Feeling Trapped?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

 

Being dumped by the narcissist is hard. One day you are wonderful and special; the next you are nothing. One day you feel loved and the next you feel hated. That’s tough.

But I think it is even harder when they won’t let you go. Day after day, week after week, on and on they just keep nagging or begging or criticizing or using or trying to make you crazy. And they are so good at keeping you involved in their lives. They lie and cry and plead and threaten, whatever it takes to keep you on that string.

Why are some narcissists so hard to get rid of? Here are some ideas:

 

  1. They think they own you. Remember that you are not a person to a narcissist. The narcissist sees others as tools, toys or obstacles. If you have been useful in the past, you may be useful in the future. Most narcissists have as little regard for the feelings of others as you or I would have for belongings. So you can’t make the decision to separate from them. They own you.
  2. They may be afraid of what you know. Did you learn any compromising information about the narcissist during your relationship? Could that information be used to challenge the image of the narcissist? Perhaps you are not important or useful, but dangerous and you must be controlled.
  3. You continue to provide supply. Sometimes we think that narcissistic supply, the “drug” many professionals refer to as the source of addiction for narcissists, is only admiration and attention. I think it is also found in conquest, control, and superiority. Every time the narcissist thinks he has won an argument, he gets a hit of supply. Every time she makes you feel worse about yourself, she gets that supply. Whatever it takes to make the narcissist feel better about himself—that’s supply. Even the battle that seems so worthless and so negative to you may provide supply to the narcissist. And, of course, your friend or lover might still want what you gave in the past and continues to look to you to provide it.

 

All of this is to say that it might be very difficult to end a narcissistic relationship. Not impossible, but difficult and not quick.

So how do you do it? Well, every situation is different. Family, marriage, work, church, friendships—all require some special methods, I suppose. Yet, there are a few things you should know for any kind of narcissistic relationship.

You have the right to be yourself. You should have some space and time and energy of your own. That will take some resources. Don’t be afraid to hold onto a little money or to take a little time for yourself. Even the most controlling relationship can be tolerated if you find a way to feel good about yourself. That happens in private times with the Lord or conversations with supportive people or just a special time by yourself.

Here are a few things I believe will help:

 

  1. You are not wrong to say no. You have to maintain some personal control in order to be healthy. Saying no or keeping your distance may be a very good thing.
  2. You don’t have to answer the phone, read the email or the text or the letter, or even be home when the narcissist expects. This is harder in a marriage, of course, but adapt these things to your own situation. If the marriage has ended, almost all of the conversation can as well.
  3. You are not accountable to the narcissist and must not tell more about yourself, especially your secrets. Secrets are powerful. When you hold one, you have control. When you share one, you give control away. This is why narcissists love to learn the secrets.
  4. There is no responsibility to continue a friendship when you have been abused. A user will use you again. Count on it. You do not have to stay tied to the abuser. You have a right to life without that person. That’s true even for an abusive parent.
  5. Plan for the battle. Remember that they will use your empathy or your guilt or your sadness against you. They want you to feel bad about letting them go. They can be ruthless. They will tell your secrets. They will lie about you. They will try to destroy whatever support you have. You will have to be strong.

 

Can you ever win? Will you ever be able to move on? Oh yes! Most of them will give up eventually. Those who won’t give up or those who have you tied into situations where you think you can’t escape only think they are in control. Create a life within your heart and mind that is yours. Even if they can make you do certain things, they can’t make you do everything. Win little battles and feel good about yourself. Spend a little time just for you. Spend a little money just for you. Find a place that is yours, even if it is a spot in the yard or a stop along the drive home. Don’t go there when the narcissist is with you. It’s yours.

Know that you are more than the victim or the supply of the narcissist. You are you and you are valued and loved. If you can get away from the narcissist, do it. If you can’t or feel that you should continue longer, find the way to be healthy even in the relationship. Give yourself permission to take care of yourself.

110 Comments

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110 responses to “Feeling Trapped?

  1. Everything in this is 100% accurate! Just got out of a relationship 4 months ago, my ex has not left me alone until last week, even after getting immediately involved with someone and moving in with her right after our split. It has made it very difficult because he continues to call or text and we have even seen each other. I consider myself to be a mature, intelligent woman, capable of making sound decisions. But I have answered the texts and phone calls, and somehow get caught right back up in it every single time. Up until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t figure out why? Why was I letting myself go through this? Why was I putting up with this? I’ve never been through this type of thing at the END of a relationship. That’s when I came across another article about Narcissist. After reading it, a lightbulb went off, because everything that was described fits him. Even reflecting back on our relationship I can now see it all clearly. Knowing this information has helped me heal tremendously, and has given me strength. Your post is spot on. My ex has a deep need to have a good image with people, even though he willingly does things that he knows are not “good”, he wants and needs to be the guy everyone likes. Including all his ex girlfriends, it feeds his ego to say that he gets along with all of them, well all but one ( who like me, was with him the longest and really knows him). He can be the nastiest person, and it is usually when he has been called out for what he’s done, suddenly anyone that has said anything negative about him is full of “drama”. But he can also be the sweetest person, and also guilt trip you into feeling sorry for HIS actions. Example: He moved in with this new girl fairly quickly, all while still maintaining physical contact and communicating with me. 2 months after we broke up, I had a male friend at my house. He rode by and saw it, and commenced to throwing a fit. He threatened the guy, who of course was driving off at this point. And then began to tell me how horrible this was, how I just didn’t get how bad that hurt him to see someone at my house, he even cried! And when he left, I endured 3 more hours of text messaging and him telling me he wanted to get back together. ALL while he has already moved in with his girlfriend! The owning thing? Yes, he thinks he owns me. Oh, there is too much more to go into and I’ve already just about written a whole other blog post! Haha! Just had to comment on how right this is.

  2. Susan

    Hello. I’ve been pondering something that I wonder if you can help me to understand. I’m married to a narcissist husband. It took me many years to figure this out because the behavior is so inconsistent. He has exploded in rage only three times in the 20 years we’ve been married – all in the past 11 years since we’ve had a child together. (Once was turning the car around on our way to meet my parents for lunch because I suggested he write himself a note as a reminder to do something he said he’d do; He has a habit of “forgetting.” He drove us home, got out of the car, and left me and my daughter to go to the lunch alone. When I got there and they asked where Bruce was, I said he turned the car around and went home, to which my mom’s husband said, “Wow, you must have done something really bad” – because my husband presents as such a “nice guy.” Another time he left the house in a rage without our daughter and me even though we had prepared to attend a work picnic of his that we didn’t want to attend, but said we would because he wanted us to. As we were sitting at the kitchen table drawing and waiting for him to get ready, he came out and shrieked, “Fine! Next time you want to do something, see if I care!” and flew out the door in a rage without us. To this day, he has said it was justified because I was “dragging my feet” even though we were waiting on him. The final time was just an explosion that came out of nowhere, and it was so vehement that I couldn’t get an word in edgewise. I told him that if that ever happens again I’m taking our daughter to someone else’s home in a small circle of women in our church in whom I have confided – very infrequently – about his behavior. I rarely tell anyone about his behavior because it’s so subtle and deceptive that no one would understand fully what I’m saying; They don’t understand narcissim, so it would only look like I’m a nagging complaining wife about petty things. (FWIW, I’m reading “A Cry for Justice” since you recommended it, and it’s balm to this wounded soul.)

    There are many other behaviors I could tell you that have happened that involve lying, manipulation, deception, forgetfulness, trickery, twisting my words into something I didn’t say, shunning, disappearing without letting us know where he is, etc.

    So what I’m pondering is this: I read on this blog countless examples of people (mostly women) who are in similar relationships or have had similar experiences with narcissists. I don’t understand how so many individuals (mostly men) have the same pattern of chosen behaviors (lies, manipulation, twisting words, shunning, rage). Is it a mental disorder? Is it full-blown pride given over unto itself? Is it repeating behaviors witnessed in childhood? Is it all of the above? I guess because these behaviors are so consistent among narcissists – that is what has me confused.

    Personally, I don’t believe it’s a mental disorder, but full-blown pride given over to itself along with experiencing these behaviors in their childhoods. But the fact that so many narcissists share these same patterns of behavior (lying, shunning, rage) leaves me scratching my head wondering how could so many individuals share these same chosen behaviors? It’s what has me wondering about the roots of narcissism. If you can point me to a post you’ve written addressing this or know any resources that might help me, I’d be most grateful.

    It’s not that I think it will help me necessarily in changing anything about my current situation living with a narcissist husband who lies to our daughter about me and is in the process now of wooing her to gain her trust. Most likely because as I have gained independence and stopped sharing information with him that I see he twists and uses against me, he has started to pay more attention to her. At age six, when she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, she was asked to draw a picture of her family and she did, but he wasn’t in it. Today at 11, she thinks he’s the cat’s meow, because in the past year to two, he’s taken to focusing on her and her interests, something he couldn’t have cared for at all three years ago.

    So I’m not looking for resources that will change the situation necessarily, but to help me gain understanding, because the more I read about narcissism, the more it validates the actions I’ve taken in our home to detach, set boundaries, and live as fully as possible pressing into my Savior for joy during the trial and wisdom in living through it.

    Any thoughts?

    • Fellow Survivor

      Susan, here is a link to a post by the great Anna V.

      She is making a point and explaining her idea on how and why all these Narcs are so shockingly the same.

      http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/2007/03/hell-demon-school.html

      • Susan

        I hadn’t heard of Anna V. before. I’m enjoying her post. I’m halfway through and nodding in agreement throughout. Thank you for the link. I have to add that, as a Christian, my experience with a narc husband often brings to my mind Jesus’ words to Judas, “Must you betray me with a kiss?” I appreciate how the article addresses children of narcs, because I am at a stage where I am pondering how I shall treat the subject when our daughter (now 11) starts to connect some dots in my husband’s behavior and wonders what’s going on. He’s wooing her now, but there are intermittent provocative spells. He’s not blown into a rage with her, but when his sarcasm or manipulations become evident to her, I’m not sure I’ll know what to say about it if she asks me. I hate to destroy the image of the father she thinks she has, and I don’t know what it’s like to have a narc parent (only a narc husband), but I’m trusting the Lord will give me the words if and when they are necessary. I’m not planning on addressing the topic with her until such time as she brings it up or has need of it.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Susan, I have struggled with the same question about how to inform our children. In my case I have one teenage daughter. I have come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is just make sure that they “our children” know that we are always there for them, Always.

        The narc will always be there for them if it is convenient at the moment, or being there for them makes them look good, or not being there for them will make them look bad. When it comes to narc parents it is really just that simple.

        The hard part for us is that when they “the narc” does spend time with the children it is always doing something super fun. WE on the other hand take them to their doctor or dentist appointments,their early morning sports games, their youth group functions, etc. The every day, day in and day out stuff. But the trip to Disney Land or the new Iphone always outshines the everyday humdrum stuff that we do.

        If the child is wise, they will understand.

      • Susan

        I’m leaving my reply here cuz I don’t see a reply button below your latest comment. I had to smile when I read how the narc husband is “the fun parent.” Indeed. My N husband has been giving our daughter money for “being good,” though he’s not around her enough to know if she is. He calls it an “allowance,” but she hasn’t had to earn it. The Lord has been gracious in giving me an opportunity for her to start earning it, however, so she can be taught about working for money, not just having someone hand it to you. He does the same if we shop for groceries together, buying her soda and candies even if she hasn’t eaten a meal yet. And he plays with her, but he also plays with her mind. I can hear it and recognize the slight taunting, provocations, and jabs. And I hear exacerbation occasionally in her voice, so I suspect a day may come when she’s tires of the mind games. But I do want her to develop emotionally in a way that feels right to her so I do my best to refrain from speaking negatively about her dad, although it has happened (such as recently when she and I were gone for two nights to visit my 85-yr-old mom on her birthday; we came home to find our 1/2-mile-long dirt driveway all tore up, then he said he’s working on it and doesn’t know when it will be done – and she overhears me lament, “I don’t know why he’d do that.”) But other than that, I try to not complain about him because I want her to enjoy him. I know she knows the tension of the home and doesn’t understand why, Like you, I think the best thing is to just present the healthiest “normal” parenting and relationship explaining along the way about the necessity of things (like you mentioned, doctor’s, dentist’s, bedtimes, brushing teeth, all that) and how it benefits them. I try to leave tomorrow to tomorrow and we’ll cross the bridge of her awareness about him when we get to it, if we ever do.

    • Joy

      It’s good that you don’t tear your spouse down to your daughter. It is also important though, to not defend him. I made that mistake as my children were growing up. They were noticing how manipulative he was with his moods and such, and I would explain it away “Daddy’s tired.” or “I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.” and lots of other things that I was also telling myself. I didn’t know much about narcissism at the time and was struggling to keep believing that wonderful image he works so hard at. I was sure he really was they guy, but I didn’t know why he was so hurtful.

      The problem is that it teaches kids to not trust their gut instinct about people like this. They were young adults when I finally divorced him, but they lept to his defense even though they knew quite a bit about how he treated me….they’d been treated to a PR campaign by him during our time trying to work things out and then the separation, and they wanted badly to believe in that their dad was trying to save our marriage…they had no idea that it was all just an act when he had an audience, to set up a favorable view of him. Even after I left I was just learning about narcs and the kids were dealing with their dad and his narc behaviors…..they were learning on their own all the manipulative, lying behaviors, and the pulling financial strings and power plays. If they brought up how difficult he could be or a problem they’d had with him, I had to learn to just nod my head and say things like, “Yes, I know it’s so hard.” or “That’s smart of you to realize what’s happening.” instead of trying to help maintain their old view of them. I had to let them start believing what he was showing them. It’s very important, because they still have to deal with him so much, and they need to develop healthy ways to deal with someone so controlling…and they need to be able to own the truth in order to do it. Otherwise, they would be doomed to being under his control and games forever.

      • Jennifer

        I used to do the same thing, defend his behaviors to our four children. But God gave me this little boy who was a very straight shooter. My girls were enthralled by their dad, but this little fellow was most certainly not. He has mental health issues by way of ADHD and OCD. I swear he has undiagnosed Aspergers too (we homeschooled though so we never had anybody to say that he needed to be checked out. He is now 24).

        BUT this guy could smell deceit a mile away. At age 8, he looked at his dad after another mental tussle with him and said, “YOU are a hypocrite” and he knew exactly what the word meant. I remember saying to my husband in a fit of honesty, “You’d better watch out because this kid sees through everyone”.

        If I didn’t have this son of mine, I’m not sure that I would have seen as clearly who my husband really was. N hated our son because our son never refrained from speaking the truth. At the time it was so very frustrating and scary because all I wanted was peace to reign in our house, but our son would call out his father on everything. The hate was palpable between them. My girls would go in their room or outside so they couldn’t hear the fighting, it upset them so much.

        And I would defend him, and chastise my son for speaking out to his dad, and pray to God in desperation that one of them needed to go because they could not live in the same house together. I used to beg God to allow one of them to die just so we could find peace in our house.

        And then things came to a head and I left. My oldest daughter had definitely seen through her dad by this time because of his treatment of her brother, but the two youngest daughters not so much. But not one kid questioned why we were leaving. As soon as we left (and it was all of a sudden to a women’s shelter), they didn’t ask why, they just packed their bags and we walked out. I needed to explain why, and I did, but all I had to do was point out how afraid they were of their dad secretly and they understood. They’ve never questioned me and I’ve had the opportunity to point out his behaviors in an objective way.

        If you can objectively validate any feelings she’s having due to mind games, or point out to her when she is afraid so she knows what she is feeling, or just refuse in her presence to play any mind games with him, you’ll do her a great service. They trust that you will cover for them in front of the kids, but what if you quietly, confidently just be honest with him in front of the kids? It would do her a world of good to see how honesty in a relationship is worked out. She will learn to recognize deceptive vs honest relationships. And after all, HE will be the one outing himself when you stop defending or protecting his bad behavior just by being honest.

