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How to Leave a Narcissist - Advice and Support Print E-mail

 

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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.

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In order to free yourself from the emotional "hook" your narcissistic spouse has embedded into your brain you must realize that you are a complete, whole person on your own. You do not need Narcissist to make you happy and worthy, you can create your own happiness. You alone choose how your life will evolve, do not let Narcissist make decisions for you. Once you realize that separation is actually a good thing rather than bad, you have taken a huge step towards the recovery.

In case of a mental disorder such as narcissism, a narcissist can only start to improve his or her behavior towards others after the have first realized and accepted that they have a problem. Also in case of depression, the recovery can truly begin only after person admits that he or she is depressed, stressed or has a burn-out. It is hard to admit that one cannot handle things anymore without help from outside. Often people fail to recognize the early signs of a burn-out and depression and just keep pushing forward until they finally fall.

The recovery after depression or burn-out takes a long time and may even require medication. Same applies to the recovery after a bad relationship. If you feel your life with your narcissistic spouse is taking you to this direction, please continue reading and find out how to stop the process before things go too far.

If you wish to learn about the methods I used to teach my mind and brain to let go of "addiction" to my narcissistic spouse, visit page Recovery after Narcissism. There you can read more about the ways to teach the brain and the mind to get over negative events in life such as the betrayal and cheating. Same methods can be used to get over mentally abusive relationship with a narcissistic person. If you can control your emotions, it will be much easier for you to decide what to do with your relationship. You can start the recovery process today.

We are locked behind the invisible bars our own mind has created

One often fails to see how bad the state of the relationship really is, until the damages are already extensive. This happens because in the beginning the relationship with a narcissist is like living a dream. During this dream-like period, the emotional "hooks" are buried deep into your brain. See article Cheating and the Brain for more details about this process of becoming addicted to a narcissist in the beginning of the relationship.

This addiction is the reason why it is so difficult to let go of the relationship with your narcissistic husband or wife. We do not want to let go, because we believe we have something that we actually do not have. We think we have a certain kind of a relationship with a certain kind of a person, when in fact our relationship is completely different. We are still living in an illusion that our relationship is special, we believe that under all the dirt we must put up with there is that wonderful person we once fell in love with, wonderful life we used to have and wonderful relationship of our dreams.

But reality is that we never had that kind of a relationship. It never existed. The "wonderful" person we fell in love with was just a mask, hiding the true narcissistic personality. The real person is what we now see, and it is not a pretty sight. A narcissist is a hollow, empty and sad figure. When we learn to see our narcissistic partner this way, we are able to free ourselves. When we see a narcissist as he or she really is, we realize that we do not need him/her to make us feel "whole". The reality is that we were whole before our narcissistic spouse stepped into our life, and we will be whole again after we get him/her out of our world. This is the most important thing you must realize. Nothing stands between you and Happiness, Harmony and most of all Freedom, except your narcissistic spouse.

Are you still fooling yourself and believing that you might find happiness with your misbehaving spouse? Do not worry. These things take time to sink in. Eventually you will realize that the path with a narcissist is a dead end. Do not blame yourself if it takes a bit of time for you to break free. You are only a human, and these things are not easy. This is the reason I created this website, to help you on your long and difficult path towards freedom and away from the dark realms of your narcissistic spouse. In the end there will be light, I promise you that!

It is tragic that so many people believe they will be happy if they stay in a burning house (that is, in a relationship with a narcissist) and that they will be sad if they run to a beautiful beach (leave their spouse). This seems to go completely against all logic. This is an example of the mental traps and prisons we have created in our mind. We are literally the prisoners of our own mind, and we will stay behind the invisible bars as long as we fail to see things for what they really are.

Plato and the Cave

From Allegory of the Cave:

"Plato imagines a group of people who have lived chained in a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of the cave entrance, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to seeing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall are not constitutive of reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners."

The victims of narcissists are like people in Plato's cave: We do not believe it when somebody tells us there is light and sunshine and beautiful fields outside the cave, if we only take one step towards the right direction. We insist on staying in the darkness of the cave, because that world, regardless of its horrors, has become familiar to us. That is the world we know and even though we are not completely happy living in it, we are afraid to leave. We are afraid that we may not find anything better, that we might be left completely alone. But anything is better than to sit in a dark, cold, wet cave (grave) and just wait for the death. Outside the cave we at list have a chance of survival, we even have a chance to achieve Happiness. Whatever will happen outside the cave, it will be far better than to live and die in darkness.

