How to get closure after a relationship with a Narcissist

how to get closure from a narcissist

If you are like most people, you want some sort of closure when a relationship ends, some sort of compassion, or emotion, or answers, or an acknowledgement of wrong doing…something, anything–and that is totally normal.  And normal people often part ways in some sort of normal way–normal people don’t just up and leave a relationship out of the clear blue.  And normal people aren’t cold, uncaring and cruel; and the definitely don’t try and destroy their partner emotionally after a relationship either.  However, if you were dating a Narcissist, you weren’t dating someone normal, so (unfortunately) you won’t get anything close to a normal reaction from them in any situation, and especially not during a break up.  If anything you’ll be left feeling utterly betrayed, in shock, angry, dropped like a hot potato, and wondering what the hell just happened.

When most relationships end, it feels something more along the lines of this:


When a relationship with a Narcissist ends, it feels something more along the lines of this:



The lack of closure you’ll get from them is just one of the many ways that a Narcissist will hurt and let you down.  You see, by definition, a Narcissist is someone who lacks empathy and remorse.  Never is this more clear than when a relationship with one ends.  The victim is often left emotionally destroyed, and the Narcissist doesn’t seem to be upset in the slightest.  In fact, odds are they’ve moved on and you’ve been quickly replaced by someone new–as if your relationship (even if decades long) never even mattered.

I’m sorry to say, this is because the relationship didn’t matter to them–at least not in the way that it mattered to you.  In fact, your relationship mattered to them for a completely different (and more disturbing) set of reasons. The reasons a Narcissist gets into a “relationship” is for some combination of money, sex, attention/ego strokes, food/clothing/shelter, social status or public appearances. They may have played the part of the loving, doting significant other really, really well, but it wasn’t because they ever truly felt that way about you.  Narcissists are incapable of forming real bonds with people. They play this part of world’s greatest person only because that’s what they need to do to worm their way into the lives of their victims, and to get what they want.  They are a lot like Nigerian scammers in this way, but they generally don’t hit you up for thousands of dollars at a time, instead, they attach themselves to their victims and slowly bleed them financially and emotionally until one of you leaves.  (This leeching off of people is why Narcissists are referred to as being “parasitic” in nature.)  They get what they want by conning victim’s into thinking that they are their soul mate, and they do this by creating an intensly emotional experience for the victim. I know that’s really hard to believe, and it’s even harder to hear and accept, but it’s the sad, cruel truth.

But why did they have to create this intense emotional expereince?Why did it have to end so painfully? All the added pain, and drama and lies just seem so…unnecessary.  

I consider all the unnecssary pain, drama, lies and nonsense to be their “secondary gain.”  Meaning that the pain and hurt they causes isn’t necessarily the primary reason they get into a relationship, but to them causing maximum pain is the icing on the cake.  Because Narcissists are constantly need to feed their ego, everything, and I mean everything, is about them. The reason being is that your suffering lets them know they are important, and the more suffering they can cause, the more important they feel. This is how their ego gets fed. Unfortunately, positive ego strokes (compliments, positive feedback and attention, etc.) aren’t enough.  They need to really know that they are significant.  And the best way to do this is often by building someone up to the highest level, and then knocking them down as hard as they can.  They want to hear how hurt you are.  They want to hear you crying and begging and pleading for them to stay or how crushed you are.  They want to hear how much you loved them with every ounce of your being, and now you are left to pick up the pieces while they move on.  A normal person would feel some guilt and sadness about this, but a Narcissist feels elation. This is one of many reasons Narcissists are also called “energy vampires”.  They suck the life out of their victims, and then toss them away. Getting caught up with an Narcissist is one of the biggest emotional roller coasters you’ll ever ride, as the good times are really good, and the bad times are really bad.

Whatever you do, don’t contact them and let them know how hurt you are

Again, if you are like most people, you’ll probably want to contact them and let them know just how hurt you are, dammit.  After all, your head is probably spinning from just how crazy things happened.  One moment you were in love, and the next they left for someone else.  You want them to know that they devastated you. You want them to feel bad or guilt. You want to hear some sort of reaction out of them.  …And maybe you will even get one, but it won’t be sincere.  If anything, they’ll be so drunk off your pain, that they’ll make a mental note to come back later and feed on you some more.  They wanted you to suffer, and then they wanted to hear all about it. It’s a huge power trip for them knowing that they can pupperteer someone like this.

So how do I get closure?

