So You Want Your Narcissist Ex-Lover to Apologize to You?

Before I get right into today’s challenging topic, I want to thank all of you for regularly reading my articles. One of the articles that I continue to get comments, feedback, and just plain thank you’ s for understanding what I’m going through is the So You Want to Date a Narcissist post.

The interest in narcissistic personalities does not surprise me. They can take you from heaven to hell in no time flat.  Having relationships with them can be so challenging that, when the relationship ends, you will spin for months trying to figure out what the heck just happened.

Please say you're sorry, so I can heal and move forward.

Today, I want to help you make sense of why it’s hard to heal from such a relationship and your obsessive need to have them apologize for hurting you so much.

The one thing that I hear repeatedly when helping a person to get over a narcissist is that you want him or her to say I’m sorry to you. “If he’d just say I’m sorry, you say, I could get over the breakup and move forward.”

I want you to understand better why narcissists rarely apologize,  if ever, and moreover, why you are having a hard time accepting this. If you are to heal and move forward, you have to heed my message well today.

In narcissists’ one-way consideration of things, it is you who turned the relationship sour. You are the cause of the breakup, in their minds.

You have to take seriously the way a narcissist defines and enters into a romantic relationship. It is a one-way relationship satisfaction contract.

You supply complete support, love and admiration.
He or she feels good.
Then, you are permitted to bask in the sunshine of their love.

And, oh, does that sunshine feel good!

It’s when your needs start to surface that they begin to withdraw their love. Narcissists do not enter into relationships to meet others’ needs. When the spotlight turns to you, they lose interest. And, seemingly out of nowhere, the relationship ends. Of course, you feel hurt and bitter.

You want more than anything an acknowledgement of all you did, sacrificed and gave to make him or her happy. You want an acknowledgement of the pain they caused you. It’s understandable that you want this, but given the way a narcissistic personality is formed, it is unreasonable.

Narcissists are not built for apologies. They have developed inflated views of themselves to shore up  a very fragile self-esteem. At their core, they don’t feel good about themselves.

You may be thinking right now,  fragile, you are kidding right? They are so full of themselves. Remember, the narrowly defined image of perfection that they project out to the world, and the energy they put into protecting it, tells you just how threatened they are by any communication that views them as less.

To sum it up, the regret, remorse, and guilt that an apology to you entails, says to your ex-narcissist lover, “I’m imperfect”. You are also expecting them to be aware of how they hurt you. Remember, empathizing is not in their vocabulary. The only pain they really feel is the loss of your complete support, love and admiration.

I am not cutting them slack, please believe me. I care more about helping you to face what you are really up against. The apology that you are waiting for is up against long-standing, nearly impenetrable personality defenses against admitting imperfection that even the best therapists have difficulty breaking through them.

The real question is what makes you wait for an apology that will never come?

By insisting upon a statement of regret, remorse, empathy and guilt, you keep the relationship going, in your mind. Why would you do this, if you are in so much pain? The apology is the last connection to the relationship.

It is the connection you really desire that keeps you stuck, rather than the apology.

It’s difficult to drop the final connection to a relationship that at one time made you feel on top of the world. There is nothing quite as wonderful as basking in the sunshine of a narcissist’s love when things are good.

Think about it for just a second. Imagine there’s no apology coming, no more connection. You are waiting for and expecting nothing. The ongoing, tortuous internal dialogue is gone.  How do you feel? Perhaps empty and lost for just a time. This is the feeling that’s hiding behind the apology for which you have been waiting.

I know this is hard to hear, but nonetheless true. When you are really ready to let go of this relationship, you will require the apology much less. You won’t need him or her to justify your pain and suffering anymore. You know what you went through and don’t need outside confirmation of what happened.

Well, I’m sure this won’t be the last of my posts on the narcissistic personality. I hope you found something here that helps you through your pain.

If you like my post today, please say so by selecting the Like icon that immediately follows. Also, feel free to share a comment with us, if you wish. Warmly, Deborah!

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102 Responses to “So You Want Your Narcissist Ex-Lover to Apologize to You?”

  1. Thanks Deborah Thought this was very interesting and enlightening So I did some more reading regarding narcissism Do you see any type of reactive disorder in children of a severely narcissistic parent eg what difficulties they might face and how to overcome them ?

    Kathleen

    • avatar drdeborahkhoshaba says:

      Hello Kathleen, it is a great question. If it’s okay with you, I will have my sister Deana, who is a pediatric psychologist write you on my FB page for my blog. She probably has more information on this good topic. I’ve treated narcissistic personalities much in my career. And, anecdotally, I have not seen reactive disorders in their children. But, let me add that I can see exactly why the question arises, as it makes sense from the attachment issues that arise in children when parents are very narcissistic. I have seen psychological problems in my adult patients of very narcissistic parents, such as problems identifying authentic strivings and living a life carved by them as opposed to their parents. It’s a pleasure dialoguing with you Kathleen. I know you from my FB blog page. Thank you again for following me. And, I look forward to our interacting in the future. Are you a therapist? Something tells me I now you. Warmly, Deborah

      • Thank you Deborah That would be great! Your thoughts are interesting and insightful to me No I havent met you before but I saw your shared post on Barry Aaronsons site and he always has interesting postings. Im not a therapist. I was a nurse who then went into sales and management and probably have done well because I enjoy relating to and understanding individuals. Have worked more in neuroscience but love psychology. Your site is wonderful fascinating and personally helpful! Thank you!

  2. avatar xcusemeeh says:

    You are right. I have somehow been waiting for ex-narc to kinda feel remorse and guilt for what he did to me. I felt like that an apology (a sincere one)is the only thing i needed to hear from him that will lessen the pain I am carrying on for a long time and I can easily moved on with my life. But I guess you are right in saying that how can they be feeling guilty when to their minds, it is you who had turned the relationship sour. It’s never them but always you. Well, I’m into my 6th month of No-Contact. We don’t live very far from each other but I never acknowledge him when I see him, it is like he doesn’t exist. I do not want to remember anymore that he had once been a part of my life. But I’ve learned a lot from the mistake and it only made me become much stronger and wiser.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello, I know how much an apology would mean to you. Yes, unfortunately, narcissists are the most difficult personality types from which to get an apology. I see you are doing well thought. Six months no-contact is wonderful. Congratulations. Your approach is really perfect–just walk away like he doesn’t exist. I can see by what you say that you have learned much from dating him. The great thing is, you have learned it and now free to walk away from narcissists the rest of your life.

      Thank you so much for visiting my site. I’m pleased that you found my reasoning as to why they cannot apologize helpful to you. Be well, Warmly, Deborah.

      • avatar Damsel says:

        Hello deborah.. I am in my 6th month of no contact with my ex. But in between he had called me few times jxt to talk to me n not regarding to patch-up. I was hoping in his calls dat he would want to patch up and is sorry but all he says we can never be apart from eachother. He keeps me confused statements all the time since 1 year that he is not sure about commitment to me and sometimes he says we cant be apart from eachother ever. These stuff had kept me stucked to the relationship even after the break up. I still love him and i cant talk to any other guy just because i feel guilty all the time..I em still mentally committedto him but i also know he isnt coming back but he is keeping me confused . I dont talk to him but whenever he calls me i em the same old loving person towards him n than he gets lost again . How to get over such ex who still keeps you on hold for years and making no commitment ???

        • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

          Hello Damsel! Although I know you still feel “mentally committed” to him, it’s a good thing that you have not been together for six months. You stay strong. If your ex is a narcissist, you did the right thing to break up. You are right Damsel–he won’t apologize. But, let’s look at what he is doing. He won’t let you leave him at least in fantasy. This is why he occasionally calls. Damsel, the call is more for him than you dear. He wants you to stay stuck, attached because his narcissism wants you to miss him to pine for him.

          You say something that is revealing. You say: How can you get over an ex who keeps you on hold. No person has the power to keep you on hold. You are allowing this. You don’t have to respond to his calls. You could block his phone number, txts, remove him from Facebook, from your life. Right? You are the one keeping yourself on hold Damsel. I’m sorry to have to say this dear but it’s true and this understanding is the only one that will free you. YOU are the only person who can free you.

          Damsel, just do it. Let go and see what life, God will bring to you. You have to close a door firmly so that life can bring you a true soul mate–a love who has no problem committing to you. Love yourself enough to know that a true love has no problem committing because he will know immediately that you are the one. Warm regards to you Damsel. I know you can do it. Let Go, Love Yourself and Take your Power Back!!! Deborah.

  3. avatar NC and Proud says:

    My ex-N wrote me a brief email when I left him telling me his pain was no less than mine. (He had been carrying on two simultaneous “exclusive” relationships, one with me and one with his “estranged” wife.) Yet, a few days later, I DID receive an apology. But the joke was on me. He had blind carbon copied it to his wife in an effort to “prove” to her that he and I were over. It came back in his face when she responded to it (and her response came to me also), saying that she had read the same letter from him before, only the name at the top (that would be mine) had changed.

    So yes, I got an apology. But even THAT was insincere and completely meaningless. It wasn’t meant to admit guilt, but rather to relay a message to his wife. So even when they apology, it is completely self-serving.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello NC and Proud: thank you for taking time to sharing your experience. I like what you say–sometimes, you do indeed get an apology, but it is self-serving to the narcissist as you point out well. Whew, right? I’m glad you have moved forward. I say–you’ve done that and ready to get the love you deserve and need. Stop by again. Warmly, Deborah!

    • avatar King Connor says:

      I am actually diagnosed N and I completely agree with your ex, you only have to do what you want in this world and the “feelings” of others are meaningless compared to my own needs. That’s how it goes and for an apology I just don’t see why he would need to?

  4. avatar jules says:

    Thankyou for your articles, I find them informative and ultimately empowering…as I’m sure many other readers do. I am currently in month four of no contact with my ex narc of nearly five years. After being in such a relationship I became a shadow of my former self, the confident, sociable young woman who did well at university and stood up for herself was replaced with an insecure, emotional and anxiety-ridden insomniac. I had to leave. My ex, despite agreeing to my no contact rule, of course continued to contact me via text, email, and even cards in the mail. Now apparently he wants to meet up and have lunch, as if we are casual friends and nothing ever happened. Ha! I won’t be, and I’ve realised I won’t be getting an apology either. My closure is going to have to come from myself.
    x

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Jules, you are welcome. I’m so glad that my articles give you and others the information they need to empower their lives. This is why I started this publication/blog.

      Congratulations on the four-month, no-contact success with the ex-narc of 5-years. I like that (ex-narc). You say it well — “a shadow of my former self.” You are so right Jules, this is what a true narcissist can do to any of us. It is amazing how potent they can be, to negatively affect a secure, healthy person. But, this is a fact; it happens. You are so right to stay strong and that the apology will be in the closure you get from yourself. After all, nothing else heals us more than seeing ourselves be strong and taking care of our heart and self-worth. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Your words let others know that there is most definitely life after such a hard relationship. I look forward to sharing with you again. Warmly, Deborah.

  5. avatar Robert says:

    Although the majority of people that have shared their experiences here were involved for many years with the N, mine was only 10 months but it felt like years. I wanted to thank you for publishing this article for many reasons. First, it truly put things in perspective and confirmed what I “thought” I knew but was too star struck for better use of terms to do anything about it. The woman I was with never took responsibility for anything she did that was rude or hurtful to me. Two weeks ago I found out she has been seeing another individual the past two months while we were still living together. Even presented with the evidence, no apology, only anger was given and for me a dismissal from the dwelling. Your article made me understand that I will never get and apology and I don’t need one for it would only be a lie and not sincere. Today is day one for me with no contact and I’m focusing on getting myself mentally and physically strong. Change is good….. but this change was long over due!! :) Thank you for taking the time and helping me move forward.
    \

    Regards,
    Robert

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Robert, thank you for visiting my site. I’m glad this article is helping you to move forward. Robert, although certainly, it is good that you broke it off with her only after ten months, narcissistic persons can take the life out of you, so that only a short time with them can seem like years. It’s so difficult to be in relationship to people who never acknowledge and apologize for their part in everyday interactions. If you are a healing person, which they often gravitate to, then you will have to apologize, as my post says, just to get some closure. They are comfortable with the rudeness, distance and aloof behavior, but the people who get attracted to them are not.

