How Codependents Leave Abusive Narcissistic Relationships

Courtesy Wikipedia

Courtesy Wikipedia

You may be feeling crazy because you love a narcissist and are afraid to leave the abusive relationship.  It will be easier to help yourself leave the more you know about codependency and narcissistic personality disorder.   Abusive narcissists require someone who is willing to cater to their needs and to give up their own desires.  Narcissists are self-destructive people with concealed low self-esteem and insatiable needs for attention and nothing to give. They parasitically attach to a giving, supportive person who avoids center stage and thrives on taking care of others.

Expecting something from an abusive narcissist who has nothing to give can make a codependent feel crazy.  Trying to pretend that the narcissist is someone he or she is not can drive you wild.  So what is codependency?  Codependents are people who have spent years negotiating with reality concerning particular people from their past and present.  Codependents spend years trying to get mom or dad to love them in a certain way, when that parent cannot or will not.

The development of codependence has its roots in dysfunctional family systems and occurs over a fairly long period of time.  Overly rigid, dogmatic, or authoritarian types of families where there may or may not be alcohol abuse or dependence appears to produce codependency.  These families tend to emphasize discipline and control where rewards are given for compliance with strict and often illogical rules.  Children learn that any positive feelings about self are dependant on the mood of someone else.  These families may appear to be perfect to neighbors, but there is a great deal of pain and secrecy behind closed doors.  Children learn early to not express their thoughts or feelings and to ignore family behavioral problems.   This family survival response effectively raises the child’s tolerance for emotionally abusive and inappropriate behavior in others.

As adults, these children have a greater tendency to get involved in abusive painful relationships with people who are unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy.  Lacking entitlement to their feelings, these adult children tend to be indirect about their needs, deny feelings, and distrust intimacy.  They start with the belief that love is sacrificing for my partner and putting up with what ever my partner wants to dish out.  This is a set up for making the abusive relationship more important than you are to yourself.  Generally, codependents feel consistently unfulfilled in relationships and are the ones who tend to get deeply stuck in purgatory with an abusive narcissist.

If you are a codependent in a relationship with an abusive narcissist and are asking yourself, “Why am I feeling so crazy?”  It’s time to let the narcissist go.  It is time to let him or her off the hook.  Like your caretakers, the abusive narcissist is constitutionally incapable of loving you. That doesn’t mean you can’t love that person anymore.  It means that you are ready to feel the immense relief that comes when you begin accepting the truth and stop denying reality.  You release the narcissist to be who he or she actually is.  You stop trying to make that person be someone he or she is not.  You deal with your feelings and walk away from the abusive relationship. You stop letting what you are not getting from the narcissist control you and you take responsibility for your life.  You then begin the process of healing and loving yourself.

Get angry, feel hurt, and land in a place of self forgiveness.  Your life in purgatory will end.  You will no longer be a victim of abuse.  You will recognize that you have been mistreated and allowed yourself to be mistreated.  You will no longer create, seek out, or re-create situations that victimized you.  You stand in your power and no longer live in quiet desperation.

********************************************************************************

Thank you for reading this article. I’ve dedicated my personal and professional life to the importance of non-violence and self-compassion by teaching from my  experience.  In the past, I’ve sacrificed my emotional and spiritual well-being for perfectionism and looked to others for approval at the cost of trusting my intuition and developing my self-worth.  As a result, I’ve learned a lot about relationship abuse and what it takes to put an end to the self-judgment.  And, as I learn and grow, I teach self-compassion and give advice I use myself, in the hopes that it helps you to improve your own life.

About these ads

101 thoughts on “How Codependents Leave Abusive Narcissistic Relationships

  1. I have done so much research on my relationship and came across this site and to the T this is me. I have struggled with codependency all my life. My childhood was not the best and my father was/is controlling and full of negative reinforcement. I seem to attract the most narcissistic men that are out there. But never have been in a relationship I am now. Only been in for over a year but have known him for several years and seen him in relationships that come and go.(flags that I ignored) and thought ours would be different as I believe all of us do. Honeymoon portion was great moved in with him quickly, we traveled and always have a good time.. then the comfortable feeling sunk in and now he could care less if I was around or not and I sit here thinking what went wrong?? Asking me my opinion to sell his condo and building another home so we “start new memories” I agreed and we have been living apart waiting for the new home.. how things have changed with that, first he did not want my 17 year old daughter living with us to I don’t want to lose you and wants us both to move in to never mind I changed my mind again and he is quick to tell me that I am not a good mom but I am awesome person. Who does this?? And this is just a small dose of what is going on. He has no empathy, no feelings and what he does is reel me in on a good day and throw it out on the next day.. he goes on how his life is so frustrating but never takes the time to see how my life is going. I love him, I know he does not love me back the way I am suppose to be loved back, I know I should break it off with him and just cant seem to do it. My quality of life is decreasing everyday that I know my loved ones are being affected by it. i don’t want to do anything but lay around, my mind races a 100 miles a min and when he calls I feel better for a short time then it all goes back to the roller coaster ride. How do I let go, what am I afraid of? This has been one of the most difficult times of my life.. I am lost! I hurt! I have anxiety every day!

    • Mal,
      I can hear your feelings of sadness and fear. I think this man is in your life to teach you to set boundaries. Realizing you are being victimized is the start of owning your power. You are powerless over his behavior and need to remove yourself from this relationship. You deserve to find happiness and a life that works. Surrendering to and accepting the inevitable painful feelings of ending this relationship is how you heal. This is no easy task. Consider making a commitment to what is in your highest good, and no to what isn’t. I am wishing you the best that life and love have to offer.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  2. I have been in a situation with a noncommittal man for over 7 years who is now a practicing pulmonary critical care doctor. However, he was dependent on me for the first 5 years while trying to get his medical license reinstated after giving up his license due to alcohol/drug abuse. I hung in there thru recovery and rehab and all of the job rejections and requirements of the medical board. His family has been close to me for over 20 years, he and I had been friends during that time as well. We ended up running into each other after we each got divorced.

    Slowly he started getting more and more verbally abusive. We are now apart because the last cussing was so bad that after he went to work I packed up all my stuff and left. I was driving 2 hours a week as I did not quit my job when he relocated. I had no intentions of coming back to him and still haven’t as 2 days after we split I heard he was on match.com and in touch with his previous girlfriend. He contacted me immediately to say he was sorry and then several hours later I would get an email or call saying it was my fault due to insecurities and I was crazy. Every time I would bring up something he did with regard to inappropriate conduct he would cuss me out so bad with terrible words telling me that if I didn’t change my attitude I could get the ——–out and take my stuff with me. I could never prove anything but my instincts were so strong it would wake me from a dead sleep. He constantly pushed every weekend to know exactly what time I was leaving on Sunday and if I talked to him any time after I left he was always hateful. The majority of the time he was so good to me, kind and giving with all of the gifts, trips, dinners at the club, etc., etc. He said for me to get counseling and let him know how it went and then we could discuss things because I need it for me insecurities and he was sorry for “raising his voice” but I am the one that is delusional. I wrote him a long letter and just let him have it about how I had sacrificed the time in my life, my kids and grandkids and all the support/money/time off work to help him, etc., I have not heard anything back and that has been 2 weeks-he now has his big house, big truck and is making $500,000 or more a year-guess I’m not needed anymore. I decided to do no contact after that letter. While we were together I sold my condo and bought a new car and now I regret both of those decisions but I know there is nothing I can do about those choices now.

    How can he possibly justify all of this? I am so hurt and so sad. I can’t believe after 7 1/2 years a man would just walk away, see other women but in the same breath say “I love you more than anyone I ever loved but we can’t live like this until you get help.” I can’t quit thinking about it all the time. Why in the world would I do all of this for a man that never promised “commitment” just material things. I have done a lot of research and have realized that perhaps I have just been in a narcisstic relationship and was too dumb to realize it. I was a single mom for over 30 years until my 2 daughters were grown and worked 2-3 jobs to accomplish that goal. About ten years ago I was finally able to work just one job and really started enjoying life. I have always been a head strong, confident gal who had her act together. How will I ever learn to stop caring for grown men and focus on me???? The sad part is I do miss him and what I thought could have been…and sometimes wonder if I should have stayed, and I now go through all of the should have, could have, would have, etc ., but I know if I ever go back it would just be worse. On the other hand, I have not heard from him and mutual friends say I won’t because he is riding high now and doing so great. I am sure he has found or is in the process of finding his next victim. I am on such an emotional roller coaster…

    • Annette,
      My heart goes out to you. The best thing to do is continue learning about codependency and abusive relationships. Recovery takes time and emotional support is imperative. You might benefit from reading the comments to this post for a further understanding of what happens in a narcissistic relationship. The “confident gal who had her act together” is still within you. I suggest you force yourself to get out socially with like-minded people and find/return to interests that are fulfilling. Isolation is dangerous and increases the likelihood that you will go back to your EX-partner. I am sending you self-compassion and wishing you an abundance of grace.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  3. Hello, I have a written a few times before and unfortunately as I write again my situation has not changed. I cannot seem to let go completely and stay away from my abusive ex-partner. Things officially ended last January and there have been periods of no contact that I’ve been able to maintain the longest being a month, but somehow I keep going back for more abuse and pain. I’ve been seeing a therapist and though it has helped I keep letting him come and go as he pleases. I know he’s been with other people but as early as a week ago he came back and gave me a deadline to be with him 100% and on his terms otherwise he told me to go F myself forever. He has been squatting in a home that has gone into foreclosure and then he told me that he’s staying with a “friend” When I ask him where or who’s he’s staying with he tells me that it’s none of my business since we’re not together, I wasn’t a real partner and there when he needed me, and that he’ll only disclose any information when and if we are back together. He’ll constantly tell me not to contact him and then I don’t and just when I start to feel a bit better he comes back around like he knows I might be a little better and I get hurt and set back all over again. I keep looking at his public postings on Google and this past weekend I saw a reply publicly from a female and of course because I’m a glutton for punishment I found postings on another social media site where he is “following” her and she’s “following” him. I deleted the account I had on that site because the only reason I created it was because he asked me to in order to send me things about he wanted to dress me etc. It cuts me right to my core because that’s what he’s doing with her now. I’ve been crying nonstop, cannot focus on work, and am an emotional wreck. I waste so much time trying to figure out why he does these things to me. I’m stuck thinking how happy he is with her and how miserable I am. I also think that she must be better than me and I’m comparing myself to her and how lucky she is because I’m sure he’s being so great and doing all the nice things and events he used to do for me with her now. I don’t understand why he keeps coming back to me if he’s found someone else? Why tell me he still loved me and wanted an “us” and then I see the other female? Is he with her? Did he do all this on purpose for me to see? Does he think I’m an idiot and it’s a game to him to see if I’ll keep hanging around? I’m so hurt and feel so unbelievably low. I know I deserve better treatment. I wish he would stop treating me this way. I wish I was stronger and felt better about myself. I wish I understood why he keeps doing this to me.

    • Alec100
      My heart goes out to you. You are describing the symptoms of an addiction and I know it is a nightmare to surrender. Don’t give up. Keep trying to be abstinent. You might find my post, “The Emotional Hangover after Leaving an Abusive Relationship” helpful to read. I am wishing you the best.
      Regards,
      Roberta

    • Jennifer,
      I totally understand where you are coming from and it is an addiction. I do real well for several days or I finally get angry and say it is over and then he comes back around and says something nice and I go running over there. It is so hard and not healthy and I cry all the time as well and wonder how I am going to make it now that I am 45 and essentially single thought I haven’t finalized my divorce with him. We live in the same area and he works at the same hospital as me. I can’t stand but be reminded. I just want to fix it but he is not fixable and I have to realize that this is not me it is him. I did all that I could do.

  4. I am a 46 year old man who has been living with a narcissist for the past 5 years. I realize now I am a true co-dependent man with the sorted family history of emotional dysfunction. However, up until this relationship, I was lucky enough to not have met a true narcissist. When she met me I was divorced from a loving, wonderful person who had one failed trait of cheating. I could not forgive her for this and went through with a divorce. However, looking back I realize I would have taken her back if I hadn’t already met someone that I adored, soon after the separation. A classic trait of the co-dependent, needing to be in a relationship. So when I met my narcissist partner, I had gone through a lot of self growth and can honestly say, was able to love myself. I had rebuilt my life, bought a house, did many sports activities, (wake boarding, scuba diving, traveling, working out, and lots of dating different woman. The one thing that was missing was children in my life. I desperately wanted to have children.

