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84 thoughts on “12 Survival Tips for Living with a Narcissist

  • July 4, 2017 at 3:48 pm
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    I have a 17-year-old daughter who has every single behavior I’ve ever read about Narcissism. Guessing the super need for control and hyper arrogance go with this disorder. She knows exactly how to push my buttons and makes me the villain and her the victim. WAY too often. I would greatly appreciate tips on appropriate responses on my part when she begins the abuse cycle. Right at the “threat” level. She rapids moves from threatened to abusing and short of getting in my car and driving off, I have not figured out how to stop this in its tracks. Or survive it without losing my cool.

    Thank you for your help.

    Becky

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    • March 26, 2019 at 6:59 pm
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      I have 11 years experience. Dont play her game switch off emotionally when it gets real bad and stay strong when u know ur in the right. They will try to make u feel really guilty about this. give lots of love and help when things settle.

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  • July 5, 2017 at 7:47 am
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    While there is a lot of good advice in your columns in general I completely disagree with the idea of letting the narcissist have access to the label narcissist – by calling them a narcissist.

    They will then just throw this label back at you. This label and the knowledge it gives the abused is the one element of power that the abused have. Don’t throw that away by giving it to the narcissist.

    I do fully agree in calling out bad behavior. However call out each individual instance of bad behavour.

    My current technique is to call it out by saying “thats not nice” – when they behave badly.

    Even the narcissist cannot argue that their behavior is nice when it blatantly isn’t.

    By repeating this phrase ad nauseum the point is subtly made to the narcissist that they are not a nice person. The sophisticated label narcissist is then not needed. In a family situation where there are children present this is doubly important as the children then learn to distinguish between “nice” and “not nice” behavior and to realise that nice behavior is valuable.

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    • December 29, 2018 at 10:49 pm
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      Excellent and I am going to have to remember this 🙂

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    • March 11, 2019 at 12:10 pm
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      With a narc, there is no boundaries, mine will turn anything around and justify his bad behavior by only acknowledging it as necessary because he’s not being treated as the authority on something, anything. He’s justified hitting a teacher in fifth grade by saying she deserved it because of “what came after”, although he continues to this day to say nothing really came of it, a major lie, obviously.

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    • June 2, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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      I’ve lived with a narcissist for over 30 years. It’s only been the last 6 years that I’ve realisedthis,thanks to the internet. I’ve read so much on this subject that I’ve been able to pass on alot of info to others that are struggling. My biggest saving grace is 90%of the time detaching myself from him both physically and emotionally. Finding a network of friends to socialise with etc. I’ve never let him know what I’ve learnt. I’ve been able to play him when it suits as they are so predictable. I too call him out on bad behaviour by stating what he said or did was unkind,nasty or uncalled for. Then walk off . This seems to leave him temporarily stumped for words. I also state that I won’t argue with him about xyz that he’s do to bate me. These tactics have brought me alot more peace than I thought possibly. As for trogen horse gifts his latest his nagging for me to commit to a holiday with him. While my situation isn’t ideal it’s the best I can achieve at the moment.

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      • September 15, 2019 at 9:07 am
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        I’ve since used the same type of tactics. I mean I’m too old to play redundant childish or immature games and getting into arguments. I tell him head on I can’t or won’t deal with him talking to me in any foolish way and walk off. I have delved into building a life for me outside of him…the activities would definitely be a good distraction and focus on self in a positive manner. I mean life is for the living and I can’t continue to wait for him to be ready to do or live as far as a social life is concerned. Lol…ive managed to earn two master degrees during my 18 year marriage and work towards gaining a better financial platform independent of my husband. Look…truth be told, can it hurt to the core at times? Yes…Does it get frustrating at times? Yes. However, since I’m choosing to remain in the marriage, I’ve decided to use the experience to strengthen my cause…ME. Frankly, not that it’s an ideal situation but had I not come to the realization of my husband’s personality or traits of narcissism, I feel I would’ve grown comfortable or complacent and not have accomplished anything for myself that I previously mentioned. So, overall, some of the things mentioned in this article has indeed been what I’ve been doung when needed in reference to dealing with him.

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    • October 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm
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      I think the author underestimates the power of silence or casually dismissive responses. If the narcissist goes into blame mode and says its your fault, you can readily say, “Oh, you’re probably right” and go on with whatever you’re doing, or simply act as if you haven’t heard it. If they repeat it, you say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. What did you say?” All of this in the most bored, distracted, I don’t really care kind of tone you can manage.

      Narcissists are always looking for a reaction. The less you react, the less powerful they feel. If you do end up having to directly deal with some demand or other, again, you say, “Oh, no, I’m not going to do that,” in the most blase way possible. Or you just don’t do it and say, “I decided against it” when s/he asked. Bland is best if you have to deal with them. Nothing bothers a narcissist more than you not being affected by his/her behavior.

      All of this assumes a certain level of safety. If you can’t do this stuff without threat of physical retaliation, the only answer is to get the hell out of there. No one should have to live with this kind of behavior!

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      • December 8, 2019 at 2:35 pm
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        This is what I am doing right now.
        I try not to react, which is what he wants. If he has gone outside and comes back in I say “Oh, I thought you’d left.” in a calm, non caring manner.
        When he’s saying something I say something like “What was that, I didn’t hear you?” sometimes ignoring him so he says it again. A horrible way to live but I find when I do this he backs off and is sometimes speechless.
        He is a vicious, malignant narcissist. I do these things to save what sanity I have left.

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    • December 8, 2019 at 11:51 am
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      Good points.

