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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)
  • Looking for Paradise  - Looking for Paradise
    I have seen a lot of different comments regarding N spouses, and the truth of the matter is that no matter what anyone tells you, for some reason we all need for nature to run its course. When you fall desperately in love with an N, you just have to wait until you reach your breaking point. Even from day one my head would say one thing but my heart would say another and i was so in love that my heart won, that was fifteen years ago. For a long time that balance between my head and my heart shifted, now my head is the one that wins because my heart has stopped caring. It all takes time. The more i read up on the subject the more I realize that i need to leave my spouse because nothing is going to change or get better, in fact, it will only get worse and it has. So to people like Anon, i know its not what you want to hear, but dont worry, it will all come together when you are ready. The problem with a situation like this is that you cant move forward until you are 150% sure of doing so otherwise you will just go right back and it will be worse. After spending many years with an N the last thing you want is more people telling you what you have to do or how you have to do it. God knows that drives me insane! So i hope you take time to reflect on your life, on the pros and cons of your relationship and once you realize for yourself that you need to get out, then you will. Dont worry your self preservation instict will eventually kick in. Its only a matter of time before the N kills all the love you have towards him and then you will be free. Good luck!
  • sarah mctaggart  - my narc lover and ive only jst realised
    I've been with my partner 4 10 years and i've only jst realised tht he's a narc. Wen we 1st gt 2gether wen i was 16 and he was 24 things were g8 but wen i had our 1st Daughter he started 2 beat me and he wud say tht it was all my fault why he did it. I wud believe him wen he said he was sorry and tht he wudn't do it again cos i really hoped tht he wud change.. How wrong was i? He wud do it again and again and every time the blame wud fall on me. He would always convince me that he wud never do it again and i would stay with him cos i thought that it was my fault, and then i wud try and do things 2 please him and i soon realised tht i never could please him, no matter how hard i tried. Over the last 8 or 9 years i have really thought that it was my fault why he wud hit me but now tht i have read this website i realise tht it's not me, its him. Other things he does is call me stupid and thick cos i've done sumthing that he didnt think was right and i wud believe him cos i tht he was right about everything. I'm jst so glad tht i'm not on my own with this and it's nice 2 know tht other people can relate 2 wat i'm goin through. i hope people dont take that statement the wrong way cos i know its not nice to go through wat we have gone through but at least we have people out there tht can say i know what u mean and can relate to what we are going through. This website has really helped me 2 understand the ways in which they try 2 place all the blame onto everyone else but themselves and it has really opened my eyes as 2 wat i'm going 2 do about my relationship, cos i dont think i can go on in a relationship knowing that it could never change. Thank you 2 all the people out there who have given there stories for us 2 read cos it has helped me alot 2 put things into perspective and realise what i really want for me and my daughters.
  • Laurie  - Help, I'm in love with a married narcissist
    First of all I want you to know that I met Chris on a dating web site two weeks after the loss of my Mother. He told me that he was seperated from a wife he only married out of convienance. Before I go into my story I want to know who I am writing to, and that you are indeed here to help me free myself from the emotional control he has over me.