    I met Jen and she immediately played hard to get with a touch of you are everything I have been waiting for. Initially she was so giving in every way possible and fun to be with. She soon moved into my house, her insistence, seeing as we weren’t getting any younger and we have to see if we can live together. After that we decided we were compatible and planned to get married, all within a year of meeting each other. On a side note, sexually she was exciting, wore sexy underwear and was always interested in having sex, when we saw each other and it was great sex! There were a few red flags that I should have noticed but didn’t heed the warning. She was extremely suspicious of any woman that I interacted with and I had to constantly appease her suspicion. One night, albeit it was very late, I got a call from a woman that I dated. I hopped out of bed, said who is this? And then immediately said I was in a serious relationship, she is sleeping beside me now so please don’t call me. This wasn’t enough for her, she was completely suspicious. Another time before we got married, my Mother, Jen and I went out to the mall together. Mom rarely visits so I took this as an opportunity for her to get to know her soon to be, daughter in law. Mom and I were sitting in two easy chairs, drinking coffee, when Jen walked back in and I immediately tapped the arm of the chair and said, please have a seat. She declined and sat by herself at another table. All to make me feel guilty because she thought we were talking about her.

    Regardless of these red flags, we married. It wasn’t long before my family, one by one was excluded out of our lives. My Mom was thrown out of our house because Jen thought we were talking about her, behind her back. We were talking in the kitchen, adult conversation, quietly because kids were present. Mom left and never returned to my house again. We had two kids within three years and she got worse. By this point, I no longer did anything I liked to do, no golf, no outside friendships, no anything outside of the house and taking care of business there. I renovated the entire basement to keep myself happy and continued to work at a good career. Nothing I did was good enough for her. She would wake me up at 4:30 or 5 am in the morning to take care of the kids before I would go to work. Some days when she knew I had to drive three hours at 6am, it didn’t matter to her. She starved me sexaully, whereas it was no longer exciting, rather mechanical and would happen once every four to six months. One could not bring this up in fear of suffering the consequences, better to wait and be patient. I learned that if rarely something came up socially, we were invited out for dinner with friends for example, I would pay for even considering doing this. She would make my life miserable up to the date of the event, so inevitably I would cancel. I learned to not make plans. If I made plans without her, the same treatment would exist so I learned not to say anything, to the day of. Housekeeping wise it was a nightmare. The bedroom was a cyclone of clothes going from one laundry basket to one of the other four laundry baskets in our room. She didn’t take any pride or care of anything she owned. Our room was so messy there was four big green garbage bags, of maternity clothes, sitting there for eighteen months! When I finally said enough is enough and cleaned up the room including her things, she went crazy. How dare you touch my things. No one asked you to do this. She tore me down as a husband too. She had a friend come over and when I first met her, they were in the basement. I just came home from work and said jokingly, hey what are you two doing in my basement? Then we met each other. Jen was horrified and said her friend thought I was jerk. I tried and tried to explain it was just joke. She knew it but insisted she could not bring friends around because I was not like other more normal husbands. She tore me down as father to our children. She constantly said I was a terrible father to our children. I took care of them every morning before work, dressed, fed, changed diapers, played with them. I would come home from work, change diapers, feed, bathe, read bed time stories and fall asleep with them. I adore my children, this is what I always wanted. Psychologically she played on this so I tried even harder to be a better father to my children. She in a round about way, accused me of touching our son inappropriately. This is when I saw her GP. (Our son was crying in the tub, she rushed in and said why is he crying, I told her I don’t know I am washing him, she said with soap? I said yes, she said we don’t use soap and why is the door closed? ) I lost it at this point and she never corrected me if I asked her if she was accusing me of molesting our son. She also noticed some sheet burns on my elbow. I told her they were from our Son’s bed, just moving around trying to get comfortable. She continued to not accept this explanation and said it was odd. If I happened to come across an attractive woman while we were together, she would immediately say, do you want her? WHy are you looking at her? It got to the point where I would prefer to just look down and not ahead, in fear an attractive woman may approach.
    This went on for three years, constant walking on egg shells and abusive treatment. She literally said to me with disgust, do you know you chew really loud. It’s kind of obnoxious. So now I couldn’t chew my food around her. She never complimented me or ever said sorry. WE would endure a week of silent treatment if I went out with a friend for just a few hours. I would always be home before 11 pm and leave the house at 8:30. This would happen maybe three times a year!

    This is where it went bad. I was planning an exit strategy, kids or no kids but i didn’t have the courage to do it. I knew I was in a dysfunctional relationship but I kept thinking it would get better some day. This is where it went from bad to worse. A professional, successful woman, started admiring me and saying some very complimentary things. I told her, I know I shouldn’t have, that my wife doesn’t feel this way about me. I was starved for emotional connection and this woman started emailing me and texting me. I broke it off twice with her but kept being drawn in. I needed this affirmation in my life, I had been without it for years. There was nothing sexual. Just emails, then it took a turn for the worse, for I started fantasizing what it would be like to be in a normal, loving relationship again. We kept up the confidant, adoring emails until one day we kissed in her office. I knew this was wrong on so many levels but it just progressed to that point. I still loved my wife but I needed this emotional connection. My wife found some emails, this woman saying she loved me and how she couldn’t wait till we were separated. This got the ball rolling where there was no chance of talking or reasoning with her. I tried desperately, first owning up to my mistakes and hurting her, and asking for us to work this out. She shut me out and has steam rolled me into separation, leading to divorce. There will never be a chance for reconciliation or even counselling. I sit here in pain of all that I have lost, mostly the future of bringing up my two boys as a family. I feel such guilt and rage for what I have done. She is completely the innocent one now, washed clean of any blame for the relationship to fail. The two that will suffer the most are our two little boys, we both love them dearly. My Mom has never even met my youngest though.

    • Shawn,
      Thank you for writing to me. I feel for you and the painful lessons life is bringing. Getting support from a therapist will help you handle the changes and make good decisions. Your boys need a grounded and emotionally available dad. If your family is safe this might be a good time to reconnect. Reading the comments on this post will help bring more clarity and resolve to your situation. Your dark night of the soul will end when you commit to growing from your victimization. The soul’s courageous journey is victimization to empowerment. I am wishing you the best.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  5. Thank you so much for this article. It has REALLY helped me. I am ending an 18 year friendship with a Narcissist who is now a colleague of mine. When working with her- she is an administrator and manager of people and I am her subordinate- I could no longer ignore her extremely narcissistic behavior. Even though I have had an idea that she has been using me and mean to me, I am now able to see it so clearly. It is like someone finally turned the lights on.
    I accept my responsibility in being a willing victim, but now realize that I do not like her or enjoy her company. I did something that hurt her for the first time in our relationship of 18 years and I believe I was subconsciously motivated so I could break free from her. She confronted me and tried to both scare me subtly over the security of my job and at the same time act as my savior. Wow! Just telling you this is making me realize how much I now realize about her.
    I have been struggling with INTENSE anxiety over what I did to her (talked behind her back), guilty and a fear of how she will punish me. Her boss, my ultimate boss, is also extremely paranoid and narcissistic. (Is it common for two narcissists to bond and work together?)

    Your article quelled my fears and anxieties. I am extremely grateful for that.
    Thanks,
    J

    • Dear J,
      Many can relate to your moment of clarity knowing you are dealing with a narcissist. Please invest in your well-being by learning about narcissistic personality disorder and what has happen to you. This is time to use your intelligence. If you can, act as if everything is okay at work until you can find another job. This will probably satisfy your boss and make her feel all-powerful. To answer your question, narcissists tend to align with other personality disorders in the workplace. I am sending you an abundance of courage and self-compassion. Thank you for writing to me.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  6. I’m 19 turning 20 this year. I’ve been dating this guy for almost 4 months. During the first month, everything was perfect. He was always there for me and promised me that he would do anything to make me happy. As naive as I was, I believed most of what he said. It was only from the 2nd month onwards that things started going downwards. I used to go out for dinner with a guy friend, but he was okay with that(or so I thought). One day, he told me that he had just found out that his family’s in debt. He was stressed out and he snapped and told me to stop meeting my guy friend or he’d beat my friend up.
    I thought he was overreacting due to the stress. Plus, he had a female best friend whom he was always hanging out with in the same way. He assured me they were just friends and I shouldn’t worry, so I thought it wasn’t fair of him to say that when I could tolerate his female friend. A few days later, I went out for dinner with my guy friend and a few other people, so it was just a group outing. But he still didn’t like the idea and refused to talk to me when I met up with him after dinner.
    Later that night, he texted me saying he wanted to kill himself. I went to his place and found him chain smoking with a knife in front of him(I never knew he smoked). I calmed him down. At first, I thought he was depressed because of his family’s debt. As I talked to him, I realised that he was upset about the dinner! I felt that it was my fault for being so insensitive when he had family issues, so I promised to not contact my friend ever again.
    I found out that he was a heavy smoker, but had been hiding it from me. I found out that he lied about his degree, his credentials, his family, his exam results(we’re both students), his past relationships, etc. He could be a in a good mood one moment, and go berserk the next when I mention something that I would never have thought to be offensive. And he’d blame me for it(eg. “Why are you doing this to me?” “I’m do everything I can. I’m going to go insane!” “Is it because you’re seeing someone else?!”). He was never physically abusive to me, but he would attack any inanimate object in sight(eg. smashing his phone, throwing a chair, punching random objects). And when I’m busy and don’t contact him for a few hours, he accuses me of avoiding him and having someone else. I’ve always been faithful to him. I have no idea where he even got that idea.
    I decided it was time to break it off. But he begged and begged. Being the naive person I was, I pitied him. He told me sob stories about his past(child abuse, etc) and promised to stop smoking. He did everything I asked, and said that after everything he’s been doing, I should at least trust him.
    I knew that he had cheated on me, kept intimate pictures and videos of his ex and even showed some of them around to his guy friends just for bragging rights. But he didn’t know that I knew about it. He begged me to stay while saying that he’d been faithful and honest with me. To get my pity, he even told me that he was sick and possibly dying. He even got his bestfriend to testify that for him(but I found out the truth in the end after his ‘miraculous’ recovery).
    Somehow, the unreasonable part of me that was still in love with him took him back. We talked it out and he admitted to his wrongs. He promised to delete the photos and videos of his ex. He also admitted to having dated his female bestfriend up to a month before we got together. I felt so insecure, but he promised that he would change. For us. He promised he would do his best to control his temper.
    A few weeks ahead, I started accepting him again. And he started going back to his old ways. We had an argument a day before his big exams. He told me I was stressing him out and he wanted to skip the exam so he’d fail it. I felt so guilty for stressing him out and decided to give in. But I knew that this relationship would not last because he’s back to guilt-tripping me.
    The last straw was after his exams. We had an argument over dinner(because he promised to show me some emails from his exes to clear things up once and for all, but they had conveniently been wiped out because he “didn’t want to keep bad memories”). We finished our dinner and got into the car. Then he started to drive like a madman and almost crashed the car. He said he had done everything I asked and was telling the truth. The emails were really gone and he had no way to prove it. I calmed him down and told him I believed him.
    Now that his exams are over and I’m on a semester break, I’m breaking it off. I’ve told my family members and friends about just in case I think about going back with him. I’ve cut all contact with him and his friends so he can’t threaten me with self-inflicted harm again.

    • Liana,
      My heart goes out to you. What you describe is a dangerous man. I respect your cutting off all contact because it is the only way to break from him emotionally. I suspect you are investing in yourself by learning about what happen to you. Please don’t hesitate talking to a therapist if you find it difficult to stick to your boundaries. For preventative actions, you might want to discuss his behavior with school authorities before you return to school. His emotional instability sounds unpredictable. You are strong; give yourself permission to insist on being treated well in a relationship. I am sending you much courage and wishes for swift healing. Thank your for sharing your experience.

      Roberta

  7. I have been with a Narc, and still am, for the last 3.5 years. Never in a million years did I ever think that I would be in this situation. There is so much in this article that I felt it was written right to me. I am only NOW starting to accept that things will NEVER change. The glimpse of hope that he gives me is only to keep me holding on. I am terrified to leave but I am more terrified not to. Every single moment of every day I have obsessed over him and his whereabouts since I found out he cheated, With that being said,,,I feel stronger each day and know that it is just a matter of time that I will cut contact. This isnt about him anymore. This is about unhealed wounds from my childhood that I need to resolve so I do not repeat this pattern.
    This article is a keeper and reminder. Thank you!

    • Allison,
      My heart goes out to you. Quiet desperation is a painful existence. I do know what you are feeling. So much support is available as there is growing awareness of the pathology you are living with. I suggest you read the comments to this post. Many can relate and have asked questions you probably have. Thank you for writing to me. No matter what happens, you can make it out of your nightmare.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  8. Hi there, your article, like so many on narcissism and codependency, rang true with me. I’ve recently come out of a 4.5 year relationship with a narcissistic, codependent woman. I feel like I lost not only my life but my very soul to her. I know she is a very damaged person herself but I am slowly letting go of her, having left in February this year. She went straight into another relationship with no doubt another caretaker! It’s been a real struggke but through online help and attending CODA and AA meetings, using the 12 steps and my HP, I am slowly getting back my life. It has taught me never to let my own self die again. I am now on my path to finding out who I am and what my needs and values are. God Bless all of us living in highly damaging relationships. Thanks for your post.