      I often tell people who just broke it off with a narcissist— this is your first day of recovery. So, congratulations Robert. Stay strong and know that so many of us, including me, and been through what you describe here. I hope you subscribed to my page. I look forward to sharing more with you. Warm regards, Deborah.

  6. avatar Sue says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It resonates deeply with me and couldn’t be more accurate. My ex- husband will never offer a sincere apology for anything that went wrong with our marriage. Even after I apologized for things I could have better handled I asked him if there was anything that he wished he would/coiled have done differently. His response… “No”.

    To wait for an apology with true sincerity, one would be better off waiting for hell to freeze over. Instead of a true love relationship with mutual respect compassion and support, it is really a Them vs. You scenario . Completely adversarial, with them having to be placed, as my ex would always say ” number 1″. They will never apologize because ,in their twisted mind, the focus is on you getting attention, consideration, kindness , empathy and anything decent that they think thy deserve only for themselves. To give you this would be cutting off apart of themselves. And since their minds and hearts are like sieves, the can’t afford to give you any of this precious commodity.

    I’m learning this is not the kind of relationship I want nor deserve. He was not “real” and although the pain he caused was and is, I know I can have a better life without him in my future. And I don’t need an apology from him for all of the things he did to me to know I did
    the right thing by leaving him.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sue, I am glad you found this article very helpful to you. But, of course, sad that you are dealing with this tough relationship situation. You describe well the behavior of a person who believes he or she does not wrong. It’s particularly damaging to the intimate relationship, when one partner will never apologize or contribute to healing the problems and moving forward. You are left alone to make the relationship work. You have to pull the weight of both partners, if you choose to smooth over rough times and move forward. But, as you have experienced, unfortunately, being the sole healer of hard times is a thankless profession with a narcissistic mate. You don’t even get credit for your efforts. Yes, how can they be present to what you have to the enormous sacrifice of your self-worth that you have to make to get along with them. You are right. In their minds, understanding you, apologizing for their contributions to problems takes the focus off them.

      Sue, the good news is that you have been there and done that. It only takes one good narcissistic partner to cure a person forever. So, you are free now, Sue. Thank you so much for sharing your ex-situation with us today. I wish you the intimate relationship that you deserve Sue. Intimate relating isn’t easy by no means, but it should never be so emotionally damaging as it is with a narcissistic person. Warm regards to you Sue. Thank you for visiting. I hope to see you here again. Deborah!

  7. avatar Angela says:

    This article was truly comforting and highly informative…I have been in an on/off again relationship with a narcissistic personality for just over 6 years. Today I requested an apology for all the pain and misery but as you predict, it wasn’t and isn’t forthcoming. All he said was ‘you’re a good person, I miss our banter, it’s a shame it didn’t work the third time’. Conflicts have existed over different issues over the years but as time moved forward, these changed…the final straw is his inability to realise how neglected I feel when he puts everyone and everything in his life before me. I can list many examples (and I did to him!) when he ‘forgot’ about either picking me up, or visiting me when he visited his parents – he will always put his parents, children, extended family, friends before me. Twice in the collective two years we actually dated in the 6 years, I snapped…which I don’t think is too bad considering how many times he was either late, didn’t turn up and didn’t bother calling…but my anger freaks him out as his mother and ex wife were ‘screamers’. I’m getting help for anger…I admit it’s a problem for me…but I’m getting better.
    Once I ‘lost it’ over the phone…and he wouldn’t talk to me for a few days. He broke it off. I was very apologetic as I had definitely did lost it! But this final time, I was more confrontative…I didn’t lose it…but apparently it was still too aggressive for him. Again I apologised and explained why I felt exasperated (so many years of neglect) but he just told me he did nothing wrong. In fact, he even told me his family expect me to wait and they are essentially a priority. He’s of Greek culture. That probably has something to do with it…sorry to any Greeks out there…I’m sure they are not all so obsessed with their families. This man felt abandoned by his mum and dad as a child as they were working multiple jobs and I’ve told him that now, when they actually have time for him, this is why he seems to be unable to remove himself from their company. But I digress. I am still going through the white, raw pain of rejection…but I know I will heal. I’ve tried to ‘win him back’ over the years but he is too ruthless and cold and harsh and unforgiving…and he always comes back when he’s ready, not becuase I use some plan to push his ‘psychologicalhot buttons’.
    I’ve finally realised that thank goodness it’s ended because I could NEVER marry a man who is never wrong. Can you imagine the arguments when he ‘forgets’ to come come home becuase he is at his mum’s for tea and forgot about me? They live a 2 min. drive away also…disaster. Or he puts his daughter ahead of me.. he tended to side with his daughter during discussions which really pushed me into a defensive mode..
    So I’ve doged a bullet I know…but the pain…it’s raw and hard to deal with but I’ll beat it. I will never contact him again. If he contacts me as he has many times over the years after multiple break ups, I’ll tell him he never did give me that apology, so why is he bothering…
    What I will say though is that he appears to improve his behaviour after I make an issue…after we break up basically…and then when we have reconciled, he’ll be a better communicator or whatever it is…but still as yet, not even close to someone I would want to marry. Maybe there is hope for him given I’ve broken exactly what I really take issue with into fine detail…who knows…but I’m moving on and trying to see if I can start dating again. I find it hard to trust anyone though…men are so full of compliments and then you realise they are dating multiple women…but I guess that’s the dating scene…no one is exclusive right away.
    Sorry for the long comment. I wasted 6 years on this man. Prior to that 6 years on whom I discovered was a womaniser. But eventually I’m sure i’ll find some happiness!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Angela, thank you for sharing your story with us. Your anger is understandable, given his treatment of you through the years. Angela, let this experience heal and cure you of romantic partnerships with narcissistic men. Then, the experience has been a good teacher. Do not be hard on yourself. You are in very good company to so many people who fall for the narcissistic persons’s facade.

      Many people have asked me, “why did I stay so long?” Rejection to a person who wants to understand and move forward can actually deepen the attachment to the abuser. I know it sounds strange, but it is often the case. Because, you want closure, you apologize for things you did not do. The healthy part of you wants to heal tension and discomfort. Only, as you know all too well, there is never closure, because true narcissists rarely, if ever, apologize.

      I know you must have been in a lot of pain. Long ago, I was there, and he cured me for good. You can do it too. Get the love you deserve. Thank you again. I am so pleased that you stopped by and wrote to me. I hope to see you again. Oh, one more thing. There is a great Facebook page called After Narcissistic Abuse. You may already know it. I live what happens there. People sharing and healing. Warmly Deborah.

  8. avatar Anne says:

    Hi Deborah, I was in an 18 month intimate relationship with a Narcissist which ended in early August last year (2012) and I am just only now beginning to heal through EMDR therapy. In early November 2012, he and his girlfriend (whom he told me was only like a sister to him) filed an harassment charge (a distortion campaign specifically designed to get rid of me once and for all because I kept on wanting to know the truth and an apology) and I can honestly say that people like my ex N are the worst kind of people. His girlfriend (his old supply) has sided with him every step of the way and together they are truly formidable. She refuses to accept he’s a bad guy (to her our affair wasn’t something she said she wanted to know about) and I really wish now that I hadn’t met him or had any dealing with her either. At any moment I feel I might have the police turn up on my doorstep for harassment and even though I have documented evidence of his lies and story-telling, this whole nightmare has left me drained. This has to be one of the most debilitating forms of abuse ever – psychological harassment. I am so angry that he is the one who harassed me yet now I am being made out to be someone who is a criminal. I know this silent treatment is another form of abuse and this too is really bad behaviour even though I know this is ‘his way’ of taking out his rage on me. I cannot wait until I am 100% free from feeling so terrified of him and his old supply.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Anne, I am very sorry that this happened to you. I know how damaging narcissists can be on one’s psyche and also on one’s whole life. What an insult upon injury to have them file a harassment claim against you. Anne, many people who have been seduced by narcissists yearn for an apology. But, they will never get one–as you know too well, right? I’m so glad that you got into treatment (EMDR), as this shows your strength of mind and will. I like that you call the ex his “old supply”. Yes, you are sooooo right; Narcissists are like junkies, always in need of supply to keep themselves inflated. I hear how traumatized you were or perhaps still are that you feel police may show up on your doorstep.

      Anne, the very best thing you can do is stay away in every way possible. Your therapy and TIME will heal this. Do nothing other than love and take care of yourself. To you healing dear Anne. Warmly Deborah.

  9. avatar Sean says:

    My N broke if off with me out rage when I finally confronted her of her distant ways, rude behavior, and harsh words. I finally lost it, my patience ran out and I became overcomed with anger by what she put me through after everything Ive done for her and how wonderful I was to her, it was never enough, I was never enough. She simply said, Im not interested in you, and began to focus on playing the victim because I confronted her. I haven’t spoken to her for a few days, she texted me, have good week, I replied thanks and its only been that. This has only been a 6 month relationship and I feel so drained, and upset with myself to allow this to happened. I know I can’t expect a apology, I just don’t know what to expect period.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sean, you are right; confrontation will provoke a narcissist, N, to break it off with a person. They hate being confronted. And, again, yes, they will play the victim and the one abused. You got it very right. But, I know it still can hurt. You cannot expect an apology. This would be rare; but, I will not say never. Be kind to yourself with regard to choosing such a personality type. Everyone is vulnerable to the charms of narcissistic people until they gain enough to know better. So, regard this as a very valuable learning experience and if you do not go for this type again–well, you learned well.

      I think you should expect nothing with regard to an apology. Accept it’s over and what a relief for it, right? With regard to your healing, you can expect that you will heal and get your vitality back. Sean, thank you for sharing your experience with us. It really helps other people who have been through the same thing (and there are many) to know they are not alone. Sean, there’s a great page on Facebook called After Narcissistic Abuse. The administrator of the page and the followers post great things. I regularly peruse it to see what everyone is saying. Warmly Deborah.

  10. avatar Jen says:

    Hi, I just found your page and watched the video about sacrifices you have to make to date a narcissist. I’ve mostly dated narcissists and in the last few years faced this and worked on healing, but keep running into childhood issues. So when I watched the video, I framed it in the perspective of having narcissistic parents and suddenly the issues I’ve been dealing with made so much sense. Somehow, the way you structured the video around sacrifices gave me the framework for greater understanding – that aha moment. So thank you for helping to clarify something that has been taking years to get around!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Jen, I’m so glad that you found me here. You are so right; and what good insight you had in framing this in terms of having narcissistic parents. I can see that your healing is working for you. You probably already have read the book by Alice Miller called the Drama of the Gifted Child, right? If you haven’t, get it. It will speak to you. Miller does such an excellent job describing the attitude and behavior of narcissistic parents and their impact on their very gifted children. I hope you visit again Jen. Warm regards to you Deborah.