    I know he don't care about me, but why do I keep letting him back into my life. I need help he is destroying my life. Please, Please, HELP ME.
    Laurie
  • katie  - Laurie... Dating Sites are FULL of narcissists
    Laurie.. Keep reading about narcissism and you will understand why you are so obsessed and keep letting him back into your life. People who fall in love with n's do so because they are presented a 'false deal' ... they are presented with all the things we say or act like we want mirrored back to us from them. They have to fake it to earn your trust, then eventually the truth is revealed. Look at the BEHAVIOR, not what he says. Actions speak louder than words. If you know he doesnt care, then you have the main bit of information about him that should make you run... keep reading all you can. Find hobbies, find someone else, take care of YOURSELF> Forget about him as soon as you can, lest you waste years of your life, as many others have done. You are not alone. I was with mine for YEARS, knowing he was bad news, The sexual and emotional attachment was strong even though he is in no way the best lover I had, at all, in fact he was lousy... he withheld from me often, and punished me by seeing me when HE wanted, but I was in love with a fairy tale I created in my mind about him in the beginning. When you want so much for your intuitions and instincts to be WRONG it can take months even years to let fully go. They also keep returning into sources lives forever when their chips are down, so leaving it up to them will have you running back to them often, whenever they want as a matter of fact, not when YOU want.
    Seek help, and arm yourself with knowlege and trust your instinct. Be sure and click NOTIFY Me so you that you can receive replies to your letters.
    goodluck
    Katie
  • Angel
    Hi, my friend wants to divorce with his narcissistic estranged wife,after 35 years of marriage and 3 years of separation.
    - She still tries to control him and limit his freedom by emotional abuse and blackmail and then escalated to physical abuse so that he had to called police to rescue him because if even he only merely defend himself she screamed ‘You are abusing and attacking me’ when she in fact attacked him.
    - With her distorted perceptions, She made the kids as alliance to punish my friend by deserting him in the hospitals when he was very sick. He is so scared of losing the kids or they cutting the connection with him.
    - My friend has all the symptom of victim of NPD
    severe panic attack
    very often severe headache, back and neck pain, upset stomach
    losing his mental ability to think then there is conflict
    lack of ability to talk or act what is reasonable about relationship or any topic
    lack of decision ability
    feeling lost his freedom
    feeling ‘everyone tries to control’ him,
    feeling trapped
    saying and promising what others want to hear against his will
    act in the way against own wellbeing and intention
    taking undeserved obligation and blames to the NPD
    giving up his own basic rights to NPD
     have almost no boundaries.
     depressed and anxiety and very negative,
     lack of energy and motivation,
     lost his fair judgment what is right,
     lost the ability to be angry to his abuser
    had one bowl burst and 3 operations,
    trapped into financial crisis.
    lost the ability to self-defence
    Jumping unreasonably when there is panic attack
    Shutting down emotions and feeling when panic attacked and controlled
    Had thought about suiciding
    How can help him?
  • Deana  - Exhausted
    I've been with a narcissist for the past 7 months and didn't know it until a couple weeks ago when my mother called him a narcissist and I decided to look it up. Reading about it and realising the truth has been extrememly exhausting.