      Something else that works for me is to simply say, “Stop that!” It seems to catch him short and he will shut up, at least temporarily. The other thing that works is to simply and calmly say “Ditto” every time he blames or criticizes me. There’s absolutely no where he can go with that kind of response, so it usually ends the tirade.

      My biggest problem in dealing with my narcissistic spouse is learning to control my own temper. You will never win an argument with a narcissist. There’s really no point in flying off the handle and lowering yourself to that same childish level. I know this. I know it with every fiber of my being. Yet I find it incredibly hard not to defend myself against unfair verbal attacks.

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      • January 15, 2020 at 3:05 pm
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        I too Struggle with my own anger, and this is new to me. I mean, i’ve always been able to defend myself, but i’ve never felt like this before.
        My spouse KNOWS what to say to make me defend and i really struggle to stop myself from getting sooo heated. It’s always an impossible accusation and its always aimed at my character. Why?

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      • January 22, 2020 at 1:21 pm
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        This is my situation right now, I have to work on my temper and the need to defend myself from his verbal abuse. Now I’m in competition with him on Facebook ALL the time. It’s hard when you’ve loved someone genuinely only to find that in their eyes you meant nothing. You can’t just turn it off, so here I stand 15 yrs in a marriage with a narcissist, I still can’t get it right, I question if I still want to be in the marriage with a little part of me dying with each day. I am going to try some of the techniques in the post and see what happens. Best of luck to you as you navigate through life with your narcissist.

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      • February 17, 2020 at 10:08 pm
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        Exact same. Have you found that anything can help him change his ways. Besides just living with it?

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  • October 28, 2018 at 9:55 pm
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    Very happy to have found this website. My life has been turned upside down, and I too live with a narcissistic husband. This is my first experience with this type behaviour and it’s challenging, to a place that continues to drain me emotionally. Can’t wait to read and learn more strategies. Thanks.

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  • January 1, 2019 at 5:52 am
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    I’ve been married to a Narcissist for 14 years. I consider it time wasted. I can’t afford to leave the relationship, and plan for the day that changes. My mind goes places that surprise and shame me at times with how I might end this relationship. So much so, that I question whether or not I’m may be the narcissist. I’m 60, almost 61 years old and hope (even at this age) that I can afford to change my circumstances once I collect Social Security. I am embarrassed to say that at times my heart still bursts with love for this selfish, empty and loveless man, but I’ve gotten better at reminding myself that these sparks of false emotion he seldom shows last only moments and in the next he’ll be a monster again. Life cannot be lived well without love. Everyone deserves to be cared for, but at this age it may be too late. Living without the hurt and constant anger will be enough for me when I can afford to get out of this negative, useless and life draining situation.

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    • February 7, 2019 at 3:24 pm
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      I have lived with the most horrendous narcissistic man born for 36 years now time and time again the same sadistic treatment from him, some of the things he has done is unmentionable but still he continues as he has managed to make it impossible to leave, but at 55 years old I believe I still have time and rightly deserve some peace and love in my life so don’t worry about age just plan to move on when you can
      I would also just like to say 36 years have been taken from me so sorry to say the advice here is not for me no way will I except it as an illness or Truma in his early years we all no right from wrong no excuses for these god dam awful humans and I hope my husband gets everything he deserves when I finally go no contact can’t wait😁😁😁

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      • December 21, 2019 at 3:42 am
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        Hi lady, how are you and were you able to leave yet? I too am in a 36 year marriage to a nasty, mean narcissistic husband who is not only alcoholic but got his medical marijuana card 9 months ago and is stoned and inebriated every waking moment. I have been trying to get our house on the market to sell which he agrees we need to do to downsize but he makes mess after disgusting mess. I have been in two not at fault auto accidents with injuries and chronic pain. He does nothing to help matters. Right now, he is in the process of trying to fool a bunch of stupid doctors trying to diagnose his vomiting, weight loss, dizziness etc which in reality are from excessive alcohol abuse a vicious cycle of abuse by alcohol.
        I have had it. I plan t extricate myself this upcoming year from HELL!!!
        He said 5 weeks ago that he can’t wait to watch me fail. By the grace of God do I get through each day with this monster from HELL! I pray for all of you for strength , wisdom and the means to improve your situation. God’s blessings to you all.

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    • March 8, 2019 at 11:51 am
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      I feel your pain! I too am with a narrsisist. We have only been together for 1 1/2 yrs, and engaged for 10 mths. Every single day starts with an argument. He came into my home to live where I have 2 teenagers. He doesnt like my daughter and tells me daily how to parent her. If I dont listen to him, its hell. If he screws up (which is often) he denies it and immediately tries to twist it around by saying “you always want to fight “. He stole my sons debit card, and when I confronted him he said “oh my God, why are you trying to start an argument with me”? “You always want to fight”, “I cant live with you always down my throat”. And when I tell him I want him to move out (every week), he threatens “you’ll lose your house without me helping with bills”. I feel so stuck, I cry daily and I’ve never been a crier. Also he had made me cut off friends. Has kept me isolated. I cant go anywhere. He checks the kms on my car. When I’m hurt and crying in front of him , he doesnt acknowledge that I’m upset. He ignore me. It’s all about his feelings.
      Is there a way to make him realize how he makes me feel?

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      • March 29, 2019 at 7:33 pm
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        Turn and walk away!! I cannot state this more plainly. You will never be as important as him. If he doesn’t like your children, don’t turn your life and theirs into a living hell. You and your children deserve so much better. I married a man who charmed his way into my life only to realize a few years into it that he was not only a narcissist, but he is also bi-polar.
        You are not the fix it lady and he is not going to be fixed if you just love him enough!!!!

