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Why is a Narcissist Trying to Get You Back? Print E-mail



The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world. If you wish to read more about me, please visit page Site Overview.


Today I have been thinking about the recovery process after ending a relationship with a narcissistic person. The hardest part is to get over the first weeks and months after the separation. Many people are not strong enough to maintain No Contact and get lured back to the dark realms of their narcissistic partners before they have been able to recover and heal sufficiently. If you are one of these people, please do not be too hard on yourself. It is extremely difficult to break free from a narcissistic person and mental recovery takes a long time. It usually takes several failed attempts, until one day you simply have enough of all the lies and abuse and you leave without looking back. Even then you might find yourself missing "your" narcissist every now and then, especially if he or she is trying actively to get back together with you. To read more about how to recover after ending a relationship with an abusive spouse, please see section Narcissism.

What helps during those moments of weakness is to remember the bad moments with your spouse. One of the tactics I used to get over my ex partner was to remind myself of something bad he had done whenever I felt I was missing him. When I remembered how he had mistreated me my mind was filled with such anger and disgust that all the "nostalgic" thoughts of getting back together with him disappeared instantly. This kind of approach significantly aided my recovery and healing after ending the relationship.

In the beginning I was not strong enough to maintain No Contact and I found myself asking my spouse to get back together with me. That is always a big mistake. A narcissistic person is feeding on the misery of people around him. When he sees you are "desperately" in love with him, that is the ultimate source of a narcissistic supply. This kind of person is often feeling happy to see you suffer due to your love for him or her and is enjoying when he or she can discard you and reject you. That makes them feel they are in total control of the situation (and they are actually right about this, they ARE in total control and can play around with you as they like, either discard you or mercifully allow you to be with them again).

Your pain does not evoke any sympathy in a true narcissist. If you show your weakness you are only making your situation worse and a narcissistic person gets more Supply when he or she can reject you in a cold, cruel way. Even if they do not reject you, the end result is that you are only getting back to the point where you started and your misery will continue a bit longer, until finally you find the strength in you to cut them loose. The longer you wait, the harder it is to heal and recover.

Regarding my partner, as time went by I noticed that he was behaving in a quite predictable way and was reacting to certain things always in similar fashion. I have emphasized on several pages on this website that it is not possible for me to make an actual "diagnosis" of whether someone is truly narcissistic or not, however it is still possible to observe certain signs that suggest a given person might have narcissistic tendencies, and I observed several such signs in my partner. When I finished the relationship with him after finding out about his betrayal he totally discarded me, disappeared and was silent for about a month or two. There was only a casual email time to time regarding some practical matters (I responded with one sentence, if even that). Of course he never admitted that he had betrayed me, even thought I had the proof. Regardless of his rejection (or perhaps because of that), I slowly started to recover.

Then after couple months his behavior started to change. He started to send emotional emails and told me he still loved me and wanted to get back together with me (even though he still could not admit his betrayal). My silence and ignorance made me appear like a challenge to him; he HAD to get me back in order to prove himself he was still irresistible. When he was together with me, he had access to a constant narcissistic supply in form of me telling him all the time how much I loved him, and when I was gone from his life he had no one to tell him those things and so he started to get withdrawal symptoms. He was not really missing me, rather than the feeling he had when he was with me. Understanding this helped me to detach from him mentally.

I will get back to you soon. Now I will send a big virtual hug to you all!

- Maria

If you wish to read more about narcissism in a relationship and how to recover after ending an abusive relationship, please see section Narcissism.

If you wish to familiarize yourself with my blog and to read older posts, click this link to go to the Blog Main Page.

