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Characteristics of the Narcissist

Certain characteristics appear with stunning regularity among narcissists. Since narcissism is on a continuum, some will have more than others.

These characteristics apply to males and females

1. Self-centered. His needs are paramount.

2. No remorse for mistakes or misdeeds.

3. Unreliable, undependable.

4. Does not care about the consequences of his actions.

5. Projects faults on to others. High blaming behavior; never his fault.

6. Little if any conscience.

7. Insensitive to needs and feelings of others.

8. Has a good front (persona) to impress and exploit others.

9. Low stress tolerance. Easy to anger and rage.

10. People are to be manipulated for his needs.

11. Rationalizes easily. Twists conversation to his gain at other’s expense.  If trapped, keeps talking, changes the subject or gets angry.

12. Pathological lying.

13. Tremendous need to control situations, conversations, others.

14. No real values. Mostly situational.

15. Often perceived as caring and understanding and uses this to manipulate.

16. Angry, mercurial, moods.

17. Uses sex to control

18. Does not share ideas, feelings, emotions.

19. Conversation controller. Must have the first and last word.

20. Is very slow to forgive others. Hangs onto resentment.

21. Secret life. Hides money, friends, activities.

22. Likes annoying others. Likes to create chaos and disrupt for no reason.

23. Moody – switches from nice guy to anger without much provocation.

24. Repeatedly fails to honor financial obligations.

25. Seldom expresses appreciation.

26. Grandiose. Convinced he knows more than others and is correct in all he does.

27. Lacks ability to see how he comes across to others.  Defensive when confronted with his behavior.  Never his fault.

28. Can get emotional, tearful. This is about show or frustration rather than sorrow.

29. He breaks woman’s spirits to keep them dependent.

30. Needs threats, intimidations to keep others close to him.

31. Sabotages partner. Wants her to be happy only through him and to have few or no outside interests and acquaintances.

32. Highly contradictory.

33. Convincing.  Must convince people to side with him.

34. Hides his real self.  Always “on”

35. Kind only if he’s getting from you what he wants.

36. He has to be right. He has to win. He has to look good.

37. He announces, not discusses. He tells, not asks.

38. Does not discuss openly, has a hidden agenda.

39. Controls money of others but spends freely on himself.

40. Unilateral condition of, “I’m OK and justified so I don’t need to hear your position or ideas”

41. Always feels misunderstood.

42. You feel miserable with this person. He drains you.

43. Does not listen because he does not care.

44. His feelings are discussed, not the partners.

45. Is not interested in problem-solving.

46. Very good at reading people, so he can manipulate them.  Sometimes called gaslighting.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BREAKING UP WITH A NARCISSIST

Narcissism

Ann Bradley

43 Comments

  1. The stories of the crazy jealous ex’s that don’t let their partners have fun, friends, a facebook or even practice their own religion are the product of narcissistic behavior.

    I attracted narcissists. I had been in relationships with three and was friends with many more. I was asked to do favors and had been put down all in the same sentence. I put up with them because I felt like I understood the disease. I felt like they were the result of a bad upbringing and that it wasn’t their fault they were this way. Furthermore, I felt like this consumer/dog-eat-dog society brings it out in normal people and exacerbates the issues for narcissists. I thought I could help, I could show them the right way and I also felt deeply sorry for them. Then, I got beat up by two of them, two separate times. Both occasions were when I broke up with them.

    In my experience, narcissist cannot be fixed. Red flags are key.
    I think it is extremely important to review and remember this list to help avoid narcissists if you haven’t already, or haven’t experienced one yet.

    Nice guys finish last in these relationships. My current boyfriend was previously married to a narcissist. She was really funny looking, but took professional airbrushed photos of herself and stared at them all day to convinced herself otherwise. She never got a job or became educated because she believed her mother messed her up. She threatened suicide every time he tried to leave. She threw tantrums when she didn’t get what she wanted. She used him for his money, took away all of his freedoms and in the end when he had had enough, he couldn’t even tell her what was wrong with her. He told her he was gay. It was the only way out without another suicide threat. Well, when I left, I got chased down and beat. That’s what happens when you’re not careful enough with the break. (The flip-side sucks, just say you’re gay.)