Having said that, let me say that I do understand how difficult it is to leave a narcissistic husband or wife. The mental hooks are buried so deep. I know this very well, because I have been in a similar situation with my former narcissistic spouse. I know how it feels like when your brain is screaming at you "run, get out of here as fast as you can!", but your heart makes you stay. If you are now in that situation, keep reading articles on this website and slowly you will start to realize what is best for YOU. Eventually you will reach the point when you will be strong enough to break free and leave. The purpose of this website is to help you in that process.

Search your feelings and you will realize that your sadness, depression and anxiety are due to the fact that you believe your life will be somehow "empty" and "gray" without your narcissistic wife or husband. You have built yourself an identity as a spouse of your partner and now you should rearrange your view of yourself and your life. This process is very painful. But trust me, you will get through it.

There will be light on the other side

It was extremely difficult for me to end the relationship with my narcissistic spouse. I wrote about some of my emotions related to the thought of the separation and the actual separation in article Ending the Relationship with a Narcissist. Read that article to see if you have been experiencing similar feelings in your relationship with your narcissistic husband or wife. If you have, I am sorry to say this, but I must: You should let go of your relationship. It is not going to get better, it will only get worse.

A narcissist can seldom change. You will always carry the negative memories with you and as time goes by, new bad things will most likely happen. All these things will keep piling up until your mind will eventually break. It can happen within months, years or tens of years, but eventually you are no longer able to accept the sick, twisted lifestyle of your narcissistic spouse. For your sake, I wish this process will not take tens of years. To find out how you can teach your mind to let go of a toxic relationship, visit page Recovery after Cheating and Narcissism. If you have been feeling depressed or anxious due to the problems in your relationship, read this article to learn what you can do to help your brain and mind to recover: Training the Brain.

If you wish to read more about narcissism and how the mind of a narcissist works, go to section Narcissism. To read personal stories of life with a narcissistic spouse, go to section Personal Stories: Narcissistic Spouse. To read about cheating and how the mind of a cheater works, go to section Cheating and Infidelity. To read personal stories of life with cheating spouse, go to section Personal Stories: Cheating and Infidelity.

You can write to me and tell about your experiences by going to page Personal Stories: Narcissistic Spouse, Information. If you wish to read more about me and my background, please go to page Site overview. From Site overview you can read short description of contents of this site and you find out how to contact me. If you are in relationship with a narcissistic mental abuser, I believe you will find useful information from this site that will help you to heal. Go to other sections of this site by clicking Main Menu links (left bar).

- Maria

If you wish to submit your own story and get feedback and support for your situation or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, send me email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Comments (347)
  • Shanti  - can not get enough...
    :0 I have been crying for the past half hour, a good cry, the first in three years since I met and married my narcissistic husband. I am very grateful for this site and a great admirer of Maria and all of you, dear friends. I read your stories and concerns and your hopes and successes and feel connected as the emptiness in my soul diminishes. What a great community of compasionate and loving people who want to live better. I can not express how humble I feel by you all.
    Let's keep the hope and flame alive.
    Thank you,
    Shanti

