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My Narcissistic Ex-Husband

Reflections on loving and living with a Narcissist.  Let our experts guide you toward the healing power of moving on and allowing yourself some time in the spotlight.  Get advice on healing from his behavior and finding yourself again.

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Empathy is the ability to identify with someone else’s feelings because we have felt that way ourselves.  It is, “I know the pain of loss because I, myself, have been bereft.”  It differs from sympathy in that one can be sympathetic not having known the feelings.  A nurse is sympathetic to a terminal patient.  She provides care, attention, and comfort, but she does not know what it feels like to be dying.  She does not need to know what that feels like in order to provide that care and comfort.

Narcissists do not feel empathy.  In fact, it is one of the most striking indicators of narcissism.    A recent study linked lack of empathy linked to a person having less gray matter in a part of the cerebral cortex called the left anterior insula.  I always wonder in these cases, which came first - the lack of gray matter leading to the behavior, or the behavior leading to a shrinkage in the gray matter.  I cannot say one way or the other, but it gives pause for thought.  In some cases, though, the lack of empathy is a deliberate tactic on the part of the narcissist.

A narcissist will inure themselves to other people’s feelings in order to get ahead in business, or in relationships.  For example, if your ex felt your pain, he wouldn’t be able to leave you so easily when he got bored, and come back to you when it fit his purposes.   One also has to have a certain lack of emotion in order to be able to crush one’s competition as they climb the ladder of success. Whether deliberate or not, the fact is your narcissistic partner cares more about his own feelings than he does about yours.  In fact, he may not care about your feelings at all.  

In order for a person to feel empathy they must feel emotion.  To a narcissist, displaying emotion or feeling emotion involves a lack of control that is unacceptable to them.  They see displays of emotion as weak.  Feeling emotion means being vulnerable, and they cannot be seen as vulnerable, and do not want to feel vulnerable.

 

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Many narcissists will act as if they care.   They want to fit in.  They need to be accepted and be able to walk among us.  If they acted as robots, devoid of emotion, people would notice them, and avoid them.   They recognize that other people have feelings, and they know what it looks like to have feelings, and they may act like they feel empathy, but they do not.  

Ignoring Early Signs

If I knew then what I know now, I would have been able to peg my ex instantly.  There were big, huge red flags waving in front of me, but I was so smitten that I ignored them.  When my ex and I first got together, I discovered that, many years earlier, when I first met him as a colleague, he had had a long-term girlfriend. They had been together for six years.  He told me that he never told anyone because she had been suffering deeply with depression.  In fact, he kept her existence so hidden that many of our colleagues believed he was gay, including the gay man with whom he shared an apartment for three months.  

She had trouble finding a job.  He said it was because she didn’t know how to sell herself.  He refused to pay for her living expenses.  He claimed that she would never find a job if he made it easy and supported her, so for the months that she wasn’t working, he kept tabs of the money he laid out for her for food, phone, rent, etc., and he insisted that she pay him back every penny once she started working.  

During those months, he told me, she had become a huge burden.  She was extremely emotional.  She had become pregnant three times, he insisted, so he would marry her.  Each time the pregnancy was terminated.   I asked him why he continued to sleep with her if he thought she was trying to trick him into marriage.  He claimed that she lied to him each time and he believed her.  

I believed him.  I thought, this poor guy!  Here is this conniving woman, using her sexuality to manipulate him into taking a step backwards.  How awful!  And here he was doing his best to help her out of a rut.  With my superhero x-ray hindsight, I can see clearly that this probably wasn’t the case.  Any man I know who’d been lied to by his girlfriend about her use of birth control would have bought himself a case of condoms before he slept with her again, if he ever slept with her again.

He told me that, after they terminated the third pregnancy, she suffered an emotional breakdown. He said she had a supposed resurfacing of a repressed memory of having been raped by a boyfriend.  He said she blamed him and not the ex who had raped her for all her problems.  He said he gave her some money, set her up in an apartment, and told her he’d always be there to help her out, but she couldn’t live with him any more.   He described her emotional decline as being so deleterious and disruptive to his life that he couldn’t maintain a relationship with her. 

And there seemed to be objective proof of that.  Once, while he and I were in his apartment, he got a package from her.  When he opened it, it was a large manila envelope filled with ripped up photographs of them.  I thought, she really must be crazy with a capital C, and vengeful, and no wonder he had to get rid of her.  Who could live with someone so volatile?  He joked about what the scenario may have looked like - her finding a box, opening it, finding the photos, flying into a frenzy, and grabbing a pair of scissors.  We laughed at the idea.  I thought, she must have some serious problems.  It never occurred to me that I had been told one very skewed side of the story.

 

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The Beast Shows Itself

It wasn’t until months after we were involved that I experienced, firsthand, behavior on his part that could drive me to come across a box of photos and shred them in a fit of rage. It was a little thing - an argument over my feeling guilty because we were very late to a dinner date and the friend we were meeting was angry with me.  We were late because my ex absolutely had to go for a run in the park.  He claimed that he wouldn’t be able to enjoy his evening if he didn’t get a little exercise, and the run he said would take half an hour, took an hour and a half.  

He absolutely refused to acknowledge that either my friend or I had any justification for being upset.  In his opinion the most important thing was that he get what he needed.  He was irked that anyone had any expectation of him fitting into their schedule and by the end of the evening he was angry with me and my friend, as he felt his liberty was being curtailed.  And, yes, if you’re wondering, those were the exact words he used.  And, little did I know, but I would be hearing that phrase many, many more times over the course of our relationship.  Curtailment of his liberty was something over which we fought constantly. He seemed to think that that was what was happening if ever I asked him for something.

It started with little things like that and, over the years we were married, it morphed into increasingly bizarre things.  There was a period of time after we were married when I was unable to work.  During that time he also “lent me money” to pay my living expenses, so as soon as I was able to return to work, my first order of business was to pay him back.  After my mother called to tell me that my dad has passed away, my ex laid me down on the floor, initiated sex, and when it was over, said, “Welcome back to the world of the living.”  For the life of him, he couldn’t understand why I continued to cry afterwards.  He insisted I pay for his plane ticket back to the east coast for the funeral.

You cannot argue logic with a narcissist.  They cannot see beyond their own needs and desires.  In many cases, the narcissist’s need and desire is to see those around him downtrodden so that he can bask in his own feeling of superiority.  He will not and cannot respond to emotions.  Your tears will likely anger him.  If you must go head to head with your narcissistic partner, choose your battles wisely.  Lay firm boundaries that you are willing and able to enforce.  Do not expect him to win him over, because he will fight to the death to get his way.

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66 comments

  • Comment Link lex Tuesday, 19 September 2017 15:45 posted by lex

    I did no marry this guy and thank god I got out the easy way. We had only been dating for a year and a half but the majority of our relationship was he was in san diego and i was an hour away. I constantly had trust issues with him for some reason. Proabbyl because he was so full of himself and would walk around talking about how sexy he was. From the start I would catch him in white lies-lying about going to lunch with a girl, keeping contact with his ex girlfriend even though he knew I was not okay with this. One day he decided to get a job near me and come up and stay with me. We had only lived together 8 days so far and it turned into a living hell. I came home and he would deb talking to many other women about "work" (as a personal trainer-don't trust them haha) and I made a comment about it. We both went to bed and he freaked out because I would not cuddle with him, threw a pillow at me and repeatedly shouted at me that I am a piece of shit. I got so mad and looked through his social media-only to find that He was STILL contacting his ex and still telling girls to come over, calling girls sexy, contacting women that we would fight about. I had had enough and wanted him OUT so I ripped off of the covers and he got on top of me and so I punched him in the midst of our wrestling. He got up, walked away and called 911 on me. The front door was right next to him but he decided to do that instead. I was in jail got myself out thank god and when I came back he was sleeping soundly of course IN MY APARTMENT. then he lied about the fact that the cops told him he could be staying in my place rent free just because he had already moved his stuff in before.
    fast forward I let him stay with me because we were technically living together until he could move to his next place and he decided to repeatedly tell me "admit tingly" how he thought this girl was attractive (the one we would fight about) and how he wanted to fuck her at one point just because he was horny. he also called my dad an ASSHOLE when my dad has never done anything to him, and never even apologized.

    now i am dealing with a case against me, i have to go to court on thursdya and when he is around me all he talks abut is how nice the new place he is moving into is going to be, and will do things like won't give me a bite of his sandwich when i ask him for one or will ask me to please bring him his phone.
    can someone please tell me what is wrong with him?