      • Susan

        Joy,

        Like you, I defended my narc husband in the past but mostly by remaining silent because I didn’t understand the sudden shift into rage. I used to try to figure out what it was that caused his explosion, but eventually I realized there’s no rational explanation for something that I or anyone did that causes his rage.

        It’s frustrating that our daughter has seen his rage on more than one occasion yet still adores him, but that rage has never been directed at her, and all children want a father to love. Eventually, when she becomes aware of his lies and they’re directed at her and he plays one too many mind games with her, I think it will hit home.

        I agree wholeheartedly that at some point my daughter is going to have to see and learn to understand that dad owns his behavior and words, although the “why” for it will be difficult. How do you tell a child that her parent is unsaved or following the father of lies (Satan)? I will rely on God for the words when such a time comes. Perhaps just to say “Dad needs our prayers” may be best. The rest she will figure out as she learns Scripture. I agree with you 100 percent that the children need to develop healthy ways of dealing with someone so manipulative. And they need Truth to be able to do it.

  3. Susan,
    It is amazing, isn’t it, although victims’ situations vary, their abusers are so similar.
    Maybe one reason is that abusers share a common mentality- that of a desire for power and control, along with a sense of entitlement to that power and control and thus justification to any tactics to maintain power and control.
    A post at A Cry For Justice addresses your question. You may find it helpful: Do Abusers attend the same school?
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/07/03/do-abusers-attend-the-same-school/

    • Susan

      Thank you, twbtcTwbtc. It’s puzzling to me since the tactics are chosen by these abusers, and these are shared tactics (shunning, rage, manipulation, twisting of words, lying, etc). How can so many people choose such common tactics that are varied like the few I’ve listed?

      I’ve been told by people who are in similar relationships that the abusers believe the lies that they tell, but I think the narc knows that he’s lying. The difference is that he feels justified in the lie and so perhaps doesn’t view it as he knows lies would commonly be viewed – as reprehensible and wrong. He knows he’s lying, but to him it’s okay and therefore not like other people who tell lies.

      I’ll go read the link now. Thank you again!!

    • Susan

      Oh wow! That’s the guy who wrote the book of the same name? How wonderful! I love the first comment in answer to my question: “I don’t pretend to fully understand it. However, I suspect the heart of the answer is revealed in Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of His day, recorded in John 8:44: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” They are each following their own nature…their sin nature…which they acquired from their father, the devil.”

      Yes indeed.

      There are 55 comments to that post, so I shall take my time and pour through them all. Thank you for linking to that website. I suspect it’s another big jar of balm to us wounded souls here.

      • Yes, Susan, that’s the guy. Ps Crippen and Barbara Roberts co-admin that website and blog. I hope you find encourage there!

  4. Trying to cope

    Ah the narcissist playbook I call it. Weird, I agree. But when I start to feel its me these wonderful people on this blog remind me exactly what this guy is doing. It’s as if they have met him. Freaky really and truly helps heal the soul to know this person is a phsychopath. It’s not me it’s him. I chant. I tried complaining to a friend a minute ago. They just don’t get what we are going through. At all. So it’s isolating and lonely place to be. I didn’t even know what narcissism meant until recently. I have learned that I know many people with these character traits…and then there is the real live deal. Wow. And I have seen rage, I am shunned 95 percent of the time, then chaos, he smiles and acts like my friend…if he wants something…and then back we go again. Crazymaking. I have gone through a bad spell of depression over it, skipped work, a lot…then I decided he can’t win. I need my job. So here I am. Must face him all day every day. No contact is not an option. He has the playbook and refers to it often. Only thing that helps is you fine people have helped me learn the playbook. If you find the answer let me know. At what age did they get the playbook?? :-). That was my crack at a joke. It is no laughing matter for sure. The rage is scary, the pain is like no other. How can one betray another so thoroughly and with not a second look back…except to control. These fine people here tell me to smile at him so it does not appear he is controlling me. Some days I smile. Some days I pout, avoid eye contact, shun back. All very unnatural. All uncomfortable and it ticks me off to know that because he is a zombie he is going through non of this pain.,

  5. Penny

    Wow–this post is inspired, timely, absolutely spot on. My narc works overtime to destroy my reputation, assassinate my character, turn my family against me–but still wants a relationship?? Why? Why won’t she leave me alone?? Well of course–she owns me! Silly me, what was I thinking?? I am a merely a malfunctioning circus monkey that she is entitled to “fix” & control & then wind up and watch me clap like a robot for her amusement. She thinks her toys all have a “remote control” giving her the power to push a button & watch the show . She loves her toys; it’s me she hates.

  6. Trying to cope

    Penny, yes I can relate. He hates me. That does not feel good. I feel like I will do anything to make it stop. What can I do to make you just like me. Always back to why me?

    I spend a lot of time doubting myself. Maybe it’s just me. I’m just not likable, I’m not as good, funny, smart as the other people. I have nothing to offer. No supply. Why oh why did it take him a year and a half to figure that out?. It does not feel good to be belittled, discarded, no time for you! Ouch!

    My saving grace is I have friends that assure me I’m all that and a bag of chips. Problem is, my pain goes on and my friends don’t want to hear about it anymore. Easy for them to discard him, but I have to deal with him 8 hours a day. And they have never met him. Thankfully I’m not married to him, but I have to co-exist with him and his hate. Him making me feel worthless everyday. Him who was so charming, nice, funny, giving, pleasant. You name it, he had it covered. I know I heard, He was never a friend, it was all an act. Well I guess I wish the act had just went on. Because i can’t deal with this. I know he sees me. He shuns me, but what does that mean…he sees me. He just doesn’t want me to know he see’s me. Hmmm??

    • Jennifer

      Shunning is just another more sinister version of character assassination in my mind. Talking behind your back and destroying your character is very overt in many ways. But shunning is a very private form of character assassination, because it happens right in front of everyone’s nose and yet the only one who knows about it is the victim. He is assassinating your character to your face by ignoring you and thus sowing doubts in your mind about your self-worth. He is murdering you in your own heart and mind.

      It is bloodless murder by stealth. Believe me. You DON’T want this horse’s behind as a friend. He is completely incapable of being anyone’s friend.

      • Penny

        I recently learned that in Mosaic law, the sins of the tongue (verbal abuse, slander, false witness, etc.) are equated to murder—murder of soul & spirit.

      • Jennifer. Yes I feel like my heart and mind are no longer my own. Murdered…not quite. Crushed, absolutely. Yes telling someone that you are being shunned is like telling them you are being discarded by an n. They have no idea what you are talking about or what they mean. They know the word but have no idea of the ramifications. They have no idea that right in front of them this person is assassinating your character. Yes he does that. Talks over me, around me. No longer acknowledges my presence….when once I was the presence. No doubt…half the problem is mine here…who doesn’t revel in that kind of attention. Easy to grow and shine when someone treats you that special.

        Yes how can I have self worth when I’m not even worth looking at. Now. He used to stand and wait for me in the hall, come join a group wherever I was , seek me out every day. At a time when I needed a friend he was there. Then he pulled it away in an instant. But my doubt comes in because this should be a pattern. It should happen over and over. I don’t see others being shunned. The only thing I can figure is the others he did this too are the ones that quit. Those that are left are a continual supply. He gets business from them. As my husband works in same field he must have realized he will never get any business from me. I am not a supply. It is frustrating to watch him charm the socks off every new person that comes in. I want to scream, don’t trust him, he’s not your friend. But as long as they have something to offer…he will be their friend, he can go above and beyond in the friend department. That is what hurts so much. I am a fantastic friend….but I am not a supply. I would have never imagined that I would be judged, used, shunned this way. And I really cannot seem to cope with it. No part of my rational mind can get back to normal. Why would someone daily mess with me. I doubt myselfI, am I being paranoid, I’m just not as funny or witty, or not as good at something. I have to own that I was cast aside just because??? could be I just made this whole N thing up to make myself feel better and I’m just not good enough to be a friend of this charming, funny, individual…there’s more adjectives but you get the picture. So I doubt me. Remember…I did put him through every N check list. No I’m not a doctor….what is the likelihood that any of us got a clinical diagnosis. Any likelihood that this N thing could be tattooed on their arm.

        This gets harder and harder because I can’t talk to boss, husband, friends or the N. My mom doesn’t get it and there is no money for me to see a therapist. So this person I self diagnosed is slowly murdering my self worth. At one point I thought I could fight back but all I really want is for this to go away. Why can’t this guy and his wife come for dinner, like they used to. It’s all so insanely weird I just can’t get it. It transcends being unfriended. Because if you were unfriended there would probably be a reason. And when I look back and think, there were clues. Patterns. But I didn’t know what they meant. He actually told me of people he pushed out of his life and I at time was just so dazzled I would not have dreamt to say…no normal people don’t treat others that way. And I think in the end that was my kiss of death. I told him he was judgemental….after he told me his name for each person in office. And I have his secret.

    • Penny

      Dave had a post a while back about narcs not “seeing” you. I’ll see if I can find the link b/c it was also very insightful. I’m sorry you are going thru this. Having to work on a daily basis w/a narc is like visiting hell every day.
      Keep visiting this site–you WILL get stronger & have more clarity, and gain wisdom. But there are setbacks too. Always remember they do NOT own or even know you. They are empty shells looking for mirrors to reflect their image, but the image is a vapor. It is not real. You are.

    • Penny

      Here is Dave’s post I mentioned below. Somehow my replies have gotten posted out of synch, but anyway, here it is: https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/?s=I+see+you
      If the link is wrong just search for the post “I See You”!

      • Good grief Penny. Over and over I feel Dave writes about my N. I just read your link…after commenting to Jennifer. Now mind you I wrote that before reading your I see you link. I guess this is how I know I’m not off my rocker. Thank you for link. Although I battle the why me, and want nothing more to be on this guys good side, it helps to know that to be on the good side means you are being used. He doesn’t like me for me he likes me for what is can do for him.

        So effectively you could have the N for life if you were always a supply??

  7. ~~~ Create a life within your heart and mind that is yours…~~~~ yes, yes… 🙂

    • Turing to cope

      love this idea but in some sick twist of fate while trying to start a new life for me I now have to be even closer to the N. B4 I could go days without seeing him now I. Get to be shunned, ignored, and experience his rude behavior if I try to be nice. All I want is to do my job in a positive surroundings. For some reason I can’t cope with being “the discarded one”.

      I want to know how to make this person see me as a person that is good enough to talk to. Shunning matters only to the extent that you care. Why do I care? I guess it’s my self worth at stake. These other people he has called them weird, needy, rags, pushy. He has a name for everyone…I thought I was a friend but in the end he talks to all of them and it leaves me what. I wonder what he says I. Am? I wish I could tell them what he thinks of them. I wish I could tell him what they think of him. Because when they are not busy using him and enjoying his charm…they call him names. But at the end of the day, I’m the one excluded. He will come right to my house and not even acknowledge I exist! he’s only there to see my husband. It wasn’t always this way…sorry…I feel I repeat myself, because parts of this story I may have mentioned before in blog but must repeat when visiting with new person, I feel?he was a friend for a year and a half. He has invited me on outings that now only the chosen ones can go on. It is hard to be chosen, and then discarded. But your husband is still a chosen one. In the world of friends ” don’t you take the couple or not”? I feel like he is just rubbing it in…but now I am forced to work close to him. So what I could ignore he just rubs in my face. I could see if I did something. I didn’t. I asked and got told there he is too busy for me. Not everyone else just me. So in a normal world..who says that? And as this thread eludes I can’t tell anyone, who cares, who would believe me. My own husband doesn’t seem to give a damned. I wish it was a woman treating me bad because it puts into question my loyalty. I am loyal. I dislike shunning by someone that disguised himself as a friend and then discarded me. Rages at me if I try to mention it.

      I can’t be the bright, sunny, beautiful person I am when I have this pouty, rude, arogant, moody(when with me) then charming, funny, smart, witty (with all others…and with me long ago) person to deal with all day every day. I feel like this goes on and on. No matter how much I learn I just am sooo hurt and I so much just want his friendship back, and I am traumatized that he would deny that we were friends.

      • Susan

        You do not want this man back as your “friend.” He never was a friend. Not to you or these others for whom he has names. Listen to yourself. Do you really want someone as a (so-called) friend who would make up names about others behind their backs? It’s good you’re talking this out. It will be helpful for you to get it out and then – in time – move on to another stage. You might want to get some books and read about narcisissm as well. I found that helped me realize I’m not the only one out there in such a relationship and it validated what I was already doing to get through it, such as forming solid real friendships outside of the narc relationship, talking about it to people who understand, and detaching from the narc. My N is my husband, but I have detached. We don’t have any real relationship other than what’s on paper. I pray about and for him, but we basically have no life together even under the same roof. I am detached. I have to be to stay healthy and sane and regain the person I used to be. I can see in your writings exactly what I have gone through – the confusion, the mourning (loss of what you and I thought we had), the anger and frustration. All of it. But you have got to detach from this narc. He never was and (unless the Lord intervenes) never will be your friend.

      • Susan

        Forgot to add in my last reply to you. Those names your “friend” made up about other people behind their backs was/is a red flag. I suspect there are other red flags you can look back and see as well. It reminds me of the red flags I can look back and see now that I know about narcissism, but was unaware at the time. I do think, however, that I should have known better. The narc is a very stealthy wolf in sheep’s clothing. Beware. Now you know who he is, and when you move on in this process, you will begin to understand how you do indeed know what a healthy relationship is and you know people who really do care and you’ll more easily discern the difference.

      • Trying to cope

        Susan thank you. You are right I have never associated with those that talk of others because there is one thing I know for sure, Eventually you will be on that list. Thank you for the reminder and absolutely it was a red flag. Many things were. But these N’s they are charming, so we overlook those red flags, right?..funny because I wrote on the I see you thread and even there when I wrote something, I thought out loud this sounds ridiculous. But is that not the problem, we have been thrown into this world of abnormal, ridiculous, unbelievable to most and now we have to cope. Everyone loves my tormentor, so I must be the odd one? Well he probably wants me to think that. Fortunately I have many that let me know otherwise, and yet this person matters? So that is why I’m here I guess. To shake that need to care, to heal and learn.

  8. Jennifer

    This part of the blog really stood out to me:

    “You are not accountable to the narcissist and must not tell more about yourself, especially your secrets. Secrets are powerful. When you hold one, you have control. When you share one, you give control away. This is why narcissists love to learn the secrets.”

    Boy howdy, does my ex husband ever like to do this. Ever since I walked out on him 6 years ago, he has constantly fished for information from our kids. He has always been this way. He set up his relationships initially with people by smiling and seeming so very interested in them….but all he was doing was gathering secrets. He seemed to know everything about everyone. He always had something “on” every person he was even remotely acquainted with.

    The other day our youngest went to breakfast with him and he started up the 20 questions game about her boyfriend. She is 19. After a few of these questions she deftly changed the subject. I told her she should have asked a question about his new girlfriend for every question he asked her. But she said she just doesn’t really care enough to want to know. Lol.

    The thing about it is, most people ask questions because they really are interested in you, but a Narc doesn’t. He asks because he is really interested in himself, and what he can get out of you, and how he can use that information if and when the opportunity arises. They fish. They fish for all kinds of information all the time. Knowledge is power to them.

    And if they are smiling, and treating you to breakfast, and asking what are normal, interested questions (in every one else’s case); and you know they are a narc and refuse to answer them, it’s YOU who looks like the paranoid, nasty, hard-boiled whatever. And it will always be them that comes off smelling like roses. And they know that absolutely. And that’s why they do it.

    • Jennifer yes another charming N trait that I discovered too. They really have absolutely no interest in you unless it serves a purpose. His purpose. I am sorry that you have to continue to fight the N battle. You are so very wise but I’m guessing the pain and destruction just never ends really.. I do not imagine I can get rid of the n in my world but I am so thankful I’m not married to him. I fight my own battles but non are as deceptive or stealthy as an N can deliver. We all seek to be important, special in another’s eyes. It is the ultimate betrayal to know that any interest this person showed was all for personal gain. I feel like it’s something you read about but would never have had to live out. Today I pray again for strength. This Monday the chaos is in shunning me. Remember last Monday…I was worthy. Crazy crazy.