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      • February 17, 2020 at 10:18 pm
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        There is no way to change them?

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      • April 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm
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        I so feel your pain right now . I am also living with an Narrsis we been together for 5 years now and wards cant decribe how mentaly drained I feel right now I feel like theres no way out for me . Hes lied beaten and made me feel worthless. Our children went up for adopion because off this iv got no familey left no friends iv also tryed to commet suidide because I just cant take no more but feel as if I cant break free. Not one aounce off guilt sadness nor nothing ever come from him and he just carrys on each day as normal and excepts me too . Really dont no what to do .

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      • September 15, 2019 at 9:16 am
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        Look…the decision is yours in the end, but if you’re not married to him yet, THANK YOUR GOD that you see him as his is prior…I mean, why stay? From what I gather and speaking from my own situation, I hadn’t seen or recognized any signs or behavior of narcissism until AFTER we were married. Divorce can be more complicated than breaking an engagement.

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      • December 8, 2019 at 3:38 pm
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        Oh, run, run, run, this abuse will not stop, it will get worse. You will end up insane and it will affect your children very, very badly.
        They enjoy hurting people. There is no reasoning with these monsters, it is utter Hell. If you can, get rid of him and I say if you can because in a lot of cases, including my own, it’s because of financial reasons.
        Can’t say it enough, if you think this is bad now, just wait, they are incapable of empathy, they don’t have it so don’t care.

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    • March 20, 2019 at 10:33 pm
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      Same here. I’m 65 & 21 years with him. I only recently came to understand this was the issue (thanks to DT). He controls the money, enjoys humiliating me, has temper tantrums, massive mind control over me. I look forward to the day one of us dies. I dread coming downstairs every morning & judging his mood by his reply to my always cheery good morning. I can’t make many plans with friends because he will cause me to cancel. If I do management get out it can only be for a couple hours. And every single time, I have to do something for him at the same time, be it an errand or bringing him food. Tomorrow I’m riding with a friend and hour away for her doctor appointment but I have to bring him lunch back. If friends are over he’s constantly calling my name & saying things unimportant at the time, like we have to call the vet, we have to order dog food, we have to call the garage. Always “we” but always really me. I feel invisible, insignificant, there’s something wrong with everything I do or say. I was sexually abused as a child but he says get over it because it’s screwing with his sex life. I am dead inside. I need knee surgery but can’t get it because it will impact on him. Him, who goes nowhere & does nothing. Thanks for letting me vent.

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      • September 15, 2019 at 9:27 am
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        Well…what can I say? Throw him a curve ball and start ignoring his requests. It’s time to evolve and let him see it. Either he will be caught by surprise or he’ll rant or both…either way, you’ll have to stand your ground and remove your emotions out of the situation thereby commanding respect. He’ll have no choice but to accept it and deal with it eventually but his approach towards you will become different. I mean fact of the matter as I see it is, sure, you can learn how to live with a narcissistic husband but at the same time, especially if or when you call him out, you have to teach him how to treat you too.

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    • July 18, 2019 at 7:17 pm
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      U r an inspiration! I am 43 & have been living with my narcissistic husband since last 20 years & just felt there is no escape for me but reading Ur hopeful comments I believe that even I should keep my hopes up! Wish u all the best and see u on the other side one day of freedom, love & peace. Amen

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    • November 1, 2019 at 10:22 pm
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      I’m not sure If you will see this, but your words really struvk me. I relate so much to all that you said. I’m 33 and have been married to my husband for 16 years. We have 5 kids together and for the most part, I cant stand him anymore. I feel terrible for some of the thoughts I have towards him..but he’s terrible 90%of the time. I feel desperate to get away from him, but like you said, I feel love for him still too..and it isnt easy to just walk away. It’s a terrible cycle. I too, wonder at times if I’m not the one who is narcissist… I think that in ways, I have gone higher on the spectrum out of self preservation. After all, all narcissists were once wounded victims– they adapted their qualities and the negative aspects of their personalities to help them cope with their realities. I try hard to stay balanced and accountable… but sometimes, it does get really hard.

      I hope you find your way– and I dont think you’re ever to old to start over and be happy.

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      • December 18, 2019 at 1:47 am
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        Hi. My narcassistic husband of 17 years walked out on me & our 2 kids this year. I loved him, thought he was my soulmate but for the last 18 months I now realise he had been gaslighting me. Ignoring me, lying until it built up to him locking his phone, starting smoking (just because I wouldn’t like it). He sent me in a tailspin, then walked out and moved on to another woman. For 7 months since him leaving he has been vile to me, I nearly had a breakdown because it’s been horrendous. To be thrown away and replaced. I know realise he lacks empathy but hid his other traits well. He was 40 last year, lost his hair which seems to have triggered it off. I’m still struggling but I can’t even look or talk to him now. I’m heartbroken. Scarey stuff!!

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      • February 17, 2020 at 10:28 pm
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        Same. I’m 39 years old , have 2 kids= 7!years and 1.5 years. We have been married for 16 years. Everyday with him is hell. I feel trapped finically to be able to get out. I don’t want him to hurt by kids emotionally and verbally like he does to me. Is there a way to change him?