  • Comment Link Anon Thursday, 17 August 2017 14:24 posted by Anon

    In February of this year my husband of 15 years, we dated a few years too, decided to express his desire for an affair or open relationship. Caught him talking to an old gf who has this arrangement and turned him into the idea. I refused after months of arguing. He went as far to sign us up on a swinger website. In April I felt he was up yo something because i never heard from him during the day anymore and he was going out to bars by himself and coming home all hours. So I bugged his car. Sure enough, I hear him on the phone with another woman, telling her she's the hottest, and how he can't keep his hands off her. I confronted him the next day. He said he only dated her and made out but i don't believe him. My heart tells me otherwise. He also refuses to reveal anything about her other than he met her online. I still think it's the old girlfriend. He talked in his sleep one time and said I love you.....with her name at the end. He now is super apologetic...wants things to go back as they were. But I know things will never be the same. I gave up my career years ago to stay at home with my kids. I just cannot get past the hurtful things he said....too boring, too vanilla, too controlling because i have a problem with him acting single all the time and flexing his muscles....he used to be fat btw. I'm just absolutely sick over everything. And i lost my dad right after all this came to light. Part of me died I believe or was killed. I am so insecure, I feel ugly, unloved and unwanted. And he still just doesn't get it. Or doesn't care to because he might actually have to change and that ain't gonna happen. I'm working on getting my life together and running before he ruins the rest of my life. What life I have left anyway. Just sickening how anyone who professes that they love you can shit all over you repeatedly and not think twice.

  • Comment Link pkillipa Friday, 11 August 2017 18:44 posted by pkillipa

    i discovered my ex husband married me because his girl friend who he saw all through and before and after pur marriage of 12 yrs couldnt have children so i was to have the m look after them then they could have them as ad when it would suit them

    then he has the cheek to say i was bitter

  • Comment Link Reen Thursday, 15 June 2017 14:54 posted by Reen

    Thanks for the advice

  • Comment Link macy Sunday, 07 May 2017 23:54 posted by macy

    The best advice I can tell anyone form my experience is RUN
    My ex husband is a complete narcissist possibly a psychopath,
    I met him age 17 I thought he was just arrogant and full of himself, I was pregnant at 20 then got married.
    The abuse started as soon as we were married he locked me in the flat we lived in and turned off the power supply it was like something from a horror film, he made out he had a knife and was going to stab me, he would "play fight" but actually hurt me, he told me if i ever left me he would kill me and i believed him , I was young and naive. For several years we had to move in with my parents and I felt safe, then I became pregnant again and we had to move so the madness started again. H e would disappear after work and come home in such a bad mood that if I dared question where he had been he would start to shout, I would shut up as to not upset the children. He never bought me presents on Birthdays until he decided to be in competition with my brother in law over who bought the most so suddenly I had piles of gifts. All through this nays ever changing weird mean abusive mental behaviour I kept my head, then suddenly i lost it and had a meltdown, I puked every day for 6 months had upset stomach lost a lot of weight and felt so sad and lonely. The one day he had an affair it was the best thing that could have happened, i guessed straight away as he was acting really weird , so i followed him left a tape recorder in my flay and checked his phone bill, and caught him. I LEFT HIM....it was hard as I had two young children but I knew i was going to melt even further if i stayed, he begged me to stay promised to change boa boa boa, but it was too late, i managed to get him out of my flat, I had no money and he would not pay up, so we lived on basics with help from my parents, he behaved like hell to me for 15 years , then one day i decided to never speak to him again my kids were old enough to decide if they wanted to see him or not, they did for a bit, but now 22 years later neither of them have anything to do with him and it was their choice not mine. I re married 7 years ago a really lovely man, who is caring kind and loving, my kids adore him as does out grandchild, so LEAVE the narcissist as soon as possible and don't look back, stay as strong as you can you will mend, I had counselling a few times to cope, even took some prozac which i didn't like so stopped after 3 monte, the counselling is way better. I look back on that old life and actually don't regret it it taught me valuable lessons and taught me to be compassionate to others, but please whatever you do Leave

  • Comment Link Yvonne Fielder Monday, 06 March 2017 22:30 posted by Yvonne Fielder

    I'm in the process of divorcing my narcissistic husband after being married for 38 years. I didn't want to believe he was a narcissist. I kicked him out a week before Christmas after he pushed me too far. A few weeks later he asked if I wanted to go to counseling and I accepted. After I made the appointment I found out he had signed a year's lease and bought new furniture. I went to the counseling appointment myself as I was so hurt. After he told me to file for divorce, I did. All he keeps telling me is I kicked him out so he had to do something. Wouldn't go to counseling and kept telling me to file and what he would give me and nothing in addition. Know he just asks like I don't even exist. I know you're not supposed to have contact when going through a divorce but he went from one extreme to the next. I'm so hurt & upset I don't even want to live at times.

  • Comment Link Jeannie Wednesday, 08 February 2017 13:30 posted by Jeannie

    To Trisha: I want to encourage you to not let your narcissistic ex beat you in all this. I, too am divorcing my narcissistic husband. We were together for 20+ years. He kept saying that I needed to change, that I wasn't doing enough around the house, wasn't cooking enough organic non processed gourmet meals, wasn't contributing enough financially or having sex enough. And, so, I got a 2nd job, my own business, cooked more, cleaned more, learned how to fix stuff inside and outside the house. I started biking to work, took showers in the dark, made my own cleaners, did my work outside using natural light - anything to save money. And, yes, I tried to psych myself up to have sex more. Guess what people? It wasn't enough. He made me cry one day and a switch went off in me. I decided to leave. He did some scary, crazy things. He's almost gotten me fired. He's almost caused me to lose my professional license and 2 days ago, I got papers that he's suing me for spousal support! He's also suing me for child support for 1 of our 2 children who will be 18 in 3 months. She's with him because she says she feels sorry for him and she wanted to stay in her home. Never mind that I've been supporting our younger child. But, the jokes on him because my lawyer advised me to counter sue for support for my youngest who is only 15 and stop paying mortgage on a house that I don't even live in which should equal any spousal support he gets from me. It just looks bad because he was furloughed from his job and gets less than 300 a week from unemployment also money under the table from odd jpbs. Stay strong, Trisha. I know it's hard.

  • Comment Link Jackson Sunday, 29 January 2017 05:31 posted by Jackson

    WOW... reading the part about the dinner party and being late brought back some memories!! I encountered that type of behavior several times in a relationship that just ended.

    At my nieces wedding my Girlfriend almost made me miss the entire thing! I was busy most of the day filling in more my mother (come to find out she had cancer) who was not feeling well that day. So I was running errands for the bride. I still was checking in on my GF, I had to make one final trip to the site of the wedding. It took a little longer then expected cause I trying to help hang a decoration. I expected to get back to the hotel and for her to be ready to go... NOPE. She was still messing with her hair and didn't even have her dress on. When I left it was about 2 2-1/2 hours to the wedding... I returned and we needed to be out the Door in about 15min... I was not a happy camper! Ended up driving 80+mph to get to the wedding, which luckily started 20min late. I didn't say much on the drive over... as I was pretty en-raged. When I told her I felt disrespected, not only to me but also to my family. Well... she, then proceeded to be made at me during the wedding, at least until she got drunk enough to forget.

    This wasn't the first time something like that happened tho... she missed Thanksgiving last year because she was to tired to get out of bed... it was 10am. She told me to do what I needed to do... so I left. 2 hours later I got a call and she was mad because because I left her... Once again I was about an hour late, I tried several times to get her up to get going... even waiting an hour past the time she knew we had to leave.

    I am not saying she is a full blown Narc... but just some of the behaviors and actions didn't add up to me at all.

  • Comment Link Damion Monday, 23 January 2017 22:17 posted by Damion

    I was recently discarded by my x 30 December 2016.

    We were living together for 7 months but had been dating 4 months prior.

    We are both gay, he was already in a relationship but was running around with half the town. He tried for months to bed me, but I refused to bed a partnered man.

    One morning after 6 months I finally fell into his spider web and bedded him.

    And after 3 months of having an affair with him, he moved in with me.

    I always sign the siren bells but I believed there was someone human under all those layers.

    After swooping me off my feet, being an amazing lover etc He throws me out with any clear explanation, accusing me of sleeping around - I never once did! the weeks leading up to me being discarded was very cruel and dileberate on his part to destroy my soul. Eventually I broke and we got into a screaming match and I happily grabbed what I could and left the premises.

    I tried to communicate with him a week after I was discarded but he refused to even look me in the eyes. He put an avo out on me and we go to mediation next month. I tried to reach out to his mother and sister, I received the Cold treatment from the mother after she had told me numerous times that she would allow me to stay in her house but not her own son. I soon discovered that his mother is the master mind of all manipulation and that both her and her son were caught up in this spider web using me as bait to filter my soul and resources.

