“Susan’s” Story

narcissistic behavior in relationships

Dear Dana,

I’d like to share my story with you, I have told no one as of yet, and have been unable to even begin to piece together a post mortem of the relationship….

In 2013, Christmas season, I began chatting to a man from an online dating site, he said he was currently working abroad and was an airline pilot, this part is actually true, he was or does work in Saudi Arabia as an airline pilot. So he said could we speak through facetime video, I agreed and there before me was the most handsome man I could barely look away! At the start I was totally love bombed, he said I was very attractive, we were soul mates, he’d never connected with anyone like this before, wanted to get married, loved me, wanted to move in and this was all said via our regular and lengthy video link chats, yes before we’d even met.

I was in cloud 9 thinking I was getting attention from this talented 747 flying, handsome man who claimed to be my soul mate and from a series of mediocre, let down relationships I’d had in the past I thought this was my time…. Ummmm red flag, but at the time I was a single mother, a school teacher by trade who lived in the middle of no where, slightly over weight with no money. I made it clear from the start I had no money and I didn’t own the property I lived in, just in case at the back of my head somewhere the ‘too good to be true’ voice kicked in, so I thought better make it clear my financial situation.
After a while the victim mentality kicked in, he said his ex wife had thrown him out, he was never loved by her and that I was the one, he was going through a divorce at the time, a divorce which continued throughout our two year relationship. He said that most women hadn’t understood him and he explained the horror of being made homeless by his ex wife, which later I’d learned he was kicked out for infidelity, and he’d been married three times (red flag)… Sooooo yeah I offered him my home when he returned to the UK, to move in, so a man I’d never met before was going to move in with me and my kids, but he was a pilot and that makes him ok..another red flag..Ummm.
So he returned on leave to the UK and yes indeed he did move in, we spent every moment together, he wouldn’t leave me alone, I met his parents, he didn’t leave me alone with his mother…
This immense love bombing phase lasted about three months, at the time something just didn’t feel right at all, intuition told me if something seems too good to be true it probably is although I knew nothing about covert narcissism at all. I tried to break it off with him was really torn because it just didn’t feel right but I was deeply in love, the enormous love wasn’t grounded in anything, but I was his soul mate right???

We had great sex together and lots of it, he said his ex wife was a drunk and never shown any interest in him sexually, now I realize that probably isn’t wholly correct. After I ended it with him he’d text, phone, mail saying how much he loved me and we were destined to be together etc etc so I said ok we can be together, thinking that I was just paranoid, that paranoia was something that would haunt me throughout the relationship. He was away abroad a lot, didn’t know if he was seeing, sleeping with someone, just didn’t know.

After that break up, he offered marriage, so he took me away and we got engaged, but that was a bit off, he asked me to marry him but I didn’t feel like he was displaying the emotion that he should, it felt like a means to an end I just couldn’t put my finger on it and at this point we’d only been together three months, very stupid now I think about it.
So he’d return on leave back to my house, moved stuff in from his parents, his parents had not said anything to me or warned me, the only thing his mum had said was ‘Colin’s a lovely bloke he’s had such bad luck with women and I don’t understand why’

Shortly after he’d moved his stuff in and proposed (yeah I was fully hooked at this point), he began explaining about all the previous women, none lasting more than a couple of years, him being made homeless over and over and he’d been married three times, each one only lasting a year or two, but it was ok because he had me and I was the one and I believed this crap. You were right when you say if they have a history of relationships like this then it’s just a matter of time until they do it to you and they are discrediting you to anyone who will listen.

Then came the devaluing stage, at first I was bossed around my own home, he’d exhibit signs of OCD like behaviour, cups couldn’t go in the sink, kids had to eat here and at these times. He wanted the house totally cleaned, cupboards cleared out etc, I’d work all weekends trying to make the place good enough for him, thinking he’s right the place is a mess, I got rid of tons of old clothes etc, but whatever I did the place still wasn’t good enough and he said he was ashamed to have people round..
Then I would challenge him on this, he was never wrong, after he’d put me down over the house he’d want sex and I’d have to flip my mind into a more sexual thinking which is hard. He never ever spoke to my kids, the kids stayed in their rooms as Colin would dominate the front room and I’d allow this.
The next form of devaluing came when I would ask him about trying to see I was trying very hard with the house and try to give me some credit, he’d totally explode with rage, once he grabbed me by the throat, another time he ‘knocked me’ and my nose bled really badly. He’d rage at me at any point if I dared try to express concern over our relationship or question anything, now I know you cannot put your point across with a covert narc. During arguments he’d call me retarded, fat, stupid and bring back any ex boyfriend I’d mentioned against me in the ‘no wonder they left they thought you fat and stupid too’, they use weakness as ammunition.