  11. avatar Danielle says:

    Dear Deborah,
    It been 3 weeks since mine left me.We were only together for just under 7 months but in that time i have completely lost me, my self-esteem, my drive and any love it did have for myself.
    My N was indeed a charmer, took my breath away and he treated my like i was heaven sent. I fell in love so deeply and so quickly. I was his girlfried within a matter of days. 3 weeks in a court battle started with his ex about their two young children. This is when i found out he had lied about how long he had been single. Which set alarms bells ringing but i was in love right??
    It was a matter of weeks. In that short initial time frame i did see hints, he punched a wall in anger but was sorry and i thought its the stress. Time went on i was insecure but i remembering him showing me a film just to pick out a scene, he said i was like the girl, insecure and various other things, then one day (4 weeks in) he weent mad said i didnt know how to be happy, that he had been through this before and so on. I admit i am insecure but my mum spoke to him and we got through it. He told me all the time how awful his ex was and i tried to remain impartial as i did not know her. Every conversation became the court battle as contact with his children had stopped and he loved still, yet things were changing, i couldnt spend much time away from him as he said he couldnt be away from me, constant contact, then came the invite to move into a rented house. (which he got before he met me as the childs mother and children lived 200 mile from their family home, which she had left while he was working away)
    I accepted, of course i did, like a sheep. (although he made me believe for a for at least a month that we would be stayingin his original house) The court case continued and we were happy, spent lovely days together but i was loney as i was in his original home alone, in a village. Little things started, he would become very sensitive and would get upset with me, everything was how awful things were for him but i tried my hardest to support him (i was insecure about his ex as i learned every detail of his and her relationship) Yet i loved him and wanted him…. his flashes of unhappiness and sulking began. He was then allowed to see his children….we did the 200 mile drive and i said it was to early for them to meet me but he didnt listen, so 3 months in and the first contact he had with them i was there. I remember crying outside because already our relationship was showing flaws, i felt like he hated me and for some reason he intimidated me but couldnt tell you why. We talked that night and he was lovely and i felt secure. He had managed to get a job up near the new house so we moved the following weekend after the visit.

    Now this is where it all changes…this house is in the middle of no where, i had no friends, no family, no job (i have a large family and many friends but i havent been able to get a jod since i left uni, which he new, as was ok about it but i was not as i didnt want to depend on him….and he assured me that me doing the running of the homw was enough, he also promised to me and my mother that we would be back every other weekend to see them)

    Four days in i was missing my family, the regular contact had stopped and i was on my own 13 hours a day, so on day four i was feeling a little lonely. I called him and told him how i was feeling.
    within an hour he had come home, i was shocked to see him but hapy too until his intentions became clear. He sat down with a piece of paper and asked why we should be together, that he felt trapped, obligated to take care of me, that we were not a sure thing and he didnt love me the way he used to…then a for and against list of why we should be together and he wrote all the thing he didnt like about me down and how he would not be going back to see my family all the time (I actually died a little inside at that point and was in shock…only a week before we had spoken about everything and he said he wanted me to live with him and how much he loved me??) So i said i would change.

    Things went on, daily i was told what i was doing wrong, that i wasnt the person he met…. i felt on edge all the time, couldnt sleep, tried to be close to him, not show how i felt but i do spak my mind, always have. yet i found myself not saying things because it would always end in a fight. Things got worse and worse, he started throwing the children at me, how he was not going to put them through this and the times i cried he didnt comfort me. He said i needed to let him in, everytime i started to think our relationship was getting better, he would come in with a blow. If i was in the right mood he would stay up with me till 10 om, if i was no then we would be in bed by 8.30. (he didnt get home till 7 so, our time was limited anyway)
    I am not perfect believe me, he then announced that he wanted the children full time and i was in shock) Things just got worse but when i stood my ground he would be very loving and very kind, i found myself lying so that he wouldnt get mad at me.
    He would throw a lot of money at me then take it back, he was up to his eyesin debt but earned good money but diddnt pay old bills and he thenwanted to know my finance, how much i had….so complicated.
    His outbursts of temper got worse and so did his daily assult on my flaws. One night he just went on and on about how awful i was and i said to him ok how would you feel if you could never do anything right? and listed the things he had said, his reply was its over. I got out of bed and we argued and he said i better not leave him to stew, got angry at me and lashed out on the bed. i went downstairs and started packing my things and spoke to my brother on my laptop. He went mad, told me to put it down….i never saw him so angry, i stayed calm, which angered him more, he went off, came back, said look how angry you make me but i was resolved the relationship was over, i was tired, exhausted with fighting which i told him. So the next day he came home and just like a switch he was the man i met, caring, calm, wanting to sort things out, make our relationship work so i caved. Then within days it was back, this time i was driven home at 2.30am to my parents address (167 miles away). He walked out, i was devested, crushed, shocked, sad. 5 days passed and he told me how much i had hurt him and why had i left him to stew….it was my fault as always, i said i would change and be what he wanted…we got back together but i said i wanted to stay and just do long distance for a while so we could get back on track. He agreed. Then it starts, he went back on all he promised, we fell out again and he punished me for 3 days and when he did talk to me i was made to grovel and that is just what i did.
    I went to see him, got the train, in those few days he said he couldnt see me moving back, he wouldnt let me kiss him, i felt so lost but i didnt cry, said you cant make feelings be there, then with in a short space of time he was kissed me properly, lovingly and he wanted me to stay the week or i was not going to be coming home. We missed my train home and i was going to get a later one but he said stay, so i did. On the drive back to his house he told me everything that he was not happy about, how i need to fit into his lifestyle, and change everything, but i was not supposed to expect things from him. He made me feel quilty for accepting things from him when i had always siad i was not happy about it.
    In that week i was threatened twice, we went to a spa and a man spoke to me and it was all my fault and he went mad, i was only allowed to have female friend and i couldnt understand how bad i was for letting someone talk to me. ITs endless, by the end of the week i messaged him saying i wish things were the way they used to be and he was nice for a few message then, because i asked how i had hurt him (another attack at me for doing him wrong) h said it was over and he threatened me with the police if i was still there when he got hoome.My dad drove to get me. I left, then the next day i recieved two messages saying how ugly my true colour were and i was a thief ( i took back some bunting i had made for the boys room…..i know it was a terrible thing to do but i wanted to hurt him. just ended uphurting myself)

    I cant reall put into details of all the things he did and but he would give and take it away and everything was always my fault, i found a list he had made about a conversation we had had and the things i said i hated and didnt like, such as being threatened( he never hit me, threats as in if you dont do this, this is going to happen)
    He would sulk, get angry, give me silent treatment, make me feel as though i was less of a person, ive never been called half the things that he said i was by anyone, i actually felt bad for eating his food by the end, he would check that i done things and if i had he would say lets go out, and if deserve it. He hated my friends even though he had never met them. I felt so alone but when he loved me it was so beautiful and i could feel it.

    A lot of what his ex accused him of in the court case seemed to be entering into our relationship. I actually do think he would have hit me at some point,he has no friends, a good job yes but its strange.
    I feel really lost right now, i feel guilty that i wasnt the girl he wanted, i feel hurt that he can turn on me…he said his head was telling him to get rid of me but his heart wasnt and he hated it. I dont know how he can cut me out of his life so easily and love me one minute and hate me so much within a breath, and punish me. I am lost and my ffamily say he has conditioned me in a very short space of time. The research i have done on a N seems to be word for word who he is and how he acts…..it hasnt made me not love him, i feel like i cant actually breath sometimes and i cry all the time and i am heart broken,i can see him for what he is but i had hoped that he would have contacted me by now, i know i find myself wanting to call him all the time,if i do i know thats what he wants and it will make him feel better, plus i know he will be mean. He can so easily twist everything you say, make my thoughts seem wrong, i get tongue tied and i think what am i talking about. He started talking to me like i was nothing, without respect, when i asked why he would talk to me that way when i dont with him he just said, if i deserve it then he will.

    I know this is so long and i know i could actually write pages about all the things he did but im finding it so hard to move forward, he wanted me to be dependant on him and i was totally. How can he trow me away like im nothing?? Im so destroyed x

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Danielle, I am glad you found this post and Psychology in Everyday Life. You have been through so much. I know you feel destroyed, but you are not; trust me, there is life ahead of you and you can use this tough experience as a way to love yourself and to find a person who is not narcissistic to love you back. It sounds from all you describe that indeed you were living with a narcissistic personality disorder. It has only been three weeks and you are still in shock. He sounds brutal emotionally. I’m so sorry Danielle. Danielle, there’s a very good Facebook page and website called After Narcissistic Abuse. Many people who follow me follow that page too; You will get lots of support on this page from what people share.

      Of course you feel lost now. Just keep the faith that you will find yourself again. You will Danielle. You can trust me on that. You have been traumatized and you are still grieving and processing all that has gone on. Even though you hurt and may even wish he was there sometimes, remember, he did you a good thing by leaving. No one can have a relationship with a person like this Danielle. He takes hostages; he does not have relationships. If you haven’t already, please read my post: Seven Step Prescription for Self Love. You can use the steps to start to heal. And most definitely go to After Narcissistic Abuse and I hope you belong to my FB page too (www.facebook.com/DrDebKhoshabaBlog) This is the FB page for this website.

      Know that many have experienced exactly what you have with your narcissistic lover and they have recovered. Let me know how you are doing. Warmly Deborah.

  12. avatar Sunrise says:

    Hi Deborah,

    I was so sad to read about Danielle’s story. I know exactly how she feels. I thought I could never get past the damage inflicted upon me. Danielle if you read this please understand he did you a favor by leaving you because once they have you ….you would likely never make the choice to leave. I know this about myself for sure. I was so entangled in his phony “so called” love, I couldn’t see what was happening to myself right before my eyes. You probably will not see for some time but once you do you will be thankful he left. I was in your shoes 5 years ago and I can honestly say I am so thankful he chose to leave. You will start to recognize with time how sick it all was and you will actually go through a phase of feeling like a total idiot for letting another person treat you in such a disrespectful way.

    Deborah, I wanted to ask you, why would a narcissist try to contact you after more than 5 years of no contact. I honestly never thought I’d hear from him again nor did I want to. When I was in Danielle’s shoes that wasn’t the case because it was so fresh. Anyhow, this person has been emailing me relentlessly. I have not replied to any of them but wonder why?? My guess is he has run short on supply or wants a favor from me. I was with this shell of a man for 3 years. I almost moved to another country to be with him…..and yes I was even going to drag my 2 children with me….VERY SCARY! I visited him in Europe once after he moved back from the U.S. During tnat trip I was punched in the eye and left alone in a house for days alone in a country that I knew nobody or the language. The house was in the middle of nowhere. I also visited him a 2nd time in another European country. He had asked me to buy a ticket to fly to him and he would reimburse me. One week before my departure he told me not to come since it wasn’t a good time for him. I went anyway but got a hotel room. I called him and he was angry that I came anyway. He told me not to find him because I knew the university he was working at. Anyhow my luggage got lost on the flight and I was hoping he could help me get around to purchase some needed items. He came to pick me up and he took me back to his rental home. He was very cold and mean. When he got up to go to work he said I needed to call and get a flight home. He said while he was gone to work I wasn’t alliwed to speak to anyone near where he lived….very strange???? He then said he needed to lock the door so I needed to decide to eyget out right now or stay and be locked in. I was in my pajamas and sleeping so I said just leave it unlocked. He said he couldn’ t and he locked me in. I was horrified. The lower level floor had windows but they were blocked with iron bars on the outside. I ended up thriwing my belongings out the window and jumping out a 2nd story window. I went back to my hotel and never spoke to him again. Now, 5 years later he is writing to me???? The only thing I’d love to do is kick him really hard where it counts!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sunrise, I’m sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. Thank you so much for taking the time to write me. Yes, Danielle’s story is sad and it is hard to recover from a romantic involvement with a narcissistic person. It takes time, but you are so right, he did Danielle a favor by leaving. And, as you know too, that in time we realize what a blessing that the relationship ended.

