceful and yet I know he was horrifically abused as a child and I still pray for him when I think to.

    • Kelly:
      I hope you are feeling better, but I know for me the better days come with some bad days thrown in there. I know EXACTLY what you mean about the highs and lows. I craved the highs, needed them and yes, like you described, was addicted to them because they felt so wonderful. I find it fascinating that an individual can exhibit and entertain like this. Im sure its hard for them to maintain and its why the lows hit. They must make themselves tired LOL. What I noticed when my ex narc was in what you term NPD injury, he was down on everybody around him and was going to do things differently in his life. He talked about how everyone around him was dysfunctional but himself and that he had to set everybody straight. How he does everything for everybody and no one appreciates him. Had to feel sorry for him……but not enough to make me want to have him spew venom at me again. I learned my many lessons. But breaking away hurts so very much. He is happy now because he got a married woman to leave her husband for him. She left her husband, kids and life just to be with him. He seems happy and Im just waiting to see how long it will last. Is he doing the same to her as he did me? Thats the billion dollar question. Was I just a worn out rag for him to treat as such? Crazy thing is that I still do love that mean man. Im going to have to think about what you said about being addicted. Thats a good one, but its been so long now that the addiction wouldve worn off by now. There is still love……or maybe me thinking he could change somehow and then we could live happily ever after????

  5. #3 From above. “There is little strength to build a new life”
    I am having difficulty in re-engaging back into my life or starting a new one. I became so disenchanted with everything in my life after the relationship with N terminated. It all seems so boring now. I no longer keep the same hobbies I used to do. Before meeting the N, I kept myself busy and happy doing what I did. But then my injury from the stress makes it impossible for me to do the things I once loved. But it doesnt matter physically, mentally I no longer want to do them. I am mad he stole that joy from me. I want to replace it with something else but right now dont have the energy to do it. The earth feels flat and grey. Boring. Do narcissists do this to you? Or is it myself, impeding my own mental recovery?

    • number1hinesfeet

      To all the women here. I am so sorry you all have gone thru what you have. I never knew what a Narcissist was and still struggle to Identify accurately. I am a simple man. I don’t think if we don’t have quality interpersonal relationships it means we are Narcissistic. Some folks just go thru life lonely longing for Love but they just don’t fit in or they have had so many negatives in their lives they just fly below the radar as much as possible. For the first time outside my parents I found true Love in Jesus. Such Love is alive but when someone is in relationship with a woman as I was described the way you ladies do the men that hurt you and the ways they did. I am not as good as all of you communicating what and the way you all have but for some strange reason I am encouraged. I lost my way in Jesus in this terminated relationship. I don’t really care to much about to many doctrinal differences nor do I think I need to learn them, but what I do know is 14 yes ago I met Jesus and I experienced such great Love,cleansing,freedom that I fell in Love with him and learned him to be a healer of the human heart and spirit. He cares about all of us and wants all of us to experience his tender gentle presence. If we all make alone time for him and pour our hearts out to him he will come and make his Love that heals and restores known.I have been confused,depressed,torn for several months but I am finding my way back a little each day to the intimacies I shared with Jesus the gentle lamb once again. Right relationship with Jesus can compare to no other. I know it hurts but I find a renewing sense of increasing Love,freedom and healing when I pray for my ex that truly didn’t know Love nor how to. My heart is being freed from bitterness,frustration,confusion,melancholy and I am becoming able to open my grip releasing them to God and freeing myself from theirs . Finding myself once again to be a treasure and my identity is not in the hurtful things they said or did that twisted my identity but the identity God sees me as thru his Son Jesus. I must pray for those who hurt me and you all because Jesus keeps my heart clean and free when I do. Jesus Loves you all. Foggy,painful. Scary is the path after the demons unleashed upon us but Jesus is right here and there. Call on him . Trust him and be free. One day the Narcissist that truly is the devils advocate will realize the harm and damage they have dished out and be broken. Hugs ,much Love and Prayers. Brad

      • gloria p stringer

        Brad i agree whole heartily, i am still married and live with my narcissist husband i once felt like these woman i had lost all my strength and became very depressed. You see before i met my husband i was diagnose with bipolar disorder, i was an abused child who grew up and became an abused women. Every man in my life was and is just like my stepfather who abused me as a child. i now no that we do what we say that we hate, i know that what we hate we do because of the hate we can’t see so we draw what is in us to ourselves narcissist hate themselves and need people like us to make them feel better by keeping us in the same condition. i now know that Jesus love me and His plans for me is good and not evil, so i pray for my husband and God always gives me ways to deal with him. i know how to set boundaries and i don’t believe a word that he says when he tells that he loves me, I no he is incapable of love and i don’t need his approval any more he is in capable of giving real support and encouragement. i pray that God will save his soul. i have found my joy in the lord. i advise the other women to do the same. its not easy but it is possible with Jesus Christ. Faith without works is dead. so you must believe that you are free and began to act on it.

      • Broken Soul

        Amen, I thank you for this reminder.

  6. joniw

    will these book help with parent and child relationship

    • This is really focused on marriage or dating relationships. There are two books I recommend for families. The first is by Nina Brown, “Children of the Self-absorbed”. The second is more expensive and a little more scholarly, “The Narcissistic Family” by Pressman and Pressman. Both are very good and can be found on Amazon.

  7. joniw

    my issue is sometimes i don’t realize i am being used and manipulated until after it happens. I guess i am guilty of caring too much. My grand children tend be used to get me to get them stuff too.

  8. joniw

    thanks because my issues are with my adult children. I am trying really hard to coach them without budding in but sometimes things need to be said. it wasnt til i was studying mental diseases that i realized my older daughter narcissistic and my younger daughter doesnt stand up for herself either.

  9. Diane

    So what is a person to do when married to one? Ive removed myself emotionally but it is lonely and sad. Ive prayed for chsnge and now i feel like it was/is hopeless. He cannot be tslked to or with and would never ever agree he needs counseling. His kids dont like him either. The easiest thing to do is keep quiet but of course he can spew venom about that too.

    • Diane, I grieve with you for the loss of what could and should have been. What you do depends on how it affects you. If you are losing your health and your mind as so many have said here, then you should probably consider a change. There are options besides divorce. On the other hand, some people are able to find a life apart from their spouse even while in the marriage. You probably share some things and enjoy some good times together. Can you find ways to connect with others to meet the need for friendship and acceptance?
      You see, the answer to your question is different for each person. My best suggestion is that you find a counselor for yourself, one who will accept your values but still confront some of your thinking.

    • Diane, I understand you perfectly. This may sound shallow, but you could try what it worked for me. When I felt so lonely, I started playing Words With Friends on my son’s iPod. I was “lucky” I got match with men who were using the app as a dating site. They would say anything to get my attention. And I really needed that, to have someone telling me I was nice, or fun or smart, to remind me that I was worth, that I also had a voice. Instead of only listening to things like: “you are useless”, “I shouldn’t give you so much freedom”, I played and chatted with those strangers. After some months, I could filter all the bad things said to me and made the decision to end my relationship, (I didn’t find the love of my life or anything of the kind, I just realized that nothing could be worse than being in that relationship). I understood that I deserved better.

  10. Kelly

    I appreciate how we can all talk here candidly about our struggles… its a blessing ❤

  11. Faith

    Wow. I am so sorry to read these stories but relate to the feelings of stolen joy, until I led my own life within the marriage. That led to more control issues until truth wqs uncovered (serial adultery) my safety was threatened…then I had to divorce.
    We have children who will be scarred but will not be permanently damaged because most was hidden… by Gods protection and power.
    I am thankful everyday that we can love and have deep feelings for others. It is a victory.

  12. But what if the narcissist is a parent? A parent who has not made good choices financially and will need eldercare?

  13. I need help. Its been 2 months. No energy.

    • Karen, I am so sorry for your struggle. Obviously, I don’t know what you have been through, but I encourage you to find someone to talk with. If there is a women’s center near you they will probably have access to a counselor. Most churches have connections with counselors. Find someone who understands narcissism if possible, or at least someone who will believe you.

      Your lack of energy is part of the normal response to the narcissistic relationship. Many have said the same thing. It has been draining just to maintain the relationship and whatever crisis brought the end was probably very difficult. Please give yourself a break and understand that you have been through a physical battle. The adrenaline and hormone upheaval alone is enough to make you feel drained. A certain amount of depression is also normal, but again I would encourage you to find someone to talk with.

      Please feel free to write to me again here or directly through the contact section of the blog. In the meantime, I will be praying for you.

  14. Ntombizonke Gcule

    Why does it look like God had never helped narcissistic people? it feels like you staying with the devil himself.
    Any story of hope.been reading bible don’t see any relevance so discouraging.
    Would God want me to stay in this turmoil? Why me?

  15. to: N. Gcule-
    The book of Hosea speaks to me on this topic. Hosea’s repeated humiliation by his unfaithful wife seems to mirror the sort of power imbalance that exists between a narcissist and romantic partner. Our culture has disdain for putting up with this sort of behavior, yet I am struck by how God uses Hosea’s relationship for Gomer as a metaphor for His relationship with Israel (and by extension- all of humanity).

    The only upside to enduring mistreatment by a narcissist is that it deepens our own understanding of God’s limitless love that is available to all of us. Sadly, we all exist on the narcissistic spectrum somewhere as we all have sin natures… but thankfully God never gives this as a reason to abandon us. Does he allow natural consequences? Yes. Does he allow for hards to be hardened? Yes. Does He work mysteriously in our hearts? Yes. So it’s not to say that God enables narcissism, or asks for his children to endure narcissistic abuse that is a dead end trap. He is, after all, our Savior and Redeemer.

    God doesn’t necessarily expect you to subject yourself to an endless cycle of abuse, but his allowing you to experience the consequences of others narcissistic sin is not something you need take personally. His own son was, “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” who was frequently and grievously wounded by the sins of His loved ones. Yet somehow Jesus found a way to bear that pain without sin. The only upside I see to this situation is that suffering plays a role in the formation of character. God can use it to bring you to closer relationship with him.

    I hope that doesn’t sound smug or oversimplified. The question you raise is one I ask quite a bit, and my sharing this answer is simply because it helps me move past feeling like I have been victimized in a way that sets me apart from others. It hurts so much to go through this. I am saying a prayer for you now.

    • Fellow Survivor

      I don’t know where else I should post this comment but this message is about the best place I can think of. ‘Why do we still Love Them?” Why? Why? Why? They are so mean and know exactly how to crush both your soul and spirit. I just received a note from my attorney that says “wife” is ready to go to mediation. I should be excited and look forward to it so this can all just be over, but it just reinforces the fact that what I thought we had just never was. My daughter is crushed because everthing she thought she could depend on is now gone forever. And Why? Because her mommy wants a new and exciting life with no boundries or limits on what she can do. At its root, this desire is what caused the divorce. I would try to set boundries on what I was willing to except, she would act like she respected them, but in reality just lie about breaking the boundries. The lieing just made me lose all respect for her. The more lies, the more I pulled away emotionally. The less I wanted to do for her.

      I think, in my case at least, that the battle I am in is a battle between the flesh and the spirit. My flesh so craves her touch, to hold her in my arms again, to love on her again. However, my spirit has been repulsed by her lieing, gossiping, defaming, critical personallity for a long long time. I can’t tell you how many times over the course of our 23 years I have heard her on the phone trash talking some poor lady and telling her to stop talking about others like that.

      Anyway, it was my spirit that pulled away when my flesh was ready to cave in. My flesh did cave in over and over again but for some reason there was just this “enough” moment when my spirit won the battle. So if we focus on what out spirit craves which are all the fruits of the Spirit, then we can see more clearly and not be defeated. These persons are monsters and we should see them for what they really are and not what we wished or thought they could be.

      I am trying to feed my spirit through diligent prayer asking Jesus to restore my soul and give me strenght for battle, so it will win the day. These people are evil by virtue of the way they intentionally hurt others without any remorse. Period. If I can focus on that simple fact it makes it easier to endure.

    • Allie

      What a good answer. This really spoke to my heart.

  16. Jillian Daniels

    Thank you so much! I felt that this article is very helpful! I’ve been in love with my ex who is a narcissist for 6 years now and I have a child with him. I just can’t seem to let him go. I don’t know why I feel like he loves me too I guess I’m believing everything he tells me and then realize maybe he’s just telling me things I want to hear. He lives in another state.He comes in to visit me. when he is away he tells me about how much he loves me wants to be with me. then when hes with me a different story.I’m no good I’ve changed well never be together. I find myself crying for days when he leaves. I’m just so confused. I don’t think I can ever get over him. I think I might look into getting counseling.

    • Jillian,

      There is life after the narcissist. I hope you do find a good counselor. Explain at the beginning that you believe you have been in a relationship with a narcissist and you want to understand why he had and has such a hold on you. Be sure to tell the things he has done. Just get it all out. The counselor may help you see how certain things in your life opened the door to his abuse.

      Does he still love you? He probably doesn’t understand what it is to love someone. He may feel that he needs you. He may not want to lose you for some reason, but it will almost certainly not be love by your definition. You may make him feel good about himself and he likes that. You may be someone he can control and use and he likes that. Whatever the reason, if he is a narcissist, it isn’t love.

      So let him go. You obviously have a lasting connection with him through your child, but you have to be in control of your connection to him. Ask your counselor how to set boundaries and how to deal with his manipulations. It can be done. Surround yourself with support and love.

      Please feel free to write here again or to write to me privately through the contact page. I care.

  17. Wow I think God meant me to see this post through face book.. I was just at my ex husbands house last night and he has a narcissist personality which nearly destroyed me..
    A friend actually passed on details of gas lighting and narcissism and when I read what others were writing I was flabbergasted by what I read.. 80/90 % of what others were talking about I had gone though for 18 years.. Yes it’s tiring amazingly so because I’m nice lol or try to be and you know loving, patient.. Seems to be such a hold.. I act like a stupid school girl around him.. And I am so tempted to just give myself away..
    Thank you I understand that all the guilt feeling because I flirted badly and go back sometimes to him..
    It troubles me and saddens me and pulls me into a spiral.. Least I understand what I’m feeling is normal and I’m not crazy..

  18. Sandra Lavini

    Great, great article and wonderful posts. My ex was a drag. Yet, I was addicted, and now that I’m out of it for 1.5 years, my thougths return to him. Still hooked. I was FURIOUS at the end. No depression or dysfunctionality, just fury. And now, I guess I am finally dealing with loss and grief. Also a drag.