Well, the bad news is that you won’t get it from them.  The good news is that they did you a huge favor by ending the relationship.  Believe it or not, you are one of the lucky ones.  You can start by getting closure by closing that door, and never contacting them again (if you can’t cut off contact due to kids or some other reason, go “Gray Rock”.  Join a support group.  Talk to other people that have been through this.  Journal. Be kind to yourself.  Surround yourself with friends and family, and just be patient.  The pain won’t last forever, even though it feels like it will.  Just know you aren’t alone.

The best thing you can do after a relationship with a Narcissist ends is to not share any feelings with them whatsoever.  Don’t let them know that they were or are significant to you in any way.  You need to match their level of disregard and nonchalance–it hurts them to know you don’t care and will be fine without them.  It means they are losing at their own game, and that will really get to them. Cut off contact with them, and don’t allow them to slither back into your life–because odds are they will.  The next phase of a Narcissistic relationship is called “Hoovering”, and it’s something you need to be prepared for.

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I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 412 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.


  1. Hi Michael,

    Please feel free to share whatever information you find on my site that you think will help someone else.<3

  2. Thank you so much for this detailed response, it really helps with the issue of closure. It has been so helpful to learn how the narcissist thinks, part of recovery is deprogramming oneself from the empathetic/compassionate response you would normally have (as a normal functioning human being) to be able to even sometimes comprehend the thinking process of the narcissist. I think part of the reason it is so hard for co dependents/empaths/sensitives to accept this is because it is so completely foreign to the way we are wired! Thank you for breaking it down so clearly, such a great reminder of how this alien type person operates- something that helps me to read again and again, to keep clarity and remember the reality of the situation. Before i went no contact, my mind would play tricks on me, and i would get sucked back in slowly to somehow think he did have feelings and he did care about me- that is was only a matter of time before he came to his senses and realized the bond we had. Well, sorry to say after five years of waiting that never happened- the abuse just got worse and worse. It was like the more i wanted him and the relationship, the more he absolutely despised and disrespected me- he saw it as weakness. Where as another normal healthy human being would see my patience and long suffering as something rare and to be appreciated, he saw it as a form of weakness and that he had already conquered me and could give me the bare minimum. I stayed in denial for a long time, i really did not want to think this person i thought was so special and amazing could truly be just an empty devoid shell.Thank you again for sharing these wonderful articles, blessings to you

  3. I’m so glad you were able to get some clarity and closure from this article. You are so right about how a normal person would see your patience and long suffering and have that count for something–whereas a Narcissist/manipulative person feels like that is owed to them. (((hugs))) to you. I’m excited for this next chapter in your life. <3

  4. Thank You, you really know your stuff, it’s really surprising someone can be so cruel, unfeeling, and seemingly psychotic !!! It just does make sense …

    I’m glad I found out, just so hard not to hear the compliments, but then, after that, we have nothing !!!

  5. Thanks, I’m glad my info can help. 🙂 You totally nailed it when you said that basically all we get from them are (insincere) complements–there is nothing else! I hope you can move towards the health and healing that you need so that you can break the cycle and not get wrapped up with someone like this again. <3

  6. This is good information Dana, but unless I missed it, this article does not address what can happen when the “victim” or “target” breaks up with the Narcissist.

    Let me share that situation here a little. I have “tried” to break up with a covert Narcissist for years, and it was immensely difficult! In fact, it probably took 3 years to break up with him, from start to finish, with the long distance relationship spanning about 6 years. A good part of the ending of our relationship centered on his hoovering, with him always attempting to leave the door open a crack, because in his mind I am surmising, he might need some narcissistic supply later on. Also his reputation as a Christian man meant he should be at peace with people. As time went by I saw that his random calls to me (on his schedule and his terms, not mine) were to get his “love fix,” or “attention fix,” and had nothing to do with me, because if someone else called him in the middle of our conversation; he would immediately hang up and promise to “call me right back,” which just almost never happened; unless you think “calling right back” was the next day, with no reference made to the previous conversation. If I “called him” on the fact that he didn’t call me right back, he would accuse me of being too demanding or not letting him work (we are both self-employed).

    It seems the way that he and other narcissists manage to keep relationships going past their natural end, is that they count on “their target” forgetting transgressions over time (which probably weren’t transgressions in the Narc’s mind, and they are just waiting for their target to cool down and come to their senses). And the truth is, I would forgive and forget in the beginning, but as I saw a pattern developing, I would forgive but not forget! Then I didn’t like how that felt and how holding onto the transgressions eroded my sense of self-esteem that I was not a forgiving person anymore. Plus my guy (we are both Christians … well, I am) would always subtly remind me of our call to “unconditional love.” Yet I was starting to document his transgressions because he would totally forget they ever happened and I felt I was losing my mind!