  9. This WAS me for a very long, painful time. It’s still the very early days and I have put myself through the ringer way too many times for my baby girls father. After I had her I finally did some online research and made the (what was to me) horrifying discovery that every word I was reading was like a million knives in my heart, I was devastated. I am scarred for life, EVERY SINGLE TIME HE GOT DRUNK HE WOULD JUST SNAP OUT OF NOWHERE AND GET THIS TERRIFYING EVIL LOOK IN HIS EYES AND START TORTURING ME MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY AND SEXUALLY ALL NIGHT LONG  FOR NO REASON, thinking I was cheating. He would make up something stupid just to start on me, it was a living nightmare. But stupid me had to go and fall in love (with this being my first time I was actually in love) with one of THE WORST PSYCHOPATHS IN THE WORLD!! I won’t go full on into it or I would be here for 20 years, lol, but let’s just say I’m FINALLY running and not even so much as taking a peek behind me!! I’ve left him a million times before so no one I know believes I’m for real this time, and I must admit that they have every right to feel that way, as I knew that too every other time, but this time feels so different, I have finally stopped telling myself 24/7 that no matter what happens he is “in love” with me, what a total stupid idiot I’ve made myself be and look like! I was actually the one that left him for once (he was always abandoning me for the mother of his children from a previous relationship) and sure enough, he was back with her within 2 seconds of me leaving him. But don’t u worry karma has finally sunk her teeth into him and she’s nowhere near finished yet! (unfortunately a lot of people were and are very hurt during his karma, but at least the nightmare me, my 3 kids, and his 6 other children have been living through is finally OVER. Just after he got back with his ex he got drunk and attacked her and child services finally took all 6 of their children (notice how I didn’t mention the nightmare being over for his ex). I felt really bad for her when I heard the news (even though we despise each other because she is a bad mom and person) until I found out she is still living with him and STILL standing by him! I know she is also one of his poor victims, but she makes me sick how poorly she treats others, especially her children. He is still with the mother of his other 6 children in a trailer park and I recently found out she CHOSE him over her 6 children. It makes me sick! But 3 of them are living with my ex’s parents. Me and my kids got to see them over the weekend, they were SO EXCITED to see their baby sister and the best part is my ex (their dad) and their mother have lost all parental rights. I can still have their children in my life without ever having to deal with them! As their grandparents are not allowed to take them anywhere just yet and the children aren’t allowed to stay anywhere else but their grandparents house till child services inspects anyone else who wishes visitation and sleep overs at their house with the children. Me and my children have to visit them at their grandparents and their parents are NOT ALLOWED near the house!!  So believe it or not that’s a SMALL PART of my story, lol! The reason I commented was because as early as 1 month ago,  I NEVER thought I’d finally let go, this relationship took me for all I had and I still wanted more more more. This charming fake ass horrible oxygen thieving man was my drug of choice and I was severely ADDICTED. I honestly thought I was “defeated, dead and buried” and that I’d never be “free”. AND NOW I FINALLY AM FREE AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!! Anyway my point is that I commented here just in case someone is going through this nightmare themselves right now and thinks they will never be free. Fight with all your might to work up the courage to LEAVE. Don’t “wait for a reason” like I did, you know they have excuses for everything and so do we for them. Enough is enough, trust me I never in a million years thought I could “live without him” let alone be free, but if I can do it then trust me ANYONE CAN! There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I know this because I’m a survivor. I hope by sharing my story I can save someone from having to go through what me and all our kids have. I’ve had my rough days, but I’m a fighter and a survivor. IM STAYING STRONG AND NEVER EVER LOOKING BACK. Even if I help just one person understand their own situation better and help them see YOU ARE NOT ALONE, then I will be satisfied xo

    • Sarah,
      Thank you for your words of support. I know leaving the abuse is really hard for you. Please don’t give up on loving yourself. You are free from the nightmare. The first few weeks, months, year is the most challenging for grieving. My heart goes out to you; this is probably one of the harder life situations you will face. Keep on walking and staying out of a victim mentality. You are a survivor. I am wishing you the best.
      Roberta

  10. I have been divorced from my narcissistic ex husband for 18 months after 13 years of marriage. When I met him, I felt like we were soulmates. He told me he loved me, and we were inseperable. We were married very quickly (and very young), and soon had the first of two children. About 2.5 years into the relationship, I caught him online talking to other women. I was devastated. I forgave him, because I knew he was a broken man. His mother had abandoned him when he was a little boy, and I felt like leaving him would be repeating the same injury to him over again. He begged me not to leave him. So I stayed. This began a cycle that played over and over again for the rest of our relationship. We had violent fights. He blamed me. I felt unloved and betrayed. I couldn’t understand how he could hurt me so deeply. How he could lie to my face while I cried. Surely he loved me as much as he said he did! Eventually, I began having an affair myself. It made me feel better about myself. He found out, and after a lot of horrible drama (including a hospital stay for myself) I ended up leaving him. I gave him the house, joint custody, I didn’t fight for anything. What I did was nearly grieve myself to death. I couldn’t understand how he managed to turn everything around on me. For years I had forgiven him, loved him unconditionally, even found his bio mom for him so he could get some closure, and he couldn’t forgive me for having an affair. He blames everything on me. Has called me terrible names in front of the children. He treats me and he makes me feel like I am crazy. And yet I still have this sick desire to have him in my life. I have been in counseling for several years now (since before the relationship ended). It has really saved my life. I am learning to love myself, and learning that no matter what I did, he could never love me. Yet still, it kills me to say that. I still have a lot of healing left to do. Thanks for this site. Very informational.

    • Slowly Recovering,
      Life throws us some tough lessons. As the saying goes, “we are perfectly, imperfect.” Thank you for writing to me. My heart goes out to you. Don’t give up on self-acceptance. You will probably not forget your past, but you can heal from it. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you let go of your need to stay in unhealthy relationships. I am wishing you the best.
      Roberta

    • I can so empathize with you. That is what they do best…twist everything to make us feel like WE are in the wrong and WE are crazy. I used to make excuses too for him because his Dad was not a role model by any means. I am sure a Narc himself. But these are his issues, not mine. Every single time he hurt me, I would cry too and he could care less. No emotion. The more I read the more I see how we all have experienced the same problems. Kind of comforting and sad at the same time. BUT recovery is on the horizon. Thank you for your story.

      My prayers are with you!

  11. Its been a year now that i left my ex npd gf. After 3 years I broke up with her, she never even bothered contacting me back. Recently i ran into her, she told me how she was sorry…. I saw how she was being sweet, but didn’t fall for it. These people will never have steady relationships. I hope for everyone, in this type of relationship that they will break the chain and leave. I pray for those who are stuck and have families with NPD wives/husbands. Be strong!

    • Phillipe,
      Getting stuck in a narcissistic relationship is a nightmare. Thanks for your words of empowerment. Good for you to find your way out. The gift is learning that we are strong enough to survive our victimization and temporary feelings of emotional pain. Thank you for commenting to my post.
      Regards,
      Roberta

    • Thank you. I needed this exactly right now. I left 7 weeks ago and feel very pressured to go back because of the emotional and financial difficulties. I need all the prayers I can get.

  12. Hello, I have been looking for someone to speak to for sometime now, in fact today I booked into my doctor to refer me to a counselor or psychologist so I can get some understanding & clarity on an issue that is causing me & my family great stress. My brother is married to a woman who I believe is narcissistic. I have done much internet research & read much on the topic. From what I’ve read I believe she is suffering NPD. My bro has been married to her for 12 years & they were together for 2 years prior. Over the years, she has progressively removed anyone that was close to him from his life, including most of the family he was born into, my family. 2 weeks ago he went to my parents telling them not to send cards or presents to his children any more as they don’t like you & want nothing more to do with you. The kids are 11, 8 & 6. I don’t believe they are old enough to decide something like this & I do believe they were manipulated by their mother into doing this to please her. I also feel my brother was made to go & say this to my parents by his wife. All his kids have issues. The eldest, a boy, is socially inept. He has never made a friend. He has been moved to 3 different schools in his primary school life & he dislikes every other child for various reasons. He has separation anxiety & is unable to leave his parents for an extended period of time & last time we had him at our house (10 yrs old) he cried himself to sleep as his dad didn’t ring him before he went to bed. My bro then rang him @ 1 a.m. in the morning, woke all of us up just to say goodnight to him. I spoke to my bro the following day & told him not to ring the following night as I felt at this age he should be able to stay away from his parents for a night or two, especially as his sisters were also staying here. That night my daughter & I had to stay up until around 3 a.m. until he finally fell asleep. The daughters are both obese, the eldest girl was around a size 18-20 @ 6 years of age. Their mother spends all her days in gym & solarium. She does nothing to assist the girls in losing the weight. My bro works all day, he has his own business. He usually gets home around 7pm, does homework with the children & then takes the girls for a walk in an attempt to assist them in losing weight. My brother is not the person I grew up with. He was always very jovial & laughter was part of his personality. Now he virtually has nothing to say. He seldom sits & talks & most times he is critical of something one of us have done to upset his wife, even though none of us believe we have done anything. Every time we see him he tells us how he loves his wife, how she is his best friend, how lucky he is, how good a mother she is & blah, blah, blah. Finally I have got sick of the way he treats all of us & told him so. I have told him I no longer want anything to do with him or his family. They are self centered, they have no empathy for anyone else & are not the type of people I want in my life. It’s now been 4 weeks & I am very sad. I love my brother dearly. He & I are only 17 months apart & we have grown up like twins. We have travelled together all our lives until he met this woman. We had the same group of friends & socialized together always. I don’t believe my bro is happy. I feel that he just does everything she wants to keep the peace & the more I read about narcissism the more I believe he is just doing as he is told by her. She appears to have complete & utter control over him. I spoke to a friend last week & explained the situation, he had been in a very similar relationship so he was fantastic to speak to. When I told him that I had told my bro I no longer wanted him in my life, he said I shouldn’t have done that. That my bro needs me, even if it’s just in the background & if all the people close to him keep walking away from him, he will be left with no-one & nowhere to go if ever he needs someone. I am now so confused, I don’t know what to do. I am not prepared to be in someone’s life that appears to go out of their way to be constantly critical of my family. I don’t like her, I have began to stop liking his children & I certainly don’t like the person he has become, but saying that I love my brother dearly & feel bad if he can’t see a way out of this situation & he loses everyone close to him. I think you get the picture. Are you able to give me advise on what you believe is the best way to handle this. Thanks :)

    • Linda,
      You are probably the only one who can change in your family relationships. You have no power over your brother’s actions or the course of his life. Detaching in love will reduce your frustration and worrying. You can take a break from your brother and allow him to work on his own issues while focusing your energy on taking care of yourself. I think seeing a therapist will help you gain clarity on the pain this creating for you. I am wishing you the best.
      Regards,
      Roberta

  13. I met my Ex BF four months ago. When we first met everything was so great. He was loving, caring, etc. I know the big mistake I made was sleeping with him on our first date. (I know it was the wrong move). But he was so charming I could not resist him. After that night we spent everyday and night together. For the first 3wks we were like two peas in a pod. l loved it and he said he loved me, I responded that I loved him, too. It really did feel like love to me because he listened, shared, opened up to me, basically made me feel really special. Something I had not felt in along time. I loved the feeling. Well on Valentine’s day we had a very special evening planned out. I was excited, called him to comfirm the time I would arrive and there was no answer and I texted him no response. I called 10 times in one hour and texted him 4 more times. By that time I was so upset that I turned my phone off and went to sleep. This is the day that it all started to change. When we spoke the next day, he was very upset that I turned my phone off, and accused me of being with someone else. I never mentioned the fact that the voice message he left me was at 10:00. Where was he for 3 hours if we had plans? That did not matter I ignored him and that made him extremely mad. Well for the next week I was with a man that was still loving, but he started accusing of being with the mystery man. Even though I rode the bus with him to work and was at his house every night by 9. I was just not to be trusted. I was a liar and seeing someone else. Never any proof just accusations and jealously. After that he started wanting to know my every move. If I didn’t anwser my cell I was with someone, if I didn’t call him at a certain time, if i was not at his house at a certain time, I was with another man. All the while his affection for me was changing. He stopped saying he was in love with me, just i love you in text messages. Arguments and being accused of cheating was what I faced. He soon lost his job. Then I began helping him. Buying food, giving him money. I didn’t mind because I loved him. For the next two months I was dating a man I felt didn’t care about me. Yes we had sex and spent every night together, but the weight of caring was getting to me. I tried talking to him about it and he said he understood and he was trying to find work. (Yet every time we spoke during the day he was home playing video games). I was getting tired and the nice me was getting very frustated and confused, because he kept saying he didn’t want me to leave him and he needed me. Each time I tried to leave he would stop me and beg me to stay and I did. because I loved and needed his love just as much as he said he needed mine. So in March, I thought I would take us both away from our stressful live and treat him a weekend of love, just us, we had an amazing time. But once it was over back to usually, now by April the lies he has been telling an I have ne avoiding are not being secret. he acts like he wants me to question him so we can fight. He starting picking fights all the time and he was good at it. Everything was my faught, he turned every work I said aroung and tried to make me out to be a liar on day basis. I was getting scared. But I was fighing back.( wrong move) He started showing that he didn’t care about more and more each day, spending time with his friends drinking, online dating sites. Taking longer to answer calls,. not calling as often as he did, the schedule of calls an texts was not the same. But I was still going to his house every night if you know what I mean. By now it’se mid April and our relationship is crumbing before my eyes. We talked odn night and he said that I have changed. (I know what he meant: I was not giving him money everyday and buying food for him as much/and I started to spending more time at my place). I got sick and he wasn’t there for me. So had a big fight and I called him some very nasty things. I was so out of character. I guess that’s when he decided to leave me. I went to house and he had another women in he bed. I broke it off from that point. We spoke and he said that I broke up with him but never took responsibility for his actions, but I apologized. Then he said that he loved two people me and another and asked if I would just be around for awhile to see who he wanted. But he also said I was no longer his first love, that she was and I would have to see him when he can. I told he no thank you and ended the relationship for good. I still love him so much, Had sex with me one time since the break up, but I now realize that I just need to let go. It’s hard but I have too.