  19. K

    I know this article was written almost a year ago, I am just now reading it. My husband divorced me after almost 17 years of marriage. I know the reasons (adultery). He did and said things that were nothing other than evil. Yet all along I prayed that he would “find God” and would be redeemed, that we could have a family together again. We have been divorced 8 months now and in the past 2 months he has been begging for reconciliation. He went back to church, was reading the bible, talking to a pastor, got off his facebook page. But when I put down the rules saying I wanted him to cut friends out of his life (they are self proclaimed atheists and knew of his affair) he said he would. Until I asked to see his cell phone messages and he told me that was snooping. Since then I’ve learned he stopped going to church weeks ago, only spoke with the pastor once and has been texting his atheist friends (females, of course). As soon as I put down the rules he cut me off…went from flowers, love messages, promises of marriage to cutting me out. Again. This is my struggle..loving this man for the good times we had and not being able to admit what he is. Our marriage counselor said he’s a narcissist. My job is working with addicts, I see how people can overcome addiction and surrender their lives to Christ/higher power and they can be transformed. I get stuck thinking a narcissist can do the same. I was fooled again, and didn’t think my heart could break any more.

  20. I was married to a narcissist, who really sort of evolved into one in the last several years of our marriage. He was a soldier, whose love for country, his body and whatever he wanted to do came first and foremost, then the kids, and well, I was at the bottom of his list. No need to rehash the pain and gas lighting, along with years of countless painful scenarios………. I divorced, then met and spent 6 years with another narcissistic man. Totally different in many ways, except the ones that count. If you want something ….hahaha, forget it. It’s never my fault, you have these serious character flaws that keep me from making a comittment. Somehow, we seemed to gravitate toward building a home, etc, but he was not going to marry me, and closing the gap in our long distance relationship was the proverbial dangled carrot. In the end, he walked away bc he said that the home we were looking at to rent (so we could be closer, to keep looking for land to build on), was so ridiculous, that because I could live there, he lost all faith in me and thought me mentally unstable. I Shoot me – I was merely thinking: this is temporary, I could scrub, wallpaper, paint, decorate to make it cute and it was to be short term anyway, and dang- so it’s not about being together???? Well, he decided he wanted a break, well, I finally had had it and let him have forever. I am only posting, bc 1.5 years later, I am seeing someone who is an amazing, loving, caring man who respects me, cherishes me and thinks the world of me. I cannot help it, from time to time, thoughts of the ex bf float in and out of my brain, and I wonder – do I still love him? is this why I am having trouble falling in love? I do not want to. I want to fall in love with this new man, who deserves to be loved.
    Is it normal to have these fleeting thoughts and should I even be seeing someone if I have them on occasion?

  21. Suzyoh

    I am in the process of divorcing my narc of 6 years. He has had numerous affairs over the years too many to count, but the affair that pushed me over the edge both mentally and spiritually is the the 2 year affair he is having with a well known female minister. I found out her divorce became final last year. He attends her church, practically lives with her, and they parade around as a couple yet a lot of people know he is married. What in Gods name could he have possibly said to her that made her think this is ok. One night while we where still together he left the house stating that he needed space at 1in the morning I called her home and there he was. This has shook my faith in so many ways. My friends and family keep telling me that I should go the church and confront her. In front her congregation but I refuse it will only make me a target if his rage and besides I don’t want to come between the wonderful experience God has in store for her. She is also a principle he is a teacher, he pledged a fraternity 3 years ago at 39, since being with him she pledged a sorrority this year at 44. This man had me arrested on false charges for a green card and yet I forgave him and even helped him still. Then when I found out about the numerous women and confronted him he became violent , when I withheld sex from him he became even more violent and I had him arrested. I dropped the charges because I didn’t want him to go to jail I just wanted him to stop hurting me. Instead he told everyone I made up the charges and ruined his life, so these women are rescuing him from the evil wife. And now he send me scripture and Joel Olsteen talks about forgiveness and judging people. He keeps insisting on a meeting to talk. We have kids together, the divorce is processing without his signature. The only thing that bind us is the storage contract where I threw all his belongings….and my mind which refuses to stop living, breathing, obsessing over him. The pain and noise in my head is enough to make me want to die. But I don’t want to die .i just don’t want to be here in this place feeling this pain…because no one understands and my friends and family all disappeared and those who haven’t threaten me with I will kick you if you take him back and things alng those lines. They don’t understand the pull, the humiliation, the hurt and worthlessness that I am consumed by. I took vacation ad have been held up in the house since Thurdsay. I drink wine to help me sleep I’ve gained 40 lbs from drinking and eating. And yet I go to work have 2 daughters ad a mother , a few colleagues…who all I up appear normal and have managed this well. I read blogs tons of blogs on how to deal all offering so much…but This is all so damn exhausting.

  22. Suzyoh

    Something about him being able to seduce and be with a minister, one who has you tube videos, and actively preaching on Sundays, heads up a young women’s youth ministry and comes from 5 generations of ministers. Her father is also a well known minister who marched for civil rights ….why would she risk all of that for a married man. Where is God and grace in all of this?

    • Suzyoh,

      I grieve for you. I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I have spent 100’s of hours investigating ministers who have committed adultery for the denomination in which I work and I have been personally attacked and deeply hurt by believers who were supposed to be my friends. Out of those experiences, I can only say that this is evil and sometimes evil sneaks into the hearts of church leaders. We all take our eyes off the Lord at times. We all play with the things God calls sin. But the consequences of those compromises can be so painful and destructive. You are suffering the results of your husband’s evil and the evil of the flesh of this minister.

      You are right in the middle of the hardest time. Your heart is being torn. Please know that there is life after this. Many have experienced the freedom and victory that comes after this terrible time. All I can do is say that I am praying for you to be strong and to find comfort in Jesus.

      You do not have to protect your husband. If he should go to jail, let him. If the truth of his abuse comes out, let it and don’t deny it. Just because you dropped the charges does not mean that you denied them. Let the world, and the church, see what is happening. At the same time, don’t feel that you have to stand before the church and let yourself be attacked by those who choose to be blind. Just affirm the truth. if people ask you what is happening, tell them. Tell them of your grief. The same is true for this minister. If people learn about her real heart, that will be a good thing. She is not fit to lead or preach and should be disciplined. You don’t have to attack, just affirm the truth.

      Please continue to come to this group. There are many here who care. Not many will comment, but I know that many read and pray. We do care.

      • Suzyoh

        I know that my truth will prevail in spite of all the character assassination he has done. Since January I asked him to sign divorce and my lawyer emailed him papers twice and served him twice….all of which he did not respond to my lawyer at all, until the night I called the minsters home and he was clearly in the bed with her. The next day he emailed my lawyer and copied me claiming I am acting like a crazy woman calling people’s houses at 2am yelling and screaming and he will resort to calling the police if it happens again. And I’m behaving like a woman who didn’t file for a divorce. He forgot to add that he told me he want seeing any one else and wanted us to work things out, he failed to tell her that we were together that weekend. After this incident I payed my lawyer more money to proceed with the divorce without his signature. Now he’s confused and is wondering what would happen if we had a doing over. He had the nerve to tell me he is not seeing any one else but the minister so he knows if he came back home he can be committed because he is n a different place. I do believe he is Lucifer. But the saving grace for me is he is a diagnosed narcissist ( wish I had listened to that therapist 5 years ago would have saved me so much), which means he is hard wired she will get all the misery he has given to me and all in the circle will witness it. They will see all that he said and complained about the crazy wife ….he will be saying about her too when she starts to react to his crazy making. I have been this mans wife for 6 years and for every mistress I am instantly turned into the other woman. I don’t know how he can claim he’s changed and in a different place and want us to talk, when he is intentionally and knowingly still with this woman and whom ever else.

  23. prodigalkatherine

    Good question! Maybe your understanding that this is not your fault is the true gift. many victims doubt themselves and their perceptions for years. You seem to be very clear headed. Sounds like you have his number.

    Suzyoh- Jesus was mistreated constantly- He was a “man of sorrows and aquainted with grief”- your experiencing deep sadness is in no way an indication that God does not love you. God let His dear Son suffer, but as part of a larger plan. What you have survived feels like a nightmare today, but stick close to your faith and let that be your identity. In time, you will see this hard time as “the middle of a story that ended well, once I stopped being enslaved by a wicked man and claimed my identity as God’s daughter.” God has opened your eyes and has shown you that you have been mistreated. “By their fruits you will know them…”

    I have no answers other than to say- this knowledge sets you free. You have a life to live, sweetie. It does not belong to this jerk. It belongs to you and God is always there to help you if you call.

    What has happened to you was terrible. Someday this man will have to answer for it. I am sorry for your pain. But be encouraged- many of us here have survived this abuse and betrayal and we are ok. We are here to tell our sisters that there can be a better tomorrow.

    As you sleep, remember this: you are a daughter of God. You are cherished. He has better things in store for you. Chin up, sister. Tomorrow will be kinder.

    • Suzyoh

      How can that be when now there is a minister, a woman of the cloth, she was counseling my husband, she is suppose to uplift women. Now my husband is with her. She as been giving him spiritual baths and convinced him that I am bad for him. How can God allow Them to use his name to discredit me. I am not effect but I loved and supported my husband despite what what everyone was saying. It just so hard to hold faith…are we all praying to same God. I just don’t understand and notepad of it getting better it is getting worse . He called to say we need to meet and discuss our marriage because he misses his family with me, and circumstances put him with her and he has changed he’s just with her, but he is confused. I hate being here. I want one thing just one explanation that will work for me and make all ths alright.

      • I was not familiar with the term “spiritual baths” until I looked it up online and found that it is connected to witchcraft. Tell me more about what is happening. It is not uncommon for ministers in the church to toy with the practices of witchcraft, even if it sounds bizarre. This may explain a lot.

      • suzyoh

        Our dispute happened last May and he was ordered out the house for 6 months. After he said he knew God was trying to change him and he didn’t want to lose me and our family and was moving home in November. November came and he started to say people are telling not to what if I have him arrested again, them Christmas came nothing but he kept saying what people were saying even though he spent the holidays home he would disappear he was staying at a friends house. New Years eve he was home and said he was going to work and would be back. He never returned until 4am at which point I refuse to let him in. I later found out that he spent it with her at her church. I figured the code to his Ipad and saw a rant from another woman he was seeing for 3years about this woman that he was calling all hours of the night and she gave a phone number. When I looked up the phone number it matched a parking ticket he received at 7am the Monday after new years when I couldn’t find him ot matched the ministers house address . After confronting him he confessed that because I had him arrested these women were helping him
        The minister he slept with once 2 years ago while she was separated but she decides it was wrong and so she became his spiritual guide to help with our marriage. All news to me because I never heard of this woman. Then he went on to say that he’s so angry and can’t figure out why we are having so much problems so he went for a “reading” and this person told him its what his male cousin who is 2 years older than him did to him when they were in high school (sexually) and then he went on to have another sexually encounter with another male in his 20’s. This person told him that he needed spiritual baths and oils to rid him of this memory and im not good for him for all the evil I have done. Its weird because about 2 years ago when he moved back home after being separated for a year his doing I started getting night terrors, I still get them. He text begging me to see him saying he has regrets and since the divorce didn’t go through as yet van we stop it…but them for days nothing
        He drives her Mercedes and is exposed to a whole other world since her fathers church, her being a principle, and the role her family plays in the community. When I tell him the neighbors and all our friends see him parading with this woman he says they are jealous. When I called her home he called me back from her bed Ms said the most vile things I guess to appease her. One day in May I went to his apartment after not seeing him since March and saw all these oils in little glass bottles one marked memory, the other prosperity, the other protection. This woman is Pentecostal my husband has always been a Christian. now he attends her church and Baptist church which majority of his frat brothers attend.
        I have no idea who he is or what he is doing but all I know I can’t function my mind and spirit feels like it is being tortured and at night I feel so terrified because of nightmares and night terrors
        This man has brought destruction not only to himself but to me. I keep praying silently be still amd know that I am God over and over it is all I can muster. A few friends told me the same about the witchcraft they believe is going on but I was taught that this doesn’t exist and only if you believe. Sorry for the long response.

      • suzyoh

        I am sitting here in pure shock. I agreed to meet my husband so we can change over the name for the storage. He made sure he came late so we missed storage. Them proceeded to tell me how much he needs my help and wants his family back. When I asked where is he staying he finally confessed…he is LIVING WITH THE MINISTER!!; OH MY GOD. and he made a mistake after intold him that our divorce papers is being processed without him he said that he wants out with her and I should help him find an apartment. And from there he can clear his head work on reconciling. I know he was seeing her and spending nights but living with her. I can’t this is more than I can handle. What next she’s pregnant. None of this makes sense and he looks a complete mess. He chose her and he should live with his choice which he will

  24. prodigalkatherine

    They are doing something very, very wrong. Somehow (perhaps your husband thinks- she knows what she is doing- she is a minister) they have justified their actions by scapegoating you. There is no biblical precedent for this sort of behavior. To commit evil against someone (you), and then slander that person so you feel justified is always the wrong thing.

    He says he wants to talk. At the risk of being harsh I think he wants to have his cake (you) and eat it too (be able to do whatever he pleases). I can’t tell you how to handle this, but I can assure you that his behavior is really bad. You are not crazy and he is not behaving in a loving fashion, no matter how much he tries to spin this or blame this on the minister.

    I wish I could fix this for you by saying something reassuring- but I can’t do that. You sense red flags in his behavior. I can confirm that your radar is good. Something is wrong about the way you are being treated.

    In my own life I’ve been through many disappointments. But the One who does not disappoint will never leave you. Jesus promised to send His Holy Spirit, the Comforter. As you wrestle with the hard choices you have ahead, know that you are not alone, and God has something better in store for you.

    Having been through infidelity, I speak to you woman to woman. It is so painful. But it is not about you. It is about a hole in his heart. I am praying for you now.

    • Suzyoh

      prodigalkatherine thank you for you words and prayers. I just feel so lost and alone. And I hate myself for still loving this man. I don’t know if the finality of the divorce will make this easier but for now it hurts and the loneliness threatens my sanity . I am so scared from day to day of what wave of emotion will be the day the thought that will be it to push me over to the point of no return. I try to pray but in my head there is here the minister mocking my prayers mocking my will power. Mocking me that he is now happy with her and she had what it took to make him happy. Thank you again prodigalkatherine and I am grateful for your prayers.

      • HI Suzyoh:
        You’d been through a lot. I hope you are finding some peace. Spiritual abuse mixed with marital abuse must be the absolute worst kind possible…Sometimes things are so bad ONLY Jesus can understand the depths of our pain. Thinking of you tonight sister.

    • Thanks for this comment! You are so right that adultery is not about the rejection of the spouse. There is no reason for the one who is left behind to feel as though she/he is unworthy or undesirable. All we have to do is look at Hollywood to understand this. Men and women thought very desirable by others still experience this deception by their spouses. Adultery is about the heart of the offender, not the character or physical appearance of the spouse.

  25. Ashley

    prodigalkatherine, I am in a very similar situation as Suzyoh and I thank both of you for your recent posts. I have days when i wonder when this nightmare will end and it seems that I have had MANY of those days lately. I have become angry and bitter again. Reading what you wrote prodigalkatherine is just what I needed to see now, to realize I am letting evil back into my life with the evil thoughts and that I am the daughter of the one true king and He has great plans for me and my child. I am praying for both of you. I also pray for the ones who hurt us, because they truly are missing out on what is real (God) and it is their eternity that will be lost.