    Now it finally makes sense in light of the motivations of the narcissistic type person why he would never, and will never, let me go. It seems I broke up with him before he was finished with me; and looking back, I think I broke up with him early in the devalue stage. The diminished value, disrespect, and lack of his words matching up with his actions was a deal breaker for me. But he would not let me go. After a couple of break ups we remained “friends” (why not? Why would I need to hold a grudge? we stared off as friends in the first year, too). But it would gradually creep back into romance, probably because he started love bombing me again, or something manipulative, I can’t remember. The motivation (I didn’t know he was a narcissist until the last breakup) for my breaking up with him is that he would stand me up about half the time, as this had become his bad habit, and when I would break up with him, we would call me constantly, although I insisted that he needed to let me go.

    So he didn’t give me or our relationship attention when he had promised it and when I wanted and expected it; but then on the other hand, when I didn’t want him or the relationship anymore, he would not stop! Crazy, he wants what he can’t have and then when he gets it he disdains it, spits on it! I never understood what passive/aggressive meant; it never made any sense to me. How can a person be passive and aggressive at the same time? Well, I get it now–passive/aggressive is saying one nice thing and doing another disrespectful thing at the same time! UGH.

    I believe his guy was a likely a covert narcissist, and as a Christian leader his persona was charming, moral, charitable, and humble. Although I discovered later that this was an act, because if he really was these things his word would line up with his actions more than than just 50% of time (I started keeping track and made a tally when he showed up and when he didn’t, this became my insanity; as if my tally was going to convince him he was doing this! LOL!). He thought himself quietly superior, and entitled to special treatment; and that he had special spiritual powers, which seemed reasonable and plausible within the spiritual system that we were both involved in. But now I know this so-called Biblical “gift of prophesy” he humbly confessed was actually his narcissistic self bleeding through the Christian persona. Ha ha! I was once blind, but now I see!

    So in conclusion, there is GREAT wisdom in the “no contact” rule; if you are able to do it: and you must! This is because in their mind they will always try to keep the door open for more narcissistic supply; and also because they never want to admit they did anything that needed improvement or correction. To acknowledge a breakup as such, would definitely imply a failure! But then if he needed “a victim story” for his next “target” he could use the “breakup” as such; but that would be the only time he would probably ever admit it was a breakup; but only temporarily for the purpose of a story to gain sympathy from his next “love fix.”

    The ONE time he apologized to me over a 6-year period (and he should have apologized hundreds of times, really), was during the final breakup. But the way he put it was quite compromized. By this time I had become very observant… He said: I am so sorry about the way you felt about “what happened.” The way I felt was perfectly normal; and “What Happened” was something he did which was a major transgression of a transgression correction of an initial transgression. In other words “what happened” was him doing the same disrespectful thing for the UMPTEEEEENTH thousandth time after he promised “He would NEVER do it again!” which was the condition of reconciliation after the break up, (as was couples counseling which never happened).

    As I write this I see how insane this is, and I know why I started to feel crazy, at the worst moments even fleeting suicidal feelings (all gas lighting aside); and why I couldn’t stand who I was becoming (not me) within the confines of that relationship! UGH. During the very last round of the series of breakups, he tried to borrow $1500 from me, saying this will be a good opportunity to rebuild trust in our relationship! He really did not need to borrow this money from me, he had other options, but I believe this was an attempt to get me sucked into the reconciled relationship faster than what would be reasonable; similar to too much intimacy, too fast in the beginning of a relationship.It seems these breaks ups were cycling through the Narcissistic phases, and felt very repetative, a constant deja vu! A few weeks after that, the relationship finally ended for good with me instigating the no contact rule. One and half year later, he still calls about once a month.

    (And darn, your fabulous YOU TUBES are deleted! By the way, you might consider uploading them to Vimeo, they seem to allow more creative freedom than YOU TUBE).

  7. I don’t know how I am just now seeing your comment, but yes, I had a week long issue with YouTube and my channel being shut down due to trolls “channel bombing” me–and I did join vimeo, and now I just need to make the time to upload everything there as a backup. (Which would also include me developing better time management skills lol.)

