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Does A Narcissist Ever Apologize?

Someone searched “Does a Narcissist Ever apologize” so I thought I would answer that question from my experience with a narcissist.

The simple answer is NO! I have never received an honest apology from him in 10 years!

A typical apology from him went something like this, “I am sorry I let you get to me”.
“You drove me to it, but I should have walked away”
“Any real man would have hit you sooner, but I should have been stronger”
“I knew right from the start you had problems but I thought I could handle it, I should have known better”.

When I caught him with personal ads it was my fault:
When I have to deal with THIS (me crying, angry, showing emotion over just discovering yet another personal ad or love letter to another woman), of course I am going to look for other women.

You drive me to it, instead of acting like this why don’t you try harder so I don’t want any one else?

“I wasn’t choking you I just had my hands on your throat”

When he told me it was over, he’d had enough of THIS and I said,” All I’ve ever done is love you, I never screwed around, and it’s you that always had the ads and the other women.”
He stopped reading his magazine and looked at me over his glasses and said,” And what did you do?”
“I stayed”
As cold as ice he said, “Exactly” and went back to reading his magazine.

His sister was standing right there and later she said to me, “If you ever doubt yourself for leaving, remember one word……EXACTLY”

If a narcissist can’t come up with an excuse for his actions he simply reinvent history, he will convincingly change the course of events to suit his agenda. He will lie to you about events you were witness to and when you say he is wrong he will not back down to the point that you question your own memory of the events.

No one can be that steadfast and firm in their account unless they believe it to be that way. But you have to remember they are expert and pathological liars, a normal person when cornered with hard facts and proof will admit they were lying but not a narcissist.

I overheard him talking to my son one time when Kris was a teenager and he told him,
”No matter what they have on you, never back down, never admit fault, just deny, deny, deny. There’s nothing they can do.”

I have received generic, “I am so sorry for everything I put you through” letters but they always ended up with me somehow being selfish, misunderstanding his “motives”, and ultimately to blame.

The only time I ever received a heartfelt apology was when we had been split for awhile and I hadn’t contacted him at all; it happened twice. He came to me humble, in tears and admitted fault to everything, took total blame for events; admitted it was wrong to hit me and promised to never do it again, admitted having personal ads was totally wrong and promised to never do it again, said I was all the woman he would ever need or want and asked me to give him one more second chance. His hands were shaking, he was choking back the tears and finally down right crying. He said that being apart had shown him how much he really loves me and things would be different if I just gave him the chance to prove to me he could be honest.

Both times I took him back, stupid me, fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me!

The second time I did say, “I’ve heard all this before, why should I believe you this time?” and he said, “This time I really mean it”

In a “normal” relationship when a person admits that what they did was wrong and apologizes there is usually at least an ATTEMPT to change. In my mind it is not an apology unless the person changes their behavior, if they continue to do the same things that they know will hurt you then the apology meant nothing; it was just lip service.

The last time he asked me back was the most convincing apology he’d ever given, he even went so far as to take my son aside and apologize to him (something he had never done in the past); which was a major deciding factor for me and JC knew it. My son believed him and decided to give him a second chance which eased my mind a lot! Over the course of time, right up to a few months ago I found out the truth, that at the time he made those promises he was telling me he was living with a guy friend when in fact he was living with a woman, who he had sex with, he had hidden his profile on POF, had recently placed an ad on a Gay XXX dating site, was still communicating with the woman in Africa and actively searching for women and communicating with 2 of his exs.

When I confronted him on his phony apology he matter-of-factly stated, “I told you what I knew you needed to hear” when I said, “What about the apology to Kris?” He said,” I said what I knew he needed to hear”.

So I guess it depends on how you define apology, will he say, “I am sorry”; in my experience yes he will, will he mean it? Never!!

JC used to lament, “How many times do I have to apologize? Why do you insist on bringing up the past?” His apologizes never meant anything. He expected to say I am sorry and for his slate to be clean, like nothing ever happened and that now it was a “blanket” apology for all future indiscretions also.
I’d like to add an update this page. He has now given me 3 tearful apologies. I recently had a heart attack and he heard about it and 3 weeks later tracked me down and told me he’d always love me, always had and always would.
And asked me, “Didn’t I tell you that? Don’t you know that?”
I told him it was hard to believe he loved me when he refused to say it and was standing with his fist raised to hit me and his sister is standing between us begging him not to”
He said, ” that was only one time”
I said, “one time is enough and it was the one time your sister was there”

Then I brought up the “exactly” statement, he said, “We were arguing, people say shit when they’re fighting just to hurt the other person”. I don’t.

Anything else I asked for an explanation about he just said he was confused and couldn’t remember.
And all the promises he made last time? Didn’t keep one of them but this time he means it, this time he’s really been thinking about it.