  9. Tammy

    As usual, Dave you are spot on. I don’t comment much, mostly because I am self employed, pretty disorganized and lack time to do so. :/

    To those currently in pain and struggling with your narcissist, I want to share hope and perhaps a little insight. I hope it helps. I too struggled with the same things you all do… A 14 year marriage with crazy making, lies, affairs, selfishness, emotional abuse, use of weaknesses against me, emotional abuse… the list goes on. I started over with a newborn, a young child and was pretty much a mess.

    How did I survive and then thrive? From a practical standpoint, I was super busy with a full time job, two children, and was VERY grateful to have someone that let me ramble, vent and repeat for nearly a year. It was my therapy and was critical to my healing. More importantly, I relied on strength from Jesus and my faith increased. The more I trusted Him and had faith, the stronger I became. I started attending a church where the pastor preaches the Gospel without apologies and I started tithing. After about 2 years, I was actually quite fine. God rewarded me for my faith with emotional health, financial peace and more!

    I remarried a wonderful Christian man after about 5 years, and it was five more years before I even knew what Narcissism was. My husband was researching the bizarre behavior of a co-worker and as he read his findings, it became clear that malignant narcissism described the ex perfectly.

    Fifteen years have passed, and I hope I can offer some help here and there to those that are still hurting from N abuse. I wish I could say that the N still isn’t a problem. We have a teenager together and he continues to violate visitation, manipulate, lie, pretend he has “changed” and still dispenses N behavior at every opportunity.

    The key is to NOT react. Don’t continue to be a SOURCE of their SUPPLY. When they ask “Did you get the letter I sent?” (the certified-restricted-delivery-letter-about-visitation), simply say yes. When they try to suck you back into their hurricane of pain and suffering, read your Bible, fill yourself with wisdom and the Love of our Savior. Rest in the arms of Jesus and the verse “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”.

    Let me back up and say first, you must accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Not Hell insurance, but a real relationship that will change your life.

    The evil will start to make sense as Jesus gives you wisdom to understand.
    Ephesians 6:12
    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

    Those in pain from narcissistic abuse know the pure evil this verse speaks of. Am I right?

    Many of you have commented how N’s behavior is uncanny similar and you are right!! Pastor Dave has said that his experience with narcissists is limited to the church. They are EVERYWHERE. God has given Pastor Dave wisdom that reaches far beyond the church borders and all of us are grateful for that wisdom aren’t we??!!

    For those wondering if they all go to school to learn the same tactics… I believe the answer is YES. Demon school for narcissistic demons. I am no demon expert but read the below verses…

    Matthew 12:43-45
    Return of an Unclean Spirit
    “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

    So… The demon made a conscious decision and spoke about it, gathered reinforcements, told the other spirits where he was going and they went there together. Sounds pretty organized to me.

    Wouldn’t each of us have run the other way if the N had been obviously and blatantly evil and abusive from the start?? Of course! I believe that Satan has specially trained narcissistic demons to lure us in with charm, flattery, etc, Once we are emotionally (or legally) attached, the tables are turned. They do their best to destroy us and everybody around them with powerful tactics of abuse that defy logic, wreak havoc, and leave a path of destruction in their disgusting wake. No I don’t believe that narcissists are necessarily possessed, but are strongly oppressed and controlled by demons specially trained in narcissistic abuse.

    2 Corinthians 11:14-15
    “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds”

    Rest assured that God will have the final word and they will be punished for dispensing such unspeakable abuse.

    Please hear me. Your confusion, pain and despair can serve a critical purpose. You are now keenly aware of evil and the pain that evil causes. Let that pain serve as a catalyst to turn you to the One who defeated evil and death at the Cross. Jesus Christ. He endured unspeakable pain and suffering so you would know that He understands. He feels your pain and longs for you to have faith in Him, accept him as your Savior and Lord of your life. Get to know Him, grow in faith and love, and share that love and healing with your loved ones and beyond.

    Yes, continue to educate yourself about narcissism. It is incredibly freeing to know that you are not alone. But more importantly, get to know your Creator, Savior and Protector Jesus Christ and rely on Him for wisdom and strength to not only survive the pain, but THRIVE in the face of it!

    My post has turned RIDICULOUSLY long, sorry! In keeping with my lengthy post, it is fitting that I leave you with an equally lengthy detailed explanation of the Gospel. Why did Jesus come and die on the cross for our sins? John MacArthur with Grace to You gets really detailed, but will leave you with a much greater understanding in this message “15 Words of Hope”: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/47-39

    I will pray that this helps you as you search for answers and healing.

    • Susan

      Tammy, are you saying narcissists are possessed? I just want to be clear.

      It’s a head-scratcher for me because these are all chosen behaviors (lying, manipulating, shunning, etc.) with the exception of the rage, which I think is continual and deep down and it’s lack of control that makes it surface periodically, or at least that’s the case with my husband. (I initially thought it was “just” – or only – passive-aggressive behavior, so I researched that and read “the Angry Smile” and other books on p-a- behavior. Indeed, he’s that, but it’s just symptomatic of his narcissism.)

      I see it differently than, say, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, where the brain is dysfunctional. Because there the mania or depression (in the case of bipolar) isn’t something the person controls. Unless you think those disorders also are demonic. I don’t know. I have met a bipolar individual (my husband’s ex-) and it was the first time I ever thought I was seeing demonic possession, but I don’t know.

      What say you?

      • Tammy

        NO. Not possessed. Oppressed. Led. Affected. Taught.

        Narcissism is a behavior they learned to hide their own emptiness. As they practiced that behavior, they learned what worked and likely got better and better at using all of the narcissistic tools that we all suffer from.

        We are born with a sin nature, and if we are not for Christ, we are against him. That is where the demons come in. Someone that is not saved does not have Christ within them… is of Satan.
        1 John 3:8
        Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.

        What I am saying is that without Christ, we live in sin and Satan has influence over us.

        Conversely, when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are saved by Grace and Christ lives within us to guide and correct us.

        There are certainly mental disorders like bipolar, mania, depression that are not like narcissism at all – they can be treated with medication and counseling. I have compassion for people suffering from treatable conditions and I have seen healing and effective treatment allow them to live normal lives.

        A Narcissist is different. I do not believe there is any medication that will help the kind of person that is described in Dave’s posts or our replies. Counseling won’t work because their “image” won’t allow them to admit they have any faults.

        The narcissist in your life cannot be cured without the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. They have difficulty with the first step: admitting that they are a sinner. Then they have to believe that Jesus died on the Cross for them so they could have the Gift of Salvation. This step is near impossible for them.

        Matthew 19:24 says “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

        The rich man believes that he does not need God. The narcissist believes that he does not deserve God. Either belief results in the same outcome.

        Someone that employs all of the evil tools that you mentioned, and as we all know there is a list of many more…. has allowed evil to permeate and take over everything that they do. They have chosen this behavior, and in doing so have turned themselves over to evil and now evil is all that they know.

        Is it possible for them to be saved and turn from their evil ways? Yes, it’s possible. God can do anything. But I don’t believe it is at all likely.

        So… no. I don’t believe they are possessed. Christians know that Christ guides, directs and gives them strength. As a Christian, I am keenly aware of evil. Based on scripture, I believe that Satan guides, directs and gives sinners strength. I think that the more that a person practices evil, the more they open themselves up to the influence of a more powerful evil.

        Search for Dave’s post “Call it Evil” and “Demonic?”

        I hope that helps. I have only been to the school of life and have had a couple of extremely evil narcissists in this life I have lived. I pull my beliefs from scripture and from observing narcissistic behavior. I don’t know it all, so please take my opinion as absolute. It is just my opinion. Read Pastor Dave’s posts. Read what the Bible has to say about evil and demons. I’m not a “know it all”. I am just a Christian that has been in many of your shoes. I have been utterly lost, distraught and at rock bottom. I am blessed to have healed and want to offer understanding and compassion to those suffering at the hands of a narcissist.

        ((Hugs to all who need it!!))

  10. Trying to cope

    Tammy, I for one will follow your link and look for peace. I hope to someday be able to help other lost souls that just got blindsided by this craziness. Right now I am a sponge trying to understand why someone could be so hateful. Discard me for no reason. I have gone through a lot but not as much as some. Sometimes because I am not married to this person I feel like I have no right to feel pain and people discard my issue as they feel I should discard this N. This n is stealthy and makes sure to make sure I know I’m worthless. I feel like it’s all some weird misunderstanding that I can fix. I desperately search for a fix. But you are right I can’t fix him. I need to fix me. Find peace in me. The fact that your husband was trying to deal with a work N at least gives me a small amount of justification in knowing that it is OK to feel pain even if it is not a spouse.

    • Tammy

      Trying to cope –
      Of course it’s ok to feel pain and seek healing from the wounds from a friend!! You cared about this person and they have used and exploited your feelings in order to feed their Narcissistic Supply. It hurts deeply to be discarded when you have invested yourself and your feelings into the relationship.

      You are responsible for your OWN feelings and as much as it hurts, decide that you don’t want any part of evil or the devastation that it leaves behind.

      Why does it happen?
      I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

      It’s because there is evil in this world. Evil that is great at disguising itself. Wouldn’t you run if evil looked like a horned red devil with blood dripping from it’s fangs? Of course.

      He preyed on your caring personality and tossed you aside when you no longer served a purpose. Don’t continue to serve his purpose by reacting and being his narcissistic supply. Grieve in private and wash your hands of him in public. I don’t mean be mean to him. This passage sums it up:

      Proverbs 25: 21-22
      If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
      and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
      for you will heap burning coals on his head,
      and the Lord will reward you.

      Ah! Be nice. Trust me. It will pay off. It is very difficult to do but I practice what I “preach”. My ex is not the only N in my life. Take the high road and you won’t regret it!!

      Hugs and healing to you!!

      • Trying to cope

        I don’t get opportunity to be nice. He so thoroughly shuns me that there is no room for nice. I feel the opposite of Dave’s post. He has so thoroughly discarded me that it’s shocking. But he hasn’t, he purposely does things to rub in that he doesn’t care. It is so covert, so deceitful, only I would get it and I feel like he’s trying to drive me crazy. I see him treating people the way I once was and I want to scream “Don’t fall for it.” Your not special. He’s using you! No one would believe me.

        What is so frustrating is we could be friends. I could come to work and have fun the way I used to. He has turned my workplace into a battleground. He is stealthily working another supply. Tell me how normal is it to walk by someones desk 15-20 30 times and not make eye contact, nothing,not once. I get not interrupting people when they work, but I don’t get so much as a sideways glance. Let us not forget this is someone who was a friend. We have hung out outside of work. Is this normal….because I feel crazy and if I were to say anything he would say he was busy. Or he didn’t see me. I can’t even act normal and just say hi…He won’t acknowledge I exist. I know I have said it before but as I live it real time I guess I just need a sanity check…I want to scream but i can’t cause that kind of scene. 😦 Trying to cope…and failing miserably. I’m hurt and near tears.

      • Can you just ignore him or do you have to interact with him as that goes with the job? You say he was your friend, but was he really? Sounds more like he was a “user”.

      • Susan

        For Tammy and for Trying to cope,

        I would caution against the “be nice” part. It’s okay to answer if asked a question, but even Jesus did not always answer his accusers – so be wise, not “nice”. You understand, of course, you are not to be “not nice,” but being nice isn’t always the wise course. If you know or sense provocation in the answer, you don’t need to answer. If answer you must, keep it yes or no, if appropriate. If a longer answer needed, then provide that, but only what is absolutely necessary and nothing more. My guiding verses are Proverbs 26:4-5, which sound like a contradiction at initial glance, but are not. They are wisdom: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” I read a book titled “The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” (by Tim Challies) in which the author cites these verses as an example of how Godly discernment is required to know when to answer and when not to answer. Everything in its season. As you, Trying to Cope, wisely pointed out elsewhere in this thread, you want to use this experience when you are through it on the other side to help others. I feel the same way. I am (in a sense) trapped because for me it is my marriage. I can’t leave (unless it escalates to physical abuse). So I endure, for the sake of the Lord and His kingdom.

  11. My narc husband is keeping all the money separate as a means to control and punish so that whether I go or stay it’s miserable. He is racking up huge debt so if I do divorce any cash assets will be sutcked up in lawyer fees and half responsible for the credit card debt. And hid highness attends church and Sunday School EVERY week. Attends all church functions. He has snowed the entire congregation. Me…I’ve been battling a mirade of health problems. Now he won’t even pay for my medical needs.

  12. This is my first post on here but I wanted to shed a little light on my experience with narcissism. I was married to a very extreme narcissist for 8 months. (Thank God, it wasn’t for very long) but the amount of damage done in those 8 months was greater than all the emotional pain I’ve experienced my entire life. The crazy manipulation and rage started the first day after we returned from our honeymoon. I literally worshiped the ground this woman walked on and nothing was ever enough. Long story short, she’s out of my life now and I’m healing just fine thanks to God.
    Reading sites like this have been extremely helpful in identifying the disorder and helping understand what happened so that I could get past it. With that being said, I think it’s important that we don’t chronically focus on the past. While talking through our struggles can be beneficial, it can also be detrimental to our spiritual well being when it becomes the focal point of our lives. Granted, anyone who has lived through the torments of living with a narcissist knows all too well that’s it not something that just goes away. However, as Christians we must ask ourselves what is the most valuable thing to us? What is it that we desire more than anything else? If you can honestly answer that question and say that your number one priority is to please God and align your will with His then I believe it’s of utmost important that we try to drive our attention to God Himself instead of some delusional individual. When we spend most of our waking moments focusing on our past hurts and how wronged we were, we miss the mark of focusing on our awesome Creator.
    Many of you here have experienced so much pain that it’s hard to see past it, but I encourage you spend less time focusing on narcissism and instead focus on pleasing God. Sure, you probably want revenge or justice and God’s not holding that against you. He knows we are human He knows just how weak we really are. God just wants a heart attitude that is driven to please and pursue Him.
    No matter who are and or what you’ve been through, just remember that God allowed it and He uses all trials to draw us closer to Him. Your relationship with the narcissist was not an accident. Give God your raw honesty and enjoy a deeper relationship with the ONLY one who really knows your heart.

    • Penny

      Flippy~welcome to the site & thank you for sharing your experience & the wisdom gained. Many here are wounded and hurting due to the abuse of a self-absorbed, evil narc. Most of us truly, earnestly desire to please God and align our hearts and wills with Him, yet against our will, we are being repeatedly violated, smeared, slandered, shamed & scorned. Many of us are experiencing a “crime in progress”: the abuse is ongoing, the wounds are fresh, the bruises are new and nothing is in the past. We are not focusing on the past but trying to survive the present. Like me, they are crying out to God for help, for relief, for release, for Him to rescue them. A wise doctor told me long ago that “when people are in pain, it’s hard to think about anything else.” Pain can be so intense that it is your entire focus. It’s like you are literally drowning: you become frantic, trying to find air but knowing that if you open your mouth you will inhale water & die. It is overwhelming, and it feels like your chest will burst waiting to surface so you can gasp for air. Some here would describe the pain as being raped: being so violated and overpowered against your will, but no one can or will help. No one hears the cries, no one cares, no one sees. It is not over, not in the past, but it is present and ongoing and overwhelming. You try to resist, but become weak & exhausted and beaten, and then you get raped again. It never ends. It never stops. You are alone. You are afraid. You are bleeding. You are gasping. You are trapped. You begin to see the goal is to beat you, to destroy you, to possess you, to condemn you, to discard you. You pray like you’ve never prayed before~for your children to be safe, for them not to see or hear the abuse, to not be scarred for life. You pray for it to stop, you pray for someone to understand, you pray to be rescued. You want to run and hide, but you can’t because there is no escape, nowhere to go. “Dear God please make it stop” becomes your daily prayer. You’re not really thinking about yourself, but the pain. You no longer have a “self”, b/c it has been replaced by pain. Your identity is pain, and it sickens you. When you finally discover this site, you slowly begin to understand that this crime in progress, this abuse, also grieves God. It is NOT His desire that we are abused. Yes, He allowed it to happen, but He did not design this evil nor does He endorse it or want it to continue. He wants to heal our pain and “redeem the years the locusts have eaten” (Joel 2;25) but He does not deny the locusts. He understand that when the locusts are swarming it’s hard to focus on anything else. He KNOWS that we want to please Him–that’s why most of us have endured far more than you can imagine b/c we do not want to displease Him. It is here that we begin to breathe again, and we are not often thinking of revenge. We know that is up to Him. Eventually, we may want justice. But first, we seek affirmation, healing, understanding… and grace…. and blessing! Most of us have long forgotten what it is like to be blessed. We are often ashamed and starved and naked and cold and hungry and in prison. We are stunned to realize that we are “the least of these”, and when we do, we are humble and grateful for those who reach out to us, for those who “get it”, for those who invest themselves in binding our wounds, pouring oil on our hearts, lifting us up and giving aid & comfort, and strength. We DO want to “please and pursue” Him–that’s why we are here on this site. For many, it is the only “safe” place we have in which to do so. We are stunned when we realize that to keep enduring the abuse for the glory of the abuser is actually displeasing to Him. God wants so much more for us: “You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:26 ) Our identity IS in Christ; it is the abuser who must answer to God for trying to beat it out of us.