Then I found sexual messages to another woman, asking about her orgasms and breasts, I found naked photos of her on his phone. He showed no remorse about it and said I’d driven him to do it as an outlet and that she was no threat to me as he loved me, he said he hadn’t slept with her. I got the number and I texted it asking if she had slept with my fiancé she said no it was just flirting, she was his accountant.

I kicked him out, he went back to his parents and he told his mum about the texts, he is very close to her, now any mother in their right mind would have said how could you have been so stupid, but no, he’d managed to spin a story of lies to his parents in fact she said it was no wonder you sort solace in another woman if this is how sam is???? Her words were ‘I don’t blame you’ I was mortified. He would wickedly turn his parents against me putting spin on any story, showing them my texts or emails they began to hate me….
So he came back, I was full of remorse, under pressure at work too I was failing in my job so I handed my notice in, thankfully I got a better job out of it but in the time of unemployment.

I had him back of course, then I asked the fatal mistake of if the marriage was still on, this was to be my Achilles heal….. They love those.

He of course said no, until he’d had his peace and stability in the relationship, ie no pushing away then he’d marry me, I thought fair enough but I knew in my head the reason why I’d pushed him away was due to the other woman’s photos and texts, which made no sense.

I said if you want peace and stability then you create it too by not doing these things, more rage, funny because I looked at him shouting ‘give me peace and stability’ and thought how ironic. So I left it, I asked him a couple of months later if we were still going to marry, in my head I thought if he just doesn’t want to then say we can have the relationship over and done with, but then he’d rage ‘has it been six months?

No it hasn’t, so now you’ve mentioned it it’s going back to month one’, so in affect each time is mention it it would go back to month one regardless. So then I thought, must not try to argue…. Ever, regardless. Then I found him starting arguments and I’d get the blame and I was permanently on month one and this continued until then end.

Then I’d try to tackle how I felt about this with him… On a journey to cornwall for a holiday he was quiet, I thought about tackling how I felt about this being put back thing so I spoke quietLy and softly to him, he went into a rage, said how I was character assignating him, he was screaming at me on the motorway and said he didn’t want to go on holiday with me.

I said he was out of control and could he drop me off at the next layby, but he didn’t, he kept me in the car screaming at me and turned round to go home, travelled 20 mins still screaming I was in tears, because I dared to question him in our relationship. Never do this with a covert narc.

There were many incidents like this, he had a Strong sense of entitlement. He was only married to his ex wife two years, she came to the marriage with a house, he had spent three years trying to get money out of her, one day he was pouring over her accounts and he felt she had hidden bank accounts, we were going out for a meal, I was at the end of the road because I couldn’t get into the car due to a wall blocking the door the way it was parked, he got in the car and if I hadn’t moved out of the way quickly I’d have been run over…

Then there was the house I rented, he said he was going to buy it, one day I asked if he was ok to buy the house, ‘are you sure you’re ok to buy it?’ Thinking if he isn’t I need to find alternative accommodation for me and the kids, and he went into a rage and left, and came back… I roll my eyes thinking about it, just a simple question. But he was never going to buy it, it was all an act, fake and he said are you going to ever stop arguing, I wasn’t even arguing, I was walking on eggshells and watching every word I said.