    The worst part is, even having this knowledge doesn't seem to be enough to make me leave him. I keep looking for proof that it's not true and that he really does love me, but the more I read, the more it makes perfect sense. Every blog or article describes my relationship perfectly.

    I feel stupid and weak and I feel like no matter what, I'm always going to be stuck in this hell I've called a relationship. I don't feel strong enough to leave...how long does it take to do it? How do I just pick up and leave? or is it something you have to do slowly? It seems impossible.
  • rainboweyes  - Deana , NOT impossible
    Deana, It FEELS impossible but it is not. It can be a very slow process but it doesnt have to be. Seek help from someone who has experience with narcissism survivors. Read all you can, read the stories on this blog. Go to narcissismsurvivor.com. There are alot of books to read on the subject,anything by Sam Vaknin. It usually is a long process because women return to them repeatedly hoping they can change things, or just live and suffer in silence for the sake of loving them, but I think loving them comes at a high price, your sanity! Your reaction is typical. It can be alot of information to process. It is hard to believe that someone you love and cared for a long time is an emotional fake. You fell in love with the false person presented to you in the beginning, not the man you see now, and it is that image we hang on to, not the evil one we are learning about.
    The stories are so similar on here because the behavior is so stereotypical. Some have problems with drugs and alcohol, or are physical abusive but most are just emotionally abusive. I wish he had been physically abusive in some ways, maybe I would have gotten out sooner. I regret the time I have wasted with this man, but I am moving on now that I have observed the NO CONTACT rule spoken of so often on here!!! If you have any contact at all ( and they WILL never stop contact themselves,they will never give up a good source or end an option), but it is no compliment when they do return to you, as you are probably one of many. One thing I know about ALL narcissists is that they ALL cheat. I have not heard of one yet that didnt in some way be unfaithful. They all lead covert lives. Mine was heavy into pornography, internet sex, text sexting, strip clubs, masturbation, phone sex, anything but intimate relations. They shun intimacy so often, it is very difficult to have married,or close relationships. They do not use sex to gain intimacy like normal people, they use it as a tool to get what they want. Hard to imagine, but true.
    Find support wherever you can and choose to be around people who love and care for you..but above all get strong for yourself. You are not weak. Do this for yourself! READ. BECOME informed and separate from him and observe the no contact rule, hard as it is, it is the only way I have found to rid myself of the longing/feelings for him. As long as I was having contact with him, I let him draw me back in for sex, or just to be with him. Each time it got worse and worse and the wounds were just reopened. He would never change. They do as little as possible to maintain appearances or to get what they want.Nothing more. Goodluck and God bless you!
    Rainboweyes !:O)
  • Christopher  - Mental Armageddon
    Over the past two years I have been in a relationship with an extremely beautiful 46 yr old model. Although we live in separate countries, we met through a shared professional interest and, at first, it was fantastic. Slowly, over time she became overly co-dependent on me, possessive to a mega degree, then it seems that her true self emerged and she scores very very highly in a narcissist test. She actually believes that she is the most beautiful woman in LA, a woman that every man wants. At first she was a gift-giver and that dried up. She is manipulative, controlling, selfish, no longer responds to any form of romantic gesture from me, is secretive, never in the wrong and first-rate at telling me that she has been the only love in my life, and even though we have now split up she insists that I keep her pictures up around my apartment, on my cell phone and in Skype. I am slowly getting over this relationship after reading all of the advice and help on this web site. However, what is painful is I still remember the wonderful lass I fell so deeply in love with, and it is heartbreaking to see her through all of this away because of her illness.
  • ilja  - pick up and leave
    get the hell out of this 'relationship'. Read these bloggs and believe every word.
    17 wasted years down the line, i can tell you that you have opened your mind to other options. Just leave. He is not normal...what u see when he is his old nice self is not him....it is his alter ego...it doesn't excist
  • Becik  - Dear Deana
    Get support from your family and friends, tell people what you going through, get help from authorities,anything before your life just pass next to you because you will be to busy just to please him, make him happy and forget that you have the rights too!!!
    I have spend with my husband 22years. In 2 days is our 22nd wedding anniversary and this is the day I will pick up the keys to my freedom!!!
    I applied for rental property and I got it!
    Life was hell as long as I can remember, he was able to spoil every happy occasion in my life. For years I was planning to leave, it took many therapies, many heart broken stories, many, many tears. The longer you stay with him the more co-depended you will be, and it will be harder to leave this man-child. Trust me I know.
    Fot years I was holding the burden on my shoulders, pretending we are the perfect couple, and after even if I tried to explain to others what happen I just could't put it in words. And no one believed me, I educated my self, got financially independent and still have no guts to leave him.But no more, I will hate my self in next 22years, if I stay.
    He knows I'm going, but don't believe I'm able to go through it. I gave him an ultimatum, go and get help, or I'm gone, he just said I needed more, so I can know how to treat him and to make him happy!
    No, no, no, this time I need to make my self happy.
    So Deana, leave before you will get too trap, in to his madness.

    Becik
  • Deana  - Thanks for all the kind words, I left him
    So...very shortly after I posted my last message, I left my Narc. After figuring out what he was, it was impossible to be with him. Everything he did or said, good or bad, I could see through it. Sometimes I just wanted to point at him and yell "NARCISSIST"! We got into a bad arguement and I decided I couldn't do it anymore. I was sitting at work, called my best friend for support, and sent him a text ending the relationship. His response, and I shouldn't have expected anything else, was "I wish you could have been different, good luck".