    • prodigalkatherine

      @ Ashley and Suzyoh- Any “minister” who acts counter to God’s commands is acting from a place of blasphemy. There is nothing of God in what she says. (Matthew 7:16)
      If it helps- here’s my story it a nutshell. After staying unhappily married for seven years after leaning of my former husband’s (first) infidelity, I learned the hard way that just becoming more submissive to an outwardly Christian narcissist enabled his sickness and set a rotten example for my children. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, but I asked for a divorce at the age of 32 with four kids between 3 and 9 after I was pressured to participate in open marriage. It has not been an easy road. I have encountered and been mistreated by men far worse than my ex husband treated me (there were appearances to keep up and there was safety in that). Through these experiences- I have learned that no man can ever be the solution to my problems. God alone needs to be the “head” of my family. I am not anti man and I do pray for God to bring the right man into my life, but I am currently single until that happens because unless a relationship is of God, all my earnest efforts to be a noble wife would be cannibalized by any man who does not submit his ego and desires to the higher calling of living as God’s servant. Submitting to a man who is unsubmitted to Christ is a recipe for disaster. Today, I am single, and while I do hope that God brings me into a relationship that is in line with His plan, I am a happy thriving single mom who is seeing her kids blossom. I am living proof that you do make it to the other side of the pain.

      The “headship” doctrine that is so prevalent in conservative church communities strikes me as a perversion of the biblical call for submission in marriage. I won’t get into that beyond saying that I was someone who bought into it hook line and sinker, and ultimately had to learn that spiritualizing a marital relationship that is predicated on male dominance and exploitation of the wife’s lack of recourse if mistreated is not God’s perfect plan for children he loves. A lot of things we have been brainwashed to think are Christian run quite counter to Christ’s two greatest commandments. (Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself).

      Specifically, an exploitative marriage short circuits both partners abilities to keep these commandments. The N typically learns that they don’t have to love the partner as much as themselves, and within their sphere of influence they are god, and the N’s partner learns that in order to keep the peace she must obey her partner’s whims with even more devotion than she obeys God.

      Both of you have tried to make your relationships work by being good partners. But all of your efforts are wasted if the man you are submitting to wants you to make him your God rather than genuinely encouraging you to serve alongside him. To continue pouring out your life to gain his approval is a form of idolatry. I don’t say that to “guilt” you- I say it because it was that realization that enabled me to find the strength to walk away from a toxic man that I still loved very much. The best antidote for an addictive relationship is to personally enter into right relationship with God as your one true King. Once that happens, the fragile and painful equilibrium of the narcissistic relationship is shattered and one of two things will happen: the partnership/marriage will end or the narcissist will be forced to confront his sin pattern and turn to God. When you are in a state of undivided loyalty to God then you are no longer able to participate in the narcissist’s dysfunction and the relationship crumbles.

    • Welcome Ashley! I won’t add to what prodigalkatherine has written because she has done a great job of encouraging. I just want you to know that we care about your struggle and we are praying for you. – Dave

  26. Helen

    I just found this website, whew! Answers galore, it’s not me, I’m not crazy or depressed or psycho or needy or insecure! I accept that there’s a lesson in my ‘situation’ with my husband for me about me and I know now that I don’t deserve to be treated badly by him or anyone. I’ve been with this man for six and half years. I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong to be attacked by the man who said he loved me, only me and that he could live without me. I would try so hard to please him and nothing did, he’s a black sink hole, nothing fills it. He gathers groupies to get his needs met, men and women. When he verbally abused me by letting me know that I was ‘less than’ and the sarcasm and that ‘you don’t deserve me’. What the hell was that? Really?! He actually said that. This just happened a couple months ago and like a person withdrawing from a drug, close to being comatose, my mind has been getting clearer and more focused. I was on anti-depresants, I was in physical pain because of the stress he caused on a regular basis in our lives. I was living in reaction to his mood swings, crisis anger and hatred at me and others. He’s also bipolar, alcoholic, NPD, and I bet there’s a few other diagnosis that could be made. He wouldn’t go in to get an assessment because he truly believes there is nothing wrong with him. A year ago, he had a full transcript sent to him of his mental health records from the VA. I am a former CD counselor, 14 years in the field. He was having ME read the transcripts (he was suing someone at the time and claiming PTSD as the result of a tragic accident-that’s a whole nother book) In the axis diagnosis was Narcissist Personality Disorder-whoa! What? Everything started to make sense, I started paying attention. I started reading, appts. w/a therapist of my own. I didn’t say anything to him about his NPD diagnosis at the time. We got into a huge argument and while in the defensive mode, which I was in all the time w/him. I never knew when an attack would come or when or for what. I lived in reaction to his moods. Feeling backed into a corner, I let him have it about his NPD. He was stunned, he shut down. Some time later, out of the blue, he tells me that he had a ‘talk’ with ‘that therapist’ and she said ‘No, you’re not NPD, I can take that off your records.’ I may be some things but stupid is not one of them. I’ve got a lot out reading everyone else’s stories, it’s a road map of my journey w/Lynn. I was a prime target, so easy to fall under his spell. swept me off my feet and after a few months, WHAM! The verbal attacks started, the bipolar rages, the control. I can’t have my own opinion or ideas. I am always living in self-defense and for the simplest of things-it’s crazy making. Being with him is physically draining. He showed me his true evil colors the first year we were together. I no longer make him the center of my life. I was depressed because I was grieving for what could have and should have been a happy, healthy marriage. Our marriage is never going to be that. He went in to the VA a couple days ago for knee replacement surgery. I knew he would be off his biploar meds and would be a handful to deal with. After surgery, in his hospital room alone w/him, he attacked, spewed venom, pulled accusations out of the air. A nurse knocked on the door and asked if he needed anything and if he was getting settled in okay-she was doing her job. He smiled sweetly and chirped at her, not at all the picture of the vicious Mr. Hyde that was just there. I waited for her to leave, I put his phone and his charger on his table and told him to call someone who gives a shit and left. A nurse at the station saw me leaving and she called out ‘Are you going to get him some Burger King, he was wonder when he would get to eat some Burger King?’ I told her, ‘No I am not, he’s verbally abuse me for the last time, he’s on his own!’ He has called 15 times since yesterday. I refuse to argue with him, I will not go back. I am done with his tyranny and tantrums and put downs. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I know how painful the journey has been, believe me. I remember when I started researching NPD, how painful it was to face my own denial about him. It has taken two years and a good therapist. I am finally breaking free. For those of you who are having a difficult time withdrawing from your NP, I wish you strength. The other day I was in a store and a man, shopping, started flirting w/me. Nothing happened or will happen, no phone numbers were exchanged. It felt soooo good to be smiled at, to have someone laugh because I told a little joke, we talked about our horses and to be told ‘it was good visiting w/you, take care.’ when it was time to move on. Yep, God just showed me in that moment there is life after living in hell for so long. I am a child of God and I am loved! Take care all, much love, thanks again!

    • Fellow Survivor

      Helen, you are a fighter and I just love that. We all have our “enough” moment and you have had yours. I think the movie was “Network” or something like that when the main character says” I am mad as H and I am not going to take it anymore”. Eventually we all have that moment and that is when the relationship ends. For me, the ex sent an email that asked where is the old me, that loved her so much. I wrote her a letter that said “he is still here, but he is not coming out until all the yelling, screaming, verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse stops. It has worked for the last 10 years but no more” Then she divorced me. I guess she liked to yell, scream, and abuse me which is really weird if you think about it. I get mad at myself when I am angry with the cat for barfing on the floor.
      You Rock. Now go find someone that can and will love you!!

      • Helen

        The only thing I wonder about…is where have I been all this time? Time after time times a thousand he has shown me that he is totally incapable of truly loving another human being. Six and half years! I am off the anti-depressants in June and I am back on my health regimen of vitamins and supplements. Thank God for my therapist, he’s a gem. It hurt like hell to realize I was abusing myself by being w/this person and thinking, believing all he needed was me to help fix all of his owees. I just needed to love him enough, take care of his problems, defend him, please him, on and on. I never could do enough, he is w/out a soul. Orrison is right on, I was a tool, an object, a thing, a situation to be endured. Lynn gathers people like groupies, men, women. He flirts w/a gay man and leads him on. He gets this guy giggling like a school girl, making sexual innuendos. When I confronted him on his behavior, Lynn labeled me insecure over a gay man, laughing at me. Nope that’s wasn’t it. He was flirting w/this guy. He has cheated on me, I can’t prove it, I just know it. There’s so much, too much. Thanks for the AttaGirl, I appreciate your support. Yep, enough is enough. Blessing!

      • suzyoh

        Helen a big huge long hug. As I was reading your post I kept say Yes Yes but wait are you sure his name is Lynn and not Steve..Its so scary that such evil has an actual textbook that is followed to the script. But my heart stopped at the flirting with gay men. When I found out about the 3 women my soon to be ex husband was actively seeing for the past 3 years…he blamed it all on being molested by a male cousin that is 2 years older than him and on a sexual experience he had with another man in his early 20s. But these people are so empty that they do not care who they receive attention from as long as its a body. I Have been sucker punching him from since January from unexpected divorce papers. Served twice, belongings moved to storage, and cut off. Helen I can feel your strength your anger…because if we don’t feel it…we will feel them one bog black hole of depression anxiety and a world of hurt. We were not built for this and Gods grace and mercy is rescuing us pulling us slowly but surely back to the light..
        Almost like the laying of His hands. I’m cheering for you my sister.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Helen and Suzyoh, How to you get an N to admit their behavior is Bad? Trick question, because you can’t. However, the way I would get that admission was to ask her, the ex, if our daughter’s future husband treated her like “you” are treating me, would you be happy with him. They can’t and won’t answer that. question because if they say “yes, I would not be happy with the daughter’s husband” they admit they are treating you badly, and if they say ” I wouldn’t mind if the husband treated our daughter like I treat you” then they admit they are heartless. One time I told her “if you know what you are doing is wrong and still do it, then you are heartless” and ” if you don’t know what you are doing is wrong, then you are clueless”. She really didn’t care either way because she was doing what she wanted to do and I kept on taking it. Crazy Huh.

      • Helen

        Thanks Suzyoh and FS, kind words. I am now at 17 voicemails and 22 phone calls. I just deleted all of them w/out listening to one. I understand when others talk about being consumed or hooked, or liking the attention and excitement that our NP create. They are dynamic, charismatic and exciting to be around. I look back on my own experiences w/my husband, he imagines himself to be a celebrity. He seeks the company of millionaires (not a dime to his name), anyone w/a title or status. He fancies and promotes himself as a motivational speaker/public speaker, a warrior for civil rights and a businessman (NOT). In the beginning of our relationship (my word, not his) and when I believed he loved me and only me, I believed we ‘shared’ these experiences w/each other. I met a lot of people through him, good and bad. Gradually I became aware that I was invisible, I could have been anyone or anything. After an event or cause it was my job to continue w/the praise, applause, take pictures, so he could savor every detail over and over and accumulate more groupies. It meant nothing to him that I was there supporting him. I was there for the positive feedback. He’s a lousy public speaker by the way. I haven’t been to any of these functions in the last two and half years. I would end up getting screamed at if some detail was forgotten, attacked for no reason and miserable most of the time. When my depression set in, there was no loving concern about me, he was upset that I wasn’t going to be there for him. He would spin the trip as ‘quality time together’ to get me to go. On one of our anniversaries, a trip out of town, supposed to have a romantic night of dinner and dancing, at the end of the night I was locked in our vehicle, crying myself to sleep in the back seat. He was drunk and raging after a night drinking w/his buddies being the life of the party. One of the wives said to me’ I wish so and so (her husband ) was as much fun as Lynn’. I knew what was coming, the ‘after party’ was not going to be fun. So yes, I understand the exicitement an NP brings in the beginning. For me now, I realize what a facade it is, what a lie he is. Those events to him are like him being in a room full of mirrors all reflecting his perfectly glorious image back to himself, if one breaks, no problem, he doesn’t cry over it, he just puts up another mirror w/out missing a beat. I’ve done the yo-yo thing w/him too many times. I understand and know the pain of withdrawal from an NP. I weakened last night and began to cry. I sat straight up in bed and yelled ‘STOP IT!’ at myself. Asked God to take this weakness away and let me sleep. He did and I did like a baby.

  27. Ashley

    To all of you, I feel like I am reading my life story. The emotional rollercoaster of saying “enough” and then praying he changes. I realize I am wasting my life away on a man who does not deserve any more chances. Yet it is hard just seeing so many years just gone, the loss of a dream, the realization I stuck with him for so long hoping he would change and thinking if I could just be the good “Christian” woman loving her sinner husband he would change. I have asked God to forgive me for that. And I pray that my ex does really find God but also that my son turns out nothing like his father. That to me is terrifying.

  28. jean

    Thank You so much for this article. After leaving my husband of 25 years I am finally going to go to court and get divorced. I am shocked at how all of a sudden I am feeling that I love him and miss him. All I think of are the good times. This is a very difficult time for me. I was raised by a narcissistic mother and so have had many years of emotional abuse. I actually don’t even know if I know what love is.

    Reading articles like this help me tremendously realize I am still in his trap, I need to be strong and I will be ok.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Jean, you are not alone. The good times are the hook that keeps you invested in the relationship. Read David”s post about “addiction” for clarification about your feelings. Right now I struggle with the GREAT TIMES we had together mixed with the abuse. Why do they do that. Oh who knows

    • Debbie

      I have filed for divorce from my narcissistic husband twice within the past four years. We just “celebrated” our 36th anniversary. He was even served with divorce papers both times but unfortunately I, like you, began to doubt myself and ended up going back to him. We have four wonderful adult children and every time I look at family photos I have such mixed emotions. I am currently seeing a psychologist for PTSD from years of verbal, psychological and yes even sexual abuse. I am on anti depressants and anxiety meds. I will not ever allow him to physically touch me so we have a platonic relationship. I wish the answer were simple but unfortunately each person has to muddle thru the heartache and the questioning of their own sanity at times. I do “love” my husband in some ways but I can’t say that I am in love with him. I know he will never change but I am too tired to fight the battle any longer so I have learned ways to cope. It is a very lonely existence. I really hope all works out well for you. Prayer has been my only true strength thru this nightmare. May God bless you with direction.

    • Ashley

      I continue to pray for all of you. It sounds trivial to say but I know the feelings. One day I am fine and ready to move on, the next I am crying all day, and yet another I am so angry that he got away with everything. And when I have to see him it just eats me up inside. I keep thinking that there must be moments when he realizes he lost everything (not just me and our son but his entire family, career, finances) and has to be depressed about that. But then I realize that is probably giving him too much credit. I think that it is just hard to know that nothing really ever mattered to him.