The grand finale, discard, replace…

He was abroad, he was out in Indonesia, I asked him where he was he cited a bar, I looked it up, it boasted to be one of the top pick up joints in Jakarta, I text him constructively said I wasn’t happy about where he was, so he dumped me, by text, I was mortified, I apologized for saying about the bar, no response that evening. He didn’t talk to me for a week, didn’t return my texts. Then he text saying he was picking his stuff up the Monday when he got back, that he’d found a new lady and that they are in shock because of their strong connection (yes the poor unfortunate next victim), he said (all by texts) that she was a flight attendant.
I was beyond anger, I loaded my car up with everything he had in my house and took it to his parents, dumped it and text him saying it was at the end of the road. After I’d driven off he text me saying he wanted an expensive Hoover and the car he’d given me and he was taking me to court, this came as no surprise since he fought his ex wife for three years about a house he’d never owned. I mailed him later asking him not to do that and could I keep the car.

He said on one condition that I send a letter to his parents giving him permission to come to the house to collect any remaining items, I said there is nothing here??? Was puzzled. So fearing loss of the car I wrote the letter, he mailed me agreed a date to come up but I’d have to be there to receive they key, he was most insistent I was there. I said just post the key.

So he came up whilst I was at work, then I received a text saying how I’d hidden the Hoover and he was now taking me to court over the car and I had two days to drop the Hoover off at his parents otherwise I’d be in court. I said I’d get a friend to drop it round to him, he said not good enough, you will drop it round in person… I was very anxious, very fretful and very scared.

I agreed to do this to save my car, yes he bought the car it was a gift during our relationship. So I took a day off work and sweating and anxiously drove to his parents an hour away. I turned up on the doorstep and said here’s the Hoover. He looked terrible, eyes sunken in gaunt etc. he then said get in the car we can chat…. He sat in the car saying how he’d found his soulmate in this new woman, how he’d found the love of his life and how wonderful she was…. Umm where have I heard that one before????

All he wanted to do was use items he thought he possessed to get me there to hurt me, these people don’t go without really trying to hurt you in the grand finale, he said he’d make no claim on the car!!!! It was a rouse to get me there to emotionally stab me, to make matters worse he said his new love interest had predicted I’d be on his doorstep in tears…but he engineered it so I would be and he could then go back to her, say how wonderfully right she was and get kudos points…

So I’m left now shifting through the wreckage that was Colin, like you I’m a bit lost, asking the ‘is it me?’ Questions, am suffering night terrors, find it hard to eat or sleep. Someone told me he might be a covert narcissist, I did some research and found he fits the bill.

Like you I’ve wondered if I should warn his next victim but if would be viewed as jealousy etc etc. I’m now facing sexual health tests as I do not trust him at all. He was massively motivated by sex and porn.
Somehow I don’t think I’ve seen the back of him though as im sure he’ll be in touch when his next victim works it out, but I’m for NO CONTACT!

If you would like to share part of your story, please email it to: mystory@thriveafterabuse.com.

Also, please make sure to let me know of any name changes you’d like to have made–and please keep details vague enough to protect your identity and/or location if this is a concern.

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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 347 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. This is the exact same thing that happened to me I was duped they will never change I was sucked in. I feel so sorry for the other women that will cross their paths but thank god I am
    Out of it and healing

  2. I really do not know what I would have done without your site my counsellor recommended it you do a fantastic job you should be proud of the work you do it has helped me immensely understanding what I have been through and coming to terms with the craziness THANK YOU xx

  3. I’m so glad I could help, and I’m thrilled that your counselor recommended it. A counselor who *really* knows about emotional abuse is worth their weight in gold, and I’m glad that you are getting yourself the help you need. <3

    Here is a link to the support group too if you are interested: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum


    You can heal from this. You really, really can. …And remember, the best revenge is a good life. <3

  4. Umm…. as I was reading this, I literally got chills… not only was this story SO familiar, but so was the actual man described…could actually be my ex-husband… I discovered AFTER filing for divorce that one of the several women he was in a relationship with and victimized whilst we were still married and during our multi-year divorce, and was even engaged to, was living in the UK. Dana, I am warming to your idea of an ‘abuse registry’!!! To the writer of this story, I know very personally and intimately what you have gone through, and I am so very sorry that you were victimized this way! It’s NOT you, and it was never ABOUT you, and it certainly isn’t your fault. I know only too well what you are struggling with presently, but PLEASE hang in there! I will not kid you and say that it will easy but with the right support, understanding of what that really was, some compassion for yourself and some hard-core determination you can make the transition from being a damaged survivor to someone who thrives in her own (new) skin 🙂

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