    In retrospect, narcissists have been the most destructive force in my and my significant others life. What’s worse is that they’ll never know that. They’re never to blame, and their actions are always justified. For example, my boyfiend’s ex almost killed herself and their kids in the back seat trying to beat her own mother while she was driving (women are violent too). Before the police took her to jail she threatened suicide. In custody court she said it was because she was “threatened for her own safety” as she didn’t know what to do with her life or how to take care of herself. Her reason is typical narcissistic deranged reality crap. And, if someone threatens suicide so frequently and never tries or dies, they’re just trying to control or manipulate their way out of some consequence they don’t like. I’d be surprised to hear if any narcissist ever committed suicide.. ha!

    • I spent three years w/ a narc.broke up last jan.2011,it seems like theres no way to get him out of my head.The emotional games he played were incredible.The way he walked in and out of my life and my childrens life like we ment nothing.He turned the switch on and off like the switch on a wall.Every time the attention was focused anywhere but on him,there would be an issue,or the relationship would be in termoil.There were times whe he would give me the silent treatment for weeks,than I would end up being the ice breaker.I am finally getting better,but i still have urges to call him,but I am staying strong

      • Liz,
        You describe – very well! – the exact same situation I had with my sister!!! For decades! I stopped contact with her about 6-7 years ago and I still “can’t get her out of my head!” You say it so perfectly! I don’t know what the answer is, except knowing that life – NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS – is better without a manipulative narcissist in it.
        I wish you – and myself! – well!

    • I would love to chat with you about this topic- I am smack in the middle of ending this difficult relationship and could use the advise of someone who understands, please help if you can!

  2. I could attribute all but 3 of those things on the list to my ex. Classic textbook narcissist and one hell of a SOB and POS all at the same time. I literally cannot stand to be in his presence anymore and the disgust that I feel when I am around him, arms and protects me from EVER thinking about reconcilliation. I am so happy I learned about this disorder because it changed my life.

  3. after a 24 year marriage we are calling it quits. my narcissist , with a pathological gambling disorder, has taken the liberty to block me from accessing our accounts & hid my jewelry. he plans to battle asset division ( he hid it in an LLC) and demands i sue him hoping to drain the rest of my money. I suspect he hopes the hardship will drive me to commit suicide, even had my apartment burglarized to push me over the edge !! However, i am still standing and His plans and crazy behavior has not killed me but the stress has left me with mounting hospital bills, and I have to apply for disability. I can’t describe the pain of a broken heart and the torn self-esteem i am left with. II don’t believe i will ever trust a man again

    • Bren,
      I too am leaving a marriage after 23 years. I cannot believe that I took this for so long. I feel as though I have lost my self and am wondering how this is going to affect our three children. The older two kids, seem to know how to handle their father; the youngest is a special needs child and he adores his father. I worry about him. My future ex is bent on having me spend all my money on attorney’s fees so that I will not get one penny of his money. He is doing everything possible to punish me for daring to break free from his control. The one thing that keeps me strong is that because I am still standing, it drives him insane. He has been hoping that I will fall and beg for him back. I have not and now he is doing everything possible to make me regret my decision. The best revenge, as my wise young daughter has advised me , is to be successful in life without him. Please find within yourself the courage to continue standing and to show him that you are strong without him. Trust yourself, believe in yourself!

      • Maddie, Your story sounds so like mine, I too have two very wise children but I just cannot seem to get over the pain and hurt and wish like you I could find strength, courage and self belief!

    • Run, Christi, Run! In my experience, you can never change these people. All you can do is limit your contact with them and heal from the damage they’ve wrought.