      • Hi Penny, thank you for the warm welcome. You are indeed right in stating that not everyone is “past” the narcissist because some of you are still in relationships, marriages and careers with them and the pain just doesn’t ever seem to stop. As you well stated, it is a “crime in progress.” No one can trivialize the suffering you or anything else is going through. And the last thing someone needs to hear is that they can simply “will power” away their problems because all of us know that is not going to happen unless the Holy Spirit supernaturally endows us with His resources. The pain we are experiencing is simply unbearable. For many of us, there is not an ounce of relief when we are constantly bombarded with hate, shame, slander and abuse. I agree that narcissists are emotional terrorists and you can’t and won’t win if you try to go up against them in your own strength. Overtime, when we are subjected to their constant torture, this will begin to take a serious mental, physical and emotional toll on our well being. Depression, anxiety and a general distrust for humanity are just the start.

        With all that being said, we cannot change the pain we feel nor the narcissist themselves. As Christians, what options do we have? There is prayer and we all know how important that is right? But what happens when you pray for something for weeks, months and years and you see no results. What does this mean? How we interpret God’s silence when we are sitting in a heap of ashes much like Job? The answer is simple, but for many, it’s rather offensive. Prayer is not some type of heavenly suggestion box where we get to throw all our problems at God and sit back and hope that God answers our prayers. Prayer has always been about aligning our wills with God and not the other way around. When God answers our prayers, it wasn’t because we asked the right amount of times or because we had enough people praying for us. Our answered prayers are a result of God’s sovereign knowledge and not a result of us manipulating Him.

        One important thing to grasp about God is that He is in control of EVERY aspect of your life. Obviously, God isn’t sadistic and He does NOT desire that we are abused but He does allow it. Now as a Christian who is “sincere” and truly does desire to please God, then this leaves you in a very complicated predicament. How do we rationalize the “allowed abuse” of the narcissist to an omnipotent God who dearly loves us and is in absolute control of everything. The answer is priorities and what is the most beneficial to your soul. Understand that removing the narcissist from your life is a VERY easy thing to do for God. He could simply cure them, cause them to die, etc. But in most cases, God does NOT do this. Why is God allowing you and so many countless others to undergo such horrible emotional tragedy day in and day out? Again, the answer is that God’s priorities are MUCH different than our own. Humans hate pain and we will do whatever it takes to find relief. There is NOTHING wrong with this. No one expects you to take abuse and fake a smile about it. But because God sees an eternal perspective and not a temporal perspective, He KNOWS that the pain and suffering you are going through now will ultimately be worth it. If God were to show you a glimpse of the eternal, then our current troubles with the narcissists would seem extremely trivial. Now to your point, we live in the here and now and this is all we know. How exactly do we realign our focus on God while we endure the pain is the real question.

        Keep in mind, no one is trying to trivialize the pain you or anyone else is or had experienced. Pain is a part of life. However, our response to that pain is where the answer lies. As tormenting as it may be, the only thing that really matters is an attitude that focuses on pleasing God. Fortunately, God doesn’t judge us by our external actions, but instead, our internal attitude. It is for this reason, why we cannot judge anyone (narcissists included) by their behavior because frankly we do NOT know anyone’s heart. There is a proper way we can respond to the incessant arrows that narcissists assault us with. It doesn’t have to include a victim mentality. You need bake in your mind that God is in control of everything, narcissists included. While God may not override the freewill of the narcissist in your life, He is 100% responsible for allowing them to barrage you with unmerited injustice. The narcissist in your life did not do anything that God didn’t’ allow. If anything, we can hold God responsible for the pain we are going through. It’s much better to complain to God about it, then to focus our attention on some other hateful human being. My point about focusing on God is not to diminish the pain but the focus on the one who’s allowing it. In our minds, we want to become judge and jury over the narcissist, yet this isn’t very beneficial to your walk with God. Why? Because now your focus is diverted toward the “tool” instead of the One using that “tool.” At this point, it’s easy to blame Satan, but make no mistake, Satan is a limited being and can only carry out assignments that God has specifically given him permission to do so. If God allowed a narcissist to do damage in your life, then He’s the one you want to consult with about it.
        I understand this isn’t easy to hear. It wasn’t easy for me at first either. In fact, I fought God on it because I was so emotionally wronged. However, at the end of the day, I finally accepted that God is sovereign and good, all the time, no matter what my circumstances look like. Do I like the narcissist that hurt me? Absolutely not. In fact, I have still have moments when I wish God would put the smack down on her. But that’s OK, because God knows my heart. Our walks with God are a constant struggle with our flesh and our spirit. As long as our spirit desires to please God, we can’t go wrong. The whole point of this long winded response was to let you guys know that God is in control of the damage going on and He’s the one you should be looking to. This doesn’t mean, we ask God to take away our problems, instead we ask God to help us learn whatever lessons need to be learned so that we can align our wills with His. If you already know that God loves you, then you need to understand that you won’t suffer a second longer than is necessary. If you’re going through something that seems impossible, it’s because it is impossible without Him and God is wanting you to look to HIM through it. His methods aren’t always easy, but they are ALWAYS for our spiritual benefit which is God’s number ONE priority for your life.

      • Trying to cope

        Yes that sums it up, everything you said and some things I didnt say but should have. I want to not feel so violated. Guilty for a crime I never committed

        To have no contact is great and is most certainly the way to heal but when you don’t get that then you have to have wisdom, strength and knowledge to get you through. I get that here Some may tire of my rants but some see my pain and they put oil on my wounds. and I am so thankful i cry, because it is like salvation for my soul to hear someone say, It’s not me. Its not me. I may have said or done something wrong, who knows but no one deserves this. This covert manipulation.

        Thank You. I am going to copy, paste, print and read daily. Because this is exactly it. I think the N i deal with studies up on how to mess with another’s mind. i am certain he seeks to destroy me. only me, but why me? he once told my husband and i we have everything he wants. I think that is the basis. If he can’t have it, he is going to destroy it. And he is.

      • Penny, my response below dropped in the wrong spot and I just wanted you to know that I was commenting on your post here. You are spot on with “the crime in progress’ and every day I must regroup and go another round. I did copy this and have saved because it is salve on the wound for me to know I am not being to sensitive or too whatever. This man is a monster, wolf in sheeps clothing or I swear a snake. I had the sickening feeling he was an actual snake the other day. How weird is that. No I’m not going nuts it was like intuition. Wish I had, had that little vibe a bit sooner. Your writing was from the depth of your soul and I wanted you to know how much it meant and my thank you got thrown out of order here.

    • Flippy

      Some of us are still living with a narc so it’s not so easy to not focus on the pain when someone is constantly ripping the scabs off the wounds. Many have lived in this situation for years on end.

      Good for you that got out right away.

  13. Penny

    With all due respect to Tammy & for Trying to Cope: we are not called or required to be nice to enemies of the cross. We must be careful when we define “enemy”. Jesus Himself walked away from many enemies, including the religious rulers, from those who meant to destroy His message and He was openly critical of those who failed to repent & those who abused others. We are NOT called to throw pearls before swine, “Lest they turn around and tear you to pieces”. That is EXACTLY what a narc or abuser does: they tear you to pieces…there is no “being nice” with evil. We can be shrewd, we can be “professional” or even benignly aloof, but that is different from nice. Furthermore, there is no “fellowship of light with darkness”. This is where/when it is clear there is a spiritual battle going on. “Nice” does not do battle; strength & integrity & character do battle. The (short) Book of Nehemiah has an excellent record of standing firm against evil & treachery. We are called to resist evil. That may look like “shunning” to those who do not understand what is going on, but we are never, I repeat, NEVER called to simply absorb abuse for the pleasure of another. If we cannot fight back (like a child with an abusive parent, or an employee with an unfair boss) then we can be silent, we can quietly do what needs to be done, but we are not guilty. We can pray, we can keep our dignity, we can do our best in a bad situation, but we are NOT required to be “nice” or to be friends. We ARE called to be honorable, to keep our mind & heart on Him, to be true to Him, to behave in a way that does not dishonor the Word, to do our work unto Him, but that is not necessarily being “nice”. Think of Joseph: in captivity, in prison, falsely accused. Joseph was regal & focused & holy & respectful & wise– but not to Potipher’s wife! So let’s be careful. TTC–I am praying that either you or your narc get a new job or position so that you can survive & recover & heal. But for the record, Jesus fed the 5000 who were hungry & thirsty (for the Bread of life & living water) but not the Pharisees who spit in His face. Let’s be careful when we define “enemy”, & remember there are many enemies from whom we need to flee.

    • Tammy

      Penny / Trying to cope
      Penny – Thank you for your reply. You are right. I did not think through how “nice” is defined nor think through how that would be communicated. Absolutely we do not tolerate the abuse, call it out when appropriate and do what needs to be done!
      Trying to Cope -I’m sorry for not thinking more carefully about my response. This N is obviously doing things in public on purpose. If he can tell that you are hurt you can’t help that. You have a caring heart that you shouldn’t be ashamed of.

      After you pass the stunned stage, your pain may likely become anger. That is perfectly ok and can be a good thing. They have alerted you to the evil, made you aware of his actions with others, and your anger and pain will move you to do what you need to do with regard to this N.

      Be mindful of your feelings and take care not to lash out in emotion in public. Make your responses deliberate. Read Dave’s posts on supply and understand how that works. This N doesn’t think like you do and it is wise to guard your heart from him and further abuse. If you react to him in emotion, especially in public, you will be feeding his supply and he doesn’t deserve it.

      This is where my error in word choice most applies. Work is a public situation, and I have been in public situations with N’s in my life. I am kind and polite to them the same as I am to others in the same public setting. That’s it. If I’m pouring tea I pour them one as well. Emotional reactions to prior offenses will be used by them to feed their supply and build their twisted LIES against you to others. Don’t give him any fuel for his sick and twisted games.

      When I am in control of my emotions and remain calm and resilient, and quoting Penny “standing firm against evil & treachery”, and I call out my ex on specific offenses, he ends up frustrated and hangs up on me. (Much better than what used to happen – I was too emotional and hung up on him, feeding his sick self full of supply)

      Ignoring you is one thing (and in the big scheme of things – actually much better than being the object of fake attention with ulterior motives!!!) On the other hand, he does NOT have the right to sabotage your job or others or get away with lying, etc. Watch for ways you can prove that kind of behavior and report it to his superior even if you can’t. If you are too emotional, report it in writing and get a trusted 3rd party to read it first.

      Pastor Dave has written that an N will submit to authority. As you already know, my husband worked with an N who created bizarre problems for many people in the workplace. My husband’s incredible patience was drained dry and he was at the end of his rope with this guy. He collected evidence and reported him for so long that he was weary. Finally, enough people reported him that they moved his work area to a place where others worked and he could no longer hide his twisted actions.

      That’s when he quit. ((Rounds of cheering ensued))

      With Penny I will pray for a new and better job for you, or a transfer to Siberia for him. haha Seriously, the best solution is one that is in God’s will. And one that does not include ANY abuse of you.
      ((Hugs))

    • Susan

      Oh, AMEN, sistah! AMEN!

      • Tammy

        Aww Thanks for saying so! And you’re welcome! I get long winded but I always want to help!

  14. Trying to cope

    celestebella, I am so sorry for your pain. I have always maintained there are levels of issue with an N. If you are married or a child of one it is catastrophic, if you are a friend, relative it can be any number of adjectives of horrible but most certainly those closest suffer most. That is a large part of my issue. Why do I care? Could I avoid this person. Can and DO. But I believe it is where you are at life in your personal strength, personal faith, what are your personal reserves mentally, spiritually, physically. You will need all of you to stand up to these people. My heart goes out to you and I pray for your strength. I know that this experience has been very draining to me physically. I have had the worst year ever in terms of pain and feel I have aged more in this year than any other year. These vampires suck the life right out of you. I hope all will join me in a prayer for your health Celestebella.
    You ask do I have to interact. Only sometimes, But I work in extremely close proximity…what I am dealing with is Shunning. Jennifer puts it well “Shunning is just another more sinister version of character assassination in my mind. He is murdering you in your own heart and mind. It is bloodless murder by stealth”.

    I suppose the moral here is these vampires come in many forms and whether you are married to them or have to work side by side…they can take a very big tole an your self worth, health, finances, happiness, friendships, family, and attitude. They are soul sucking vampires who never cared for you. I curse the day I met that person and know that I will never be the same because of him. I feel my innocence has been compromised because of that person. That is a big statement that when you all think about you will get. Remember that live by the golden rule, happy, healthy, smile at everyone, happy to see a new day…she’s gone. I made it halfway through my life and a lot of disfunctional and she was still present but after meeting this N, She is gone .This is where you must know alot of other things are going wrong in my life and this clearly is the straw that broke the camels back.

    So back to the topic. Feeling Trapped…I feel imprisoned!!

  15. Susan

    A question for all on this thread,

    Does anyone know how to continue to pray when involved in a narcissist? I have been married to one for 20 years now. About 12 years ago, I started a prayer group for wives, using the book by Stormie O’Martian (Power of a Praying Wife) as a guide, but then we moved. It was after we had a child and are now living in the country miles from anywhere that his passive-aggression and narcissism came into full bloom, and the Lord revealed it all to me in this season.

    But I languish in prayer for him. I don’t know how to pray for his salvation anymore. I’m so worn and beaten down by him that I find it hard to pray for him, then I feel even worse as a Christian for not caring enough about his soul, so I’ll lift up a short prayer, “Save him,” but my heart isn’t in it. Perhaps I don’t want him to be saved? I’m not necessarily angry anymore, as I have chosen to not engage with him in bickering; I just shut off the talk at the point it gets there. Not that we talk anymore anyway. We’re not in the same bedroom either. Haven’t been for more than a year. But there was nothing going on for many years before anyway.

    I just don’t know how to pray for him, then my prayer life languishes because I don’t feel like a “good Christian.” I wonder about imprecatory prayer after reading Dave’s post here introducing same. Is there a place for that? I’m not there in that I want the same thing done to my husband that he’s done to me. I don’t want to pray harm to befall him, but there are times I wished he were gone. Many times. Then I feel guilty about that, although I know it’s not wrong to wish the trial gone – or at least I think it’s not wrong. Perhaps God’s people need trial to draw near to Him, since we don’t when it’s all nice and easy.

    I don’t know how to pray, except lately I’ve been asking God to teach me what I need to know to endure the trial – and to be the Godly wife and mother and friend and person that He wants of me. My prayers are now for me, not him. Is that wrong to not pray for him? I know it’s not wrong to pray for myself, but am I wrong in not praying for him – and if I do pray for him, how do I pray? My heart’s not in it anymore.