    Just a mischievious thought...I wonder what my husband, soon ex husband would say about this site and all the comments. The thought makes me laugh...
  • penny  - Free and Happy
    Its been 6 weeks after breaking up with him and no contact from him was hurtfull but I realise now his games of disregaurding me and it has actually been good to have no contact because I have had a chance to get strong and clear headed and realise what I put up with for 18 month It was hell ,destructive losing myself the more I tryed to understand the abuse the denial the confusion the lack of empthy and consideration , I relise now I am lucky he left me alone and its his loss cos I am a good person who he tryed to dim and now he has lost me forever I dont want to see him ever no friendship nothing ,He hurt me to much over and over and I stayed . I dont think I will ever put up with abuse again and will take my time getting to know someone he has taught me to put myself first and to have strong boundarys to listen to my instinks if something feels wrong It IS.
  • Paul  - Stay strong Penny.
    Well done for getting through those six weeks. Take your power, your energy and sense of self back. I went through it too and, though sometimes I weakened and longed for the person who caused me all that pain, I got through it. They will always be players and your life is worth so much more than to have your time wasted by someone who treats you cruelly . Once I realised what had happened and discovered what NPD is it helped me steer away from similar people - charmers looking for targets.
  • Michi  - Congrats
    Thank you for your post. It gives me hope. I never let go on my own. He left me and then before I could fully recover he contacted me and I caved. Now he dumped me again and for the last time. I am only one day out on no contact and I am still torn to shreds inside. Your situation sounds a lot like what I went through. I hope I can be in your position someday. Keep it up.
  • B  - I will be free!!!
    My son slammed my car door today and told me that I had married the wrong man. Reality check! yea, although i've had this reality check for the last 4 years. I have been with him for 25 years - after all I've read, I must be the longest surviving victim of a narcissist - wow. I am over him as I def dont love him anymore. I live on a stage now and I play the role of who he wants me to be everyday, and I am making plans to leave him. I hate him and he disgusts me. To have sex with him I have to think of someone else. I am strong because he's made me that way, but living like this while making plans to leave is mentally and emotionally draining me and my behaviour lately has been really weird. It's as if I have to relieve my emotions before I get home again, almost manic and psycho myself. I will be free of him..very soon. Emotional and mental abuse on a daily basis is wearing me down, but I am excited to live without him and have a fantastic life, just my kids and me, free of the strain of his narcissistic behaviour and always having to please him all the time otherwise he's abusive, angry and agressive. I feel no pity for him anymore - I do wish him happiness though and I don't want to destroy what he thinks of himself, as he is the father of my children and they have to see him. In my mind I am free already, he cannot touch my soul, ever!! :D
  • Looking for Paradise
    Congratulations!!! I am very glad to hear that you have reached that moment that you can simply walk away. I totally understand your fear, i am also planning my "escape". It is very emotionally draining and nerve wrecking. In the end it will all be worth it.
  • Anon  - To B
    How great for you, B, that you're building your plan! You sound really excited and not at all susceptible to a 'reel-back-in'. And give that kid a big hug and a big present!

    I wanted to say one thing, though, that maybe you have already thought of but didn't mention: be sure to cover all your tracks beforehand, think of every contingency possible, and have a plan. I know it's a lot of work, but just remember that's it's only temporary, and once everything is said and done, your life doors will open wide, if not fly off the hinges.

    Most importantly: TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE LEAVING. I can't stress that enough. The last last last thing you want is to execute your plan and then get totally screwed because your husband charms the judge, or to learn that one minor detail was overlooked, and because of that, he--who even knows---gets the house, gets full custody, gets your pension...it happens ALL the time.

    Sorry for 'screaming' at you with the caps, it's just that I've known so many women severely burned in divorces recently, and not just all from one state; it seems to be happening more and more, everywhere. So please, cover all your tracks. If you aren't able to pay for a lawyer, do a little research to find resources in your area that operate on a free or sliding-scale basis--they are out there.

    I just dumped my narcissistic long-distance (surprise, surprise!) boyfriend two weeks ago, after almost two years 'together'.

    I had told him three different times in the past--in writing, and very thought out--that I couldn't be in his life anymore. I didn't go through a litany of his behavior, but kept it neutral and said I was confused, or that we needed new 'teachers'. I figured yelling at him would have worse results.

    Each time I left, he contacted me a few weeks later. And each time, I didn't realize it was his not respecting my requests or me as a person, or that it was my lack of boundaries that let him back in.

    Well, after a totally ridiculous stretch of behavior on his part, I had finally had enough. I realized that I just felt bad all the time when he was in my life. I was always waiting for him to pay attention to me. He would whine about how much he had going on and I let that set the course of his always controlling the pace of our relationship. Then I thought--I run my own business--a language school--BY MYSELF, and teach there as well. There is no way he is busier than me, period.

    It was always that way, with him in control. Part of me can't believe I went along with it for so long, but an even bigger part of me knows that I can't even think about that if I want to heal. And anyway, it's garbage. My staying in it is evidence of my capacity to love an empathize, and I just gave it all to the wrong person. I'm a total effin' ROCK STAR, and so are all of you reading these pages, and starting the process of feeling much much better in your life.