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  • January 30, 2019 at 4:50 am
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    Hi thank you I have done this more or less through out the years to cope. The hardest I find if I get I’ll which is not often, I find myself alone and punished for being ill. I have four children, only the youngest comes and asks if I want water or food, the dad and the others seem to be completely oblivious to me. The dad suggests that I am taking. I have not fallen ill for a long time. I can deal with most of it and look after myself. But somehow the children s lack of concern hurts me. As when they have been my priority since they were born 7,8,8 and 15. The 15 year old is particularly self centered, she can not feel anything for any of her brothers or sisters or me, particularly unhelpful and uncooperative, but extremely self focused. Which makes it hard for me to keep everyone going together. I can not leave this man and find some one else as my children adore him and his fun style. I keep going. He snores and that affects me when I can’t get to sleep, but he denies it even when I play it back to him, a simple act of sleeping on his side he won’t do for me. But he pays the mortgage. Pray for me.

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  • March 12, 2019 at 8:25 am
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    This was extremely helpful for me. It helped me in my understanding of what I’m going through. And how I can attempt to save my marriage but it is hard to be hopeful at times and fearful as well of their reaction.

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  • March 24, 2019 at 8:39 pm
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    I have been married to a narcissist for a long time. I have always wondered what was going on. I stumbled on a story that included people being narcissist. As I read on, it occurred to me that this was true my wife as well. I also had to admit to myself that I am a bit codependent. Not easy to look at yourself that way. I did step back and study things for a while. I thought about it and came up with strategies to work around a lot of things. My problem with this, is that I am a fairly open person, but now I have to mentally always keep a distance. This is counter to any level of real intimacy. I really do not like the feeling of not being open, but I must. It also seems a little bit manipulative which I do not like, but you got to do what you got to do.
    All of this explains an interaction between my daughter (who is a RN) and my wife. When I had open heart surgery a few years back, my daughter came and took care of me, and would not let my wife do it. I think on some level my daughter knows.
    I think all my children know. If they want chit-chat they will talk to mom, if they have a real problem they come to me. If you are married to a narcissist, please look after your children.
    I am an engineer, so smart in some ways and so stupid in others. This is a tough game.

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  • March 26, 2019 at 7:01 pm
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    Thank you soooo much your tips and info are going to be really helpful.

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  • April 9, 2019 at 9:20 am
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    Wonderful article, and so helpful. Trying to figure out how to manage my own expectations and emotional needs while keeping my family together, as I fear more for what ugly traits my teen sons could pick up from their father if we had to share custody. I was dead set in my heart on leaving, as I am just worn out with the lack of emotional connection, hearing husband’s glorious stories about himself over and over, walking on eggshells, trying to do something, ANYTHING, that would make him soften, then realized that no amount of anything I can do will make HIM have emotions or empathy. So, now I just need to steel myself and do the best I can at keeping my ugly thoughts quiet and bide my time until custody is no longer an issue so that my boys are emotionally safe and not torn apart by divorce at a challenging age. These people (narcissists) make it so hard on us empathetic, feeling types, because when they’re getting their supply, they can seem nice and sweet, but they are still just so “flat,” for lack of a better way to explain it. I think I have come to terms with just being happy with my kids and the time we spend together, and outside hobbies and interests, and not expecting things to ever be truly, deeply happy with my husband. I just know I can’t live out all of my days til death do us part with this shell of a human. Unless one of us dies soon. LOL.

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  • April 13, 2019 at 11:46 pm
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    My heart aches to know that there some many of us living with someone who has such a terrible illness. I have no idea how I found this website… I’ll I know is was at the perfect time, I was about to give up…I felt so lonely, so week, so stupid for allowing someone to treat me the way he does and believing everything he said about me. Great article I’ll will try my best to follow the 12 tips. Thank YoU!

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  • April 19, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    This article literally sickened me. I kept reading points that only enabled the Narcissist by playing into their sick disorder and appeasing them to keep them happy. After dealing with a narcissist for 13 years, I got fed up with his abuse, got educated, started calling him out on his Narcissistic behavior (which made him extremely mad but ultimately made him aware that he might have a serious problem) and set very strong boundaries with consequences that were carried out. After educating him about what I would and would not tolerate in the relationship and kicking him out of the house 3 times in order for him to understand that I meant what I said as to consequences for breaking boundaries, he got the message. My point is, take the focus off the Narcissist and get the focus on you and what you need in a relationship. If they won’t meet your needs, then dump them and go find someone who will. Take control of your life and stop the abuse. Life is short. Start living it instead of surviving it.

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  • April 20, 2019 at 9:50 pm
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    I’m really confused. My wife says I’m a covert narcissist. I know I have high anxiety, codependency, and addiction. But I’ve done psych tests and counseling for years. None of the counselors or tests have said that I’m a narcissist, and some have said she seems borderline. I can sometimes see what she’s saying about me, but other times I feel gaslighted. Whatever is true about the labels, IF I am a covert narcissist, HOW do I change? Can a narcissist change? I’m tired of all the chaos in our marriage.

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    • April 20, 2019 at 10:38 pm
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      Your desire to change is a strong indicator that you are not a covert narcissist especially if no psychological test has said that you are. I would research Borderline Personality Disorder instead.

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  • April 24, 2019 at 11:36 pm
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    In January I discovered my wife was having an affair. This was as we were going into year five of no sex in our marriage. I had never gotten an explanation for why the sex stopped other than vague implications that she had no interest in sex or that I didn’t make her feel good about herself.
    My initial reaction to finding out about her adultery was almost joyful…I had the moral high ground and things would now change. It was clear she had violated her vows, and there could be no justification for that.
    I sat on the knowledge about a week. During that time I looked at my reaction in light of my religious and moral beliefs. I also put things in perspective as far as the children and my view of our wedding vows. I determined that I would not leave the marriage or her. This was the ‘worse’ in for better or for worse. It also seemed to touch on in sickness and in health. Her view was that I had made life in the marriage so bad that she had no choice but an affair. She was ‘unhappy’ and my ‘always being angry’ was the cause. Apparently 5 years of zero sex, staying home with the kids in a rural environment while she worked 12 hour shifts nights/days (which were supposed to lead to her promotion into upper management) should lead to peace and joy. Of course her 12 hour shifts were things of hardship while mine alone with toddlers to 10 year olds we’re holidays.