    • Dear ilovTDF,
      It sounds like you know the relationship is unhealthy and it is time to stop all contact. The first month is the hardest time and you are strong enough to handle it. Make a commitment to love and respect yourself, you will be forever grateful. I suggest you read the comments and sharing at the end of this post. You will probably find the stories helpful in stopping you from going back for more abuse. I am wishing you the best. Thank you for writing to me.
      Roberta

      • Thank You for responding to my comment if was very conforting to hear that you care about my situation. I saw my ex bf last night. We spent alittle time together and I listen to his words for the time. I finally listen and not fantasize on what I wanted to hear. He made it clear that he wants to be with me, ok I heard him. But his actions always represent something else. When we broke he was already seeing another woman, I caught him cheating with her. But yesterday and today he asked me to wait one month to clear up the situation and he would come back and be with me, because as he quoted “he made a big mistake, he is sorry and wants to be with me”. I know I can’t trust this. I love with every once of me but it sounds to good to be true. If he wanted to be with me, he would make a decision NOW and we could work out our relationship issues. I feel so insecure in this relationship with my ex and his ability to love me. And I told him that, I’m insecure with how you feel and I can’t wait for you. My response to him was when you clear it up call me. He said trust him. WOW trust him and he cheated.
        Well as I cried with him, I made up my mind to Let Go and Let God heal me. I text him and told him that “I can’t make any love and that I could not be friend and not to call me. I need time to heal” I honestly don’t know what he did to me to make me love him so much because I usually don’t let men in my heart and he just stole it away right from under me. I love this man so much, and it hurts to know that he is not the right person for me and I have to let go. Now how it easy it seems to just sit and wait to he make a choice. I feel that like he did the first time the choice will not be me. And I could not bare to have that on my heart again. In closing I let go in words, and know here goes the process all of over again from my mind. I know he will never leave my heart ( he wasn’t all bad) but I have to start looking out for me and find love with in myself and maybe when Love come around again I will better able to handle my issues with better communication and trust.

        Thanks again I will keep the Faith, and know that everything will be fine! :)

        • You are so welcome. More power to you. Please don’t give up on yourself and stay out of a new relationship. This will probably be one of the biggest challenges you will face in self-love. When you feel vulnerable remind yourself that all your ex has to offer is victimization. The truth is that you are the only one who can change. Protect your heart and build endurance to get through the painful feelings. You are worth it and the pain will eventually pass.
          Best Regards,
          Roberta

  14. I filed for a divorce from my narcissistic husband of 26 years. Its been a week since I did this, I felt better the first few days , but now he is buying my 15 year old son anything he wants, and he is turning him against me. I’m devastated, I don’t know how to stop him from trying to ruin me anymore then he has?

    • Tina,
      I understand how painful this is and how powerless you must feel. The only thing you can do in regards to your son is to love him and give up the power play with your husband. Ignore your husband and focus on changing your emotional reactions, even if you have to fake it. Don’t join with your husband to use your son as weapon. If you detach from the abuse and remain emotionally available and safe for your son he will eventually see the truth. The way to torture a narcissist is to ignore them. I am wishing you the best. Thank you for writing to me.
      Roberta

  15. Dear Roberta

    I am in a permanent state of sadness and don’t know how to go on. I was with my narcissistic ex partner on and off for nearly 3 years during which time he verbally, emotionally and eventually physically abused me. During our time together I bent over backwards to be a generous, supporting and loving girlfriend, sacrificing my own needs and rights in the relationship and basically giving everything and receiving almost nothing. There was a period of respite where his behaviour was acceptable and we didn’t fight and he didn’t mistreat me to the extreme as he previously had and this led to my thinking that his previous behaviour was just because he was unsure of the relationship or his feelings for me etc and it is only now after the final break up that I really know what exactly I have been dealing with. My problem is this. After he physically attacked me for the first time last October (alleging someone had relayed a horrible explicit sexual encounter they claimed to have had with me years before we had even got together – which I later came to the conclusion was completely fabricated and he had just made it up as an excuse for his violence) I found out I was pregnant. I am 39 so I could not consider the idea of a termination (I had two in my teens on my mothers instruction and this has always haunted me) his reaction was fouler than I had anticipated and he quickly ended the relationship in a very cruel spiteful manner. He returned a short time after but I think this was only in the hope that I would consider an abortion and to give him the opportunity to hurry me along and when he saw that I wasn’t moving quite as quick as he would like, he ended it again, in the most horrible way, and at xmas. Since that time I have fluctuated from utter despair, to hope that he will see sense and realise just how horrible he has been and that he does indeed love me (god knows why I feel like that – I know it won’t happen and he has done nothing but make me miserable) For some time I was able to do no contact, appealing to his human decent side was pointless as he cannot see just quite how unacceptable and cruel his behaviour has been from day 1 and says its takes two and that I am being ridiculous if I am not prepared to take any responsibility for the demise of our relationship. I absolutely point blank refuse to do so as I put my heart and soul into trying to make things work with him and just stood for his criticisms and cruelty, even apologising for bust ups that he had caused for no apparent reason as he was constantly angry and critical. He was adamant from day 1 that he would never have anything to do with the child but now 7 months down the line he says he wants to offer ‘emotional support’. I laughed in his face when he suggested this as I am due in two months time. I don’t know what to do about access. I want him out of my life because he has no respect for me and has been emotionally and physically abusive to me without provocation, but at the same time don’t want to deny my child the right to know their father. He has two daughters in their 20′s who idolise him. They have some idea of his traits as he did similar to their mother but he has painted me in a bad light so they just see it as we had problems and it was 6 of one and half a dozen of the other which I find incredibly frustrating after everything I have been through. They wish to be in touch with the child once its born although have not once been to see me which tells me it is purely the blood line they are interested in and don’t really give two hoots about me. The elder daughter contacted me to say how miserable her dad was, that he wanted to be a father to this child and that I should be grateful for this and start considering the child’s needs, which almost made me blow a gasket! It pulled at my heartstrings though and resulted in my contacting him to give him the opportunity to talk and has only led to allowing him to be even more arrogant and insensitive leaving me totally enraged again and now obsessing morning noon and night about how he could be so cruel, longing to see him and for him to see the error of his ways and blaming myself for firstly getting in touch again and not going to see him when he sent some nice messages to me. During my period of no contact he had hit the bottle and was sending some texts in desperation and then others threatening and insulting and stating he would take me to court for access to the child. I find it extremely upsetting that he ended our relationship as I refused an abortion, threatened to throw boiling water over me and assaulted me when I went to visit him in the early stages of my pregnancy to try and have a reasonable conversation about the future only for him now months later to offer emotional support and say he wants to be involved after all! He doesn’t seem to recall any of the nice things that I did for him during our time together, the endless meals, the support I gave him after his father died and seems to have demonised me as the narcs do with – it was never going to last – she was an a-hole anyway kind of attitude and seems to have no feelings at all for me or what I’ve been through and am continuing to go through. What do you suggest?? I have been to counselling but it was more like a chat and hasn’t really helped. Part of me wants to try and forgive and forget and move forward for the sake of the child, but I am so angry and bitter I’m finding it almost impossible. Another part of me just thinks cut him off all together. We live in a small village so every time I go out there is a chance I will bump into him and we frequent the same places. I want to stop going out but get so lonely and isolated that I relent and we often end up in the same place. I generally ignore him but also feel drawn to him.

    Can you give me any advice – I thought I was healing at one point but I feel like I am back to square one and feel terrified of what the future may hold. I would imagine that he will become involved in another relationship at some point whilst I am struggling alone with my baby and this also tears me apart.

    • Heartbroken,
      Thank you for writing to me. You are facing the greatest challenge to self-love and love for your unborn child. I understand how afraid you are to be on your own, especially with a child coming. The truth is you are the only one who can change and stop the victimization. The man you describe is dangerous and sick. You and your child’s welfare must take precedence. It is imperative that you find a therapist familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Share this letter with him or her. Speaking to an attorney familiar with NPD about your dilemma is important. You can have an attorney communicate to your ex-partner about the child. A local Women’s Batterer’s Shelter can advise you and offer support. You would benefit from attending Al-Anon meetings for people affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. Most counties have numerous meetings every day and many have childcare. Some meetings are better than others. Find one where there are long-term members you can connect with. I recommend reading as much as you can about codependency and narcissism. From reading your communication I believe you know in your heart that you need to stop ALL contact. That means changing your phone number, blocking him and his daughters from email, face book, etc. You will need to lay low (maybe move) and change your personal habits of where you shop, exercise, socialize, and route to work. You might feel encouraged by reading the comments from people who have written to me. Much of the advice I give will answer some of your questions. My heart goes out to you and I’m wishing you an abundance of love and courage.
      Roberta

  16. I am a codependent woman who divorced a narcissistic man after 30+ years of marriage. I filed for divorce because he had another woman, and the judge said we had to live together while divorcing which took almost one year. That was very hard because his other woman lived close to our house and he continued to travel with her and see her everyday while I was at home cooking and doing laundry and mowing the grass with our older teen children. I hoped he would want to reconcile with me, but he wanted the other woman. One condition of our divorce is that we fix up our family home and sell it. No time limit was set by the court. After the divorce we moved to separate homes. He focused 6 months on fixing up his new home and was not willing to work with me to make a decision about choosing a real estate agent, painter, floor man, make decision about repairs etc. Finally we got our house on the market and it has been for sale 2 years. We have had several offers, but no offer is good enough for him. He is unreasonable about the price. Living in another state, he does not understand the buyers market in our state.. Meanwhile he has moved to another state while I am here where the house is. I do what the realtor asks me to do, keep the house clean, mow the grass, while he is in another state relaxing with his new girlfriend and focusing on his new life. Going back to the family home for lawn mowing and checking on the family home for leaks, pests, break in, vandalism, broken HVAC etc. keeps me locked in the past. Years are passing since my divorce and I am not moving forward with my recovery like I had hoped. The house will not sell if the yard is not mowed and the interior kept freshened up. I have mowed the grass 100 times and been to our house 700-800 times to check on the house, do what the realtor said needed to be done, clean, deal with repairs. I asked my ex for 1/2 payment for lawn mowing at a low “family rate” etc and he hung up on me. I don’t know why he thinks I should provide free services for the house we own together.

    • Di,
      Narcissists are notorious for holding on to property of an ex-partner to keep the bondage going. Chances are he knows exactly what he is doing, which is attempting to stop you from going on with your life. It is up to you to emotionally divorce from your ex-husband. There is a saying, “If you want to torture a narcissist, ignore them.” You might speak with your judge/attorney about forcing the sale of the property. It is time to allow joy and acceptance to fill your life. I do know how difficult it is to recover from the abuse. More power to you for leaving purgatory. Thank you for writing to me. I am wishing you abundance of love.
      Roberta

  17. I’ve been on the site before and I am still in pain. The narcissistic person who I’ve been in a relationship with gave me an ultimatum of doing things “his” way because he said we tried doing things my way and it’s been horrible or we’re over. Part of his demands I understand and can deal with but others I cannot. He asked me to block him on facebook because he doesn’t want any reminders of me until and if I’m ever ready to do willingly do things his way. It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve seen him and 5 days since we’ve spoken. I am in so much pain and I miss him very much. My family tells me that they hope this time it’s finally over between us because it’s a constant back and forth. My heart hurts and I think that unless I make the first move it is over. I can’t get the idea out of my mind that he has likely already moved on to someone else too. I miss him and am trying to stand my ground, but he has also blocked me on another site that we used to chat on. I’ve been crying nonstop, my mind is always on him, and I can’t seem to focus on anything else. I’ve never felt for anyone that way I feel for him and in my heart feel that I will never find or love anyone else in the same way. I am completely sad, depressed, and yearn for him. I don’t know what to do because I’ve tried to go out and stay busy, but it hasn’t worked. The more time that passes the more hurt I feel that he hasn’t reached out and the more pain I’m in with the thought that it’s over. Any insight would be welcomed.