    Anyway, he was in town two weeks ago and we went out to dinner. He made a 'joke' early on about my paying. We had a great time, good conversation, lots of laughs, no tension. I of course couldn't help but think, god, why can't this guy be normal? he's so much fun! And of course, you do see glimpses of humanity in them once in a while, which makes you hope that somehow that can be coaxed out little by little, that's what makes it so hard to leave them. Plus, as is so often said about us on the other side, we feel sorry for them. I know a lot of pages out there say, about feeling sorry for them: "Don't do it!" But since I AM my own woman, as evidenced by my separating from my ex, I also don't believe that I have to live and die by what all the experts, etc., say.

    So yes, I do feel sorry for him. Will I take him back because of that? No, I know I'm beyond that, and just way too strong to turn back, because I've been planning this for months.

    But I feel as sorry for narcissists as I do for schizophrenics, or people who suffer from clinical depression, or any other mental illness, just as I would for someone with cancer, or any other disease. Something in their brain went haywire; synapses are misfiring, and they're not able to fix that with wishful thinking. They did not ask to be that way any more than a serial killer dreams as a boy of chopping people up into little pieces.

    Think about a serial killer or a schizophrenic as a 5 year old child, an innocent little child who likes nothing more than to laugh and play. Now imagine that person starting to exhibit strange behavior as a teen, and their whole world start to turn dark and inward.

    Now imagine a narcissist as a 5 year-old child. Who would want to say or feel, "When I grow up, I want to be incapable of feeling love for other humans. I want to use people all the time, even the ones I call my good friends, even my own children." Even an alcoholic has resources and recourse to gain their life back and live healthy and sober, and with the tools to mend broken relationships. But practically anything you read about narcissists says there is no cure or therapy--nothing--available to change the way they think. That, to me, is heartbreaking.

    Do I want my ex in my life? No, I can't handle that. But when I think about him out there in the world, doing what he does and knowing somewhere deep down inside-because they do know-that he is not living life like most other people, and that he witnesses over and over again happy couples, or people working with animals or doing important volunteer work, feeling a love that he has never ever and probably will never feel, it makes me very very sad. There have been times over the past two years, and even now, that I've literally prayed (and I don't even believe in god, it was more to the universe) that he could get better. Not so we could be a couple, but in his future, in his life. So that he can someday feel and be happy in a real way.

    I guess maybe he wasn't as far gone as some of the others talked about, plus we weren't married and there were no children or financial ties to further complicate things. Still, the behaviors are there. I did love this person and he does have good qualities and we had some wonderful moments, but I know that can't make up for the crazy times, the punishing times. But as a Buddhist, it makes me feel like a better person when I can genuinely feel love for him, not as a boyfriend, but as another human being on the planet.

    We're all suffering and struggle all the time, every one of us. Whether a person has a narcissist in their life or not, they struggle. It's the wheel of pain and joy---they both keep happening, even though we keep thinking we're 'safe' when it's the joy time. So we all need to have compassion for one another. And now, finally, I know that I am strong enough to be able to have genuine compassion for him, without having him in my life. I hope you can be happy some day, X.

    But I digress. Oops!

    BEST of luck, B! And don't forget the legal stuff.

    Thank you to anyone who read this whole thing. I appreciate your hearing my story. Good luck to all of us :)


  • Anon
    Sorry! I forgot to finish the story.

    After the great dinner, which I happily paid for, I dropped him off where he was staying for work. We said goodbye, and I knew I was seeing and hugging him for the last time ever. It was weird.

    I handed him an envelope, which I had been carrying in my purse the whole night. He said, Wow! This is thick! And I just smiled, and said, Bye X. He had no idea what he was about to read.

    It was a lovely letter, if I do say so myself. Again, no bashing---he knows what he does and that he hates himself. Just a few paragraphs about needing to move on, and a copy of one of my favorite pieces of writing, which I included below. I also told him that if he tried to contact me, as he had the other times, I wouldn't respond, and that the silence isn't the sound of bitter anger, it's not a punishment, but it's the sound of me smiling and thinking about him.

    I am happy about the way I handled the situation, and happy that I can feel compassion for him. I still cry and wish the healing process could be accelerated, but I am at peace with what happened, and am really proud of myself. Best of luck, all.


    Desiderata

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible without surrender
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even the dull and the ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
    they are vexations to the spirit.
    If you compare yourself with others,
    you may become vain and bitter;
    for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
    Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

    Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
    it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
    Exercise caution in your business affairs;
    for the world is full of trickery.
    But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
    many persons strive for high ideals;
    and everywhere life is full of heroism.