    You bring up a TON of excellent points, so thank you so much for your comment! You are totally right about how they seem to drag out a relationship long past when it’s over–this includes Narcissistic dynamics of all kinds–friends, significant others, neighbors, etc. I’m sure it’s all based around power and control–just like everything else they do, but yeah, when you are in it, it’s crazy making, frustrating, and exhausting.

    I’m glad you were able to get out, and I wish you all the best in this next chapter in your life. (((hugs)))

  8. I am currently in the process of divorcing my charismatic, high-functioning, workaholic COVERT narcissist. Putting all these puzzle pieces together (thanks to MANY blogs, websites and videos posted by others who have suffered the same horrific and traumatizing life); so many AHA moments allowed me to finally realize what was happening to me for 6 years. This December we will have been married for 4 years. My many friends and my family all adored this man, as did I. I was his biggest supporter. I put this man on a pedestal because I thought he was deserving of it! I had NO idea what what happening to me. Now that I know, I am able to move on, but am very scared at the thought of what is to come.. I never knew this man.. That is the scary part.. I have no idea what all he has done to me thus far.. nor do have any idea what he will do… Thankfully we don’t have any children together, but he was so very involved with my grandchildren(who have an OVERT Narcissist as a father) and so the only sense of what love was to them, was shown by my husband and myself.. And now I have to tell them (8yrs, 7yrs and 5yrs old) that HE wasn’t what he seemed!! This has completely devastated me. Their mother doesn’t believe me.. And it was HER husband who was the overt narcissist!! She left him. I hate that all this sounds so crazy to others who have only seen this man for what he wants the world to see. No physical bruises, NOTHING. All emotional and psychological manipulation. All done covertly. It helps to know that others believe and understand what I’m going through.. Even if I will never meet you. I appreciate you for sharing your wisdom and insight with me.. SO MUCH..

    Much love

  9. I’m so glad that my sharing my story and info I’ve gathered along the way has helped you to get some of the clarity you were needing. It sounds like you’ve been going through a lot for many, many years. I sincerely wish you all the health and healing in this next chapter of your life. <3

    ...If you haven't already checked out the support group, you may find it really helpful: (((hugs)))

  10. I really really really really wish I had seen this page BEFORE I wrote pages about my shattered soul and broken heart and broken dreams to him!! I even told him he could finally be happy that he won! I read those pages again much later and I was sickened by myself. I dont feel that way anymore – thank God for the internet and people like you that provide education and support for us! I am finally learning to accept what happened and to forgive myself for what I allowed to happen in my life, which unbelievably got WORSE after he left.

    I had a breakdown and have not worked in 5 months. Ive been diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety, PTSD and substance addiction – been in outpatient treatment programs, seeing a psychiatrist, therapists and gone to rehab…all because of the pain of that one relationship. Fortunately, I am recovering – and it is beginning to be part of my past that I can examine without the soul crushing pain i lived with for 8 years. Now if I can get through the divorce without giving him more money…and be able to be in the court room with him again without an anxiety attack…..

  11. Ok I have read the blogs and this weekn I failedbto ho gray rock I failed to not show any emotions. When I encountered my husband n his new supply I lost it, I went off on Jim and he laughed. Now i feel foolish and cant take my actions back. Cray thing is he’s not hoovering me, in some weird way I wish he would but I know god gave me the strength to walk away so I mist stay away!!!

  12. Hi Dana, my exN dropped me as if I never existed after 8 years. It has been a year now and I am still not moving forward. I see a therapist twice a month and I have been on medication for major depressive disorder for 18 years. I belive he blocked my texts, and I never called. Did write a letter or two. All things I knew not to do. He answered 1 email I sent him 3 months ago. I told him he could not reach me by phone or text (which is true). I just wanted to meet and talk, not get back together. He responded coldly by saying that “I needed to get on with my life as HE has done and us having a conversation would do neither of us any good”. Of course I had to get the last word and replied. I ended by saying he would never hear from me again. I then changed my email address. I had already blocked him from calling or texting, as well as all of his neighbors, months ago. I know narcissists don’t do closure. Why did he respond to the email instead of ignore it like all my other attempts of contact? I don’t care if he has someone else. He is their problem now. I was an excellent ‘source’ for him and really put everything into the relationship….not understanding he was a narcissist. Help?!

  13. I have not heard from my N in a year, no hoovering. Can I expect it still? I hear they have a warped sense of time and once you have been in a relationship with them they “own” you. I am not involved in any triangulation. Does it bother them if you say they won’t hear from you again? Does that kind of ignoring them work?