    • Jennifer,
      I remember a previous comment from you. Thank you for writing to me again. The pain you are feeling will pass. Telling yourself, “STOP” every time you think about him is imperative. You may have to do this every minute/sec for some time. I want to encourage you to contact a therapist for support. Social Services in your county can connect you with low cost counseling if money is a challenge. Many universities and community women’s centers offer low cost or no cost counseling. You describe what sounds like a withdrawal experience. I am going to give you a quote from an article I wrote Dealing with the Emotional Hangover from Leaving a Narcissistic Relationship.

      “You have to break away in as healthy a manner as possible so that you are no longer emotionally available. If you don’t make a clean emotional break you are likely to go back for more abuse. This can happen because codependent love has an addictive emotional character which results in withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal is similar to symptoms from stopping substance abuse. After the break-up, people will experience an obsessive longing for their abusive partner (drug), debilitating emotional pain, and often engage in self-destructive behavior. This emotional response is why some people feel incapacitated by the hurt and obsess about hooking up with an ex-partner for more abuse. In order to accept years of rejection the “victim” develops an insane tolerance for emotional pain. The high tolerance for abusive behavior is a coping strategy to protect the psyche and is often learned in childhood. This obsession can be changed when we learn to love ourselves. When you accept that the way you treat yourself is the problem, the temptation to go back to purgatory will end.”

      I know this is really hard for you. Please don’t give up on loving yourself. In reality you are actually free from the nightmare. Keep on walking and stay out of a victim mentality. I am wishing you the best.
      Roberta

      • I am in a totally co-dependent narcissist relationship. I have been married almost 30 yrs. He is a hard working guy totally believes if he works all week he can stay drunk all weekend. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\dont care to do the family thing hates my friends…have found out he is actively seeking out internet porn…extremely involved in it……I have had health issues in past but nothing ever to impair our intimacy…buts it is never enough. He thinks he is better than everyone…always loud drunk obnonxious and thinks he is the best looking man around…..I feel ill lost sick inadequate and scared to leave please help me???

        • Cindy,
          Thank you for writing to me. Thirty years is a long time dealing with an abusive relationship. You need a healthy support system and a well thought out plan to leave this relationship. You don’t mention seeing a therapist. Finding one that is familiar with narcissistic personality disorder and alcoholism is an important first step. For additional support I suggest attending Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon is a support group for people affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. Most counties have numerous meetings every day. Attend several meetings until you find a group you connect with. Invest in your well-being by learning as much as you can about codependency, alcoholism, and narcissism. Reading the comments from others and the advice I give in this post may be helpful and answer questions you have. You deserve happiness and release from purgatory. Allow the years of emotional pain motivate change. You do have the strength to change your life.
          Best regards,
          Roberta

      • It is really nice to finally read articles that reflect exactly what has been happening to me. I know it is time consuming to write and keep up with a blog and I appreciate your efforts. Yes, I am now learning that I am a codependent who lived with a narcissist while living abroad for 10 years. As my soul slowly dwindled, I was not sure if it was the ‘culture” or personality. Like a slithering snake, I had no clue that my personality was lost, my passions gone and my joy diminished. I am good at making excuses.

        I left 6 months ago, moved back to America to start over at 55 with nothing in my pockets. (I did land a silly pt job and a huge step down from what I was doing before) I know no one but my university children who I do not want to burden with my realities. (I still feel really stupid for staying so long) I have been in counseling, but I get the feeling that there are not many people out there who understand the trama’s of living with a narcissist.

        Do support groups exist for this type of relationship that you know of? It seems like something that would be of great help to most of us. Believe me, I am fighting hour by hour to not jump on the plane and go back to the live that I knew, even with this guy who after time was getting me sick through his manipulations and crazy making. For me it is like sweet and sour.

        I think that this takes a long time to renew ones self after such a relationship.

        Thanks again

        • Susan,
          Thank you for writing to me. Getting out (forcing yourself if you have to) and being with like-minded people is imperative to keep you from returning to familiar pain. The website, “Meet-up” is a good resource for all kinds of interests. Isolation is going to keep you depressed and emotionally vulnerable. I would recommend you invest in your well-being by learning about codependency and narcissism. This is a time of gaining more wisdom in life and giving yourself love. How much more pain do you want? I suspect you have had enough. Let your pain motivate change. I would look for a therapist that has experience with domestic violence. They are likely to be very familiar with narcissistic personality disorder. Please don’t bargain with your love. Life is too short. I am wishing you the strength to not give up. I know you can face this change or you would not have written to me.
          Regards,
          Roberta

  18. Roberta,
    I want to thank you for the compliments on my post. Your work is inspiring to so many in need. I would have never made it this far without a professional who specializes in NPD. I wanted to share what method seemed to work best for me with your readers. Many people have hectic schedules that do not permit much private time. Narcissists sometimes try to disarm their victims by hurting their sources of empowerment; this was a factor in my case. I was able to secretly gain empowerment through counseling using telephone counseling services. I have to say that it is by far the most convenient, comfortable way of obtaining counseling services. I highly recommend it for those who can’t find the time to appear for in person visits. This convenience jump started me onto my road to recovery from my horrible experience. Slowly but surely my empowerment poked through dismantling my abuser. They still live the same life of lies, but are unable break through true walls of my empowerment. This was the first step provided to me for my recovery. Speaking from my own experience, I can’t stress just how important it truly is. Ns plaque us with a ton of bricks, it sometimes seems unberable to begin the breaking free process. I am now committed to my sessions verses being committed to a life of acceptance of the Ns abuse tactics. For those who just don’t have the privacy or time to seek counseling through traditional means, I feel telephone counseling is by far the best alternative. I feel comfortable knowing I can be emotional in the privacy of my own home or place while addressing core issues. I hope this helps those who are seeking counseling but don’t have the ability whether time or privacy to do so. Blessings to all…….it gets better as long as you remain committed to the process of healing.

  19. Roberta,
    I am in yet another relationship with a high level professional who is a narcissist. This one I married. The last one was a doctor with bpd (of which, you know, narcissism is a feature). My first husband was a passive aggressive n and it took me 10 years to figure out what was going on. This husband of 11 months is very aggressive. He stopped raging after I left last time but I just find the abuse morphing. It is insidious. I have a 12 year old son, and I feel like a complete failure. I am so embarrased and finally am realizing until I treat my own codependence these same patterns are going to repeat. I’ve found myself on emotional rock bottom with several different narc men since I left my husband. I lost my job with the last n, and alas this n came in and rescued me and I married him. I have been working on improving my self esteem over the last several weeks and doing all the reading I can which is probably making me hyper-vigilant. When you begin to see the subtle abuse, it’s completely mind boggling. And while I packed my bags once today, I’ve also unpacked them because “obviously I (he) am doing a terrible job of showing you just how much I love you.” I am getting hoovered back in. While I’ve undergone all kinds of abuse with him, it’s the fear of other women (and how he subtly taunts me with that) that is driving me away. He is a professor…doesn’t want me to work, see my family or friends. I can only imagine what he is telling colleagues and primary sources about me. I so want out of this. It’s literally tearing me apart.

    • Tami,
      I feel for you and understand how difficult this situation is. This is a time to let your pain motivate change. It’s imperative that you get the support of a therapist familiar with narcissistic personality disorder until you can make a clean break from your husband. Protecting yourself and your child must be a priority. At this time the emotional trauma is more powerful then you are and it’s not allowing you to see reality clearly. The abuse is a deal breaker! What he might say to other people is none of your business and is just going to drive you insane to think about. This is a time to use your intelligence. Do not tell your husband about your plan to leave. I would let people you absolutely trust know what you are doing. Directly confronting your partner is potentially dangerous and it’s not going to change his behavior. Your best protection is to pretend you are okay until you can make a safe exit. It would be wise to leave on a day when he is not around if that is possible and stop ALL communication forever. That means you change your phone number immediately, block him from email, Facebook, etc. Have an attorney familiar with narcissistic personality disorder speak for you. I would start immediately putting important documents in a safe place and make sure he doesn’t have access to your email or passwords. Set money aside. Please learn from rebounding with your husband and stay out of a new relationship until you and your child have healed. You can read other comments in this post for direction on protecting yourself, preparing for your exit, and snapping out of denial. As I’ve said to someone else that wrote to me, this will probably be one of the hardest challenges in self-love you will face. Staying in purgatory with an abuser is a form of emotional insanity. Don’t sell yourself short or your child. I know how hard it is to build endurance to sit in the painful feelings that come up without going back to the nightmare when you leave. I understand how painful this is for you and I also know you are strong enough to do the right thing. I am sending you an abundance of courage and wisdom. You can handle whatever might happen. You are not alone in your fear.
      Roberta

  20. After reading through these posts, I can honestly say I am not alone. I have the “standard” dysfunctional family background and ultimately landed myself in a HORRIBLE narcissistic relationship. During my relationship, I knew what was happening to me but just did not know how to detect either. I began researching what was going on and “narcissism” popped up left and right. The abuse, especially from a covert narcissist, is unreal and just unthinkable. I discovered my ex was abused as a child and therefore, that explained why he was doing what he was doing to me emotionally. I’m a pretty strong person, or so I thought. I did everything under the sun to correct the issues and work things out including using narcissisitc injury to force him to FINALLY get help for the unresolved childhood issues which provoked his narcissism as an adult. Even THAT became a lie as “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink it”. Although I was FULLY aware of all of the psychological issues going on with him which caused the chaos, I obviously was unaware of what my own were. I never once saw myself as having ANY codependent traits as I’ve been independent from a very young age. However, I became his “care giver”. I cared to give him help so he could live to be the person he cried he wanted to be. Well, that was a show for my eyes only. Although I believe and understand how hurt narcissists truly are AND just how insecure they are, they will live, breathe and die to continue upholding the mask they spent their entire life building. ALL and ANY of the “good times” or “good things” that occurred during the relationship was JUST an illusion. In fact, he simply reflected me back to myself to appear as “my soul mate”. Little did I realize the act. I opted to push him to get help so he CAN live as that person he cried he so wanted to be. NOTHING will change a narcissist unless they voluntarily seek help and/or experience a hard narcissistic injury. It got to the point where I even reached out and said, “I get it, I understand it and can look past it, as long as you get help as you deserve to live a free life”. Doesn’t matter, their paranoia sets in and therefore, they will wait and wonder when you will let the other shoe drop. They don’t believe nor can understand empathy so showing such empathy doesn’t matter either way. They can literally walk away watching their partner die and not care. They are empty as they were raised empty. So, unless they finally see a “light” whereas they truly hate being as they recognize they are, chances are it remains the same. They can spend an entire lifetime acting. They don’t know how else to be due to lack of identity. After I reached my wits end in agony and emotional pain, I realized I needed to seek help. NOT because I was crazy, but simply because they inflict an awful lot of damage. Of course, little did I realize I had my own baggage of damage to contend with; his narcissistic abuse only made mine worse. So I opted for two things. One was seek a great counselor to coach me through this experience. The second was basically studying these psychological traits. The more I found I learned, the faster the healing. Your mindset may hopefully take on a different position once the education begins to set in. So there were two ends I needed to take care of my own emotional health as well as learn about all of these disorders. No contact is so very key as ALL it is doing is feeding their narcissistic supply. Once I realized just how damaged a person they truly are, I was able to release a ton of my codependent behavior. I needed them for NO life support at all, but truly loved and missed who I thought was my soul mate. Unfortunately, we are not soul mates, in fact, we are the complete opposite. So, I felt the need to share my experience as its terrible SO MANY people have dealings with these damaged individuals. They are mere adult children who spent their lives compensating themselves for all they lacked aquiring while growing up. Never ONCE did I feel I would be able to write something from the other side of the spectrum. Even to this day I go through whims of memories that hurt, but they pass quickly as I have knowledge. Knowledge of WHO these people are is so very key as well as understanding who we are. There are reasons as to why we accepted this in the first place. As many posts state, its time to take care of yourself and its ok to do so. I could have easily bailed from this bad situation only to end up in another if I hadn’t taken the right steps to fix me. It’s worth every second to have the right counselor beside you and tell them everything! They will guide you to a better place and help you begin to make healthy decisions. No one deserves abuse whatsoever. Sadly, narcissists also don’t deserve the neglect and abuse they received as a child. Until they recognize it and want help, I know I myself am not a professional to be able to provide that for my ex. Being in a better place and not being at war (or fighting the war with him) allowed peace in my life. A few months ago I wished him to fall off of a cliff. These days I view him with a protected level of empathy with strict boundaries. Whatever you do, don’t believe this is what you deserve or accept. Hopefully one day there will be a MUCH higher awareness to this and perhaps parents will begin to stop creating these disasters early on. Just as now there is a new law for background checks for gun control, there should be some type of counseling all children must go through in order to deter this from becoming a standard into their adult life. You can’t change adults or how they raise their children BUT perhaps kids can begin to think outside of that box early on and rid issues verses carrying them forward. I hope that my experience helps anyone reading this. Narcissists are damaged people and even trying to help them or fix them does nothing more but feed their narcissistic supply. I learned the hard way and wasted quite a bit of time. Although I will say everything happens for a reason. If I hadn’t gone through this, I would have never become educated in this disorder and I would had never taken the time to correct my own. So, take it for what its worth and as my counselor told me, this experience will become a part of my tapestry. It will be an experience I can reflect back on and carry the knowledge I’ve gained forward. One thing is for sure, I do NOT want to repeat codependent habits with my own children once I move into motherhood. Once you are out from underneath it all you will begin to feel strength. Empowerment is everything and from what I’ve experienced, it is the #1 starting point to conquer such a bad experience. I hope and pray everyone gains strength and realizes just how much they are truly worth verses accepting what they do not deserve.