    I was not aware of what I was dealing with. 3 weeks in a row the day I was discarded I cried like I had never cried in my life, it hurt. After some Research and digging into the past it all made sense with what I was dealing with. That gave me a sense of closure knowing that I will never get closure from my x. I'm in the amending process and have had lots of therapy in the meantime to heal my wounds. I have surrounded myself in a zone where I feel safe for now and I am staying with supportive and loving friends and doing everything in my power to calm the anxiety and parionia I am experiencing at the moment.

    I know within my gut after the mediation - the lawyer has made it clear that this is my only option is to agree to the terms of the avo (domestic violence order) for two years but don't agree to the reason why the avo was out in place.

    This makes me vulnerable -although he has not tried to call or contact me, I feel he will Hoover once the 2 year avo is out in place. He will use it to control and manipulate me.

    I still feel very vulnerable to him.

    I've always been a very independent person and never been shy on compliments and dating or going about my life and goals. I moved 4000klm to start a new job 18 months ago.

    I am already saving and resourcing to find my own place to live again.

    I know my x N is obviously got some other trophy for the time been but my intuition and gut feeling senses that he is not to far away In the distance waiting for his moment to strike me down!!

  • Comment Link Henry Sunday, 22 January 2017 22:59 posted by Henry

    To Matty Z,

    It's sadly amusing, isn't it. Yet another example of how guys who deludely think they're nice will take any situation and make it all about their lonely, unwanted peepee. It's impressive that you can hear about women being abused, make it all about you and how you need to get better at abusing women, and actually still think you're a good guy. You're a lot closer to these selfish narcissists than you like to believe, dude. The reason you haven't been as "successful" as they are, is because there's selfish, abusive narcissists who still have some attractive traits that help them find a mate. Then there's the selfish, abusive narcissists who are also unattractive in every way it's possible for a person to be unattractive. These are the guys who loudly claim it's their imaginary "niceness" that prevents them getting women, and how they need to "become" the assholes everyone knows they always have been beneath their cowardly, simpering, servile demeanours. Drop the nice guy act and learn all the PUA you want, dude. They still won't help a selfish, spiteful, woman-hating abuser who has zero redeeming qualities.

  • Comment Link Sherry Monday, 16 January 2017 06:55 posted by Sherry

    I need help please. Im not sure if my husband is a narcissist or has asbergers.

  • Comment Link Matty Z Thursday, 29 December 2016 16:27 posted by Matty Z

    To MM_Time:

    Sadly amusing, isn't it? You can scroll through these comments and see paragraph after paragraph of text by women about their abusive, narcissistic boyfriend, or ex. Where can I go to read paragraph after paragraph of text about how much she adores her responsible, doting, loyal boyfriend or husband? Hmm...

    If you're a single man in your 30s you have some choices on how to deal with that rather depressing realization. You can try to adopt some narcissistic traits yourself; that's some of what those "PUA" guys teach: don't text her back quickly, don't appear too interested, be aloof, make her chase you, don't compliment her or make her feel secure, and so on.

    If you find that unappealing another option is to work on improving yourself, your career, hobbies, physical condition, and just make yourself intrinsically a more desirable man. Combined with getting out and simply engaging socially with more women. Then you can be as kind and sensitive as you like, even write her love songs three times a week if that's what you want to do.

    Yes, she'll get bored with you in 6 months and cheat on you with a Moroccan drug dealer to try and inject a little drama and excitement. You won't care nearly as much, though, because you have plenty of other options. "Hey, your loss."

    There are just as many female abusers as men, and what many women don't seem to realize is that dragging the baggage of previous relationships into a new one, as if the new person is somehow supposed to compensate for the mistakes of the past, is itself a form of abuse. I'm very sorry the bad man hurt you, but at the end of the day, it's not my problem.

  • Comment Link MM_Time Sunday, 18 December 2016 03:13 posted by MM_Time

    At age 19 to 28....young women prefer the bad-boy types, with the classic "I don't care attitude" as they recklessly go to bed with these abusers, fall in love and create a life.
    I've witnessed this again and again. I was a bit shy, dateless (looked like mark zuckerberg). Women refused to see "the potential", just loads of rejection. Now being on the other side, great wealth, career, w/ too many divorced women flirting with me....I'll never forget what these women chose...the abusers, bad-boys without a cause..or direction. I can't say as though I have much sympathy....a lot of good men were passed up while we watched (and heard) these easy to recognize mental-abusers land women readily. The more they teased, mistreated and didn't care about you....the more women they got. Yes, any man CAN be and appear VERY CONFIDENT when you really don't care a rats azz about the woman you're talking to...treat her like dirt. Women like confident bad-boy abusers..because, I guess, it's so Fun in Bed. Besides...you'll change him later.

  • Comment Link Trisha Monday, 07 November 2016 07:05 posted by Trisha

    These posts have given me some comfort. I had 10 years of hell from my husband and finally found the strength to leave last year. He refused to leave our home so I packed the children up, grabbed our basic belongings and moved.

    I have nothing, I've lost my home and have been sleeping on a sofa for nearly 2 years. He remains in our home refusing to sell it even though he spends most of his time with his new partner in her house. The divorce is horrible and he's trying to leave the children and i with nothing. I am in so much debt because of him. He is dragging it all out just to prove a point, even his solicitor has said it's his ego.

    Ive just been made redundant as well and his ways have led me to depression and debilitating anxiety.

    I won't let him beat me though. I have my children and will fight for them.

  • Comment Link Free at last Wednesday, 26 October 2016 10:03 posted by Free at last

    If your in a relationship with a Narc, or any of the above sounds familiar I have one piece of advice for you GET OUT. I had 13 years of hell. Physical, mental, financial and sexual abuse.

    I have been free for over 4 years, and yes I do mean free. It has been a long battle through the courts. He now can't contact me directly. I have a life, I am finding myself again, as I couldn't do as I wished with him. My self confidence and esteem is shattered, but I am trying to take the steps I need to rebuild these.

    Please if nothing else, learn from my experiences, get help and get away. X

  • Comment Link Heartbroken and numb Friday, 14 October 2016 10:29 posted by Heartbroken and numb

    I have a messed up story about ny ex boyfriend. We dated for 1 year and 9 months and I loved him terribly. But he had just ended things with a previous gf right before me. He said she was crazy and kept calling him etc. I believed it too until time passed on and I realised why she was calling him. She thought she could be pregnant and he ignored all of it and palmed it off! He told me they never slept together but that was a lie and now he has taken my virginity with him too. Then he lied about another ex getting raped and killing herself soon after. Turns out she was raped but never killed herself. And on top of that after we broke up he said it would take him ages to move on but then tht night or the next day he created a dating profile. Then he started seeing a new girl much younger than me and they walked past me in public and ignored me. I was furious and confronted them with rage. Because my ex had led me on after the breakup. He smirked and told me he would throw my furniture onto the highway if i didn't control my anger and walk away. Since then I've been depressed and had suicidal thoughts. I doubt he would care about his horrible actions. He is just 23 too

  • Comment Link C. Skylar Sunday, 28 August 2016 18:55 posted by C. Skylar

    My husband refused to take me to my appt. with my doctor after I had a mild stroke. I was afraid to drive, and it was in January; cold and snowy. I had to walk the 10 blocks to and 10 blocks back from my appt. He never apologized, or even brought up the issue in the 9 years since it happened. My 15 year old cat died unexpectedly. I cried and sobbed for hours, without a single word of sympathy from him. I had to go out in the yard and dig a hole and bury her myself. He laughed when our other cat was afraid of her corpse where she laid when she died! He walks away from me when we go shopping, to a point that I can't find him without searching the entire store. We'll go somewhere, and he'll start an argument and refuse to drive, or he will drive perilously, speeding and slamming on the brakes! I always thought that it was me who was doing something wrong, but I've come to believe that there is something seriously wrong with him. This can't be normal for any married couple.

  • Comment Link Soon to be single. Friday, 26 August 2016 02:00 posted by Soon to be single.