    Since then, I have had to fight urges to contact him. When I have contacted him, he's responded telling me he misses me and loves me, or torturing me by telling me about the new women he's found. He was working a food and wine show and saw my friend there and actually hit on her, knowing it would get back to me. I don't sleep at night, having nightmares that wake me up out of sleep from anxiety. I have a hard time speaking to people without breaking down in tears. I've decided to get help and made an appointment with a councellor for emotional abuse. The worst part is the feeling of being so confused. Trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't. Trying to find the closure that I will never get. If I don't contact him, he doesn't contact me because he's too proud. It breaks my heart knowing I meant so little to him.

    But as much as everything in me wants to run back to him, feel like he loves me, feel like he needs me, I have somehow found the strength inside me to stay away. I know I have a long, hard road ahead of me, but it will be worth it in the end. This guy is poison.

    My advice to someone who wants to leave a narcissist is this. Sorround yourself with people who love you and care for you, educate them on what has happened to you, educate yourself. Get help. And know that you're not the only person who is going through this, someone else understands. Stay strong and do what you have to do.

    A few months of sorrow and pain, is nothing compared to a lifetime of hell with a narcissist.
  • ilja  - what about the kids?
    with no income, no work experience ,a white in a New South Africa, 3 kids in primary school? I feel like a coward for staying, but i tell myself if i could do it for 17 years, i can do it for a few more...

    I love what u, Deana said, about wanting to laugh in his face and scream 'NARCISSIST' in his face..Yes, i know the feeling!!!


  • Hugo
    Hi ilja

    It takes courage to endure a bad situation so that other like your children do not suffer, so it is the epitome of real strength to stay but do not worry, even the greatest tyrants are humbled.

    Endure, stay calm and be patient. Your time of freedom is coming
  • Anon
    Katie,

    This is exhausting.

    It's not black and white about therapists, and no, I don't have to agree with her 100%. I like her for certain reasons, not so much for others. She's not my first therapist, and I know that with therapists, just like in any other profession, the fact that a person carries a certain title or has a certain degree does not mean they are the end-all of knowledge.

    Have you ever had a terrible professor? A doctor that gave you bad advice? Even gotten an awful haircut? Met a mean clergyperson? No one has all the answers, and when it comes to spiritual practice, I make my own decisions. So I don't look to my therapist to tell me how to view what I consider spiritual matters, like compassion and forgiveness.

    I'm not really up to responding to everything you've written. But thanks for your concern and warnings. I don't know what to say except I know where my head is at, and I know now that I am in no danger of being sucked back in. I know I can't convince anyone of that, but then again, it's not my job to.

    Read this woman's story. Then read everybody else's. Amazing grace.

    THIS is what I believe in.

    And if they can do it, I certainly can, too.

