How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist

What to do if you suspect someone you know is involved with a narcissist

First of all let’s cover the don’t:

* Do not underestimate how dangerous, manipulative and conniving a narcissist can be.

Too many times people confuse narcissism with ordinary abusive behaviour or someone with an inflated ego. A true narcissist is cruel beyond comprehension and can cause immeasurable emotional and physical damage. They will stop at nothing to control their victim and that could include death.

* Never make the victim feel they are responsible for their own abuse.

By saying things like: I would never have stayed, I would have seen he was an asshole a mile off, he was attracted to your co-dependency, etc
No one knows what it is like to be manipulated by a narcissist unless they have been there.

-Narcissists are attracted to strong, competent, self sufficient women with a strong sense of responsibility and moral fiber. What woman wouldn’t want to be described in those terms? The last thing a narcissist wants is someone needy or someone any one could have, she has to be a “trophy” and confident enough to keep his narcissistic supply coming. Plus the more self sufficient and confident she is the more determined the narcissist will be to “break” her, if he can make her totally dependent on him it is the ultimate in NS.

* Do not withdraw your support in an effort to make them choose between you and the narcissist, or in anger because they won’t leave or went back.

Withdrawing your support is giving the narcissist exactly what they want – total control over their victim and makes the victim dependent on the narcissist and reinforces what the narcissist is telling them; that they (the narcissist) is the only one they can rely on, the only one who truly loves them and that they are flawed in some way, why else would someone they cared about turn their back on them?

* Do not expect the victim to return to their “old self” immediately after leaving the narcissist.

The longer a person is involved with a narcissist the more damage is done to the person’s self confidence, their esteem and even their perception of reality. That does not heal quickly, sometimes never. The victim has been abused at a soul level, comparable to a prisoner of war, a rape victim, a hostage; they can probably not even adequately describe what they have been through. In many cases they have blocked much of the abuse or minimized it; which is typical of a person in highly dangerous situation and was part of their attempts at survival.

– Many people leaving a relationship with a narcissist suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and should get help from a professional for that, someone who is familiar with Narcissism and the effect on the victims.

*Do not believe anything the narcissist tells you, he will try anything to discredit the victim and make them appear to be the crazy one and it is the narcissist who is the victim.

You can almost guarantee that whatever the narcissist is saying is the exact opposite of the truth. If he is saying she was unfaithful; it was him cheating. If he says she spent all the money; it was he who spent money.

Remember the narcissist is an award winning actor, he’s been doing it his whole life, if he does admit to any wrong doing it will be part of his plans to manipulate the situation in his favor.

*Do not show the narcissist any sympathy!

One of the tactics often used by a narcissist (especially when he feels he is losing ground) is to use other people as pawns in his efforts to control his victim.
The victim needs no reasons to feel sorry for the narcissist, if they see you are sympathetic to his cause they will doubt they are doing the right thing by leaving.

*Do not be overly critical of the narcissist to the point of the victim feeling they must defend him; remember the narcissist uses guilt as a means of manipulation. You don’t want the victim to feel she has done anything wrong by confiding in you.

The To-Do List:

*Research Narcissism

There are hundreds of support groups, forums, advice sites and sites giving professional opinions.

No one can understand the power a narcissist has over his victim or how
he gained that control or why a victim finds it so hard to leave. Unless you have been there it is impossible, but by reading other people’s accounts of their experiences you will come to realize it is very common and perhaps develop some compassion for the loved one you are trying to help.

*Reinforce that the victim is NOT responsible for the abuse, it is the narcissist that is sick and they can not save him.

-You will have to do this often, once out of your company and back home with the narcissist the narcissist will work over time to extinguish any confidence the victim might have acquired while with you. It is a constant roller coaster ride in emotional hell and you might be the only person who can counter the insanity of living with a narcissist.

*Document!!

When the victim tells you of abuse, infidelity or any other mistreatment by the narcissist make note of it; if there is any physical abuse try to take pictures even if she refuses to press charges. It is actually best if she doesn’t keep records herself because the narcissist IS going through her stuff whether she realizes it or not and if he finds it he will destroy it and “punish” her in some way. But this information will come in handy in the future as:
Proof there was abuse should she have to go to court or get a restraining order.
A reminder for the victim of what she had to live with when her resolve weakens.
Proof of the truth in defense of the lies the narcissist will inevitably tell anyone who will listen.

*Be There!!!

I know it is frustrating to hear the victim cry about the abuse and then they don’t leave or they leave and go back, but you need to be her voice of reason and sanity. You must understand that narcissists are experts at making someone feel crazy.

A woman in an abusive relationship leaves an average of 7 times before leaving for good. As long as he can make her feel that she has some power to change things she will go back, she needs to be reinforced that she has indeed done all she or any woman could do and no one deserves to be abused.

* Believe them!

Once they opening up and start sharing some of the things the narcissist did, believe them, no matter how bizarre it may sound and reiterate it is the narcissist that is sick, not them!