      That’s interesting that he’s contacting you again after 5 years. I can only speculate as to what this means. When you say he is most likely “short on supply” you mean financially? I also think you mean emotionally, which is very wise of you Sunrise. Narcissists need other people to fuel their fragile self-esteem. Of course, they are good at making others think that they are the best, most stable, happiest, and secure people in the world. But, this is a great facade, as you know. This “shell” of a person as you call the narcissistic facade so well is just that — a facade. It doesn’t crumble easy–especially if they get someone else to feel bad, less than, insecure, not good enough–then they don’t have to face their own projections. So, as you say, VERY SCARY, is right. RUN!!!!

      I’m sorry about how abusive he was to you. It must had been a terrifying, lonely time for you Sunrise. But, narcissists are good at making lovers hostages rather than lovers. And, you know this first-hand. Thank God you had the courage and fear in you to jump out of that window and leave for good. BRAVO.

      I won’t speculate more about why. Because it’s more important for you to know whole-heartedly that his call to you after 5 years is all about his pathology — and nothing about you. You are free, healthy, and he has gone nowhere in life. This is why he’s calling again and perhaps calling other women from his past, besides you.

      Thank you for sharing your story with all of us too Sunrise. Each of you gives each other strength, hope, and the faith that there is healing after such a tough time. Warmly Deborah.

  13. avatar amir says:

    i am 22 yrs old. 3 years back i fell for a girl. After reading this post i think that she is was a narcissist. I availed all my wisdom to understand her but the relation ended up in a drastic way. I lost all my self respect and all my self esteem. But even after all this I think of her. I wish that all that could somehow had been avoided; just because i still want to be with her. I don’t feel good inside. And yes i do expect her to say sorry but she never did.
    As you said in the end that we should see beyond a narcissist apology and beyond the urge for staying close to him or her. But all that we go through, even though we have stayed hopeful but we always feel a bitterness inside. I could never get rid of that bitterness. In such case, finding someone better would make us feel better???? Will we forget it all???? please answer me coz i think of it everyday. I have given you my email.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello. It’s illuminating isn’t it when we find understanding for what we have been going through. Narcissistic people are very good at making the healthiest people lose their own self-respect and self-esteem. The criticism and abuse can actually make people seek understanding which is why they return. They keep hoping, they’ll understand, and the person who they first met will return. Thus, I’m not surprised that you still think about her after all of this. Many people stay stuck because they never get an apology and keep remembering the person who they first met. It is like this. Let’s say that you bought a painting by Picasso and you paid a lot of money for it. Then, you find out it’s a fraud. You can’t reconcile this emotionally. First, you thought it was a Picasso and you invested a lot in your self-esteem because you had a Picasso. You hung it in the right place for all to see. And, second, you invested so much money to get the authentic painting that you can’t justify that it’s a fraud. Do you see where I’m going here?

      It’s the value you gave to her at the start that keeps you stuck. You are remembering her as a Picasso that never really existed. To let go of this situation, you have to examine the fantasies of what she represents that keeps you stuck. What she represented to you is keeping you stuck more than the actual situation.

      Of course, you should open yourself up to finding true love again and with a person who is capable of loving you back and not destroying your self-worth. Warmly Deborah.

      • avatar khaoula says:

        this is not a true love Amir, and that mak you understand that is not the perfect girl for you, not what you need, u see her lik this just because she didnt gav you occasion, but if she did im sure you wouldnt find one criters of what u prefer in girl.

        • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

          Hello Khaoula. I see you are commenting to Amir. I just wanted to say hello. Warmly Deborah.

  14. avatar Apple jam says:

    Having relationships with them can be so challenging that, when the relationship ends, you will spin for months trying to figure out what the heck just happened.just loved yewr lines a perfect article congratulations….!

  15. avatar Apple jam says:

    i think this will also make them realize that how much hurting they were and they might change… :/ this can be time taking but if t his time turns in to a good results than its not a big deal…

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Apple Jam, so good to see you here today. I know you regularly comment on the Facebook page for Psychology in Everyday Life. I appreciate your support and friendship.

      You are right, people do spin for months after having a relationship with a real narcissistic person. Because narcissistic people blame other people for their problems. I think you are right here too. After relationships that hurt us so much, most of us do learn and try not to date self-centered people anymore. Also, if there are good results as you say well then truly experiences that hurt us can be the best learning experiences of our lives. Thank you so much for your wisdom and your support. See you here again and on Facebook. Warmly Deborah.

  16. avatar rabz says:

    dr. Ur article gave a v.deep insight into the issue..congratz..i want to ask about its treatment..u said u hav been treating narcisists so teme can they be cmpletly cured?n how to deal with them..n wot if in a person narcistic pesonality coexists with bords line persnality disordr?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Rabz. You ask a very good question. Narcissistic people rarely go to therapy themselves. They are either forced into therapy by a lover or husband or wife or some great loss in their life lowers their defensive natures enough to make them go into treatment. So, can they be completely cured? I think with a lot of psychotherapy they can learn to monitor their narcissistic behaviors so that they don’t run over people. By monitoring I mean the more they learn about their defenses and how their defensive behavior affects people, they can control, to some degree, how they act. Yes, I have worked with narcissistic people and they do learn to monitor behaviors that threaten their work and love relationships. But, remember, at their core they are still narcissistic. The relationship has to mean a lot to them or give them something they really need (like a job) for them to put energy into monitoring their behaviors.

      You ask another good question. Do borderline personality features coexist with a narcissistic personality? Rabz, sometimes they appear similar in their demandingness in relationship. Both borderlines and narcissists are very self-centered and demanding personalities. But, they are really very differing personalities, although they may appear similar sometimes. Narcissists and borderlines have what we call fragile/weak egos. Their fantasies, desires and needs do not consider reality. But, that being said, remember, narcissists have a stronger ego (grounded more unreality) than a true borderline personality. Narcissistic people do not tend to get psychotic but borderline people can have breakdowns that have some psychotic elements. I hope this helps. Good questions. Warmly deborah.

  17. avatar Mahrukh says:

    Thats really motivating , can you type more to tell us how to move on and stay happy :) ? or something about how to react when your x calls you back or your x comes in front of you while you dont want them in your life back ?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Mahrukh, good questions. We have to be firm in what we know to be right for us, even if an x doesn’t feel the same way. If you give a mixed message, spend too much time talking about the relationship and its end, then you give a mixed message that you are still romantically on board. You see, even though you don’t want to hurt your X, you have to give a firm, clear message that the relationship is over. You cannot go on endlessly accepting communications from the X or you let him or her know that you are still hooked. It’s okay to be firm and clear. This is the kindest thing you can do, even if your X doesn’t like it. What he or she doesn’t like or cannot accept is not the issue anymore. The issue is creating a clear boundary, a clear break. Only YOU can do this.

      Also, if you know in your heart and mind that it is best that the relationship is over. Then, let this understanding walk you into the future until you feel happy again. You will get there. Even if we are the ones who want the breakup, we still feel sad. I know. But, we have to let our wisdom heal us–happiness will come along. Warmly Deborah.

  18. avatar abby says:

    but what if u cannot afford to loose that narcissist ex-lover? and u r just waiting for an apology so that u can start a new relationship with the same person all over again? plz do reply

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Abby, sorry for the delay in responding to you. Well, I wish I could give you a magic pill but I can’t. The real answer is in this post. Stop waiting dear Abby. The apology most likely will never come. You can always afford to loose a person who isn’t good for your mental health. Remember this–no one is worth you feeling so desperate. Love isn’t about desperation. Warm regards to you Abby. Now take care of yourself. Love yourself enough to let this person go. Warmly Deborah.

  19. avatar mazhar khan says:

    hello!
    your article is intetesting

    recently i have studied ROBERT GREEN’S THE ART OF SEDUTION where i discovered that it is a narcissist how is a very easy pray for seduction..just enter their spirit nd after sometime become somewhat coquettist and he/she will be under your spell so i think rather to act submissive remain cool and detached for a time and he/she will be your slave

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Mazhar. Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to comment today. I’m glad you find the article interesting. Narcissists are very interesting–as long as we are not involved with them, right? Well, this approach to narcissists is interesting indeed. Yes, narcissists can be very easy prey in some odd ways for what Green calls seduction. Actually, clinically we call it mirroring their needs and fantasies. This is what you are talking about here. So, then, yes, you are right. Narcissists love to have their greatness mirrored, reflected back to them by other people’s admiration of them. But, this never lasts. How long can you or anyone else keep up this “seduction”? If it’s a coworker, then perhaps a little longer because you don’t have an intimate relationship to the person. But if it’s an intimate relationship, then eventually you will want your true self, your true desires and needs to be considered by the narcissistic person. And, remember, if your needs differ than theirs–you are in trouble then. So, interesting–but remember, before you know it, the true narcissist will turn the tables around–and you will suddenly become enslaved to their demands. Be well Mazhar. Warmly deborah.http://www.psychologyineverydaylife.net/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?paged=2#comments-form

  20. avatar munny says:

    hy dr.deborah how r u? I write a problem in ur 7 step of self love.maybe u didnt notice.pls if u see this post of mine pls help me.i really ur advice,i dnt knw what to do ?????pls help me..ill wait for ur reply ,thanks..munny

  21. avatar rabz says:

    corection: border-line personality disorder

  22. avatar SAM says:

    What should a Narcissist do if he/she understands that he/she is one, and wants to help himself in bursting that bubble that he/she is the ultimate, he/she can never be wrong, he/she did all his best in the relationship and the other party just did not do enough, or never was right……Any tips for such a personality to bring himself/herself back from cloud nine to planet earth??

    Thanks,
    SAM

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sam. A good question, indeed. If the narcissist can ask these questions–then he or she is already on the way to some self-awareness that will help. That being said, remember that true narcissistic personalities never go to therapy or get self-help because their defensive natures do not permit them awareness to see that they are not perfect, the greatest, and can do no wrong. Only through an important loss to them will their defenses weaken enough for them to take a good look at themselves. It can happen though Sam. But, like I said, the real narcissistic person has to suffer some loss that lowers their defensiveness around their ideas of perfection.

      Remember, narcissists vary in degree of their defensiveness and emotional problems. Sam, even skilled therapists have to do a lot of work to get a narcissist to change–or be brought down to earth as you say. It’s a great question you ask. I wish I had some tips. But, if you are in relationship to such a person, don’t lose your self-esteem just to have a relationship with him or her. Warmly Deborah.

  23. avatar baber says:

    hey dr.deborah i had got some critical situation that i cant understand, i m engaged now before it i was in relation with some other girl but i informed her bofore bieng eng; i could b any more with her cox it can make some problems in my life u her also
    but she doesnt understand , she always calls on my cell & say i had decieved her ,did wrong to her
    acc: to me i haavnt remain so harsh r abusive to her
    i always showed a love to her , now i havnt to leave her
    Deborah can u advice me to get rid of her plz

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Baber, you may have to block her phone number so she can’t call or text you anymore. At this point whether or not you deceived or did not deceive her is no longer the issue. The issue is that you have decided that she isn’t the one for you. You have a right to decide this Baber. Every day some situation or person rejects all of us, right? We are turned down for certain employment, or a coworker gets a promotion that we wanted for ourselves, or the person who we want romantically doesn’t feel the same way about us. This is part of life. Of course, we are hurt. This is understandable. What is a problem is when a person cannot ACCEPT the situation and deal with the loss by sitting with their pain and hurt without obsessively calling, texting or trying to restore what has been broken.

      Thus, the more you respond to her and say, “I didn’t do this; Or, I’m sorry you are hurt” You are then letting her know that her obsessive calling you is working: YOU are engaging with her. Do not do this. You said you are sorry and now be done. You see why I’m telling you that now you have to prevent her from contacting you in the ways I first mention here.