  14. His neighbors across the street keep showing up in my life like a bad penny. They came where I work drunk, drink and dialed me after the holidays to see how I was and said ” miss you guys” he can see my ex every day…..there is no ” you guys”. Of course I let it go to voicemail. Then a couple of weeks ago I passed them on the highway, they saw me and started following me!! I drove faster and passed my exit. How crazy is that? I have had their numbers blocked for months. I don’t know what to think….coincidence, trying to triangulate? I never expected this.

  15. I do have to admit that we broke up 4 years ago for 7 months ( I blocked contact) this is before I knew he was a narcissist. After we broke up, I did try to commit suicide. I was so broken and confused. Now I know why. Thank God for all the sites to get information. I feel even more broken now, but I have the power of knowledge and see the disease. What an awful way to live your life. I think he may have D & D me because I saw a crack in the mask. I told him to stop turning things around and blaming ME! It was during and arguement we had ( and we had had MUCH worse. He never spoke to me again. Told me to get my “s**t” and get out! I said that was a joke, because after 8 years I only had a hair dryer at his house! I had asked for a ring to show we were in a “committed” relationship and he said that it wasn’t going to “f***ing happen and I was crazier than his 1st wife! I said he was more mean to me than my 1st husband! By the way, he was drunk and stoned. Now it all makes sense. Knowledge IS power!

  16. I am currently in the “being discarded” phase of the narcissists relationship. I failed to comply with his sexual requests and stormed out and now I am on his “out” list. I knew something was too good to be true with him when we met almost 2 years ago. I was going through some personal things and he targeted me. This article really hit home, as I now realize that the “uncomfortable” thing I felt with him wasn’t something wrong with me. He is the classic narcissists and I was, was, was the classic victim. No more. It’s a struggle walking away from him or being discarded by him because he tricked me into caring deeply for him. But I am counting the days of my healing and I will get there. I am definitely the better for it…hurt but a lesson has been learned. Thank you for putting this behavior into perspective.

  17. Yikes. Makes me wonder if he either said something to the neighbors to turn them against you (aka “flying monkeys”) or if the neighbors have some behavior issues themselves (or a little of both)! If you feel safe doing so, I’d block their number on your phone and if they come into your work see if there is someway you can avoid them. I am normally a fan of drawing a boundary, but they obviously don’t seem to care so I almost wonder if that would make things worse. …You are the best judge of your situation. And I’m sorry that you are going through this. I hope they lose interest and move on soon!

  18. Narcs can hoover at any point. Generally, most hoovering tends to be done in the first month to first year, but they can really come back at anytime–even decades later! It’s always a good idea to keep your emotional shields up in case they do. Not saying that you need to live in a state of hypervigilance, just saying it’s a good idea to file it away in the back of your brain that he might resurface, and to not let this knock you off balance if this were to happen. (((HUGS)))

  19. I would encourage you to join the support group: I think you will find a lot of validation and understanding from people in there that will (hopefully) help you to move forward.

    As to why he responded to your email and not the other forms of communication, it’s hard to say. My guess would be simply that he felt like responding so that’s why he did. That’s why they do everything that they do. Frankly, I think it really is for the best that he didn’t want to meet up, as I think in doing so it would have kicked up a lot of unresolved emotions and you would not have gotten the answers or the closure that you were seeking. I know it’s hard to pick up the pieces and drive on, but that really is the most loving thing that you can do for yourself in this situation.

  20. I found your site two days ago and have been reading everything posted. I’ve spent the past two years thinking I was going crazy, twisting myself into knots trying to understand the reasons he man I love would treat me with such cruelty and disregard after making me believe he was head over heels in love with me. It all makes so much sense now! Reading this site has clicked everything into place — he is a narcissist. It’s not ME that’s not good enough. I am heartbroken in all the ways you describe, but I also feel so liberated. Thank you!

  21. How do you get him to leave? I have been a “relationship” with my other half for 18 years. I have tried dozens of times to end it and get him to leave, but he won’t. His rationalizations and contradictions and denials of things he said, not 5 minutes before, are just such a bizarre demonstration of mental gymnastics that unless you witness it, it’s nearly impossible to comprehend.

    In 2004 I bought my house. By that time we had been together for 6 years and had had a daughter who was 2 at the time, but we have never married. He has a wide assortment of reasons for why he wouldn’t marry me ranging from I am crazy to I have a drug and or alcohol problem to I am too good for him. Once upon a time I thought marriage is what I wanted with him, but that time has long since passed.