    • Dear FreeAtLast,
      Thank you for your words of support and advice to the readers of this post. Knowing you are not alone or crazy is important to comprehend. For many victims the narcissist becomes one of their greatest teachers. You are choosing the courageous path to empowerment as the gift and lesson from your trauma. I see this as the soul’s journey to healing. Allowing your experience to make you kinder instead of bitter is your key to freedom and also protects you from further abusive relationships. Your ability to deeply appreciate real love with a healthy partner will be a gift you give to yourself and your future children. Part of my motivation to write about this disorder is to educate others to readily recognize this damaged and dangerous personality. You have much to contribute and might want to consider writing about your experience to a larger audience. I am wishing you the best on your path to healing.
      Roberta

    • Truly the best advice I have found after weeks to months of trolling through vast amounts of information on the net. I too have only just got out and emotionally free from exactly this situation and I too believe it will become part if my tapestry. The words you used to describe a mirror of your soul mate, I completely agree with. Truly I couldn’t have explained it better myself. Thank you for your words. Not my actual name on here for obvious reasons. :)
      Strength to all those still going through it. X

      • Paula,
        You are so welcome. It is good that information is available to people recovering from or experiencing narcissistic abuse. Knowledge helps to make sense of the post-traumatic stress response. Knowing you are not crazy or alone is a saving grace. I am wishing you the best.
        Roberta

  21. Hi Roberta,
    Both of my parents are Malignant Narcissists, and I have finally decided to go NC with my FOO, since I have been the family scapegoat all of my life. I decided to go LC with my mother because she does help me often by driving me to a Dr.’s appointment or taking care of my dogs when I’m out of town, etc. I have also (finally) realized that my other family members and our family friends are all enablers – which makes them ‘secondary’ abusers. It took me a really long time to finally come to this conclusion – as I have tried, without success, to make them understand exactly what is going on with my FOO.
    They don’t seem to want to know or care about what’s really going on because it would require them to focus on the truth about certain family members – and they’d rather not do that – since they are not the ones being abused. They’d all rather just ‘turn the other cheek’ and continue to engage in the drama and the free holiday celebrations which my mother holds at her house annually. It is both shocking and sickening, at the same time, to experience their indifference towards me.
    My question to you is this: Now that I’ve decided to go NC, how should I address the invitations that I receive from my family and family friends? Should I just politely decline and say, “I’m sorry, but I’ve made other plans,” or should I be forthright and say, “It is unhealthy for me to continue to be in these toxic relationships, so I must politely decline your invitation.” I’m leaning more towards the latter, since saying this will allow me to ‘speak my truth’ and hopefully get across to these individuals that I will not be accepting any future invitations from them (I don’t want to simply ignore them, since they have no idea that I’ve recently gone NC with them).
    I would really appreciate any advice you could give me on this matter. Thank you.

    • Lotus,
      Separating from family issues is usually painful and uncomfortable. It is awful to feel bad about yourself while being victimized by family members. You have a right to begin to feel better and find a life that works for you regardless of whether your family members decide to do the same. Building endurance to work through the feelings of guilt and shame that might be triggered by finding your happiness can be a challenge. You can take a break from your family while recovering from being the identified patient (scapegoat). Taking a break from family members does not mean you don’t love them. It means you want to address your own issues. You are not responsible for their happiness or reactions. I think if you are clear in your communication that you need to detach while you work on yourself, you can leave them with a clear conscience to work on their own issues. Remember taking a break is about you recovering and completing your emotional work, not about punishing them. You are not doing anything wrong because you want a better life. The goal is to detach in love and come back as a different person capable of setting healthy boundaries. This is easy to say and much harder to do. I am sending you an abundance of strength and courage to find the love and life you deserve.

      Roberta

  22. I am trying to break my codependent patterns, but I always end up falling backwards and returning to the emotionally draining husband. He is even in jail, but I can’t let him go. The addiction is so strong. I’ve lived on the edge with anxiety from his past drinking, affairs, insults and withholding of affection as punishment for years and I’m so broken down. He has had so many affairs, he is horrible with money, he controls my life, but I stay. I’ve been in counseling over a year and they all say “leave”, but if it was that easy…I would have left after the first affair (occurred not even a week after our wedding). He was abused as a child, and always falls back on that as his reason for being abusive. The man has no sense of empathy. He blame-shifts everything, so he can play victim and threaten divorce. He has threatened to cheat and divorce almost daily for the past week (Even from jail)…while then making sure I’m calling lawyers so he can come home. Yesterday he asked me to use our money for breast implants. I agreed, but then I said, wait, that’s not something for him to suggest and I tried sticking up for myself. He was so mad about not having a choice in the matter and told me he was disappointed, but would get over it. Tried saying it would enhance my figure. I’m just broken but the anxiety of leaving and the need for his love is to powerful, so I stay.

    • writermelmac,

      Your struggle to leave the abusive marriage sounds frustrating. I suspect you fear not being able to take care of yourself. Please don’t stop trying to break your codependent patterns. A relationships breaking point usually occurs over a series of events many times before the real separation. Keep searching out the blocks in yourself that may be stopping your growth. I want to encourage you to take responsibility for the part you play in keeping yourself victimized. Be open to looking at what you are receiving from staying in the unhealthy relationship, or keeping the cruelty going. You say, “The need for his love is to powerful,” for you to leave. It doesn’t look like he has love to offer, just victimization. What I’m telling you might sound tough; what you describe is a dangerous man. You are strong enough to be alone and to stop accepting the mistreatment. I get that in your heart you really want out. I am wishing you the best. Thank you for writing to me.

      Roberta

  23. Thank you for this essay/article. I am a 49yr old single male who has spent the last 25 yrs reading everything I can to discover why I’m feeling what I’m feeling…why somethings wrong with me…my perceptions. In this last year I came upon something that I’d never considered before. A notion that at first was hard to grasp but gradually became clear. My parents are narcissists. Not just people with normal quirks and fallibilities but narcissists. People who lie to you about yourself with no intention of cleaning it up. Lifelong stuff. Lots of it. Well, at least my “shining star” actor father. My mother is his swooning co-dependent roady to the grave. She’ll back him up at all costs. We are..welI..we’re not even human…my sister’s and I that is. This realization is almost impossible to arrive at. A child of parents like this has a psyche which is specifically formed to negate the very thought, the very truth, the very cognitive connection that mom and dad are lying to them about themselves. In fact it’s like having an implant that explodes with “emotional sickness chemicals” as soon as you get close to considering them. “Oh….wrong thought…” That implant I now recognize as shame and fear. The result is a silent hurt and rage which cannot be resolved. Like being raped or robbed—but unconsciously–or invisibly–where you can’t reach or detect it because they gave you the wrong word and cognitive associations with the crime they just committed on your soul and basic human dignity. Like a demon who won’t say it’s name so you can disassociate from it and know it’s not you..it’s them. So, I understand the co-dependancy issues..well..I mean I’m continuing to peel back the onion…I see this really is a futile fight..I can no longer drag home the invisible bone and feel the hurtful, angry heart…they really don’t want to play. I’m gonna have to leave home in a way I don’t feel prepared to. I’m sad and scared but your article heightened my heart assuring me to “come on”…this way! Thank you

    • Thank you for writing to me. Having your eyes opened and coming to terms with what happen to you growing up with narcissistic parents is a tough lesson. Saying “no more” and disconnecting while you separate their issues from your own can be difficult. It’s a path to self-care that is well worth it and there is no right or wrong way in your healing process. There will never be a perfect way to deal with two parents that are narcissists. Your goal is to care for and love yourself. I am wishing you the best.

      Roberta

  24. Hello,
    I have been with someone in a relationship for over two years. At the beginning he lied to me in a major way, but by the time I found out I had already fallen in love and I was in too deep. The long and short of it is, I’ve never loved anyone or felt for anyone what I’ve felt for him. He’s been a first for me in more ways than one and I can’t seem to let go. He treated me so great and told me things and did things with me that made me feel beyond special. I tried working through the lie he told me and just when I thought I had, he started being verbally abusive and even pushed me and broke some of my personal items when he was angry. He’s in a difficult situation and I feel sorry for him and everything I have tried to do and help him with he knocks. He ends up doing exactly what he wants and constantly tells me I’m unreliable and have not done anything for him but make him feel worse. He is currently living with his mother and wants me to sleep over with him on a daily basis, but the house is in shambles and I just don’t feel comfortable under someone else’s roof like that and being intimate. He’s told me that if I loved him I would do it and that I look for excuses to not be with him. He can’t sleep at my place because I’m living with my family and he is not welcomed there. He wants to get a place together and even though I don’t want to live with anyone until I’m married, I was considering doing so up until the verbal and physical aggression started. I’ve cried so much and the names he’s called me I’ve NEVER heard from anyone. I told him that his words hurt me a lot. He tells me that he doesn’t mean it, it’s only because he’s angry and wants to hurt me because of how I hurt him, and that he’ll try to not do it again. It keeps happening and then he does something to make up for it.

    He gave me an ultimatum last week that we are either together every day and night or we’re done. I don’t feel comfortable sleeping at his mother’s home and his anger frightens me, so I tried to walk away. It has happened before and then he reaches out or I do because I yearn for him. I am in such misery and sadness without him. I constantly question myself and feel like I’m wrong and that I’m not a good person. I don’t know what to do because he hasn’t reached out this time and it hurts so much. I want to reach out, but I know from family and friends (the few that know the situation) that I should not and they keep telling me to be strong. I feel so weak and I am unhappy without him. I can’t focus at work or do the things I need to do because my mind is constantly on him. I’m not sure how to cope because I want to go back to him and there’s a part of me that feels that I deserve better, but I always think about the good things and how much of a connection I feel we have and that if I did things differently he would be different. He has also told me that I’m the worst person he’s ever been with and that he’s never said the things he’s said to me in anger to others, I bring it out of him. It hurts to hear. Please advise.

    • Jennifer,

      I have a feeling you know in your heart what you need to do and it is scaring you. Staying in an unhealthy relationship traps you in feelings of helplessness. Many of us go back and forth in painful relationships before we finally stop taking the abusive treatment. Getting the support of a therapist while making a clean break from your relationship will help you to take loving care of yourself. I want to encourage you to invest in yourself by learning about narcissistic relationships. I am wishing you an abundance of love for yourself.

      Roberta

  25. Omg I think I’m over my narcissistic ex! I never saw this day coming! I am 27 and have always been codependant in my relationships and never trusted myself to be able to create my own great life without a mans approval. I ended up in a dead end marriage,afraid of being alone. I gained weight and unhealthy habits which made my self esteem and codepency worse than ever. I did divorce the first guy but only again to land in another unhealthy relationship ..but this time with a full blown narcissist. This man took me for a ride. A ride I never thought existed. He was a successful passionate handsome Latin man with a great career teaching Tango. I learned quickly that if it looks too good to be true ,its too good to be true lol. He abused me so bad emotionally . Then came the physical abuse. I put up with it like a good little codependan afraid of losing him to someone better like he said he could so easily have. I even became obsessed with my original idea of what our relationship was going to be ,trying to control the whole situation and make it go the way I wanted. In the end he apologized and we became friends but only because I was afraid to let go . Recently though I’ve been taking classes at a community college and it is building up my confidence again. The subjects that I was so afraid of I have been conquering breaking the old belief that I’m not smart or good enough to pursue a life of my own. I don’t feel the need for a man to save me anymore. I saved myself.

    • Thank you for sharing your experience. Your clarity is inspiring at your age. I think it is fantastic you are going to college. I got the same message that I wasn’t college material. I had a professor tell me as an undergraduate to, “Keep your eye on the ball.” Education is so important to empowerment. You can do it. Good job for showing up! I am wishing you the best.
      Roberta

      • I am separated from my wife who has always exhibited classic NPD traits, almost exactly everything I have found in my research of it……fits her. She left, but only after realizing that she had lost control of me. I believe leaving was necessary for her because she would not be the one who GOT left.