    • Tammy

      Hi Susan,

      I don’t know that I have an exact answer for you, but I will share some things to think about that may help.

      I too prayed for my husband to be saved. That did not happen. I know that God can do ANYTHING. His answer to my prayer was no.

      My husband got worse with age and opportunity, as your husband did with the addition of a child and less people around to witness his bad behavior. He continued the multiple affairs that fed his supply. I had already detached myself as you have, and when I was pregnant with our second child, I was strong enough to say “enough is enough” and got the divorce. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, yet it was the best thing I could have done for myself and my children.

      May I suggest that you consider the content of your prayers? You have been asking God to teach you how to endure the trial. When Jesus was asked how to pray, he responded with the Lord’s prayer. There are two things that stand out in that prayer for you: He asked for God’s will to be done and asked God to deliver him from evil.

      James 1:5
      If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

      You have prayed for 12 years for your husband to be saved. God knows your heart. When you shift your prayers and ask to be delivered from evil, for God’s will to be done and for wisdom for you to discern what he wants you to do, you are doing exactly what scripture instructs.

      Please do not feel guilty for praying for these things or for stopping praying for something that God already knows that you want. Pray for God to move in your life and for the wisdom to discern his will.

      Search for marriage, divorce, etc on Dave’s site, and read what the Bible says about evil and sin. Abuse is absolutely unacceptable for yourself or your children. Not just physical abuse. I’m also talking about emotional and verbal abuse. No bruises, but injuries that go much deeper and last way too long. You have a responsibility as a parent to protect your child from abuse and live by example how you would want them to live their life as an adult. That does not include accepting bad behavior. What would you hope that they do if they were abused? With your grandchildren living in their home? Would you pray that God delivers them from evil? That God gives them the wisdom to make the right choices? Of course!

      You deserve the same. You are the only one who can decide what to do from here. It is so difficult and complicated and painful. I know. I hope I have helped.

      • Susan

        Tammy,

        Yes, I too have prayed for deliverance. I have prayed for deliverance for years, just as I have prayed for his salvation, and also for God to change me (which I think it necessary for all Christians to continually pray – as we are to be conformed to the image of His Son).

        Accepting abuse? I guess I must respectfully disagree here. Do I like it? No. Do I tolerate it when I hear it? No. I shut my ears, even on occasion plugging in earphones so I won’t hear the rant. But will I leave? No. I don’t believe that is what God in His Word has granted for me to do. Of course I don’t want my daughter to live in this environment, but for now this is the trial that God has ordained. That is my view of Scripture. His sovereignty is complete and I am to submit to Him. His Son submitted to abuse; Am I deserving of a better life than my Lord? I don’t deserve more than the Lord grants; I deserve not even my own salvation, but the Lord graciously and mercifully granted me repentance unto salvation.

    • Penny

      Susan~i would prob toss that book. Here is a link that may help:
      http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/10/22/stormie-omartian-doesnt-get-it-about-domestic-abuse/
      You can also click on the tab “Resources” and it will provide more links that will be helpful to you, including the book “Not Under Bondage”.
      I am so sorry you are in despair. I do believe that God wants more for you than simply how to “endure” this. You cannot be a wife or friend to someone who is not interested, who does not reciprocate. It is not one-sided, and you cannot be “both sides of the deal.” The prophet Jeremiah was often told by God “do not pray for these people any longer” b/c of their rebellion & rejection of Him. (This was regarding the nation & not necessarily individuals, but there is a parallel there with ongoing unrepentance.) As far as praying, or not knowing how to pray, that is exactly where you start. I used to tell my kids that “God is big enough to handle any complaint you throw”, meaning, God simply wants you to come to Him. if you can’t pray, His Spirit will pray for you. He can handle it, even if your heart’s not in it. Tell Him that. Start there…..

      • Susan

        Tammy,
        Although I haven’t used or referred to that book in more than a decade, I appreciate the link. I’m going to read it thoroughly. Thank you. I do think, however, that the book may help people/wives who are not married to narcs.

        I’m not in despair, as you say, however I do wonder about these things – how to pray for him. Of course marriage is not designed to be one-sided, but our marriage is a picture symbol of our marriage with Christ. And we are being conformed into His image. All the saints in Scripture suffered. I don’t see one saint who didn’t.

        I know His Spirit groans inside me about these things. But at the same time, as I bring forward to Him my concerns about the matter, after 20 years, I start to grow weary of repeating the same requests for deliverance and changing my husband, which is why increasingly I am praying for Him to change me, which is as it should be. The Lord’s will be done in my family – each member – and may He conform my mind and heart to it, no matter what it may be.

      • Tammy

        Susan I do not at all mean to say that you approve of the behavior at all! I can see that you don’t and that is not what I meant. Accept also means to “tolerate or submit to” (the abuse).

        That link is from Penny, and it looks like it presents information pertinent and helpful to the abused. It is very much understandable that you are weary, and searching for answers. 20 years is a long time! Just remember that Jesus publicly called sin what it is. On this page, Jennifer talked about “quietly, confidently just be honest with him in front of the kids”. Jesus did this. He called out sin publicly and without apology. Children need to see that they can and should tell someone when they are wrong and refuse to accept their mistreatment of them. Perhaps you are already doing this and no matter what you do, his behavior remains the same.

        Seeking wisdom and understanding is a good thing. it is a step in the right direction. God will give you wisdom if you ask for it and I pray he provides an answer that does not include abuse in any way, shape or form!!

    • Needinggrace

      Susan, you are not alone. In dark times prayer for a N spouse becomes difficult. I was very close to God before I married the very religious N. After 12 years I find it hard to pray or sing or do anything spiritual. I left for several months and it was amazing the transformation. I was in church with friends every time the doors were open, just drinking in grace, mercy and worshipping like I hadn’t done for years.
      I read in a book “Enough about you let’s talk about me!” That the N drains you & that often the abused spouse starts to take on narcissistic traits themselves. I know I’ve been so absorbed in just emotionally surviving each day that I often forget to reach out to others, to read my bible etc. & it makes me feel I’m just as self centered as he is!! My counselor reminded me “this too shall pass!” And that focusing on personal survival is normal in this situation.
      Even attending church with him is heart wrenching because he acts like everything is fine. When people from the church found out I left I got a lot of well-meaning “help.” One even told me if he wasn’t telling me to do anything that wasn’t biblical I should just go along with it & not question him. My children & I live in fear every day of his criticism and demeaning behavior. I have told him I want reconciliation, and I do, but only if he gets help…but he truly believes the lies he tells & the image he projects are real. Learning to just rely on Jesus for peace is so hard when “the storm” in your life is your spouse & the father of your precious kids! Thx so much to all here for helping lift me up. It’s encouraging to know I’m not alone.

  16. One of the *best* days I’ve ever had having to be in the house with narc husband was using an ipod to listen to music. The earphones blocked all outside noise, I was in another world and felt so free. Can you use an ipod at work while at your desk? I programmed mine with invigorating and empowering songs of my liking. It was my world and he couldn’t get in.

    • Trying to cope

      I do do that Celestebella and it works marvelously. I find joy in my music and it makes me smile, chair dance, generally have a toe tapping good time while working. For some reason I don’t think he likes that. TEEHEE. I guess I’m supposed to be as miserable as him. He has spoken a couple times and I have to take my earplugs out and ask him to repeat. Of course this really blows his whole not talking to me thing because it makes him speak to me twice. So this week he has been shunning me double time. That’s Ok, I guess. When i am not plagued with the Why me…I tend to enjoy myself and work on fostering friendships with all around me. Jennifer has armed me with how to treat him normal. The more I am nice the more he is nasty.

      I just wish I could get past my own pitty party. I daily have to wonder why me, How could someone do this. I wanna one of the chosen few. Then I remind myself of all the wisdom here. You know yesterday I saw him use his charms on another, hug her and in general work his magic and one part of me remembered when he was that nice and the other part all of a sudden felt like I was watching a snake. I had the overwhelming desire to tell her to watch out for that snake. But of course who would believe me. It literally sickened me.

      These have been long threads and a lot of soul searching question and thoughts and answers. We all have our own interpretation and in each one I think you can take what you need and leave the rest. I Love the interaction, the disagreement, the agreement. I have to say you all are awesome. Smart. Wonderful people for caring enough to try and lead others to the light again. I am about 75% there, which is miraculous considering I daily have to face the fact that I’m not even good enough to talk to. It is hard to not internalize that. I doubt myself. I want to simplify this and just say oh he doesn’t like me. Only its not that simple. Shunning is an assassination of the soul according to Jennifer. I agree. I feel like a part of me dies every day. So every night and every morning I log on and get my supply here 🙂 And because of it everyones life is better. You all feed my soul while he, the N, drains it.

  17. Penny

    Yes, Christ Himself and the saints all suffered…for the gospel, to proclaim the truth, to set people free….not to be silenced, controlled, isolated or afraid. They had a bold voice, to speak His Word freely and without fear.

    • Tammy

      Ah Penny I agree completely!

    • Susan

      Penny, I don’t disagree with you. The saints and Christ suffered all for the sake of the gospel – yet they suffered at the hands of men and in ways that, not unlike us, were directed at the individuals. Ways that were evil and filled with malintent. If we are Christian, we too are suffering for the sake of the gospel in these relationships. We too must speak His Word freely and without fear. I do this in our home, yet I am attacked though not in words directly against the gospel, but it is indeed all about Jesus “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

  18. My above comment is for Trying to Cope.

  19. UnForsaken

    What a page! I think all of us have been deeply touched with being trapped. Even people in our lives who are not Ns regularly practice ‘small’ forms of manipulation. A handful of those people can enable any N, but they also can be a force in themselves.

    I esp. liked your “benignly aloof” description of handling things, Penny. Everyone usually finds a type of behavior toward Ns that is both appropriate and works, but it can look so different in each of us. I sincerely love giving out cyber hugs here, because in person I Must be aloof. I meet way too many N types and even lovely people can be impossible conversationalists in the presence of an N.

    Also, your view on “nice” is one that seems so vital to dealing with Ns. I don’t know how many times I’ve talked that one out with myself, sounding dangerously like I was playing word games, but in Truth we are not. “Nice” has been abused just like us.

    To All here who are working with health issues exaggerated by or because of Ns, you are in my prayers. Life can normally make us a little rustly, but Ns usually effect us in ways we don’t see as related and feel so strange. I was told to be very careful about stress, but didn’t realize ’til much later that physical stress is something our bodies can do on their own. They are not always stressed because of emotion. Silly, but that made me feel far less guilty, because we all try our best not to be stressed and it feels like it must be our faults. It’s not!!!

    A different diet has helped me feel calmer, but it’s never going to be a cure all. Research has brought me to better understanding, but not a full knowledge. A different way of looking at things has helped me accept Truth, but I must rely on God for the rescue. We blaim ourselves for the strangest things, including hair loss, panicking and even physical pain, but it is all in His hands. So keep holding hard to Him, and Please don’t blaim yourselves for something that God controls. We are in His large and capable hands, and He IS looking after each of our needs!! Now we see dimmly, but one day we shall see in full. ( Y’all know this already…..but this is a reminder to me. 🙂 )

  20. Jennifer

    Susan, I felt the same way as you about staying in the marriage, and just so you know you are not alone, I too begged God to “get rid of my husband”. I always hoped that he would be killed in a car accident. So I’m guilty of that kind of thinking. I too prayed, but my husband sat in church with me twice every Sunday and once every Wednesday. He knew the Gospel in and out, but chose to be the wolf in sheep’s clothing. I soon stopped praying for him.

    I prayed for deliverance, but eventually God convinced me to deliver myself. It’s a long story, but definitely of God. There is a verse in 1 Corinthians that says, Husbands do not leave your wives. And wives do not leave your husbands BUT OF YOU DO, remain separated or be reconciled to them.

    When I finally read and understood that verse it told me that God understands where the balance of power lies in a marriage. That sometimes, it is better to leave (although unlike the writer of this blog, to me I understand it to mean no remarriage, but that is a different topic).

    And so I delivered myself. I had no respect or reverence left for my husband, only fear and despising. It was time to go for my sake and for my children’s.

    • Susan

      Oh Jennifer, that means SO MUCH to me that you too had similar thoughts. I don’t see in Scripture any way that God says for me to get out of this marriage so I used to hope that God would take my spouse in death. I have prayed for so many years for deliverance. I don’t see that my husband would ever leave us, and I don’t sense God telling me that it’s okay to leave – so we stay. Thank you for sharing your story.

      My husband wasn’t interested in the Bible or Scripture until I suggested to him that if he won’t discuss Scripture with me (because like your ex-, mine attends with me, but only Sundays, never Wednesdays or events like VBS or Youth Camp, which I take our daughter to and have for years)… anyway, I suggested (for his sake, not mine) that if he won’t discuss Scripture with me, he should with someone in the church, one of the men. So he found an older man who lives not far from us, and although this man’s wife had just passed away after a loooong battle with Alzheimer’s and the man remarried after about a year, my husband chose the week of this man’s new marriage to ask this guy to meet with him to discuss Scripture. So for a year now my husband has been going over to this guy’s house (and his new wife’s) for dinner there and “Bible study,” but he comes home so early that I don’t think there’s much study going on – only dinner. She’s a great cook.

      Of course, my husband won’t talk with me about Scripture, the Lord, faith, or anything of the sort. Unless it’s to blame me for being “judgmental” or “condemning,” which I am not. I tire of the labels. I’ve told him that he’s got to use facts if he wants to have these kinds of discussions, but facts never come, so I close my ears to his accusations. (In addition to being the father of lies, Satan is the accuser of the brethren, so I know my husband is serving him and not the Lord. But that makes me feel saddened by my own lack of Christian love to keep praying for him. I feel beaten down and weary of asking the Lord to save him. My weariness makes me feel like a terrible saint.)

      I appreciate the verse you shared, because it offers me hope and trust that there is an “out.” I don’t think our (my daughter’s and mine) day has come yet, but it may.

  21. Flippy,

    You say “Understand that removing the narcissist from your life is a VERY easy thing to do for God. He could simply cure them, cause them to die, etc. But in most cases, God does NOT do this. Why is God allowing you and so many countless others to undergo such horrible emotional tragedy day in and day out? Again, the answer is that God’s priorities are MUCH different than our own. Humans hate pain and we will do whatever it takes to find relief. There is NOTHING wrong with this. No one expects you to take abuse and fake a smile about it. But because God sees an eternal perspective and not a temporal perspective, He KNOWS that the pain and suffering you are going through now will ultimately be worth it. If God were to show you a glimpse of the eternal, then our current troubles with the narcissists would seem extremely trivial. ”

    and

    “God is in control of the damage going on and He’s the one you should be looking to. This doesn’t mean, we ask God to take away our problems, instead we ask God to help us learn whatever lessons need to be learned so that we can align our wills with His”

    I don’t get how you say this to others when you yourself have sought relief through divorce after 8 months of marriage. Why didn’t you stay if you believe God has a great purpose for it all?

  22. Flippy

    Hi Celestabella,

    I actually didn’t leave the narcissist, it was the other way around. And for that I’m extremely grateful. God was in control from the very start and it was He who allowed me to get out after 8 months. A very miserable eight months that ended up costing me emotionally, physically, (was hospitalized) and she took off with tens of thousands of dollars. Most of you have been dealing with them for far longer so the pain is probably more deep rooted. Regardless of how long you spend with a narcissist, the point being made still remains.

    Now with that being said, what I said wasn’t really a matter of my personal opinion, but something I feel that the Holy Spirit has taught me along the way. It was hard for me to accept it initially as well. Nothing that was said marginalizes the pain experienced by you or anyone else on here. Keep in mind, my goal wasn’t to upset you or anyone else but shed a fresh perspective on something that is spiritually relevant.

    So dissect the comments that I made above. None of them claim that it was easy. Also, there is no disrespect to people or God. What you’ll find is that I’m recognizing the sovereignty of God in all situations. Living with a narcissist for 2 weeks or 20 years makes no difference when it comes to God. He’s always in control. He’s always good and He’s always the One orchestrating all of your life’s events. Our circumstances do not dictate the goodness of God. Obviously, it’s easier to say God is good when circumstances are good, but God is also good when circumstances plain old suck. I didn’t say what I said because my relationship ended sooner than most. I said what I said because it’s true. God is good all the time and He has the authority to do as He pleases in my life and in yours.