    http://theforgivenessproject.com/stories/rebecca-demauro-usa/


    Good luck.
  • Katie  - reply to Anon
    Anon,
    After having experienced 10 yrs on and off with my narc, and a dear friend who had SAME exact experience only 15 yrs, I consider myself very informed, notwithstanding I am in the field of mental health. I understand with regards to your feeling compassion, I used to tell my mentor friend, who WAS very experienced, that he 'couldnt help his behavior' and she would tell me that he indeed could. She also told me that he disregarded every letter I would write him, and that it basically only served to make me feel better, but did not in one way improve his communication or treatment of me, and also served to give him an incredible high, knowing he was frustrating me to the point of pouring out my heart to him! which both I learned was correct. She also made it clear that it was a long process of letting go, with many many backsliding moments, reconnecting. I loved him and didnt want to believe that I indeed meant nothing to him, that contacting me wasnt much of a prize since anyone would do, and that eventually, when I didnt serve any purpose for him ( which you will learn when you dont return contact) he will eventually move on easily to the next victim, leaving you with no sense of 'compassion' for his behavior towards you. I was not special, nor was a singled out, as they dont treat any woman with respect or love. I also was very compassionate towards him and leaned towards forgiving him and being very caring, which only served to enable his behavior in the case of his narcissism, and as I said to fuel my sentimental romantic ( which was non existant in actuality) feelings towards him. I am thankful I no longer have those feelings as I have NOT had any contact with him, nor do I want to. And when you no longer do, will be when you finally are able not to contact him or have any communication, for you see, to BE in ANY contact with them means you are 'sucked in' ... as any contact labels you as a ' source'. When you are able to do this, NOT contact or return contact, you will indeed finally be free.
    If you have been to several therapists that tells me alot. And if you think your therapist is giving you bad advice, as 'bad haircut' or 'bad medical advice', I wonder why you go at all. People that tend to disregard advice, or some of it, and dont have a good working relationship, probably need to change therapists. But that is your deal, and so is your relationship with your narcissist. I would just hope that months from now, you are able to break free without making contact, for whatever reason. You dont have to prove it to me, but to yourself, so that is the key. But not feeling the need to explain yourself to him, or continue contact will be how you will know. Feeling it is one thing, acting on it is another, making sure that YOU are the important one here, not being considerate or compassionate for him. He deserves nor needs any, or WANTS any, nor will he EVER take any to heart. Turn your compassion towards yourself, and your forgiveness inward for allowing him to treat you the way he did for so long, because it is YOU that needs the forgiveness and YOU that needs the compassion. Best Wishes,
    Katie
  • Anon
    Katie,

    I'm going to have to bow out here.

    I came to this site for support and to hear other stories, but in my exchanges with you, I feel I've mostly been yelled at, lectured to, and entirely not heard. I tried to use a pleasant, open and inquisitive tone in my posts, and even though I never once asked for advice, I've received mostly criticism and lengthy instructions for how to correct my apparently incorrect thinking. Again, exhausting.

    I've tried to explain my stance but it's obviously falling on deaf ears, and participating in this exchange is neither educational nor emotionally beneficial for me---just like my relationship with X.

    And as in that case, I opt to cut off contact with you, but wish you well in your new phase of life. I feel compassion toward you as well, because your approach to interacting with a woman who came looking for a friendly community, has to do with you and not me.

    Peace.
  • Rainboweyes  - On leaving personal hell
    I have to say I agree with Katie. You have to be willing to have NO contact with them and with no melancholy feelings before you will let them go completely. I wasnt willing to listen to advice either about my narcissist and I got very mad at anyone who sternly reminded me what I'd said previously, or when I contact him again after I said I wouldnt or contradict myself. I would always have and excuse - even though I knew the truth in my heart and quoted it all the time to my friends! He is a bad man, not only a sick man. I used to pity him now I have no feelings at all. I had to remember all the hurt he did to me repeatedly. I found that was the way I stayed firm to no communication with him, and the longer I stayed with no contact, the better I felt inside. The less I wanted to "talk" about him or even say his name. The way Anon says his name several times in her letters, like she really is fond of him, and his name! Eventually, even the sound of his name makes your blood go cold. I would never repeat his name on a public sight either. These are vindictive persons. Never let them know your feelings about them or you could find yourself being lied on! they can easily throw you under the bus! and laugh all the while! Goodluck Anon, katie,
    Good luck to all, I love t his blog. The storries are similar and the pain!
    Rainbow
  • Anonymous  - Starting to Recover
    I would like to share my story of turmoil and pain that my husband has inflicted on me during the last 18 months. Previous to this I had thought i was in a pretty volatile and difficult but intact sort of marriage.

    One day, I was at home in my lounge by myself when my husband was out riding his bike and he had left his laptop open and on the arm of the couch. I was not in the habit of checking up on him or anything like that but as things had been a little distant recently, out of curiousity I looked on it and while I was doing that a women popped up on messager and starting interacting with me as though she was very familiar with me. I was quite taken aback and pretended I was my husband and tried to see who this was and what it was all about. I didn't get a lot out of her but it was enough to start the chain of events that followed.

