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!


198 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 ?


    • 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.

      • avatar Mechelle Bennett says:

        I’ve scoured the internet looking for an alternative for the wretched”ignore, ignore, ignore” method of dealing with the nightmare I married 20 years ago. He promptly replaced me with a newer model 2 years ago after 20+ years of shameless butt sniffing and lecherous grabassing that was his habit. Naturally I wanted blood. Still do but have come to realize that I will be getting no satisfactory settlement. No nothing. The newer model is a sociopathic narcissist and we are mortal enemies. This situation has almost killed me mentally and physically and the level of ridiculousness has been a personal shame for me and still no satisfaction. Getting violent is always a concern. (I’m not wrapped too tight after 2 years of this nonsense) I just spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with our 17 year old son who still lives with them and I haven’t seen in 6 months due to the volatile nature of the situation and the fact that I’m blind as a bat and can’t drive and the only place I had to go when it hit the fan in April was 75 miles away. The visit filled me with so much hope and I’m so relieved that my son does not blame me and appreciates the $50 a month I send him out of my $720 social security check. I’ve never been on ss or public assistance of any kind. I worked in restaurants before I started losing my vision 6 years ago but I never made much money. He was the money man and made sure I knew it. In short I had no money skills. The $50 a month is a fairly large deal for me so it was a relief to know that $50 is appreciated. His dad pays his truck payment, insurance etc. The man has power and man do I resent him for it. Anyways, I read this and it was exactly what was going on with me. I wanted to hear the jerk tell me he was sorry and it won’t happen. I wouldn’t believe it if he did say it anyway. After reading this article and getting things square with my boy I am so ready to detach ad let this black hole of hopelessness go down the drain. Thank you I really thought this was going to end badly for everybody except a defence attorney.

        • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

          You are very welcome Mechelle. You take good care. Warm regards Deborah.

        • avatar elisha says:

          I love your honesty your strength in your words, use your strength to help you not hinder, I think I side you are a very clever, funny amazing person, find yourself xx

        • avatar FYI says:

          If you were married to the man for more than 10 years, you have a right to claim 1/2 of his SS. It does not affect his SS at all. GO TO THE SS OFFICE AND GET TO IT!

  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.

    • 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.


    • 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!

    • avatar Mekah says:

      I know your post is a but old but I had to comment on it. In your post, you stated that this was not the relationship you wanted nor deserve. I applaud you and congratulate you for realizing your worth and understanding that you can do better than being emotionally abused and taken for granted. Most people will argue that in order to leave a Narcissist, you must first realize who and what they are or that they don’t love you. I honestly feel that the best way to leave a Narcissist is KNOWING YOUR OWN WORTH and realizing that you don’t deserve their horrible treatment and having the self esteem to leave because you do deserve a loving, caring and fully committed partner. In my opinion, it is of no consensequence to fully understand what type of mental disorder one suffers from or how hard their childhood was if someone is mistreating you. The main thing I would think about is that I’m not happy with this person, they are hurting me, emotionally or mentally abusing me, cheating, etc and I need to end things because I do not deserve this type of treatment. I feel the the first step in leaving a bad or an abusive relationship is not identifying a person’s dysfunction but having the self esteem and create healthy bounderies to know you should be treated with compassion, love, respect and consideration by anyone you choose to have in your life because you are a human being, you are precious. With out knowing your worth, you can read 100 self help books, do months even years of research on why someone mistreats you but at the end of the day, it would be more advantageous to take that time to research and self reflect on WHY WE WOULD ALLOW ANYONE TO MISTREAT AND HURT US? I left a narcissist also but it wasn’t because I figured out he had a mental disorder, I finally got the courage to leave him when I WAS FED UP OF THE WAY HE ABUSED ME and worked on my own self esteem and poor bounderies with people. To ficus so much attention on what people suffer from is honestly giving them power,it’s giving them attention they don’t deserve. Work on building your self up, working out, being more sociable, healing past and present hurts,etc and it will help with your co-dependence on others, it will help you look better, feel better and ultimately boost up your esteem to realize it’s unhealthy to love someone so much that we would allow them to abuse or continue to hurt us. When you really love yourself properly, you will love yourself enough to know that staying with someone that hurts you means you really don’t love yourself at all! I left my Narcissist when I stopped focusing on his actions, his disorder,etc and started focusing on WHY I ALLOWED SOMEONE TO MISTREAT ME FOR 5 YEARS? Once I figured that out, it was easy to break free from the abuse and from my oppressor. Just my thoughts….

      • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

        Hello Mekah, I’m always pleased that people find my articles, whenever written, and take time to comment. So, thank you. I love what you say here. Yes, knowing your worth is the way out of a narcissistic relationship. We need to know first that we don’t deserve or need the abuse. Also, most certainly, knowing boundaries and establishing them are part of a healthy self esteem. Let me say also Mekah that I’m sorry you were mistreated for five years. You have done much soul searching I’m sure and all you mention in taking care of yourself- I could not have said better (“Work on building your self up, working out, being more sociable, healing past and present hurts,etc and it will help with your co-dependence on others, it will help you look better, feel better and ultimately boost up your esteem to realize it’s unhealthy to love someone so much that we would allow them to abuse or continue to hurt us).

        Thank you for sharing how you were able to leave an abusive, narcissist. I know the readers will appreciate what you say here. Warm regards to you Mekah.

        • avatar Lorianne says:

          I left my Narc, who was my ex husband, over 5 weeks ago and I have been no contact ever since. I’m not looking for an apology or the closure of one, I am devastated that I had to leave 3 dogs behind. I will not go there to see the dogs because I do not want my dogs upset and confused. This is the torture for me. Losing their love and companionship. I am trying to bury my feelings about them by not thinking about them. I feel guilty, alone and that I will never see them again. What s your advice about this? There can be no civility as I left the relationship because he was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive.

          • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

            Hi Lorianne, congratulations, although I know coming to this decision wasn’t easy for you. I am a dog lover – oh, I know how this must torture you. I’m so sorry. It’s oh so common to have no civility at the end of a relationship with a narcissist, especially the highly abusive types.

            Remember Lorraine, in your darkest moments that you freed yourself from abuse. There will be light although I know you don’t feel it right now. Let me ask, did you have an option to take the dogs or did he insist on keeping them? Also, do you know he will be good to the dogs? Is he a good pet caregiver? I’m hoping so because this at the very least helps you to know they will be loved.

            Lorraine, if you think there’s no way you can get your dogs, then, you may think about getting another one right now to love and care for – and of course, we know how very healing our dogs are to us.

            Thank you for taking the time to write me. Let me know how you are doing. Warm regards Deborah

      • avatar narcfree says:

        I didn’t read your entire response. But I don’t agree with leaving for your “knowing your own Worth”….I met a man almost 2 years ago and from our first date knew he was crazy, wild and I was not – I told him not interested we are from 2 different worlds ..and the drama began… I just thought the man was a “bad boy”, player, but the sweet words he said- he swore he wasn’t a player, give him a chance – i never met anyone like you – uh, OK….he sounded somewhat sincere but I still knew he was a jerk…yet the attraction grew, because the more I said no the more he wanted to see me, and I won’t deny it felt good–until I picked up on stuff and would say “I’m done” – and I can tell you if I broke it off with him 70xs i’m not lying, and i also took him back after he lied, this NOT ME…I don’t lie, nor do I trust easily. The hold he had on me was addictive and I prayed and prayed for this to end. I would see him and couldn’t wait to leave and then I’d miss him. (i now realize he was saying things to get me to break up so he could see whomever and then round back to me when I “calmed down”) I did NC before I knew what that was and in the beginning HE was the one sending long emails, oh my word he cried hysterically one time I said I”m done. A tough jersey guy crying freakin tears streaming down his face, oh the times he must have done that – I didn’t stay that night, but I was like “wth”? So after awhile since I guess I took him back after him going on 2 vacations without me and not telling me (who does that, and what was I thinking) I was getting easy, I was no longer a challenge and I was a mess. He had me going to a psychiatrist played head games that were insane. a few times I really was tough and strong, and I saw him back down, but it wasn’t long before the empty I’m sorries came, or no wait “I” was saying I was sorry FOR WHAT?? OK all that to say, it was not until he was at my house on the way to his “moms” that I found 3 condoms in his overnight bag he was taking. I needed answers and I don’t know what I googled that I hadn’t googled months ago, that landed me on NPD and there it was in my face, everything he was and what I went through and this knowledge has finally woke my stupid self up. My family tried, I was going to a counselor 2xs a week, nothing helped. But knowing that he was not this player, womanizer man who was waiting for “me” (yes another red flag 52 and never married)….I couldn’t make up any more excuses – it had a name, I had a diagnosis and every single sight on narcs say the only way to get him out is NO CONTACT —-I had blocked him and unblocked him so many times, he didn’t care, and was on to whomever he had to carry condoms around for, because he knew I would unblock him when he would now only need a 3 word email sent to me- but I am keeping him blocked. I am not sending an email – and it’s been only 61 days, although the longest stretch, and he hasn’t emailed me – and I’m happy an answer to prayer. He is out of my heart but in my head, and I am not leaving him there much longer – Knowledge and NC…and reading these sights are helping me move on to healing myself.

  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.

    • avatar Angie says:

      I’m in the exact same boat. My ex cheated and lied to me for over 8 years. I saw an adult hook up for sex web site and found out he had been 1on it for over 10 years. His source of ,”friends” on that site consisted of women and bisexual couple looking for a man to hook with. Is he gay? He hat’s me for finding out

  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… 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 ( 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.

      • avatar Kelly McCoy says:


        Recently on NYE my sociopathic narcissist ex (7 days ago) He was driving my car back from a NYE party and I was telling him to slow down. He was slamming on my breaks. He was yelling and screaming at me and being very disrespectful calling me a Bitch etc. I was like Do Not call me that and he was like you are, and asked me if I was afraid of him and I said NO. He then got out of my car and ran off with my keys and locked me out in the frigid cold. I had no way of getting home.. I called the police and the police said that he said that the keys to my car are lost and he does not have them. He lied to the police. The police took me home in a police car. I had to call a taxi to go up and retrieve my car with a second set of keys…. He has NOT apologized for what he did to me. We went from having a great night to hugging and kissing to being complete enemies…. I am a shocked, lost and confused. We have a child together. We do not live together. This type of behavior has been going on for years. He is mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and verbally abusive. He has never hit me, but I wonder if he would eventually. I don’t know what to do. He was my best friend and father of my child and I do still love him but his behavior needs to CHANGE. What he did was wrong and hurtful and I want him to apologize. He has bipolar disorder and I think he has Borderline personality disorder. We were doing great recently until this incident. It is always like things are going great then something bad happens. He is so confusing.

        • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

          Hello Kelly. Sometimes we have to change for the change to happen in an abusuvd relationship. What I mean is you have to risk leaving this relationship behind so you can have a peaceful life. We must have a loving relationship with ourself before we can bring truly loving person into our lives. I know it’s hard to do,but remember our live for another person is not as important as the preservation of mental health. Warm regards 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….!

    • avatar Nura says:

      I was left by a narcissist 2.5 years ago and still spinning in hell to this day. Thanks for this article, I feel like it brought me one step closer to healing and reclaiming my life. Since we can’t expect any apology or closure from our exes, the price we have to pay for loving them is pulling ourselves by the bootstraps from the swamp they left us in. We don’t have anyone else to depend on but I am positive that each and every one of us will only become a better and stronger person as a result of this experience.

  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:

    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.

  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??


    • 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:


    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:

    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.


    IT’S A LIE!


    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 🙂

      • avatar whyme83 says:

        Hi Dr Khoshaba, please bear with me as my post is very long. This is the first time I have EVER posted anything online… I have been visiting forums for years now, always reading about other people’s heartbreak to try and help my own, but to no avail. My high school sweetheart and I reconciled after 10 years apart. We have both been married to other people for brief periods, and neither of us have children. He didn’t know what he wanted for a very long time, but eventually he decided that leaving his wife to be with me was the right thing for him. Things were amazing from the point when he realised it was me he wanted to be with, after all, we had 10 years to catch up on. However, six months into our relationship, I discovered he was cheating on me with his ex wife. I ended our relationship and 2 weeks later he was begging me to forgive him and to marry him. I accepted his proposal about a month later, and the very next day, he withdrew it. Then months later, he bought me a beautiful engagement ring and left it on my driveway in the middle of the night in the pouring rain after a fight, just to prove some crazy point. I have never worn the ring – it was never given to me properly, and he has since sold it. This was more than 4 years ago. It has been very up and down, on and off for a long time but he’d always beg me to take him back even though he was the one breaking up with me all the time.

        He became cold, cruel, abusive, punishing, demanding and spiteful. Constantly threatening to leave me, causing me so much emotional distress that I became hysterical. I moved in with him so many times, and he threw me out at least 6 times when we’d fight, and then beg me to come back. He has cut me off completely so many times by switching his phone off and refusing to take my calls. He won’t take responsibility for anything. He calls me horrible names and yells at me. He doesn’t trust me but I’ve never ever done anything not to deserve his trust. When we broke up many years ago while we were still at school, it was me who broke up with him and he blames and punishes me for that to this day. He has refused to go on a single trip with me, claiming that he’s saving money for “our” future. But then he goes out and buys a brand new car and motorbike (knowing I hate them – he did this after he’d left me one time, and came back and announced that he’s got a motorbike) and goes overseas on his own for a week, knowing how much I’ve wanted to go away with him.