    Be yourself.
    Especially, do not feign affection.
    Neither be cynical about love;
    for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
    it is as perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly the counsel of the years,
    gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
    Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
    But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
    Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
    Beyond a wholesome discipline,
    be gentle with yourself.

    You are a child of the universe,
    no less than the trees and the stars;
    you have a right to be here.
    And whether or not it is clear to you,
    no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God,
    whatever you conceive Him to be,
    and whatever your labors and aspirations,
    in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
    it is still a beautiful world.
    Be cheerful.
    Strive to be happy.

    -Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
  • Katie  - You never get closure
    Anon..Your letter seems to have so much insight about narcissists and as alot of the other letters I read,I can so relate to all things said...Your letter to him at the end was also lovely, something you and I would look at and think ' how sweet,how melancoly' but there is NO romance when it comes to narcissism. There is no sweet smile, or understanding or acknowlegment of feelings. I am glad that the letter made YOU feel better but trust me, I have written SO MANY heartfelt letters, so many times I have poured out my soul, quoted, and attempted to get him to soul search, or just to see how sweet my unconditional but impossible love for him was. Believe me.... getting them to see ANYTHING in the way of an expression of love or sentiment is IMPOSSIBLE! Although it made you feel better and perhaps gave you some sentiment, he likely tossed the letter aside and replied ' that stupid bitch....!' ...NEXT!!!!! That letter indeed was written for YOU. Did he take anything into his heart? did he consider how deeply affected you were in the relationship? Did you get any poetic justice...the answer is a resounding NO! This is the hardest part to understand about dealing with a narcissist, that all the sentiment, all the romance, allt he love you felt was in NO way returned,or acknowledged, any more than you love or miss a chair when you are finished sitting in it... when it wears out, you simply move on to the next chair, until you break it down by your fat ass and move on to the next. Sorry to be so cold sounding but it is necessary. I told my narcissist something similar when I finally could no longer deal with him anymore, after many years of abandonment, rejection, objectifying, ignoring, and re-entering my life over and over again as if nothing happened, and me taking him back like only an adoring mother would a monster, I simply told him I had to move on, it was only fair to let him get on with his life, *I have learned, in dealing with them, the best way to get them to relate in anyway is to always use YOU words, not me words, always indicate what you do or say is for THEIR benefit,because to say it is about YOU in any way causes them to shut down. I simply told him he would always occupy a place in my heart. My thinking that he was indeed thinking of me, missing me, perhaps pining for me...? I think not. I found out he has been stock piling women and without saying too much, found out he already has SEVERAL he is attempting to manipulate for his supply ( he reactivated his computer profile ( bogus) and is back in action faster than I could count. My wish for you and for everyone deeply and profoundly affected by these people is that this letter as time has past has found you as introspective and sentimental about him. I find that as time goes on, ( and my friends who have dealt with same) that basically, in the end, they leave little room for any good thoughts or sentiment, and when it comes to loving them you never have closure, never do your touchdown dance, and spike the ball... you are basically left empty and alone, hurt beyond belief, and only the strongest survive it, without deep lasting scars. Your romantic sentiment scared me, And, quite the contrary, the ones that have some shreds of sentiment, are likely to take them back again after enough time has passed to dull the pain. I hope that is not the case with you, or anyone here. You seem determined, and that your way of handling it made you feel better.I hope you can still smile when you think of him in the weeks to come. because I am not able to. I didnt feel better after writing or letting go, but I know I will in the future if I can continue to go on with the no contact rule. Do I feel pity for him and wish the best for him, and hope that he finds peace within his tortured soul...? Yes. But mine is the one that is most important. And yours. It doesnt matter if he realizes his limitations, or has feelings for you or finds peace within himself, he likely never will. But for us there is Hope for the future,
    Katie
  • Anon
    Hi Katie,

    Wow that was some message. Thanks for the response to my own huge tale!

    I'm not romanticizing narcissism. But I maintain that it is as legitimate an illness as any physical or other mental illness. It's called a disorder for a reason; it's in the DSM for a reason: it's an illness.

    The difference is that personality disorders have a much, much uglier face than most other things. Even a severe alcoholic would get more sympathy in society--the work place is required to help employees with substance abuse problems before taking any steps to terminate their employment.