    When my husband returned from the bike ride I asked him who she was and he told me she was an old mate of his' wife. I was suspicious but reasonable appeased by this. However, over the next week or so I decided to cast my eye over his facebook friends and emails etc. Something I had never done. I ended up speaking with this particular women a few more times and weirdly we actually got on quite well in the few chats that we had (I still don't understand why i did that). Well long story short, over the next three weeks I found out that my husband had slept with his best friends wife, he had been having threesomes with this women and her husband for the previous 18 months and I also opened his emails and found upwards of 5 or 6 women that he was in regular cyber sex predator mode with, one at least of which I knew he had flown across the country and had spent a weekend with. The texting with this woman was ridiculous, it was complete fantasy and something I will never understand. There was I love you's etc.... Seriously? The rest of the women were being relentlessly chased by my husband and fed all the charm which quickly changed to a sexual nature. It was like I had been hit with a hammer

    Well, my reaction to all of this was not at all what I had expected of myself. I confronted my husband of course, and even made an appointment to see a counsellor. A waste of time because he sat there and lied the entire time. My husband made it all out to be my fault, he has always been very good at twisting and turning things to never be wrong and if pushed into a situation, to react quickly with such explosive rage and at times violence towards me. I became depressed, stressed, unable to sleep, I lost my self-respect, I wanted to believe his lies, then each and everytime i would catch him out again. I think there has been upwards of 20 women both real and on the net.

    Over the 18 months since this initially came out, I have tried to fix this relationship. I always felt that if it was a Mid Life Crisis and he showed remorse and realised he wanted to be with me and the kids that I would be able I don't understand my reaction to all this though, its been like I have been addicted to him, I have been depressed, but would have basically done anything to have kept him around me. Literally anything he asked. I realised I have been blindsided and abused over the latter course of the marriage itself but can another person really have this much effect on my own psyche? I have lost respect for myself and confused my family and friends with my reactions to it all.

    I am absolutely convinced this man is a narcissist. He has no empathy and does not have the ability to put himself in another persons shoes. He is never wrong. He lies, he has betrayed me sexually, financially and emotionally. He is filled with explosive rage and the absolute predatory nature of his cyber activities shows me that I really only know one side of this person. The other person terrifies me. I am in the position of having two children with him.