        He just does everything to hurt me and to push me away, and then he blames me for the fact that I’m miserable. Every time he leaves me, he reactivates his Facebook account and posts things on there to taunt me and hurt me, yet when we’re together, he generally refuses to be on it. He has a demanding job where he needs to be tough and in control, but he’s brought this to our relationship as well and he’s become so unbearably hurtful. I don’t want to leave him despite all of this because I do love him, which makes me feel like a desperate fool considering he’s more than prepared to leave me. We were supposed to go on vacation together in 2012 for Christmas, but he left without me the day before and then threatened to leave me “for good” if I didn’t get in my car and meet him there. I ignored his calls and hundreds of abusive texts, all alluding to me sleeping with another man (not true). He even went as far as telling me he’s replacing me as we speak. It was an hour and a half of abusive texts in non-stop sequence, and then they started again at 4am including prank phone calls to my home phone, waking my family. He does this every single time. He is accusing me of the most horrible things, but he’s the one who broke my heart for ruining our plans and going away without me and leaving me thousands of times, saying “goodbye” at the drop of a hat. He grew up in a home where his father drank a lot and emotionally abused his mother (according to him).

        He comes from a large family where the majority of his uncles / aunts are divorced. He had serious anger issues as a very little boy and turned to drugs in his late teens after we had broken up, which continued for a couple of years, but he’s been clean for about 10 years now. He used to be on anti-depressants, but now he believes he’s doing nothing wrong. He has gotten up in my face and his blue eyes turn black. He has spoken to me through gritted teeth and intimidated me to shut up. He has, when we lived together, pushed me, flicked cigarette ash on my dinner, thrown little decorative pebbles at me, thrown the blanket off of me through the night so id feel exposed. He tried wrestling car keys out of my hands once and cut himself in the process. He then proceeded to wipe his blood on my face and on my leg, and stood over me squeezing his finger so that more blood would drip onto my head.

        I’ve had 2 LTR’s in my life (3 if you include the first time around with him back at school). When I left my marriage, I never looked back. I didn’t cry, didn’t miss him, I felt free and content with my decision. Never in my life have I been dependent on anyone, nor did i have a fear of abandonment. I was adopted as a relative newborn, and I am blessed to have the most AMAZING parents so I’ve never felt isolated, or unwanted, or even curious as to where I came from because my parents ARE my parents, and I even look like them! He went as far as texting me one time, saying “they should have dumped my unwanted a** in the river when I was born,” and that I’m a s**t like my mother (referring to the woman who gave birth to me). He’s even said that my parents, who love me more than anything, should be ashamed of me and that I’m an embarrassment. Oh, and he always says that I shouldn’t worry because my mother will “set me up with another wog so I can get married and save face.” He ended up breaking up with me in September of last year, and a few weeks later begged me again to take him back.

        He ended up moving in with me, and everything was going really well, but I was nervous. I looked at his phone one night while he was outside, and found a flirty text from some woman. I confronted him about it the next day, and he told me she was a lady that he helped at work, and that he is friends with her husband also. He was livid that I looked at his phone, and said that he felt “betrayed” that I still didn’t trust him and thought he was cheating on me. The thing is, my lack of trust in his is no longer about him cheating on me years ago – it’s to do with the constant abandonment and how easily he’d walk away from me. So he ended up packing his bags and proceeded to ignore me for the next fortnight. I was off work sick with tonsillitis, and I had to sit there staring at his packed bags all day every day. Sometimes he’d come home from work and try to talk to me, other times he’d just blatantly ignore me. I tried talking to him one evening, and he ended up saying “don’t worry about it, I’ll be out of here tomorrow,” and I was so angry and I said “no, if you’re going tomorrow, then get your things and leave now.” He did.

        A couple of weeks later, he started trying to make amends again, but I was so hurt that I didn’t let him come back. I told him that I needed time to heal and work myself out, and he kept hounding me and begging me to marry him. He even went as far as calling my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I blocked his number and refused to take his calls for almost 4 months – sometimes I’d call him and we’d talk, but most of the time I’d ignore him because one minute he’d be in love with me, and the next he was saying goodbye again. He started going to a counsellor again, and he’d email me the most beautiful things, promising me everything I’ve ever wanted and telling me he prayed for the chance to “shower me in everything he’s withheld over the years,” saying that the reason he kept running away was because he was scared of his feelings for me, and of me leaving him, which I never did. He said that he wasn’t going to let his fear take me away from him anymore, and that he’d give me all the time in the world to heal, and that he’d be there when I was ready.

        Fast forward 3 weeks later, I call him, and he doesn’t answer. A few hours later, I get a text saying “what do you want. Don’t ever call me again.” He starts changing his relationship status to “single,” and making it public. Of course, this was my undoing and I started calling him incessantly for 3 weeks. Emailing him, texting him, and generally being ignored. Sometimes he’d answer an email, but only to say that he’s “moving on,” and that he “waited long enough while I played games with him.” He claims that I was “portraying to be moving on, on Facebook,” which was NEVER the case. I posted a few photos of myself with my girlfriends, and that was it. He actually changed his relationship status – I never did that. He said that the only reason I was now calling him, was because he had stopped. I told him that I thought he was just giving me space, like he’d said, but he just kept ignoring me. He kept saying “it’s over,” but this was nothing new. Yet when I pressed him to say that he wanted me out of his life forever, he couldn’t say it. I asked him if he was letting my go forever, and he said “I don’t know. I can’t answer that question. Leave me alone.”

        I eventually got angry and sent him an email telling him he’s a coward and that I know exactly what he is, and I’m glad to have finally worked it out. He wrote back and said “already told you it was over 50 times, you clown.” This was 13 days ago. I haven’t responded or contacted him since, and nor has he. I deactivated my Facebook account a while back, and he’s back on his. He has added new females to his friends list, but there is no evidence that anything is going on with any of them – they’re both mutual friends of one of his mate’s. He posts photos of himself and his motorbike, but that’s it. His relationship status is now hidden, too. Does this mean he’s really gone forever, or is he punishing me for blocking him out for 4 months? He gave me so much hope, this time especially. How can he just switch off in 3 weeks? I ALWAYS told him that the time apart wasn’t about anybody else, and it wasn’t. But he always accused me of having someone else. I told him I’d had a meal with an old family friend from interstate, and he called it a “date,” and started accusing me of moving on. It was NEVER the case. If he was moving on now, wouldn’t he put his relationship status back to single, and be posting photos of him with other people, not just pictures of himself alone, or of his motorbike? I feel like he’s just punishing me, otherwise he’d be taking pleasure in rubbing his new woman in my face, but he isn’t…

        Please help me. Do you think he’ll ever reach out to me again? It’s been 19 days nc, the longest ever for us. What do you think is going on?

        • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

          Hello Whyme: first, I am so sorry for the abuse you have had to put up with. You know, he sounds so absolutely Narcissistically character disordered—you have made the right diagnosis hun. And, just because he is doesn’t make it any easier to separate from him, because it is exactly his abuse, meanness and rejection that is keeping you attached. This is sadly what happens. He is what I call a self-esteem terminator. He has systematically worked to ruin your sense of who you are and the goodness you deserve in life. This is what true narcissists do. What is hard is that I can’t with right heart and mind answer your question as to when he will return because I want to tell you to RUN RUN as far away as you can. To tell you things like you should have been dropped in the river when born and all the other horrible things you describe here is what psychology calls a PROJECTION. He is getting you to feel and contain all of the awful things he feels about himself. This is how people with serious personality disorders operate. They don’t have relationships—they take hostages and then systematically destroy their self-esteem.

          You have amazing parents–and this is the model you should be going after in romantic relationships. May I suggest that you go to some counseling to help you to separate completely from this person? Believe me, he is not going to become different or get better without a lot (years) of psychological help.

          Have you read my article on Sleeping With the Enemy? It kind of sounds like the relationship between you and him.

          This is another article that I think you should take a look at if you haven’t already:

          You take good care and remember—you deserve a romantic partner who builds you up, supports and accepts who you are and makes your life much better rather than one who tears you down, abandons you and gives you more grief than anyone should have. Warm regards dear. Deborah.

  50. avatar Carol says:

    When do the feelings of love go away? I’m coming out of a 4 year relationship with my ex narcissist. He broke up with me in such a cruel heartless verbally abusive way. I was devestated- still am. It’s been almost 2 months and I still cry uncontrollably everyday. He calls randomly and acts like nothing happened!! No remorse to validation of my feelings from his cruel behavior. I loved him so much but I know he can’t give me the life I want. He’s so self centered so worried about himself he would never be a good husband or liar. I always believed he truly truly loved me. I was so good to him. He never relieved love growing up and I showered him with it. Why wouldn’t he want to treat someone good who loves him so much. Before we broke up we weren’t intimate for 2 months and I caught him
    On pork sites. I can’t believe it. I just can’t. I can’t believe how he could just toss me aside and laugh about it. After all our plans. I’m in therapy which is comforting but I’m still devestated. I’m getting angrier though. How do you tell your heart to stop loving someone who treats you so badly. How do you let go? I envision letting go of him and I hysterically cry. We had such amazing moments together I truly loved him.i don’t know how I’m going to get over this.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Carol. It’s very difficult I know to work through the feelings enough so not have them upset you anymore. When a relationship has hurt us so much our attachment to the person gets very muddy. This makes it harder to let go of because there are so many unanswered questions and wounds that are left open and still laying there. Yes true to a narcissist, there is no remorse or admitting how mean and cruel they have been. This is within their pathological personality framework.

      I’m so glad you are in therapy to get the help you need to heal and move forward. There is life after a narcissist. Anger is clearing the way for you to move forward. Carol, in domestic violence, the woman always hangs onto to the few memories of times when the relationship was good. She goes through all kinds of terror and abuse just hanging onto a fantasy. You don’t want to go there–there’s nothing but further heartache in it for you.

      You tell yourself to let go and move forward by letting go of the fantasy that the relationship was and could be all that you wish it could be. You must face this reality. I know you can, and I know it is very difficult. But be strong dear Carol. YOU deserve a healthy, loving, abuse-free relationship. There’s a wonderful page on FB called After Narcissistic Abuse. Have you heard of it? If not take a peek. It’s generally very constructive. People sharing their experiences but even more so supporting each other to stay strong and move beyond the narcissistic romantic relationships. You take good care Carol. Warmly Deborah.

  51. avatar AG says:

    I am still in the recovery process even though it’s been about 10 months. I dated a man who I now realize was indeed a sociopath for a short period of time (about 3 months). I am in my early 20’s and even though an attractive guy had never dated before. The man I dates was in his early 30’s and extremely accomplished and made me feel on top of the world with presents and non stop compliments along with tons of talks about his feelings for me so naturally I was smitten. I found out later that he was cheating continually almost anytime that I was not around and ended things and felt that I was lucky to et away from such a person even though I still had feelings for him. Unfortunately I was not so lucky and weeks later found out the man I thought I loved had given me an incurable disease. At first he pretended to be sorry but a few days later told me I was stupid for thinking it was a big deal and I couldn’t be mad at him since it was my decision to engage in sexual intercourse all the while denying he had known. Unfortunately months later I found out that he had done this to others before me and after all the while denying he had any clue. I have asked for an apology on several occasions and now know I will never get one and know it would not be sincere. This is hard and I grapple with the loss of my old self and my health on a daily basis. My question is how do u fully let go and be okay with not receiving a genuine apology when I am left with a damaging reminder on top of loads of trust issues? And how am I okay with not being connected to this person when I feel I need to stop them from continuing to do this to others. And I would like to state that I have only had once other sexual partner so I am not someone who sleeps around. Unlike him who stated he had been with a small number of people and later I found out he had been with 100’s of people

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello AG, narcissists can leave us with so much hurt and pain. I hear you. I know that you are living with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and this is a reminder. But, there’s nothing you can do to get an apology that most likely will never come. All you can really do is use every romantic experience to learn more about yourself and to choose better. As you more farther and farther away from this very hurtful experience and find true love—you will heal. Don’t let this man take any more time from you that he already has. Protect yourself and your feelings—move forward. This is the way to heal. Trust yourself–you can do this. Warmly deborah.

  52. avatar Kimela says:

    Hi Deborah, thank you for the insightful article. I feel rather scattered and rejected after my whirlwind affair with a narcissist ended rather abruptly. The sad thing is that I acted out. I have been in a relationship with a man for six years who has been sick for the past four years. The intimacy pretty much ended with the onslaught of his disease.

    The narcissist and I did business together long before we became involved. When my business ended because of partnership issues, he started to weave his way into my psyche. He was deceitful from start to finish. He acted suspiciously and I ignored the red flags. He mostly communicated by text and email; after we started seeing each other he asked me not in his driveway as I was obscuring the view for his dogs, then said it was because my car leaked oil; he didn’t want any of my stuff in his bathroom; and when I left my perfume in the other bathroom, he hid it away; he also didn’t like me surprising him one day (I showed up with his X-mas gift).

    He behaved coldly and odd. Never seemed like he wanted to leave his house and take me anywhere. And when I confronted him about his cold or odd behavior he would vacillate between complete anger or silent treatment. Of course, he was totally avoidant and would email me his displeasure.

    Funny thing, he really lost interest after my boyfriend moved out. When I went to see him unattached after we had an email fight he was the most loving he had ever been, slept closely to me and took my puppy to work with him while I went for a job interview. We even met for breakfast.

    Later that afternoon I showed up back at the house. He had scooped up all my stuff I left in his bathroom and threw it in my bag. He took my dry-cleaning bag I left on the bed in spare room and crumpled it up and threw it in the closet. He then ranted about work, and then proceeded to tell me in a shameful, condescending manner that I snored really loud and my phone kept him up all night. He then stormed off. He then tried to act as if nothing was wrong. Later that evening, still feeling hurt, he asked me what was wrong. When I responded calmly, somehow it was all my fault that I felt that way and he asked me to leave his house. Mind you I live 3 hours away and had a puppy in tow. In fact, he grabbed my stuff and shoved it out the door and slammed it right behind me.

    He apologized “for what happened,” but never for his behavior. I had made suggestions that we should talk things over, which he agree to, then would evade the meeting. I tried to get back at him and call him on his behavior. For example, he told me his boss could be interested in funding my start up business. That was a lie too.