    That same scenario wouldn't play out, of course, with people whose mental health issue involves not seeking help, because they would have no legitimate diagnosis with which to work. Nor is it terribly helpful for people with non-hateful disorders, like dysthymia or rapid-cycling bipolarism. Not as pronounced in the day to day, but hardly anything a person would want to have to announce either to their boss or the HR person, in order to save their job.

    The point is, the attitude toward mental health in this country is dismal. I grew up with a schizoid-affective mom, and I know how much I blamed her for everything bad in me, as if I had been the big victim in the whole thing, up until my early 30s. I was totally wrong about all of it; she was the victim, she has suffered immensely and has lost out on a huge part of life, not me.

    A lot of my healed attitude about my mom is due to my wonderful father, who ingrained in us as kids that mental illness is not and should not be considered any less of a physiological issue than cancer, diabetes, Crohn's disease, deafness, psoriasis... Something in the body is not working properly, and in the case of mental illness, there is a chemical misfire in the brain. That narcissists think their way of doing things is fine, and they rarely seek treatment, is part of that misfire.

    My ex has already tried to contact me. I sent him an email that was much different than the letter. It was not unkind, but it was very clear that my position is that we are not going to be in contact, and that he needs help, and I elaborated on why. Whether or not he ever seeks it, I'll never know. He was furious about the email, and wrote that I should never contact him again under any circumstances. He didn't need to tell me that; that was the choice I had already made.

    I know I'm finished and would never invite that whirlwind of chaos back into my life; I know in my heart that I've arrived, and that this is not a song and dance I'm telling myself for the moment. I was miserable with that situation and kept blaming myself for not acting 'right', and let the whole thing be controlled by him. He would do the most ridiculous and unkind things to me, and somehow I wanted to fix myself to make him love me again. It was totally illogical, and a big part of me can't believe it even happened. It was as if I had been hypnotized.

    But I don't know, something just snapped, or shifted in me one day, and I knew that I was done. It was hard, I doubted myself a lot, wondering if I had made a big deal about a lot of little things, that maybe it was just a regular relationship that just didn't work out, that my overly-sensitive nature and his not-that-sensitive one was just a case of a bad combination not destined to work out.

    But I knew deep inside there was much more to it than that, and that I had never seen or even heard of a person behaving that way, having really zero idea about right and wrong, about having no sense of responsibility towards other people, about making bad decision after bad decision in his life, but just keep charming the pants off of people and getting by until they start to suspect that something is wrong, at which point he moves to another city. But within a few weeks' time of taking a hard look at the big picture, I felt really strong, and was determined to leave this toxic thing that sounded nothing like my friends' relationships. And I did it :) And I know there's no turning back for me.

    Still: Holding onto anger is something I don't want for my life, at all. There is a quote by Buddha or some Buddhist monk that says anger is like trying to hurt someone by throwing a hot coal at them; you pick it up to throw it and burn your hand.

    My continued sense of compassion towards X does not make me weak or naive; it makes me strong. He and others like him have a condition that no one would ever want, and it's not a conscious choice on their part. What his feelings on anything are--whether he ever loved me or appreciated my love, what his reaction to my letter was--or whether I got any poetic justice, are completely irrelevant, and not my concern. Think about it: If I continue to use my brain power on that and make those things a factor, that would mean I'm still allowing my head to be controlled.

    I see a therapist, and yes, things get rehashed and so this is my focus in my sessions, and those things are a factor as I untangle myself from this mess. But my therapist and I don't see everything the same way, and when she tries to lead me away from the compassion path, I am firm with her as well. I don't want her telling me what to do and how to think any more than I wanted my ex to.

    My sense of peace and focusing on what comes next in life is what's important to me now. Bitter anger cannot be part of that equation, because it in no way helps my process; it would occupy thought and brain space that should be and need to be used for other things.

    I don't want to see myself as a victim. What happened, happened, and I got myself out. I'm the hero of my life story.

    This is not a romantic view of things; this is me living by my principles and value system. If I change my happy,loving, and compassionate spirit now, that means that narcissism has won, not me.


    cheers.