    I bought the house we live, which in my name and my name only as are all the bills because I thought I was protecting myself. Now, I am told that since he receives his mail here and considers this his legal address, I can not make him leave unless he wants to. I can’t even evict him for lack of paying rent or anything else (which he never has), because I never entered into any sort of rental agreement with him. I can’t get a restraining order against him because he is not violent towards me or our daughter. He doesn’t cheat as far as I know, though there have been issues. He is the local computer repair guy in our tiny region and everyone loves him because he is so friendly and helpful (they don’t see what my daughter and I see)…. I am literally stuck.

    I need to get an attorney, but at the moment I can’t afford it because I pay 100% of all of our living expenses, which of course, he also justifies. At this point I have decided to ride out the next 4 years until my daughter graduates high school. He has proven time and again that he is not above using her as a tool and a weapon against me (dating back to when I was pregnant, which again he denies) and I will not do that to her.

    It’s OK, it;s not ideal, but I can use this time to plan and save and get her off to school somewhere and then proceed with the process of getting him out of my life. A process that he will make as dramatic, difficult and painful as possible. This is certainly not how I want it to go….. I’m just exhausted, but I know the reality. Even if I do get an attorney he will make it so hard, mostly in the hopes of wearing me down until I once again give in.

    The one good thing about opting to wait it out until she graduates HS is that he is absolutely oblivious to my misery. As long as I am where I say I am going to be and I don’t complain too much he is perfectly happy. I have friends who think I am being weak, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Biding my time for the next for 4 years to plan this properly, and spare my child the damage that he would be sure to inflict is one of the greatest acts of strength of my entire life.

    So, setting aside my 4 year plan and the hiring of an attorney in the future, how does one get a narcissist to get out? I am not going to leave my own house, so what should I do?

  22. I’m in the death throes of a three year relationship with a narc. I wish I’d stumbled upon all the information on the internet years ago. I always felt that there was something off right from the get go, but like everyone else I fell for the charm, wit, fun, charisma and all that shizz. Instead I spent three years stalking him on line to try and uncover the thing I thought was off, I felt crazy, was ashamed of my behaviour, thought I was the mad one. Turns out he was in long term relationships with at least two other women, I have my suspicions that there are more. This is because I was told by staff in his local pub that he visits almost every night that myself and the other two are not the only women they’ve seen him with. I have been slowly dismantled and am an emotional wreck, a shadow of the person I was prior to meeting him. I think the hardest thing is knowing that your perception of the person was not reality. He does all the classic gas lighting, deflection, switching the blame around on to me, triangulation etc. He is like a politician and will never ever answer a straight question. He portrays himself as a victim. When confronting him over the other women his answer was he was trapped by limpet like women who threaten suicide if he leaves them. During the discard phase he then lumped me in with his so called bunch of crazy women. I feel sorry for all of them as I believe they’ve been put through the same hell as myself. In spite of all of this it is so hard to cut the contact and move on, I’m reading and watching loads of stuff and I can now understand why it’s hard but knowing why in your rational mind doesn’t make it any easier for your mashed up heart and psyche to deal with and make that break. I’ve been through a lot in my life but this is the biggest mind fuck I have ever experienced, luckily I’ve never encountered someone like this before and at least I know that next time I will listen to my gut instinct. I think the biggest emotion for me apart from the heart that’s been ripped from it’s moorings is just one of total and utter confusion. One minute hating him and the next believing that I’m walking away for my soul mate, it’s utterly ridiculous and yes it’s that cognitive dissonance thing in action. At least due to people like you Dana I do at least know what it is and understand why I feel like I do, so thank you. I know that I have to be strong and remove this toxic man from my life. I wish I could hurt him with the same intensity as he hurt me but he doesn’t feel or experience emotion like most people and is impossible to hurt. I can clearly see that his only emotion is anger even though he maintains a very calm persona, it is a shell that hides the rage within. Anyhoo, onwards and upwards, it’s a beautiful day, I’m lucky to be alive and healthy and have all that I need in life as well as wonderful friends and family that I’ve sadly neglected due to being totally sucked in and obsessed by my charming narc. I’m now just about to take my dog for a walk in the glorious sunshine and try to feed and nourish my soul on the good things in my life. Lots of love to everyone out there going through the same excruciating and confusing experience. Let’s all try not to waste anymore time, energy and love on these empty souls who walk among us. xxx

  23. I found a little cartoon on the internet that says “Do not feed the animals” I’ve set the lock screen on my phone with that cartoon so that every time I check it or feel like contacting my narc it reminds me to stay no contact. It reminds me that contacting him is feeding his ego. It’s a little strategy that’s helped me a lot.