    Wow I'm to married to a narcissistic he is also an alcohol mamas boy. Rent is due next week and I have no job right now been going on interviews he knows this and what doe's he do he moves out a week before rent is due and the bank account doesn't even have enough to cover rent luckily I have some money put aside for a rainy day to cover rent. He couldn't even have the decency to wait until I get a job to leave and he follows his mommy to every state she moves to because its always been about her and him. They act like lovers not mother and son. I never came first well since he is leaving I let him have it and told him what I think of him and his b-face mother. When we got married his parents didn't help pay for anything but they managed to keep my photographer from taking pictures of me while I got ready the wedding pictures were all of his family not very many of my family or friends, another thing his mother got so drunk at my bridal shower she fell face flat into the fruit salad bowel and almost spilled red wine onto my mothers brand new couch and during the honeymoon he got mad at me and threw a beer bottle at my head if I didn't duck he would of hit me in the back of my head. My whole marriage was about him and his family and their needs all I can say is run the other way if you find yourself dating a mamas boy and he drinks a lot I just wasted almost 10 years of my life with him and all I have to show for it is heartache and constant crying almost every week.

  • Comment Link say it Thursday, 04 August 2016 08:27 posted by say it

    Thank you so much.
    Every little bit helps.

  • Comment Link alison Tuesday, 05 July 2016 18:02 posted by alison

    Leave them. I didnt know i was married to a narcissist until the last year of our 8 year marriage. He'd been waiting for his permanent residency visa for 5 yrs...which is why he stuck around. I paid so much for his business that he was doing...of which i saw no money...there were always excuses. We lived in South korea and he was traveling to Nigeria for his business. When we finally got here in Canada a year ago, it was a complete switch...excuses to be gone for weekends upon wkds...fights...disappearing...wanting to sleep in a separate room. I was so confused. I felt he was having trouble adapting...he was miserable with me. 2 months ago i found out of a 6 month affair. I kicked him out. I learned a month later of exactly the type of man he was. Awful. So much cheating...possible children and girlfriend or wife there. He denied it all...tried to come back...i wouldnt take him unless he admitted it...even then i wouldnt have. I just wanted his confession. After spending all i had on him...an abortion after trying to get pregnant for 3 yrs...finally getting pregnant only to find out he didnt want it..as he was already in the midst of an affair. He left...moved in with her...duping her now. I even tried to warn her. I am separated and cant wait for the year to be up to get him completely out of my life. If i could get him deported i would.
    How i healed...knowing i deserved more...lots of gratitude for all the good in my life.
    My family and friends.
    Exercise...the gym and nature walks.
    Seeing a life coach/ counselor.
    Prayer
    Exercise..excerise ...exercise.
    journaling.
    Its only been 2 months...i miss him today...the airport reminds me of him. Sometimes i want to reach out..but the man i loved doesnt exist...he was a fraud...a con...an adulterer and patholigical liar. I miss a mirage. When i miss him..i read about narcissists and all of us who have suffered terrible heartache from them. It makes me stronger. He will never take another moment from my life again. Life is so much more. Move on...know your worth. You are missing a ghost of the idea you thought he was. Dont waste another second.

  • Comment Link Linda Monday, 04 July 2016 07:59 posted by Linda

    Oh my God...I wish I could have seen the signs earlier. If I had, I wouldn't be miserable and in debt now.

    My soon-to-be ex claims he's right 99.9% of the time, and is a philosopher to boot. He will twist and manipulate the words until you forget what you were even arguing about! It's crazy! I knew for sure he had no empathy when we were driving to the vet's to put my dog down, and he asked me why I was crying. He said I should be happy because now the dog can't make him sick. (The dog never made him sick--it was all in his mind. He also refused to go to the doctors to get tested.) Whenever I cry, he ignores me. Not once do I ever remember him offering any sympathy when I was upset. Not once.
    You are absolutely right when you say they will never admit they are wrong. We have a security camera in our home, and I caught him saying that I might not have gotten raped by my brother in law at 14 years of age if I hadn't been drinking. (Ummm....he offered me a coke which, unknown to me was laced with alcohol--my ex knew that already) He denied he said it, even when I found what he said on tape! All he could say was IF he said that, he was sorry. No, he DID say it.
    I'm tired of being called a stupid bitch, a whore, and being accused of things I don't do. He doesn't have a job and spends what little money I have on 'toys' for himself. I'm done.

  • Comment Link Debbie Wednesday, 01 June 2016 06:46 posted by Debbie

    My husband left after 25 years with a woman from work. It just about destroyed me. Now divorced my ex and his wife to be are trying to take my 11 yr old son

  • Comment Link Debbie Wednesday, 01 June 2016 06:45 posted by Debbie

    My husband left after 25 years with a woman from work. It just about destroyed me. Now divorced my ex and his wife to be are trying to take my 11 yr old son

  • Comment Link amanda constantinou Sunday, 28 February 2016 15:34 posted by amanda constantinou

    I am 13 yrs with a narcisssist, and its only now since him being diagnosed with cancer that I have realized he is never going to change. I have loved this man over anything and anyone else in my life, I am educated articulate, well travelled, financially stable, have friends , a good job, but I only needed his love and assurance to make me feel ok.I have separated from him 30 x , and always its been me going back to him. In a way, I wish he had died, so I can be free of him. It's impossible here in Cyprus where I live to have a strong guide in therapy to ensure I never go back to him. I have read every book, have managed the longest of 1 year to be away from him.

  • Comment Link judy driskell Friday, 25 December 2015 02:16 posted by judy driskell

    ordained man of god married 47 years went on mission trip and ended up marrying a very young girl and sends me porno of them and the 10 kids he bought. he is evil and refuses to give me my money as he needs it for all his kids including his kid of a wife he is a bigamist and adulter

  • Comment Link Nina Sunday, 01 November 2015 03:07 posted by Nina

    I am just reading all the comments... and ... I find them to be mirroring my life. I met this man back in 2011 on the internet. He seemed to be great and wonderful: told me he was always honest, reliable, catholic family man. I fell for it. When were were dating, there were very bizarre behaviors that I noticed but chose to ignore. For example, one day we were touring a catholic cathedral in Montreal with my friends. My back them boyfriend pulled his pants down on the stage in front of the altar and cross. I was so embarrassed in front of my friends. I questioned him about why he did what he did. He simply told me that he was very happy being around me, in fact, so happy, that he couldn't control his actions. I dismissed the warning behavior due to the lack of him having appropriate social exposure (he was a truck driver). He would call me names throughout the relationship, but when I started retaliating back, he was so shocked by it.
    4 years later, I find myself being married to him. Last year, he got a job as a police officer, went to the police academy, started lying about his where abouts and befriending 2 females. He would hide from me in the restrooms of the stores, movie theaters so he could text his little female friend. I had a breast surgery in March this year (benign tumor) and he did not attend to me after the surgery, continued communicating with his female friend...the day of the surgery, after I was released home, he insisted we go eat out to the restaurant, was very impatient and cranky while I was waiting for my pain meds at the pharmacy... I ended up with fever of 102.9 and high white blood cell count in the emergency room a few days after surgery... and he told me that I was faking it...
    I discovered about his communication with that woman from the police academy, he stopped the relationship with her just so he could start another one with his ex-girlfriend from PA. As I was learning about the new woman in his life, I found out that a few years ago my husband was her affair. She was married to a felon and cheated on him with my husband. I told him that I will let her husband know about their little hidden relationship, and then, my hubby threatened me with committing suicide... I fought the loaded gun out of his hands, was left heavily bruised, hid the magazine and the rest of the pistol in separate parts of the house and left to the hotel... my husband called his father and told him that I stole his gun and left. In response, his father texted me with the threat to call police and report me stealing the gun...
    The second time my hubby threatened me with suicide, was after we had an argument about dividing assets. I left the house... he called me on the cell and told me that he was in the bathroom with a 9mm gun and he was going to shoot himself. He was a police officer in training back then... I hung up on him and called 911... police arrived to the house, and he went on a motorcycle ride saying that I made all up. His police dpt started an internal investigation. My husband was asked to write a written statement after he gave them a verbal description of the incident... he got caught in the lies of his statement and was forced to resign.
    On top of all that, he has been spending money like a drunk sailor drinking alcohol: $1500/mo on eating out, then $2000/mo on useless stupid stuff for his motorcycles, $3900 the month he was fired... and over $2000/mo when he did not have a job. He consolidated his Roth IRA account, our savings account... refused to pay bills and keeps spending...
    He pushed me on the stairs (saying that he was playing) and I hurt my elbow. It was very bruised and painful, and I had to seek medical help.
    I couldn't stand him anymore, neither his lies and spendings... I demanded he left the house or I was to file a restraining order against him. He left the house, went to live of his aunt and uncle in Washington state while playing a victim of the insane wife...
    I am scared of him, in the process of getting divorced. In 2 years that I have been married to him, he cost me $60000. I helped him to pay off his $30K credit card debt after we got married. He promised me that he learned his lessons... but all he said were lies.
    I am having hard time forgiving myself for getting together with this man. I have hard time with finding myself again. I am constantly reliving all the times when he aggressed against me in the car, locked me up and drove high speed, his verbal abuse and the times when he was physical with me. I feel like I will never be able to trust anybody again in my life and don't even want to have a relationship with a man. All I want is to be by myself. Now, for the rest of my life, if somebody says, "you are smart, you are beautiful" I will be taking it with a grain of assault. And, I am smart and well educated. I have lived in 3 different countries: Russia, US and Canada. I am a speech therapist and I have put myself through college education in each country I lived.
    One man who promised me the world and a family bankrupted and hurt me.