  4. Wow! I can definitely relate to all these stories!! I honestly never knew someone could be so self-absorbed in my life!! My husband did an excellent job at luring me in when we were dating. We’ve been married 13 years now and it has taken a toll on my whole life! He is a Truck Driver now and I am so glad beacause at this point, there is no way I could deal with him on a daily basis! It just blows my mind that a person can think about themselves like that 24/7!!! I feel for all of you!

  5. Pingback: Characteristics of the Narcissist « Steve Blizard's Blog
  6. My sister exhibited 38 of these 46 signs – Wow! Good to know have further validation of my assessment of our relationship.

  7. I’m in the beginning stages of a divorce from a narcissistic husband. After 11years and no children, I have learned that I cannot live in such disarray anymore. He has crushed my self-esteem, caused me to resign from a promising career, and is trying his best at leaving me financially broken. I’m embarrassed at some of the behaviors and situations I’ve survived in this marriage. He has had continuous use of steriods and that only helped fuel his rages and several times I have seen my life flash before me. There has been numerous affairs I am finding out about and lots of wasteful spending. I’m attempting to survive this emotional roller coaster of dismissing him from my life. I’m attempting to settle it without filing suit against him for a divorce. I’m praying everyday that he one day realize he needs professional help. I’m seeking counseling to help me overcome some of the hurt and pain. I have loved so unconditional and he will always hold a place in my heart, but it will be from afar. I’m so glad a friend convinced me to research narissitist behavior. Thank you for opening my eyes to finally realizing an explanation for such hurt and pain that he has caused.

    • So glad you are moving forward. Protect yourself in the divorce – be prepared for more outrageous actions as he might be fueled by anger at your leaving him and want to punish you. Devious and manipulative are keywords which often stand out when looking at the behavior of personality disordered spouses in divorces. Remember always, guard your heart, your emotions and your finances. Best to you, Ann

    • Suzanne-
      There is no way to settle with a Narcissist. I tried for 3 years before reading a book by a divorce judge. He spent all but one paragraph of a 200 page book saying to settle out of court. In that one paragraph he said “if a spouse has gotten their way throughout the entire marriage then it will go to court”. It has been 5 years since I moved to another state – over a year since the divorce, we had court again this morning. By definition, Narcissists will never seek professional help. If they do, then they are not Narcissists.

  8. 46 out of 46 for my former N Boyfriend. Seriously.
    I wish I had known he was an N when we were still together, but no one told me. He told me he had depression and anxiety. His mother told me he had NPD and Boarderline PD AFTER he went to jail for the final suicide attempt which for the first time, also involved threatening me with the knife. Nice time to tell me, Mom….. I realize it’s a difficult thing to be a parent to an N, especially an adult N. I’m sure I eased the parental burden for the time we were together, but I also feel it is irresponsible to not inform a romantic partner of the reality of the N, especially if there are small children involved.

    • I guess he was a Toxic Narcissist. That’s the worst he could possibly be. How did I get so lucky? Only 1% or so of the entire worldwide population are affected by Toxic Narcissism. Why couldn’t I hit the lottery instead of meeting him? Ugh! Life is so unfair!

  9. I have narcissistic personality disorder :)
    I really like this site, it is rather informative.

  10. Divorced from an NPD with kids isn’t fun either but is better than living with one day to day. Now that I am done fighting over college expenses, which I knew was coming, I feel like I am having post traumatic stress syndrome. 14 years later I have grown. He has not. Here are notes from the marriage:

    He was always right, it was always my fault, my opinions were wrong if they didn’t agree with his.

    “It is important who is right and wrong because it gives the person who is wrong something to work on.”

    “I always treat you poorly because you are just an extension of myself, and I treat everyone else better than I treat myself”

    “You have a character flaw since you like to be by yourself a lot.”

    “You need to throw away all the stuff you have from your childhood. I don’t have my childhood stuff, so why should you have yours? (this included a box of items that belonged to my deceased brother).”

    “I AM better than everyone else. Some one who is smart and educated is better than someone who is just a janitor.”