  24. Moomoomama, your words echoed my sentiments exactly. I am so sorry for what you are going through and HAVE gone through and will possibly Still go through. Looks like you still have gratitude so GOOD FOR YOU!!!! We could all use a LOT of that 🙂 Thanks for your post!!! Much Love!!!

  25. I just broke off a two year long distant relationship with a man whom I think, not sure is a narcissist, sociopath or control freak. He made me feel like a queen one minute and next he’s scolding me like he would do a child. He has to control all conversations and says he has to make my decisions for me because my are not trustworthy. He stated when he comes to live with me he will take care of all my bills and I can do what ever I want with my paycheck but in return He decides what I wear and how I wear my hair. I cannot be combative towards him if he’s paying a expenses in the household what he says goes. Now I’m struggling really bad financially, when he told me this I was shocked and then became angry and we argued and I started thinking it wouldn’t be so bad but I came back to reality and said I can’t let him control me this way. So when he finally realized I wasn’t going through with his insane demand he made me feel guilty for not going through with this and I broke it off and told him I’m done take care. The next morning he sends me a picture of a woman and under her picture read “This is the woman I’m going to see after I trash this relationship” and I replied back calmly, “Good enjoy yourself” but at the same time I was in shock and hurt, didn’t cry It’s been three days since I heard from him not looking forward to it either. Now throughout the relationship he would test me to see how I would react or responds to his comments or certain conversations we have and he would tell me he’s doing this and if I get an attitude he would tell me I mean spirited and have a attitude problem and If I keep it up he’s going to call our relationship off and then I would feel guilty. I was angry quite often but I learned to control it when he was purposely pushing my buttons by laughing before I speak it worked for a while till the day I broke it off I just got fed up with is BS. He claimed he’s trying to make me a better woman, I think not.

  26. From beginning to end I have been in a relationship with what I have recently discovered is a Narcissist for fifteen plus years. Overtime I had originally suspected he might be bipolar (WRONG) and had tried to get him to see a counselor. He was so charming and loving and attentive in the beginning but even then something seemed off. I couldn’t pin point it so had let it slide at first.
    We dated long distance for about year and then moved in together for a couple more, then out of the blue getting married which lasted for 12 years. I got sucked in hardcore with the soulmate thing and falling truly in love with him.
    Between the two of us we had three children (one boy, two girls – the boy is mine). All the sob stories he told me in the beginning with his first two wives pulled at my heart strings, not to mention the show of a few tears or just teary eyes.
    I apologize if I am all over the place trying to tell this but it isn’t until very recently that I became discarded for another younger woman. My feelings and thoughts are still chaotic and confusing and all over the place.
    It is hard to admit that I was dooped and for 15 years this man kept me in an almost constantly confused state and over those 15 years was able to manipulate me into doing EVERYTHING that he didn’t want to do with regards to the children, our relationship, upkeep of the home, etc. If displeased with anything he would withdraw any and all affections or start a fight to let me know it was my fault he was angry, it was my fault that something didn’t go as planned, that the bank account was so out of whack, basicly anything and everything became my fault and he had no hand in it. And once I would comply he would give limited affection.
    We went so far as to get separate accounts but then after a time he would want to go back to a joint account. I didn’t, but then when he wanted me to pay bills he would bully or manipulate me into paying all of them so he could spend his on what he wanted. He inherited money twice but not once did he spend anything on bills or the kids or me. As he put it, it was his money and it was none of my F***ing business what he spent it on. Yet every cent I busted my butt for (10 to 14 hour days, 5 to 6 days a week and occasionally even 7) went to rent, utilities, and the kids. I have clothes and underwear almost as old as our relationship. (kinda funny but NOT).
    He insisted on doing our taxes even though I use to do other peoples taxes for a living. With everything else I was doing I never bothered to recheck what he did and just signed when he told me to. I should have known better. Not only did I find out after the fact that he had included shit from prior to our marriage but because of his previous shadiness with his own taxes we ended up owing several thousand dollars which I paid the lions share off. And it bit me (us) in the butt in a lawsuit later that I had against a company (1 to 2.5 million dollars worth legit). But when I confronted him it was my fault entirely.
    Then I got sick, disabling sick with a neurological brain disorder. It took four years to get it diagnosed and during the whole symptoms (something is seriously wrong here) thing he would rant and rave at me then out of the blue be the most caring and attentive individual. Looking back on it when he was nice it was usually to an audience. I have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy, it’s severe and the medications designed for it don’t work on me. What few medications I do take, half the time he didn’t want to pay for and would tell me it is either your meds or we eat.
    When I became unable to work altogether and because we were married I was unable to receive any assistance, he started mentioning getting a divorce so I could get help. I said no at first because that isn’t a reason to divorce. But he became more erratic, grouchy (pissy), and would yell at me for spending spending spending when I would ask for any money no matter what it was for (I never asked for more than $20, twice a month). I eventually gave in because I came to realize that if someone mentions divorce that often or threatens you with it, they must really want one.
    He said he wanted us to stay together but at one point I told him that maybe we need some time apart so he could catch his breath in relation to me becoming sick and so I could get a handle on managing it.
    I went to stay with family and at the end of the third month, beginning of the fourth he told me he was dating, then at the end of the fifth month, beginning of the sixth month he had found a girlfriend. He went so far as to send me a picture of her (who the hell does that?). He tells me he will always love me but is no longer IN love with me. When I try to ask him anything about it… He stonewalls, freezes me out, ignores any attempt at communication or if he has read any emails or text messages there is either no response or a curt one. I have tried leaving a voice mail but the result wasn’t much better.
    To make matters harder neither one of his girls will talk to me at all when they had been up through Christmas 2016. There is no response to emails, text messages, or voice mails. I helped raise them for 15 years, they are like daughters to me and suddenly without warning nothing. It’s like they suddenly died without warning and I have been there before when my first son died just before turning two.
    I seriously feel like I’ve been gutted like a fish and thrown to the gulls while he sits on the sideline laughing at my stupidity and confusion. How can you not feel something? Anything? How can someone be so cold as if there was nothing there between the two of you for 15 years? Finally found the answer… because he is a Narcissist. What I want to know is… am I dealing with just one or three?