  • Comment Link Yaegerl Saturday, 10 October 2015 20:19 posted by Yaegerl

    There is only one way to level the playing field with a narcissist and that is through the courts.

    There is no reason to take the supposed high road and simply get a fast divorce and move on. Think for a minute all that he's put you through and how much effort you put into the marriage. He will never *feel* anything but you can make him pay.

    He will tell the world you are a gold digger but take a step back, You are legally entitled to whatever it is you are granted. Do Not let him off the hook. Do not make it easy for him. He doesn't deserve it.

    There is absolutely no reason for you to have to start over from scratch while he gets the house and maid services. A good lawyer will get you the house. An "agressive law firm" (while very expensive) will get you the house and make him pay for it.

    And don't think you don't have money. If married, his money IS your money. No matter what he says.

    If you are ever told, "You'll never get a thing", you better hire the most agressive law firm you can afford. Or ...his proclamation with come true.

    Please know, your savings will go to the lawyers. Not part of it, all of it. But if you don't hire a lawyer, you will end up in a worse position. Even though your life savings is gone, he will owe you money for years to come. And not necessarily in alimony. If you can prove "frivolous spending", you can get back at least half of it.

    He'll claim he's broke ...but he's still working, he still has an income. You can end up his biggest creditor. You can make him literally pay for what he's done to you.

    Yeah, it's great to get out but it is even better to make him pay for your new and improved life.

  • Comment Link Kim Wednesday, 09 September 2015 12:28 posted by Kim

    The Narc I have shared the past 13 years with, initiated sex after a week and a half long agonizing toothache that is not getting better, i mean just shoot me sooooo bad, in the middle of it my face is going to explode...its horrific i cannot concentrate, so I stop, its not going to work, i get up find my toothache medicine and tylenol, by this time, I dont even know who I am...he sits there with this far off total discust look on his face and begins being rude as hell. Never once asked me if I was ok, nothing, just after twenty minutes of the "silent treatment" deep thinking,.,,ya hahahaha he trys to say he has been "thinking" about this situation for days? hahahahahaha yeah im sure of that....idiot.

  • Comment Link Arrow Tuesday, 18 August 2015 19:31 posted by Arrow

    I think my boyfriend is a narcissist. It's all about him all the time. He has pretty much gets mad about pleasuring me after I have pleasured him. It's all about what he has to do. I work 60 hrs a week in a hospital. He has a part time job delivering pizzas while finishing bachelors at art school. I had a massive panic attacke today and my blood pressure shot up to 160/100 ended up having to go downstairs to the ER. He has the nerve to ask me if I called about a bartending job I applied for because he didn't know what we were gunna do and was worried that he might have to quit school. He had the nerve to say to me that I Goto the doctor too much. I go for check ups. I went bcuz I sprained my ankle last week and I didn't want for got to the ER today but my work made me. I failed out of nursing school because he gave me no support. We live together. I have no family in this city and my two friends just moved away. Today he didn't put his arms around me or say anything comforting just want to know if I called about the bartender job and that he needed a nap bcuz he had work todo in the studio. I'm so confused. I have take to a therapist office but they have to call me back with an appointment. I feel so depressed more then ever even like when my mom died. I am flat broke until payday Friday. I made a list of things to pack if I leave. Thing is that I think I love him and its fucked up.

  • Comment Link Thomas Saturday, 08 August 2015 00:07 posted by Thomas

    Thank you for writing this post. I was the ex "crazy" gf in your story--except Im a man. But it took me forever to understand why I felt like that. I had never experienced anything like that before. Well, I never dated a Narcissist before either. She lavished me with gifts and what seemed like love and looking back on it makes me sick. It was all a ploy--as you know. In the end, Ill never forget it, she just callously left, no sign, no warning, no nothing. And to her, the expression on her face was like taking the garbage out. No big deal, oh well, Im just taking the trash out. Zero empathy. Ive never in my life experienced anything like it.

  • Comment Link Beth Sunday, 26 July 2015 06:14 posted by Beth

    My Husband wore his mask for three solid years before he ripped the mask off & revealed to me who I was
    Really married to. Not just a narcissist but also a brutal Systematic Rapist who absolutely enjoyed
    My pain. That was 15 years ago & he is still in my
    Life. I can't get rid of him because he is crazy and he
    Will kill me if I push him to his breaking place.
    I've left him twice and tried to get legal help....
    The police told me to leave so he could "cool off"
    That's how manipulating he is-Amazing that I'm not
    Completely Insane!
    I know what you Ladies are going thru : (
    I will pray for your Guardian Angels to look out
    For you-

  • Comment Link Susie Friday, 15 May 2015 21:49 posted by Susie

    These posts are so familiar to me!
    After 23 years with a narcissist, I fell for another man. I wanted out so many times, but figured I'd end up living in a cardboard box. He had convinced me I would, even though I'm a professional with an advanced degree. Then I met a guy with whom I had so much in common, and he was so charming, and I thought, "if our marriage was so great, how did I find someone who was nicer to me than my husband was?!"

    Talk about a narcissistic injury! I got to hear all about how I was such a horrible person because I left him for another man, and how could I throw everything away, and blah, blah, blah... Never I'm sorry, or can't we work it out? He even got to ceremoniously hand me divorce papers in a marriage counseling session. The conversation went like this:
    "did [so-and-so] come to town while I was away?" (we had separated on the advice of the marriage counselor...)
    "yes, he did."
    "did you sleep with him?"
    "yes, I did."
    "well, that's why I hired a lawyer, and drafted these divorce papers..."

    "where do I sign?"

    It got pretty ugly.
    Fast forward...

    The new man turned out to be not only a narcissist, but a bipolar alcoholic-- possibly borderline sociopath, the more I read about personality disorders... It took a social worker, a psychologist, and the police to get that crazy person out of my house! He wouldn't get a job, and told me I had ruined his life. If it weren't for my daughter, I'd have stuck around until one of us died. I'm not sure who that would have been; and I'm not being dramatic.

    Now that the crazy boyfriend is gone, my narcissist ex-husband is marrying a lovely gal who my daughter's therapist has identified as borderline. I'm working very hard through an attorney to get my daughter out of that environment! My daughter will be 12 this summer-- a rather tender age to be surrounded by crazies!

    So, wish me luck-- the first step is to set clear boundaries. The narcissist doesn't get to sign my daughter up for activities without telling me, then demand reimbursement at shared expense time. I'm going for child support. I have to be in control. The girlfriend does not get to sign permission slips as "parent," and in fact, isn't allowed to respond to emails I send my ex about school functions, haircuts, and doctor visits-- with a tirade about what an unfit co-parent I am to HER. Among lots of other things. It's so sad to me that adults need to have these things spelled out to them.

    If that doesn't work: full custody. No more 50/50. That would be a crime.

    Leaving a narcissist is incredibly difficult!
    Leaving two narcissists has taught me a lot.
    New boyfriend: definitely not a narcissist!
    Best wishes and sending angels to all of you dealing with this!

  • Comment Link Vanessa Wednesday, 29 April 2015 08:23 posted by Vanessa

    Studies have shown that people who lack empathy have significant reductions in the gray matter of their brains. This doesn't justify their actions, but it explains how fundamentally flawed people with NPD are. I am posting this so people begin to look at this kind of situation from a scientific perspective, because as an empathetic person it can be hard to see why someone would be so unfeeling.
    I know I've struggled. I have a child with a narcissist/sociopath (and I have a degree in Psychology so I am capable of making these distinctions). The only way I've kept it together through his gas-lighting, baiting, and subsequent discarding... just to have him come back when he needs new supply... has been knowing the facts behind this disorder. Narcissists and Sociopaths are emotionally retarded, brain damaged, and should not been seen as competent individuals. Protect yourselves, because there is no law against lacking empathy or being cruel without being physically violent and it can cause as much (if not more) trauma as being physically abused.

  • Comment Link AJ Monday, 13 April 2015 23:22 posted by AJ

    You should punch him in the face and make him cry. I'm only half kidding. And I'm not judging, but shame on you for marrying someone like that in the first place. NEVER ignore your feelings again!