    As a side note, it’s important that we don’t get caught too much into legalism as this is a great tool used by the devil to condemn Christians into staying in relationships that are destroying their soul. Your relationship with your N is something that needs to be brought to God’s attention and let Him direct your path. It’s very possible that God may tell you leave because it’s not benefitting your relationship with God which is His number one priority for you. He also may tell you stay with the N because that too might actually be benefitting your relationship as painful as it is.

    As crazy as it seems, I actually pursued the N after she left because I was caught up in a legalistic mindset and didn’t want to get a divorce. I was actually willing to live out the rest of my days very miserable, but the Holy Spirit jumped in quick and pulled the plug and I can see His hand throughout the entire process. I totally have sympathy for you because N’s are destructive people, but they are only able to get away with it because God is allowing it. This isn’t my opinion but a fact. Everything single thing that happens in your life was God ordained or God allowed. It’s easy to give God credit for bonuses, promotions and good health,but we quickly dismiss the idea that God uses evil people to carry out a means to spiritual refinement.

    The Bible is littered with passages that can testify just how God uses trials of all sorts to strengthen our bond with Him and your N just so happens to be one of those trials. I encourage you to NOT take my word on it or anyone’s word on it. The Holy Spirit is your teacher and He will show you the truth regarding your walk with Him and your relationships with other people. God loves you very much and there isn’t one tear you cried that was wasted. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are constantly being belittled and shamed by an N. But, God isn’t asking us to like our situation. He’s not even asking us to stop complaining about. It’s totally fine. Complain about it. Tell God how much it sucks. God wants it all. He has broad shoulders and He’s completely capable of handling anything you want to tell Him. But at the end of the day, He just wants us to surrender our wills to Him and trust that He will take care of the situation because He’s actually the One Who’s in control. Remember that the N is NOT in control, God is. If you continue to make pleasing God your number one goal, you can’t go wrong.

    • Susan

      Thank you for this reply, Flippy. I am with you 100 percent re: the total sovereignty of God. I have a narc husband for 20 years now, and I believe what you said is true. God has a purpose that is beyond what I can see, but I must trust that He is here with me and guides my path. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:5) For me that’s staying true in the faith and continuing to praise Him through my tears – though I have seasons in which I wane and grow faint, yet my Lord keeps me. He will complete the good work He began in me. Not I, but Him. So we stay, until such time as the Lord may deliver us in the manner He chooses and that is pleasing and glorifying unto Him. I thank the Lord for what He has done in your life and the example and encouragement He is providing through you. God bless you.

  23. Well I followed one of the links in this thread to the Anna Valarius site and had to include this because it just summed it up for me. For me this is my trapped. I am not trapped by the n physically, I am trapped in this twilight world.

    Anna says…
    From my own experience,the devalue/discard routine is perhaps the most mind-numbingly cruel aspect of ending a relationship with an N. I think I’d describe it as being left in an uncomfortable twilight world, caught between knowing the truth intellectually and not being willing to accept it emotionally.

    I’m starting to understand but I just can’t believe such people exist. I hate to say it but I feel my spirit is so kind, so nice, I am an optimist…probably just delusional really but although I have seen so much bad in my life I guess my mind just does not want to believe this N thing is true…I am in denial… Wow. Can’t, won’t accept. Denial. Well the Anna site and the cat mouse analogy in her discard thread is spot on.

    • Flippy

      Trying to cope, I didn’t read that site but I totally understand when you say that you are in denial. Denial is what leads to justification of the N. Because you’re such a nice person, you cannot fathom how someone can operate in such an evil way. I was physically and emotionally abused by my N and I was ashamed to come forward with it because I didn’t want to believe that people like that existed. And mostly because I didn’t think other people would believe me anyway. Just understand this, you’re on the path to healing and the devil does not want you to focus on God. He will do everything he can to get you to focus on the N and all the craziness that the N put you through. It’s a simple, yet effective tactic. As a Christian, you’re already God’s child and there’s nothing the devil can do about it. His next best option is to make you stagnant in your faith and there’s no better way than to keep you in a vicious cycle that focuses on an individual human rather than God. If you’re still living or have to deal the the N, then that’s something that only God can give you the strength to deal with. But to the best of your ability, slowly try to focus more on God and pleasing Him and less on some sick individual. Ultimately, seek God’s opinion on this and not any articles or posts. Continue to hang on and trust God, eventually it will all work in your favor. (Romans 8:28)

      • flippy, you are right i am in denial, I am wounded, mad, jealous all kinds of things because of this person. This N was part of my life, I depended on his knowledge and guidance and then he just discarded me overnight. I have been replaced. It is all so odd that I try to sift through why someone would do something like that to me. I believe in God. when I have an issue such as this i seek this interaction. I can read books, I can read the bible but I choose this forum to handle this problem…this give and take where we help eachother. It helps me to know that people right here, right now are going through this. It’s easy to feel like I am the only one suffering this pain. I am not. And it is so textbook that I marvel at this whole process. If it were a science project it would be fascinating that someone who lives, no idea where knows exactly what my N will do. So predictable. I need that knowledge right here, right now. The fact that you flippy can say you did not want to believe there are people like that, that you did not want to come forward…that resonates with me and it is food for the soul. I say ya, that’s how I feel. Keeps me from thinking I’m crazy mostly. Thank you for sharing.

    • Flippy

      Trying to cope,

      Don’t worry about being labeled crazy because you’re not and you’re definitely not alone either. You’re just someone who was severely wounded. All of your emotions and feelings are valid and legitimate. God created all of us with varying temperaments and you seem to lean more on the sensitive side. This is not a flaw with you, it’s just the way that God designed you. When your N discarded you, it took a serious toll on your life and the way that you view yourself. Being discarded by someone you put a lot of trust in can be a life shattering experience. Like many other people including myself, you found solace in other individuals that you could relate to. When we are hurt and confused, it’s only natural to seek out comfort. Like yourself, I found a lot of peace when I was finally able to attach a “label” on what happened to me. I never even knew what narcissism was until months after my N left me. I say all that because I can relate to the feelings you are going through and I can tell you from experience that there is a point to all the madness that you have been enduring.

      With all that being said, I can offer up a bit of advice if you’re up to the challenge. In your reply, you stated that you “depended” on the narcissist for guidance and knowledge. While your intentions may have been noble, we must learn to be totally dependent on God Himself and no one else. This doesn’t mean that we don’t value and open up to other people, but it does mean that we give God the opportunity to give us the final say so. He’s the ONLY One who we should be depending on. Now it is true that God does use other individuals to speak wisdom into our lives. He also does use this website to encourage and help us. However, there will eventually come a time when God wants to see us graduate past the pain and learn to embrace His sovereignty. This is a key point and you don’t want to miss it. God was responsible for everything good and bad thing that happened in your life. We often see good people suffer and evil people blessed. We also see the reverse of this. Sometimes we see godly people being blessed and evil people eating the fruit of their rebellion. With all this to consider, we cannot base our or anyone else’s walk with God by the amount of trials we experience because God has each of us on a different path towards Him.

      If you really want to be healed from the pain which I’m assuming you do, there are some very core truths about yourself and God that must first be acknowledged. First off, you need to understand how valuable you are and how loved you are. Just because some crazy N discarded you does not mean that you are worthless. You are a precious human being and God has an awesome and divine plan for your life that will eventually make sense. Often times, God uses painful experiences with other people in order to draw us closer to Him. This is what God did to me with my N and He’s doing the same thing in your life with your N. From God’s perspective, the narcissist was simply a tool in order to mature your relationship with God. God also does love the narcissist but their walk with God is between them and God. Right now, I want you to really let it settle in how valuable and loved you are. God has uniquely made you and He loves you more than any human being ever could. Even the people we love and trust the most will let us down from time to time. God made us incredibly fragile and whenever we place our trust in anyone besides Him, we will be let down. The only One who can meet all of your needs is God Himself. Once you realize that the Creator of the universe loves you intimately, you’ll begin to see your experience with your N from a different perspective. It doesn’t make it any less painful, especially if you’re still in the midst of it, but it should give you peace that God is NOT aloof and that He is completely aware of your situation and your feelings. God cares immensely about your feelings and your pain is a big deal to God. The second pivotal truth to understand just how powerful God really is. The narcissist is completely powerless. God can foil the plans of the narcissist at any time and He often does more for us than we give Him credit for. God is constantly shielding you from attacks from the spiritual realm in addition to hateful people. Sometimes, God does allow us to struggle, but it’s not because He likes to see us struggle, it’s because He’s using it to draw us nearer to Him. There is always a reason behind the pain we endure. The troubling part is that the devil loves to use our emotions to convince us that we should be focused on our pain and the sick people we call narcissists. While it’s helpful to be able to identify narcissists for future reference and for helping others who have been victims, it’s not our identity. You were a victim of narcissism because God knew it would further your relationship with Him. But that’s not the end of your story. As uncomfortable as it is/was, God is using that experience to revolutionize the way you see Him and yourself. I encourage you take some time and reflect on how much God really loves you and how God is about to bring you into a deeper and more fulfilling relationship with Him. You’re going to be OK. You’re right in the palm of God’s Hand and there is no safer place to be.

  24. Penny

    If we shouldn’t read any article or posts then why are you leaving them, Flippy?

    • Flippy

      Hi Penny, there’s nothing wrong with reading articles or posts, but ultimately you want God’s Voice to trump the opinions of other humans. Often times, God does use other people, books and even articles to grow our faith. However, we shouldn’t rely or put our trust in other people but only in the Holy Spirit. Whenever you read something, instead of automatically accepting it as truth, we should prayerfully offer it up to God and give Him the chance to voice His concerns on the issue. So, to answer your question, I put an article because I found it helpful, but don’t just read it for face value. It’s something that should carefully dissected under the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that you won’t be deceived. The more we rely on God, the less we need other people’s opinions to validate our own. There’s nothing wrong with reading an article or post unless you feel a direct conviction from the Holy Spirit not to do so. But if we do decide to read any website or reply to a comment (including this one), we should ask for discernment first.

  25. Susan

    Has anyone else ever noticed that the narc in his or her life inadvertently blurts out his or her true intentions? I’ve noticed this on occasion with mine, the most recent being the phone call this morning he made to me: “I don’t want to worry you, but one of the guys at work just killed a rattle snake, so if there’s one, there’s bound to be more.” It occurred to me that his intention is to worry me. I said, “Okay. I’m not worried. Bye.”

    This only came to my awareness when, in a conversation within the past year he said, “I’m not against you.” when I had never suggested such a thing or even thought it. It wasn’t something that was consciously in my mind, but his words resonated in my head and heart that he could well be.

    The time when I started to slowly catch on was about two years ago when he had been telling our then 9-year-old daughter that “mom will get mad if…” or “mom’s getting carried away” (when someone called me around our daughter’s bedtime with a serious problem and I had to talk with her for about an hour to resolve an issue in our homeschool Co-op). I went to speak with him about how he portrays me to our daughter, but I didn’t do this in front of her – but in private (you know, keeping up that appearance before her that he and I are a team or something). When I said to him that we need to be unified in our approach with her, he cut me off in mid-sentence and said, “Yeah, yeah, I know. We need to be a united front.” To which I replied, “But you don’t know this or you would be doing it.” When I left the room, it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is a simple thing. This is something he does in fact already know. This isn’t our first conversation about being united. This is not hard to do. He surely knows it, which means….. (my stomach turned) he’s doing it intentionally.

    So he is against me. That night I will never forget. The realization that he knows what he’s doing. That I’m living with the enemy.

    But I know that He who is within me is greater than he who is in the world and leads my husband against me. And against my daughter too. I pray for her protection and mine. And for wisdom to discern what’s really going on. And He has granted it.

    That was all more than I intended to write. I just wanted to see if anyone has had that experience of the narc revealing his or her true self without realizing it.

  26. Trying to cope

    Susan, I believe the day the N in my life revealed to me that I have everything he wants…that was a turning point. After he said it he tried to quantify it…but I got it. Now I have been discarded. He cannot have all I have. Therefore he sets out to let me know I cannot have all he has. Weird but true. But the point is, he revealed that. Unwittingly, accidentally but it slipped out. You are right. It is hard to know you live with the enemy. It is all so covert and you want to say ” I’m on to you! “. But of course they would deny it I imagine. I pray for your wisdom. And peace. And strength…. :-). You will need it all when dealing with an N.

    • Susan

      Thank you, Trying to cope, for your prayers for wisdom and peace and strength. The Lord provides it all as we ask. I believe that, as I have been given wisdom that can’t possibly have come from me. I don’t think I’d have realized what’s going on with the Lord’s direction. In His perfect timing.

    • Susan

      Forgot to tell you in my last comment above that I had one of those “I’m onto you” moments with my narc husband, but it didn’t end well (as it never does, and I have learned/am learning to not engage). We were in Walmart after church, but my husband and I split in-store to be more efficient time-wise. He took our daughter. When we met up at the register, he had offered her soda and candy, which she gleefully held in her hands. She hadn’t had lunch yet nor much breakfast. He also gives her cash every week (an “allowance” for “being good,” not that he ever asks how she’s been) and money for a tithe. I can’t remember how the conversation started, but I think I must have said something about the soda not being good for her since she’s only supposed to have one a week and she hadn’t eaten lunch yet. He said something about he didn’t think it would hurt her. Then I said that kind of “onto you” thing, but my words were: “I know what you’re doing.” (meaning giving her free money for doing nothing, buying her sodas and candy – essentially buying HER). But you know, the narc doesn’t care, and that’s what I all too easily forget. He replied, “And I know what you’re doing.” Since I had no ill-intent but the opposite with respect to her and him, I asked, “What am I doing?” (Stupid me. I stepped in it, didn’t it?) He replied, “You’re being rude.” The conversation ended there. And I ponder, does my daughter leave these encounters thinking mom is rude and dad is buying me candy and sodas? To some extent yes, but looking at the big picture, I think she is more discerning than that and can see through it as time marches on.

      • Kathy

        I can tell you how I referred to candy and sweets in a prayer, and perhaps you can tailor it for yourself. It’s so very painful to watch our children being manipulated by someone who knows that we would never turn a child against a parents — but yet we know that parent is evil.
        One night, after my daughter had a visit with her dad and I was engaged to marry another, we said prayers. She prayed: “God, please make me and daddy and mommy a family again. Daddy said you always say yes to good things and he said that would be a good thing. Amen.”
        She was four. I was put in a bad spot.
        So I said “It’s my turn to pray now. God, sometimes we ask for things that we think are so good — like candy for breakfast, cake for lunch, and ice cream for dinner. But you know that that is not good for us, even if we think it’s good. H wants you to put me and Daddy M back together, but I want us to be a family with Daddy D. You know what’s good for us even when we don’t, so we’ll let you make the decision. Amen.”

        It doesn’t sound like much, but the impact was greater than I thought. After I did marry Daddy D, Daddy M called and my daughter said “Oh, daddy. God answered our prayers and mommy married Daddy D last week!”

        Months had gone in between!! They do hear everything. Be careful, but you can influence her thinking far more than you realize. Just make it age appropriate and calm, no being nasty. You can fight what he’s doing.
        I truly wish you well. It’s not easy to protect a child from THEM.