    I think am growing stronger everyday and at last feel that I know what I am dealing with. I am trying to detach emotionally from him, which is hard as I truely did love him, but it is nice not to be in a house with the angry, yelling hostile cloud that he has brought over us. So maybe Im healing. I keep thinking detachment is the key. I am reading the website intently and am amazed that there are other people out there experiencing this. I feel I am so far from a normal relationship that I wouldn't recognise one. I don't know if full recovery is possible from being involved with a Narcissist but God I hope so. Thanks for listening.
  • Rainboweyes  - To anonymous- starting to recover
    Sounds like you are doing good. Cheating behind womens back is very common with these narcissists. My husband did the very same thing, but was very careless, leaving computer up, cell phone unlocked. One night I went through his texts and I was appalled! There were hundreds, to different women, asking them for pictures,lots of sexual talk, all of which were found as well. Pictures of their private parts, some even left their faces!!! He as well sent pictures of his genitals, with his office in the background, so I learned that most of his evil deeds were done at work. I found porn on his personal computer, and found evidence of him using his instantmessenger on his phone outside of work. I also found his profile ( no pictures, but I knew it was him as I sent an inquiry and eventually got his cell phone out of him, thinkingit was someone from a dating site). He had several girls he was leading on, even talking about meeting, some he probably did meet. I also found that these girls were fat, ugly, skinny, young, OLD.. ( one was almost 60) and I am sure it didnt matter to him who he had sex with. This was a total shock to me ( I am 30 and he is 42), and he generally put down girls who werent ' HOT' in front of me. He was even very racist and surprise!! there were pictures of black women in his phone. The moral of the story is that they dont CARE who they use as long as they get something, AND they can be totally contradictory and lead several lives and pull it off as easy as pie. There is recovery after a narcissist, just hang in there, trust yourself, listen to people who have been there, and seek professional help. there were very dark times until I TRULY let him go. Now I am feeling MUCH better, have even started dating again, something I never thought Id do at first!
    KEEP ON TRUCKING AND DONT LET THESE BARSTARDS GET U DOWN GIRLS
    rainbow
  • katie  - Anon continued...
    I lost the last part but ...more advice is, I find the best way to be is to not have ANY sentiment regarding these people, and do not think of them as ANYONE of ANY importance in your life past or present, because they are not. If you dont, I find that the early memories of the figment they presented to you will easily return. Many women cannot stop responding to them as they reach out for any validation of their feelings, as you so eloquently poured out to him, some acknowlegement of you, and accept crumbs to get it. You dont have to have resentment or bitterness or anger towards him, just simply stop communicating. And you HAVE to be the one because they will usually never give up on a readily available supply, especially one that caretakes, or makes excuses for them ( they cant help it ....hes sweet sometimes, he is like a child, etc)...it is a recipe for disaster to think things like that about them. No matter what I have said to him...after a period of time, back he slinks into my life, with no acknowlegement of problems or my feelings. But now, he does not know my new address, I have him blocked from my email, and I have his number blocked in my phone. It is the only way that you can rid yourself, no matter how long you have 'planned', if you continue communicating in ANYway. I know this because i have lived it. I always made excuses for returning contact ... " i dont want to stoop to his primitive way of communicating. I dont want to be mean, something more I need to say, etc..." but...JUST stop. And if you dont want your therapist ' telling you what to do' why are you seeing her ?? You want to select what you agree with and disregard the rest? You have to yeild to her advice in order to get better, unless you are the therapist. simple as that. Regards, Katie
  • katie  - Anon...
    Anon.. I am in the mental health profession and I agree about the attitudes surrounding mental healthcare in the US, and it is sad. People feel very uncomfortable and are stigmatized for seeking help for things like depression, ptsd, etc. but to correct you Narcissism is NOT in the DSM. It was removed somewhere around 2009/2010 along with several other of the personality disorders, and will not exist in the current DSM 5 that will come out in 2013. Mostly due to the fact that a certain amount of narcissism exists in all emotionally healthy persons and as you said, true narcissists do not seek treatment, and they generally can dupe the most savvy of counselors and MDs. There are very small percentages of them that have actually been treated,and most psychiatrists and therapists have little contact and experience with them, and estimates put the figure at about 14 percent for all men being malignant narcissist in the general population. Pretty big figures. And until our society is aware of this, and puts pressure on people to seek treatment, and Do not accept narcissism as a way of life, we are in pretty big trouble. Did you know that most pedophiles are narcissists? Do you have misty feelings for anyone who would abuse a child? Does our society have any pity for that sort...? Truth is, our society fosters and encourages narcissism in a big way... Money, Power, control, are all highly prized and sought after. Men are macho, dominant, and although light has recently been shed on ' bullying' ..narcissist bully emotionally. Little respect for humankind is prevalence in the ME generation, where ME comes first, to hell with everyone else. Looking out for number one is a way of life.