    I have been up and down emotionally in the last several months. However, spiritually I have been exceptionally blessed by accepting that my own faults are many (though in no way responsible for her affair) and realizing that becoming the best man I can be, with God’s help, is the best thing I can do for whatever the outcome of our marriage is. I decided that I will/do love my wife and therefore must act on that within the marriage.

    At first it seemed as if I would be extraordinarily weak, as I would seek to give to her. Unexpectedly I have found that to give of myself out of love is a strength. Unlike giving out of fear or as appeasement. I sort of see her as having a chronic illness…perhaps it will go into remission, perhaps it will not. Regardless, she is my wife so I will love and help her. Being able to let her in completely, to finally open my heart fully while knowing what I was opening it to was immensely freeing. Logically it was stupid, but marriage is a sacrament and involves two people and God in my view. I have great joy, along with daily frustration, from allowing myself to care. I do not know what will happen. I do not even know if she is a true narcissist…and it does not matter. I am learning to live in the moment and to let go of my own narcissistic impulses and activities. I am moving forward in important areas. I want her to come along too but I cannot make her do that. All I can try to do is love her radically. Whether that works for our marriage or not will be seen. I have faith it will eventually, at some level but it is already working great change within me and has allowed me to come to understand the phrase “Be not afraid”; which I want desperately for her to understand as well.

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  • June 2, 2019 at 10:29 pm
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    Everything you said resounds with how I felt at first and sometimes still do. But as our children are 30 plus they have been open with me on the subject. They have stated that it’s what I have to do to keep my sanity. Deep down I think their right.

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  • June 9, 2019 at 9:32 am
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    I am living with this learning curve after curve some issue I give and some The problems I am facing is I keep choosing the same person every time the same issue I like this at the start then it tapers off, third wife either change my taste or honker down and walk thru but don’t give in to the lies or blame game stand tall and be willing to lose.(my story)

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  • July 24, 2019 at 2:44 pm
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    This is 100% my situation too. I have three boys and two with special needs (ASD/ADHD). My husband displays all of these narcissistic traits and especially treats me awfully. I am waiting for surgery and then I’m going to finish my masters degree so that I can end this nightmare and not have to worry about child support. He is so controlling of money – wanting me to use inheritance money instead of family earned wages to pay for the family car insurance just this week. I found out he’s using another account to put his OT pay into. Last year he went away for “fun” for three weeks only to be picked up from the airport in a bad mood and said nothing to me the whole way home expect to rant that the house wasn’t clean (home with three kids solo parenting for three weeks – the house was not easy to keep clean). It is such a mind twist to deal with this. I can hardly wait to be done with him, but I don’t want to split until I am done school and have a solid job to support the kids and myself without having to worry about his drama. Do you have some sort of support chat that is not seen on facebook? We you sign up to a group, others in your friends list can see it, and I don’t want people (especially my husband and his family) knowing.
    Thanks for this….it is helping me to keep my mind clear and persevere until I can end this nightmare.

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  • July 24, 2019 at 9:34 pm
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    The irony that Bill Clinton would be the narcissist. I found your article trying to start thinking through how to cope with the possibility that this racist trash may be president another 4 years.

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  • September 6, 2019 at 7:53 am
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    Living with a narcissistic husband for 16 years, and it’s less than a week I am realizing he is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder! After getting a silent treatment because I did go to see my previous co-workers (all ladies), after 5 years. I enjoyed the lunch and catching up with them. When I came home, that was it for him! Eventhough when I left he was totally fine and I said call me if you need me. The silent treatment is what I have been living with for these years, and familiar with. But it really hurts every single time. I feel nothing left from me but the emotional scars all over. Searching online, I realized that it is a typical weapon for a narcissist. The more I read, the more matching behaviors I found😳Everything he says is right, never admit his wrongs, everything is my fault, he makes fun of what I wear. ( even giving me silent treatment because my top has flowers pattern on it!!!!!) , criticizing my body ( I am over weight or under weight, pretty good, better than average looking), he has been taking me to plastic surgeon and wanted me to look like models with extreme curves!!!!! That what he likes, not caring even of my health condition, some dr. said it’s not good and not necessarily for me to do that kind of surgery!!!!
    I look back, I was pretty happy, energetic, full of life and funny girl. He had made me feel like a living dead. I never felt true comfort with him. He doesn’t want to listen to me or understand what my likes and dislikes are in everything, even sex!!! It’s been years everything is dead for me. I used to have hope years ago, that he will get better, and would stop behaving like a stubborn child. He doesn’t even want to talk to resolve any issue. So now I have lost hope. I don’t know if I should continue living like this or not, have lost my confidence and self esteem over these years. And I am so scared of divorce, living lonely is not what I am familiar with. But I am ” THE EXHAUSTED WOMAN” and so tired of being worried what is going to make him mad again? A word that I day, or the tea was too hot or too cold for him? !!!!
    Thank you for good info and being able to share experiences with others going through the same hardship.