  • Comment Link kk Friday, 16 January 2015 19:16 posted by kk

    The last post wasn't about a man named "David", was it ??!!! Because it sounds like my (sort of) ex! I learned so much from it, actually still learning and trying to not contact him...it's been a month of not speaking. He's someone I constantly made excuses for his behavior...narcissist epitomizes him!

  • Comment Link Free Thursday, 01 January 2015 23:19 posted by Free

    I am the crazy ex-girlfriend, I am the person that he put up with and tried to help, I am the one whose story is told by a Narcissist. My ex left me 2 1/2 years ago, when I had nothing. No job, no money, few friends, and no place to leave. He couldn't take it anymore. He had a job, income and found a place to live.

    However, he lost his job, lost his income, lost his friends, lost and his place to live. He contacted me. I showed him empathy and understood what he was going through. He has now learned that he has cancer of the liver, colon and lung. After listening to his complaints for so long I told him that he needed to go to the Doctor the next day. He told me, that I don't tell him what to do. That was three months ago.

    He is now not speaking to me and I have reached out to him and offered to go with him to his chemo treatments coming up. I was told NO. It took me until recently to realize that he was a narcissist, devoid of any empathy. My therapy has been ongoing and I too have PTSD and trauma.

    My friends tell me I should reach out to him, and others tell me to move on. I doubt that he will make any miraculous changes and I believe he rather enjoys, even in his illness having the control of telling me no, maybe hoping I will feel guilt and pain. What I wish and hope for is that women become more aware of the narcissist, they can seem like the most wonderful people (good guy), and yet always have an ulterior motive, and always seem to missing something (like their own personality and really feeling my pain, or joy).

    I suppose the numerous signs like his ability to change like a chameleon around other people (almost like changing clothes), his rage when he didn't get his way, and his need to always make me wrong, the gaslighting, thinking that others were always supposed to do for him, or that bad things just don't happen to him. To others but not to him.

    One of the reasons I am now aware of what I got into 19 years ago is because I am in school working very hard to become a Domestic Violence counselor.
    It is what I must do.

    Thank you so very much for this article.

  • Comment Link Free Monday, 29 December 2014 03:00 posted by Free

    The worst part about being divorced from someone with NPD is realizing I lost 20 years. I suffered from PTSD, sacrificed all for the sake of the family, heard his mistresses say "he's a great guy " and heard our couple friends who saw the affairs, watched him treat me and the kids like crap say "I'm not picking sides because he's such a great guy. " They all know he hid a bank account until forced to cough up the $20,000 and keep in touch with him while saying to me " we really are your friend, not his." . The great part is freedom from the craziness, realizing that I never have to see him or his enabling mother who married a narcissist and for the other nice family members to see his true colors- cruelty to waitstaff and his kids. I could be living in a big house with a maid and traveling all over the world instead of working full-time and doing everything as I raise my kids alone. My kids will NEVER be like him according to our counselor. Being free of him is PRICELESS! I would accept this life over a life of luxury. So thankful our marriage counselor showed me I wasn't crazy and he would never change!

  • Comment Link sara Sunday, 07 December 2014 09:01 posted by sara

    My friend is a narcissistic person and it's ugly.
    I now feel sorry for any man who date's her instead of thinking how does she get all these men...
    I am about to end the friendship because it is starting to feel detrimental and depressing to my life. I feel used lied to and manipulated plus it feels like a waste of my time.
    She is vain selfish egotistical lacks empathy and has many symptoms of narcissism. I on the other hand am kind caring am honest loyal fun and have a lot of interests.
    How do I end this relationship? ?? e.

  • Comment Link Rich Wednesday, 12 November 2014 20:29 posted by Rich

    This goes for women as well as men. This article is spot on 100% my ex-wife, especially the last paragraph. It's finding things like this & knowing others are dealing with the same things that helps me cope.

  • Comment Link Fed up Wednesday, 05 November 2014 19:55 posted by Fed up

    I've been in a relationship with my husband for 27 years, and just recently I've come to the conclusion that he may have these narcissistic tendencies. There was also the red flag of the "crazy" ex-girlfriend. In his case the crazy ex secretly packed her bags and moved out without telling him. When I asked why I was told he "scared her off because he talked about getting married". At the time I believed him and felt sorry for him. Now, all these years later, and in light of many other incidents that have happened, I question his answer. I see now that should have been one of my first red flags.
    I cannot give details on all the times my husband has treated me disrespectfully, (there are too many examples to list) but just to give one example I will share this story :
    I was diagnosed with breast cancer and ended up having surgery Christmas Eve. Not the best time, but my there was an opening available and my Dr. suggested sooner was better than later, so I took the date.
    I was having a mastectomy, which is very emotional in itself, even without factoring in the cancer. Pre-surgery I was asked if I was allergic to any painkillers. I had had a reaction to tylenol before, and because that was the only painkiller the hospital used (other than morphine) I was not given any painkillers. I was to be released the next day, and since I could get a prescription for another painkiller when I went home, I wasn't too worried about the pain.
    The day after surgery, Christmas Day, I was waiting to hear from my husband. I tried calling, no answer. Apparently he was in church. By this time the drugs from surgery had worn off and I was in pain and just wanting to get home. Finally, he showed up at the hospital. I was a little snappy with him (go figure!) saying I thought he would have been there sooner. Immediately my husband starts complaining about what a terrible time he has had! Our daughter was crying all night and he had to comfort her. He can't understand why I'm in such a bad mood and getting angry with him because apparently he's the one who's had it tough. Being so used to his behaviour I didn't even say anything. Just got home, got my painkillers, and zoned out. I find there is no point in arguing with him.

  • Comment Link Oldschool Thursday, 16 October 2014 23:35 posted by Oldschool

    Spot on post. My husband, whom I am still with refuses to divorce me, yet refuses to have a relationship with me because everything else is of importance to him. He is always saying "the world doesn't revolve around you" which means, that he will keep me waiting for 2+ hours for him, he will not accompany me to the doctor when I am ill (am hypertensive), he will not spend time with his kids at home because he has to watch his movies or read his books. My mother passed on when I eight months pregnant with my 1st child. When I cried, he told me, she is dead, deal with it, dont keep crying its affecting the pregnancy, and then its affecting the child. When his mother passed on I thought he would understand how it felt, but he didnt show any signs. When I cried about losing a second mother (because she was such a loving and wonderful person) he told me i was insane, why is everything about me..she wasnt my mother why am I crying. He has called me every name under the sun, and twisted everything or do to make it seem as if I am too emotional or a liar or crazy. I cant leave because I have nowhere to go, there are no shelters in my country, and I dont have relatives who can take me in, (also could be because where I come from a woman is told to grit her teeth and take all the nonsense a man dishes out because under no circumstances is divorce an option). My only saving grace (bad as it is) is that he is like that not only to me, but it shows in the way he treats his family and friends, his father and step brother hardly say 2 words to him & he expects his sisters to be at his beck and call.

  • Comment Link jouee Wednesday, 15 October 2014 20:52 posted by jouee

    Great post. NPDs are all SO SIMILAR! My ex also spun a story of his "crazy" fiancee before me and I also believed him (because why would anyone lie like that?). I now know all that crazy was on his end - he just reversed the characters in the script. I am as sure that he is saying the same about me being "crazy" to his new supply, as I am that he will say the same about her in the future.
    Like other posters too, yes he also belittled, criticized my grocery shopping, and spun his indiscretions around around to blame me. sad, sad, people. Glad I'm out.

    We all seem to have the same pattern:
    1st year is great!
    2nd year we question him,
    3rd year you question yourself...
    4+ it's Hell.

    Best advice ever: RUN...RUN NOW. GET OUT!

  • Comment Link sunshine Monday, 13 October 2014 19:26 posted by sunshine

    I cannot imagine being married to a person like this. I had a live-in boyfriend who behaved this way and thank God I no longer have any ties to him. There were a ton of red flags that I noticed early on yet ignored to my own peril. I was very emotionally tender when we first got together and was rather weak and in need of love at the time. He was incredibly emotionally abusive. He stated point blank that I was not allowed to depend on him for anything! Any time I explained to him that I was hurt by his disregard for my feelings his only reaction was anger. As if I had absolutely no right to have any complaints about anything he did or said ever. It was absolutely maddening.

  • Comment Link Debbie Saturday, 13 September 2014 23:26 posted by Debbie

    Still hoping this is not my ex but sounds like him completely. My main concern my kids he spends about two hrs if that a week w them and hardly ever calls just to talk. Leaves all the parenting to me and gets mad at me if I ask for help or a "baby sitter"...