      I wish you well Baber. Unfortunately, this can happen in romantic relationships. Take good care. Warmly Deborah.

  24. avatar Tasmia says:

    A perfect article for me. Im just trying to healing myself from a break up. Actually it is neither a break up nor a relationship because I cant stop myself from communicating with him though he hurts me all the time so does ignore. I wanna move on in my life. But how can I divert my mind? Any suggestion?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Tasmia, Welcome. Many people have the problem you describe here Tasmia. Even though the ex lover hurts them, rejects them, they persist in emailing, texting, calling the person. This is compulsive and obsessive behavior that is like an addiction. And, like other addictions there is no gray–no in between. You have to quit immediately and altogether. Remember Tasmia, your behavior isn’t going to bring this person back. When people do this it is usually because doing nothing makes them feel empty and sad. So you may be communicating with him because you don’t want to face your own sadness. You have to be able to sit with doing nothing.

      First, I recommend that you block his email, phone number and remove him from Facebook so you cannot contact him any longer. Also, whenever you find yourself thinking about him do not let yourself move forward with the thinking. Do not give one more second or minute to the thought. Just say to yourself STOP and go to another activity. It sounds simple, I know. But, if you really do this, eventually he will stop coming into your mind. You have to control what your mind goes to rather than your mind telling you what you should be thinking about. Tasmia, I have some posts on mindfulness that will help you here. One of the posts is called What You Say To Yourself Matters. Have you read these articles? If you haven’t I think they will help you.

      I wish you good healing in the break up. Break ups are so painful. But you will get to the other side of it. Warmly DEborah.

  25. avatar Abdullah-Al-Fahad says:

    hey, Deborah, thanks On the narcissistic nature review, but can you help understand the process of friend zoning

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Abdullah, I have to admit that I haven’t heard of friend zoning. Can you say more to me? Warmly Deborah.

  26. dear..thankyou so much for posting such articales, i really love to read your articales

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      You are very welcome Fehmida. Thank you for being so supportive and for taking time to comment. Talk with you soon. Warmly Deborah.

  27. avatar Tasmia says:

    It was your 1st article that I read and I promise I will the article that you recommend.
    I should let you know that I have also lots of problem in my family. The understanding between my parents aint good. They fall out with each other all the time. I never saw a single happy moment in my family. Me and my brothers try to sort it out thousand of times. But parents aint bother. They always do whatever they want. It was I who always tried to tied up my family but i Failed. I never get love, affection, freedom from my family.But I always tried to full fill my parents requirements like never hang out with friends, never go to anywhere without their permission etc. I did all this because I just want peace. They couldnt control my brothers. So they wanted to shape me as they liked. Day by day I sacrificed lots of thing for the shake of peace. But it wasnt enough for them. They wanted more and more.
    Lack of company drove me to involve in a relationship. I thought my boy friend would give me the life that I always dreamed about.I was wrong there.I became so much dependent on him.
    When I realized my mistake I tried to correct myself. So I had decided to leave the country (Bangladesh) for higher education. Maybe a new turning point would make me forget him. But here my family acted like a villain. When I got chance in Canada they refused to give me money for my higher education. The exact reason is unclear but many. If you hear the reasons you will get a electric shock. They think I have a bunch of affairs, I do live together, extra marital affairs etc. They locked me for few days. They always ask the people whom I know (like my friend, teachers) about my sex life behind me. I feel ashamed all the time. I cant face the people any more. Now they are trying to married me off forcefully. Im 25 years old. I talked about these problems with my family members but it didnt work.Nobody is on my side. I feel hopeless sometimes.I gave my everything to my family. I always try to be perfect daughter for them but it seems I did nothing.Now I dont wanna live with my family. I simply hate to live with them. As I have completed my study I had to come back home from my dormitory. So it became difficult for me to live with them and doing according to their desire.
    I work so hard for my career. I dont wanna lose it. I dont wanna get married until I get chance in a foreign university. Im also not ready for marriage now. I dont think marriage is the solution of healing.
    Please give me some suggestion so that I can make myself more stronger to face the harder problem which are coming in future.

  28. avatar Angel says:

    Hello,

    I recently broke up with someone i dated for a short period of time. 6 mths. In the beginning this person was head over heels for me…I told them what I wanted what I was looking for….they agreed. Plus I wasn’t with anyone even sexually for eight years. So i felt like a virgin again. Well further down the realtionship. the last two mths. shes pushed me away for no logical reason. she always has an excuse. she lacks communication. We went from spendin a night out of the week togehter to nothing at all. Just doesn’t make sence to me. I think jealousy? every idea I have or had she’d steal it away. When I was happy she hated it. She was jealous of my friends, but yet she lacked actions towards the last two mths. of this relationship. I found out rumors and confronted her yesterday. well she told a friend of hers to tell my friend after confrontin her last niht. that she told me to leave her alone awhile ago and i never left her alone. I can’t believe it!! it’s not even true!! why is she makin it sound like I’m obbssessed or something when I was the one who broke it off???!!!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Angel, I”m sorry for the delay in responding to you. You are so right–narcissistic people are so engaging and when they are in the honeymoon phase of dating, establishing that you’ll be hooked on them, there is nothing like the sunshine of their love. This is what people keep going back to, this incredible feeling even when they are not getting it anymore. You raise another good point. Narcissists do what you say too. They make the person they hurt look like they are obsessed. But, think about it Angel, it’s like she is saying, she’s so wonderful, you can’t leave her alone. Hear her narcissism in this? It’s incredible right that even after they break the relationship off, they still try to elevate themselves by making their victims seem crazy and in the wrong. Angel, you have a good lesson here. Use it and be careful in the future. Narcissistic people — woman or man are very captivating at first. You now know the signs. Take good care Warmly Deborah.

  29. avatar Sakshee says:

    I am in such a relationship right now.the fact that iam 23 and he is 53 makes it worse.I feel like i am trapped and no where to go.I know the top of the world feeling you mentioned.That is why i am still stuck in it.The fact that he will never know what he did to me seems to be true.But how will i move on after breaking up with him.The fear of how empty i will feel after breaking up with him is still keeping me in this painful relationship.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sakshee. Oh, I am sure the relationship is hard on you. Yes, unfortunately, narcissistic people do not appreciate their impact on other people. But, Sakshee, we do, we know how you have been hurt. You will feel empty for a while–but remember that you have yourself. You can be strong, you are young and resilient and have a whole lifetime ahead of you dear. Please know that so many people understand your pain. Sakshee, there is a wonderful FaceBook page called After Narcissistic Abuse. It is excellent. I know many people who regularly visit it and have benefited greatly from the sharing, the support and the great advice on how to go on and grow to a new level where this doesn’t happen to you again. Will you visit it for me dear? Thinking of you. Warmly DEborah.

  30. avatar Melanie says:

    Hello Deborah, glad to have found this article. I have just finished a relationship with a man I believe to be profoundly narcissistic. He tells me to move on and that he just wants to heal, but at the same time, he’ll not officially end it, and I have been willing to sort out our ‘differences’ (see next sentence) and I feel as though he is deliberately keeping me in the land of limbo, all the while using the typical narcissists language where he avoids answering direct questions; e.g me: do you love me, him: what does it matter?/that’s irrelevant, etc. Those differences of ours arose after an amazingly wonderful honeymoon period. He was obsessed with me, and I fell hard. Shortly afterwards I began detecting things that my intuition irked at; he seemed a real people pleaser, and was overwhelmed by flattery. He giggled about my ‘sex noises’ with his neighbours. He’d disagree with me about anything and everything, almost as though he hated that I was more educated than him. He needed control. I was concerned about his flattery barometer, and since I was 12 yrs his junior, I was insecure about how easy it seemed for others women to supersize his ego. I felt as though he may have been hiding deceit because he was very secretive with his email, social networking and phone, and yet would constantly accuse me of being deceitful?!! My accounts were open! He even read my phone and hacked into my email account. Anyway, our differences were about me seeing him differently, and analsying him. I would tell him in great detail why his actions seemed deceitful, and his favourite response? “just because you think its true, doesn’t mean it is”….(more typical covert language)

    So here I am. Torn to pieces. I am trying hard to think logically and realise how manipulative this person will always be, and that he will never change because “he hasn’t done anything wrong”. He thinks himself a good person, a victim. Why would the victim need to change??

    I realise that he is cut up at the fact he knows I don’t think he is Mr.Amazing anymore. It hurts him profusely to know that I can see the real him,band although I could accept that if he were willing to work on it, he can’t accept it, because he feels that insecure that he cannot be anything less than the perfect lover. Dud I shoot myself in the foot for being smart enough to diagnose his behaviours? No, but it feels horrible.

    I sent him a text today saying I would wait until July 14th for a sign that he is still interested in an ‘us’ (stupid huh?), and I already know what will happen. He won’t respond come that date for 1 of 3 reasons a) he really isn’t interested in me anymore because I have worked him out, b) he will say he has no recollection of the ultimatum and its pointless anyway, or c) he will recall the ultimatum and get angry because “I can’t tell him what to do” (or some other similar childish response). The thing is, he will not text because he will expect me to text him first, which will temporarily validate him and fuel further narcissism. However, there is a part of me that believes he wants me, but is so hurt that I don’t see him like I used to, so he cannot be with me and that makes him sad, and this is why he strings me along confusingly. The man is devoid of empathy and it is always about ‘his’ pain.

    Why do I do it to myself, Deborah? Even at my lowest, when he’d put me in the gutter, he KICKED me whilst I was down.

    Can you offer me advice? I think I know what you’ll say, but confirmation of my own thoughts would be good for me. Do you believe this man has an NPD?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Melanie, thank you for taking the time to comment and share your experience with us. Well, by all means dear Melanie, this man sounds like a Narcissistic Personality Disorder with a very mean streak in him. You didn’t shoot yourself in the foot by letting yourself SEE him for who he really is–your gave yourself a big hug and said Melanie, love yourself–stop sleeping with the enemy. that being said, I know how charming NPD can be and also so damaging that it’s hard to let go of the hurt. I haven’t heard that one before – supersize the narcissist’s ego. That is a good saying. Yes, and when you stop supersizing NPD’s, they do play the victim, which is really a hostile action on their parts. If he’s the victim, then you are the perpetrator. Ouch! Doesn’t feel good right?

      Melanie, do not be so hard on yourself. You are in very good company. Many fine individuals have fallen victim to NPD individuals. Now, the thing that is most important is that you let this experience be your first and last when it comes to choosing romantic partners who have NPD. The self-esteem cannot be beaten down so much repeatedly without breaking the spirit. This is my advice. If you’ve gotten out; don’t go back dear. Believe me–his kicking your out was a blessing in disguise. As they say, don’t look or kick a gift horse in the mouth. Warmly Deborah.

  31. avatar Melanie says:

    P.s. Many typos as I am using a phone, as well as confusion at the beginning: I have walked away because I have been forced to, but I still want him to acknowledge what he is losing, and since he doesn’t seem bothered at my hurt, only his own ‘I’m so hard-done-by’ upset, for peace of mind, I needed to hear him tell me he doesn’t love me or want anything to do with me. Since he dodges the question or answers cryptically, I have given him the ultimatum that if I hear nothing by July 14th, then I will peacefully walk away.

    Like I said above, I already know the outcome. I suppose it’s my way of trying to be in control.

    I feel like my soul has been raped :-(

    Reading back my own story, I am screaming at myself for being so weak and out-of-control.