      • SUZYOH

        Ashley thank you for saying how I feel. Sometimes I can’t find the words…but you did for me. I feel sooo broken. Weekends especially Friday afternoon when I’m packing up to head home. I pray real hard that God has given me a spirit to withstand, and keep me from that moment when your feeling that pain to your core…you that pain that’s unbearable that you want it to end.

  29. PeggySue

    Wow, like WOW!! I can’t hardly believe what I’ve been reading in this blog!! These things that have been done to these women and how they’ve been made to feel is exactly what has been done to me. I’ve been w/my husband for almost 14 yrs now, and even from the very get-go he lied and lied and lied just to “impress” me just to be with me. He lied about his age, even lied and said his mother died on his b.d just to get my super-sympathy and so that I would do something great for him on his b.d., becuz no one else in his family likes him or ever did anything. He lied about the fact that he was already screwing around w/a 14 yr old street skank and just never stopped until we literally MOVED from that county and are now too far away for it to be convenient! But of course, that didn’t stop him. And I kind of figured that.
    He just continued his now “infamous” behaviour out here with other people!
    The biggest clincher was when I realized that the person he was screwing around on me with was his homosexual BOSS at his job! He admitted it started around March of 2011, and as far as I know, he’s still in contact w/him. I did get him to counseling, both pastoral and a clinician, but he never goes back very much, and then stops. He will only admit to a small amount of the sins and crimes he has committed against me.
    He has an appt. this week w/a psychologist, but I have no way of knowing if he’ll stick w/it this time. I wish I could break this cycle of addiction to my emotions for this person. I wish so badly I could just wave a magic wand and not feel a damn thing for such a horrid person. I don’t want to love him or anyone for that matter. After everything that’s been done to me, I would rather just be a rock. A rock that feels no pain. He also is now “grooming” another sucker, a very young and very stupid and slutty private in his army reserve unit in marysville, Wa. I don’t know her name, all I know is she’s very young with longer red hair and just can’t seem to stop blabbling, especially when she’s around the guys. She’s a major flirt that puts herself “out there”, the PERFECT PREY for my narcissist husband and others.
    OMG, I can only imagine how much she “gets around” !
    I’m tired of him constantly slandering me with his lies about me to get back at me for confronting him about what he does behind my back. He has lied to literally everyone he knows about me, making ME out to be “the bad guy”! I’m ALWAYS “the bad guy” just becuz I won’t simply not say a word about what he does that’s wrong, and turn my head and look the other way. He just wants to have his cake and eat it too! I wish there was some sort of quick fix but there isn’t. A narcissist has to realize what they are, and then really want to change. They are addicts too, addicted to self-serving, and self-adoration, etc,etc,etc. There’s so much that can be said here. I thank all of you, and especially for wanting to help those of us who are still suffering horribly.

  30. Pingback: Dear Kim…Why Can’t I Leave Him? | Kim Raya's Let Me Reach

  31. Joao

    Thank you for this post this is really really helpful and I thought I would share my story as well. I was madly in love with a girl for over a year. Somehow, something in the back of my head always told me there was something incredibly off. I ended up leaving her… but the story gets “better”.

    Needless to say, as soon as I met her, I immediately fell in love for her. I am 29, and met a fair share of women. I met her while abroad (I live in NY, but I am originally from Lisbon). The connection was immediate, the level to which we established immediate “intimacy” was beyond surreal. We could spend hours and hours in each other’s company.

    Being with her was the best possible feeling.

    But then somethings started to throw me off.

    First, she would never pay for anything. Literally anything. Whenever I wouldn’t pay for her, she would get immediately passive agressive. One day I made the comment “you could at least say thank you for dinner”. She went on a massive rage.

    One time she was visiting me here in NY. Again, not one single dinner was paid. When I was not next to her she would go bezerk. She would hate text me for not being with her (I was working). I always remember this time when I ordered some food (it gets funny…), a chinese chicken with vegetable. She grabbed the food, while I was still in the kitchen prepping some stuff, and she ends up eating all the chicken, and left me with only the vegetable (… yes… so that happen).

    After that trip, I decided that we were through. And that’s where I made a huge mistake. I still kept in touch with her. One day, she texts me that she is getting married… when two weeks before she said she still loved me. I was about to go spend a couple of days in Miami and thought “well maybe she is trying to get my attention”. She met me in Miami and that’s when Sh** hit the fan again.

    She was COMPLETELY obsessed with herself, constantly taking pictures of herself (over 600 selfies in about a week…). When I would not pay attention to her, she would go bezerk again… and at the same time she said she would be willing to follow me till the end of the world… I remeber that night, we came back from a club, she put on a swim suit at 2.30AM and asked me to go take pictures of her in the pool… yes… that happened as well.

    Anyways, after that trip in Miami, I told her, “we are done for good now, this is pointless, we have different values”. She kept telling me I was the man of her life bla bla bla, then suddenly, she texts me to say “hey I just thought I would let you know I have committed to a relationship”. I no longer had her on Fb, or chat or what have you. I only had her on my whatsapp and “by some miracle” she changed her whatsapp picture to be with this dude, she just met, as if she wanted to rub it on my face…

    She still tries to get my attention here and there and I wonder why since she has a new narcissistic supply source.

    Anyways, despite all the love I had for her, I left her. And yes I miss the good times, but I have to accept the fact that this was all a “mirage”.

    Live and learn.

    J

  32. Fellow Survivor

    I’ve been thinking about this posts, why we seem to be so attached to these persons that hurt us. I am sitting here in my rent house trying to figure out what to do with myself. For years that was not a problem. I was at the beck and call of my ex N to do for her whatever needing being done.

    When you are married to a Narcissists the complete marriage is all about THEM and so, we as victims, do everything possible to help them be happy in their lives. When they are getting what they want they can be an awful lot of fun.

    So, because the marriage was all about them and you are part of the marriage, your life becomes about them also. Your life doesn’t matter. Only things that affect them are important.. Things that are important to you are not important to them, and since only those things that are important to them matter, then you don’t matter.

    So why do we still care? Because our entire lives have been committed to serving them. The marriage was our life and we want our life back.

  33. ravin

    I grew up with a narc who insists she in charge of all familey secrets and appointed to do that job. And had attourity to burn me at the stake as a witch because my father was different than her’s. Claming every thing that was mine was her’s because she was there to hear who my father was. Who was ritch and famous and another famous man who requed me from that fire. In overlooking and forgiving her was only done due to what Christ did at the cross. Father forgive them for they know what they do. We included her in every thing but it diden’t change her desire to be more important then her victims of out right abuse or hatefullness. A few years back I finally cut the cord that binds even half bloods. No contact is hard when you’ve spent most of your life trying to love & support one that has done nothing but backstab you every way they can to make you look like a fool. Still doing things & telling all who will listen in how trammatized she is in it all…!!!

  34. shallot

    It so true he hurt me so much nd he didn’t even sorry,nd we have a baby together I haven’t seen him for four years until I saw him recently at my place,he came only to take his son. Nd spend som quality time with him,I didn’t want to greet him because of the anger that I still carry with me,yet I am married to a wonderful man who truly loves me nd my son,bt I always find my self thinking a bout him,nd we don’t communicate via phones

  35. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir.

  36. Beloved

    I have been married to a narcissist for 25 years! My mind is completly blown and I am overwhelmed with sadness of it all! I have also discovered that I am codependant as well. I have never heard of any of this. I have three beautiful children and they have been hurt so much by their father’s behaviour as well. It has helped me tremendously by reading everything I can but I still love him and depend on him alot financially. He has moved on to a new supply as I have learned about what supply is from these articles. He is wealthy and very generous at times. He is everything described about a narcissist. Im afraid and terribly sad. I really would appreciate any advice

    • Kathy

      (((hugs)) First bit of advice, Beloved, is to actually sit and consider that name – Beloved. You are Beloved. You are NOT Co-dependent (that’s a blame-the-victim title). You are BELOVED. Look outside at that sky and the trees and the sun and the moon – your FATHER made them!! He made them for YOU to enjoy. He made them and there is no one higher or more powerful than He is — and He calls you My Beloved. He loves you so much He wants you in heaven with Him forever, and set you free from sin and death when He sent his Son to rescue you.
      But He did not only rescue you from your sin — but He rescued you from other people’s sins too. YOU are a PRINCESS!
      Yes — there is much more for you to do now that you know what your husband is. That’s a gift your Father gave you — He opened your eyes. He’s going to open the prison doors.
      But first, be still and know that you are Beloved. Let it soak in. Pick up His holy word and learn from Him.
      Learn that you are Beloved.
      That’s first.
      – kathy

  37. After five years I have rebuilt my life. I have a new loving partner, loyal friends and an exciting career. But I still miss him and dream about him at night. I feel like this horrible grief and void will never heal. What am I doing wrong?

    • Kathy

      You are doing NOTHING wrong. For some reason we believe that if we pray and yet still hurt, something in US must be wrong. A loss is a loss and grief is grief. Maybe, just maybe, what you really miss is NOT HIM — but you miss never receiving the validation you needed from him, or the apologies you needed from him. THAT can be devastating and that pain is very real. You were never recognized as a real honest-to-goodness human being who gave to him, never appreciated.
      Please, as hard as this is, try to recognize that YOU didn’t fail. HE is incapable. He is emotionally arrested. You would not expect validation from a 3-year-old — picture him as a child in a grotesquely huge body. It does hurt to be rejected (which is what he did, even if you left), but it is NOT you. It’s him.

  38. HDG

    Nancy,I wish I knew! Even with all the bad stuff;which is the REALITY of who he is I still find myself missing the good stuff which is pure ACTING. He is a masterful actor but once the curtain falls the REALITY sets in again. I sometimes find myself grieving the “what if'(5 break-ups) then I remember the truth. Maybe you are grieving the true feelings you put forth and wasted on a person who can love only their own imaginary image.Hugs & prayers

  39. Freetobeme

    In the general scheme of things I was lucky. I worked with my ex for over a year before submitting to his charms. From the very beginning I knew there was something wrong. He targeted me, always sought me out even after I made it plain I wanted nothing to do with him. He told me I was the one for him and it would happen one day. After a while I started talking to him when I was having problems with my son’s father. His advice was always well thought out and biblical. He told me that he was part of a church and as time went on he represented to me that he was a big deal in his church which then went to being in charge of the building fund and committee to being groomed to take over the church. This same man would sit in church on Sunday and ask me to send x rated pictures of myself! In our very first conversation he wanted to have a detailed conversation about my sexual likes and dislikes. There are a few things I won’t do but he made it clear that in order to be with him I would have to submit and do whatever he wanted. He hated being told no, once at work I refused to share French fries with him and he didn’t speak to me for three days. He tried his darnedest to chip away at my self esteem making little comments about my dress and hair. Mostly I would laugh but sometimes the comments hit the mark. He claimed to have a bachelors degree, I have an associates degree. He once made the comment that I was approaching the point where he would consider me his equal. He was NEVER wrong, ever. Every situation was twisted until it was my fault. When we were out in public he would constantly comment on the fact that other women were looking at him and wanted him. He constantly commented on how I was raising my six year old, despite the fact that I have one who recently graduated from college and is going to grad school in the fall. He would get mad when I would point out that fact and remind him that I must know something. When he was good he was very good. We had the best time, talk and laugh like old friends but when he was bad it was horrifying. Our last argument ended with him calling he a whore, hood rat, un cultured, without class or knowledge of any of the social graces. I initiated no contact a week ago by changing my phone number and blocking him from email. All of this in a span of three months of serious dating. Oh, did I mention that every time we would have an argument he wouldn’t speak to me for days and would promptly go out with other women, his excuse being that he didnt like being alone…..yeah. Usually at the end of three months we should still be in the honeymoon stage but I think things changed as quickly as they did because I fought his attempts to control and dominate me. He once told me that we are both stubborn people and we couldn’t work because of that. I now understand that he means he couldn’t dominate me as easily as he wanted. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t still hurt, who likes being called a whore even when you know that’s not true. Tomorrow will be a week since I last spoke with him, I imagine by now that he knows I have changed my number. I still miss him, the physical connection was incredible. My mistake would be to get involved with some one else just to recreate the high. I read some of these stories and I realize how fortunate I am. For a while my faith in God was shaken. How could God allow this to be a part of His church? This lie, this perversion. But he will be death with and the devil is keeping his spot in hell stoked and super hot.

  40. freetobeme

    I woke up this morning exhausted. I spent a dream filled night with constant recurring images of him. It’s been a week since i went NC and this is the first time this has happened. I know the bumps are up and down but this is tough just when I feel like I’m getting it together. It gets better I know. One day, one moment at a time. I’m going to see my best friend today and I know she has a day of retail therapy and quiet talk planned. She has always been a calming influence just what I need today. Thank God for His favor and many many blessings.

  41. I recently have ended a relationship with a Narc/Soc after more than 4 years and while researching sites for learn ways to help with recovering I stumbled upon yours. It has been most helpful because it adds a spiritual and biblical principal that most don’t and I have to say but not for the Grace of God I would never have made it this far and only by His Grace and Mercy am I able to move forward each day.

    I wanted to thank you so much for this post. There is NO love loss now that he is gone, only relief and a determination that no matter what I will never go back. I am living on my own for the first time in my life and that is a change. I am able to do this financially and have no fears. I have taken time to learn about the profile of a Narcissist and Sociopath and have a better understanding of his behaviors and actions in our relationship and can definitely see that all the times he made it seem as though everything were my fault. However, I did play a part in this. I still remained in this relationship after 4 years going back and forth.

    I have since learned more about the personality of a Narc/Soc and have a better understanding of how they operate and what they are capable of. It’s easier for me to see how things played out the way they did in many situations. However, no matter how much time I spend learning about him, what he’s like, how he became the way he is, if it’s genetic, learned behaviors, if there’s a cure, if God can heal him, if he was born that way or if he will ever change, it DOES NOT MATTER. I am one of the very fortunate and blessed ones. We were never married. We do not have children together. THIS break up, he did not ruin me financially. The only thing he took that I owned was a TV. He works close by but currently he has to live with his mother who is an hour away and our work schedules make it so the chances of us running into each other are slim to none. I have blocked him on all social media. We have mutual friends but only through social media. With the help of the police he has removed all of his things from my home. My lease is renewed in my name only. There is no trace of him anywhere and for all of this I am forever grateful.

    The only reminders I have left of him are horrid memories of the things he has done however I am at a place now where I have two choices. To dwell on those and allow him to continue taking up all my mental space or to focus on that list of 10 reasons you gave for why I loved him to begin with and figure out what I need to do to make sure I NEVER become involved with anyone like him again because if I don’t learn from this mistake I will repeat it again. Even though I am out of this relationship and have no intentions of ever going back there are still reasons why I entered into it and stayed and that part I do need to own. I am not suddenly “cured” overnight just because he’s gone. It’s only the beginning.