  • B too  - @B - I will be free
    No you're not! 27 years here!! Just filed a month ago hes still in the house...for now. I can already feel my inner peace. He still tries to work me but I dont bite. Not anymore.
  • Looking for Paradise
    I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject, becuase quite frankly, Narcissism has no cure, but guess what, we can get better. There are a few things that we need to know, for example, protect yourself, get as much of your personal or important stuff out before you leave. If he treats you bad now, when you leave it will be worse. If you are the one that has to leave because he wont, detach yourself from your home and personal belongings that you know you will have to leave behind. The only thing that i have not been able to find on the internet, is information as to where the fear comes from. I mean its this paralyzing fear of this person, and i cant get rid of it. I am planning my escape and evertime i do something (pro my escape) i find myself needing a while to stop shaking from the fear. Does anyone else have this horrible fear?
  • Keshia
    I'm in your shoes!
  • Sarajane  - Your story is exact to mine
    Even down to the 20 years apart your story is me. I was reading about how you say he picks a fight or days something mean and then you react hurt and he gets mad and makes it your fault for picking a fight. He says to me. ' oh what's wring now are you going to cry? " like a mocking cruel mean person he has no feelings . NONE. this man blinds me with his attacks and I never know when they are coming. Ah but he excuses them he says he doesn't feel well....
    Here is what I live with just yesterday. Two weeks ago he said he would help me with something, yesterday I asked him to but we both knew he didn't want to do it . To alleviate his guilt he flipped it on me telling me I was building him then instantly went from conversation to rage. Screaming like a wild lion and foaming qt the mouth he's reeling on me " u stupid windy bitch I hate the sound of your voice all u do is guilt me and I'm sick if it he then tells me I need to take responsibility for my actions and grow up and stoP being selfish! ME? I'm the selfish one for asking you to help me on a house chore? He went crazy and as I am trying to calmy respond and defend myself I cAnt get a word in he won't let me he yells louder and so basically this went on for an hour he berated me, called me names started in on my mother and so on and threw every cruel mean thing in the world at me them left. Everytime I try to defend myself he blames me for making him mad by my being hurt and then ...... Hours later ( he goes to his mommy's house for his milk and cookies and she enables this sick fuck!) he comes back And says sorry in one word and heI doesnt want to talk about it hear It or deal with it. I should be over it and I need to take care of me he's too tired and "sick" to help me .
    Living in this kind on insane world is making me psycho myself and I wasnt till just recently I realized this nac thing. He makes me feel stupid and a failure and he's soooooo sweet to everyone else no one sees it so I look crazy.
    If you want someone to talk to let me know we can trade emails.
  • Suzhanna
    Let's help each other, I live in the same dark hole as u
  • Kathy
    I too am in that place in you need someone to talk to
  • Kathy
    I too feel like I am living with a psycho! Things have only been getting worse, I really have to get out of this relationship. Twice I've filed for divorce and he's done so many things to ruin my life. Most people think he's such a nice guy, why would I think of leaving him? The horrible things he says and does are only for me, makes me feel empty inside. Would like to email, to support or just listen, good luck to you plan your escape carefully
  • Hugo
    Hi Sarajane

    We must remember that narcs are skilled actors and liars who will say and do anything to make us doubt ourselves and question ourselves.

    Once we have been broken down, we are kept there through constant criticism and belittlement.

    We learn not to fight back and slowly wither....or so the narc thinks, but we grow wiser, smarter and stronger. We realise and recognise the act and eventually, see the narcs in the true hideous form and then we are gone. The game is finally over and they seek another victim. We must simply remember that our memories of happy days are really a mixture or half truths thatwe must be humble enough to recognised that we were not truly loved, just exploited. ;))
  • dawn
    I am in chaos right now. I feel guilty, he says I am crazy, stupid, a dirty hippie, everything I do is wrong, I'm a horrendus driver, my career choice as a painter is bullshit/a waste of time (it has been my dream since I was in 2nd grade, and I am 31 and will graduate this semester). He has turned all my friends against me. I feel very alone. DEVALUED is one of the words that jumps out to me the most...lessened, uninspired, heartbroken and needing help, but over the past 2 years (since I have been with him) my network of friends and family has been systymatically pushed farther and farther away from me. Now even my best friend that I have known over 10 years thinks I am a crazy psyco bit*ch. I spent all my money on him, and now that I am broke and have started asking him to pay me back for the loans, he is suddenly having an affair with another woman. I feel so trapped. I know I got myself into this situation, but jeez.... I feel so STUPID!!!!
    Any advice?