    Reply
    • September 9, 2019 at 7:57 am
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      The words you write describe my life. I’m “THE EXHAUSTED WOMAN”, too. In fact, I found this site by typing in the search ” I’m exhausted from living with narcissist husband” !I looked in the mirror last night while washing my face, and my eyes look dead. I feel completely drained, sad, worn out. My husband mentally and emotionally torments me constantly, everything is a sick game to him, a power play. I’m an artist, he finds fault with all my artwork or he ignores it, never attends my shows, now I find it difficult to pick up a paint brush, I used to have so much energy, laughter, I was pretty. I exercised my whole life and stayed in shape, always was complimented by people who said I looked younger than my age. Now I’m underweight from stomach issues caused by the stress. I look so haggard. I have anxiety, migraines due to the daily silent treatment, his zero empathy and his nasty, hostile actions. Nothing is ever good enough for him, He criticizes everything I do, everything I say, he takes pleasure in ruining any good mood I have. He makes this little snarky laugh at my opinions. He can turn the simplest question into a huge argument, it’s bizarre. He never admits he is wrong. My Mother passed away recently and it is a struggle as I miss her deeply. She was my best friend. Stupid me, I actually expected some sort of kindness or simple compassion. Instead, he ignores me when I cry, ignores me when I talk, doesn’t even look in my direction. Wow, who treats someone grieving in such a cold, uncaring way?? No hug, no touching, nothing. He writes witty comments on Facebook, in public he is such a charmer, he keeps his mean true self hidden until back home again. That’s the really screwed up part- no one would believe how awful he really is if I tried to explain how we really live. He is such a great actor he could win an Oscar. His latest tactic is making huge messes for me to clean up. If he makes himself something to eat he purposely drops food on the floor, the counter is covered in crap, knocks over glasses of ice tea on the living room rug, and he finds this amusing. I raised 3 kids- he is not their father, we got together after my divorce. and I have never seen anything like these messes. He only talks when it’s about himself or to tell me some “fabulous trip” someone is taking that he saw on Facebook. No intimacy, no nothing. I love to sit outside in my screened in gazebo, we live in the woods, but I’m always sitting by myself. summer is over now, and it was wasted. He’s inside watching tv for hours and hours. There was love bombing when we first got together. Then he became moody periodically, but I always thought things would get better. I tried so hard to make him happy. What a fool I am. As the years passed, he’s become worse and worse. I used to be able to manage and cope.. But now it is too much. He sabotages any plans I make, screwing up details on purpose. The days are horrible now that he retired last spring , and he is home constantly. he is 63 I’m 61 , my life is a nightmare . Financially, I cannot afford to leave . I can’t sleep, I wake up and dread what he’ll do next. The only thing saving my life is the thought of leaving my children and my dog and cats. I pray for everyone on this page, what a profoundly sad way to live.

      Reply
  • September 25, 2019 at 1:40 pm
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    I admire your courage to call him out on things and not allow him to control the both of you. I too believe in making them aware and accountable, working on that myself right now!! Great story and your an inspiration to so many!

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  • October 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm
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    LADIES! GENTLEMEN! I hold hands with all of you!and then add ‘hypnotism and destructive sabbatoge to the story. it took 13 years of my gullibility, 2 years of denial and 5 years of educating myself. here are a few of my survival tips
    1. get off the victim chair! EDUCATE YOUSELF!
    2. never stop planning for the day you will be independent! I lived in my suv for a year. resources are out there. this gave me time to reestablish who the hell I am, how I was raised, my values and purpose, and where did I see myself in 5 years. to confirm IM OK AND I LIKE WHO I AM I DO NOT HAVE THE PROBLEM! and you are a fly (lol)
    3. BE OKAY WITH CHANGING THE PLAN its ok ‘the plan’ did not fan out (car broke down big $)I CHOOSE to return to the same walls that I allowed to control me however, it now confirmed that I am stronger and less tolerate to manipulation. independent for only my need to reaffirm I am a success within myself.
    4. do not contemplate the question of ‘why’. do not hold emotion for this negative living with you. like a fly look forward when its gone. don’t dwell don’t even think twice about the negative vanish those thoughts. they are time wasters! think of your awesome beautiful self (this may take practice just do it) refer to #1. and so forth.
    5. the ‘never’ is important here.
    a. never forget they will not change
    b. never think they are sincere to you
    c. never expect anything loyal, loving, or supportive from the negative (aka narK’r)
    d. never loose your sense of humor which is hard at times ( to say the least!) shake it off, in one ear and out the other mother always said!
    e. never forget the focus! it is on YOU 100% your health your thoughts your support 24/7 you are what matters (refer back to a., b., c., d.)
    6. do not discuss your children with…Make decisions re: children independently ALWAYS. they are best guided and loved by truth. you are not responsible for the relationship that is made by a negative. children are smart, their memories will tell the truth to them. reassure them never stop telling them they are brilliant, powerful and special.
    7. don’t engage in anything w/ the negative if possible. there is no point to it. (refer to #1. etc)
    8. don’t argue, hell don’t even talk(lol) to a negative, there is no point. (refer to #7) do what your gonna do, your decision. if necessary appease the negative but carry out what your gonna do anyway without a need to chat about it*appease=simply say yes ok. that does not say your gonna do it another way, it confirms you heard the negative and carry on with your decision of action. don’t feel the need to discuss it.
    7. except YOU ARE STRONG YOU WILL SURVIVE it is only finances that are keeping you here.
    8. your safety and warmth is a priority along with keeping your pets safe! don’t underestimate a negative. you know your pets behavior anything other than normal take precautions! I don’t have the answers with no finances I cant get them tested. or even my own food to a lab. advice welcomed.
    9. great advice my pharmacist told me years ago when going through an earlier divorce…
    ENCIRCLE YOURSELF AROUND
    FRIENDS OF SUPPORT!
    10. a day of clarity will come (or already has dahh) that life is not fun and possibly not complete without the love of a partner. a negative is completely void of a healthy partnership. your strength and wisdom and power will again re- center your focus on independence. and one day when you least expect it love will find its way into your life again…be cautious! you are more vaunderable than you know to be easily influenced. don’t let go of your independence ever! sure you can add people to your life but never think its gonna be easier to give over the steering wheel you worked hard to establish the ‘you can do it’ foundation it is laziness if you let anyone else do it. and trust in the fact ONLY you hold your best interests at heart. ofcourse youll be right back, just watch out buddy cuz your power is walking back in that door with you! and then there was silence—-> ahh how refreshing!
    GO FORTH YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!