  32. avatar Savannah says:

    Wow… I’ve never spoken to you and yet this entire post feels like you know every detail of me and my last relationship. Nail on head, really. It’s a little nice to hear it from someone else other than myself trying to sort it out. It would be cool if you could make a post on explaining “the high” we get from them. I feel like it was a drug i was hooked on, always wanting another fix. I would love an explanation on what “the high” is all about and why it’s so addicting. Im at 5 years past and doing a lot better, I just feel that the more I can understand the more I can move forward. Thanx for writing this Deb.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Savannah, I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I’m so glad the post spoke to you. But, of course, it means that you understand first hand this type of relationship. Savannah, you have such a great suggestion for me. I will definitely write about this in a couple of weeks. Because it is so addictive and there is a high most definitely from the love of a narcissist. You say it very well. I’m so glad you are five years past the relationship now and doing so much better. Stay tuned Savannah, the post you requested is coming soon!!! Warmly DEborah.

  33. avatar Canflitz says:

    After 3 months no contact my ex narc sent me this.. I still see him daily as he is a member of a gym where I work but we don’t speak bar once when we were face to face and I said hello nicely even though he hurt me like hell, I just wanted to be true and nice and also show him I was ok.
    . I’m so confused

    Hi…., please read this.. Please also don’t reply as this isn’t the reason for this message. I wanted to say sorry, sorry for everything and sorry for the way things finished. You did not deserve any of the issues I brought into us, nor did you deserve the way I spoke to you nor did you deserve the way I acted. I am truly very sorry for any pain, hurt or suffering I caused you either through my actions or my behaviour or from my words.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Canflitz, thank you for taking time to comment today. Do you mean that your ex narc sent you this post from Psychology in Everyday Life? Well, I see that he has some recognition of how he hurt you. Canflitz, it is rare to get such an apology. So, something has opened him to empathy and how you felt in relationship to him. Value this confession and apology. If you have second thoughts as to contacting him, it is wise to stay centered and don’t react. An apology is an apology; that’s all. You don’t have to do anything with it Canflitz. Do not over interpret his apology. Just feel good that he feels responsible for hurting you so much. Thank you for sharing this with me today. You take good care. This apology should help you to heal further and to move on. Warmly deborah.

  34. avatar Marie says:

    Your description above was so accurate! Now if I could only remember that every time I talked with my ex. Unfortunately we have a little boy together. I worry that he will get those same traits as his father given he is with him half of the time. And the other thing is do you have any advice on dealing with him with regards to kid’s issues. Like you said, he does not care about the effect of his actions on his kids or his ex. But how can I help my little boy?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Marie, your behavior and interactions with your son can offset the time he spends with your ex. As you know, always honor your child’s feelings and view points. This will make him comfortable with healthy exchanges of communication between people and make him aware of times (especially with ex) when other people do not permit for a give and exchange in ideas and feelings. He will then come to you with any problems he has interacting with your ex and give you the chance to help your son to air feelings and ideas that he cannot with your ex husband. But, Marie, be careful that you don’t jump the gun so to speak and alert your son to your husband’s narcissism before your son notes him for himself. You don’t want to subject your son to your frustrations and negative feelings toward your ex. Let your son have his own experience with your ex. And, when he comes to you with concerns then you are there to be helpful to him. Your question is a great one Marie; I know you are concerned for your son. But, know that you love and healthy interaction should help to insulate him from the negative effects of a narcissistic father. Warmly Deborah.

  35. avatar CoCoa says:

    This is a bit long and was written on a GRIEF website about a month ago, since then he has un-friended me on Facebook, I have started therapy and after explaining all the FACTS to my counselor it has been determined HE IS A NARCISSIST. This saddens me deeply…I FEEL SO USED.

    My name is CoCoa and I am new to the site although I have been reading here for the past few weeks. I have read so many thought provoking and comforting post here and thought I could get some advice on my current situation…I know he and I will never be the same or quite possibly NEVER BE AGAIN but I still have hope in my heart we will be friends in the future. Here is my story:

    I met my guy a few years back but neither of us were completely single at the time, we were friends on Facebook and back in May of this year began to chat there, we then exchanged numbers and had our first conversation which lasted 3 hours….we clicked immediately! We talked about our lives, careers and families…he had divorced in the past year, has beautiful twin daughters about to start college, six sisters, he is the only male child and he told me his mom was very ill. She had a stroke 2 years ago and had never fully recovered; she was in a nursing home.

    My guy and I started to date just before he left town for his daughter’s high school graduation, we communicated daily while he was away and after he got back we were either on the phone, out having a meal and drinks or taking in a movie. We were dating regularly and had a great admiration for each other. There were times I did not see him due to his need to go spend time with his mom which I knew was very important to him. Early July he mentioned his sisters and he had to make a very difficult decision about hospice care for his mom, there were issues with her feeding tube. The week he told me I was going out of town for a few days and saw him before I left; he was very concerned with when I would be returning. As fate would have it she passed very early the morning of July 16th as I was driving back to NJ from DC. He texted me his mom passed and I called him immediately and asked if he wanted me to come to him as I was not far from where the nursing home was….I had never been there before but I wanted to be there for him. He said no, go home and he would call me later.

    We communicated regularly during the time his family and he made the arrangements for his mother’s burial, I did not see him much but he always made sure to call or text me because he knew I was concerned about him. I know he started to grieve before she passed because there were times I would not hear from him or see him and then he would resurface. I had not met his mother or any of his family so going to the viewing and funeral made me a bit nervous. I went to the viewing and was put a little at ease when one of his twin sisters walked up to me and said you must be CoCoa, you looks just like the pictures I saw of you. He had told his twin sisters about me during their visits with their mom. At both the viewing and the funeral I sat to the side and tried to make sure I could see him as much as possible, before his mom passed he told me he hoped he did not completely breakdown and lose it due to her passing, that he had to be strong for his sisters and all the women in his family. I also attended the repass which was held at the church after the services. When I walked in he lit up when he saw me kissed me on the forehead he is very tall 6’5 and I am 5’7 grabbed my hand and proceeded to introduced me to each and every one of his family members.

    The first few weeks after he seemed to be okay, I did not see him on the weekends much and I believe that is when he would withdraw and mourn. One Monday after he and I did not speak or see each other he texted me “when can we meet so I can give you your stuff”. I was so confused and called him to ask “why so extreme?” I only had a few things at his place and it was nothing important that I needed. He came to my house and I got in his car to talk, I asked him if he was going to let me say anything….he said not here take your stuff I have to go to work, he placed a bad on my lap and ..I did not look at it….I WANTED TO TALK, he said “that’s your stuff right?” I looked down at the bag only to find out it was a gift, wrapped in a beautiful red box….OMG he got me! He said the look on my face was priceless. I bet it was. We resumed our dating, went to dinner that night and the following night. I was back on cloud 9.

    Here is where we disconnected, he has a very high profile position in law enforcement, for a few days he was calling me and kept saying let me call you back, this went on for three days and I felt a bit disrespected so I said something to him about it being very rude and he got a little nasty and said something about me being insecure…this conversation was not nice and we both became silent, I broke the silence by saying I have to go and wash the dishes and we hung up. After that he would not take my calls and became very distant. I did finally see him last week, we had lunch and neither one of us could eat, he looked and acted like a person I had never seen before, I could see the hurt and pain in his face and he was extremely irritated about everything. I was crushed, I said to him “this is a bad dream right?” We said something about always being friends…he could barely make eye contact with me and I told him “I missed the high I used to get when he would light up when he saw me”. He gave me a very weak smile. My heart was breaking at that moment. His birthday was that Saturday, I asked to take him out and he said he did not know what he was going to do….Needless to say I did not see him, earlier that week he said something about it being his first birthday without his mom….During that conversation he also said he was too old to be living his life in the fast lane….that he was good being by himself right now. We walked to our cars he gave me my belongings back and hugged me and kissed me several times on my cheek…..I was in a state of shock. Later that night I got this text from him: “You are my deep down inside… You are a beautiful woman with a lot of class… I’m hurting inside and need some time stay strong and brilliant you are it…..Let your sway show!!!” I responded “I know you are hurting and I will be here for you if you need to talk.”

    I have honored what he has asked other sending him a birthday email which he thanked me for and mailed him a birthday card. I see on Facebook he has taken a few road trips and even posted a romantic song on there the other night….we don’t post or like anything on each other’s pages,,,,there is a very loud silence, I miss him like crazy and at times wonder does he think of me and our time together. I know he is in deep pain and maybe is grieving secondary losses as well….his second marriage which ended last year and the fact he had to sell his big beautiful home after the divorce. I am just praying that one day I will see that big infectious smile again and those soul stirring green eyes. He truly is an AMAZING MAN!!!! He turned 53 last Saturday and I 50 this past June….I saw him as another chance at LOVE…he came out of nowhere for me only to lose him like this…….

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello CoCoa, I can tell by your words that you are trying to work through your emotional pain. There are two situations that may have played into his confusion and ambivalence toward the relationship. First, he divorced last year and had emotional trauma from that and that his mother just passed away. These are two huge stressors in anyone’s life, so that making decisions about relationships or other things can be very difficult. Like many people in similar circumstances, he may be confused about everything. I don’t know what this means about you and him. I’m sure you miss him. But, unfortunately, you met him at a time of great change in his life.

      I know you saw him as another chance for love. How understandable this is. CoCoa, I’m glad you are working through these feelings in therapy. I don’t know what all of this means with regard to both of you. But, I believe that if something is meant to be (in love) it will come about. Perhaps, he was a person to awaken in you the desire to be deeply in love again. Perhaps, he came along to open you up to finding true love once again. You take good care of yourself. Warmly Deborah.

  36. avatar whitedove says:

    I work together with my N ex in the same company, so NC is virtually impossible. I tried that for 2 months and it was very straining to the point of unbearable. People interfered, asking questions and the working atmosphere was charged with electricity all the time. Going to work was so arduous, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I am bound by contract, so leaving the company isn’t an option. He, took the break up and NC in a stride, showing me that his life is better off without me. He was actually delighted with the NC. For him, NC meant that I was still not over him yet and that I couldn’t handle any interaction with him because he is simply too irresistible.

    I have since resolved to treat him with indifference, just good morning and bye. Purely professional. But he is keeping me confuse. One day he treated me extra nice, like offering to buy me lunch, and ignoring me the very next day. He also told me once that he still love and care about me (I brushed him off and told him that I don’t trust him), and the very next day he wasn’t speaking to me at all. On the outside, I am showing him that I don’t care whether he is speaking to me or not, but deep inside me I do. I feel flattered when he treats me nice and hurt when he doesn’t.

    I know I am still hang up on him. I am waiting for the day when I can finally face him and feel nothing. No more hurt, no anger, no sadness, not even pity. I don’t know what to do.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello whitedove, thank you for describing the situation to me. I think your indifference is a good approach. Remember something, he can only confuse you, if you are open to being confused. You have to stay present to who he is and the reasons why he isn’t good for you. Then, his nice and ignoring behaviors will have little impact on you, because you don’t want him anymore. I know you know what I’m saying here. If you know in your heart that he doesn’t have the capacity for a healthy relationship, then stay strong. Of course, you feel flattered when he treats you nicely. He knows this. But, you said it so well whitedove–it’s flattering, which suggests a motivation for softening you up.

      The day will come when you can see him and feel nothing. Even though working with him is not an easy situation by any measure. You are wounded and he is the salt that affects the wound daily. Try if you can to avoid seeing him at work. I don’t know if this is possible. But, it is what you need to move forward. I wish you well. Stay present to who you are and what YOU NEED to be healthy–not what your emotions want. Warm regards Deborah.