    “I used to be happy. I am not happy anymore. If you gave me more love and attention I would be happier.”

    “We are just puppets in life. Everything has been predetermined.” (in explaining why he always had excuses and was not responsible for his actions).

    “You made me do it. If you hadn’t done _____ I wouldn’t have needed to do it”

    After we were divorced 4 months: “I am not the babysitter. I am moving away so you will have to take care of the kids all by yourself and never have any free time.”

    “It surprises me that if William is smart enough to be educated, why he doesn’t think the same way I do.”

    “You shouldn’t pay attention to what I say, but should pay attention to what I mean. I don’t always say what I mean.”

    “I know you love me. And I could never stay mad at you.” (after ignoring my increasing frustration with the marriage, he refused to make any changes on his end, but expected me to make all the changes.” Then, after we were divorced: “she was the love the of my life but didn’t want to work on the marriage and was having affairs.”

    “I never studied for that class.” (his response to me getting a higher grade in a graduate level class – as an undergrad – than he).

    “You need to iron my clothes. You have responsibilities” (after waking me up from a sickness with a 104 degree fever)

    “What do you mean you don’t have enough time to yourself? You go to Target once a week. What else do you need?”

    “You have responsibilities.” (after complaining that I went to dinner with friends for the first time in 7 years.”

    He was really angry when I was on bedrest for my second pregnancy, as if it was my fault.

    “Morning sickness doesn’t exist. Women are just trying to get attention or have psychological issues.” When I threw up before I even knew I was pregnant, he was frustrated by not knowing how to explain that.

    He knew more than everyone, including doctors/PhDs who were specialists in their fields.

    “This isn’t what I signed up for.” after I refused to have sex with him in the room above where my mom and kids were playing.

    “People in Costa Rica (his home country) are much more civilized and family-oriented than Americans.”

    “Costa Rica’s educational system is much better than the USA’s”

    “I know I told you before we got married that I would help with the house cleaning and taking care of the kids, but I changed my mind.”

    “Orlando and Gilda think that its the woman’s job to take care of the man, even if the woman has to work outside of the house.”

    “My first wife was prettier than you. She had a pretty face and big boobs.”

    “You have banana tits.”

    He didn’t do things for people because it was the right thing to do. He did it because he said it made him feel good. He also expected big thank you’s and other forms of appreciation.

    We once had a calm discussion about being important or perfect. I said when I realized that I was just one speck of dust in the universe, it took a lot of the pressure off of me to be perfect or to care if I were the best or the smartest or the best. I was happy to exist and do my best. He said he couldn’t agree with that at all; it was very important what his status was in life and what others thought of him.

    I told him that it bothered me that all 4 people eating dinner spoke great English but the other 3 sat there talking in Spanish and left me out. And he always initiated the speaking in Spanish. He would later say “it’s not their fault you don’t speak Spanish.”

    “If the company is going to treat me like this, then I have the right to steal from them (office supplies, dishes, etc).

    He didn’t get up to help me get things that I needed when I was in the hospital giving birth. He said he was too tired to get out of the chair.

    After I gave birth to my daughter, he brought me a dozen roses. After I gave birth to my son, which had been a difficult pregnancy, he brought me cheap flowers from the grocery store. When I said that it upset me he said “I could have bought three CDs for the price of the those flowers.”

    “If you did more stuff for me, then I would do more stuff for you.”

    “If you want me to respect you then you should deserve it first.”

    “Don’t just stand there, do something.” (when I was taking a break from folding sheets and later, from raking leaves.)

    He told me about all of his sexual conquests when we first started dating and then would bring them up for some reason on an ongoing basis. When I later told him there was no reason to tell me such garbage, he said “that stuff always comes up later on anyway so its best to get it out in the open.”