Uh, ….. Yeah….. Ok… I believe him.

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About Carrie Reimer

I am a 56 year old single woman who has taken her experiences from a 10 year abusive relationship and turned them into a positive. Through my blog I share my experiences and help other women in similar circumstances find happiness and safety. There is life after a narcissist and I stand here before you as proof. Don't let the bastards get you down. View all posts by Carrie Reimer

7 responses to “Does A Narcissist Ever Apologize?

  • Vanessa

    So true, loneliness I think is what keeps you letting them back in time after time. I was reminded yesterday that the only reason I am without my support network now is because I lost them the last 3 years I have been with my x. I let him in, only phone as I moved to another state away from him but that has been enough to start playing with my head. I can’t even explain exactly what he does just to repeat the same as above…lip service. I know he does let me know how miserable my life seems to be now and how he could offer me so much more. He is due at court on Monday. I wrote him a letter last time following 3 breaches (physical violence). This is now a criminal case. He again wants another letter from me to the court, stating that I have no memory of the incident and that I will not be appearing in court. Sorry to be graphic, but this last time he put my tooth through my lip but has told me that the only breach they have on him is that witnesses saw him pull my bag off my shoulder. OMG, that is history re-written alright. It’s been months since it happened and I don’t remember every single thing in sequence but I remember witnesses calling the police and remember the battered sight I appeared to be on the night. He blames drinking, my drinking. I have never been into drinking a lot, but living with him was so absolutely terrible that at times I would drink. This is when things would happen, but I think he used my state to get the better of me. I’ve seen him change in a second when drinking to a very congenial person, so it’s premeditated. He runs his own business, getting quite a few complaints nowadays with people wanting their money back. He wants me back in the marketing and support role, but this time with a real contract, I can run my own business apparently. I have to write the letter before Monday and I know from last time as soon as I do this the story will change. During our relationship he got into my Facebook and sent messages to my family and friends about how terrible a person I have been to him. I have lost people from this, not because they believe him but because they don’t want to be pulled into this stuff and I don’t blame them. Messages to colleagues I hardly know but have a professional relationship with….very damaging. His favourite saying at the moment when I try and hold him accountable for being on POF, dating other women, having sex with other women, letting me down, constantly lying to me is…”Don’t look in the rear vision mirror of life. I know how much you mean to me now and I’ve grown up.” Admittedly, I would love to believe this, but I have a nagging pain in my stomach, if I do it again and let him back in I’ll never forgive myself. I visit this site a lot at the moment, it’s the reality check I need. Do I love him. Yes, for some reason and that makes me so angry at myself and so misunderstood by others. Will I ever give him another chance to hurt me….no. This is the sixth time I have left him and picked up the pieces. last time I was in a refuge. I’m a professional woman with a uni degree and he could do that to me. They are really evil in a way because I actually think they believe their own b/s, they must because you couldn’t be so convincing unless you did. I keep reminding myself that my life is a result right now of him being in it. It’s only been three months, but three months of sheer hard work to get my life and income back. Thank you to everyone who openly shares their stories because it is helping me so much to continue to be honest with myself.

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  • Cheryl

    It’s funny, I was thinking about how true this post is, it amazes me that these people will take NO responsibility for anything, EVER! I also began thinking about how uncomfortable it is to have to apologize to them. I mean, I have said or done things I later felt bad about and felt an apology was in order. I find myself absolutely filled with dread at having to apologize to an N, they are not gracious about it, rub your face in whatever you are apologizing about and seem to love to go on and on about how wrong you were and the the wrong done to them! Just a thought.

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    • Carrie Reimer

      Cheryl, I used to hate apologizing for the same reason, if you did anything wrong you heard about it forever more. when I apologize I change my behaviour also or it isn’t an apology but they say they are sorry (IF they say they are sorry) and then turn around and do it all over again!! He still brings up shit I did 12 years ago and he has embellished it so much it isn’t even the truth any more.
      Any thing you say will be used against you!!!

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  • Tasha Mendez

    I am still being reminded of things from our past 7 years together. I am not allowed to communicate with HIS children because he says I never want to take the little one shopping. I never got to actually have a relationship with them all due to his making a situation during our visit to california so then I wasnt able to even do what we promised. I hated the fact that all visits were at the mothers home of the children, I told Joe “why cant we ever take them anywhere together? You dont live at HER home anymore, I dont feel comfortable going there so please be respectful of my feelings on this.” he always woul dmake up an excuse of well its notlike i can fit them ( 3 kids) in our car and be uncomfortable like that. Well why not? Our car is able to handle three teenagers . Always an excuse to keep me at arms length from the kids, so now the children think ( or so he says) that I dont want to know them…whatever..

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