  37. avatar Janet says:

    Thank you so much for your article. I just went through a divorce with a Narcissist. You are so right; he blamed me for the divorce even though he’s the one that wanted it. And I so much want that apology that is never going to come. Learning more about that type of personality is really helping me to move past the marriage and realize that it never was what I truly thought a marriage should be.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Janet, I’m glad the article and information on narcissism is helping you to work through your pain and past the marriage. But, I’m sorry that you are going through all of this. Boy, there are so many of people who would like an apology from a narcissistic ex lover, friend, family member or coworker. Apologies help us to heal. But, because one won’t be coming soon — it’s good people like you are open to sharing their experiences, which can help us to heal without hearing sorry. Warm regards to you Janet. Deborah.

  38. avatar Elisa says:

    How to deal with a Narcissist when you have two small children you share? I spent 4 years with a man who seems to be a Narcissist. He treated me with such disrespect and collousness. I unwillingly ended the relationship feeling that my children would disrespect me as well if they saw how he treated me. I wanted more than anything for him to go to counseling so we could be a family. But he said he was glad to be away from me because he never loved me. How does one heal when you have to see the source of your pain daily. He continues to hurt me through his care of my children. He still comes before anyone. Will they also be aware of this? Will they think it is normal behavior. Will this hurt them like it hurts me?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      You ask a very good question Elisa. I understand you are still hurting because of him. But, if you are the main example of behavior in your children’s life; they will learn from your love and healthy interactions with them. The most important thing for your children’s mental health is that you do not let him continue to undermine you to the point where you are emotionally unavailable for your children. I know this is challenging because your ex is narcissistic. But, thank goodness, he doesn’t have them full time and that you are the main caregiver. If you take good emotional care of yourself, your children will benefit from your strength of mind, spirit and behavior. This is the way that you can lower the risk of him damaging them. Be well Elisa. Warmly Deborah.

  39. avatar Jaleesa says:

    Thank you so much for the article. It’s been three weeks today since my “N’ broke up with me. My “N” and I were together for 9 months so a lot of my family thinks that is was just a short term relationship that didn’t work out. It might have been 9 months but it felt like years to me. Here’s my story. We met online and he seemed like everything that I could have ever wanted he showered me with gifts we had everything in common pretty much right off the bat I started staying with him after our first two dates. He gave me a key to his apartment by the third week. He was in the process of purchasing a home, which was three mins from his parents house and about four from my parents. I Thought it was a sign from God. He told me that I had to live with him if we ever wanted to get married I moved in after dating for only a month in half, I didn’t feel comfortable as I was previously married before and I wanted to take things slow and make sure that he was the one.

    At two months I went to Hawaii with his entire family for his grandmothers birthday. I fell in love with his family everyone told him that I was a keeper. When we returned home that is when everything started to change he wasn’t as nice to me he started to complain a lot. I didn’t think it was him I thought it was just because were settling in a home together and their is an adjustment period we both bickered about the littlest things but then they started to get into full blown arguments and everything was my fault, I was the one that was making him angry it was my fault he was feeling the way he was feeling. I stopped hanging out with my family as much we always were with his because they are such a tight family they share everything together and they do family group text messages all day to one another.If they didn’t like his girlfriend then he would break it off with them. He valued his fathers opinion. At first it didn’t bother me.

    In july my 16 year old brother passed away, I never had a sibling pass away so this feeling was completely new to me and I didn’t know how to handle it, He comforted me a little bit and he is sensitive like me so he could cry with the smallest things. After two weeks of my brother being gone he told me that he is tired of seeing me sad and it is time to get over it. So I couldn’t show my true feelings anymore because it irritated him when I did and he would say rude comments to me and from that point he started to put me down I was just to hurt at the time to care, I would of normally reciprocated and said something back. I told him to make him happy we can avoid my family and just hang out with his and we did. Even though my family was up the street like his I rarely saw mine unless I met my mom for lunch. I didn’t hang out with friends anymore, I stopped working out because he thought guys would hit on me. I went from work to home and we did things together majority of the time always together. I was starting to feel trapped. I think he noticed so he would bring me flowers home from work or take me out on date nights every Friday, we would always be intimate and he would cuddle when we watched movies. We never broke up per say since we lived together and I told him that we have to talk out our problems which he hated to do that but in the end he always felt better and we were good again that was like once a week, so it got tiring for me very quickly. I felt like I was always working on our relationship constantly keeping him happy whenever he was mad or sad or just plain bored. I had a 26 year old child. To top it off I am the longest relationship and serious he has ever had which scared me that he had commitment issues.

    We always drank wine together since his profession is the wine industry we drank almost every night I started drinking not as much because we would get in arguments when we did, so I would have a glass or two when he would have about a bottle and then he would beat me down with words, I learned to be quiet and not feed the dragon. I was taught you can’t argue with your self so someone had to be the bigger person and I would take that route. He would wake up in the middle of the night and feel horrible about what he did and say “I’m sorry” and It got to the point when they didn’t mean anything to me anymore. I was starting to resent this relationship since I was always picking up the pieces when he can act however he wanted and I always had to be the bigger person, when we went out to eat I was always driving, I did the laundry made him elaborate meals, massaged his feet, back and anything he asked me I tried to make his life as carefree as possible and as fun when he was down in the dumps on his bad days. I didn’t want to break up with him even though my mind knew I should but my heart was telling me that he loved me and I have a great life he loved me he just had mood swings. I would let all my frustration build up inside me and I would just yell and scream at him some days when he would say something rude or mean to me. It wasn’t all his fault but I took the blame for a lot of things I shouldn’t have.

    We got engaged in December of 2013 and I knew I shouldn’t of said yes I should of broke up and moved out. By then I was tired gained 30 pounds had no self esteem, was isolated from everyone I pretty much cared about, I was only able to wear certain things that he liked, I couldn’t wear heels because he said I looked like an amazon (we were the same height without them). I became someone I thought I never word a yes woman I developed a nervous tick I would play with my hands and looked down when he yelled at me(He had broken me, I had nothing left inside). I told him that I feel like I can never make him happy and he said “I’m sorry you feel that way” he didn’t say I was making him happy with everything and all that I did for him and we were just engaged at that point. Inside I was telling myself I do not know how I can do this for another 50 years or so. If I made that, I was having so much anxiety and stress I was getting ill often and had a constant shoulder and neck pain.

    I kept telling myself I loved him and he is worth it, As long as he was happy I am happy. that Is what I told myself every morning, when I got home I would pray to God that it will be a peaceful night even if he was drinking.

    he called it off literally nine months to the day of our relationship first starting. His parents told him that I was too opinionated that he needed to break up with me or get my bum in line quick. he told them that he loved me and we will be fine and we are going through a rough patch and his father completely stopped talking to him because he didn’t break up with me. He drank 3 bottles of wine that night and cried for about two hours straight telling me how much he loved me and that I was going to be his wife and he doesn’t know how to tell his dad and his family that he loves me. Then two days later I got home from work and he was acting completely weird happy and just off balance and he told me his family is his true happiness and that he can’t think about me anymore he needs to think about him. I was completely devastated. I thought I would be happy considering what I had been thinking the past few months. I didn’t want to break up with him. he acted completely cold towards me he didn’t show any emotion excepts anger, I was asking him a bunch of questions and he would only answer a couple of them. He made me sound like I was the reason that we were breaking up that I start too many argument and that he hadn’t been happy in a long time that he tired to make it work. I am a great person with a loving heart and I will make a man really happy someday, that it just wasn’t him. that completely broke me. I invested so much of my life and cut off everyone I knew did whatever he said for this. then I got upset and very mad and we ended up having an argument and he said that is the Jaleesa I know the one that ruins everything. He blamed our entire break up on me when I was the one that wanted to go to counseling and we were studying the bible more I did everything I could.

    My question is why do I feel so empty,sad,lost,scared, helpless,pissed off, confused and like my life completely has no meaning anymore? I loved him for him with all his flaws I never tried to change him just make him a better person, I gave him all of me. He wants NC with me at all he said he needs to move on; which I feel completely devastated, I tried everything that we can be friends, I was acting desperate and degrading myself even more. I have plenty more “supply” to give to him. but I think he knew I was starting to figure things out about him, the he would listen and do everything his parents say no matter what. and I started to question that and didn’t like it. It’s been three weeks now and all I want is for us to communicate and I want to ask him if he truly had any feeling for me? I know they say the “N” don’t love but it felt so real and genuine from his it’s hard to believe it, I may be in denial a lot I just miss him, 9 months of my life was nothing to him, I feel like I do not know how to live again. this is 20 times worse than my divorce was for sure, my ex and I are civil to one another but not my ex “N” he doesn’t have any friends except his parents and doesn’t want to be with me. I have had maybe five full days of NC, then I would think of something to say or I would see him and send him a text or email telling me that I’m sorry that he say me, always explaining my self to him. when he doesn’t care about me. I feel like I am a complete stranger to him that I meant nothing, and it hurts.

    Thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say, I am going to therapy twice a week and she was the one that told me he is a Narcissist and from what I told her about his father and family that he dad is one and his mother is a complete submissive and they didn’t like that I was strong and spoke mind. But I still love him, it hurts especially when I see him driving and I know he is so close I want to go to his and just stay there till he answers me, he threatened to get a restraining order against me if I didn’t stop trying to communicate with him, that was a week ago. I’ve forwarded emails to him for bills and he hasn’t said anything to me.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Jaleesa, thank you for sharing your story with us. The shift from the knight in shining armor to the dragon (as you say well) is shocking and so damaging. Nine months is long enough to attach to a person emotionally and the narcissistic idealizations are so powerful that it is easy for almost anyone to attach to people like this (until they learn). But, as you know the devaluing is right around the corner. I’m so sorry that he emotionally beat you down so much that you lowered your head like an abused child. Boy, Jaleesa, this says it all. And, yes, certainly, his family would not like you taking care of yourself and setting boundaries. This would be bad behavior to a narcissistic family. You are not the first person who has been deeply wounded by a narcissist who later threatens them with restraining orders. Believe me, I have heard this before. I’m so glad that you are in therapy with a good therapist. Jaleesa, when you feel driven to reach out to him, remember, all the reasons I say an apology will never be coming. The best thing you can do is to thrive dear. And, know that we are all in support of you and understand what happened. You are well Jaleesa. He is the one with the problem. I hope you don’t mind me saying this–but get a clean break. The bills don’t matter; your good mental health does. Warm regards to you Deborah.

  40. avatar Connie says:

    For me, what has worked is using the analogy of someone dying and not be able to get the answers we want. In essence a Narc is dead… inside. Therefore there will never be closure forthcoming…

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Connie. Oh, that’s a good analogy and I really like the thought that the person really is dead inside. I see you understand very well that with this type of defensive system, there will never be closure. Thank you for your insights. Take good care. Warmly Deborah.

  41. avatar Rhonda says:

    I completely agree and I think I struggle more with the routine “fun” things and I understand that they were not so fun in the end so it’s just a slow but healthy healing process. Thanks for sharing this!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Rhonda, nice to see you here. Yes, it’s hard to let go of the good times and I know there were some. But, with true narcissists, they usually exist only in the honeymoon period of the relationship when both parties are more hesitant to voice needs to avoid conflict. Yes, it is a slow healing–but I see you are well on your way. Warm regards to you Deborah.