  27. So, after a tumultuous 3 years of not knowing what will happen next, and being dumped and cut-off for the umpteenth time(she ALWAYS comes back into my life), she cut me off this time by telling me I was a narcissist and she had “no more time for narcs” in her life…I am left wondering if I am the narc and don’t know it…I’m pretty sure I am NOT, but the doubt has been planted. And, I worry that maybe she ISN’T…I absolutely hate what this is doing to my life, self-esteem, emotional stability, and my heart. I have never been good enough, or sympathetic enough, or ANYTHING enough…but I have always been there for her when she calls or shows up. I have been unfriended on FB, blocked from her phone, and ignored when I email. Yet she gives her # to strangers and tells me about why her relationships with guys have failed(their fault)…she actually hit me with her car and kept on driving…and later told me I had deliberately stepped into her car…
    I feel powerless to do anything. I get firm resolve to shut her out, and then she calls and there I go…I have been played like a penny toy and quite frankly that is what I feel like…
    COULD I be the narc in this and could I have all of this backwards?

  28. First time experiencing a narcissist. Your articles and videos have helped me understand this has nothing to do with me. He started to email me from a new email address. His ex and I recently found out about each other. I told him I’ve quit my job and moving. His last comment before shutting down my old email which I’ve had for 8 years was,” there is always ways to find you.” I don’t ever know what he means. Seems everything he says is in riddle form. I am worried that he won’t ever leave me alone.

  29. Dana, thank you for this helpful article. Wish I had seen it before.

    I was unlucky enough to have dealt with not only a narcissist woman, but who also suffered depression. So mixed things and feelings got always on the way in my head, and couldn’t clearly see what was going on. She made it clear from the first moment she had depression, but it was her narcissism which was less apparent.

    She was this sweet person who would compliment and made me feel wanted at first, but then it was mostly the “me, me and me” phase until the end of the relationship. But I couldn’t make myself take the decision and break up with her, since I truly loved her, in spite of everything. Eventually she broke up with me, pretty much all of a sudden, but not without making me feel guilty and responsible for breaking up. And since I knew that wasn’t the case, that helped me realize that I might have been dealing with a narcissist after all.

    In the end, and just 20 days after breaking up with me she started dating someone else. And she moved on without any trouble or remorse or memory of our times together.

    Ironically, I still feel like there might have been something I could have done so that we didn’t break up. But it is after reading these articles that I’m understanding that is their narcissistic nature to make you feel like this.

    Thank you.

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