  11. I recently broke off a friendship with a narcissist. I’m amazed that it took me 20 years to recognized her affliction, even with a degree in psychology and being extremely familiar with B-cluster personality disorders. I simply didn’t recognize her grandiosity as it was often covert. For example, she’d repeatedly tell a mutual friend that she made “so much more money” than me (so does Bill Gates, big deal).

    She’d been dropping straws on this camel’s back for years – minor controlling behaviors, judgmentalness, back-handed compliments, the occasional misdirected freak out over a non-issue. Then she dropped 3 giant hay bales in quick succession. She decided to develop a rule for herself and I also had to obey. Doing so would have prevented me from an activity I love and had been doing all my life – I even have a Master’s degree related to this activity. My disobedience caused her to freak out and I broke off all contact. Since then, she has expressed no contrition or accountability and has blamed me for the conflict. Of course, she can’t let it go, so although I screen her calls and have blocked her e-mail, she still tries to contact me to discuss “what we’ve been going through”. I’ve been going through freedom from control and craziness.

    I’ve made a point of not sharing the fiasco with our mutual friends and she’s been talking up a storm about how unreasonable I am over this “misunderstanding”. Not hearing my side, friends are lining up behind her. I still think taking the high road is the way to go. Her NPD has gone undiagnosed, but certainly not unnoticed for years.

  12. Wow, some of these stories are awful. Makes mine pale in comparison. We can all agree that the aftermath is like a deep trauma.

  13. Thank you so much for this list! My son was married to a narcissist and she wrecked havoc on all our lives.

    Since then, I have found many friends whose lives were ruined by a narcissist. I continue to be amazed at how many are out there. I have shared this list with them all, and like me, it is like a light bulb going off and it helps so much to identify and understand. And what a relief that can be to an injured soul. Many thanks.

    • Hi – I see information as an infrastructure that supports us and moves us forward. My own journey began that way many years ago and helped me. I’m so glad you wrote and shared how it helps you and that you shared with others. Feeling all alone as a victim of the personality disordered is a lonely journey. We do need each other. Best, Ann

      • Interestingly, because of your list, Narcissists are now very easy for me to recognize when
        i hear of their actions.

        Everyone I was close to who was in a Toxic relationship, has not only recognized their
        spouse as Toxic, but has either successfully removed themselves from the relationship
        or it has been healing to them in the aftermath of that relationship. Knowledge is indeed
        powerful and freeing, thanks to you. And it is like they are freed when they read the list!

        Several included spouse abuse, one female to her husband and two females at the hands of
        their husbands. Interestingly, several have also learned how to “talk” to the narcissist who
        remains on the fringes, shutting him down by not responding to a rant as he tries to gain
        control.

        One friend, took your list to her male physician, who almost had lost his practice
        through his abusive secretive narcissistic physician wife. When he read your list, he
        immediately copied it to give to others, hugged with tears my friend and said, “You gave it
        a name!”

        • Linda – Thanks for telling the story about your friend’s physician as well as your friends. Ripples in a pond stories always resonate so positively with me. They say: we all make a difference when we make the effort. Thank you for being one of those who makes a difference. Best, Ann

  14. My brother has broken our hearts…in reading this list of traits, it seems he has all but maybe two of these listed characteristics. The traits he exhibits are overwhelming and seem to swallow up everyone around him. I worry for my darling nieces, his daughters. I am so sad about him and have always known he cannot be trusted. In my relationship with him I have always felt wrong and that I could never have an authentic relationship with him. Every time I have trusted him it has been costly. It is helpful to see such direct information to solidify my concerns about him. We are all sick of his behavior (the whole saga would make an unreal movie) and have confronted him with his volume of lies. He cut off contact with our family except for occasions of screaming tirades, cursing and intimidation. We have been labelled as judgmental, self-righteous, uncaring, unloving and stupid. It is interesting that we all have taken great care to show him repeated kindnesses regardless of his behavior and not to react to his tantrums…all to no avail. It terrifies me that I could be related to someone like this. I pray daily for him and also that God would keep my heart in check and not to be given over to bitterness. All of this is truly out of my hands and I hope that someday he will find the help he so desperately needs. Thank you for your work in the arena.