    He is on wife number 3 and has cheated on all off us. I recently went through a hard time and he jumped in to save me from my boyfriend. I thought he was being caring?! But maybe wanted to look caring? ! During my hard time we slept together even thou he is newly married. After our fling he blamed me for his weak moment cheating on his wife!

  • Comment Link Cynthia Holt Friday, 12 September 2014 19:02 posted by Cynthia Holt

    Wow! I just went through this with him. I had a very upsetting moment with my adult daughter and told him I needed his comfort and told him why...so it's not like it was not clear. He proceeded to give me a 'there-there' hug and then went to the casino for the night. Didn't return until 12 noon the next day.

    Nice eh!!!
    Cynthia

  • Comment Link anjely Wednesday, 10 September 2014 01:52 posted by anjely

    For those who know a narcissist, I highly recommend you try to get them to read "Will I Ever Be Good Enough?" by Karyl McBride. I'm on the other side of this narcissism chat... I'm a narcissistic wife and have been torturing my husband in many of the same ways commented on here. As a perpetrator here... I hope everyone realizes that narcissism is usually bred from narcissism--in my case my mother. I didn't realize the depth of her narcissism until my wedding day, after her 2 hour late arrival to the rehearsal, complaints about travel, glum expression, and total disinterest in talking to or learning anything about my husband's parents. It was from reading the above book that I began to understand her true nature, as well as my true nature that I learned from her and resorted to for my own emotional survival during childhood. The book states that there is hope for me yet... So I hope some of you reading this may turn to counseling first before resorting to divorce or at least understand the devestatibv emotional issues anyone with narcissism has underlying their behaviors.

  • Comment Link Skylar Thursday, 28 August 2014 22:28 posted by Skylar

    Thank you all so much for this information! I just ended a 4 1/2 year relationship with a narcissist. I always knew something was "off" with him, but I never could figure it out. I was an extremely active highly educated woman. Now I just feel like a broken shell of a person. He would constantly tell me how to drive, run, hike, fish, pack for a vacation etc. he would always bring up his ex to make me feel insecure. I swear he told me every detail about this woman! The red flags were there in the begining - lots of gifts, but it ended up being all about him. I ended it because he said he did not want to spend the afternoon with my mom and sister. They made him uncomfortable. In reality, they began questioning his actions. I told him that was unacceptable and please do not call or text me. He hasn't.....and I hope he doesn't. I need to heal from this toxic relationship and begin to build my self esteem back.

  • Comment Link Isabella Wednesday, 06 August 2014 03:28 posted by Isabella

    This was so helpful for my healing. i just broke up with someone who i think has this problem. I was with him for 3.5 years but then i fell ill. Probably from all the stress of walking on egg shells to keep him from having fits of anger or rage attacks. Too many examples of mean, crazy behavior to list here. I just wish i understood why i stayed with him as long as i did. But then my body told me. It shut down; I couldn't walk, lost the use of my wrists. Doctors couldn't figure out what I had. I was waiting for blood results from some scary disease tests. All my friends were calling me to check in on me. They wanted to know the results asap; or go to the doctor with me. During my mystery illness time, my boyfriend moved out of our apartment leaving me without much notice to pay the full rent. I wasn’t able to work then and I couldn’t believe he couldn’t understand how heartless this was. He wasn’t breaking up with me…just decided to move to his own place. Anyways, he called me to discuss his work”traumas” and after he had aired all his grievances, I told him I was waiting to hear the results of my latest medical tests. He didn’t show any feeling and said he had to go. I called him back and gently told him my feelings were hurt that he didn’t seem to show any concern about my fears of the test results. Instead of apologizing he flew into a rage saying I was trying to pick a fight with him, “like I always do.” I couldn’t believe it. It was then I noticed that my foot that was beginning to heal had jolts of pain. I worked with a healer who had made me aware of my mind/body connection. Thank goodness he moved out. It was then that the healing began and the mysterious disease eventually left my body. Don't stay in a toxic relationship; it will make you ill.

  • Comment Link verda Friday, 25 July 2014 22:53 posted by verda

    I don't know how to start this but i have this lack of empathy.
    Everyone here is talking about their experience with a narcissistic husband.
    I just want to talk about myself because it's start to bother me since i made friends, they start to look at me as a machine or a monster.
    So i start to act like i care, like hug them so they feel comforted or trying to make more facial expressions ...
    Trust me it hurts to fake your feelings.
    (sorry for my english)

  • Comment Link Nic Tuesday, 15 July 2014 02:28 posted by Nic

    I too have felt the wrath of a narcissistic husband. Worse now that we are no longer together. We have 2 children together and they feel his fury as well. He cannot keep a job, has no home for himself and insists that it's everyone else's fault but his own. In order for me to pay for what I've done. He has stooped so low as to try and have me arrested from my home an hour before my kids were to be home from school. He has tried to wreck the careers and personal lives of my friends because of what I have done. Opinions are like assholes... Everybody has one and in my completely unprofessional opinion I do believe that my ex is far more than just a narcissist. After 4 years of not being together I'm still learning how to deal with him. There's always a trick up his sleeve... And if there's another personality or 3 hiding in there, I'm sure the trick is hidden up one of their sleeves instead. To everyone dealing with a narcissistic asshole, I take my hat off to you for trying. :-) that's all any of us can do.

  • Comment Link d_vand Sunday, 06 July 2014 17:15 posted by d_vand

    Hello, I am new to this site and find your comments liberating because your experiences prove that I am 'not crazy' and certainly not alone.

    My husband admits freely that he cannot connect emotionally with others and when I press him to reflect on whether he is ever lonely or feels a desire to spend time just talking with someone, just ‘be’ with another human being....he will simply and absolutely defend his position of being 'happy', and the 'healthiest' of all people because his motto is "F em". And then I ask why did you marry someone who declared honestly and fully that family and friends were a huge and important part of her life? He responds quickly and emphatically, 'because you are cute and all that I need'. Wow.. there it is. He is void of FEELING, HEARING, EMPATHY, he can never genuinely CARE for me, his children, or his extended family. Living with a narcissist is truly an empty existence. The wife who stays in this relationship must have the tools to meet her own emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical needs in order to survive unscathed. Having thick skin is only the beginning.

    His humaneness is revealed however when he meets a distressed wild animal or the homeless, the hungry, the hurting soul ONLY when they are obscure people, animals or stories. If he knows the person or the animal his lack of empathy blocks any consideration to lend a hand. He will tear up however, when he reads a sad story online and will make a donation when he alone can fill in the blanks of why and how this person or animal is hurting so. When he knows the person or animal, he then judges their situation as a fault of their own and he is back to ‘F em’.

    I try to step into his shoes so that I can perceive HIS truth, HIS view of how this world works. When I separate myself from his disrespect toward others, and me I can almost laugh at how childlike his view is. The troubling issue for the wife of such a character is that the narcissist can never be taught to be respectful like the child can. He is stuck in this view and cannot change - and doesn't want to. My personal journey has a deeper puncture, as my husband is a closeted homosexual! The universe sent their master tricksters my way when it introduced me to this man.

  • Comment Link Joe Friday, 16 May 2014 17:57 posted by Joe

    My wife had to care for her mother during her childhood. She showed so much empathy and compassion during those times. She said that now she is all out of compassion and empathy. I listen to her talk about life and her job etc and always try to lend a hand or a shoulder whenever needed. When it's my turn she will listen but after I'm done she never shows any empathy for my situation. When I approach her about it she says that I need to deal with my own problems. I know I'm a guy and we should just "man up" but that's not me. I NEED empathy, I need someone to care about my problems and issues that I face.

  • Comment Link yes Monday, 28 April 2014 21:36 posted by yes

    good article. but why go head to head... that no way to live. divorce them.

  • Comment Link AnnieK Monday, 14 April 2014 13:59 posted by AnnieK

    I've started realising last year that I might be married to a narcissist. The first year we dated he was amazing, then from the 2nd years things started to change and he would think nothing of belittling me in front of people and even did so at an evening out at my boss's house. For some obscure reason I married him and fell pregnant 7 weeks after we got married. Not once during the 9 months was he interested in my pregancy, not once did he want to feel our daughter kick. Not even when I became sick did his behaviour change. After the birth things just got worse, he didn't help me at all with our baby. He lies ALL THE TIME, but always manage to change it arround to make me the bad person. Accusing me of spying him, but he is constantly lying and hiding things from me. I have no idea what his finances look like, he refuses to tell me the truth about this. I've finally managed to gather the guts to leave him and am moving out the end of the month. I'm scared that he might hurt me or our child because this man is not the guy I fell in love with and have no idea what he is capable of. He has never abused me physically, but I can't be sure. He still thinks that I won't leave him..