Comments (335)
  • jenny  -  love a narcissistic man
  • maureen  - I just realized...
    Oh my god…I just realized that I'm dating a narcissist!
    This man came into my life 2 years ago…swept me off my feet…everyone loved him and everyone told me he was "too perfect"…6 months into my relationship he leaves me…within a day he slept with another woman, (who he had been planning to sleep with for awhile), then came back to me, wooed me back into his arms. I figured out what he did with this other woman because he thought he had an "std", which I knew I did not give to him. I left him…but after him telling me how much he loved me, couldn't live without me, bringing me gifts and presents I went back.
    Then the verbal and emotional abuse starts…I have been called "dumb", "lazy" a "cumbucket", "fat" "disgusting""useless"…oh the list goes on…he's threatened to hit me in the face many times, (he tells me fairly consistently he wants to hit me out of frustration.). He has me convinced that my life will be SHIT without him, and that I need him…he only has MY best interests at heart. I have left this man multiple times…never for more than a month though…he always gets me back…or rather I'm dumb enough to go back…then it quickly comes back to this place. Last night he told me I'm "crazy", asked me if I'm on drugs, and told me I'm the cause of all the disfunction in our relationship…all this because I told him I didn't feel like he listens to me when we attempt to communicate, (which never works out because he's the only person who is right and he knows whats best for all of us.
    Oh my god…a lightbulb went off…he's an abusive prick…and I'm getting myself out of this!!!!!!!!! I am going to put these horrible things he said last night on my fridge…I'm going to look at them every day as a reminder…I'm going to stay away for good this time…he would never admit to being a narcissist…but I KNOW he is one and I'm getting out and finding my OWN happiness…even if that means I'm alone for a long long time!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Diane  - Same Boat!
    Hi Maureen, I was with Jason for 13 yrs. married 9 . We have two boys. I did not realize he was a Narcissist till he went stone cold on me and walked out.I went through so much mental abuse and just thought it was all my fault. He called me stupid, useless, pathetic, and a lot worse and just took it, I was so alone and scared because he took care of everything. I lost twenty pounds and was sick to my stomach everyday. He was cold to me for two months came once a week to see his kids. But then he started coming back, I guess he needed his fix and went on for 4 months. Kept telling me he was coming home. But of course I believed him and gave him anything he wanted. Until one day I finally said no and he went and found someone who would give him sex. She ended up being my best friend that he went after, She left her husband and was looking for comfort.I do not know how I survived all this crap. But had wonderful friends and my boys. It has been almost two years and my heart still hurts, But i no longer have anyone calling me names and making me feel like nothing. I have no contact with him now except if i have to. I see him at my boys basketball game but can never look him the eye because he disgusts me.But I am stronger and try to remember how I was before I met him and I know I was a happy girl. So glad I do not have to put up his abuse anymore. He is not a nice man and is always miserable and whining about something, thank god I do not have to listen to that. It does get better, just remember all the bad stuff he did to you, it makes you realize he is dirt.
  • Alice
    best i ever felt, was the night i finally left my abusive narcissistic husband of 12 yrs. I literally got on my knees, thanked my God and Iprayed for me not to fall weak to him again..and go back, i didn't go back!I had finally learned my lesson. i had left before and went back to him, i had regretted those decisions very badly. that freedom I had before, when i had left him..i wanted to experience that forever.i just had to wait it out til i was safe and had some sort of a plan. Actually, when i did leave him the last time, it was on a whim..I ended up staying at my sisters house and was hold up there for a few months..i had no money,but i had my freedom, which was worth more than anything, that and not being abused anymore!!That first few days after leaving him, was almost magical feeling..i was free! I had literally been under his rule for so long, couldn't even go to the store without him right there with me..watching my every move.i always seemed to get blamed for something, or someone..i had the most lovers of any person on this planet ...according to my ex.How i was able to do all of those things he said i done, without me knowing anything about it..i'll never know!!Especially with him with me all the time, he wouldn't even work for watching me all the time.I have never hated someone so bad in my entire life, as i do him. i felt that hate before i left him, it helped me to leave him. i wasn't going to continue to be his slave. leave if you're with someone like this, they will only hurt you..they don't care about nothing or nobody but themselves.Of course the vengance set in after i left him, told lies on me..tried to have me committed!!You will find out what kind of evil they posses when you leave them, they hate that worst of all, they want to control you totally.it was the best decision i have yet to make, to leave him.
  • Anon  - Reply Nicole
    Sounds like my ex. He won't pay child support but would offer me lots of money to have sex with him...
    And lots of times he would lie and say we were getting back together so I would have sex with him.
    He sucked me in so many times.
    I don't trust him at all and I won't let him leave the house with our son cause I am terrified he won't bring him back. He is in jail now and begging me to get back with him.
    He told me to fuck off when I was pregnant and would not speak to me at all because he was with a fifteen yr old girl.
    I have no feelings left for this person.
    He has used me every opportunity he could.
    Would not see him for weeks then he would make me go to court with him with my pregnant belly so judge would feel sorry for him.
    I have a long long list but I think u all get the picture.
    And yes at first he loved me like crazy and wanted to marry me.