    He also told me that he could separate business from personal. I asked him how he could do that without dealing with the personal stuff? He evidently couldn’t as the last job his company did for my business was subpar. He sent nasty emails to one of my employees and lied to try to cover his ineptness. Since his company is one of a few in a three state region, I have tried to move forward in our correspondence. A lot of emotions come up, that feeling of being totally discarded.

    It took this experience to learn what narcism is about. My sister is one — and she discarded me for no apparent reason some years ago. I wish that I would have known about this sooner. It’s been four months since that awful experience ended and I am still reeling, but feeling better. Thank you.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Kimela, I’m sorry for the confusion and pain he caused you. He does sound mean, like narcissists can be when they start dumping their emotional problems on people. They seek to humiliate and treat others like they don’t exist like they were treated in the past (believe it or not). Yes they were over indulged but in the wrong way. Their true needs were never acknowledge but dismissed instead. So when they are acting out meanly and cruelly–they are dismissing you as unworthy and meaningless, as they were once treated.

      It does take many months for the “reeling” as you describe well to start to lessen. You will feel better and better the further you are away from the drama and pain narcissists cause. You also raise a good point that it’s not always love interests who hurt us in this painful way. Family members can be narcissists and cause the same level of pain and hurt as romantic partners. Perhaps even more because they are family and family is supposed to be there for us–at least in theory, right?

      Stay strong. You will continue to heal and let this experience be one of the last of letting a narcissist that close to you. Warm regards Deborah.

  53. avatar eden says:

    My narcissist ex reached out after two months of NC. I initiated it by breaking up amd changing my #. Moving on was hard but necessary after two years of emotional manipulation and episodes of verbal abuse. I debated responding as I was doing so well, but because we ended so abruptly I never got a chance to express how I felt about what he did to me. So I did. He wrote back, made it all about him amd didnt acknowledge one word of what I said. In a moment of compassion FOR HIM, I replied again, this time imploring him to really face himself so he could stop hurting others. I even went so far as to say that if he ever got himself together I would welcome an honest conversation, but that I was not his puppet and until that time comes do not contact me.

    He wrote back and said “I will pretend I didnt read this and instead wish you Happy Birthday..God Bless”.

    So im convinced he has no conscience and no empathy. And the tactic of being cordial in his reply was simply that, a tactic I believe – because he sees now that I have his number and telling me off like he used to would have no effect so he tried to confuse me with feigned politeness. Even though I was genuinely trying to show compassion for him (cuz im sure it sucks being him), I do regret it because at came at a cost to me. I was doing fine, happy, learned my lesson and found a grester sense of self worth and love for myself. Having him dismiss me that way, when I dug deep to be kind and show compassion for him…- even though I prepared for it, I was hoping not for reconciliation, but for proof that I didn’t fall for a monster and that in his way he at least cared. Its hard knowing that someone you loved cant identify w/ how they hurt you. He’s too arrogant to even fake an apology..

    My kindness is wasted. Now I’m here fighting back tears and trying to repatch a wound that was healing just fine before I made the mistake of thinking he just might be a human being.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Eden, oh, the narcissist does his (or her) damage. I’m sorry you have had so much pain. Remember something Eden, what he does or says has no impact. It’s only if you leave a little door open of hope that he will be different that his words or actions can affect you. In time, what he says or does will be meaningless if you stay true to what you know deep inside if right for your mental health and happiness. You take good care. Warmly Deborah.

  54. avatar Eden says:

    Thank you so much. His goal was to get back with get me to call him, so he could talk me out of all of the things I now believe about him and regain his position with me. I told him in no uncertain terms, after trying to be as kind as I could, that he was “an awful, insecure, lying, manipulative, hypocritical, abusive human being”. WELL, he kept emailing me after that and I refused to respond. After I blocked him he created additional accounts and kept sending me msgs. Asking why am I treating him this way, and why must I be so difficult, ‘he doesn’t understand’, ‘one phone call would have solved everything’. He is insane!

    I accepted money from him during a really rough time and now he’s lording it over me sending messages that he is going to sue. I am so over this man but he won’t go away. I thought I was free of him (we broke up in March), but he popped back up last week. Its been quiet for the last two days because I ignored the last messages. Now I just want him to go away and STAY gone. Its been really hard accepting that I loved someone who doesn’t really exist. And having him pop up just feels like I’m in the midst of a bad dream that’s never going to end.

  55. avatar Grace says:

    Hello doctor. I’m 16 years old, and me and my boyfriend of 2 years have been going through a long distance relationship for about a year. I don’t even know if I can still call him my boyriend. We had started fighting a few weeks ago, due to HIS mistake. Since last year, he had been inviting other girls to go on dates with him, which those girls were the ones who had been calling me hurtful names such as fat, ugly and worse. He has kept doing that since last year. And because I wanted a true sincere apology from him and for him to realise his mistakes and hurt he’s caused me, we fought because he just didn’t want to.

    To be honest, I have made past mistakes as well. But I have realised my wrongdoings a long time ago when we started out and have never repeated them again. Like your article, I wanted recognition for all the things I had done for him, gave up for him. But the very fact that he did not apologise shows me he never appreciated anything ans everything I had done.

    I am not a stable girl. Because of this relationship, I have been slitting my wrist and thighs and I’ve been having thoughts of suiciding. Although my parents encourage me to move on, its not easy. I love him, even after everything he has done, and I feel that the hurt I feel now is better than feeling nothing at all. I believed our relationship would have worked if he had apologised and realised his mistakes, but he instead chose to break up with me than stay with me.

    I need help. I need closure. And I can’t stop thinking that the reason he ended our relationship is because of me. I can’t stop regretting wanting an apology from him – if I never had asked for an apology, we would never have broken up. Please help me doctor, I feel as though I should be in a psychiatric hospital. What should I do?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello, Grace I know you are feeling the loss of this relationship very very deeply. Know that there is life and a good relationship ahead of you. Cutting yourself as you know is damaging yourself as if you are the unworthy and bad person. It’s also a way for you to feel pain–rather than grieve in a healthy way, which involves letting the relationship go and moving forward. Grace, is it possible for you to see a therapist? This is the very first thing I would do it I were you. Go to a counselor, psychologist of psychiatrist near you for them to help. You can’t keep a relationship by holding back who you are or by resisting from asking questions that you have every right to ask. You feel like there’s nothing after this relationship but there is. I know this for sure. Will you please make an appointment with a therapist near you as soon as possible? They can really help you to feel better. Ask your parents to help you to set up the appointment. You take good care dear. I’m thinking of you. Warm regards Deborah.

      • avatar Grace says:

        Doctor, thank you for the advice but my family is not rich. We don’t have a lot of money and I’m sure we could never afford a therapy appointment. I’m on my own here…

        It’s been so long since the break up, and I can’t get a hold of my life. I think I’m going crazy…I’ve been seeing him near me. For example, in Biology class today, I looked at the empty beside me and saw him sitting there. I don’t think I can go on anymore like this…

        I’ve tried so hard but nothing is working. I’ve read so many articles about girls suiciding over breakups and I always thought “Why couldn’t they just move on?” But now I’m finally understand how difficult it is, and the pain they must have felt to want to end it all. I don’t want to die, I really don’t….but the pain isn’t going away and I’m scared I’m losing my mind….

  56. avatar JM says:

    This might be an unusual question. I have recently identified a great deal of abusive narcissistic behavoirs on my own part in my relationships. A girlfriend of mine recently ended a two year relationship with me, but wants to remain friends. I was a classically emotionally abusive narcissist, and manipulated her and blamed her for everything wrong between us. If she brought up any issues that threatened me in any way, I’d make her feel bad for feeling bad. I want to apologize, but I guess my question is how best do I help her heal from the damage I’ve done? Should I apologize? Should I cut contact so she can move on? I’m very genuinely torn. I really do care about her, and she taught me enough about myself that it led me to realize what I was doing – and I want to stop. I’m unsure if there’s a place for me at all in her healing process.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello JM, wow, very insightful. Yes, perhaps write a letter or give her a call where you apologize for the behaviors you mention here. This will go a long way to healing her. And, remember, she still has to take responsibility for her own healing. Just the fact that you are apologizing is wonderful. JM, I think there’s more to you than a narcissist. It sounds like you have done some psychological work. Good to say hello. Warm regards Deborah.

  57. avatar Sophie says:

    Dear Deborah,

    This article feels like written for me. I just found out I was the other woman( and I didn’t know this before) with a narcisstic man. He has told his girlfriend, I am depressed, suicidal and that he has been for so long for my pity and he was afraid that I would hurt his girl, so he has been with me to protect his girl (yeah right).

    He was allways making negative comments. I got some good advice from someone: put every negative comment in the setting in which they were made and you see that these comments are compliments as they were used to put you down. A narcissist will put you down when something is good about you! The more negative the comment, the bigger the compliment!

    However, i have a question. On the moment he and i broke up I didnt know that I was the other woman. I told him goodluck and treat other girls well if you cant commit. The reason for the breakup was that I wanted to seriously date as he was so jealous, but he didnt want to commit.
    He was crying a lot, saying I don’t know why I do this, you are a pure sincere honest girl and I have issues and problems. There have more occasions before the breakup he was saying I don’t know why I cant commit, looking at me all the night and appreciating my honesty. Would it be possible that besides all the lies, this was his way of showing his conciousness? He knew I wanted loyalty that he didnt gave to me apparently? It feels like he let me go because he knew I was to pure to harm! Is that possible as he has all the narcistic characteristics as well?

    With lots of appreciation for reading this!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Sophie, it’s true, narcissists try to reduce other people’s self esteem by not just playing on their weakness but by attacking good qualities that threaten them. It’s difficult for me to tell you exactly his motivation, as I don’t know him. But, even on their best behavior, when a narcissist seems to empathize with another person, it’s superficial. Remember, a true narcissist operates always out of self-interest. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t like you or appreciate that he may have hurt you. But, for the most part, he was most likely saying what you wanted to hear to make the separation easier on himself. I’m sorry to have to say this. But, if he is truly a narcissist, he’s doing what is best for him, even when he’s complementing you.

      Sophie, I know the relationship hurt you. But, remember, you are truly better off without him and YOU deserve a man who is yours alone and who is capable of appreciating your needs and desires as a person separate from him. Warm regards to you Deborah.

      • avatar Sophie says:

        Thank you for the great reply! I do believe he acts out of self-interest and out of insecurity.

        One thing remains strange. After the breakup still he stayed around until the very last moment (6 months later). He even wanted to visit me in my new country i am moving to. In the mean time he had this other girl ( what I know now)
        I told him goodbye several times, but he didnt want to let me go, he was still possessive by being extremely jealous!

        He could have walked away from me and hide his cheating. But he stayed around and cause of that I found out 6 months after the breakup that he cheated and is still with this girl. He denied everything in my face.

        Why keeping on to me while having already supply? What are reasons for narcisstic people to keep their exes around! I know I was a confident funny beautiful, smart woman (hope i will be soon) and I dont fit in line with his insecure exes, why keeping me around as he knew I have bounderies!

        This is the question that keeps me awake! Warm regards, Sophie

        • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

          You ask a very interesting question Sophie. Narcissistic people like to be admired and dislike when others don’t like them. Odd right because they behave in ways that damage relationships. But, this is in general why they like to keep people around, if possible. But, as mentioned–on their terms only. Be well dear Sophie. Warm regards Deborah

          • avatar Sophie says:

            Thank you Dr. Deborah for the confirmation. He indeed had also contact with his ex, and he cheated on his new girlfriend with me. Now he is so happy with her but before I found out about her he was still wanting to be friends and jealous up the point and come to my new city to “protect’ me from other man.

            Basically, he wanted to do whatever he wants but I couldn’t. Indeed, always on his terms.

            This whole experience is new for me and my friends. I don’t think he is a full blown narcissist but he definitely has the traits. I did NC already and it worked well. I will do it again and forever.

            Thank you so much for you reply and help. I will read you answers and articles many times in order to prevent breaking NC.

  58. avatar Lani says:

    Thank you Dr. Deborah! I am a female narcissist and I could not have said it any better. It’s my way or take the high way! I am working on myself right now. Soul searching and facing my feelings so I can let them go. I get stuck in them. Thank you for the clear insight.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Lani, you are very welcome. It sounds like you are working on yourself and have insight into some of your emotional issues. Lani, this is excellent. Because you are a soul searcher and psychological is exactly why you will get ahold of this. You take good care and keep up the good psychological work. Warmly Deborah.

  59. avatar ohhappyday says:

    A book that might be helpful to anyone waiting for an apology, approval or appreciation is Byron Katie’s: I NEED YOUR LOVE – IS THAT TRUE.

    It is possible to be truly happy without getting the outside validation we trick ourselves into thinking we need. Once we have this we don’t fall prey to attention plus abuse – at least not more than once in any new given person. We learn that we ourselves are the people we’ve been waiting for all our lives whether we are alone or hooked up, and this is a form of happiness that nothing else can compete with.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Thank you ohhappyday. I love your screen name. I’m sure the book will help many people. Be well. Warm regards Deborah.

  60. avatar Shirlee says:

    After being D and D twice I demanded an apology. It was so quick and unemotional it was not worth the energy he used to say it. It was only said to pacify because becauce three months later, he did D and D again so I stated the NC. Now I understand that NCs don’t believe they should have to apologize for they way they treat you.

  61. avatar JS says:

    I want to post an email that the narcissistic man I dated for 6 months sent me after I found out he was still fooling around with an ex all along who was the bass player in his band. It is all about him but probably the closest he’d ever come to an actual apology. He was a musician and previously wrote a song probably for someone else he burned in the past called Sad Song. He refers to it at the end of his message.