  15. I am a 53 year old gay man. I have 3 children and I am a widower (my wife passed away from a brain tumor 10 years ago. I always knew I was gay but did not accept being gay until after taking care of my ill wife, I became too overwhelmed – something had to give. Although I remained faithful, it was a relief for me to accept my sexuality. Several years after her death, I started “coming out”. I thought the hardest part would be telling people, but since then, I am devested by how the gay men’s world functions. It is dominated by permiscuity, lack of trust, emphasize on youth and penis size.

    I was in a relationship with a narcissistic man which started 4 1/2 years ago (9/24/2008-6/5/2012). He left me one day last June last June when he said he did not want to feel guilty if he should go somewhere that summer and hooked-up.

    I was devastated because he basically was not faithful to me during the whole relationship – he would always deny and I would somehow believe him. He used sex to control me, used my car for years because he wasn’t ready to get a new one when his broke and he lived at my house without assisting with money (he occasionally bought groceries) and it was easy for him to spend my money but only bought quality stuff for himself (which he made sure he got everything he paid for back when he left).

    I have never been so depressed and unhappy in all my life. I feel he stole my soul, heart, mind, and spirit. I feel so confused, hurt, and in-pain that I do not want to live – even though I have children who depend on me. I did try to end my life this last October – it should have worked but I have an enzyme issue that does not allow me to metabolize a lot of medications – and since this was a medication I could not metabolize it didn’t even make me sleepy – never mind suppressing my respiratory system.

    I feel my life is over. He made me feel unattractive, crazy, and without any self-worth. All the while he was cheating on me and telling me I was crazy. But I loved him and believe it or not still do! He played mind games with me so much for so long, my brain patterns value his life over mine. Now I don’t have him and I am depleted emotionally and spiritually – therw just isn’t anything left.

    Furthermore, being 53, gay, with 3 children, I am not a sought after commodity in this basically unhealthy gay-male community

    When he left me and kind of missed me, he would contact me. He said he struggled getting over me, but not like wanting me back, for now he could have sex “when he wanted, where he wanted, and with whom he wanted”.

    From what I hear, he is happy, has good friends and living a balanced life. And here I am, the partner that truly loves him, supported him, was committed to him – just wanting to die. Why?

  16. I am guy who just wrote last post (53 year old gay widower)
    My email is johnwschone@yahoo.com
    I take antidepressants – even though they don’t work and I see a counselor who is good – but I am still suffering.
    It has been nearly a year since my narssacistic boyfriend left me.
    The abuse has left me worse than dead. I know I have my own issues like being highly sensitive and codependent, but if there is anyone out there who has recovered from this devastating experience and knows how I should feel like living again please share with me ways to get better, please help me!

    I don’t show any signs of improvement – I still love my narssacistic ex and don’t feel I will ever be confident, happy, or hopeful again.

    Help!

    • Hi – Please do some research on antidepressants. Paxil, for example, has been found to cause chronic depression. If you are taking them and they aren’t working as you say, they could be making things worse and keeping you from getting better. Do the research on this. There are doctors who understand other ways of assisting brain changes other than with anti-d’s. Ok, as to why you are still attached to your narcissistic ex. It may or may not be of any help to know that you are far from alone in this attachment behavior, whether gay or straight. Sometimes referred to as love addiction, it is not that uncommon, but certainly no place you want to stay in. But you already know that or you wouldn’t be writing.