    I am not riding on some kind of guilt trip and saying everything was all my fault. I opened the gate and let him in to just destroy me and deserved what happened. I know that’s not the case. What I’m saying is I can’t sit around and keep blaming someone else for everything and let it stop there. I have to now on working towards healing me. Every day I need to set goals and work towards those. Even if it’s one small step. All my life I have always taken care of someone else first and it’s always been so easy to do and I do an excellent job when it comes to putting others first. Now is the first time I’ve ever lived alone in my life and have no one to be responsible for but just me and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Why? Because I’ve never done it before. It seems completely foreign to me but I am going to do it because I have to. In order for me to be my best for anyone else and for God I have to be the best for me. Thank you again for your post. It made the difference and was exactly what I needed.

  42. I have been in a relationship with a man for almost 5 years now, I am 44. It started out amazing.. physical and INTENSE! He would buy me stuff and wine and dine me on the weekends like I have never known. The first red flag was when he emabarrassed the hell out of me at a restaraunt when his food wasnt what he thought it should be.. he immediatley accused the waitress of lying about it and then got mad at me for telling him he could be wrong. That was a HUGE mistake. He ended up leaving the the waitress a $60 tip and walked out just to make a point. He ended up taking me home and going home himself (he was supposed to stay with me) Then a few months later his ex wife came back into the scene (she had left him 8 months earlier) she came back pregnant from the man she left him for. He brought her back into his home to take care of her and lied to me about it.. even schooled his children to lie to me as well. That was hard for me to deal with. I became very suspicious from that point on especially when I would ask him if she was living there he would flat out lie.. or would say I have to lie to you because of how you will react. I started to panic and check behind him all the time that he got very irriated with me and would call me a stalker or pycho or whatever. Would purposely ignore my texts or calls.. would try and break up with me every other month or so. I would beg and plead for him to not leave me and he always came back and I felt important when he did. He never EVER criticized the way I looked.. matter of fact he DEVOURED me.. he was intoxicating to say the least. I was HOOKED and hooked BAD! Fast forward… ex left again and would come back on and off and stay at his house for weeks. I let it go on because I believed him. I had no reason not to. We got engaged and I moved in with him.. his ex wife was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and he became WORSE.. nothing i did was right.. the verbal and emotional abuse was awful! He then was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 49. Things went downhill from there. He was an absolute awful person to live with.. I was miserable and I had to get my daughter out of there. His kids and him would all sit around and talk about us.. laugh about stuff. it was terrible! He had his son video taple me one time doing something that I could lose my job for and he threatened me said if I dont give ring back or if I talk bad about him at work he would use it. He at one point told me if I needed emotional to go some place else for it.. so I did. I had communications with other men but I can honestly say I never built a bond with anyone nor did I date. He has severly verbally abused me for almost 2 years now.. calls me a cheater.. loose.. a taker (because he gives expensive gifts and apparantly the ones I give arent good enough) Tells me I am ungrateful.. lazy.. UGH! But yet I get pulled in everytime he texts and says he still loves me. I feel sorry for him sometimes and feel like I need to save him from himself or I can love him through it.. he has made me feel so guilty for my reactions to the abuse.. he says I am an attention whore and immature and that I am using abuse to build myself up.

    • Ed. Holfelner

      I read your post and it is just awful whT a narcissist does to their victims. They feed on us for their narcissitic supply. You have to count your blessings that are out of that horrible relationship which was clearly demoralizing your very soul. Through my own experience I can vicariously understand utter emotional & psychiatric we go through with a partner who is a narcissist. They are hollow on the inside and devoid of remorse. They lack character and integrity. My ex girlfriend was a master at manipulation. She would pick fights over nothing and than hold me responsible which was ludicrous. She wanted to be the center of attention over my 8 year old daughter and than she invariably insitigate a fight over my attentions to my child. Finally I found out she stole jewelry from my sister to supply her pill addiction that I had no idea about. She was asked to leave and her parents who are good people came to meet with my sister and me. There was promise for paying restitution and that did not occur. After a three month period my sister charged with theft. The Case is at the prosecutor’s office now.

      All I can say is that I do not ever want to be involved with a Narcissist again. Like you I have educated myself in how to recognize them. More importantly I want to get better at understanding why I was drawn into parasitic clutches. This site is a God send. I appreciate the advisement and spiritual grounding. Dan

  43. Ed. Holfelner

    I was with Lauren who clearly was a Narcissist. She was found out by me for stealing all of my sister’s jewelry to feed her drug habit that I had no idea about. I am a Master’s degreed Nurse with a lot of professional experience and I was totally played. She admitted to me & my sister that she was an addict and that stole. She refused to pay any restitution so after three months my sister criminally charged her. She was beautiful on the outside and hollow on the inside. I am so hurt from the betrayal and I am still in love with her. I don’t get why I can’t let go and move on? I wax & wane from wanting to help her to supporting my sister’s pursuit for justice. The ex girlfriend’s case is being investigated by the County Prosecutor’s Office now. I am really jammed up inside. It is February 2015 and I have not seen her since October 2014. I do my job, practice in martial arts and take good care of my daughter who I have joint custody of. I could not ever allow her around my daughter again. I am loyal to & love my sister.

    But I still lament over the betrayal and I still love Lauren. Jesus being with a narcissist who was a liar, a thief and an addict was a terrible event. Worst than war and I have 4 past combat tours. Lauren did a number on me.

  44. Sheri

    I would love to speak with you about this further……if you have the time

  45. Diana

    Thank you for this post. It hurts to know after giving your all to him youre treated badly.

  46. Daisy

    This article has opened my eyes to what I have to do to heal … Thank you

  47. Tab

    Thank you all for your replies. Here is my story. I dated my Narc boyfriend for 3 long glorious, awful roller coaster years. Love love love the ground he walked on. At first, he seemed like the most well rounded guy I had ever met. Charming, confident, smart, funny. He loved telling me this phrase ” get to know me, get to know me for me.” He enjoyed telling me all about his ex wife and ex girlfriends, What he did for them, etc. Always. Very awkward. Instead of seeing that as a sign, I was lonely, and just simply was in love with having someone. At that time, never knew a thing about narcissism or even the word. He went to church, had a long history with church couples, etc. I was his world. We were soul mates. Then, I wasen’t. Started with little digs at how I was raising my son, but then just laughing it off. Still, I made excuses for him. Then, found out about Facebook, and him talking to other women. The man has no male friends, only females. Gave reasons why, had a terrible childhood, etc., so, again, I made excuses. Then things would happen, I would get hurt at his actions, or words, we would break up, 1 week, 2 weeks, once a month. I took him back every time. Missed him so bad. My heart would just be completely shattered, as if he had died. I couldn’t understand it. Why did I continue to want this person, even though I had all these signs telling me there was something wrong. I started praying and praying. However, when we were together, there felt like a black cloud over me. All the time. You see, I am a Christian. I believe in God, but wasn’t living in Gods’ way. One day at work, found an article about Narcissistic behavior. I brought to his attention. He agreed. So from then, I felt sorry for him. Did things get better, nope! We were up for a month, then down for a week or so, then we would breakup. Get back together, he was the man of my dreams, then we were down again, then break up again. Over and over and over on this roller coaster. However, what got me through, was seeking God. The more I was confused, the more I seeked God. Nothing no one said ever helped. Selena Gomez sings a song, The Heart Wants what is Wants. I kept praying, still loving him, still praying for him, still praying for me, but on May 1st, 2015 on a Friday evening, it was like the Lord just flipped the switch. Do I love him, yes, I will always love him. We were a great couple when things were good. He was good to my son. He was good to me. But, like I said, God flipped the switch for me. Through these difficult, great, horrific emotional roller coaster, I learned the best lesson of all. If I hadn’t went through what I did, I would have never learned that my existence is to worship God. Not a man. You see, I put my Narc boyfriend on a pedestal. He was my everything. He was my mother, my son, my father, my friends, everything. My life turned into his needs and wants 24hrs a day. What he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. Sometimes he would throw me a bone and let me pick out a restaurant, but that was very far and few between. When at work, I was thinking of him, why hasn’t he called yet, etc. I became a very jealous person, which is what he wanted. He had trained me very well. However, God got me through that relationship to teach me, that God is the only person I worship. That I put God first, trust in Him, entirely, and He will guide my footsteps, and allow good people into my life. That if I trusted and relied on him, prayed before I acted, that He will bless my life in every area. You see, I was lonely. I think I have always been lonely. I always put others needs and desires before mine, my mother and father, my son, etc., so when I got attention from a man, I just took it and ran. I didn’t wait on God. I did it all on my own, and excluded the Lord. When we do that, we make a mess of things. I am stronger now, only through Gods’ love and mercy. God never left me. He never lied to me or hurt my feelings. He never took his love away from me, but I did Him. Now, I pray for my Ex Narc boyfriend and his children and family. I still love him through Christ. I wish nothing bad on him. I pray that one day, God will lift that Narc (evil spirit) from him, so that one day, he can know what love really is. I also pray, that one day God will send me my soul mate, the one he took the rib from to make me. I could keep writing about my ex and our relationship. I learned so much. I don’t like to think he deliberately did things on purpose, and I may never no the answer to that. However, I do think he loved me to the best of his ability. The Bible states to be equally yoked. You can’t expect someone with a half gallon heart to fill up the heart of someone with a whole gallon (lol). Anyway, my prayers be with you all. Pray for the Narcs as well. What a unhappy life they live. To God be all the glory. ROMANS 8:28 “and we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God …” Amen and Amen

  48. Tope

    Where am I today. I am actually better off than i was a few months prior to leaving him. When I first left i was so so lost. i couldn’t do anything barely sleep or eat. now that i look at it.. i am so happy to be away from him. he calls and texts alot. trying to peek into my world and now i have gotten to the point where all i want to do is protect myself and child. He is extremely abusive and a fake character to all he meets and has relations with. he has reveled his true colors and i should prepare myself for more. he left me when i needed him and he emotionally abandoned me a while a go. i didnt know he was incapable of real love thats why often i am stuck missing him but knowing that he cant love me makes me angry. we were together for 9 years. i finally got fed up with his cold un emotional behavior and disrespect. One morning after he decided to come home very late i called it quits.. i packed my truck up and left. i of course would see him times after and all i could note is that he was so empty. he didn’t have much to say to me as though the relationship we had never mattered at all. it was like talking to another person. i couldn’t figure out if he was angry that i left and i was unwilling to endure any more hurt or he just didn’t want me any more. so when he would speak to me… he would act like he just didn’t want me anymore… and talk down to me and even saying he should have been cheating on me… a few months went by and not to my surprise he started seeing this woman or had been working on her while with me. he had totally became detached from me and it was hard as i was trying the most and trying to pull him closer and he was doing everything he could to push me away. he would be in the house with me and not even speak. he would wake up and act as though i bothered him to be around him. he had so many traits of negative energy it became very hard to ignore and even feel excited to love him anymore. it was like i knew he was a waste of my time. aside from that he kept promising to marry me but he never never did anything to make it happen. one day we were sitting and he told me that my daughter was out right irritating to him and he didn’t want any more kids for that reason. it seemed to be all good when she was smaller and did everything without a voice. but once she has her own opinion and her own way of being they would fight and fight and to the point when i got home it was so so draining. i knew their was something wrong i just couldn’t pin point. i thought that he just wanted the best for her but my family and friends started to comment on his methods and constant control of her. when she was around him too long she would run…. he began to tell me that she was just manipulating me and what i saw was not so true. i began to own it when he would take her to school each day and one day he came home and said the principal called him to her office and asked why he had been late 76 times in about 3 months of school. he never told me about this… i didn’t even know the number till i got her report card. He would say it was her the reason for being late so from that point i noticed he couldn’t take accountability so I decided that I would wake up every morning and I would take her myself… soon after my kid got upset with him and told him out right that he wants to control everything and he doesn’t want to make either of us happy. That next week the final disregard occurred. He was so absent and silent and not even willing to help her with her homework. he would just do him ALL day. Mind you the reason why he took her to school is because he hadnt had a job in 9 years. Right he told he was coming down here and going to get a job. he said he wanted to stay at home with my kid over me cause he was a educator. But as she grew older he paid her less and less attention and so for me as well. we were like accessories… he didnt care how we felt about anything. he only wanted what he wanted from things and anything more would cause him to go in rage. He would negate his friends, family and himself on any given day. He wasnt giving much at all to us but I realize he was taking.. and faking and it hurt so much to confront what was really real. Now he tries to hoover but I wont allow him to. He wants to control her school and child support. but one thing i can say at this point… in my recovery I am happy to be away from him and he cant hurt me no more. i know who he is despite all the other players in his world. At the end he started admitting the weirdest things as though he had no need to pretend anymore. He now says the reason no more for us is because I am angry and I hate him.. and i dont see why I wouldn’t plus its been the gas I needed to extract him from my life. No more brainwashing or gas lighting or withholding, silent treatment for me and mine. He said he wanted to be famous, he was depressed and at the end of his rope.. mind you he telling me this when has kicked me out twice,i was layed off at the time as well. and having me and my daughter to start over while he stays in a mansion I found for him… and he would never put my name on the deed… he told me it was his biggest accomplishment — he wanted me to feel sorry for him. so now he calls when he wants to and never really cares about either of us. its an interesting irony.. i mean it took me some time to stop crying all day being mad at myself about the choice to stay in such a toxic relationship. Now everything he says seems to be a play or a lie. thats why I would rather not speak to him at all. Mind you he tells his friends we are just going thru things not telling them the reality of what he has done to his family. The chapter is about to be close and I wish I didnt have to see him another day in my life. He is evil how he does things a complete opposite of the man I thought I loved. I would have never imagined one person can take someone thru the things he has decided to do. Nothing he says at this points is ever logical but more confusing always confusing. So I am working on my peace so I can move forward and not deal with his constant sabotage behaviors. He has the world fooled but like I said he has no real friends or anything.. he told me he wasn’t capable but I didn’t know to what capacity.. Lastly his counselor sessions revealed that he had a really bad childhood.. . so I am fighting for me and babies life. I know there are good people in the world he is just not one of them. I did nothing but try to love him only to be kicked down. but God has blessed me and allowed me start step by step to regain my strength and confidence so I can surge forward in full effect. Let the loosers go and find one day a winner that deserves me.

  49. crystiff99121123

    My narc was special. I got the soul mate illusion. We never were involved because when he asked after the first date I refused,saying it was too soon. He was furious but being an introverted narc he punished me by ignoring my texts and calls and gave me the mind wrecking silent treatment. I went berserk and he revelled in it. I thought I hurt his ego and maybe he was too sensitive but then a talk circulated that he said I was interested in marriage. I was baffled. There was no talk of that nonesence!! It was just one date. I texted him, reassured him it wasn’t that. He avoided me still. Then after wearing me out for about 3 months, I got a scrap. He popped up where he knew where he knew I went to get coffee every morning. In his very egotistical manner he just said hello and how are you and that was it. I felt like a queeeeeen. Lol!!! He came out for me…just for meeee!! Lol!! That was it. Then once more coldness. I knew deepdown inside what this fool wanted. He wanted me to bring my vajay jay on a golden platter and serve it to him. I was aastonished. What sort of behaviour was this?? I’ve never seen it. Thank goodness I came across blogs
    Like these to inform me. I cut him off totally but somehow I know he’s gonna be back. I gave him good soul uplifting compliments that boosted his confidence. I know it. He loved that. He’s gonna be back with his box of charms in hand… But I’ll be ready.