    “You are an amazing woman, you are missed very very much. I am very confused and this is not fair to you. I’m sorry of the hurt I caused us both but especially you!!!! I don’t know what to do, I thought to rethink me and then us. Found out it was to go in a good direction with endless possibilities. As it was fine for 3 days with eyes wide open I did see. Then a thing happened and it crashed. Wish that didn’t happen.. Left me afraid of you, left me in tears after you left.. I don’t know what to do. I’m left here bleeding from all the glass (figurative). So I will focus on being a better person… I do love you if you don’t know I do. Time will help… until then, this is my sad song without you…”

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello JS, I think you are right; this was indeed an attempt to apologize to you, in a way that is comfortable for him. I’m glad you have this to acknowledge that he knows he hurt you. It’s a lot more than anyone usually gets at the hands of narcissistic ex-lovers.

      Thank you for sharing this with us here. Hope to see you here again soon. Warm regards Deborah.

  62. avatar Yajaira says:

    Why does it hurt so much that he dumped me. We were together for very painful 7 years of lots of cheating and insults. I knew he didn’t know what he wanted because he was always hot and cold, hot and cold. So I did everything in my power to make myself not appealing to his needs and desires once I realized he was using me left and right. I made that easy for him at the beginning so the requests to meet only his needs were very very high. I wanted this to end I pray to God every time so yesterday he said he found someone else and she makes him happy. We just had sex 4 days ago and he showered me the whole day with an avalanche of love texts. I haven’t eat or sleep, my chest hurts and I feel so lonely and despeared like my life it’s over why? I wanted him to go out my life cause he would make me cry every single day.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Yajaira, many people do this to secure a narcissist’s love. They try to become what the narcissist wants. This is a no win situation, as you know. First how long can you keep this up, until your true needs and desires surface. You can’t suppress your true thoughts and feelings forever, just to keep him around. Many like you “make it easy” on them, which ends up backfiring. I know you know this first hand. Yajaira the intense emotions you feel and upset is a strong intuitive part of you saying something isn’t right here – something isn’t right about the relationship. Well, I know you wrote to me a couple months ago. I hope you have found some resolution with your problem. But, remember, trust your thoughts and feelings, they inform us as to what is really right for us and if something is wrong. TRUST YOUR GUT. Thinking of you. Warm regards Deborah.

  63. avatar Bianka says:

    you are completely right. I’m divorcing from a narcisist and they are same wheter from England, France or Slovenia.
    They never say I’m sorry….never expect this form them!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Bianka, I’m glad you are finally free but sorry you had to experience this kind of hurtful relationship. I hope you are doing well and 2015 brings you peace and resolution. Warm regards to you Deborah.

  64. avatar Jenny says:

    Do you know any information or resources about Narcissists in 12 step programs? Thank you.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Jenny, I don’t know any specifically but I know there are programs out there that highlight narcissistic disorders. Jenny there’s a very good FaceBook page called After Narcissistic Abuse. Go to it, you will see lay person and professionals communicate with each other with regard to their experiences and share resources with each other on narcissistic behavior and narcissists. You take good care Jenny. Warm regards Deborah.

  65. avatar Cendres says:

    My ex bombarded me with communication (e-mails, text messages and hour long daily phone calls) in the beginning when we were in the same country. He romanced me to the max and we had a physical relationship all of which he claimed he couldn’t forget. He used terms of endearment and said he wanted to be with me.
    He was made redundant six months after our relationship started and so returned to his country. He claimed he was made redundant because of the manipulative behaviour of one of his colleagues. For months afterwards he confided in me about how painful this redundancy was. It seemed clear he was depressed. I was getting almost no sleep because of the time difference and my work hours. One day he thanked me for my support saying that I had restored his faith in humanity and helped him regain some of the confidence he’d lost through being unemployed. It seemed genuine.
    A year later I was being harassed/bullied by my boss and decided to confide in him. He gave me 15 minutes of his time and defended the bully claiming how he admired him and didn’t believe he was the type of person who would behave that way. I’ve never felt so unsupported in my life.
    Years go by and we would inevitably have conversations and arguments but there seemed to be one issue that was always unresolved. Communication seemed to be a problem. Whereas before he bombarded with communication no it seems communicating one a week was too much to ask for. He has worked in different countries over the years, Guinea, Yemen, UAE. Every time, no matter the country, he has said “you should come see me/visit me” and this occured over a span of 5 years. I could never figure out how it was seemingly impossible for him to communicate on a weekly basis but it would be OK for me to visit him? Either you have the time or you don’t!
    Discussions would lead to arguments where he would attack/ridicule everything that was important to me and denigrate all the qualities I had that he used to claim he loved. I asked open-ended questions and could never get a straight answer. He would be evasive or defensive. He’d accuse me of psychoanalyzing him or being over-sensitive. He went too far when he started repeatedly claiming that I was “crazy”, “stupid”, “bitchy”, “on drugs”, “delusional”.
    I have an IQ of 150, don’t have any mental disorders and have never done drugs in my life (not even marijuana). He on the other hand drinks like a fish and has made allusions to taking cocaine.
    We met in 2008, the last time I saw him face-to-face was in Feb. 2009 and the last time we communicated was in Apr. 2014. This is not a 2 week fling. However it must be said that after each argument he would disappear for 6 months and then reappear as if nothing happened and would make it clear I was being difficult or a bitch for not letting it go.
    He has also been extremely inconsistent in regards to explaining his relationship and living situation. He has three children and claims he doesn’t raise them and doesn’t seem them for 8 months or more of the year (this is due to him deliberately choosing work contracts that are in places no one else wants to go). He claims to have an address only in France but that he is never there. He claims he doesn’t fit the description of “family man” and this doesn’t shock anyone. He inconsistently claims he is single but not. His kids are now 14 and 17. He also claims that having a relationship with me would not ruin anything (there is nothing to ruin).
    I got a nice message from him in Sep. 2013 while I was in Europe and he claimed he was happy for him and that I should come see him. He implied also that he was disappointed about something without making it clear what it was and who might be responsible for this disappointment. I responded that I still loved him but I couldn’t continue like this and asked him what could I hope to find by coming to see him. I got no response.
    The time issues is especially true when I think of the fact that he claimed I was “selfish” and “think the world revolved around me” simply because I asked for more communication.
    Six months later I notice he has been looking on my LinkedIn profile but still no communication. I ask him why he is doing that he claims he’s “just curious, don’t get any ideas”. I tell him it’s inappropriate considering the circumstances. After all if he’s not interested in a relationship, we are not friends and things did not end on a good note. For me, he crossed a boundary and he’s out of line. He then once again claims that I’m “crazy”, “have strange ideas” and is extremely defensive and aggressive. He claims that I did not need to be on his contact list (implying that I am the one in the wrong) and I inevitably reply that he did not have to snoop on my profile if he doesn’t care about me. I do not know what his intentions and how he could use my personal information. That is my fear. I can’t control how he might choose to portray the situation, the relationship or me (personally or professionally). He is an older man with an important job and presumably influence who is working in the same field as me so I think it’s a legitimate concern.
    He used to be loving, caring, considerate, funny, joyful (or at least he was when we were in the same country) and now he seems cold, distant, cruel, aggressive, arrogant, contemptuous. I know through his work and past experience (he’s ex-paramilitary) he needs to adopt a tough persona and his work is stressful (his most recent role is regional security and QHSE manager for the Middle East and Central Asia). But how much of it is his job, stress, persona he needs to adopt in order to do his job properly and how much is it something else?
    I’d appreciate any insight you might have into this subject because although we are no contact since April 2014 I still am perplexed by this situation. Especially since he seems to have no problem with snooping surreptitiously months after disappearing.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Oh, I’m so glad to see your post here Cendres! Thank you. As mentioned, I don’t know why the first one didn’t post. But, it’s here. To have your mate be so hostile when you needed support the most is a sign of a narcissistic person (He gave me 15 minutes of his time and defended the bully claiming how he admired him and didn’t believe he was the type of person who would behave that way. I’ve never felt so unsupported in my life”). Centers, when narcissists are in the honeymoon phase they seem like the most perfect mate because they do what we call mirror their romantic partners desires and needs. They do this at first to win you over and your delight in finally being understood and supported makes them feel larger than life. You see I said makes them feel; this is the sole agenda of the true narcissist. When the honeymoon period is over ( “loving, caring, considerate, funny, joyful) — yes, you do see the opposite in the extreme. Usually this has occurred because you like anyone else has needs that have to be met in the relationship. Narcissists respond to other people’s needs as an assault. I don’t know the ins and outs of what transpired, but narcissist lose interest as soon as they are not getting their narcissistic needs met somehow. I’m unsure why he’s snooping.

      If you are having a difficult time getting over him, let me recommend that you keep in mind the behaviors of his that hurt you rather than the times when he presented as the perfect romantic partner, which doesn’t really express who he is.

      Best to you Cendres. Warm regards Deborah.

  66. avatar Jan Mortimer says:

    My son is 37 & has many metal issues but he is a narcissist, a VERY dangerous one. I believe I need to be rid of him, possibly to a group home specializing in his severe issues. I am so glad for this information.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Jan, sorry for the delay in responding to your comment. I’m glad the information gave you deeper understanding and hope you are getting support for this problem. Learning how to detach from a narcissist isn’t easy. Warm regards Deborah.

  67. avatar Laura says:

    This was really eye opening for me. Not that I haven’t heard it before, but thank you for putting it into a perspective that FINALLY spoke to me. Maybe I am finally just in that place to accept it. I was hoping you could shed some light on my particular situation. I have been married 30 years. We had a great marriage for 10 or 15 years until my husband started having difficulties in his career. I supported him whole heartedly but he began showing signs of pretty significant depression. He eventually had a breakdown, followed by 5 years of complete withdrawal. I was at my wits end about ready to leave him, when he had a major catastrophic breakdown and was almost hospitalized. He carried on his career during this time but was eventually fired because the charade he was living was so apparent to his company. He broke down completely and felt complete remorse for all he had put our family through and pledged to change our lives and be a better person and improve himself once and for all.

    Fast forward, The only problem with this is, after he found a new job, he completely changed, became a completely different person, practically abandoned us working in another country, and became a malignant narcissist of the worst degree. I believe it was the need to hide the person who he was, and reinvent himself because the realization of his career failures was catastrophic to him. He become emotional and mentally abusive, followed by physical abuse. We survived a few more years but as I look back, even back to the beginning, he had a lot of selfish tendencies. I realize there was more that I shouldn’t have accepted that i did.

    But my question is, we were happy, with the usual ebbs and flows of any marriage, for 20 years when he completely changed in to a horrible Narc. Can extreme job stress combined with mental weakness turn someone into this? Besides the need for the apology, like I have received for many years, the utter disbelief that I am in the presence of someone who is a complete stranger of the worst possible kind is so dumbfounding to me, I cannot process it. He is literally a psychotic stranger in my husbands body who became abusive in a way that would surely have crushed him in former years if he knew who he had become. He was not always this way. I feel like I have survived a death. If he would just leave and leave me with any dignity, but he is hellbent on stripping me of any self worth and self dignity I have left.

    It has taken me a very long time, but I see what he is doing, and taking steps to leave and end this, it’s just that there isn’t even a word I can think of to describe the utter pain of having supported someone for 30 years only to have them in the end project their entire pathetic psychotic depression all onto you, to stand before you like a zombie freak, and blame you for everything in the world.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Laura, you are very welcome. As you can see YOU are in very good company. Many mates of PA people describe the situation as you do and have the same response. It does take a long time to see clearly this behavior. Laura, sometimes even therapists miss it for awhile, as some of the behaviors can appear functional (like the surface polite, reasonable behavior that isn’t reasonable at all once uncovered). I’m so happy you have stepped far away from the blame. Wishing you a PA free future Laura. Warm regards Deborah.

    • avatar Laurie Curtis says:

      Laura, I just wanted to say to you, you are not alone. I had almost the exact same experience with my ex-husband. I kind, gentle person when we met as teenagers and the person I wed. Fast forward 10 years or so into our marriage and this person I knew and loved started to change, started to abuse me emotionally at first and then both physically and emotionally. He turned into a monster and I never knew when that monster would emerge from day to day. Finally, after 27 years of marriage I had the courage to divorce him but I paid and pay a heavy price every day for that because I divorced a person I loved deeply and I had to face the world alone at the age of 52. I’ve struggled now for the past 7 years to process what happened to him and me. I stumbled across this article that seemed to encapsulate what my ex-husband was all about and I’m hoping it will give me enough perspective to move on with my life and stop grieving so terribly much. I wish you the best Laura and I hope you find some happiness as you move forward with your life. Laurie

  68. avatar Cendres says:

    I have previously posted a comment and has been deleted. Can you please advise why my comment was deleted?

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Cendres. I’m unsure why myself. Did it actually get posted? Do you have a copy you can paste and post again for me? My sincere apologies. Warm regards Deborah.

  69. avatar Cookiie says:

    Dr. Deborah ! I owe u a big Hug and thank u. Cant write much now but this particular post has been a big help on my path to closure and healing. 🙂 I will write though for sure for others to learn and heal. Ur doing a fantastic job !!!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Okay, I just got it! Thank you 🙂

      I’m so glad this post spoke to you and helped you to understand the confusing and hurtful behavior of narcissists. Warm regards to you Cookiie. Deborah.

  70. avatar Mary says:

    Hey Dr Deborah,
    Thanks so much for your enlightening article! The line about “It’s when your needs start to surface that they begin to withdraw their love”, really resonated with me on a deep level, and was actually what I was looking for because the last fight we had was about him stating that I’m needy and that he intentionally doesn’t meet my needs because it feels like a demand. I’ve been struggling with coming to terms with my ex being a covert narcissist; I think because that means everything I’m reading about is true, and I’ll feel shameful about being completely vulnerable with someone who was just using my vulnerabilities to manipulate me. The thought of that makes me feel “dirty”, like I was part of something I didn’t want to be. I work with my ex, and have to see him at least once a week at meetings – do you have any suggestions for me? I really like my job, and am weighting the cost and benefits of staying. Is leaving my job too drastic a measure?

    Thank you so much – you are Godsent!