        My question is this: after a couple months she has come back around and wants to have sex with me, all the time! Sex was always an issue to us…..she rejected me for years and years. What does this mean? I dont want to be hurt again, but I just dont understand what it means, or what I should do.

        Please help?

        • Sam,
          Breaking off a relationship is painful, especially with a narcissist. You are bound to miss her. If your ex is a true narcissist she is incapable of loving you. Sex is way of gaining control. You will be opening yourself up for more abuse. It is not okay to continue to hurt yourself. The big challenge is to say, “No more” and to end all communication. Building endurance to fully grieve your loss and deal with the bad feelings when they come up is necessary. I believe no children are involved based on a previous email I received from you. You can have an attorney speak for you through a divorce. It is important for you to be strong and get out and fill your life with activities that interest you. Invest in your own well-being. You deserve a respectful, loving relationship. My heart goes out to you. The first few months (year) are the hardest. You can do it. I am wishing you the best.
          Roberta

      • Hello, my step sister has been a friend to a lady for 50+ years. She has always been very critical. The woman was diagnosed with Dementia a couple years ago. She’s also been an abusive person. She has taken care of her money. She has allowed my sister to live with her. I had broken my upper arm in this friends apartment. I fell down the stairs and broke my upper right arm in three places. I tried to live with them. My sister pays a small rent. My sister does all the shopping & cooking. In all the advertisements her patient cuts things out in several different stores all around the city. Her patient doesn’t pay for any of her gas. Occasionally she’s will throw her $10. My sister comes to get me to help run the errands, as well as, takes me shopping. Sometimes I’m “allowed” to call the house on the house phone. If her patient is angry in the least at my sister, I HAVE to call my sister on her cell phone. There is a lot of verbal abuse! The patient refuses to do anything and sits and watches TV 24/7. If her patient wants some water, her caregiver will do it. The woman is 76 yrs. old. She complaint’s of terrific pain! My sister has a bad back & knees. But her patient won’t even help. Her patient is person that if someone tells her of an illness, it then becomes her. My sister’s patient has money & has told her caregiver, at one time, she will inherit the 2 acre house and property. If my sister was to leave, her patient told her she’s not to come back. She’ll be cut off. My sister feels she’s earned that property and money. Help, my sister doesn’t know what to do. “I know” but she won’t do anything about the problem. If my sister says NO, her patient will say, “what did you say?” She is not used to being told NO! Help! jvh22

        • jvh22,
          I can hear your concern and frustration over watching your sister’s abuse. I respect your love for her. She has been serving her patient and accepting the mistreatment for a long time. She may think it is normal that people mistreat her. She deserves much better and has a right to happiness. She has to believe in this right to take care of herself and to stop the victimization. This is easier said than done. She may need to get angry to make the decision to leave and give up the financial bribe. We all have lessons to learn, some are tougher than others. Accepting your sister’s challenges and being a loving presence is the best support you can give her. Thank you for writing to me.
          Best regards,
          Roberta

  26. Most of you are women here. I guess Im the man who hasnt been man enough to leave the emotionally abusive relationship that has spanned over 30 years. I am 57 years old. I finally realized that I had to detach from my wife emotionally or I would die, there simply was nothing left of me for her to abuse. After disconnecting it took about 3 months for her to leave, that is where I sit today….and I am in agony.

    I feel emotionally raped. I gave all those years being the allstar husband who apparently would do anything for a morsel of love. I gave my heart and soul to a woman who really never loved me, or even had the capacity to love me. I deceived myself into believing that she just had issues…somewhere deep down she really loved me. I am an athletic man who has passed by so many women who enjoyed me and let me know that in no uncertain terms…but I could never betray the person who was actually destroying my self esteem, self confidence, and the very essence of my manhood.

    Why do I hurt? Why do I miss someone who virtually gave me nothing? Can I be healthy again? Can I find a woman who will love me for who I am…and will accept the love I have to give? The pain is tremendous, but I long for the real love I have never had…..holding on by a thread

    • Sam,

      I can see by your words that you are hurting. Three months out from 30 years of abuse is a vulnerable time of healing. If you build endurance for sitting in the bad feelings you will start to feel better. My impression is that your obsessions are more powerful than you are. Getting outside intervention would be helpful as you recover. You can be a healthy and happy person. I would start with investing in your emotional well-being by learning about codependents and the narcissistic match.

      Codependent love can have an addictive emotional character which results in withdrawal symptoms when one leaves familiar pain with an abusive partner. The withdrawal is similar to symptoms from stopping substance abuse. After the break-up, people will experience an obsessive longing for their abusive partner (drug), debilitating emotional pain, and often engage in self-destructive behavior. This addictive love response is probably why you feel incapacitated by the hurt and are obsessing about hooking up with your ex-partner for more abuse. In order to accept years of rejection the “victim” develops an insane tolerance for emotional pain. The high tolerance for abusive behavior is a coping strategy to protect the psyche and is often learned in childhood. Love addiction can be changed when we learn to love ourselves. When you accept that the way you treat yourself is the problem, then your life will change. Research tells us that long-term happy marriages are formed by partners that were already happy before the relationship started. You will find a woman who loves you for who you are when you love yourself. Your learned behavior is not a life sentence. Changing will require a commitment to understand your needs and how to get them met while learning to have fun without an intimate relationship. Please show-up for yourself so you will find a decent and manageable future relationship. You deserve to be loved by a healthy partner. I am wishing you the best.

    • Following is a Comment of Support from SJ about two Previous Posts from Writer Sam.
      Roberta

      Sam,
      I have read your post while doing my own research on this topic. The similarities between yourself and the man I loved are astounding. He is also 57 and been through the most inhuman treatment at the hands of his wife for over 30 years. You will know it all James as I do. Its the same emotional blackmail…the ripping to shreds of his dignity…making him believe he is unworthy of love or respect. The guilt trips, the blame projection…I know it all. Unfortunately for me he went back to her and never really had the courage to leave inspite of making several promises to me. I guess he couldn’t live without his daily fix of abuse!
      But I want to congratulate you from my whole heart…you have taken a very brave step and you must not give up ever. Please stay strong and say YES TO LIFE and no to abuse. Well done James…you are a very brave man indeed. xxx

      • I didn’t ever see this response to my posts….I just want to say thank you. It’s almost four months of not living together anymore and sometimes it feels like thd wounds were inflicted yesterday. I find myself not wanting to believe that she could be so heartless and manipulative. Divorce issues have opened my eyes once again to the cold blooded greed of a narcissist….and I gave her my life. It sort of does make me look stupid.

        I appreciated your reply, thanks!

        • We each have life lessons that push us in the direction of finding our own truth. It often takes struggle, mistakes, confusion, and frustration to break through and learn what is true for us. Thank you for keeping me updated. Sharing your experience gives others strength to make it out of purgatory. I am wishing you the best.
          Roberta

  27. I have been married to a narcissist man for 33 years. Even though I have never been physically abused, I have been emotionally abused and used. He doesn’t work outside the home. He has a small business he runs from the house, but any money he receives is his. If I need a few dollars for food or gas, I have to “borrow it” and “pay it back.” I tolerate this behavior because of my co-dependency (I don’t like the confrontations). I feel like I’m going absolutely crazy. I am the bread winner sometimes even working 2 jobs. He does nothing around the house to help. I stand firm against him by not allowing him to be emotionally abusive anymore, but his anger and controlling is more than I can stand. I have tried to leave him probably 5 or 6 times. The problem I have is not feeling like I can’t live without him (believe me, I know I can). The problem is if I try and leave, he stalks me, he calls my boss and threatens them. I’m so afraid of what he might do that I’m afraid to leave. He has never threatened my life, but with this type of behavior, I’m so afraid of what he might do. I have never read on any blogs or websites of anyone else being afraid to leave a narcissist because of what they might do to them. I only hear about people who are afraid to leave because they feel they can live without them. I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

    • My heart goes out to you. Leaving your marriage will necessitate support and a lot of courage. There is information on the internet about how to protect yourself when you fear for your safety leaving an abusive relationship. Learning about codependency and narcissism is an important investment to make in your well-being. Most narcissists are bully’s and cowards. What I’m going to tell you may seem harsh. You have participated in your victimization for many years and are conditioned to accept abuse. You are the only person who can change and you have the strength to do it. The role of being a victim needs to be released. As long as you maintain a victim mentality your husband will have power and control over your life. The quiet desperation will go on and then you will eventually die. If you don’t take responsibility for your life, you aren’t really living. Allow yourself to feel your deep pain and anger to motivate change.

      This situation requires you to use your intelligence and have a well thought out plan for your exit. Do not discuss your plans to leave with your husband. I would empower myself through legal channels and expert advice. Hire an attorney that is familiar with narcissistic personality disorder. Ask the attorney to advise you about filing a restraining order. Report all violations of the restraining order to the police. If you have children in the home their welfare needs to take precedence. Again, you will want to discuss your children’s welfare with your attorney. I would also suggest finding a therapist with experience dealing with narcissistic personality disorder for support through the process of leaving and recovery. Start documenting all of his behaviors, phone calls, text messages, illegal behaviors, etc. Prepare yourself financially by having money set aside, get copies of all financial documents put in a safe place outside the home and change computer passwords. I would find out where your nearest battered women’s shelter is and ask them for advice. The shelter can help you disappear if necessary. I would let people you can absolutely trust know about your plan to leave. Once you leave you will need to stop all communication. You can let an attorney speak for you. Change your phone number, personal habits of where you shop, workout, route to work, etc. Have 911 programed in speed dial on your phone. You might consider video surveillance of your property for evidence of stalking and restraining order violations. If at any time you fear for your personal safety, do not hesitate to call the police. I am wishing you the best and an abundance of love in your life.

      Roberta

  28. I am struggling with a mother who is a passive aggressive narcissist in denial. My father is an alcoholic and a puppet that she controls (which most likely stimulates his drinking.) I am the age of 33 and have had unhealthy relationships my whole life, unknowingly attracted to narcissists. I have been through years of therapy and realized my role as a codependent in both my dysfunctional family and love relationships. My awareness and perspective broadened and I found a man that compliments me, we married last year.

    However, I still struggle with my mother as now that I am married feels neglected, as my time and attention to catering, pleasing and validating her self-worth has diminished. She plays the guilt trip with me, “I never want I bother you because you are always with your husband”, “I haven’t heard from you, and I would like to see my daughter once in awhile.”

    She likes to weave her way into my business make “suggestions” of what I should be doing. I tell her that her advice is not welcomed and she says, “I can’t say anything to you!” When it’s not her place to even intervene!

    Also, she is always helping others, care taking and yet isn’t available to immediate family members that are in need. She enjoys feeling needed and being admired in the eyes of others. Everyone praising her how wonderful she is. She is a loving person, which I love most about her, but the facade in front of others seems very needy and not very genuine.

    In addition, every holiday she doesn’t want to share with my in laws. She picks them apart, gossips and tries to make me agree with her and choose my parents company over my in laws. So instead she wants us to attend a separate party at my folks house to accommodate them. I stand up for myself and say no, this is our family now, we have to join together. She begrudgingly goes along, all the while finding faults and I can read her judgments on her face while at my in laws.

    I feel that she wants me to share all of my feelings, that she wants me to be codependent on her, as she tries to drag info out of me even if I don’t budge, she is relentless in efforts and I end up exhausted and frustrated.

    She expects me to respond to her right away from email or phone, sometimes calling me twice at work and numerous emails too all in one day. I feel suffocated to the point where I retrieve and remove myself completely.

    It saddens me that I can’t be close with my mom, as I love her dearly but I feel with all that comes with it, it is not healthy. I tried to address my concerns with her but it falls on deaf ears, in denial and deflects it onto me with guilt. I can’t talk to my dad because he has no voice and is codependent on her.

    What do I do? How can I have a healthy daughter-mother relationship? How do I communicate myself so that she realizes the strain she has put on the relationship?

    Any guidance is greatly appreciate!