  50. Shelly Lance

    I’m going through a breakup with a narcissist sociopath. It’s been two weeks and I’m not feeling any better. Can’t stop crying. I need help. I was so good to him. And now I feel he jas moved on with someone else. Heart has been ripped out.

  51. Nat

    I don’t know from where to start. I am ashamed to keep “nagging” about this in front of friends or family because none is able to understand how I am still dwelling in the pain that my ex N. Has caused. This might sound stupid I don’t even know if he is my ex yet, he has been giving me the silent treatment for the past month and a half for a small mistake that I did. All the apologies and begging and admitting my mistake only resulted with one thing: silence. This is not the first time he disappears this way. The first time disappeared all of a sudden, when I asked about the reason few months later he told me he has cancer and he is about to die….not to sound a b**ch, I had a gut feeling something is not right, and I just couldn’t believe this, too many things just did not “link” together.. And then one day he contacts me again to tell m he is “healed” and that he wants to continue the relationship… Even though I was having my doubts I took him back… He confessed that he loves me… I did too… It was one of those crazy relationships… But due to the cure he was having he always had this excuse that he can’t go out much, his doctor told him he should not get physically tired… Again the gut feeling that something is not right was not leaving me… And yet, I loved him… And he would always promise me he will never leave or disappear on me, and I believed that… Just because I was having a bad period of time he turned his back, accused me of not understanding him, and things that did not make sense, and suddenly there goes the silent treatment with a disappearing act… After reading everything about narcissism everything started to make sense… Instead of hating him though… My feelings are still there, and I have to admit deep down it is like I am still waiting for him to contact me… I need to get over this I have no clue why, every day feels like a whole week, I still cry every night, why am I not able to hate the person who so lied and hurt me? I don’t know what to do anymore….

  52. Jenny

    I am in love with a narristis. I have been in contact with him for seven months now. We were never exclusive, but I was.

    Whenever we were together we had a great time. We laughed, and I was proud to bed with him. Then, the next day, or sometimes these and say I would see him on the dating website where was meant; it hurt. I tried to talk to him about it and he cut off all contact with me. After we called me every bad name one could call a women and proceed to tell me what an ugly person I am (inside and it :). I am crushed.

    I am a very educated women and I know I should be thankful that he is gone, but I still find myself missing him and wonder what he is doing. I feel like I should getvny head examined, but I love him, and I honestly don’t know how to stop.

    I was the giver in the relationship. He did a few nice things for me, but it was always about him and what he wanted. So, honestly I don’t know what I miss so much about him?? It is the strangest emotions I have ever felt. I try to talk to people about it, but they don’t understand it at all.

    Can you shed any light on this. When will I wake up? When will I stop hurting? I am very disappointed in myself.

  53. natalie

    Im unsure weather my ex is a narcassist or not i have read through quite alot of post and im starting to believe he is. Wewas together on and off for 7 years and have to children together he has left many times in a tantrum or cheated and left and i e always taken him back then in oct he left again for a woman 10 years younger that he met the day before they ha e been living together since but he continusly tries to message me saying he is using her and wants to come back to me but when i say no im stronger this time he turns nasty and spiteful again. During our relationship he isolated me from my friends and refusedto work leaving me to pay for everything. Yet im still struggling to get over him i cry alot and imagine that he will change for his new girlfriend

  54. After 40 years of living a man who turned out to have RAD and I suspect NPD but who told me up till two days after our 38th anniversary dinner that he loved me, how in heck is a loving forgiving Christian just supposed to “move on” as he told me? Two years later I learned about both disorders, information I needed 30 years earlier. All I can feel is compassion for him knowing his childhood. He refused to accept what our vounselirs said for over a year, but proclaims it now that he is with another woman and wants the Catholuc Church to annul our marriage. Jesus, help me!

  55. Barbarian

    I agree. It was refreshing to find a discussion of why we are still so focused on these people. I fall into the trap of thinking, “I should be over it by now – there must be something wrong with me because I’m not.” In fact it is a very powerful experience and one it is very, very tough to shake off. It could take me years more: I have to accept that. And I feel self-indulgent and weak saying so. Paradox: this self-dislike is what helped me get into that relationship in the first place.

    Of course I still have feelings for him, nearly a year later. Not as powerful as they were some time ago, when I still believed we had a future: but feelings still. And I feel so destroyed by the relationship – that’s part of it. I feel good saying, “I don’t miss him, I miss what I thought he was,” but that isn’t the whole truth – I do miss him, because I still have fragments of that old belief that, deep down, he’s the man I fell in love with.

    There have been times when I have felt so very lonely – and too depressed to socialise – when, if he’d called or some round, I’d have let him in. I’d have said I was only doing it from loneliness, but then fallen back into the same role as ever. But he hasn’t been in touch. I know that’s for the best, but I feel hurt. I don’t contact him because it would hurt me too much.

    If you’d told me 10 months ago I would still feel this awful now, I’d have been appalled. But here I am. So I have to keep crawling through this time.

  56. Andrea

    I’m not sure if my ex was a narcissist or not, but I feel like it’s the closest to how I can relate my feelings to. I hung out with him one time just to catch up (even though I know that wasn’t it for him) and he already seemed like a completely different person; already caught up in new things, new people. I keep trying to fight it but I keep telling myself that maybe deep down he really did care. I just can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it. And also I’m not even sure so I’m utterly confused. But I may just stick to my guns and move on myself. I hope someone can talk to me I’m so lost.

  57. Cora Marandino

    I m so grateful for Narcissist Friday posts and comments, esp this one on continuing to love someone when the relationship was so (eventually) clearly unhealthy. I stayed for 13 years … I won t give the dramalogue, my story is the same as so many here. Reading these stories has helped break up my denial and see my part. I would like to share some things that helped me. Many books, but two in particular: The Wizard od Oz and Other Narcissists by Eleanor Payson and How to Break Your Addiction to a Person by Howard Halpern. Both helped with the denial about him, but more importantly about my part, which is the only part I can do anything about. But information Isn t enough. There is a song with the phrase “I need you Jesus to come to my rescue”. I prayed that over and over … And He has. It took a while because of my denial and resistance but I m out of the relationship now … And I mean really out … Mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There are relapses emotionally. We did the dance for years … Just as so many have described … But this time something has broken free IN ME. I left the relationship 3 months ago and and told him not to approach me … I think we were both relieved. This is different from every other break up and to God be the glory .. He rescued me by loving me and continually putting reality where I could no longer ignore it. I think the two main reasons I wanted to stay in denial were that I didn t want to experience the shame of my own narcissistic tendencies, my addiction to the relationship and I didn t want to feel the grief because it felt like it would swallow me. Once I became willing, by the grace of God, to enter into those two things the detachment began to happen. Yes, I still love him. But the addiction dynamics (he is a sex addict) we both bring makes us toxic for each other. Two other things that have helped me are to treat my ongoing preoccupation with the whole relationship as an addiction and take each thought captive, admit to God and myself that I m powerless over the thought coming up, and then intentionally go do and think about something I do have some control over – how I spend my time. I have also found that doing something creative, even just coloring, has an amazing healing effect … it somehow ministers to my mind … It’s a healthy way to refocus when I want to obsess … Works much better than escaping into avoidant behaviors (eating, movies, etc). I always feel intact and at peace after a creative hour,ready to continue the challenge of life after a Narcissist. Thank you for all of your sharing … hang on to Jesus and persevere! He will lead you out into sanity and peace. shalom

  58. I feel compelled to write about my self to encourage and help others to get out of these toxic relashionships. I have been married to a narc for 16 years, living together for 20. We have a 15 year old son together. We separated last october and is about to be officially divorced. My story is similar to others , but I’d like to ad that he is an overly possessive “parent”. For those of you who ended relationships with narcs before starting a family and have children, consider your selves extremely fortunate, as narcs destroy children, and introduce nothing but dysfunction into their lives. My “late” husband’s, (i’d like to call him that, as he is dead to me). :)) influence on my son was and is absolutely horrendous. My child will never know the meaning of a healthy family, relationship, unity. And I continiue to struggle greatly with now just this aspect of life. Witnessing your children being phychologically destroyed is every mother’s nightmare. But I do my best in trying to reverse the damage this narc is doing to my child. I also have a great support system .. My family..
    As all of the victims( although I refuse to remain in the status of a “victim” ) of a narc, I have endure all of the same or similar abuse over the years. I was just as devastated, as most of you, fell into a deep depression( the darkest time of my life).. And etc. I was always a happy, life loving person before. I should probably mention, that the reason we have been together for so long is that he is more manipulative than others and masked himself for a longer period of time. Perhaps I was too gullible, and stayed in denIal for longer than I should have. Fast forward, I get better and stronger each day. It has been a little over a year since we separated, and I am beginning to reclaim my life. We are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for, and we must push forward. I realized a few years back that i was involved with an absolute FRAUD. Things, parenting , life and our relationship would never improve. He is an incredibly sick man. I DO NOT MISS anything about him. All of the pleasant things in the past were just his manipulative tactics, nothing more. A few months into our separation, I discovered that he was dating his former colleague( as I always suspected was one of his mistresses)and he hired the attorney, who divorced her, to file for a divorce against me( a loyal and devoted wife if 20 years) based on fraudulent allegations. My occassional feeling of empathy and compassion towards him was forever replaced by contempt and later total disregard for him. And I can honesty say that I am UNABLE to even carry a civil conversation with him( all are calculated lies and more manipulation, as he isrelentless in pulling me back in to get more of narcs supply)at this point. We have to co parent, otherwise I would make sure I would NEVER see him again. I FEEL And ENJOY life again, still having some difficulties and bad days, but less and less each day!!! Time heals, I promise. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us.

  59. debbie s

    I have come in contact with a narcissist, I didn’t understand his behavior until it was brought to my attention, I have unmasked him, should I continue this..because he was love at first sight for me. I fell In love from the first day I laid eyes on him….

  60. Cora Marandino

    debbie s … I too fell in love at first sight … I now know that should have been my first clue … only you know the whole story of your relationship and why it appeals to you … I stayed in my relationship for 13 years, only REALLY left it 5 months ago … for 13 years we did the break up/get back together dance … he was also a sex addict and went to prison periodically, which made it even easier to believe the fantasy, “this time he has really changed.” … he is also a professing Christian, as am I, so that made it more confusing … to be honest, in hindsight I now know that after the first 6 years I stayed mostly for the reasons listed in the original article here and because I didn’t want to experience the pain of really letting go … … it was hard (embarrassing, humiliating) to have to admit that to myself … here are some suggestions for you:

    – look hard at the 10 things in this article – if you see yourself in any, explore that with a good counselor
    – get in a support group for the friends and relatives of whatever addiction has had an impact on your life, whether in your family of origin, your narcissist, or yourself (Al-Anon, S-Anon, Nar-Anon, etc.)
    – read recommended books on narcissistic relationships (The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists is a good one)
    – read books on Love Addiction (“love at first sight” is a good indicator you may be experiencing this dynamic) check out books by Pia Mellody

    If you are asking about what to do this early in the relationship, I think if you continue to explore narcissism and why it appeals to you, you will find the decision makes itself.

    just so you know, I did all these things and yet something in me resisted looking at myself … much easier to focus on the other person … and he is not any closer to changing what needs to be changed than he was 13 years ago … plus I really loved him, still do. But we are not healthy together … after 5 months of no contact I am just beginning to feel the peace of being out of the craziness and finding a new sanity … but its hard, especially now at the holidays and I’m grateful for your comment which triggered me to read this article again and remember why I need to let go.

    God bless you

  61. My ex girlfriend, who suffers from NPD, is truly the most adorable and lovable human adult I have encountered in my life. Just love them. In the relationship. Then from a distance. Then love others as you did your narcissist. Stop claiming you were a victim. You are never a victim when you love someone. And no one owes you anything.

    • Cecilia K

      Andre, I question whether your ex-girlfriend truly has NPD, if you describe her as adorable and lovable. If she is truly these qualities, why is she your EX-girlfriend? Did She break up with You? Was it circumstances? Not asking for specific details, just a general idea. And it is offensive to say to this community, “Just love them.” Every commenter on this blog, aside from the narcissists themselves, Has loved their N, or has at least tried, including myself, but the abuse is just too much to deal with. Love cannot grow where there is fear, and Ns tend to instill fear in those they claim to love, and worse yet, they seem to feed off this fear. Some still do love their Ns but are just so beaten down. There is Nothing wrong with claiming to be a victim of a N. Do you find fault with victims of rape, murder, theft, etc., claiming to be victims? Victims of Ns suffer the same crimes; they are just done metaphorically and more subtly. Please show some compassion if you want to participate in this community. Otherwise, stay out.

      • Andre

        Narcissist or not, you either love that person or you don’t. True love is not conditional. It’s up to you, however, to decide what is the best way to express that love. I chose to send my ex girl friend love, night and day, but from a distance.

        By the way, there is no “there” there in being a “victim” of your narcissist ex. That location does not exist. When we engage in trying to create that “victim location” as a real place that gives value to our lives, we are really just grasping at straws: we wanted another person to love us, and it appeared that they did not. (However, if you look deep inside yourself – as if today is your last day of your life, it might make it easier for you to see that the narcissist loved you as best they could – and THAT is so beautiful!).

        One day, a big switch will flip in your mind (as it did mine) when you realize that life becomes worth living once you realize it’s all about your capacity to love (as opposed to finding someone who loves you).

        I hope that day comes soon for you.

      • D

        ‘Loved you as best they could’???? Surely you jest! I could live a whole other lifetime and go to my grave happy without the ‘love’ of a narcissist. How simply offensive and truly naive.

      • Cecilia K

        My primary issue with your previous comment, Andre, is really your use of the word “just” in “Just love them.” As if it’s as easy as pouring milk from a jug. It’s NOT! Now maybe in Your case, it is, because your “narcissist” ex-girlfriend, according to you, is “adorable and lovable”. If she is “lovable”, then it is Easy to love her, right? Well, most of us who have dealt with narcissists do Not find them adorable and lovable. So yes, I’ll give you that, biblically, we are still called to love them, no matter how unlovable they are, but it is extremely insensitive of you to talk as though it’s just the easiest thing in the world to love these people.

        And your comment about there being no “there” there in being a “victim” of your narcissist ex sounds like convoluted, non-sensical double-talk, kind of like the kind of reasoning my ex would occasionally throw at me. It’s almost as if you Are him. Perhaps you are the Narc yourself.