  71. avatar LAH says:

    I studied psychology in college. I have my BA in it. I seem to be spot on when I study other people and recognize their behavior as something related to or demonstrated as a disorder or condition. I guess all that observation and learning went out the window in my last relationship.

    I realized through counseling that I have really never overcome my codependency. My “fun” is doing for others at a point of exhaustion and putting their needs first well before mine. My “happiness” is making them happy. My “project” was to build his self-esteem, help to make him successful, and live through him. I somehow missed the signs that my denial of codependency coupled with my 5 year relationship with a narcissist, who I didn’t realize was one until I read this article, was the perfect storm for the failure of the relationship.

    This really opened my eyes. Unfortunately, since the break up that he initiated in Dec. 2014, I am still reeling from it, allowing him power over my emotion. The depression is at an all time high. He moved onto someone who is less complex and complicated than me. I have a great work record, I can problem solve at my work, I am highly motivated, functioning, visionary. But I truly lack self-worth, esteem, and confidence personally. On the work front, I am the go-to. Strong, confident. In relationships, I carry them, try to keep the plates spinning to keep everything “happy” for success. I feel most comfortable being in control, but wanted my ex to step up, rise above, and take care of my emotional needs – which he couldn’t.

    This is a good next focus for me to work on in counseling. Thank you for sharing this. Maybe someday I will be well and content and handle things better.

  72. avatar Simran says:

    I need some help trying to figure out a situation I have been in.I was involved with a man for the last 5 years,the first year was perfect,we did everything I need some help trying to figure out a situation I have been in.I was involved with a man for the last 5 years,the first year was perfect,we did everything together,I met his children and we moved in together with 3months,I thought my life had started and I was really happy.But then one day it all changed,we went out and a had a big argument,he told me the next day to pack my bags and leave it was the hardest thing I ever had to do but I did it.Weeks passed and I found out that he had stated to see his ex girlfriend it broke my heart,I begged him to talk to me,since then he never left my life kept coming back and fourth telling me its me he wanted,he’s never been happier with anyone but me and I feel for it every single time,this carried in for 2years no real commitment all he kept saying was we are working towards a realtionship.In March last year he finally decided to give us a proper go,things were looking good he again began to be the way he was when we first got together until I asked him where this realtionship was going,I wanted commitment to get married and have children,he left angry,I found out in June he was again cheating on me,it broke me all over again and this time I wanted answers to why this had gappened,he began ingoning me,I was ringing him,texting him but would get no reply,I even asked a close friend to ask to speak to me and all he said is that he would in his own time,it never came,because I worked with him I couldn’t face going in,I was signed off for stress for 10 weeks,not once did he pick up the phone to ask me how I was.Then 5 days before Christmas a girl we both used to work with rang me to tell me she was now with him,as you can imagine I was shocked as j thought he had left me for the other woman which he did not now again had moved on!!It again was the worst pain I had experienced,Its coming up to a month since I even tired to contact him ,I met his children and we moved in together with 3months,I thought my life had started and I was really happy.But then one day it all changed,we went out and a had a big argument,he told me the next day to pack my bags and leave it was the hardest thing I ever had to do but I did it.Weeks passed and I found out that he had stated to see his ex girlfriend it broke my heart,I begged him to talk to me,since then he never left my life kept coming back and fourth telling me its me he wanted,he’s never been happier with anyone but me and I feel for it every single time,this carried in for 2years no real commitment all he kept saying was we are working towards a realtionship.In March last year he finally decided to give us a proper go,things were looking good he again began to be the way he was when we first got together until I asked him where this realtionship was going,I wanted commitment to get married and have children,he left angry,I found out in June he was again cheating on me,it broke me all over again and this time I wanted answers to why this had gappened,he began ingoning me,I was ringing him,texting him but would get no reply,I even asked a close friend to ask to speak to me and all he said is that he would in his own time,it never came,because I worked with him I couldn’t face going in,I was signed off for stress for 10 weeks,not once did he pick up the phone to ask me how I was.Then 5 days before Christmas a girl we both used to work with rang me to tell me she was now with him,as you can imagine I was shocked as j thought he had left me for the other woman which he did not now again had moved on!!It again was the worst pain I had experienced,Its coming up to a month since I even tired to contact him,someone said he sounds like narcasitic is he or is he just a player and wil he come ever come back?

  73. avatar Minnie says:

    Hi Deborah. Thanks for the informative article. It really helped fill in the gaps I’ve been clerk experiencing the past 3 months. I had. 12 year relationship with a man who didn’t communicate and it was something I accepted and never pushed. He said he had a grudge against me and eventually I returned my engagement ring because he told me he doubted his love for me and doubted wanting to get married. I was devasted. I couldn’t cry during the ordeal in front of him, but behind closed doors I did. The pain was so intense. We took a break and 2 weeks later I get a breakup text. We meet to close financials and he tells me he doesn’t see me the same anymore. I apologized for returning the ring and it was something I regretted. It didn’t phase him and instead he used it as his excuse to leave. He kept in touch with my family, but completely closed me off and cut me out of his life. He moved on within a month and is now dating (after 12 years!). I am his first for everything. We met up 3 weeks ago and I told him how he hurt me and that I carried guilt with me because of what he told me. He said sorry, but his sorry’s weren’t sincere. At least to me. He has never taken accountability in any of this. The few things he made sure to share with my sister, not even me!, was that he didn’t cheat and simply moved on fast. My sister told him off and he was so devvasted he apologized to her and not me. He said his friends and coworkers told him maybe he was used to me and that we didn’t have anything in common. Nothing but excuses really. He said that I did and said things he didn’t like and that he acknowledges that he could’ve said something but didn’t. He has not apologized to me. At the same time I don’t know why it matters if he apolgizes to me or not. It won’t change anything. I’m genuinely hurt. I’m feeling the pain every single day. I suffered so much during all of this and I wanted him back so badly. I missed the routines and him really. I’m codependent and I’m doing everything I can to move forward. In therapy, the word narcissist came up and it clicked for me. I believe he is one, but I can’t say a full on N, but has MANY characteristics. His mom is the same way his mom left his dad under similar circumstances and moved on within weeks and moved in with her boyfriend. I know first hand that she is unhappy and doesn’t even love her boyfriend. Why she chooses to stay? I’m not sure. She keeps up the appearances and everyone assumes she’s happy. She is not. Well, thank you for reading and any thoughts or perspectives would be kindly welcomed.

  74. avatar Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have just recently in the past few days discovered what a Narcissist is and how this has truly applied to my relationship the past two years. My ex N broke up with me last summer without really telling me it was over and then became very publicly involved with someone else immediately. He even told my friends all this horrible stuff about me that shocked me. I never viewed him as this type of person although many people had warned me about his cheating ways with other women. In fact, months earlier I confronted him about the fact his sister told me he had gone off to spend a few days with a girl when he was away for a few weeks visiting his mom and suddenly he came out with “I was being treated for kidney cancer but no one knows”!! Of course, that took the heat off of my initial question and I believed him! I sought an apology after the initial breakup and he sent me a huge list of reasons he couldn’t be with me anymore and it was ridiculous and vicious and basically had me fully questioning everything about myself. I spent the summer in therapy trying to confront all my flaws only to have him return in Sept telling me “I am the love of his life and he can’t get over me” – this slowly turned into us getting back together and once again he came at me at his doting as Caring self. He is also a workaholic so I had barely seen him much as the months ticked by…. I finally had to start confronting him about situations that felt “off” to me which always threw him into a defensive rage because I was “aggravating him” “not trusting him” “insulting him” ect. I was having my own health issues which seemed I just be too draining for him to discuss. Within a two week span Of all this going on, he started to disappear again…. My friend found him on a dating site active and when I called to confront him, he hung up on me and then ended the relationship over text the next day. I sought an apology the past few days and I get replies like “I love you more than anyone else but you cause me too much anxiety and You are a very mentally punishing and ABUSIVE person. You have hurt me too much by accusing me of things and not believing my responses. I always loved you unconditionally, you just took me for granted. Sorry you feel the way you do”. Everything he wrote about me is how I felt about him! I found myself feeling like I am insane because I question deeply who I am and if I am this monstrous person he makes me out to be. I am so glad to have found all these websites. I friends with his ex sister in law who just divorced his brother who also exhibits the same personality traits with a violent component. I am starting to now understand why I have had such extreme anxiety and depression for the past year and a half and I can now stop beating myself up for it and start my recovery process. Thank you so much!

  75. avatar Laurie Curtis says:

    Thank you for this insightful article. I dated and was married to a narcissist for 30+ years. I finally got a divorce when the emotional abuse turned physical. That was seven years ago and I’ve been in emotional pain ever since never understanding what it was that I did so wrong that made him so unhappy with me. I also never understood no matter how many times I apologized for my behavior that contributed to the end of our marriage why he never would ascribe any blame to himself or ever think of apologizing to me. Now I know why. I hope I can now move past my pain and gain my life back.

  76. avatar Bill says:

    I worked with I believe a female narcissistic woman that I communicated via online dating site before. I totally forgot about her when she showed up…never actually meet ing her.
    She started to be good friends with me, just at work…constantly finding me talking and flirting pretty heavy. Last day or so she was there she tried to fire me. Then poof she was gone.
    Just killed me. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and man went through alot of feelings.
    Then I went back online dating and poof there she was. I wrote her and she blamed everything on me. Why did I report her. Because I said you asked for sex. She said she never did that. On and on. I simply wondered why she went from nice to evil…still nothing. I askes several times. Now she saws if I contact her again she will report me.

    So question…will she ever try to find me again? Its been over a year.

  77. avatar Bob says:

    I honestly have to tell you that this is one of the better posts I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong…many of the articles I’ve read touch on the Narcissists lack of empathy and inability to apologize for even the most obvious of hurtful behaviors, but I like the way that you put the responsibility back on those of us who know we’ll never receive them. For the last six years I’ve loved and been involved with a classic narcissist. She is attractive, well liked (superficially) and has quite a stage presence. She’s a singer…and everyone “loves her”. In truth, those that know her well aren’t as impressed. It is literally all about her. Too many times I’ve been hurt, and angered by this woman’s lack of thought, compassion, responsibility, and aloofness towards any of my needs in the relationship. I’m the one that needs to change my behavior and outlook…because I’m aware of who she is…and I need to stop thinking that she will ever be aware of “how” she is. It isn’t easy, because I’m almost always second guessing myself. I think that “just maybe…” Deep down inside I know I’m only punishing myself. Thanks for your article. As I said, it’s one of the better ones. Time to take a stand.

  78. avatar Chrissy says:

    This 4 years old post of yours, just reached me today. And it strucked me. Even after I read it for the 4th time. It wasn’t the subject I looked for on the first place. Yet I can’t think of anything possible to deny the accuracy to what I had experienced.
    I didn’t know what it is that I seeked … untill two nights ago, out of nowhere, just came across some random links;
    I found myself captivated reading some online apology board. 28 pages of them! On my mobile. Hundreeds of apology letters. And a the end of it, which was hours latter, I was heavily shaken. I guess that’s what happen when people find their own thruth?…
    My situation ended years ago. I maintain a dignity of limited (to none) contact, good manner when we accidently bumped to each other, etc. Cut the story short: no dramas whatsoever. For so long I thought this torturing feeling that keep lingering below my surface, was because of my strong feeling towards this person. And I heard many times it does happen to people. I have excepted the fact that it may or may not go away. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t change the fact it has ended anyway. I just get along with it. But never across my mind that: it is the apology, the closure that I craves. Not as strong as I want the love to be reciprocated. And it brought me here to your post. It is both shame and sad anger that stung me the most to read that I need that “justification” for everything I have done and the pains. For so long I thought I did it selflessly and I was proud of it. And I thought I was a person who capable to forgive that unconditionally and worst; I thought I already did. Your post hurts and humiliate me to the core. But this is what I need. For someone to tell me the thruth.
    Thank you. You are blessed.

  79. avatar Ms Jones says:

    The narcissist is NEVER wrong, will NEVER apologize. You might as well try fishing in the middle in the middle of the desert.
    There are certain individuals who can never offer an apology because in doing so that means that they are not perfect. Their take – “I’m a bad person.”

    Just because a person makes a mistake does not make them a bad person. A narcissist can NEVER be wrong because that would make them bad or less than perfect.

    As I said, like fishing in the desert. Don’t bother. It is a waste of energy. It is unfortunate that I/you have taken this type of individual into our confidence.

    Get rid of them as soon as possible. Don’t waste another minute on this type of person. You are not being viewed in the same fair eyes through which a normal person would see things.

  80. avatar Lauren says:

    It’s been a year since I broke up with my ex. I will never get back with him, but my ego desires “acknowledgement and an apology” from him in my fantasy. I hear he is still angry with me and pretty much blames the demise of our relationship on me, of course. I have deeply soul searched & I know my low self esteem played a huge issue on my part. I know my desire to be loved over rode common sense & the reality of the situation. But still, it hurts. Emotion takes over the logic, & if gets me every time. I truly want to be completely over him. I don’t want him to ever know I still think of him. I wish a new Mr. Wonderful would waltz into my life, but most importantly I want to feel absolutely nothing & be neutral.I realize I too am angry with him. I really don’t think he will ever “get” how badly abusive he was to me emotionally & I know he doesn”t care as it was always “all” about him!I don’t think he”ll ever be accountable & will always blame me. I guess what I need is how to come to feel peace within myself about all of this??

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      You are in very good company Lauren. Of course, you want validation of the reality of what happened. But, as you read, the probability of this happening is very very low. You are right – narcissists tend to pick partners who have insecure self-esteem. I like your insights very much. The desire to get the love and approval you missed out on and deserve let your heart lead your mind.

      Lauren, true narcissists don’t get how much they wound their lovers and friends. As you know, they don’t have this kind of empathy. But, boy, you hurt or disappoint them and you’ll never hear the end of it.