    • Susie,

      Thank you for writing to me. I feel for you in your life situation. Giving ourselves permission to say “no” to what feels bad when it’s a parent is a sad situation to face. I think the profound sadness begins early in children of alcoholics and narcissistic mothers. Unresolved sadness from childhood can keep us stuck as adults. Children of alcoholics/narcissist’s learn quickly to deny this sadness in order to survive. This is how a high tolerance for emotional pain and inappropriate behavior begins to develop. In adulthood the unresolved sadness can get expressed as clinical depression, compulsivity, or even physical violence.
      The rules in the alcoholic-narcissistic family system typically are: “Don’t talk,” “Don’t trust” and “Don’t feel.” Don’t talk about the fact that you are scared, lonely, sad, angry, hurt and emotionally impoverished. Don’t talk about dad’s alcoholism or mom’s cruelty. Quite often these children grow up alone with the family secret while carrying the family pain. Children learn early not to trust because of the unpredictability of the parents behavior often combined with many broken promises. To feel the profound sadness of abandonment is too much for a child to process. The challenge as an adult is giving ourselves permission to have our feelings, express them, and set boundaries. The often unconscious buried fear of abandonment runs deep. This is not a life sentence, you can learn new behaviors. The healing from childhood wounds is a process and sometimes we need to take a break from our family of origin while we re-parent ourselves and learn entitlement to our feelings. It sounds like in order to be with you mom and dad you have to except victimization. You are probably the only one who can change and you deserve to be loved in a healthy way. It starts with a commitment to be disciplined in your self-care. Invest in yourself. Learn a new language (read about alcoholic families and narcissistic mothers who try to get their unmet childhood dependency needs met through their children) for what has happen to you, so you are clear on who is responsible for what and clear on what you are letting go. This will allow you to release your resentments and be done with them. Give yourself permission to learn what is right for you and develop endurance for sitting with the bad feelings that come up when you are breaking the family rules. You might want to consider finding a mantra (i.e., “It’s not okay to hurt myself”) to repeat when the feelings of shame appear from setting a boundary. Feelings of shame (Who I am is bad) for taking care of yourself are likely when you say “no more” to your mother or say, “Dad I will not be around you when you drink.” I really believe that coming out of the family system you described requires mentors and people to support your courage to experience the love and life you deserve. You will probably have to accept that your parents are incapable of loving you in a healthy way. We are really not made to solve our life’s challenges alone. As the saying goes, “It takes a village.” Please leave yourself open to finding positive parent roles models. I am wishing you an abundance of love.

      Roberta

  29. I am a man who has been sucked dry by a women narcissist. It just as torturous for men as for woman, if not more so, since you are raised in a society were you are expected to be a caregiver and supporter to the “weaker sex”.
    Finally, when you accept the horrible truth that you gave all your heart , mind, body, spirit and soul to a mere confabulation of a cruel deranged mind; one unable to and that never had any intention of giving in return, and all you were led to believing in doesn’t even exist, you stop. You have escaped, barley, with nothing but your life. No less than a prisoner liberated from the Nazi concentration camps. Frail, exhausted,and traumatized but finally free you stop. Stop living in fear. Stop allowing yourself to be screamed at, spit on, lied to , stolen from, smacked, ignored, degraded… flat out abused in all ways. You thank God for spots like this on the internet so the truth of your experience hits home that it was real and you do survive and you STOP.
    It was appoint long ago you stopped being a victim and became a volunteer. Now, since you have the testimonies of others and the truth is self evident, you stop. No longer a volunteer, breath that sigh of relief and STOP.
    Amputate yourself from the sick distorted some what less than human entity we call a narcissist. Forgive yourself by loving yourself. Know you process the greatest thing in the world, and that is love, and as much as you wanted to and as hard as you tried you couldn’t get the sick narcissist
    to cherish it, but cherish it yourself.
    We proved our value in the offering. Not unless we have been deceived this way could we have known.
    Thanks for your support

    • Brian,
      Thank you for sharing the wreckage of living in purgatory with a narcissist. My hope is that you use your intellect and the emotional pain you experienced to banish the trauma memories from your mind. As I’ve said in other posts, “Renting space” in your head to the narcissist allows them to punish you conceivably for forever. Recovering from the psychic damage is a process and it sounds like you are showing up for yourself. More power to you! Sending positive vibes for the immense relief that comes from taking your soul back.
      Roberta

    • I too am a male living with a narcissist wife for 31 years. My WTF moment was 5 years ago after I paid for her to go on a six week vacation. It was like my wife had died and never returned. In her place was this person who despised me and I did not know, but was obligated to care for because of my children. She told me she did not love me and never had, she was only here because she had nowhere else to go. She also said the man she met there and knew for three weeks really helped her and knows her better than I ever did. That was her “special connection” that she will not let me take from her. I have tried for 5 years but it has only gotten worse. She has become violent with me and our children, she has threatened to kill me. She has theatened to kill herself more times than I can count. Now that I am finaly reaching my limit with this nightmare she is diagnosed with cancer. My children would never forgive me if I left her before treatment. They are all aware of the pain she has caused but still love her. Once again I feel trapped. This is BS.

      • Ben,
        You certainly are being tested in life. I was thinking as I was reading your email that when we have a good heart people can do terrible things to us and part of us still loves them. For many of us that were mistreated by our parents growing up part of us still loves them. The gift from being a loving person when we leave a destructive relationship and let go of our resentments is that we can then release the person with love. It is really a clean way of acting classy and living with integrity. We do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. As terrible as you see your wife’s behavior to be, it’s the best she is capable of. This doesn’t mean you continue to allow abuse, but you let her off the hook for not being capable of loving you. Thoughts of her actions will no longer rent’s space in your head and you experience true freedom from self bondage. You stop accepting the role of being a victim and your life is open to limitless possibilities. I would suggest you look at your real values and find the right solution to your relationship problems. I am not suggesting you sacrifice yourself, but really show up for yourself. It’s the best gift you could give your children. Thank you for writing to me. Your problem has touched my heart.
        Roberta

        • Roberta
          Thanks for your insightful reply. A point of clearification. You said “As terrible as you see your wife’s behavior to be, it’s the best she is capable of.” This behavior is not just “as I see it”. It is real, not just to me but many others. I have been well aware that it is the best she can do, that is the only reason I did not leave her five years ago. I thouht I was strong enough to handle it. Not. I have had the mistaken belief that my job was like Abraham Lincoln’s, preserve the union at all cost. Well the cost is becoming more apparent to me everyday. It is way too high. You also said “I would suggest you look at your real values and find the right solution to your relationship problems.”
          Real values? Right solution? If we could do this there would be no problems. You have stated the crux of my quandary. There is no winner here. My brother believes I should just disappear from her life and if the court gives her custody of my 14 year old daughter then oh well. If that happened I would feel I have doomed my daughter to be alone with the abuse. I was at the point of having that fight in court but then my wife got cancer. I would really like to know your opinion. Would you have second thoughts about leaving your children’s father while he was facing cancer knowing your children loved him and were trying to help him recover? My brother says it’s none of my business and I am just controling the situation. Is that true? Is it really not something I should concern myself with? Is it not ok to be compassionate based on the changing circumstances? What would my actions be teaching my children? Am I just perpetuating the twisted mind games? Is there really a “right” solution? Is all this really self bondage that I could just walk away from? Am I misguided to think that my actions could do harm and not want that? Am I really the only person I should consider? Still looking for that elusive solution.
          Ben

          • Ben,
            Regarding your last email, I really understand the purgatory you are living in. What I’m about to say might sound tough. You won’t find a solution to your problem until you give up the victim role. The truth is that your choices and decisions have led to your life situation. Your wife having cancer has nothing to do with getting on with your life. You can be compassionate to her health concerns and be a loving supportive father to your daughter. Your daughter needs a parent who is doing their emotional work so she can feel safe. The best predictor of your child’s resiliency is having at least one healthy role model, preferably a parent. Stopping participation in an abusive relationship doesn’t mean walking away from your child. You will be teaching her that love is not about putting up with abuse. You will be demonstrating that adults make mistakes and can change. It is important that you tell your daughter often that your problems are not her fault and you will not abandon her. Give her a safe home where there is no abuse, even if it’s not full-time. I feel for you in your life situation, I know it is not easy to overcome your challenges. You might find it helpful to get expert advice from an attorney and a therapist familiar with personality disorders. I am wishing you the best.

  30. Pingback: How Codependents Leave Abusive Narcissistic Relationships (Reblog) | Vital Simplicity

  31. I do not know how I lost you, but I’m very grateful you found me. Your work is highly valuable and cuts to the chase. Thank you. I have reblogged this post. Big hugs, Julie

  32. I had a sick mom, sister, and grandmother along with a dad who worked 90 plus hrs to support everyone. I have learned through therapy I am codependent. But, I dated a guy for 4 years that was verbally abusive and had mommy issues. I left him for another guy that works alot and cares so much about money that he has only time for sleep, and work. Plans are always changed and he says deal with it. He knocks me when I know I have a good job, but I don’t make as much, so that is why I have to deal with it. I don’t love him as much as my ex but I am so afraid to be alone. My friends and family dislike him, and his family tells me he is a narcissist. How do I get over everything? I am in therapy, but it’s not helping I still just cry and wine at my current boyfriend and I am so confused.

    • Amanda,
      Sticking with your therapy sessions should help you with your confusion. It sometimes takes a while to recognize the benefits from discussing your struggles. I want to encourage you to talk about your feelings of the progress you are making with your therapist. I’m guessing that trusting others is a challenge for you. Lack of trust in others is a common issue coming out of the family system you portrayed. The emotional unavailability you described with your current boyfriend sounds similar to your father’s unavailability growing up. I believe we attract relationships to learn lessons about love. You may find that reading about codependency or listening to books on tape will speed up the growth progress you are seeking. I can hear your emotional pain and I’m sending healing thoughts.
      Roberta

  33. As a child I was an older sibling to a younger child with a disability. The family focus was on helping this other child. As a young adult I dated guys who were unreliable, emotionally unavailable or needy. I was married to a narcissist for over 30 years. I did not know that he was having affairs from the time our children were preschoolers. I found out after our children were about grown up and decided to divorce him. I had the papers served without discussion. We are divorced now for about a year or two. We still have a house to sell and recently he left town without telling me or our realtor. This leaves me with the homeowner chores of selling the house: mowing grass, paying utilities, freshening interior, sweeping porches etc. When he is in town I am miserable. When he leaves town I am miserable. I don’t know what to do with myself. I spent my life waiting to see what he wanted and doing that. I don’t know what I want or what to do with the rest of my life. I feel anxiety and for a long time low level depression. My young adult sons do not respect me. I feel very alone and in a lot of pain. The adult sons will be with their Dad over the holidays & I will be alone at the holidays for the first time in my life.

    • Diane,
      My heart goes out to you. The emotional and psychic repair from a narcissistic relationship is a process. Learning about what happen to you and the dynamics of the narcissistic personality will give you a language that will help you heal. Emotional self-care needs to be your priority and planning ahead of time for the upcoming holiday season is important. Please think about participating in activities or being with people that nurture you. I believe there are times in our lives when we are challenged with change and fear we can’t take care of ourselves. Listening to the voices in our head that tell us we don’t deserve to love or be loved keeps us stuck in familiar pain. So does renting space in our heads to abusive people by replaying thoughts of their cruelty. The narcissistic personality feeds on this emotional vulnerability to keep his victim trapped (forever). You have the strength to change and love yourself or you wouldn’t have written to me. I am wishing you the best.

  34. I’m a co-dependent who has been married to a narcissist for over 46 yrs…and I still have not “gotten used to being treated this way”…I’ve been in therapy for over 6 months and every therapist that I’ve seen has told me to leave…it’s hard when you’ve been brain washed that you can’t be successful and happy about yourself. I’m so worried what would happen to me financially (losing benefits, etc.); feeling like I’m alone in this world, etc….
    Thank God that I have a twin sister that we can share I thoughts with :)

    • Janet it sounds like you have started the process of letting go of this emotionally painful relationship. I would suggest learning as much as you can about the narcissistic personality. You are probably the only one who can change in your relationship. You are strong enough. Wishing you the best.

      • Hello all, just happened upon this site and not sure if it’s ok for me to post like this or not . . but I need advise . . MAJOR ADVICE . . I’m married to an abusive alcoholic narcissist . . and he was arrested on Domestic violence last year, just finished his work project on that and went out and got a DUI the other night – I’ve asked him to move out so we can separate – I have many health problems as well as upcoming surgery and I just don’t want his pain and torture around me through this . . he’s agreed to move out . . but not gone yet . . and I’m scared he’ll change his mind . . I’m also scared of what he’ll do if I do decide not to reconcile which I think is likely . . but here’s the clincher . . the the midst of all this turmoil and tragedy . . being codependent . . I still find myself feeling sorry for him, wanting to help him . . can’t turn my back completely on him . . and I hate myself for it . . what is happening to me?? I have made arrangements to start seeing a therapist . . but OMG am I even more insane than him, none of my friends even remotely understand where I’m coming from . . he’s so cold and calculating, I don’t feel real love from him . . how do I let go?

        • Sandy,
          Thank you for writing to me. You are doing the right thing by seeing a therapist. Make sure they have a good grasp of relationship abuse and the battered women. Your “insanity” lies in your high tolerance for emotional abuse and inappropriate behavior. This is not a life sentence, you can learn new behavior. I suggest you read as much as you can about codependency and the narcissist. Reading the comments to my posts will help you stick to your resolve to end the abuse. Please read this safety plan for ending a relationship. It is imperative that you get support from people you can trust and let them know you asked your boyfriend to leave. You might find it helpful to contact your local Battered Women’s Shelter for advice. My heart goes out to you and I want you to show up for yourself.
          Best Regards,
          Roberta

I love to hear your thoughts, Please reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s