  27. Trying to cope

    Susan, I am learning a narcissist does no wrong. They spin it on you, every time. As I sit here reflecting on how to endure the shunning I almost have to laugh. He is an N. I doubt myself outloud here but he is and I’m proof. So why does it hurt when he walks by my office…door open and can’t even say hi, look at me, nothing. He used to walk by and knock on window. You know if I had a why, it would help. When I explained situation to someone they were like Oh yeah…so and so quit speaking to me because… Well you have a because. Ya you may even deserve that. I don’t there is no because. No contact was so much easier but I cannot do no contact now. Well actually that is wrong we are not speaking but there is this huge elephant in the room. Before he shunned me, now he shuns me and he is mad because I told on him. So there is no redemption for me. I should never have said anything to anyone but I did and Now I pay the price double time. And I don’t even know, do normal people just work these things out right? I mean through the course of a day I will council two or 3 friends. Pain problems, work problems, co-worker problems. People like me, they come to me. Yet I fight this battle and can tell no one. Remember he is the chosen one. He blesses people with his company. Charm, humor, looks, personality who the heck would believe he is quite possibly the meanest man I have ever met.
    and to Flippy Thank you for assuring me I am not crazy. You have a different way of practicing your religion than I. I’m living in real time and to wait for The Lord to tell me what to do seems to be a quick way to crazy and wrong moves. I don’t trust myself to do the right thing. Today I posted on the Knowing thread because I battle the need to talk to people but in knowing we discuss keeping these secrets. I did that once and now I carry that burden so why does my mind go there. Is that The Lord or my crazy mind. I pray for guidance today.

    • Tammy

      Trying to Cope –
      You know by now that narcissists create a false image of themselves to hide their true empty self, so they cannot bear the thought of someone exposing the truth about them.

      I just had this thought and had to share it. Not that it will make you feel “better” but it might give you a bit of satisfaction. I know you are terribly hurt and I have the utmost empathy for you. So I say this with tongue-in-cheek… You, my dear are now a target because you are a threat. Bigger threat to an N=more meanness. So… as much as he would like to show everyone that you are unimportant, he is actually doing quite the opposite.

      He is revealing to us on this blog that you are actually quite important – certainly in a twisted way, but still important. Ok this is a bit twisted but I get venom spewed at me all the time because I don’t bend to their manipulation or attempts to control… they know that I can see RIGHT THROUGH them so the irony is so darn obvious to me I had to share my thoughts.

      So you are certainly trapped in this work world with him, but take heart. HE is the one who is actually trapped. You are seeking help and will heal. Give it time. You will be able to take off the chains and let HIM drag them around. The “elephant” is nothing but a scared, empty narcissist, and you? You are a kind hearted soul who clearly is way out of his league.

      So there. Take THAT. You pathetic narcissist. ;P

      • Trying to cope

        Tammy, Thank You. you have read absorbed and understood. I appreciate that to the depths of my soul. It does make me feel better, yep in a twisted way. Because I cannot get anyone else to understand this I need to be quiet and can’t hash it though with the girlfriends. Thank you for filling their shoes, I had not thought of things this way. It is a battle ground for sure. We do not speak but the lack of speaking, speaks volumes. I feel I should say sorry to him. I’m sorry for whatever I did. The shunning started before I ratted him out. That is just something I live with. Would it help to say sorry? He is an N. He has no empathy, he does not want to see me grovel. so strategically speaking I don’t know if Sorry would help. Pastor Dave way back in November said it may. I never apologized because I could not fathom what for. Now at least i have a what for. But Im not sorry. The sorry would only be to make peace. If I tell him how I feel he likes to say I’m emotionally manipulating him. Huh?// I’m not even sure what that means. I’m saying to him “when you do this, I feel like this”. To him that is manipulation. Again. Huh?

        You are right about both of us being trapped. And I’m the only one trying to make it better. I think he enjoys this. Its all so weird. So if you are right and he considers me a threat then maybe we are still negotiating. So how do I become not a threat? Mind you when I went to my superior I was a lost soul. I had been discarded and did not even know what that meant yet. I made a tactical error in trusting anyone. So how can I undo it. Sorry seems like the answer.

        I of course am searching for the high ground. Co-Existance. This dance of no speaking, speaking, shunning, It’s wearing me out. How about just common courtesy. I wanna scream…You started it!!! He will say “Did not”…Did too… That is how I imagine it would go…I’m actually laughing while typing but you get the idea. The bottom line is this man is going no where, he is part of my life, I need to figure out how to get through to him? At least once I get through I will know what I’m dealing with thanks to you all.

    • Susan

      Trying to Cope, I think it hurts so much because we don’t switch off our emotions and feelings (empathy, caring, etc) as quickly as the narc. Truth be told, they never did care, and as I think back (as perhaps you can too) I can see that now in things he either didn’t say or did say that weren’t comforting or helpful, but in fact the opposite. Why did we hang on? Well, I hung on because there was enough portrayal of good and “nice” there that I bought into that lie. I read in one of my books about narcissism that they can learn (like an actor) what words to say to their audience, but that doesn’t mean the heart is there behind it. It’s not truth to them. They’re just lines in a play. I’m with Flippy on most of what he writes, if not all. Waiting on the Lord is what His Word tells us to do. If that means waiting and not hearing anything, then perhaps silence (not shunning – there’s a difference), but silence and holding your tongue before your accuser (the narc) is the wisest path. You don’t have to be mean, but just don’t engage him. It’s engaging the enemy (the enemy being your narc’s father the devil). If he needs something (like Scripture says, a drink of water), give it (if it’s information related to work that is necessary for his job, but only that and no more). Otherwise, start to focus on other people at work and outside of work. Focus your eyes and heart on your first love (Revelation 2:4). It’s not going to happen overnight (unless the Lord so choose), but in time your consternation and confusion will pass – especially as you receive support from these forums and develop good healthy relationships outside of the narc. I’m praying for you for guidance and wisdom. Ask Him for wisdom in this matter. The Lord says if you ask for wisdom He will grant it (James 1:5). Trust His Word and His faithfulness to give you this. Flippy is right in saying that only the Lord will ultimately get you through this. We can all help to a certain extent as the Lord leads us, but ultimately it’s you and the Lord together – and He is the best teacher.

      • Trying to cope

        Susan, Thank you. I will ask for wisdom. I have to laugh about the actor thought because I cannot tell you how many times I caught him mimicking me. A way I sat, a way I walked. Seriously…little things but he would mirror me. I would think how strange i just did that 3 minutes ago. If he was my brother I would have said ” quit copying me” you know in that voice. But he is not my brother and it’s freaky really. So if he doesn’t really know what to do, how to act he will copy me?

        So this is timely because i just feel like i am at my ropes end. Same way when I went to my boss (mistake). I am planning what to say to N, to boss, to friend. Someone. Husband doesn’t get it, mother doesn’t get it. friend could actually use it against me or unwittingly harm me and well we already know the boss can’t be trusted…so that leaves talking to him, the N. oh Rage. yea I’m not really up for that. So what a coincidence that you tell me to hold my tongue. Devine intervention. I will pray for wisdom. Right now it seems he is channeling the wisdom through the wonderful people On Grace For My Heart.

  28. Tammy

    Trying to Cope –
    You’re welcome. ((hugs))
    Although I don’t have experience with an N at work, my husband does. I figured you could use all the help you could get and I asked him what he thought. Based on you knowing that he is a narcissist, his advice is to pray and not to have contact with the narcissist (beyond what you must do in doing your job). Apologizing to him would be counterproductive and is not advisable.

    As for him accusing you of being manipulative, that is a classic N behavior called “projection”. Do a search on Pastor Dave’s blog. They blame you for exactly what they are guilty of.

    My husband just walked in the other room and said “Don’t negotiate with terrorists”… haha!

    As for your boss, he said if you must talk with her, you could ask her a direct question – “I spoke to you in confidence and although you agreed to keep our conversation private, you did not. Can you tell me why?”

    I’ll add a few suggestions… It will be tough but try to do it with as little raw emotion as possible. Also like a salesperson would do – say what you need to say, ask the question and BE QUIET.

    If she is worth her salt, she will likely apologize and may even ask you how you knew. I would be prepared with an example of what he did after your conversation with her. If he has only ignored you, you might want to hold off on talking with her and give him some time to do something substantial – perhaps he will do something to sabotage your job.

    More time would also help you heal more and be more in control of your emotions when you speak with her. Remember he is an EXPERT at twisting things around. You already know that she trusts him. She probably thought it would help when she talked with him. CAUTION: You don’t know what he has told her and what she may believe about YOU. I strongly caution you that if you are extremely emotional it could work against you.

    Conversely, if you wait until you get past the worst of the pain, you will think more clearly and be able to communicate logically.

    He isn’t the only one that can make a plan and execute it with precision. His advantage is that he is VOID of emotion and the result is calculated, careful communication. You are already “onto him” as Jennifer said, and after you heal a bit, you will have the advantage. You know HIS secrets. Just keep quiet a bit. Observe. Make a plan. Talk with your boss when you know exactly what you are going to say and why.

    Make sense?

    • Trying to cope

      Big sigh Tammy, and thank you to you and your husband. I consciously let this man be a friend. Weird but I actually said to myself “he won’t leave me alone, I might as well let him be a friend.” He had a high ranking job before, he must be trustworthy. So it seems my antenna was up from the beginning that something was not right. I mean I don’t usually process a new friend that way. This man just would not stay out of my space. As far as my boss You are right, until I can speak without tears it is best to keep quiet. I am sensitive, to much so.

      We don’t negotiate with terrorists. That is excellent. And why do I want to talk to my boss, well truthfully so I would know how to negotiate, with the terrorist. Really that puts it in perspective doesn’t it. My objective is to just find peaceful ground. I just have to get him to quit treating me crappy. But of course I am the one in denial and it’s painfully obvious that I may not reach that objective. Thank you for being my voice of reason. I will move thoughtfully forward.

      You are so lucky to have a husband to talk to about it. The N is busy bamboozling my husband and so he just doesn’t understand. Well actually that makes two of us. It is just so isolating. i am confused. At one point Pastor Dave had advised to apologize but I never had opportunity and I for the life of me just didn’t know what I would apologize for, that is how out of the blue this discarding was.

      • Tammy

        Ah! You knew the answer all along and just needed a hug and validation from someone outside the situation. Good for you! I suspect that others that feel trapped are also closer to a decision and direction than they realize.

        As for the luck thing. It is most definitely NOT luck that brought a wonderful man into my life. Rewind many years ago to my time of utter despair, when I was pregnant and had a young child. I couldn’t live like that any more and I went as close to “no contact” as I could with my N husband. It was then that I learned to truly trust Jesus for everything. At some point I prayed that if He wanted me to be married again, this time it was His choice who I married. (I had failed miserably the first time!) I asked him to only open my heart for the one He had chosen for me.

        And I wouldn’t be on this blog helping you if God hadn’t put a narcissist at his work. My husband’s research on this guy is the only reason that I even know what a narcissist is!

        So don’t thank me. Be grateful to Jesus for orchestrating this so I could be here to help you and others like you to see that He doesn’t want you trapped! Look up John 10:10 and quote it so I know you saw this. 😉

  29. Jennifer

    Trying to Cope, a couple of things I noticed about your last post.

    1. You said he was insistent in trying to befriend you and not the other way around. Of course he was. They choose their prey quite intentionally. Again, that is all you were to him, so rejoice that you’ve been tossed out of his net. You MUST look at it this way for emotion’s sake (and because it’s entirely true), because otherwise it will drive you bananas.

    2. He used to always walk by and tap at your window, make eye contact, blah blah. Of course he did, because they have an overwhelming need for attention. It’s how these sharks feed themselves. Knocking on your window had nothing to do with you making you feel good, and everything to do with feeding his empty soul. They are constantly focusing everyone’s attention on them for this purpose. They cannot live without being continually acknowledged and validated by everyone around them. They have no inner validation, so must look to others as mirrors of themselves. If you smile and acknowledge, then you feed him. If you ask his advice, then you feed him. Which leads to point 3:

    3. You said, “I just have to get him to stop treating me crappy.” That sentence alone tells me exactly where your focus is still. IT’S ON HIM which is precisely where he wants it to be. Believe me. In suddenly shunning you, he has strongly focused your attention on him for the last year and a half, right? Every day, hour after hour, your attention is not on your work, or on your coworkers, or on yourself BUT ON HIM. Right?

    You say that you don’t even speak to him though, and that he doesn’t even acknowledge you. But it is not the outward things he is feeding on . It is the inner toil he has caused in your soul; knowingly caused and is causing which is his feeding ground. So who is has be been power feeding off of for the past year and a half? YOU. Why? Because he knows you so intimately and intuitively, he knows exactly how you are feeling. It’s like he just dove into the richest shark feeding ground in the whole Atlantic ocean.

    The situation where you told the boss was tricky for him because all of a sudden he realized that you wouldn’t necessarily keep his secret. Narcs pick loyal peoplel for a reason you know. You weren’t totally under his control anymore. (Best thing you could have done in my mind because it was your first attempt at breaking the Narc-imposed isolation), but of course than he had to rage and frighten you into submission again, and now he feeds off your fear because it gives him strength. Your boss did what managerial types do. They mediate. But in mediating with a narcissist (while not knowing they are a narcissist), bosses, and remember I said therapists too?) often are fooled into thinking what the Narc wants them to think. So don’t be too hard on your boss. You would have believed this Narc too a couple of years back if you were the boss.

    My dear, the longer your attention is on him (How do I get him to stop? Why doesn’t he acknowledge my presence? Why would the boss tell him? What did he say to her?) the longer you prove to yourself that you are still under his control. The longer you will remain his feeding ground. You literally have to not give a crap what he thinks and why he does or doesn’t do stuff. The thing with a Narc is that they set themselves up as God, and we believe them!!

    But you’ve see the light! You are no longer in darkness. You know what and who this charade-master is. So now you know, and really it’s all you need to know. It’s time to MOVE ON from this feeding ground and free yourself from his game. Just always remember whatever he does and says is never honest or genuine. It’s all part of the game.

  30. Trying to cope

    Tammy and Jennifer, i appreciate your input. How is that for thank you. I’m always saying Thank You. So in liu of repeating myself. You are appreciated. Alot. More than you can know.
    To Tammy: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (Hmmm) I have come so the theif may have life. How does that work? You are right, the answers are in my head, it’s the validation that is missing. I am fighting this urge to want to discuss with other co-workers…anyone. I know that is the wrong path. Although they like me, they adore him. Of course they do, right? So Here I am, I need to be working but I’m wondering how he can ignore me completely and say goodnight to everyone else on the way out. Why should I care. So trivial. I just don’t like being in the dog house. The poop on the bottom of someones shoe is how he makes me feel. When I need to talk to him he usually won’t even look up from his computer. He loves to demean me. How can someone who was a friend do that. I know it wasn’t a friendship (according to him, and all here, it seems), but perception is reality. And to me he seemed like a darn good friend.

    To Jennifer: I go back to this quote “From my own experience,the devalue/discard routine is perhaps the most mind-numbingly cruel aspect of ending a relationship with an N. I think I’d describe it as being left in an uncomfortable twilight world, caught between knowing the truth intellectually and not being willing to accept it emotionally.”

    I think I just can’t accept it. I’m just stuck and so I roll to what is familiar. Someone is upset with you, apologize. Treating you bad, work it out. My mind just is not accepting this. I do need a therapist, but I would be their worst nightmare. I don’t want to get it. Yet a year and a half is a long time to be baffled. You are following along well Jennifer. It humbles me that you have read, analyzed and diagnosed this. That a stranger would care enough to help when I can’t get my own mother to wrap her mind around what I’m going through, or my husband for that matter. I suffered in silence for a long time and finally before I thought I would snap I started to share with people. Parts of me wish I told no one but then when I read back on this blog and my old comments I see that how I felt last October is the same as Now. Only I had not even gone to my boss yet…so really nothing has changed. I keep thinking that was my damning moment in his eyes. But it wasn’t.

    I was going for short tonight, oops. I will print out both your comments and read and re-read. Maybe right on the chalk board. N’s exist, N’s exist, N… You know an N…N’s Suck. Why me Why Me. Hmmm. Probably N’s suck would be most productive.

    • Susan

      Trying to Cope,

      You wrote: “That a stranger would care enough to help when I can’t get my own mother to wrap her mind around what I’m going through, or my husband for that matter.”