      I’ve found that there’s an element of control when we insist on an apology. Now, please know that your desire for an apology is very understandable. But, when it doesn’t come, you have to let go of the desire for an apology. In time, you will be able to move beyond this.

      You might try a mindfulness approach to letting go Lauren. Get quiet, turn inward, and breathe calmly and deeply. When strong feelings of hurt or ideas about the situation come up for you, allow them to enter your mind and pass by your attention as quickly as they arose inside of you. The idea is don’t apply thinking to these kernels of feeling and thought. Don’t let them pull you into memories and thinking that doesn’t allow you to heal.

      You take good care Lauren. Warm regards Deborah.

  81. avatar Anne A says:

    So does this type of person have an imbalance in their brain chemistry?
    Do they consciously make a choice to be this way? Are they born this way or does it develop through their environment?
    If they stay this way how can they ever have a good, healthy relationship? How can someone expect to treat another person in a rude, controlling manner, never be sorry for it and still want to find that perfect person to be with. My boyfriend wants to find his twin flame he says, yet he treats me so rudely and does not like it if I say I am sorry and I have noticed he does not admit to be being rude, controlling and judgmental, nor does he say he is sorry. It’s just weird as I am such a fair and good person. Thanks for helping me understand him.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      That’s a very interesting question Anne. The diagnosis of a personality disorder emphasizes the behavioral aspects of a disorder, including its origin. But, that said, there are disorders that have roots in brain chemistry that have narcissistic features, such as depression. Depression turns a person inward so that they are hyper focusing on themselves. Irritability and anger are also features of depression. But, depressives are not necessarily rude, mean or controlling. Also, Asperger’s Syndrome, a disorder that is not environmentally based, can look narcissistic. Here, there’s a tendency to exclude emotions from processing information and also people with Asperger’s are cognitively concrete so that they lack social awareness. Also, obsessive compulsive disorder has a strong biological basis. The OCD person is immersed in his own world of OC symptoms that make him appear narcissistic.

      That being said Anne, NPD tends to be a result of early family dynamics. I understand your confusion about his behavior. Yes, you are right. I have no doubt that you are a good, fair and understanding person. Look, you are reading and trying to understand. But the NPD person doesn’t take in characteristics of another person in terms of consideration and understanding. They are self absorbed and only aware of what they want and need to feel good.

      Warm regards Anne, Deborah.

  82. avatar Brittany says:

    My ex-fiancé has already moved on to another girl and never apologized for anything he has done to me in the end and it is driving me nuts. I know and everyone tells me I have deserved so much better for a long time because it’s hard to feel that way of someone who used to make me feel so loved. I have a very difficult story and I honestly do not know if my ex was a NPD or not.
    I graduated from college back in May and while I thought our almost five year relationship was better than ever turns out I was lying to myself. My ex is also an on and off again addict, has struggled with smoking pot, K2 (synthetic marijuana), crack cocaine, and honestly I have no clue if he was on anything else. I was an idiot and stayed through two relapses.
    I always tried loving him and supporting him, hoping I could help him get through. Please bare with me I have been trying to figure out where it all went wrong and why I can just not let go.

    The last year of our relationship he went through a relapse in the fall got clean, got the help he needed. I was always told I wasn’t there enough or I didn’t do this right or that right. I kept trying but I had to finish college and he moved back with his parents over an hour away. He always felt I had abandoned him. I was fat at times, a whore (which he’s the only guy I have ever been with), and stupid, you name it he probably called me it at one point or another. His family was also horrible to me especially his mother he was a momma’s boy even through the drugs somehow it was my fault. I am not a drug addict, I do not drink, and I do not need to defend myself. He was dragging me down with him.
    My college graduation he was horrible to me. He didn’t say specifics but his attitude and the way he dressed and talked to my family everyone knew something was up. Flash forward I get a new job and he starts to talk about getting a place. I said yes Ideally I do want to be with you but I am not sure we are ready. I did give him the stuff to get started to sign the lease but I said I do not have money right now. He goes out borrows the money from his grandmother plays it out like he paid for it and starts the process. I am excited I start preparing for the move. I find a new job down by our apartment I start getting stuff together for our apartment. I always in the back of my mind knew it was not a good idea but I was in love and thought he loved me. He was clean at this moment in time and had a great job. Things were looking up.
    I decided a month before the move not to see him on weekends in order to save money and get stuff for the new apartment, plus we were about to be together finally I’d see him everyday. He seemed he was okay with this. He housesits three weeks before we move. He asked me to come stay with him but I said no because I would be an hour away from work. He seems okay with this. I try to go weekends of him house sitting since I didn’t have to work and he keeps making excuses for me not to come.
    Somewhere during that period he started using drugs again. He gets done housesitting and I do not hear from him at all. I drive unannounced I find him in a park he’s been using all day. He has nothing to say surprise except that was first day he had been using again. I do not believe him.
    There were so many signs and I ignored them all like an idiot. He uses so much at this point he crashes the vehicle at work. I break up with him two days after the accident. He never speaks to me again, makes me feel like I am the one whose fault all of this was. Making me feel I abandoned him. I was not perfect in the relationship, I made mistakes too, I was not always nice to him, and I have my anger issues, but in the end I really was trying, we were not even fighting as much. Now after break up I made the grave mistake of trying to contact him multiple times hoping he would just explain what happened why he wanted to screw everything up. Just why he started using again? Hoping he would apologize it’s been three months later since we were last together no apology no explanation, nothing, just been told by members of his family before he cut off contact between them and I that he’s been doing great, “we saved him”, he’s in a good place, he wanted the break up before the break up, essentially still making me feel the drug use the accident was all my fault because he wasn’t brave enough to end things. I’ll never understand him.
    Now I am glad I got out of this horrible relationship and have been beating myself up for staying as long as I did. Enduring all that I did grant you I am not saying I was perfect not at all.
    Now I made the mistake of taking the job which he lives in this same town but it was a great job and I got college debt to pay. He also decided to stay friends with my family members on Facebook and as soon as October hit he let everyone know he’s in a new relationship now. Not even three months clean and he’s in another relationship. I am really trying to work on myself but if anyone has any insight that would be helpful I would greatly appreciate it!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Yes Brittany,be glad,you escaped this long term. Five years was enough right? Brittany, there’s lots in what you say that definitely could be NPD. But, one thing is for sure, he has a very fragile sense of himself and when things don’t go his way – in his mind – his only coping mechanism is to abused. Returning to him and trying to support him is part of the whole abuse cycle.

      Drug use definitely stunts a person’s growth. Unless he gets into a 12 step program and gets some therapy, the probability is high that he will relapse.

      Brittany, how do you feel about your family staying connected on FB with him? Check inside of yourself. If it’s not okay with you and doesn’t allow you to heal, then by all means tell your family to unfriend him. This would be very psychologically healthy.

      You take good care Brittany. Deborah.

  83. avatar Kelly says:

    Thank you Dr.Khoshaba, this article is a prayer answered.

    My ex boyfriend and I broke up upon an act of physical aggression 2 months ago while traveling. I was having stomach pain while clubbing and went into the bathroom for longer than intended; I came out and there he was, pinched my jaw and cheekbones so hard, shaking my face saying I shouldn’t be running around without telling him first. I burst into tears with pain, my face bruised for days. We broke up upon the incident.

    Then, I saw him a few days ago and had a couple chats, where he was talking about how he had newly found peace and gratitude about everything that happened, and how he felt I was special again blah blah blah, naively, I believed and went to his place.

    I could not help it but brought up the incident and asked why he never said sorry… His response: “You were being an idiot disappearing like that in a foreign country, you deserved it.” I was filled with anger and stood up and continuously demanded his apology – which obvious left me kicked out of his place at 4am in the rain, and eventually Google searching this article. After days of being consumed with anger, regret and deeper hurt than before, reading this article made me realized that it’s just an impasse and something I will never get an answer for.

    Like many said before, now I know why, I don’t yet feel better but I will get to it, eventually. Thanks for the dose of faith and clarity.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      You are very welcome Kelly. Kelly, the event you just described really sounds like he is narcissistic, most certainly, easily threatened and controlling. I’m pleased to hear that when you didn’t get Sorry but Blame instead, you understood what the future would look like with him.

      Kelly, sadly, this is not the first story that I’ve heard like your story. Narcissists can be very very cruel and as my article says, waiting for an apology is just not going to happen.

      I’m proud of you. In a situation like this we must proceed with our brain instead of our heart and as you said well, your heart will hurt but eventually you will heal.
      Take good care Kelly, Deborah.

  84. avatar Finding Herself says:

    Hi Dr. Deborah,
    I haven’t spoken to my former friend in four months and am suffering from everything you explained in your article. The beginning was great and I basked in the glory of being swept off my feet, but the more I expressed my needs, the more he pulled away. This hot and cold, breadcrumb, drip feed went on for a year. Despite him trying to avoid feelings and strings, they were there…But he controlled that by pulling away when he needed to regroup. I played nice…made it as comfortable for HIM, albeit uncomfortable for me. Well, the time came when he purposely did things to hurt me so I’d leave him alone. It’s a huge blow to my self esteem, which isn’t strong in the first place because I’m involved with someone like this. Settling for less than I deserved. Not being “chosen” after all that I’ve done to make him happy and keep him satisfied. And he’d deliberately do things to push me out of his life. What a slap in the face! My letting go included a dramatic exit, complete with confrontation and strongly worded texts, I admit. He’s since moved to another state not because of me, this move was already on the horizon), but it is literally killing me that he did not try to reach out to me to try to settle things before he left. I feel like of all the people he befriended here, I’m the one he’d rather never speak to again. Most women go no contact and have to exercise their will power because their ex or former friend won’t stop contacting them. Well, he hasn’t tried at all…which makes me feel even worse. Four months later. I try so hard not to internalize this…Because it’s really all issues that HE has inside of him. But I can’t help but feel “less than” because someone that didn’t deserve me in the first place…has been able to devalue and discard me with no problems doing so. I feel like my entire time with him has been a joke. I ruminate over how and why he can go without contacting me or ever speaking to me again when I thought we were supposed to be better than that. He’s in touch with others that I also know. It’s hard to look at them (I work with them), because of that “he’s friends with everybody but me” feeling. I try to avoid then at work, I’ve left Facebook because I don’t want to unfriend them for such a minuscule reason, I could never come up with a good enough reason if they ever asked why I unfriended them. So I removed myself. They see that he’s moved on, probably with someone else, Scott free and I feel like they view me as just a number, just another notch in his belt, a joke from the start. I try to avoid them at all costs, it’s made me anti social and isolated. The fact that he IS carrying on makes me sick because every day that passes is another day that he’s not even trying to make contact, apologize, wonder about me…nothing. I pull myself together to make it through the workday, then I usually break down by the time I make it to my car. Rinse and repeat. I’m having the most difficult time forgiving myself because I ignored all the red flags and enjoyed the ride. I hate who I was when I was being stupid with him. I feel like a fool. I feel like he views be as a fool. I feel like our mutual friends view me as a fool. I’m disappointed with myself because I still feel this way. He broke me…shattered me and hasn’t even looked back to see where the pieces have fallen.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Finding Herself – I like your handle. Oh, the “drip feed” the “bread crumbs” the “hot and cold” does pull our strings – and unfortunately keeps us in the relationship, because we keep thinking of ways to bring about the love we want and deserve. I appreciate your feeling that you are the one he’d rather never speak to again. Do you know what this tells me? That you hit a chord that he doesn’t like to feel and admit about himself. I bet you saw my video called “So you want to date a narcissist?” If you haven’t please do. I talk about why narcissists make their mates or friends the problem. Admitting to a problem says, they are not perfect. Makes them less than and they will do anything to avoid feeling inferior. I’m sure some of your “strongly worded texts” erected strong narcissistic defenses in him. But, don’t feel like you should not have told him what you think. This was the healthy part of you trying to have a voice in a relationship in which the other’s voice doesn’t matter.

      Remember, you are in excellent company. So many people fall victim to narcissists. They are very charming and intelligent and are often quite talented. To bask in their sunshine feels good. But, as you know it doesn’t last. I love that you understand that forgiving yourself is an issue. Please – try not to focus on having him say sorry to you. Every time a wish comes up strongly for a word from him – a breadcrumb as you say very well, change your thinking to one of self-compassion. There’s really nothing to forgive yourself for, Finding Herself. But, what is needed instead of self-love. You have an painful but memorable experience as to what you don’t want in your life anymore. That said, let me add that in our own self exploration, we have to reflect upon why feeling so special, so larger than life felt so good to us. It either comes from a background of depravation or one that did not support a healthy self esteem in children. Or, it’s our own narcissism that enjoyed the narcissistic lover’s larger than life idealization of us (at first). This awareness will go a long way into accurately evaluating people as romantic potential. Thank you for writing me. You take good care and make sure to look at some of my articles on self love. If you search self love or self compassion, articles on these topics will appear. Happy Holidays and Warm regards Deborah.

  85. avatar Finding Herself says:

    Hi Dr. Deborah and Happy New Year!
    Thanks for your response and no, I have not seen your video, but will, when I’m not at work.
    My former friend and I still have not spoken but he is back in town. Meaning, his plans didn’t quite go in his favor and he is back. (Though, he would not see it this way, this is karma at her finest.) He’s also been around town chatting with mutual people about me. One was in an accusing spirit manner — attempting to vilify me and play the victim. 1. Going to a friend. He either wanted someone in my camp to agree with his actions so he’d feel justified or 2. Be told what he already knows and confirm what he thinks about his actions. I think he knows deep down he was wrong and needed someone to scold him for it. Needed to hear it from someone other than a friend, but a friend of MINE. Thankfully, the friend had my back and thoroughly explained how his actions were hurtful. She thinks he got it by the end of the conversation. That led him to go to someone else we both know…and sing a different tune. In this case, he expressed his disappointment in the way he handled things with me and was unhappy with the way things were left off. Yet, a third person told me he says he’s going to phone me. Apparently, he did not know what to do then and does not know what to do or say (to me) now. So, he’s been back with our unfinished finished business in the forefront. Still, though, no word from him. I’ve not run into him, either. Must be signs from above.