  • Comment Link Samantha Monday, 24 February 2014 06:19 posted by Samantha

    Get out of the relationship as fast and as safe as you can. Narcissist will destroy your life and happiness. And kill you emotionally. Run Like Hell.

  • Comment Link N Wednesday, 12 February 2014 10:40 posted by N

    I broke my scaphoid last winter (6 months ago). My husband refused to drive me to the hospital or take me to my doctors appointment, to get my xray or to have my cast fitted. He flat out refused to help me with anything even telling me there was no reason that I couldn't wash dishes and cook one handed.
    When I called him on his behaviors he stated that he didn't think it was broken, although his attitude didn't change once he knew it was. Then he blamed me for braking it in the first place.
    I have told him that he's a narcissist and he has turned that back on me stating that I am narcissistic because I don't pander to his every whim.

  • Comment Link maria Thursday, 06 February 2014 19:20 posted by maria

    Omg that's my husband to a T...!!!

  • Comment Link Tami Wednesday, 29 January 2014 19:21 posted by Tami

    I have been dating a man for 9 months and with in that nine months he has cheated on me twice and had emotional affairs twice. When I find out about it its because I went through his phone and found the evidence. I confront him and of course I am very upset and crying but I never get a sympathetic word and its most always turned around on me. I end up apologizing for going through his phone. Then the conversation turns to how much he cant trust me. He has said hurtful things to my children and had them in tears and has never apologized to them or tried to comfort them. A good friend of mine passed away and I was very upset and crying and the only thing he said was I dont know what you want from me right now. Everything that goes wrong in our relationship is my fault and always turned into me being wrong for saying or doing whatever we are disputing about. My question is... is this narcissistic behavior or is he just selfish. He shows absolutely no empathy for anyone.

  • Comment Link Joyce W. Sunday, 26 January 2014 15:04 posted by Joyce W.

    He has No empathy, says he loves me after he just called me every name in the book, cusses me, lies about little things, seems to love our grand babies though, accuses me of things I never did, points out my faults as if to say,"See you're not perfect". I've never claimed to be perfect. I just try to follow The Golden Rule, he dislikes his siblings and talks about how they are all crazy, but kisses up to them when face to face or on the phone, always checks to see if what I say is true like if I repeat what I hear about the weather, he will say. "No it's not", he contridicts me about everything I say, when I say an event happened on Tuesday, he will say"No that was Monday", if I say "that is black" he will say, "no it's white". I'm fed up. Our 50th wedding Anniversay is this June. I've put up with this behavior long enough and it's getting worse. But I have no money to get a lawyer or to live on. I'm on social security. He has no money either. What can I do? I can't take this treatment any longer.

  • Comment Link A COLLIN Friday, 24 January 2014 14:28 posted by A COLLIN

    WHEN MY HUSBAND DIED AFTER A FEW MONTHS MY SISTER INFORMED ME SHE DID NOT WANT TO HEAR MY FEELINGS ON THIS BECAUSE IT BROUGHT HER DOWN AND I SHOULD FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO TALK TO, THIS JUST DEVASTED ME. 8 MONTHS AGO MY SON DIED. NEEDLESS TO SAY I CANNOT SHARE MY PAIN WITH HER. DO YOU THINK SHE LACKS EMPATHY? I KNOW THAT IF THIS HAPPENED TO HER I WOULD LISTEN TO HER FOREVER. IN FACT SHE DID GO THRU SOME HARD TIMES AND I ALWAYS LISTENED TO HER FOREVER LONG IT TOOK.

    A

  • Comment Link Amelia Wednesday, 08 January 2014 09:14 posted by Amelia

    Wow! I really like what everyone had to say on this site. At the same time I am sorry to hear what people go through with people who lack empathy. I was raised by a mother who lacked empathy so I know how it feels! Lack of empathy is a bad thing in realtionships but sadly it is also the main reason why the rich get richer and the poor stay poor.

  • Comment Link Katt K Wednesday, 25 December 2013 09:25 posted by Katt K

    I was married to a N for over 20 years. I loved him deeply and was repeatedly emotionally battered by him. This confused me, I knew something was wrong, but could not quite put my finger on it. At first I chalked it up to Testosterone overload, or brushed things under the carpet. Over and over the man disregarded my thoughts and feelings. If anything I said did not line up with his thoughts on how to approach a situation he would immediately go on the defensive and become angry with me for not agreeing with him. There were no calm discussions about pros and cons as normal adults would do, just childish tirades where he would become so angry beyond reason. I even watched him throw a saw through a window (NO it was not open) when I asked him to unplug the saw when he left it unattended (We had a curious toddler at the time.) I could not understand how someone I loved so much could continue to crush my spirit. Over the years, part of me just faded away into the background. I was no longer whole, I was forced to either be an extension of him (so long as I didn't outshine him, because that was bad too) or I was put away up on a shelf, ignored until HE decided he had time for me. WE time was not scheduled unless I insisted upon it. It was always about what HE wanted to do. He did not understand the importance of FAMILY time no matter how much I encouraged activities all FOUR of us enjoyed. Everything ran on HIS schedule, and I felt controlled CONSTANTLY. I was not allowed to parent my own children once they were school aged. I was not even allowed to put groceries in the car, apparently I did that wrong. Funny, I broke no eggs and didn't crush any bread before I met him. I wanted so badly for him to see my side of this, to go back to the way it was in the beginning of our relationship, but had no idea how to turn this back around. Eventually I had to shut him out of my mind and stopped interacting with him if I didn't have to, self preservation. When he realized he could no longer control me he left. (slept with a woman the very next night, his new victim). He never looked back. He has no ability to feel empathy. Unconditional love is something they are incapable of. You either worship the ground they walk on knowing you'll get nothing in return or they're done with you. He can be charismatic, draw you in, make you long to be by his side, but he'll cut you to the core and not think twice about it if you fail to meet his warped standards. Its been just short of a year now, I've been doing a TON of research about relationships in general and now that I've learned more about it, Narcissism. Its been enlightening as well as empowering. That part of me that had retreated has come back, I finally feel whole again. I smile when the sun shines and lift my face to it breathing deeply. Thank God I'm free!!!!

  • Comment Link Beth W. Friday, 08 November 2013 06:12 posted by Beth W.

    I feel like I've been hit in the face with a brick. A friend suggested my soon to be ex was a narcissist, but I just couldn't see it. The more I read the more of am idiot I feel. I took this for 15 long years. I was once a strong independent woman and am now 45 disabled and being kept prisoner half way around the world from family & friends. He moved us to Asia, left me & took my children all claiming I am mentally unstable. the courts here do not recognise emotional abuse so he is going t be given care & control of my precious boys. How could I let this happen? I feel like my life is over & he could absolutely care less. I wish I knew how to recover the confidence I once had.

  • Comment Link Ems Friday, 16 August 2013 11:29 posted by Ems

    I think I'm in the discard phase - although unsure! The idealisation phase was amazing and lasted 6 months and then suddenly, after a very wonderful romantic weekend together, I was plunged into virtual silence for a whole month - with just an occasional text to 'keep me on his hook'. Then had two further good months - although not to the level of idealisation phase - and now back into silence for the past 3 weeks. He sent a text two nights ago saying that he's missing me very much. I am so devastated. I sent him a text telling him I'm not playing his games any more, I'm giving up and moving on and asking that he doesn't contact me again. I desperately want him to though - even though I know that it's probably the worst thing that could happen. Will it get easier???

  • Comment Link merewynne Friday, 09 August 2013 19:26 posted by merewynne

    Oh my gosh, I recognize all of this!
    My ex was so evil... After 2 fingers on my left hand were amputated (an accident caused by his manipulative outrage), he had convinced me only weeks after that all of my friends were sick of me and none of his friends dared to come over because I was so weird.

    He told me he NEVER wanted kids. A month before the end of the relationship, he told me "I never said I didn't want kids... I said I didn't want them with YOU."

    I had 10 years of this behavior until he finally left me 4 years ago when I was 37. At the time I was completely out of my skull with depression. Now I realize that he did me a favor.

    I just learned through a gossiping colleague that he had a newborn child... news which I would never be able to handle if I weren't pregnant with my first child.

    And yes, I'm still paying for this mistake. While I was once a star athlete, beautiful, and highly educated, I now have no self-confidence due to all the emotional and physical scars he left me with.

  • Comment Link Addyly Monday, 05 August 2013 20:48 posted by Addyly

    :( So sad really, your ex could be twin of mine, really, mine was so evil he called me ´parasite of society´ when I stopped working to stay couple of months with OUR baby... he is outraged nowadays because I cannot find a job and because he has to pay child support...