  62. Kelly Smith

    Still I grieve…
    my ex pulled in to pick up our beautiful daughter today, Its been three years since our separation. The woman he replaced me with, was there,,the one who was running with him when I was in a transition house with my kids because of all the abuse we suffered at his hands and his equally abusive son. I still hurt when I see them together, her in my spot beside the man I gave my all too… he hurt me and my children on so many levels every single day we existed as a family,,,my heart aches for him to suddenly come to his senses and realize what hes lost,,,and beg me to forgive him,, so we can be one again,,the other part of me,, the thinking part that knows better,,is still furious inside, how dare he do whats hes done to me,, left me so broken inside, I dont feel I will ever feel love again,,because the thought of loving a man,, any man,,terrifies me. He had all of me,, every single thing I could offer him,, I did so ,,,because he was my husband and I loved him.. I am too young to not love again,, but too hurt to believe I can ever truly find a healthy relationship,, I am so very sad,,,

  63. Jorge Hurtado

    Good morning thank you for the great article about narcissism as I just discovered that my ex or soon-to-be ex-wife is a narcissist let me tell you briefly that she has now called the police on Me 3 times I am due to go to trial for domestic violence but it seems that amazing how she can just be so cold and stop loving me she hasn’t spoken one single word to me in 2 months when about two and a half months she was deeply in love with me she’s gotten to the point where she likes my family and my family believe them I don’t know how to get over to her I guess Part of Me loves her or at least thinks that everything she does hurts me what do you think I should do we have three children in common but she is evil and I think she is messing around how can I just get over there

  64. Susie

    Thank you all for sharing your experiences. My narc ex-boyfriend simply stopped talking to me. We had what I thought was a terrific relationship. We never fought, had wonderful conversations, enjoyed traveling together, and sharing time with his 3 teen-age girls. While we’d known eachother for nearly 12 yrs, we didn’t connect as friends until we moved into the same townhouse neighborhood. Within the complex, his driveway is literally across the street from mine. We were both dating other people, but would have wine or dinner together – as friends. I never considered dating him, much less falling in love with him. Ultimately, we found ourselves single at the same time and a romantic relationship ensued. He literally swept me off my feet. We traveled together and with his daughters, we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas together. I fell in love with him despite knowing that his ex-girl friend, who had ended their relationship, was in constant contact with him. The texts and phone calls were frequent and at one point I even suggested that he get back together with her (before we got even more serious). He told me he had no interest and everyone said she just wanted him for his money and friends. January was a stressful month for him as his daughters boarding school applications were due. I willingly helped the girls complete them. I hoped that he would be less stressed once the applications were submitted, but things simply got worse. He wanted to spend the nights alone, wouldn’t return texts or calls, and became verbally combative. When I tried to understand why he said he was trying to work through a number of issues and emotions. I offered my sympathy & help. Finally, one night at dinner while discussing all his emotional pain and a series of events and friendships that weren’t going his way, he asked me to be patient with him while he tried to work through things. Again, I willingly agreed because I loved him and wanted him to be happy. That was the last time we had a meal together. After not hearing from or seeing him (of course I saw his car because he lives across from me) for 4 days, one night I knocked on his door and burst into tears when he opened it. He looked right through me. I didn’t know how to react because his face was blank and emotionless. I didn’t recognize him. Instead of comforting me, he allowed me to cry, express my confusion, and talk myself and my questions into more tears. Finally, he spoke and said, “I just don’t think I see us long term”. I felt like I’d been hit in my gut… what made him say such a thing. Never had we discussed the future – for once I was enjoying a relationship in the present. The relationship was “easy” – I had longed for such a relationship after being with my ex-husband for over 20 yrs (we met in college). Well, that evening is the last time we spoke and nearly 3 months have past. Following that experience he would not allow his daughters to see me. Then, the final blow came about a month later when I saw his ex-girlfriend’s car parked in our community. Once again, I was hit in the gut, but this time I wanted to vomit. He’d complained incessantly about the pain she cause him, that his friends couldn’t stand her, and she didn’t like his girls and they didn’t like her. The car appeared more frequently in our community and then a mutual friend confirmed that they are back together. I hear stories of them playing tennis together (something he never would do w/me – perhaps because I’m an accomplished player and he is not). He took her to our church (we were both members prior to the relationship), then there was another blow. Her youngest son was also spending the night at his house. This had never happened when they dated the first time. She lives about 40 mins from us but her job is close to our community. She doesn’t have friends in our town but is working for a highly supported non profit. She has regularly stated that dating my ex with his big personality, charisma and reputation for his own commitment to philanthropy would provide her immediate access and friends in the community. There is only one other who is more engaged, liked and respected – me.
    So now I find myself walking out of my house wondering if the ex(now new) girlfriend’s car is parked in our neighborhood. I think about her sleeping in his bed. I think that she is getting time with his girls who I love, and she does not. I think about the trips they have likely taken and will take in the future. I miss him terribly and wish he would knock on my door with an explanation, apology and desire to get back together. I also have read so much material on NPD (thanks to the recommendation of a dear Natc-survive friend) and know that the last thing I should want is for him to return. Unfortunately, the emotional me is taking over the reasonable me.
    I’m writing all of this because I want to know the likelihood of him coming back. Will he stay with this woman? Is it possible for him to love me again? And finally I wonder if he is really a Narc or just an insensitive selfish man. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my entire life. Even my ex-husband was more thoughtful during our divorce.
    I’m grateful for any and all suggestions you have!!!

    • Dee

      The sad likelihood is he will be back, just as soon as she no longer satisfies his needs. If you are anything like me he will have a ready explanation which you will want to believe and the dance will begin again. And one day he will discard you again just as abruptly as he did before. Don’t expect an explanation or an apology and if he does either they are not sincere, they simply serve his purpose of getting through to you. You should recognize this as triangulation, you have simply swapped places with the other woman who btw was never truly out of the picture. Again he told you what he thought you wanted to hear. I can say all of this because I have been where u are.

      • Susie

        Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Your words are helpful and I know they are true. I just have to get my “intellectual head” to over come my “emotional head”. I have read about triangulation but I wasn’t sure it applied to me because my narc’s ex broke up with him. In fact when he and I were just friends he told me that he should have told her that he loved her sooner than he did. I know “winning” her back is an accomplishment for him, leaving me to wonder if he will come back to me. I’m curious what your experience has been in this regard. In the event he does return to me what is a typical time frame in which he might return. I’m doing all I can to prepare for this including a commitment to self introspection, and study of co-dependency. Do you have any other suggestions for me to pursue. Thank you for your support.

      • Dee

        Susie there is no telling the time frame. It could be today, two weeks from now, a year from now or if you are truly never. It all depends on where you are
        On his scale of easy marks when he is jonesing for new supply. And by supply I mean feeding his ego. Please understood as I have come to understand that nothing you do will ever be good enough for me. Either you don’t give in and he hates you for not doing what he wants and you do give in and he hates you for being what he wants. I have lived this reality for two years. This man chased me for two years, when I finally agreed to date him I was love bombed and eventually needed a daily fix of him. Imagine the devastation when he started to pull away. He is an elder in his church and as sexually perverted as I have ever seen. You have to come to believe that you deserve much better than he can ever offer, he is not worthy to walk behind you and lick your footsteps. Amazingly he already knows that. That specialness is what drew him to you in the first place. Tell me, right before you cut him off were u starting to see the holes in the armor, was the mask starting to slip?

  65. Hi Susie,
    Just thinking of your post and the emotional devastation his actions caused.
    I would encourage you to take consolation that you did not keep his “love” for too long. He would have left anyway, but that is not because you are unloveable. That is because he does not know Gods truth about love.
    You are made by God, for His love first and foremost. Find your identity and self worth in that love.
    Your emotions will take a little while to settle, because the message you have been given by his actions is that you are dispensable, and easily replaced. You may even feel used.
    It is normal to grieve the loss of what we imagined we had. But thank God that you can learn from this. Move on, however slowly, but surely forward, and may the Lord give you grace to persevere and not be depressed by the events.
    God bless,

    Toyin

  66. Karen

    Are there different degrees of narcissists?

  67. Gloria Stringer

    I am married to a narcissist and I don’t believe in divorce so with the help of the Lord I have been able to stay and keep my sanity. It was not easy but with much prayer God gave me strategic plans to over come and beat the devil at his game. All things are possible with God.

    • Shelly

      How do you stay married? It seems impossible. Far too much pain. I found myself realizing that if I stayed it translated to ME as a lack of self love. Anyone who loves themselves won’t allow disrespect and will fight to be loved. I’ve left, but I’m leaving all the divorcing to him. I too agree with God that divorce is not His best choice for His children. I also know His best choice is not for me to be treating any less loving than God treats me. Husbands are commanded to love their wives. A narc does not. I won’t collude with my husbands sin of not loving his wife by sticking around. It’s an affront to me and to God. I have left. The next move belongs to him…he can file and I will sign off or he can lay at the feet of Jesus and get healed and pray that God brings me back to him. I found the longer I stayed the less respect my husband had for me. It was a horribly sad time in my life. I’m on the mend with the Lord’s help.

      • Gloria

        Oh my God I just realized the same thing I know I wrote that I didn’t believe in divorce and I still don’t I found in 1st Corinthians 7:10 and 11 says that I can separate but the stay unmarried which I choose to do while waiting for God to do the rest it is all on my husband because the word of God says for him not to put me away and to love me as Christ loved me and until he does that I will stay separated thank you Shelly for your comment and I will pray for you to stay strong and in God’s will I hope that you would do the same for me

      • I am in the same situation. Been separated a year. She disappears for two weeks, no contact. May come back. Who knows? Won’t sign papers, won’t initiate. Shows up to fight, that’s all. So sick of it. But I won’t divorce. Stupid, stupid me, I divorced a wife to be with the narc wife. Stupid me. I lost everything. Satan wins.

  68. Charlie

    Help! I am currently going thru a divorce with horrible narcissist. He has cheated on me multiple times and been verbally and emotionally abusive for a lot of our 15 yrs together. We have 3 amazing kids and they have watched him act like this. Why can’t I let him go? Why do I still want to be with him? Please help me to understand the situation and what I can do to help myself get through this and not want to return to my narcissistic husband and that situation! How do I find a counselor in my area with knowledge of narcissism?

    • Sw

      I’m sorry to hear this. I was off and on w my ex for ten years. We have a son. I feel the same way. But everytime you take them back it happens again. Mine ended up moving out of state and is living w his new gf after two months. They move quick

  69. Esra

    After avery long period of breakups and hooks, i finally ended the relationship a week ago. Although he hurt me ver much, now he becomes victim because i left him. I feel very hurt and suffer from many emotions such as love, hate, regret, disappointment, anger, even worse i miss him still. How is it a trap! I am trying to get rid of my codependency. I am full reading articles about narcisstic abusem but i am still missing him. How long does it take? Please help me…

    • Happyatlast

      Keep strong. Look at Melanie site. The first thing is you have realised you are part of the dance. Halt the dance forever brave one. You deserve life

  70. Happyatlast

    Yes agree Narcs need you more than you need them. The addiction to wanting them in this dysfunctional relationship is strong. It is difficult to let them go but it can be done. This life is yours…yes yours so take it back as you deserve much better. By staying with this personality disordered individual (not mentally ) you are allowing the dance to continue. What you will realise is you are actually in control, if you don’t feed the narc there is nothing they can get from you so will move on. I found it hard to believe that he never loved me but now I realise he was reflecting me back to myself. That’s what I loved.. Yes ME. So I now realise that I was always wanting people to like me by doing for others and this was from my upbringing. To realise you are not loved is horrible. Stop searching out of self and look inside. You are beautiful and you know that now because the narc reflected you back to you. Don’t let am evil being take your treasured life.. it’s Yours to live and enjoy… get help and get that no good scum out of your life. If you have family members like this you can also learn to not rise to the bait. I actually did not realise I was brought up by a narc therefore possibly why I ended up with a narc relationship. I won’t play my mother’s game anymore. It’s my life.. so please don’t let anyone strip you of your beauty 😚 Let the narc dances end and your life be fulfilled x

  71. Dee

    You can do this. At the beginning its overwhelming and you feel like u can’t get through it without his support. But that is how u have been conditioned to think. Go no contact immediately and take it one day at a time. The first couple times I did this I failed miserably but then I would try again and each time it gets a little easier for until you stop counting the days. I can tell u that when I am down I still feel a pull to him but it is not as strong as it once was so this too shall pass. Don’t be too hard on yourself. There will come a time when u will look back at this period and feel nothing but relief and release. Hold strong to whatever faith you believe in and find comfort.

  72. Shelly

    One of the best posts. The way need narcissists needs “your life” or fresh victims/energy…is so my experience. Married 7 years next Monday. I left a month ago after weeks of the silent treatment and emotional abandonment, mean words, etc. it was like he had just “moved on” he had no concern or interest about our break up. Thinking back…when we met he was in a financial crisis. I make a good salary. I think he used me for money and once he got on his feet he was done. Ice cold. What early like experiences create a narcissist? Are they aware of their behavior? He didn’t seem to care that his third wife (me) was leaning.

  73. Shannon woody

    I was off and on w my sons dad for ten years. At another failed attempted he picked up and moved to Florida four months ago. He already is living with a new gf. I struggle with the loss still and think he is always having a better life than me. living in a beautiful state with his new girlfriend. And I’m a struggling single parent. I prayed and tried for years to fix things and it didn’t happen.

    • Dee

      I know it’s hard to do but focus on yourself. I am in the exact same situation. We were together for almost 10 years it took him no time to find someone and get married. Initially I dwelt on how he was making the life we were supposed to have but then I realized that a leopard cannot change his spots and as bad as he treated me he will eventually do the same in his new relationship. Consider this as well karma is alive and well and the facade a narcissist creates on the outside serves only to mask the hatred and pain inside. Work on creating the life you dreamed of for yourself and your son.

      • Shannon

        Do you ever have to see him? We are still legally married. I blocked him from my phone and only communicate via email. But even then when he contacts me abt the dissolution my anxiety spikes up. Then all the memories hit. He is coming back for Christmas and it makes me nervous even know how I will handle seeing him. For years I suffered w depression and anxiety and even a month ago had a horrible breakdown for two days. I am ok most days. But your right if I focus on just me I’m not as bad. My ex’s mom also watches my son when I work so i have to try and separate my ex from her in my mind. Is your ex still married. I also wonder if he is diff w someone else. But when we would split up before he always had someone else within a month. Thanks for talking!

      • Dee

        I still go through periods of time where my anxiety spikes just seeing him. But we have to coparent so I keep each interaction short. We speak only as it pertains to my son. I have been on medication for years as I seem to go from one negative relationship to the other and at times it’s all I can do to keep my head up. You have to do what makes you happy and if u don’t feel like it force yourself. I love to garden and I am painting my kitchen. I talk to my plants and last night I got to do some more painting and I woke up in a fabulous mood. What do u enjoy doing? Maybe something u can do with ur son??