    Yes, you’re absolutely right about needing to seek out information on self love. I tell myself that I need to do that more…but I don’t listen. I need it ingrained in my soul.

    Thank you Dr. Deborah.

  86. avatar amy says:

    I have been with my narc for over 2 years. i didnt get why i always felt like i was doing something wrong and always felt i had to apoligize for things just so he wouldnt get mad. i thought he had done so many wonderful things and went out of his way to do things for me. but then when we would fight he would say well i am so good to you wh y can’t you over look this one argument and give me a pass as he would say it.. and i would feel like maybe he is right and i should just let it go. My biggest hump to get over is 6 months ago i was in a bad fire and burnt my hand and arm and had to undergo grafting surgery. he was by my side every day and things were great for like 2 months then things started again and we would fight over whatver it was and it was always my fault. but then i would apoligize because i felt all that guilt when he was with me through my recovery. but over the months he has made it known that he was the only one there by my side. kinda of like holding it over my head. we go round and round in circles and all i want is for him to see his actions cause me emotional pain. how he talks to me and treats me and when i talk to him about it he turns it on me and that i push him. again i feel bad. i recently wrote him a letter about several differences of opionions we have had over the last 2 months. i explained each scenario and why i felt how i did. well he read that letter and said how i was just bashing him. The letter just made referance to how I felt hurt by the way he treated me and talked to me and his tone of voice in every conversation. I tried to be very calm and just hope he would get my side of the story and see if from a different perspective. well forget that he came back saying he wasnt wrong and he couldnt believe i could say those things to him. They were not mean at all…I was just expressing my feelings and basically saying that if he truly cared he would understand and not want to hurt the one he loved. but he does not see it that way. he turns it around and makes it about him. well today in the mail he sent me an apology card and it seemed so sinceres and actually brought tears to my eyes. now i am second guessing him and myself is it me being crazy or is this the manipulation ive been hearing all about. I feel i have to walk on egg shells when I am with him and always afraid to say the wrong thing or he might blow up,,
    help am i crazy or is he. i have not contacted him in a day, but i feel i need to say something ..ugh

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hello Amy, first, I hope you are doing fine, physically. What a trauma that must have been. His staying by your side does show the better side of him. Amy, as I read through your description of the situation, I began to think about fear of intimacy rather than actual narcissism. Now, I don’t know him, only you can decide from what you discover in the relationship and in your exploration of the issues on blogs such as mine. Blaming you, pulling away are all things narcissists do. I have to tell you that narcissists do not stay by a loved ones side in illness. This is atypical of a classical narcissist.

      In one’s fear of intimate relations – they often blow things up when they are good because they can’t stand the intimacy. But, there are other signs of this psychological issue, such as seeing a romantic partner less and less to get emotional distance. I have an article on the fear of intimacy you may want to take a look at. Here’s two links on the topic - and

      You take good care and Amy – always trust your inner wisdom to guide you to the right understanding and to make the right decision. Warm regards, Deborah

  87. avatar Diana says:

    I think i may be a narcissist. I’ve been obsessively Googleling everytime I do something I feel is narcissistic, past normal standards. This has gone on almost 9 months now of my obsessive googling I’ve turned by boyfriend into a shell of himself because of my constant projection of my own insecurities and bad qualities. I’ve been told I’m not a narcissist but I don’t believe that is true because they don’t know more then what I show. He told me he feels my feelings for him are situational and that he feels hatred from me… he isn’t wrong from saying these things because that’s the way I act. I keep telling him to leave me because I’m too much of a coward to leave first but he refuses. I hate who I’ve become, what makes it worse is we have a 1 year old daughter who is absolutely amazing in every way. And I’m scared I will ruin her too. I’ve thought about packing up and just leaving. But again I’m too much of a coward because then I’ll be stuck with myself, the woman who ran out of her family… I’m not looking for a reaponse… just needed to vent.

  88. avatar Dan says:

    Such a great article, and so true!

    My ex-N and I were together for two and a half years and it took me 2 years to demand apology I would never get. The final moment came during a text exchange on New Year’s Day when I said “you owe me an apology.” The response I got was “I don’t owe you $h!t.”

    Ironically, that was so freeing!! When he said that, I realized I was never going to get the apology I feel I deserve, and it began… I deleted my text message history, the contact in my phone, blocked on Facebook, and even removed them from LinkedIn. I had to google how to remove people on LinkedIn! Now, it’s still dealing with the emotional baggage on my own, but it has been immensely easier knowing which piece of the puzzle is never going to come into play… The apology.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Dan, oh Narcissists and their inability to say I’m sorry. It still amazes me that they think an apology is a sign of weakness rather than the strength it actually is. But, yes, they do, as you’ve experienced. I think it is helpful to block the ex from all social networks. No need to have daily reminders of the painful relationship.

      Dan, your’e right; it is helpful to know the apology will never come into play. It is freeing to know, we don’t have to think abut this anymore. We free ourselves from thinking, ruminating hours about getting one that’s never coming. You know the old saying, “Living well is the best revenge?” Move forward each day and live well. Do not allow your ex’Ns ill response to the relationship end define you. Know in your heart that your ex did not win by refusing an apology to you. There’s nothing to be won by refusing to accept responsibility for actions (as Narcissists believe). Oh the poor deluded narcissist.

      Dan, you take good care. And, the good thing is now you know the red flags that signal a narcissistic personality. Wishing you a fulfilled, healthy love in the future. Warm regards, Deborah.

  89. avatar Ted says:

    Wow! This article really resonated with me. If I had only known this a good ten years ago, it would have spared me an abundance of confusion and pain. Thank you, Dr. Deborah, for providing such insight to a subject that really baffled me for a long time. I was in a relationship with a younger woman back in 2005 (yes, a long time ago). When the relationship ended, I spent a good year or so trying to figure out what happened, as it made absolutely, positively no sense. My therapist at the time told me that my ex-girlfriend was a narcissist and had suffered a ‘narcissistic injury’. At the time, I was not overly savvy to narcissism, not like I am today, but it would have surely helped me to deal with a troubling, hurtful situation. I had spent the better part of seven months caring for this young woman, giving her everything I had to give. It was a co-dependent relationship and I should have recognized my contribution to the dysfunctional situation. Nonetheless, she asked me to live with her at a time when it was very difficult for me to do so. We lived an hour and a half away from each other and I had just started a new job. She continually tried to dissuade me into giving into her (using every manipulation tactic imaginable), but I did not budge. She told me countless times how much she loved me and yearned to be my wife. However, when I told her that I couldn’t “yet” live with her, she terminated all contact with me. Completely. It was as if a switched had been turned. She didn’t return my calls. Nothing. When I finally did get through to her a month later, she blamed me for the collapse of our relationship. When it was over, I exhausted every conceivable possibility that I could to explain it (was she with another man?, etc.). Nothing made sense. Nothing added up. I desperately wanted an acknowledgement of how well I treated her. I wanted an apology. But she never had any interest in introspection. I know she endured a very difficult childhood (she came from a broken home) and had abandonment issues. I attribute this to the narcissism and low self-esteem that he tried to bury. Anyways, reading this article perfectly articulated my situation. I did so much reading back then to try to grasp what had happened, and although I sort of figured it out a few years later on my own, this one piece perfectly illustrates the psychology behind it. Thank you, Deborah.

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Ted, yes, a narcissistic lover wears on one in every way. It’s so good, now that you know her issues fully, that it did not work out right? But, still, I understand the emotional hurt and the confusion narcissistic people cause. And, perhaps one of the greatest assaults to us is what you say here (no acknowledgement of all you gave and no apology coming).

      I’m glad this article helped to explain why they never if rarely at all apologize. Also, so many people who write me feel badly that they didn’t know the red flags to avoid. It’s not easy to see the red flags at first. They are often very smart, capable and charming. Narcissists in general are not bad people, they just have very early developmental problems that are tough to handle, even for therapists, Ted. The only real lethal narcissists (i.e., have aggressive, dangerous characteristics) are called Malignant Narcissists. She, as you know, does not sound like this at all, so I see how you fell for her.

      Well, at least, now you know what to avoid. Thank you for taking the time to comment. You take good care Ted and much good fortune to you with regard to future love. Warm regards, deborah

  90. avatar Jason says:

    The hardest thing reading this article is the realisation that my ex was absolutely a narcissistic person. We were together for 3 years and everything evolved around her happiness. She didn’t see the point of life and worked tirelessly to present a shining veneer, taking vanity to a whole new level. Everything about the relationship was one sided, in her favour and always on her terms. Our relationship hit a turning point when I had health problems and could no longer constantly fuel her happiness. I actually needed some support which never arrived. By the end of our relationship I had tried questioning more about life choices and what each of us wanted out of life, it became clear that we simply wanted different things. We made the decision together to leave it there so we could go down own own paths. I showed kindness and empathy during our breakup even though it was equally as hard for me to come to terms with the sense of loss. I loved her very much. 3 months later, she has since sent me selfies under the guise of ‘look at what your missing’ and acted incredibly hurtful by glorifying in the fact she’s moved on to someone else. She also completely blames me for ‘dumping’ her which is just not the case, and seems to think that by causing me pain it will somehow repair the cracks in her esteem that she blames me for. I feel utterly betrayed and hurt by someone I showed nothing but kindness to, and know I will never get an apology. I had no idea this person was capable of behaving so badly.

  91. avatar Christian says:

    When you’ve done the research on Narcissists and understood what they are about the real issue comes when you look at yourself and realise why you’ve been with one in the first place….this to me is where the true healing comes from ….Know thy self !!

  92. avatar Georg says:

    Dear Dr. Deborah

    The following is my experience and from your experience my question is: Can a female narcissist 42 years old change with another – better suited enabler, or will she always be a narc?


    I am happy that I am out of a relation with a narcissistic and beautiful man-eater. Since June 2016. I was with her for 18 month Jan 2015 and broke up after two month bc I felt emotionally drained. However she phoned me and I thought it will get better. All the roller coaster emotions went worse. But on the end I saw her lack of empathy – her lack of not being responsible for nothing it was my fault. She knows all – never answered question – never talked about past – (her answer; this was yesterday) and for me I think we can learn from yesterday bc past determines future. She humiliated me with words – and she is better than anybody aso.. Wants admiration and has tons of male “friends” which serve for that purpose. Men fall for her wherever she goes. Get’s outraged and aggressively laud when she thinks she deserves better bc she is the top! Believes if otherwise she is the victim and can’t deal with that at all. No criticisms allowed – not even; have you thought of that? No dialogue possible – it always falls back on her view.

    Luckily my analytical mind sets in when my emotions want to control me. I was an enabler and became victim when I served my purpose .She has in the background a new enabler which will become her next victim. It was an interesting ride! I blocked all contacts bc I know she hates if she is not in control – one time when she has the new enabler under her control – she will phone me. I bet on that! Because she has to win!!!!