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  • October 27, 2019 at 11:41 pm
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    Thank God for the internet! I too realized last year that my spouse is a narcissist. He has always had a strong personality and was somewhat controlling, I could handle him. But when I retired this past October 2019 (took two months off prior too) and got a part time job that “he” did not like because he was concerned about how it looked….I really saw his strips. He showed his natural born arse, threatened me divorce, selling of the house and taking half of my pension. Oh, and he called the cops on me because he was in fear of his life. Granted he is 6″2 and 350 lbs., and then turned around and asked if I was going to make breakfast. Today he is upset because I should be over my anger and I am playing games. This happened a week ago. Now, I don’t like putting a label on bad behavior. They know exactly what they are doing. And I can give it as good as I can take it. However, I am 58 years old. Too old for this s… I don’t plan on hanging around. If I walk out today, I will also lose 23 years of a 38 year pension, but I am okay with that. Life is too short.

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  • December 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm
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    Been married to a nasty, covert narcissist for 30 years, I have gone insane, haven’t wanted to live on several occasions and was told I am worthless, useless etc. Next day, he’s acting as though nothing happened.
    He has badmouthed me to everyone, for years I could not figure out what was happening.
    When I confront him about his lying, nastiness etc…plus massive mood swings..I am told I am hallucinating it all.
    His favorite is to tell me ” When you get help, you’ll be okay.” All while patting me on the back.
    This along with gaslighting and the silent treatment for days, I’ll ask a question, he won’t answer. It’s a terrible feeling then suddenly he will put gas in my car, bring me flowers etc.
    It’s not ok, this is horrendous abuse.
    He knows what he is doing.
    He has “dead” eyes, the only time he has any kind of emotion is when he is destroying someone.
    This man changed 2 weeks after we were married.
    There is also another look he has and that is with such hatred towards me, such venom in his eyes. I am scared he is going to something to me as I know he won’t let me leave and go on with my life. I shake most of the day, my nerves are shot.
    He acts like he is so nice outside the house but you don’t know what you’re going to get inside.
    I am 57 years old and want a life, I feel so weak and beaten down and so afraid.of.life.

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  • December 8, 2019 at 9:04 pm
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    Thank you for this article. I have been married to my husband for 5 years and we have a 4 year old daughter together.
    If it were just me, I would leave. But my daughter adores him and leaving would be a huge decision to make that would alter her life.
    I thank god he is not physically abusive but he lacks any empathy and is not self-reflective at all. I’m also blessed that it is not necessary for me to stay financially.
    If I bring anything up that he has said that hurts me he just defects or brings up how i did something similar.
    There is no talk of anything other than him in the house. So obvious that even when my daughter is speaking he will interrupt her just to say anything that has come to his mind. It’s a one man show here for sure. (Nevermind the mansplaining on a constant basis).
    But I think the lack of empathy is the worst. How can you have an intimate, trusting relationship without empathy?
    I question everyday if I should leave. Should I give my daughter a chance to see what a happy, loving relationship is like? Or is having both her parents together better?
    My dad is classic narcissist (go figure) so I recognize the signs and I remember growing up always feeling unheard, misunderstood and second priority to him. But my Mom (they divorced when I was 3) was loving, affectionate and so empathetic that I think she saved me.
    I try to be that for my daughter but the look on her face when my husband isn’t paying attention (he is always on social media) or when she gets in trouble for a behavior she obviously learned from him (interrupting people when they speak. Not listening and hearing someone…)
    Ugh. I just don’t know what to do for her sake.
    All these things in this article point how to make it better and how to live with them..: but then are we ever truly happy?
    For the people who lived with a narcissist, and not out of necessity, looking back- was it worth it? Or did you ever feel there was something better out there? Also, I am 41 and he is 30. I’m wondering if this will get worse as he gets older? Or better?
    Thanks for listening and any advice.

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  • December 9, 2019 at 2:13 pm
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    Thank you for this article and all the responses. I never thought of narcissistic behavior as his problem. Now I know the truth. A friend once told me that when he dies they will bury me. How true. I have had cancer twice, new knees new hips and other physical problems. I get no empathy from him. He even once said that I was getting all the attention. Duh.

    I am 75 married for 50 years. I have stayed for my children and also because of his manulitive personality. I am always wrong.