  42. avatar Confused says:

    Wonderful article. Anything that helps those to heal. I wonder, can a narcissist have a somewhat healthy relationship with a girlfriend/wife? It seems like the narcissist I know treats his main woman very well. However, I know she is very obedient, naive and non demanding. And the rest of the women in his life, he is very manipulative and abusive. In a true narcissist, could just a few close people be spared their wrath? It hurts to think she is being treated well…and I say this very loosely. But she is treated better than most and not abusive.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Confused!! :) I’m glad the article spoke to you. Your question is a very good one. Well, let’s say–if the mate doesn’t expect very much and suppresses needs–then, maybe. You said it right–she is very obedient, naive and undemanding. Also, I don’t know how long the relationship has been, but the honeymoon period, which could be a couple of years can be good. But, eventually, even good girls have demands and get angry when they are not being met. There is a high price of sacrificing authentic being. So, if you are wondering why he couldn’t rise to the best of himself with you, remember, it’s because you are a real person, with real needs. Give him time–he’ll show his narcissistic ways. Warm regards to you. Deborah

  43. avatar Chrissy says:

    Hello. I really appreciate this article and all the various articles from other survivors online. I dated a psychopath/narcissist for 3 months. It felt like my heart and soul were thrown in a meat grater and all the joy was sucked out of me in such a short time. Coming out of this left me with 2 months of tears and a chronic headache. During that time he proceeded to contact me – which would have been romantic if he was not such a sick man. He had a few women I found out.. lucky me.. I was the lesser of the two. He called to “apologize” that I was “feeling” so badly and “I could have called him.” Whatever of a joke or an apology that is…this was after a month and a half of no contact. I blocked his number-

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Chrissy, you know the descriptions of suffering from you and other people are so illustrative of the damage narcissists can do. Yes, they can really grind up one’s self-esteem and faith that there are people out there who don’t have these difficulties. Congratulations on blocking his number. Chrissy some people go on for months and months (some for years) hoping that the flaming red flags are not real and will go away. That you blocked him after 3 months says a lot about your strength. Congratulations. Thank you for taking the time to say hello and I hope to see you here again. Warmly Deborah.

  44. avatar Olivia says:

    Hi Deborah,

    I read this article as a daily reminder of what kind of person I fell in love with. Thank you! This is my third week of No Contact. I understand why narcissists are incapable of apologies and providing healthy closure…but what if he’s told very damaging lies and I feel he needs to be called out for it?

    My ex moved in with me shortly after dating and hasn’t paid rent during the two years we were together. Finally, because my place is breaking down and I can’t afford a better rental – whereas he makes more than twice my salary – I asked him to help out. I admit, I had become suspicious of late because I recently caught him involved with another female and wondered why he was always so tight on money.

    So, I asked him to be a fairer partner and he yelled all this stress caused him to collapse at work earlier and get rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with high risk for a heart attack, and that I had ruined his and his family’s reputations by spreading lies about him to our mutual friends, many of whom were calling him up with accusations.

    I was reduced to a sobbing, apologetic mess and he left in disgust. Then I discovered they were all lies. I called the hospitals in the area. No records of him. I saw he had accessed my Facebook account where I had confided to one friend. This friend had told no one else.

    The petty side of me is outraged that he portrays himself as a victim, and doesn’t know that I know he told these lies. He can’t hurt me any more than he’s done already. I want to expose the veneer of perfection and no-fault he’s so proud of having.

    What are your thoughts?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Congratulations dear Olivia—three weeks leads to three months and years! I’m so happy for you because I know how damaging narcissists can be. You say here very well how they turn the tables back on people when they get confronted and act like it is they who were assaulted. Olivia the best way for you to heal is to stop the drama altogether. Narcissists cause so much hurt and drama that the further you can stay away the better. They can also be very vindictive, so if you are saying that you will tell people about him (family, friends on FB or whatever)–he may hurt you even more by claiming harassment charges or something even worse. I have seen this over and over where the narcissist who is the one who wounded their lovers actually takes out legal charges against them when they get confronted. So I say–reread my article for comfort whenever you need it but make a clean break dear. It’s the best for YOU; and it’s you who is important here. Also, if you don’t know this page on Facebook called After Narcissistic Abuse, you may want to go there. It’s a great page where recovering ex partners of narcissists share and the sharing is helpful. Warm regards to you. Deborah.

      • avatar Olivia says:

        Thank you, Deborah, for responding. I found the Facebook group you recommended, and reading what others shared was very, very comforting.

        You are right about not drawing drama and vindictiveness from him. A mutual friend recommended a therapist to me, but told him about it as well, and he ended up calling the therapist before my first session to demand she tell him about it. He said he has friends in police and government to tap her phone line and email. This is not a side I want to bring out in him but the confrontation on his lies could very well do so and there may be legal repercussions like you mentioned.

        Thank you. One day I hope to feel indifference towards him and unconditionally happy that this relationship ended.

  45. avatar Sara says:

    Hi,
    What happens when you don’t accept their “apology”? A friend sent me something which was not an apology just self serving nonsense and rather self centred. I refused to accept it as it was meaningless. They went quiet and then out of nowhere I got this emotional whirlpool of a blasting publicly (on FB then blocked me) about not being friends. When I got in contact I received what amounted to as empty threats and viciousness. Is this because I didn’t accept their lame apology? Way over the top, nasty and very upsetting. It was like they were ruminating and stewing in their own juice for a wk or so before the emotional outburst. I get the impression they feel better throwing/ projecting their crap onto you plus the things I was being accused of.. Well, I didn’t recognise them they kinda described them.

    I still am making sense of this and ironically want an apology (them to get in contact to say sorry) but nothing. Plague upon my own insecurities and confidence, lack of. It was like they were making out I was the monster and they were the victim. How can you treat people like that, can’t fathom it? Plus is there no conscience pricking them telling them to make amends?

  46. avatar Sara says:

    Hi, I just left a comment and my gravatar appeared. I don’t want that to appear in the comment, can it be removed? Thank-you Sara

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello, I don’t see it here. Let me check to make sure. I understand, several people don’t want their gravatars to appear here. I’ll get back to you. :)

  47. avatar Stacy W says:

    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

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      LOVE YOURSELF–such a good message. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Because loving ourselves and knowing in heart, mind and action that we deserve better is key to getting out of these types of relationships. Also, remembering, what you see is what you get. There is not much hope for change if the person is truly narcissistically disordered. Thank you. Warmly Deborah.

  48. avatar Kyle S. says:

    I came across this, I’ll be honest I’m not even sure how. But it is exactly what I was dealing with.

    In trying to make sense of everything I was so caught up on the hopes for apologizing & an acknowledgement of all the efforts made.

    Reading this has definitely helped move my thought process along towards true closure. I’m not quite at the point you mentioned at the end of fully/mostly understanding what happened to the point I can heal….

    But just knowing the truth of what actually happens brings peace. I’m fighting with the empathy part the most, because every part of me just wants to reach out to my ex and be like “Here! This is what happened, take a look at this and maybe it’ll help.” I’m struggling with that so hard.

    I think realizing that you can’t help someone like this, is a necessary step to finding that closure.

    That it’s completely out of your control, and no effort you make matters. It’s the effort they’re willing to make or not. You can’t help someone unwilling to help themselves….

    Just sharing thoughts in hopes it might help others, alongside helping myself.

    Thank you for this article, I’ve benefited more then I can repay by reading it.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Kyle, closure–the right word. I’m so pleased that the understandings in this post helped you to think about what is happening to you and that your reactions are very common when we have breakups with narcissists. Yes just knowing the truth can be so healing. YOu take good care of yourself. Warmly Deborah.

  49. avatar Marcos Archer says:

    he’s workaholic, selfish, critical, self-centered, and ambitious about fame. he said once that his priorities were always college and his YouTube cover videos first, and then relationship. how do you know if he is a narcissist or just didn’t like me enough to work it? we’ve been together for 8 months and I’ve had enough, but i can’t tell if the problem was mine by giving always more into this commitment emotionally, and he never give enough of it, sometimes it was just none emotion. i always felt for months that something was not right, but i couldn’t know quite right what or why, so i kept testing him, and I’ve seen the worst behavior from him. My friends were always saying to me that i should break up (that he’s to selfish, he want different things, and he’s not right for me) but i ignored it, and i tried to do something about it… but it only it got worst. i only saw the real him, when i finally wanted to broke up for real… he started to disrespect me, he disrespected my mother (when i always gave my house for us to do our thing, since we are gay and he wasn’t out of the closet in public or to his parents – he said that was no problem at all for us to work out as a relationship) and was always putting me down professionally and calling me a kid (that was the only arguments he always had), and i decided to finally break up….

    he wanted to stay friends, but i said no, it’s obvious we need space to move on each other and he didn’t even respected me enough to be a friend or respect us not to talk for some months now, what the hell was he thinking? I tried and tried, but i couldn’t reach him, and i still don’t know why. i always gave him space for his life and all other stuff, so i can’t say i was obsessed or anything. when i ended it was a relief, but it’s been a month and it’s been harder then i though. i can tell if it was just me that wasn’t enough for him to love me, and give just like i gave within time, or if he’s a narcissist and i simply couldn’t do nothing anymore, since people never change. he only experience was one relationship that he was cheated, 3 years ago, and it seems that he didn’t let go of it too… not that he still likes him, but i feel his anger about it, resentment for being cheated and thats the excuse he uses for him to be so cold and not believing on the emotional side, and only rational. why was he in this relationship with me after all this time? lol. i believed that it was only a matter of time to get more emotional, but i guess it was a bullshit, and i was only blind. he somehow tricked me to let my self-esteem go down with his general critics about everything, for me to get adapted to him to save this relationship (i tried to end the relationship other times, i just didn’t end it because i was blinded about him), and i forgot to listen to my voice… i feel so stupid.

    he has a HUGE ego, that’s why i think he can learn or ear me out when i say he has big problems to resolve with himself as a person. he goes out on the street, and he thinks hes famous everywhere in my country just because of some cover videos he does on YouTube with 1,000 views or less daily. He leaves in a reality that he is better than everyone, he puts himself on a pedestal not only with me, but people in general. (his teachers, partners of work, etc).

    i was blinded by his ways… i didn’t know exactly what was wrong, i just felt it. i just though he was insecure, scared (since the lack of experience with relationships and was cheated last time), so i fighted for the relationship, and tried to pull him off the square he lives in. but anyway, i did a research, and i think i can agree with some topics about “the codependent”… is it my fault, for me to be like this, who damaged the relationship? i always had my opinion on things, although, i was always corrected by him in the end, he was always right about everything… i started to shut my mouth, because he said i was always starting fights, when i was just speaking my mind of what i think it was wrong generally.

    It’s been a really painful phase of my life, with so much happening in my professional life, i feel i can’t focus anymore, or feel like doing anything at all at the end of the day.

    Recently i’ve came to know he is inviting fans to go to the cinema with him on Facebook, how lame is that? Lol. Even yesterday, after 1month and 2 weeks of no contact with him, he added me on GooglePlus, and i think it was on purpose?! All i wanted was him to say sorry, at least, and it would be so much better for me to go on… i’m afraid to see him with another guy, doing all the things he never did with me, like love him and treat him right? oh well…

    help me on this one, thanks.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Marcos, oh, it sounds like you have been through a lot, emotionally. And, I know that despite all you say here, it’s hard to let go because there’s something about a true narcissist’s arrogance and rejection that can draw us in once we are emotionally and romantically involved with them. I understand you may not be emotionally far enough from the breakup to feel like you can see him with other partners. May I suggest that until you feel deep inside that you are no longer attached emotionally (through your hurt) that you try hard to avoid seeing him. A clean breakup is the best way to deal with a narcissistic ex-lover. Marcos, there’s a page on Facebook called After Narcissistic Abuse. It’s very constructive and people share about their breakups–but mainly about how they are going about healing and supporting each other. You may want to take a look at this. May I suggest you don’t add him back on GooglePlus– the cleaner your break–the more you will heal. You take good care of yourself and remember–you can do this. Warmly Deborah.

      • avatar Marcos Archer says:

        thank you so much for your time and support, i needed a professional voice. I will keep in mind what you said to me, and yes, i will check on this page :) and no, i won’t be coming back to him (my friends won’t let me either way i wanted too ahah). Thanks :)

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