    The past is the future!
    Got to know online in Jan 2015 -I saw her – said hello, but only briefly. 2 weeks later I get a msg back to contact her. Which I did we started to talk on the phone after a while. We agreed to meet us, and before she told me she is divorced and has 2 young children and she told me her ex is an hospital MD and made 750 K – And I said oh forget it – I never made so much money. However she said no I am not looking for that – so we liked each other on the phone –she had an accent from Africa and mine from Europe and said she has a visitor who is performing voodoo in her room. This was later gone. She invited me to come over for breakfast so I came and the house was HUGE – and we embraced happy to see us. We both liked us on the spot and after breakfast I went with her to her shop. I am retired (but still working on ideas for online Biz) our age difference 25 years – but for heaven sake I look VERY young – no wrinkles.
    Turned out that she asked me often to come to her shop and help here and there – and I did. I was on call and I liked it bc. I liked her. I believe I loved her already at that time. However I realized that many man came into the shop and she greeted them all with embracing and smiling like only she can smile. Later when she used me more and she stayed home while I took care of her fashion shop in the believe I do her a favor and man came into the store asking for her and asked me who are you? Oh – just a helper I said since I don’t know that man. However after February came and my birthday she barely made it and I had to wait 50 Min in the restaurant but she said she will come. She came – no card -no small present nothing. We had dinner and I realized that she was angry with the waiter like this and that was not right and she did not like the food. (Italian AA+ restaurant) I was surprised to hear her speak like that and seeing her angry face as if she does not like the service. Little did I know what would come month later! Since I was under the impression that we liked each other which I believe was true – I wanted to spend quality time with her but she never had time – also no time to talk. In March I said to her WE NEED TO TALK. I need 2 hours for my point of view- fact is I got 10 min after 18 month, WOW) since I had the feeling I don’t know what I am – friend – helper – or whatever. Every time I said we need to talk she found always a reason not to be specific – when. After March has passed – and I came to the shop every day and she was in her office – and we still had no time to get to know each other – I invited her to a cinema with restaurant and we meet there – she looked stunning and I kissed her with passion and she me – but I felt after some time she had enough – so she stopped – like she was in control. She also never liked to be embraced or hold hand in public. That’s not her style. As March ended and we never had a minute or she found excuses to talk I was frustrated – no quality time – no kiss, nor affection from her – but she needs me to come sometimes when I said not today – she got upset. I ended the relation in April since it went nowhere. I got to know the kids -very nice – and did some shopping with her to carry the heavy stuff aso and meet also her ex who comes often to the house and she still cooked for him at that time. So the husband was and will be in the next 10 years always in the picture and I said to myself W..F. April we have not seen us and we talked a bit on the phone and we where both not happy but never said anything. Finally around 3 weeks into April we saw each other, she phoned and said she wants to start anew. And the daughter looked at her mother and smiled and yes we where both happy to see us. I thought now we could talk what about us and how to continue = and she never had any time but I realized she gave me commands what and when I should do things for her. (She is a 2x Leo – Sun and Ascendant) She spoke with authority sometimes yelling at me and I said I never had a woman talking to me like that! She said that’s how she speaks and sure enough sometimes she called her kids F…..U – when they did not act as she liked. I stood a couple of times in front of them when she had her outburst – also towards me. And again I was not used to that. I was used to communicate and I showed her a model of communication and commitment. She was only listened half and had no question – like in – OK I am busy.. however I was most of the time frustrated and started to think this goes nowhere – when she needed help she ask me to come to do this and that. I felt sorry for the kids and asked her to go spend some days with the kids on the ocean and she said may be. And as I later find out – she and her ex and the children went all happy to a nice hotel and she slept with him in one room while I was for a week in her shop. But nothing happened and I bet my right arm for that. She needed him to pay for the nice hotel and time on the ocean. I wondered why I barely got a phone call and thought this is not normal. Another time she was busy going to CA with her son and again I stayed in the shop and I phone her and had the feeling like this is a bad time – we talk about 8 month and I tell her every day – I love you or every time I see you I fall in love with you again. It was like a dream – but I woke up as she sent me a pic from her son with a copy to another man. I flipped in my brain – and when she came back I asked her What? She saw nothing in there and just said well the other man thinks that’s ok and asked about you and I asked her – and who is this? She never gave a clear answer and I realized here is something very wrong. No affection – no kissing – no embracing only me running like a chicken for her …. . I love to give I love to help and I gave her the most beautiful flowers and she looked at them ( I gave her often flowers) and sometimes she called me and said they are cheap – 50 US is cheap OK!
    In the end of the first year – she had to stay home after surgery and I again offered to stay in the shop, beside I was there at least 3 days a week – for her for 4 weeks and run the shop. I went to the hospital to learn that another couple of man where there to visit her. Friends – like me? While I was there she asked me to bring her some food and I did – But had my car key inside and the door was looked. Food in my hand she waiting in the hospital – I decided to smash the rear window to get it done. Came back to hospital gave her the food – no thank you or reaction when I told her my window problem. I was inside not happy to never receive a reaction and I said to her – can you hear me? She again – no reaction. I started to question already longer time before – can she love – does she have empathy for my view of the side – it seemed that it was only her and her – and the admirer as man where in her life like flies on dusk. Often when we had arguments she brought me down – I am a loser – I am cheap – I am old fashion I am negative – and will not succeed with my own plans a.s.o. Nice support I thought. Often when she had a cash register problem she asks me for MY credit card to test purchase a transaction. I asked of course for the money back sometimes she forgot. But I got it back later.
    However since I wanted a side job she asked me to stay in the shop for me and she will pay me. After out of the hospital for a HEAVY surgery approx 7 days later- she should have stayed in the bed – the door opened, she comes in with another man TG ANDY – and I am speechless and not happy and I ask – why are you up? She happy with that other friend said he helps me to bring staff to the storage. I answered – and I stay here that you can get better at home in the bed! She was fully dressed as she wanted to go out!
    Comes the time that she comes back and is ready to stay in the shop and I told her that I wrote all hours down – and to my surprise she says very aggressive in front of me: I OWE YOU NOTHING.
    I left and of course I said to myself – F..U (and meant me and my stupidity) Of course we never talked in that year again and she never contacted me for Christmas after being with her for one year and also not on NY eve. I phoned and wanted to church with her – she had no interest!
    In January we started to talk again and all started from the beginning – only this time I felt in Feb. – that she has something going on. She told me another man asked her out and I was devastated and asked her will you go? She said no! ( till today I am not sure). She still wants me to come to help her to come to her house and eat with her and her Kids. (That’s her way to show affection – cooking) She is very charismatic and all man fall for her – wherever she goes. She only needs to smile. And I went with her many times and that was may be as body guard bc she has the tendency to become super aggressive and outraged when she does not get her way as she wants it. ( what complex is that??? )
    On Valentine’s Day – she txt me that she will think the whole day of me – and she leaves to a planned trip to Europe. In Europe she phones me on what’s up and shows me her breast and that she misses me. We did had arguments in the months before but she never saw my view it was only hers and she is always right bc she knows everything. I have 3 degrees and I still learn.
    She comes back and biz as usual – I think I should date others as well bc I am not sure anymore – but feel inside as I betray her.. so I don’t date and wait what will come. All of a sudden she phones me in May / June at midnight and says 3 times “I love you’ and on one visit she sings to me that she loves me. Of course after I fix her washer. And let me kiss her breast and says she likes the way I do it!
    She moved recently to a second shop ( much bigger) place and asked me to help – in the meantime our contacts are more “a friend” for her – as she need help and I find out from another source while she has no time for me – she has other man coming to her house and one is obviously very close. As I confront her – I see the true color – I was humiliated and that’s not my biz we are not married and she can have many friends aso. ( one time she told me that she wants a man where she can do whatever she wants and she will not cheat ( MY RIGHT ARM FOR THAT – I BELIEVE HER!) But where does cheating and using other people start? (OBTW she prays every evening and has the bible almost in her head.)
    Shortly after that conversation which was ONLY her viewpoint she fly’s overseas. While I am being asked to go to that new place and make pic’s to send to her – she is abroad (and calls me on arrival to say I wish you were here – and I miss you and I believe Ok we still have some fire going. Let’s me talk to the kids as well by saying they want to talk to you. (Guilt bc of the other..) I find out that she does not want me to come to the store at a certain time and is trying to orchestra my visit at the shop at a later time and sure enough another man (I find out) has visited her home and brought some COX material to her new shop. She has another helper already – that’s how it starts. I send her, after all my love guts is all over what’s up – a msg –
    “I feel stupid”
    We phone in the evening and she said that is not right to say ( I feel stupid ) We talk a bit and she explains some stuff for her move being postponed ( tiles are not ready – which I told her – but all from me is nothing she confirms that and never says – yes you are right! Or yes thank you. So I tell her that other man is still there – we talked about him in your house – and you use me after I send you E mail and tell you that I love you.. and even send sentences in her language – she starts to giggle – I ask astonished – You are laughing? And hang up – thinking aha from I miss you to – I wish you were here – I love you – to laughing. I am convinced that if I would have continued to be on her side whenever she wanted me I may have another chance which I don’t want any more at this time – may be when she has learned if ever!!!! Like you must come in 30 min – when I can’t I am not reliable – IN A VERY ANGRY TONE.
    YES – she needs admiration and constant admirer – and since we are done, she will say to the new victim: “I love you” very soon – to secure the admirer. May be she is lucky bc there are men outside they love when their GF or “wife” is loved by many. Some go even so far to share. Just saying! It’s not her but yes, men come in all colors and emotions. And in the beginning or our time I would have told the pope to phone you. Easy to judge w/o experience. ALL her numbers and unknown are blocked – I want to be strong – but I think we both got the msg. I have wasted or experienced 18 month of rollercoaster in my emotions. Sometimes I ask If – but that is nonsense – bc this was not a healthy relationship and I wish her luck – but I still love her and I wish I would be the stupid monk – with patience …like whatever..
    I am not capable to hate – since hate is like drinking poison and whishing the other one harm
    How do I feel – abused – humiliated – sad – happy it’s over – unhappy that it is. And – alone.
    Good luck. There is a NARC system after all!
    I have served my purpose and she moves on.

    Narcissistic personality disorder: Egotistical, arrogant, grandiose, insouciant. Preoccupied with fantasies of success, beauty, or achievement. Sees self as admirable and superior, and therefore entitled to special treatment. is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings.

    This is a common theme among boomerang relationships. They defy common sense. They are not logical and you usually find people behaving in ways they never would under normal circumstances, such as:
    • Putting up with their partner being involved with other women or men
    • Putting up with being ignored
    • Putting up with never being able to rely on them
    • Putting up with long periods of unexplained absences
    • Putting up will being lied to and deceived – even though you know you’re being lied to and deceived
    • Putting up with them putting in little to no effort
    • Putting up with looking weak, like a fool, doormat or like you have no self-respect
    • Putting up with the feelings and behaviors that show that we aren’t special to that person – missing our birthday, standing us up, ditching us on holidays
    • Putting up with being allocated to the friend position

  93. avatar Georg says:

    Here is the logic why we hurt AFTER a time with a Narc. And its hard to let go.

    The Narc left us in darkness about her/his true feeling. We are to empathetic and have hope that it will get better. With hope comes emotions.
    As long as we hope we hurt. Cut the hope out your system bc a narc is a narc and will not change. ( Or will he Deborah?) With that steril cut the emotions will leave you as well and the healing begins.

    All the best of luck to all of us survivors 🙂

    Thank you Deborah for your blog – it’s needed. I enjoy reading it.

  94. avatar Ella says:

    Here’s the thing we broke up 15 months ago and I’ve been NC ever since. I broke up with HIM and have ignored all hovering attempts. An apology would be nice but I know it’s never coming and I’ve focused my efforts on understanding myself and how I got into the relationship (fresh off a divorce) and why I stayed so long (3 years, boundary issues). I know it could never work again and don’t expect to ever see or speak to him again in this life and even if he did apologize I’d tell him to drop dead. So why in the hell do I randomly fall into a sadness seemingly out of nowhere? It’s like he’s haunting me. Seriously, if I didn’t know better I’d think he was. I’m happy enjoying life and then one day I’ll just feel this sadness, sense of loss, or missing him..or feel like he’s missing me. I don’t get it. It’ll last a day or two, sometimes a week. It goes away just as quickly as it comes.

    And ppl always say narcissists are never happy, but I think the fact that he can compartmentalize and find solace in others without feeling any responsibility for how he’s hurt anyone is his own version of happiness and I resent it sometimes.

    I just want his ‘ghost’ to go away and stay away. How?? Please tell me how. I’ve done all the right things and still….

  95. avatar Rebecca says:

    This really resonated with me, also. I was with my ex for 18 out of 23 years, we broke up for the 3rd time a year ago and we have 3 young children together. I have tried so many times to get him to understand how much the way our relationship ended hurt me (with his emotional affair with another woman and abusive treatment of me) and how I want him to take responsibility for the way he behaved and the hurt he caused so that we can get some kind of forgiveness and closure and work on forging a new type of friendly relationship for the sake of our children. he just won’t. Somehow, any time I try to speak to him he gets angry and makes me feel that I am somehow less than for having and expressing feelings. He says. ‘Your pain is not more important than anyone elses’..I never said it was! But I feel that I deserve the respect of him acknowledging the way he treated me…since I can’t just go no contact and our children desperately crave time with both of us as a family. It’s so frustrating. I still hurt so much from the break-up and miss him although I question myself as to why because he didn’t treat me well and was often aloof and angry when I most needed him. A counsellor warned me 5 years ago that he was a narcissist but I stayed with him and had another child. I know I should have ended it but I loved him and have been with him almost my whole adult life. Now I’m full of unresolved hurt and anger and hate that I have to still have him in my life without ever having hope of healing or resolving anything.

  96. avatar Anna Peterson says:

    My husband and I got into an argument last month because i caught him cheating, i was heartbroken, i loved him with all my heart, I was about to leave and asked him what’s on his agenda and he just ignored me. I got mad and cursed him out and left. He said that I am jealous and insecure which is a recurring theme in our arguments. i tried everything to repair our relationship but nothing came alright, luckily enough i was browsing on the internet and i saw testimony of clients who talked about dr mack, i thought may be its also one of the scamming spell caster, but my heart was restless until i contacted him and i used his spell and it worked so nice, his spell made my husband to take me back as his wife, it also made my husband to love me more, anyone who want his or her lover back should contact (dr.mac@yahoo. com)……………

  97. avatar Alice Owens says:

    My names is Alice Owens am from Canada i want to use this opportunity to thank Dr Mack for bringing back my husband which makes me very happy, i decide to share it with you all because he is real not like those take your my money and do nothing, i have 2 lovely kids for my husband, about 3 years ago my husband and i has been having issues about some things he is doing that he was not doing before,like keeping late at night and drinking i don’t know that my husband is having a secret affair with a lady close to my street they do meet after work at one hotel,one day i felt that this is too much to bear then i confronted him one night but he did not listen instead he beat me up in front of our kids then he finally left me for the lady. i felt my life was over and my kids thought they will never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i couldn’t control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and i always wish he will come back to me, until one day i met a good friend of mine that was also in a situation like me but her problem was her ex-boyfriend who she had an unwanted pregnancy for and he refused to take responsibility and dumped her. she told me that mine was a small case and that i shouldn’t worry about it at all so i asked her what was the solution to my problems and she gave me this great Doctor i was doubting if this man was the solution,because i have tried so many fake Doctor on the internet but they only take my money and never work for me so i contacted this great man and he told me what to do and i did them all, he told me to wait for just 12hours and that my husband will come crawling on his kneels just for forgiveness so i faithfully deed what this great man asked me to do and for sure after 12hours i heard a knock on the door i went and open the door, with great surprise i saw him on his kneels and i was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was crying and asking me for forgiveness, from that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart ran away,since then i and my husband and our lovely kids are living happily.that is why i want to say a big thanks to Dr Mack This great man made me to understand that all problem on earth has solution so please if you know that you have this same problem or any problem that is similar, i will advise you to contact this great doctor through his mail Dr Mack and he will solve your problem

  98. avatar Tiana says:

    Hey everyone! Email___(dr.mack201 AT gmail DOT com) granted all my wishes. Thanks to dr_mack for bringing my Lover back just in 3 days! please if you want to contact him, rewrite the email on the right format

  99. avatar Cleo says:

    I must have it backward.

    After almost three months of no contact with my ex-narcissist, whom I broke up with after insulting me, I sent him an email telling him I would have nothing to do with him unless he apologized and explained himself.

    Since his motto is: I never apologize, I never explain” I’m sure I won’t be hearing from him. But, it felt good to lay down my boundary, and not have to be the one to apologize for nothing just so he’d talk to me.

    I’m ready to move on.


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