    I do not let my son in his care alone ever,
    I think he would be too much of a bad influence.
  • Emily  - Ada - We have the same story
    Ada, I too am in a dead marriage, married for 19 years, dead the last 5. Almost a year ago, I became involved with a classmate from school on facebook who lives in a different state. It was a whirlwind romance, and he swept me off my feet. I was a prime candidate...lonely and needy. Two trips to go see him and one for him to see me, all of course paid for by me. I knew after our first big fight and when he dumped me that there was something wrong. I'm embarrassed to say that I begged him not to dump me, which I've never in my life done. He did want me back after a couple of days and I allowed it. I did tell him that I would not ever beg him again and if he pulled that same stuff again. He of course did the same thing again and I reacted differently but we eventually got back together again and right now he wants to call it quits again. This time I'm doing the ignoring due to the information I now have. I am done. It is very hard but I'm enforcing the no contact. I have to because I can't keep going through this. He is a very nice looking man and I am still very attracted to him and fell hard for him. I did notice red flags after the honeymoon phase. We have been in the cold stage and he is starting to devalue me in a sneaky way...slight comments about things he knows are my self esteem hot spots. I noticed he also did the projection thing when I mentioned that he was verbally abusive. He would fly into rages and flip like a light switch. I had a relationship when separated with a borderline personality disorder, which at the time didn't know what that was, but since researched. I learned with BPD that you will never win in a fight with them and it was the same with my N. This site and others have been so helpful. No one should be treated and manipulated like these emotional vampires do. Stay strong ladies (and men) get out and stay out. I keep reading that the best way to get closure is by being happy without them. It's a way to get revenge for all of the hurt and save yourself at the same time. :D Oh and yes, he tried to hit on a facebook friend of mine. She busted him and told me all about it. The funny thing is that she wants to date women, and had no interest to his charming ways, but he also knows that. The arrogance he has in going after her, but I guess it's all about the chase and the conquest with them.
  • mira  - use no contact till u get it right
    In the beginning of my tango w/a narc man 2 yrs ago now, my son saw thru him.I feel prey,love makes fools & blind was I.@ least I kept breaking up w/him complaint he did not treat me well.Really took a lot of undeserved blame trying to keep it together.When my son flew the coupe,only then did the cruelty become physical,thus completing the spectrum of an abusive relationship on every level.Once,I realized sex was the only tie left & was used to control devoid of loving tenderness,I began to c this toxicity must end.I celebrate the knowledge gained & have been using no contact 4 a month.Healing well in Fl.
  • sephora blankenship  - His birtyday party
    I've invited to his birthday.
    So is the girlfriend before me and his present girlfriend. His first wife will also be there. He doesn't include his present wife (from he has been separated for at least 20 years) or the second baby Mama.
    This is the same one that dated a woman for 11 years, bought a house with her, married someone else, and moved the new wife into the home he owned with his ex-girlfriend.
    AND WHILE this confusion was going on he got a THIRD WOMAN PREGNANT!
    No, I'm not going to the party.
  • Carolyn  - Resisting their efforts
    I think they try and get you back to make themselves feel like they CAN. Narcissists are all about power and control. My ex doesn't want anyone else to have me. He thinks its o.k. for him to be sleeping with other women, and still try and get back with me. He is a pathological liar...both when we were married and even after our marriage ended. He lies to the women he dates. The fact that he sees nothing wrong with his behavior makes me sick. I have totally lost my respect for him. My heart goes out to the woman that he is sleeping with - because he is emotionally cheating on her by still trying to get back with me.

    Your NARCS actions, thoughts, words will NEVER make sense to you. I have a strong feeling that is why we tend to stay "hooked" to them. We keep wanting them to apologize, to take ownership, to understand, to change. But they WON'T...because they don't see anything wrong with what they are doing. We will drive ourselves crazy to keep looking for that.

    Acceptance is key...and that will help you heal. Accept that he is who he is. Accept that he is NOT the right person for you. Love and respect yourself because HE WILL NOT.