    However after all this time I am feeling free even tho still married. Now that I know what he is I can cope with it. I can never forgive his many infidelities there is no love left in me for him. Sometimes I think his problems go back to his Catholic school upbringing. All the sexual stuff I believe caused his inability to truly have real feelings

    So now in my senior years it is too late to change my marriage. I should have left him years ago. So now I am feeling stronger since I know the problem. You are never too old to change. I do think my cancer and other physical problems are the result of years of stress and unhappiness. But now I know the cure and continue to change myself. Thank you all for the info and insights. Will be joining your blog if I can keep him away from my devices

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  • December 16, 2019 at 5:59 pm
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    I have read your article and all comments. I thi9nk I have enough experience – 20 yrs marriage with a cover narcistic wife and a very heavy emotional call: 2 adopted children which we adopt several years before outbreak of my wife’s real persona. So in theory I should follow advice of making it wi9th narcistic but I must say its not always a good option and moreover this option comes with risk. whatever you do for this sad affected individuals in your life you will be in a loss. Loss of happiness and emotional bond, loss of true intimacy, loss of a good name because they will go at great lengths to smear your name, loss of money and time. I’m still married having survived a terrible 2 years when my wife’s illness turned my and our children’s life into hell. There are still consequences of it coming (financial, reputational for me) and every day I have to work hard to repair this. Is it worth it ? for the sake of children its is and its the only reason. I’m not going to take any more emotional , sexual manipulation from that empty shell of human being so I will not change my boundaries and won’t take any extra efforts in order to please her. She is rather weak and never puts money when her mouth is so I use it as a good reason to enforce boundaries which for a normal person are just accepted standards of behaviour in loving and caring relationship. Did you all notice it ? We are making boundaries from just normal human behaviour.
    So now my wife knows there is end to talking to me waving her hands in front of face, raising her voice and shouting, making circle arguments and twisting reality to suit her deeply wounded and crap ego. After a pause she tried once but then consequences were pretty obvious as I told her in case of emotional abuse I will print divorce application, fill it up and give it to her to be signed and there will be no way back from it. Thing is, this damaged individuals if it happens hey don’t have skills or opportunity to earn enough to sustain themselves will come back as material comfort, cars, houses etc means everything for them – they prop their childish ego with this as one way of finding their lost internal value. Staying in emotionally abusive relationship for the sake of children will always damage other partner and time doesn’t go back. I know how heavy it can be and I also know there is no straight forward answer/method to deal with them. However knowing what I know and reading multiple books and talking to therapist a prospect of happy, fulfilled life with Narcistic person is close to zero. Losses will always far exceed any gains. Sad but true. I don’t know what future will bring for me but frankly I don’t care about this relationship as I used to. I managed to cut my dependency cords and move on with a thought of eventual divorce. It doesn’t bother me anymore aft6er I found my own value and learnt to live without too much looking at my mentally affected wife’s problems and concerns. She is smart (as many NPD are indeed having great intellect) and she settled down- of course without any in-depth look, sincere apology etc . However its another things you can’t expect of these poor empty shells of human beings. Frankly I don’t envy her last days especially when she will be facing her final hours when everything she did will be come back and be revealed to her to face it. She used to believe in Divinity and even was going to church, the more years passed and more messed up her internal life has become the less she was able to believe in anything but herself.
    I hope everyone affected by these sad and pathetic people will find the best solution for themselves but most importantly will heal, cut dependency cords and move onto happier and normal live.

    Reply
  • December 25, 2019 at 3:18 pm
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    Im 65 and have been married to a narcissist for 3.5 years. I knew something was wrong with him when dating and we went to counseling. The counselor nailed him with no empathy, etc. she didnt tell me though hes a narcissist.

    I advise you all to ignore the narc as much as you can. DISENGAGE from him/her. Do NOT reaction when they do something like taking/moving your things around, or when blaming you. Just walk away and ignore them. I plan to divorce this narc, but Im waiting for me to collect SS and pension, then Im gone.
    r to
    If you live with a narc, start planning your escape. I plan to leave when hes not home and leave a note and letter from my attorney. My narc takes my personal items all the time, hides them, then may or may not put them back in the same place or another place/room. I finally put battery operated cameras in 2 rooms so I can capture this behavior. Will use it for the divorce

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  • January 3, 2020 at 1:29 pm
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    I am recovering from a health crisis, and out of the health crisis, my grief counselor, when we met to get an update on what had transpired encouraged me to read up on narcicissm. I have complex-PTSD and have done a lot of work on myself over the years, like devoted the bulk of my living to healing, and now I am realizing my remaining mental health challenges are largely driven by the relationship. I am 60, we aren’t legally married, and he owns the house. For a period of time it looked like I was not going to be able to return to this home of 28 years, but I am, and the alternative, of a homeless shelter without the ability to work at this time seemed as if it would be more detrimental to my health. I am really grateful to read of these comments and to also learn it might be possible to find ways to cope. I am realizing there is a co-dependent part of this dance and I believe it is possible for me to say no to this. My partner has come forward about his envy, and we’ve discussed other traits on the NPD. So far, what works for me, is actually following the advice of the judge involved in a legal matter, if there is a fight, get out of there immediately. So I do. I leave. I process the feelings I am feeling and focus on forgiveness and tell the universe I am open to change, to leaving, if it should come to that. I also have followed the advice to study the situation and am keeping a journal of happenings. Understanding what is going on has helped tremendously. Hugely. Spending time in meditation and mindfulness and really enjoying the present moment and focusing on the good there is also helps tremendously. I am not sure if it is denial, but I am telling myself, it isn’t as bad as what other people experience. Scary at 60, with no income coming in, and without the resources to just up and leave. So, trusting it is only going to improve because I am now self-aware, and he, to some degree is self aware.

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  • February 17, 2020 at 10:31 pm
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    I’m 39 years old , have 2 kids= 7years and 1.5 years. We have been married for 16 years. Everyday with him is hell. I feel trapped finically to be able to get out. I don’t want him to hurt by kids emotionally and verbally like he does to me. Is there a way to change him?

    Reply
 

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