      My mom doesn’t get it either, but I believe this is because she hasn’t had experience with narcs. Believe me, I was deeply saddened and wounded when I’d tell my mom things that my narc husband has said or done (and she’s even witnessed his spinning the car around with my daughter and me in it) and she still supports him. Why? She doesn’t get narcissism. We can’t expect our moms or anyone else to understand if they haven’t lived it.

      After all, as Jennifer wisely pointed out about your boss, s/he doesn’t know narcissism, so how can s/he behave differently? You and I were sucked in before we knew narcissism, so why would anyone else know what we ourselves didn’t understand aforehand?

      You’ll get through this to the other side, because you want to. There’s been great advice here in this thread. Glean and move on. Don’t let him exist rent-free in your head. It takes time, but put the eviction notice up. You have better things to do with your time and energy than dwell on him. You can leave him at work. I can’t. Mine inhabits our home and (for now) my daughter’s mind and heart, but I’m trusting the Lord to help deal with anything if need be in the future re: having a narc for a dad.

      Blessings, Susan

      • Trying to cope

        Susan, I cannot imagine waking up one day and realizing you had married one of these people. This guy turns my world upside down and i’m not married to him. Mind you there are a lot of things at play that I would even let someone hold that kind of a spot in my life. He was there for me, therefore he did claim a space in my world. Not a spot like a spouse. I cannot imagine it. I know what I’m going though and my heart goes out to you. For me it really is like Tammy said…A terrorist has taken hold. He is setting out to destroy me. The logical thing to do would be to quit. I’m not quitting and I just feel like I want to understand this guy inside and out so I can control him. I need to learn more but when I figure it out I will let you know. I am not evil, I mean no ill harm and just am intent on making him see the error of hims ways. Only I know N’s don’t error. It’s saturday. So I can stay home and be at peace. No whining from me today. And I stick with this thread because last Friday’s blog does not ring with me. I have no beef with God. I am thankful God brought me you all. It is restoring sanity. I know I digress often and did deep into this question but I need to understand it intimately. On days like today I feel I can win (sorry Jennifer). But if I don’t think I can stand up to this guy then I really lose and I have lost enough. I really cannot lose one more thing.

  31. Jennifer

    No apologies necessary TTC ((((hugs)))). Just realize that you are talking game talk right now. Trying to understand HIM inside and out will be like riding a wave of shifting shadows, but DO try and understand narcissism if for no other reason than the more you know, the less you will find yourself playing into their game.

    You will never control him, and truly that is not your job. Your job is to control yourself which is much harder. Your job is to be in control of your emotions and reactions around him which as you know is very difficult. When you need to know HIM intimately; when you need to control HIM; when you need to make HIM see the error of his ways…..you see where I am going with this? Where is your focus? On him. Where does he want your focus? On him. You are playing into his hand.

    Your focus should be on you; on understanding who you are and why; on controlling your mind and emotions. Believe me when you train your mind to center itself on your own life and faith, he will not be as big of a deal anymore. If he shuns you or he courts your favour, it will really not matter to you. And that will bother him most of all because how dare you not make him the centre of your universe. Lol!

    Lord, give TTC the strength to get through all this. Give her eyes to see the truth. Help her to focus on her job and her own work. Calm her heart and centre her emotions in You when she is around this man. Be her stronghold and her fort which she can run to when he intimidates her. Put a hedge of protection around her marriage and her heart so that they cannot fall, and draw her always closer to you. Amen!

    • Susan

      This is for Trying to Cope (but I don’t see a Reply button below her post):
      TTC, Jennifer said more succinctly what I was going to write as well. Bascially, that you shouldn’t want to control him. The narc is a person given over to his/her own pride and self-centered ways. Don’t focus on him. Focus on Jesus and on you. The more your focus is on the Lord, the more you will follow Him. The more your focus is on the narc, the more you’ll spiral. Also, you can’t make him see the errors of his ways. Please hear so many voices on this blog. They’ll all say the same thing. I gave up trying to have reasonable discussions with my spouse within the past year. Of my 20 years of marriage, it took 18 years for me to figure out the narcissism; You’ve been blessed to discover it earlier (and not with a spouse). It took 15 years for me the Lord to reveal the passive-aggressive behavior, and 18 years before narcissism came into my view. And another year still of my trying to speak reasonably with him. It just never, ever works. I leave my spouse to the Lord. He is in His hands, which for the child of God is a comforting place to be, but for those not His … (shudder). Leave your narc with the Lord and be done with him. Don’t focus on what you’re to say or do with him. Don’t dwell on what he’ll say or do or what then you’d… etc. It’s an endless trap. I’ll keep you in prayer for wisdom and understanding. As Jennifer said, study narcissism, but don’t study your co-worker. Keep your mind on your Lord, your work, your husband, your life. Your… everything. But not on him. It may be easier said than done, but it can be done. I’m living proof. I’m married, the narc is still in the same household, but I’m onto narcissism, I’m learning and growing stronger, and the Lord is protecting me and my daughter. He is my guide and my shield and my very great reward. He’s yours too. Focus on Him.

      • Susan, Your message rings true with what Jennifer said a few days ago. Quit focusing on them, it’s about me. I just seem to need his acceptance, everyones, I guess. I’m not sure what that makes me? I’m not an N. Probably makes me a enabler or co-dependent or any one of those other words. But I’m going with Awesome. Thanks to all of you here. I am deeply moved by yours and Jennifer’s reach out to me. I’m hoping i see the light, better yet be the light for someone else. Come Monday we will know. Wisdom and Strength words of the day. You are right Susan The Lord is protecting you. In teaching, we learn. Today you can feel awesome knowing that you helped another find peace and strength. You are wonderful. Thank You.

    • Trying to cope

      Thank You Jennifer. your prayer has me sobbing. I think you may have just got through to me.

      I actually had went back and copied a message Pastor Dave wrote to me and as I read back on the posts almost a year old I see the craziness. I have been saying the same words for a year. Before and after I spoke with boss the words were the same. So it takes away that burden of feeling that I wronged the N. He wronged me!!

      Your prayer for me i will print and I will read and re-read and I believe it is already starting to work.

      I cry because I am just amazed that someone can care enough about me to send such a prayer. After being so discarded and devalued I guess it’s hard to understand the real love in this world. Thank You. TTC

      • Jennifer

        Sweetheart, but this is the love we are to have one for another. That is how the world knows we are His, right? “They will know you are Christians by your love”. And yes, you are probably somewhat codependent, but so was I. I was insecure in my own self, and really did not know unconditional love from my family. I just wanted to be loved,. So I married the first person who told me they loved me, and voila. There I was the wife of a narc.

        When you worry more about what other people think of you than you do about how you and God think of you, then you have a problem. But these problems are quite fixable. Read the Gospels. Read about how much your Lord loves you; enough to give His very life for yours. That is love! And He will always love you. We can wrong Him; wrong our fellow man; and wrong ourselves, but all we have to do is go to Him and say sorry, make things right with our neighbour, and resolve to “go and sin no more”, His love is eternal and His mercies are new every morning! How different from the passive-aggressive, shunning and baiting world of the Narc. They truly are the anti-Christ in every sense of the word. :/

      • Susan

        I don’t see “Reply” under your response to me so I’ll type it in here. “What Jennifer said.” haha – no seriously, although I do second all she said, I want to say that I empathize with you because I have been and to some degree still am where you are, except I’m past the confusion and consternation part. It really was hard for me to believe he really is all these things (intentionally malicious, spiteful, angry, deceiving, lying, etc), but once I had that settled in my heart (thank you, Lord!), then the rest was just deciding how I should be from that point forward. And I’m resolved to settle my focus on the One Who truly does love me, to respond to Him in my words and actions, to not allow a deceiver who’s serving the adversary (Satan) to occupy rent-free space in my head and heart so much, to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,and to live my days for HIm, not for the one who is working against my Lord’s teachings. I’m not really actively seeking to help others like myself, but the Lord has brought those people into my path and therein we can love one another and help one another. I find these places (like Grace for my heart) because I still need reaffirmation and validation that (1) I am not alone in this as far as experiences go here on earth and (2) it’s real what I am suffering and that I am not crazy or making a lot out of nothing; That the lies are actual lies and the twisting and manipulation is real. And that it’s not worth feeding the wolf. Time to focus on the sheep and the Shepherd. You are much loved, TTC. You’ve already moved forward even through this thread on this journey. Try in the weeks at work ahead to apply what you’re learning. No matter what the narc says or doesn’t say, does or doesn’t do, focus on you and your work, focus on those around you who aren’t narcs (you’ll begin to know if they are; trust yourself to recognize red flags now), focus on people who do empathize and do care, focus on your husband and family. And pray for yourself the prayer that Jennifer typed. The Lord will do it for you. Trust Him. He is faithful and true. And don’t those words (“faithful” and “true”) sound all the sweeter to your ears and heart now that you know what “unfaithful” and “untrue” really are? I know that the words “Judas, must you betray me with a kiss?” have new meaning for me now that I have been betrayed – not by an adulterer, but by a narc. Seems far more insidious than even an affair somehow. (((hugs)))

    • trying to cope

      As I sit here this evening getting ready for battle on Monday and rereading all input here i did want to correct myself. i cannot imagine why I would write I want to control him. Sometimes my Ipad fails me, Control his affect me…Maybe I don’t know. I certainly do not seek to control him.

      I am really taking to heart the thread that keeps popping up. Focus on me, not him. It is about me. I am trying to deal with being discarded. If it was me and 5 others I could get it. Denial is my biggest barrier. It is so illogical I feel it is a big misunderstanding. I said or did something and he misunderstood. What I hate is the period of time he has been making me feel horrible. I am a lesser everything because of this. I need to spend time trying to understand why I would care so much.

      • trying to cope

        Oops sorry I got interrupted and distracted. So anyhow as I re read it adds clarity. Susan your points on why you return to this site #1 and 2 that would pretty much sum it up. I’m glad to know that I am not alone as well. And really I have to not spend time wondering why I care and just spend time being a better me, is what I’m hearing. I have got to move on. He has taken over a year of my life. Everyday to just look through me, around me, over me. And intimidate me, very much so. I write this knowing tomorrow will be as awful as Friday. Sigh. Such wisdom here. I will try harder.njennifer on July 31 you pretty much called it like it is and numerically laid out what I have to work on. I will print it, highlight it, study it and pray for the wisdom to take the advise. Strength to smile at him. Treat him normal…I thought I was not a supply but I see that even in shunning I am a supply. Normal. Well when I’m normal I walk in and say hi to everyone in every office, chat with a few, make jokes with a few. Him…usually he looks down and away so we don’t speak. Everyone else I would say hi anyhow….so tomorrow I will try for normal. I know he will ignore me. But what the heck…it’s about me and it makes me feel good to bring a ray of sunshine into people’s life.

      • Susan

        TTC, You care so much because you are a loving, empathetic person – something he is not. He is the antithesis of loving and caring. With respect to treating him “normally,” I can only say that with respect to my husband I do not treat him as I treat others. He has lost my trust. I share information with those I trust. I do not with him. What I share with my spouse is on an absolute need-to-know basis. You would be safest doing this with the narc in your life who you thought was a friend. Don’t be “normal” with him – in other words, I wouldn’t treat him as you treat others who are deserving of your trust. I would acknowledge him if necessary, but if not necessary, just go about your way and do your best – your absolute best – to not ponder him, not focus your thoughts on the whys or hows of him, but instead, on the things that are worthy in your life. The verse from Philippians 4:8 springs to mind: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” As I was working out this morning, I thought of you – because I started working out at home in the mornings so I could feel stronger – and as my physical body strengthens, so do my emotional and mental states of being. I no longer dwell on why my husband does or says what he does or says. I don’t really care. I care with respect to the fact that I do love him – but not as I used to. I love him enough to occasionally ask the Lord to have mercy on his soul, but then that prayer is ended in short order and I’m on to other things. The Lord’s business, not my spouse’s. Because the narc wants your attention so very much, I realized that I am healthier not giving it to him even when he’s not around. And especially when he’s not around .If he is around (which, in my case, is unavoidable), I don’t focus on his words unless he’s misleading our daughter, then I step in. If he’s saying or doing something for attention, I don’t stoke the flame. I basically either answer with one or few words, not at all, or just ignore if appropriate. I give him what Biblical respect is required (doing his laundry, cleaning house, feeding him, etc) but no more. If you must work with him, do so only to the minimum requirement. Spend other time focused on worthy things. Not unworthy things. I don’t know why, because I don’t fully understand this verse, but I was thinking of “Do not cast your pearls before swine” this morning. Take that for whatever it means or seek the Lord for wisdom on it. Know that I am continuing to lift you up in prayer. When one has experienced a narc, one rarely if ever leaves unscathed, but if we are truly the Lord’s we can hope to leave that experience all the wiser for it. (hugs) ❤

  32. Jennifer

    Wow, Susan! I had not thought of it from the angle of Judas betraying Christ with that kiss. That is exactly what it felt like with my husband when we were intimate. I remember telling my counselor that I could not look him in the eye (and he noticed that and asked me to several times 😛 ) because I felt like I would lose my very soul to him if I did; the last vestige of who I was. I always felt betrayed by him overall when we were intimate, and of course many other times as well, but mostly then.

    Bringing that back to Jesus and how Judas betrayed him with a kiss (and more than likely with many looks before that time) really puts things into perspective. Our poor Lord suffered even that for us, praise Him.

    • Susan

      Praise Him indeed! He has suffered all we are and much more. He knew betrayal and hurt and pain – so He is our most effective advocate and guide. Yes, that phrase from Jesus hit me between the eyes recently.

      I too have been in counseling with my spouse (three times, the last two being billed as Christian counselors, but I’m not so sure). The last counselor we saw didn’t end up lasting long as my husband lied in counseling. (He had shut a cupboard door on one of our cats as I was getting ready for church, then told me there’s a cat in there. When we discussed this in counseling, he told the counselor that I put the cat in there. I remember feeling utterly confused wondering why he would say such a thing, and the counselor later told me that she watched me the whole time my husband told this story and saw my look of consternation. She believed me, not him, and later told him that I’m like the adult child of an alcoholic, explaining that I never know who’s going to walk in that door when he comes home in the evening.)

      I knew counseling would go nowhere if I had no faith in his telling truth, so I told her my plan for dealing with this marriage (trusting the Lord, educating myself, surrounding myself with a small circle in whom I can confide, etc.), and that was it. No more counseling. Boy do I understand not being able to look him in the eye. When I look someone in the eye, I have intimacy and connection. There is no connection or fellowship with those who betray us and our Lord. It’s all the more disconcerting because he fools people at church – because they don’t really know him. But I think there are some who have realized – after six or more years now with this same church body – that something is amiss based on how we are (or aren’t, rather) with one another there. I don’t expect them to understand or hold anyone to blame for not getting it. How could they without having lived it? It’s taken me long over a decade to figure it out, because, sadly, he is very adept at lying and twisting things, not to his credit. Narcs are very, very good at it. It’s sad that they’re so good at serving the adversary, but I trust the Lord to eventually bring good out of this pain – even if not until I’m safely home in eternity.

  33. M

    wish I could just wake up from this self destruction.

  34. T-Ray

    I have read through a lot of literature on narcism and relationships and divorce. This is the best that I have encountered. You have kept it plain, simple and to the point. I agree with everything you have written. Thank you. It all reconfirms what I have experienced and know. “The mind only understands what the heart can handle and wisdom is born when thoughts and feelings meet.” Thank you again!

  35. Rena

    I didnt even know this kinda people existed i am currently trapped literaly. Away from my country without legal situation in usa to be able to work drive or go anywhere. Have children and he says i can leave alone but i aint living my kids. Menaces to call inmigration like they aint gonna do nothing yo you having me here coerced and rnprisoned trying to make me crazy. Leeching on the money my family sends me cos i cant work and he does not provide to eat or anything but rent. Cheated on me serially dont take me anywhere cos i stopped financing his stuff.financially irresponsible he thinks he is invinvible and above all rules. But he gets his supply through our children he dint do jothing he loves being begged to take me to thr store .. I want him to let me go but he wont dign any papers to leave or file do i can stay and work. I am do helplesss

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