    We all need each others support and words of wisdom. This is a terrible thing to go through...
  • Sherry F  - Resisting
    Carolyn, you just put into words the very thing I was doing. I keep wanting to mean something to him, feel important to him, want him to be sorry for hurting me and his children but he never will. I wanted him to be accountable for what he did but he never will. It's all my fault he cheated, his friends don't like him anymore, his coworkers hate him, etc....
    When he has a woman he just throws me aside until they leave.....smart women!! The saw through him when I didnt. After 18 years of this I filed for divorce and it was very hard to break the control he has on me. I still catch myself missing him and I have to think back to all the things he has done to me and my children. I have cut all ties with him other than about the kids and it is always a very short response and nothing that will open the door to him.
    Beware ladies you cannot be friends with him as he will punish you by witholding affection or friendship when you disobey him. This is how he trains you.
  • Draya  - Point of no return
    Your so right ...trying to make sense of the actions off a mentally invalid person is addictive I stopped dealing with the Narc n cut him off dec 2012 new yrs eve...He came back in Nov 2014 we were friends bc I was in control...long story short I started fuckin him again n now im caught up in his web of drama...thk god for blogs :angry-red:
  • tia  - playing the game back
    my son's father is a N and i have borderline personality disorder...i was obsessed with my N but i always pushed him away by doing crazy things such as busting his windows out fighting him etc. theres no exuse for my behavior but my N was a cheater and a lyer so when i caught him i made him regret it which only made him leave and had me plotting on ways to get him back.for 2 long years there has been nothing but drama with us, he cheat on me and i retaliate by burning his clothes fighting the girls he cheat with and then he leaves me and i text a million times begging threatening calling over and over offering him money and anything to get him to come back to me and each time he would make a fool of me telling me to leave him alone and belittling me in front of everyone laughing and making me look crazy and desperate. although i did act crazy and desperate in hopes of getting him to come back to me it never worked, i would do that for weeks and he would finanlly come back to me only for sex and then disappear again. when he wouldnt come back i would expose him in front of his friends, fight him and cause drama and belittle him in front of everybody which only made him hate me more but made me feel so good but riht after i would miss him and want him back so bad. i always try to catch myself before i start the stalking crazy crap because i didnt want to keep embarassing myself or hurt anyone so i started researching to find out why i acted the way i dd and found out that i have borderline personality disorder and i am narcissistic as well and my sons father is a full narcissistic. i went and saw a doctor and told them my stories and they prescibed me medication and i see a theripist weekly. after 4 months i have changed alot but not for the best sad to say. the medication stopped my suicidal ways and helps my anger and the good thing that changed is that i no longer do the stalking desperate things to try to get someone back but thats only because i realized it doesnt work to get anyone back. after learning about these disorders and talking to doctors and my theripist I GREW SMARTER LEARNING HOW TO GET SOMEONE BACK AND KEEPING THEM COMING BACK AFTER I DO SOMETHING CRAZY TO PUSH THEM AWAY. I KNOW THIS ALL SOUNDS CRAZY AND I APOLOGIZE TO ANYONE WHO IS OFFENDED BY THIS BUT THEN AGAIN I DONT CARE I MIGHT HELP SOMEONE OUT WITH THIS. anyway i am an extremely beautiful girl that has no problem getting anyone i want i just cant keep them or i get bored with them and move on to the next. my sons father was my biggest challege yet because he is so much like me. we cheated on each other but when he did it he was the devil in my eyes but when i did it i didnt see anything wrong. the only difference between me and him was that he can let go and not care but i have a fear of someone leaving me, i have to be the one to leave you not the other way around which is why he kept winning. but i figured out how to turn it around in my favor....a N loves attention so dont give him!!! I flipped everything around on my N and now he is the one thats being desperate. I treat him exactly how he treat me and it works... i even get dressed extra sexy sometimes and show up at a club that i know him his friends are hanging at and take all of his shine and attention because his friends and all stop and stare or try to talk to me lol so when my N sees this he texts me or sit there staring at me or he does my favorite and he tells everybody im his childs mother...and depending on the crowd or how much attention im getting, if guys are really desperately trying to take me home, he would make sure he find away to make sure i leave with him in front of everybody...the only way i fall for it is if he promises to see his son....the other difference between me and him is he has basicly no feelings for anyone and will treat u like shit if u are not satisfying enough to him. i am the same way but not to everybody. my kids mean the world to me they are the only ones in this world who i say I LOVE YOU TO AND I ACTUALLY FEEL IT AND MEAN IT!! my N does not care about our son and only shows feelings towards him when they are out in public with expensive clothes on and everyone is complimenting and adoring our son...he loves when someone comes up and says aww he is so cute he looks just like you. he has 2 other kids with another girl but he only puts pictures of our son and his daughter up on his social sites such as instagram. everyone thinks hes this big shot with alot of money but hes not, he use to have money but now hes broke but he still acts like he still has alot of money and with all the expensive shoes and clothes you would think he was rich too if you dont know the real him.anyway my point of writing damn near a book is to tell everyone who is dealing with people with mental illness like me and my sons father is to get away and stay away our rage and crazy shit will fuck you up if you are normal...there is no help for a mental illness once its there it wont go away. i was put in foster home and taken from my mother at the age of 6 my mother promised she would come get me back but she never did and my troubles began from there being adopted and given away by my adopted parents at age 7 i ended up growing up in mental institutions hospitals girlshome and placements diagnosed with severe deprssion, emotionally impaired and ADHD prescibed every crazy medicine you can think of ritlin paxil welbutrin adderall etc...the state of michigan was my mother and father so i was a courtward from age 7 til 19 when i aged out the system they threw me into the world with this mental illness and no help lol i am 27 years old with the mind of a 13 year old....SHOULD I CARE? look me up on instagram my name on there is highly_addctive27 my N has a instagram too his name on there is ypsired
  • Anonymous  - borderline
    My heart goes out to you, you went through so much pain and betrayal in your life ! Kudos for your courrage to lay it as it is here. I managed to heal a large part of my borderline reaction to difficult and unreliable people through SCHEMA THERAPY; You are a very smart person, i am sure it can help you , it is one of the most efficient methods for narcissism and borderline.. once people are ready to admit they have a problem and want to work on it, which seems to be your case. I grew up with a narcissistic father and a very strange mother, controlling and cruel, and in the same time submitted to my father. Some can imagine how I became, between borderline, copdependent and narcisistic. After trying like you all possible medication and therapies I finally took on meditation, mindfulness and schema therapy. Dialectal behavioral therapy also helps a lot. And , most important perhaps, warm, available people who are ready to understnad; to help and to abide by your limits, whatever they are. Learning to set limits is extremely empowering. Calm, without fear nor violence. I just got rid of a relationship with a narcissist. Gosh, how i was trying to please him and explain him and make him understnad .. loss of time !!! As he was blaming me for being ungrateful and greedy and manipulative, other people were tellign me how they appreciate my kindness, warmth and how lucky they feel to be around me ! I learned to state plainly each time he was disrespectful " please stay respectful, this is not a respectful remark. " As hard as i fell for him, i am now happy i could see through his facade, adorable indeed, straight to his weakness and fear and anger, that he conveniently projects on me. Seeing what is in his mind, i would not want to be in his place. Aren't we lucky to be as we are , thank you for putting up this website and to all of you for sharing your stories !
  • Mika  - Thanks for sharing
    Thank you for sharing. just added you on instagram. Most people don't ever describe what really happens and most people don't ever accept that there had to have been something wrong with them and that's what attracted the narcissist to them and what kept them in the madness. My friends always try to blame just him but it wasn't just him. i have some codependency issues, and some narcissistic qualities myself My story with my N didn't get that far, I always said if our relationship continued we'd be in the middle of the street fighting. So ur story helped my see that I think my prediction was right. I guess it can get that bad. My N is still hanging around and I'm not sure what he wants. Part of me still wants him in my life, the other part is saying :D "RUN".
  • Draya
    "Beware ladies you cannot be friends with him as he will punish you by witholding affection or friendship when you disobey him. This is how he trains you."