      • Shannon

        Do you happen to have a FB? Mine is under Shannon Woody Ohio. Blonde hair blue eyes and a blue shirt in the pict. My anxiety has been bad lately. Any advice you could give would be great. If not that’s ok too. Lately I keep thinking what if I would have moved with him and I was the one in the pictures with him. He is living it up on the beach and bragging abt his new gf on Facebook. I feel like even after 11 years the pain won’t ever go away..

      • Dee

        Hi Shannon. I just sent a friend request

  74. Barbara

    Your post was very helpful. I need some help getting through this. I have read everything I can read about this, and I still need some help with this. I’ll leave my email as I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

  75. Dorothy

    Do you know of a counselor who works with Narcissistic Abuse Victims in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Please help. I feel such emptiness, void and loneliness now that I am free from my nightmare.

    • Hi Dorothy! I wish I could help you, but I don’t know anyone out there. If others have suggestions, please share. Otherwise, make some calls and ask for this kind of help specifically. If they don’t know what you are talking about, or treat you like you don’t know what you are talking about, dial the next number. You might find help through a local women’s shelter. Even if you connect with someone, but then find out they aren’t listening, you are in charge. Get the help you need, rather than the help they want to give. There are more and more counselors out there who do understand, but you may have to do some sorting. In the meantime, many of us will be praying for you.

      • Broken Soul

        Most counselor know of the disorder but doesn’t know the true affects it has on a person that’s been in relationships with these types. I will an unorthodox to start the healing process. That I have found to be extremely helpful in my healing. I purchased books from a self professed elite narcissistic his name HG Tudor. He may come off a little raw but you will have a clear understanding of what you were dealing with. I can almost guarantee all your questions will be answered after you read the books, blogs, comments from H.G. and others. Blessings

    • Cora

      Dorothy, if you are in the greater San Jose (South Bay) area try the Christian Counseling Center on Bascom Ave in SJ. Also try tv.newlife.com they have very helpful stuff on narcissism … God bless you and lead you to the help you need.

  76. Stop the abuse

    Thank you so much for the material … It’s really troubling to be an intelligent woman who understands very well how terrible and wrong that narcissist man I was involved with for over one year hurt me sooooo much and the emotional abuse I went through and how absolutely debased I was when he tried to belittle my son and family I stood up and broke things off…. And I stood strong on the outside in front of him while I was broken into sooooo many tiny pieces inside and fell into such depression and building myself up…. And I see everything for what it was and his disregard for my well being, or my son’s or his son’s or anyone but himself…. I understand the man I fell in love with never existed (very very difficult and sad ) and I know better and it’s been about 10 months now …. And I look out the window and see my gate … And I wonder if he will ever walk through them again…. I don’t wish he does but I wonder and sometimes I remember the good times that I felt wanted and in his arms so content … And I miss them…. And I can’t stand that I feel that!!!!!!!! Omg … Is it ever going to end????? Your list helped a lot and I almost fell into every category …. Still logically omg ….. I wish I could just rip it out of me and throw it out of the highest mountain I can climb!!! Thank you again ….

    • Stop the abuse

      I just read the post I wrote a few moments ago… I’m a bit blue because of the holidays and missing my family… Because of the emotional very highs and lows in my relationship with the narcissist for over a year…. I associate feeling sad or hurting with him… And I think of him because he was also the person that brought me out of the lows … So it’s been about 10 months since I have seen him and have held no contact for most of that time with very few text and phone calls in the beginning of that time …. When I’m upset I think of him and I wish he could hold me and make me feel better …. Isn’t it strange? I do wonder that will go away…. In these 10 months not only I have had no contact with him but I have not wanted to be with anyone else …. Worked on myself and understanding my part on the whole ordeal and now understand some of my choices much better … And hopefully can address that in future relationships ….. I also went from feeling very lonely to being ok not having someone …. Choosing someone … There have been some men that want to be with me … But I didn’t want to …. I wanted more than just someone there … I want someone I connect with there … Loniness got me into the relationship with the narcissist and I’m very very very affraid of falling into something like that again… Don’t think I ever confessed that to anyone … But I hurt soooooooo much that I’m affraid ….

      • Cora

        I relate so much to how difficult and painful it is to let go of a narcissist … I was in the relationship for 14 years and the connection is still there off and on …. and only pretty recently I have felt the healthy detachment I need in order to move on … what made a significant difference for me was that about two years ago, and more and more this last year, I made it a point to get involved in activities that are not related at all to being in or seeking a relationship, but which I have a passion for (seeking ways to be creative was one), volunteering where I believe in the work the organization is doing, being willing to be bored and to make changes to find what wasn’t boring, to invest in relationships with family and friends that I have neglected because of my preoccupation in the relationship with the N, which was at times all I ever wanted and at other times the opposite … one of the most significant relationship I neglected was the one with God, and the one with myself … changing that priority was the beginning of moving on … now, after the last two years work, I am involved with activities and people whom I love and trust and can believe in … during this time I was still clinging to a hope for the relationship with the N. to work out – that he would “see the light” and change, but really I couldn’t move on because of the shame of having believed a lie for so long, and not wanting to face the loneliness … but because I have established a world without him I am not afraid of those things anymore .. I will still go through them, but I know I will also get over them … I was not married to this man, and there are no children involved so the separation is not hurting anyone but me … I really feel and pray for those who have a family …

      • Cecilia K

        Stop the abuse, I can also relate (as I’m sure most here can). I like Cora’s response. She has made some healthy choices. It’s hard to believe that I have been apart from my N for three years now, I think, and NC for several months—almost a year, and I still have those times when I want him to hold me, to cuddle with him. There are certain activities that I want to do only with him; they just wouldn’t be as fun or nice with anyone else, which seems strange.

        There is One other man I would love to be with in a heartbeat, if he were available, but as the Lord has ordained it, he is not. There is no one who Is available who I Am interested in. I have had a few men express interest in me since my N and I broke up, but I feel no connection with them. And I have completely lost interest in starting up anything new. The thought of going through the whole dating process—starting from scratch—is exhausting (maybe if I were younger and had not already made Multiple attempts at successful relationships, it wouldn’t feel so daunting).

        I think I have made a lot of progress in moving on, but I do still think about my N periodically, but as you said, it’s mostly in sadness and hurt, and yet, I think I still hold onto hope, in spite of how hopeless it probably really is.

      • Stop The abuse

        Thank you for sharing and reaching out Cora and Cecilia … Cora I’m trying to move on and do things that I enjoy like you said … Going back to being myself… I’m trying …. Thank you so much for the suggestions! Cecilia … I wish I could erase him from my head and I can’t … I find myself thinking of him… Despite all that I now know of who he is and his NC sickness … I remember him touching me and kissing me and being held by him… The feeling the connection his breathing on me… I know now it meant nothing to him… And it’s very very hard to know that was all pretend… And I know about his narcissism and how bad that is and I don’t want him back because I don’t want to suffer … But why why why does the world stop when I think of those moments …. Why am I glad to be away from him but inside secretly long to have moments like that again… Nothing else with him but those moments …. Why does it bother me that he didn’t come after me ? I should be happy for that!!! Why do I fear being with another man and not feeling anything… I fear that I won’t be able to feel like that again..that he is the only one to make me feel like that.. . And the thought of that kills me … He can’t be the last man I feel something towards … Can’t !!! I hope that when I get the guts to face another relationship again that I am strong and I can see the flags and I can see them before I fall in love with the character they created for me… I’m affraid of falling for another N … I have always been so open and loving and kindhearted … I’m affraid of being myself and attracting men like him again… I don’t ever want to fall for a man like that again… And I’m affraid …. I got to a place where I’m not lonely …. And I don’t want anyone around…. But like anyone I would love company good company from a man that is normal and nice and kind….. I thought he was all that!!!! I’m Very affraid …. I’m such a nice person so loving … Like I’m sure all of us are …. I’m so affraid of letting anyone in … Ever again… And at the same time I think maybe if I get into a relationship that I will be able to forget about those moments with him… And stop longing for them …. But I’m affraid …. These are confessions I don’t think I ever voiced but I feel that here you can understand me … People that have not been where we have can’t understand it … I wish none of us had these horrible experiences …. They are monsters …

      • Stop The abuse

        Cora one thing I tried to do to establish that happy world without him was :
        While in the relationship with him, he made a lot of the things I loved to do.. Something we did together… So I would associate them with him… Soooo after I got out… I make sure I did those things on my own or with friends …. So I had taken back those things …. I.e. Happy without him… As we are closing to 1 year after the break up… All memorable dates holidays etc are getting replaced by new memories without him… And it’s helping me … But I must admit that before those dates there is a day I think of him and where we were last year … Then time keeps ticking and the holiday passes and I have survived!!! Another victory!!! 🙂 day by day …. The only thing I have not done is have another relationship… Or be intimate with another man…. So I think that is why still all those feelings … But the o es that get close to me I have absolutely no interest in… Hoping it’s because of them being not right for me … But I sometimes wonder if anyone will be right …. 😦 and that is a bit sad…. So I try not to focus on that at all…. Thanks for listening … Just writing here makes me feel a bit better ….

  77. Anonymous

    there is so much happiness i feel in reading some of these comments … until i reached the end…and would like to state that while i do not share the same faith as all of you, i feel that the pain and struggle that we have endured binds us all together…i am still in the early struggles of no contact (after many MANY unsuccessful attempts)…my story is rather twisted and different and when i have the courage and energy to do so…i will post it here.

  78. Stop The abuse

    The latest on my situation is that the holidays have passed… Good! I surrounded myself with close friends and my son. Now I don’t have long memories of him…. But every now and then (a couple of times per day) an image of him comes to my mind … Not talking or anything just a look he gave me , or us at a pic… I could be driving or eating not thinking at all about him and bam the image in my head … It’s really frustrating … But I’m fighting it ! Every time it happens I shake my head and occupy myself with something else … Aside from 1 email exchange in October when I was strictly business, he did not like that at all and did the expected and let me down, I responded with complete silence and no reply. (He had my tickets to the Adele concert in Miami and did not give them to me) I knew he would not or would dangle them like a carrot or try to extort money for them… I decided I was going to ask about the concert tickets but would be dry and to the point … And did not expect him to give me them as he knew he could make lots of money selling them. So I was prepared … Aside from that exchange… Lasted 1.5 days of email communication. Ending I him telling me I have no manners that my communication was dry and to the point that he had decided not to give me the tickets … Trying to make me feel guilty… Ha so glad I was prepared for that!!! Relief! For him to act like the asshole I know he is… Now my confession to you fellow people who unfortunately have gone/are going threw this same thing …. What if he acted nice ??? What if he comes around someday acting nice??? Charming like he was in the beginning… I’m sooooooo affraid of that … I’m soooooo affraid I won’t have the strength … I need to be strong !!! I cannot let that man close to me again !!! It’s been no contact aside from that email since May 2016 when I put a boundary down and told him!!!! He hated it !!! He screamed !!! Eventhough we had broken up for 2 months he referred to me as his girlfriend and lover as if I belonged to him… During those months he would reach out to me and only talk disgustingly about sex … And things he would like to do to me … And I would hang up or stop replying … Until I had enough and called him and told him you are not allowed to talk to me like that !!! We broke up! I told you you could contact me (this is all before I knew anything about narcissism) to ask how I’m doing (I still thought he was a human being that would care if I was hurting) Not to say those things to me !!! I’m not your sex toy!!! He hated the conversation … Screamed so much at the phone at me !!!! Saying all I could do was point out what he does wrong, how about all the mistakes I made ??? For me to think about those!!! Again twisting things around and trying to blame me … I told him, the only mistake I made was to not have gotten out of the relationship sooner!!!!! He hated it !!! Wrote me a very disturbing text afterwards where he refers to me as if I’m still his property somehow … And I should be happy that he is telling me he has sexual feelings towards me and not another woman…. It was very disturbing …. You can see the illness in the text …
    So in 8 months of no contact, the last 2 exchanges described above he was an absolute ass! As expected …. And I keep getting myself strong … I read this post often out of the 10 points I have 5 or 6 of them…. I fear so much that man coming to me and being charming …. I fear …. So I keep getting strong and stronger …. But deep inside I fear that if he comes nice and charming that somehow he will break my defenses and I can’t let that happen…. I think I let him in one time when we first started going out …. And after every fight in the 15 months we were together…. I know soooo much more now , I know so much better, I have grown so much from this experience…. I don’t want to be with a person like that …. Why the flashes of his face??? Why the pictures in my head??? Is this some sort of phase in the healing process? Are we ever fully healed? I need to be strong enough!!!! I need to!!! See I can’t hope he doesn’t come around because I’m putting the power on him…. I need to not care at all … And know that if he does no matter how charming I will see the monster the parasite the horrible man who discarded me and abused me right through all his crap!!!!! I don’t think I would fall for him… I really don’t …. But them why those flashes in my brain???? 😦 sorry I just needed to let this out …. I’m ashamed of letting anyone one know …. All my friends and family just think is ridiculous how I can even remember him… Done over just like any breakup… This was not like any relationship…. As we all know… But there is no way anyone that has not gone through it can relate at all….. 😦

    • Liz

      Soon you will look at him with pure disgust. Don’t worry about the images they will soon fade just remember he’s a vile emotionless nothing of a person. Don’t even think about of her comes around you have the power to move on love yourself. The mind games can last for years. You have to choose to not become consumed by this evil dark person and remember your sanity is worth more.

  79. Lori

    I can relate fully! I am aware that I need counseling to overcome this issue. I think the longer you get involved the more it wears you down to the point where you are in serious need of help from a professional! How sad that this can happen but thank goodness there is a way out! Thanks for writing this.

  80. Erin

    It just hurts. Eight years. Why me, and why can’t I just delete him.

    • Cecilia K

      Erin, I don’t really have an answer for you. Just wanted to reach out for support. I haven’t been separated from my ex nearly that long, but I also still think about him, miss him, and maintain a grain of hope that one day he’ll repent and want to reconcile. I’m thankful I have a lot to distract me from thinking about it too much, but it’s still there, buried deep in my heart. I’m still tempted to contact him, although I literally lost his phone number last year when my phone broke; but email is still an option or U. S. mail. Not that I should or you should.

      Blessings and hugs to you, dear one. I pray for peace, comfort, and strength for you.

      • Eight years, it isn’t how long I have been seperated, it is how long we have been together. We’ve been off and on for many months now. But yesterday was the single status day. I wish I didn’t know his number by heart, but well he’s predictable and it will never change. I wish he would’ve chosen someone else though. Not me.

      • Cecilia K

        Oh, I’m sorry…for assuming it referred to your separation, but more so just for the hurt you’ve experienced and pain you’re enduring. And all of us here understand wishing he hadn’t chosen you. You will heal in time. This blog played a huge part in my healing—namely, because it identified the problem for me and cleared up my profound confusion, assured me that I wasn’t the problem, and proved I wasn’t alone. Having people to talk to who understand, even if you don’t know them personally and can’t see or talk to them physically, is a refreshing, soothing balm for your soul.

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