    Thank you very much
    Dawn
  • Looking for Paradise
    Dawn, i feel your pain. I dont know how I came accross the Narcissit section on the internet but once i knew what i was dealing with I didnt feel so insane anymore. I also try not to feel stupid becuase really all we did was what any normal person would do... try to please, love, understand, etc. Its not our fault our significant other is a sick person. Honestly, family or friends can't help you. You need to find it inside your soul, you need to reach the point of indeference, you get there after you pass love and hate. Once his words and his attitude dont hurt you anymore, then you will just walk away on your own, no guilt, nothing. I am getting there, i feel stronger everyday, the more we argue the more i say and the more i feel what i say (its no longer heat of the moment talk). I will walk away when i am ready, at this point its either me or him and i am rooting for me!
  • Looking for Paradise
    Wow, I have finally named the monster, Narcissit! I have been married to one for almost 15 years. I have never told anyone about what has happened in my marriage and this is the first time I do so. After reading into this, I think it will do me some good to get it out in the open and I am hoping it will help me et rid of some of my fear. I cannot beleive that there are so many women out there going thru the same thing. Since i married very young and i came from a severly disfunctional home, i guess i just couldn't spot the difference. In the beginning everything was amazing but then slowly I wound up in the hole! To make matters worse my N is extremely possesive. He needs to be in everthing i do, what i wear, who i talk to, everthing! On the other hand, everthing i do is wrong, what i wear is wrong, my weight, my height, everthing about me to him is wrong (but then he says he loves you.....) He takes me to and from everywhere, i am never alone, so it makes it very hard to escape, in every sense of the word, i dont even have time to think and meditate! The more i read the more i realize i need to go, and i need to get over my fear, I am still thinking of justifications to my actions just in case...... I am scared to not be strong enough and go back. I know my separation will get ugly because he is extremely agressive. Then again i know that the grass is greener on the other side, but the fence that is stopping me from getting to the other side is me. I am hoping that in writing this and doing something that he disapproves of, i will start to lose my fear and find myself again. Thank you all.
  • Anonymous  - kids in danger!
    I am divorsing a rich narcisit man! i am over the stage of fear, I feel great without him! my problem are my kids, i have 3 my oldest boy is 14 my daughter is 12 and then I have a 5 year old boy!!! my 14 years old boy is beeing manipulated and bought with computers, ipones... by his dad and it has been so sad watching this prosses, it is very hard to see him become a narcisit too! and i can't find a way to prevent it, he has shown many caracteristics for some years, and I am just afraid It took me to long to realize who I was married to. he only cares about my boys, my daughter he ignores... and she is also hurt by this and i want to help her, so she does not marry the same type of man!
    do you have suggestions! i am desperate!
  • penny frankel  - penny
    Hi I am just beginning to realize I have been In love with a narcisist for 18 months . I thought he was the one, the love of my life , we knew each other in highschool and had not seen each other for 20 years well the first time I saw him again at a friends party we had a big hug and swapped phone numbers and got together over the next week it was wonderfull for the first month he told me he had always loved me and I was the love of his life that he would marry me one day and he wanted to make me happy and look after me , I am an independent person but i fell for the romantic idea of all these dreams cos it was like magic seeing him .I was so happy, but then things happened like jeckle and hyde one day he was all loving and then came out with a comment that women looked like fuck dolls when they wear tight jeans and he said why do you wear tight jeans do you want to be looked at ? Over the next 18 months things like this would happen not the same cos we would talk about how it offended me so he would come from a differant angle still just as devaluing and out of the blue when everything was great he would through in a hurtfull disrespectfull comment and my reaction to him would make him so angry , so its twisted he says something that upsets me and me being upset makes him angry and push me away and leaves refusing to talk about it mayby says sorry once and that was all if i wanted to talk he would push me away even more and blame me for causing a fight . saying if only i would let it go telling me im an emotional cripple and he cant make me feel better , the funny and sad thing is I feel beter when he is not in my life even though im heartbroken I have to remember life with him would be hell ! a rollercoaster of highs and destructive lows of doupting myself .That is the most soul destroying thing to go through
    feeling empty because someone you love plays with your reality twisting your thoughts , this is early days for me 3 days and I have to get strong enough to resist the nice guy that will be saying sorry soon or maybe on some level he knows he should let me go , Stay strong everyone going through this pain
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