  • Nicole  - MY N
    Hello All! I am in the process of divorcing my N. We have been married for 3 1/2 years. Can someone tell me if this is normal for a N. We are still in the same house because I can not afford to move at the moment. My N husband has taken my only car from me and will not give me access to it. My N has turned off the cable and hot water in an attempt to get me to leave. He also turned off my cell phone because he was the primary acct holder. Once he turned off my cell phone he then took the entire house phone out of the home. He also has closed all of the bank accts that we had together and will not allow access to them. If I ask him for $25 he wants to perform some type of sex act before he will do iT (NEEDLESS TO SAY I DO WITH OUT).... Are these actions normal??? I am sooooo over this situation and want to be done with him. Our divorce will be final in September, in the meantime he will send me emails and text messages professing his LOVE for me. I am turned to a deaf, dumb, mute in his presence becuase I want nothing more to do with him. PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS..
  • sephora blankenship  - The N wants you to suffer
    It makes him feel better when others suffer. If you are buying the house with him look out -- don't let the "for sale" sign that appears suddenly in the yard surprise you. These actions are normal for a N. He is miserable inside; remember MISERY LOVES COMPANY.

    Conversely he is angry if you are happy...remember, it is unsafe to anger a N.
  • Draya  - ur not alone
    I have the same pattern yell scream call beg...mad I was over him sincerely 11 months later boom im back in torture chamber.
  • anne
    Ya, that sounds about normal. They will come up with the most evil vindictive behavior to get your attention. You have to remember they have the mental capacity of a five year old. Your not dealing with a real adult man that's fully functional. These people have a real brain disorder. Part of their brain actually does not function correctly.
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