      I strongly suggest this very easy to read, cut to the chase, put it all in perspective book as a beginning place for you to kickstart a new beginning and get over the ex and feel good about yourself. You are so not alone! Others have been there, done that, and gotten better. So can you. Try this book, and also google, ‘love addiction’

      Best to you, Ann

  17. My ex girlfriend fit EVERY SINGLE one of thoes. after the break up she spred a lot of lies and rumors about me….Saying im a “sociopath” (im not) …getting close to my friends and turing them on me…Just devoteing her time to creating drama in my life. When we were dating she hacked my facebok and blocked EVERY girl I had added…. including family members…She would get mad when I listened to certain types of music like rock or dustup. she would get over jellies when id talk to my friends while she’s near me. Tho some how it was like…she got into my head….I cant stop thinking about her…It felt like i’ve never loved anyone more then I Did her but looking into it more I see It was all fake and shes just a narcissist.

  18. Our company worked with Lantor Ltd/ Lenticular Promo.
    My job was a sales representative and my livelihood depended on my income.
    I know the manager at Lantor is a severe narcissist. When I placed orders for my clients the manager would say he did not like the art we submitted.

    He held up orders when we had event dates. He always blamed people in China, Weather, UPS/FedEx, or customs.
    I lost clients and finally my job because we lost a big account due to the manager at Lantor.

    The manager at lantor called my client and lectured them on having “pretty” artwork. He did not care about money and he always mentioned he was a CEO and he controlled – his company his rules. Looking back I feel bad for that german’s employees.

  19. I was business partners with a narcissist for 8 1/2 LONG years. This poisonous relationship damaged me in every way – financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. It was a hardship on my family as well. But, I got out and I’m on the mend. I’ve begun to write a book about my experience in hopes that I can help others. I think of myself as a “survivor”.

  20. I broke up with ex-gf of two years in June ’13. I always knew from the bottom of my heart and the depths of my intelligence that I was dating someone who was selfish, self-absorbed, lacked empathy, distant, deceiving, untrustworthy and unappreciative but had impeccable beauty and charm. I told her this many times in hopes that she would listen to me and change for the sake of the relationship. What I was really doing was saying that I was tired of her manipulating and emotionally abusing me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I now know that this was a form of narcissism.

    She cheated on me twice and never admitted this though I caught her with o man and actually spoke to one who confirmed it: an ex-spouse she was manipulating to get money from. She came to my house on both occasions crying like a baby and saying that she didn’t deserve me… however, later I learned that she was apologizing because she got caught and felt guilty, not because she cared for my feelings or was truly remorseful.

    Because a narcissist can charm and knows how to talk the bark out of a dog I accepted her apologies and tried to forgive her. This I found to be almost impossible and I had trust issues for over a year with her that led to numerous anxiety concerns when she went out or did something without telling me. She never cared to move in with me because she was ‘afraid you (I) would kick me out.’ She used this as an excuse to continue living her secretive life of attention-getting and ‘friendships’ which stroked her ego. She went to the gym 4-5 times a week, 12 hours a week while leaving her kids alone.

    The ex-gf constantly compared me to other bfs and commented often of how others paid for all of her expenses, bills, etc… The last conversation we had, her last digs were about how I didn’t love her children like I loved my own (older) children and only spent money on them. She would never admit that I lived for her and her kids, taking them on numerous trips, day trips out, dinners out, bought them gifts, signed them up for sports, taught them things, etc… I was essentially a ‘father’ without kids and playing the ‘husband’ without a wife.

    She was manipulative at the end, playing me a fool while she secretly was on a dating site finding another ‘source’ to manipulate and abuse. She continued to kiss me, hug me, talk to me, feed me while she was planning her big escape. It was a miserable ending of her ignoring my final requests to communicate and leaving me frustrated and confused. I have learned, as have many, how devastating it is to be manipulated, lied to and cheated by someone like this. They lack empathy and are only interested in what they can get out of a person who loves them. Essentially, they get you to fall in love with the ‘mask’ of who they are and with the charm and sex, make it difficult to leave them. They seek out nice, unsuspecting, giver-type people and hold them to a higher expectation than they set for themselves.