    While I have some pity for the narcissist, and it is a sad way to live ones life, I do disagree with you on another fact.. they DO know right from wrong. A current article in Psychology Today states, not only do they know right from wrong, they prefer to live the way they do, and pity the 'poor fool' that figures them out. My narcissist is a high functioning lawyer who passed the bar exam in the state of Texas and I beg to differ he DOES know right from wrong, as does yours I am sure. They CHOOSE NOT to do right, and there is a difference. And if you say that your narc ' hates himself and knows who he is then that says it all. While I do recognize that these people suffer from personality issues and lack certain tools to say perhaps, be empathetic, and the ability to love maturely, they are fully aware of what they do, and how they hurt. Some people call them ' evil personified' ... which at certain times in my relationship, I have agreed with. My narc has admitted that he knows his behavior hurts people, but the issue is, he just doesnt care.Which is hard for people like us to understand. Yes he lacks tools to be fully empathetic but he KNOWS right. Now whether you accept that and choose to deal with them anyway and be sympathetic is anyones business, *(some women know what they are, and to avoid upsetting the applecart, go ahead and tiptoe around them... keeping their marriages intact, and ignoring and living with their idiosyncrasies for the sake of their children, appearances, etc, which is a hard way to live, but the truth of the matter is, I choose not to enable him to hurt ME! No more.
    You said your ex has already contacted and you wrote him back... if i may give you some advice, they dont say NO contact for no reason ;) ... the letters back and forth will go on and on...believe me....the explaining, the rationalizing, being drawn back in, I have said ' I am not going to do this' a hundred times to him, to myself, and to anyone who would listen. I, like you, have large emotions and feelings where this is concerned, but, bottom line is, the reason I always contact him back is that deep in my mind ( although I wouldnt admit this part at the time) I had some expectations of seeing him again. And you will if you keep contacting him back. There is nothing more to say to him. You even said in your first letter that you told him if he contacted you, you would not respond... but now you say he already contacted you and you wrote back you ' wouldnt be responding' ..why was that necessary...again? is he slow?. So you have just enabled him, and given him another dose of supply. ( see there, she told me in that long letter she would never contact me again if i tried and look, she did!
  • Oceanglory  - Do they EVER set you free?
    My husband of 18 years said HE just couldn't do it anymore. HE needed out. We have 2 young kids and all I could think about was, "what about the kids...this isnt fair to the kids". The first week was a lot of raw emotions and open, "loving" talks. I told him once he walks out door, it will never be open to him again. I also said he needs to get help. I was not yet aware of NPD but I had been making these small discoveries on my own for the last 2 years...just didn't have a name for it. I was fortunate enough to meet with a friend of a friend who is a prominent shrink. She told me her story with her NPD and gave me some tools. All the while I was thinking that there is no way that this is what I'm dealing with, there's no way he's going to do that, there's no way....I started reading on the subject...fave book was Wizard of Oz and other narcissists. NOW I KNOW...yes way...he IS a narcissist and I was emotionally abused all these years and by some miracle, HE SET ME FREE. Well, I take that back. He opened the door and I COULDN'T get out fast enough! I don't think he was expecting my enthusiasm over him needing out and I'm dealing with the wrath of my rejecting/standing up to him. My fear comes into play every time I take a stance ...even when I do so in the required kiss-his-ass way. I've got 2 kids that he has started to pull into his demented, rejected, loser world. I need to protect them. I'm also trying to deal with the knowing that he is incapable of love, that MY last 18 years has all been based on his "scripts". And the kids, he can be the dad based on the dad-scripts but he can not emotionally connect. I need to suddenly get really good at fake compliments, fake appreciation...and I'm told he will buy it too. Aaahhh anyone
    out there who is ahead of me in this journey, I'd really appreciate some insight.

    Here is my recap of the last 18 years:
    Stranger Danger

    I've known you so long, yet I don't know you
    I see a stranger
    I feel the stranger
    I've been held hostage by the stranger
    The stranger is evil
    The stranger is cruel
    The stranger is heartless
    The stranger is empty
    By some miracle, the stranger set me free
    Could it be the stranger found within his vacant shell an ounce of humanity?
    I wish I could believe, but I now know too much about this stranger
    There is no heart
    There is no love
    There is no compassion
    There is nothing
    This empty vessel of a human that I called my husband, that I loved, that I sacrificed for, that fathered my children, that I forgave, that I gave years of my life to
    Is a stranger...to me.
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