    They are extremely jealous and controlling to a point that you would feel guilty to even have a life of your own. They have no respect for the love that you give them and insist that you can never give them enough. My ex-gf always threatened me that she could have any guy whenever she wanted and had many male ‘friends’ in her phone that I never met or heard about. Don’t be deceived by this type of person. I don’t truly regret loving her, because I know that I forgave her and put up with her inconsistencies and manipulation because I truly loved her. She wasn’t a ‘toxic’ narcissist but absolutely had traits that would point in that direction. It has been hard not thinking about her, because as a ‘victim’ you constantly want to blame yourself for why the breakup occurred. You replay things in your mind trying to believe that she was a good person and never meant to treat me this way. That’s the damage that comes from being with a narcissist – they never take accountability or responsibility for their actions and you end up feeling that blame. If you finally have the reason to leave them and the strength they will either cry and make you feel sorry for them or will find another source as quickly as possible who will continue supplying the attention, love, money and devotion that they so desire but can’t reciprocate…. She never had boundaries, which are common for narcissistic people, and suffered I believe from a repetitive compulsive disorder to continue doing ‘bad’ things to the men who loved her. Everyone of her exs suffered as I did. I only wished that I had the strength of character and love of self enough to leave her after the first of many red flags surfaced.

    Don’t be another victim, get out of these kind of relationships. They will never change and honestly, don’t want to change. Why should they when there a idiots like me who allow this kind of behavior and even encourage it. If you forgive a woman who cheats, lies, deceives, you have lost their respect and they will continue until you are emotionally abused (which is a form of domestic abuse), lonely and empty….

  21. It’s been almost 2 years since I left my Narc/BPD relationship. One of the most painful parts was having to physically leave the place that I loved, my home because I knew after many years that if I stayed physically in the same place as him I would always be manipulated back into the same bullshit. I’m reading and writing because though I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful, kind person now I still feel haunted and often have dreams that make me relive the pain over and over again. I have been perplexed because it’s been so long. I should be over it, right? Well, I’m not and I feel guilty and weak that I’m not over it. Right after I left Brett Gyllenskog swooped up one of my good friends, she was moved in with him within a month of me leaving. I thought that she was one of my best friends. I just have to remind myself that I also fell victim to his manipulation so many times. I thought it was my fault that I wasn’t good enough and that perhaps she is but I know now, from lots of therapy, that there is NO good match for a narcissist!! She is now in the same pain I was and although my hurt and anger are still here ultimately I feel pity on her.
    I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented and to those who wrote the article. Especially all the parts about, sleep, reactive depression, nightmares, etc.. I thought I was crazy and totally lame that I still carry the pain around and dream of him and her so often still.
    All of this has helped me feel okay about where I’m at and helped me to see how damaging these people and relationships can really be. I don’t have to feel so crazy and weak anymore about still reeling from this experience.

    Research characteristics of “REAL” Narcissistic/Borderline/Anti-social… Personality Disorder!!! It’s not just someone who think’s they’re pretty awesome and likes to look at themselves in the mirror. It’s so much more.

    Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality! They will manipulate you every time you try to leave. You feel like you can’t go on without them because they have groomed you to feel that way. That’s not real! – even though you feel physically ill and overly fearful at the thought of leaving. I promise that It will never end! It is impossible for them to change because of the type disorder they have does not allow them to look at themselves the way that we can and they NEVER will be able to.

    So ultimately please hear my advice…(I do realize that kids and marriage make this even more complex and difficult)…

    BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.

    ….and STOP BELIEVING THAT YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH, STRONG ENOUGH, SMART ENOUGH, SKINNY ENOUGH, ETC…

    IT’S A LIE!

    THEY NEED YOU TO FEEL THAT WAY SO THEY CAN KEEP YOU THERE TO KEEP SUPPLYING THEM WITH WHAT THEIR DISORDER NEEDS TO SURVIVE.

    REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!

    Love yourself and don’t look back.

    Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

    • Thank you for a great post and words of wisdom from having been on the journey out and forward from a place of pain. Your words will make a difference to those you may never know about. This is important and appreciated. Best to you, Ann

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