*Listen!!

If they are still with the narcissist all you can do is be there to listen and reinforce that: They are NOT crazy
They are strong
They are not alone
They CAN leave and when they do you will be there to help

* If they have left they will need to rehash the relationship trying to make sense of it, trying to find answers to why something so wonderful turned so ugly.

Quite often while in “survival mode” the victim will block or minimize a lot of the abuse because they are overwhelmed or simply can not accept how horrible the situation is. Once they are away from the narcissist and the danger emotions and memories will come flooding back and the brain needs to acknowledge and accept what happened in order to start the healing process. It might be necessary for the victim to relive some events over and over again.

*Allow the victim time to grieve the loss.

Too many times the people close to the victim get frustrated that they are so sad and “taking too long” grieving and should “just get over it”. That they should be happy they are away from the abuse.

Remember this is probably what they thought was the love of their life and not only is the relationship over but they have to accept it was all one sided; the narcissist is incapable of love; they were in love with a sham. The narcissist will never admit to any fault, and over time more and more of the lies he told will surface reopening the wounds.

Nine times out of ten the narcissist will be involved in another relationship very quickly and will be on his best behaviour and doing everything he can to rub his ex victim’s nose in it.

Either that or he will stock his victim, call incessantly, write letters, anything he can think of to get to her and weaken her resolve.

You can’t stop the victim from going back, but it is less likely to happen if they don’t feel alone. The narcissist can be very convincing especially if the victim is alone, depressed and filled with self doubt.

Good Luck!!!

361 thoughts on “How To Help Someone Involved With A Narcissist

  1. Helen

    I’m married to a Narcissist. I have been in therapy for five weeks and before this I only assumed my husband had narcissistic traits.the cruelty is penetrating to every fibre of my being. I threw him out but he was home the following week. Many reasons. Now I feel like I am dying from his toxicity. I am searching every online article to try and find a way to convince myself that I am wrong. Every article tells me I am right . I am in the lion’s den and I feel so very scared

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Helen, I can relate to trying to prove yourself wrong. I did it for years. I snooped, not because I was trying to catch him at something but because I was hoping to find something that would prove to me that I was what he said, just being paranoid. But every time I snooped I was proven to be right. A narcissist’s toxicity is suffocating and will suck the life out of you.
      There is a free Safety Plan download at the top of the blog, please read it and put as many of the suggestions to use. Do not tell him that you think he is a narcissist, he will never admit it and it could put you in danger, he will just turn it back on you anyway.
      The most dangerous time in a relationship with a narcissist is when the victim leaves, please do not tell him you are leaving (if that is what you plan to do) and please tell someone you trust what is going on. Talk to someone at an DV shelter, start to set in place a plan to leave. I know it is scary, but they do not change and your only hope of happiness is to get away from him and ever look back.
      Keep reading and educating yourself on narcissists but make sure you erase your history on the computer because he is checking and snooping to see what you are up to. He assumes because he is lying and manipulating that everyone else is also. If anyone is paranoid it is the narcissist.
      Please know that you are not alone, we are here for you and we have all been where you are.
      Hugs

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  2. shaynnac

    I’m still struggling inside wether or not my ex is a narcissist.

    He broke up with me via text and before hand he would do a Jekyl and Hyde like call pattern. He’d call me saying he just wanted to hear my voice and three days later go off on me…this was the pattern. I would have delt with it differently but having him talk about what underlying issues connected to events, beyond vague statements is like pulling teeth. We were long distance half our relationship. One particular conversation was after he had called “just to hear my voice…” In between last talking to him my grandfather passed and I was there with him and I believe helped him pass, so I texted my boyfriend of 10 years at the time to say I ha something important to tell him. He called the next day and started yelling at me. I told him wait, wait, I texted that to tell you grandpa passed away..and before I could finish he told me I used that to cut him off and hung up on me. I texted him,”you know you just told me I used a family members death to cut me off…”

    He could never have a normal conversation with me it was either passivity or a big blow out. Now let me state last I had seen him at that point was 6 months prior which when I left I told him I didn’t want to leave him an was crying..he told me not to cry because he would be down in two weeks. A month later right after Valentines Day I was soo depressed with all that had been going on, battling legally my management to get rid of bedbugs that spread from another’s apartment, not sleeping because of it, my Dad almost dying ending up in the hospital for a month then my grandfather I didn’t have the strength to argue or question his Jekyl and Hyde…and I had been waiting soo long for him to show. VDay comes and he video chats me showing me all the cool stuff he’d been doing in his shop (this was after my grandfather passing, no apologies and I wrote off him being like this because he’s gettin off one of his mental meds)…I was tired at that point and didn’t even realize it was VDay until he asked if he could get right back to me and I saw the date on my phone. I called back later saying happy valentines and he read me an anti-VDay poem, saying how it was corporate and stupid. All this time he’s showing off what he’s doing (he’s well off, excuse after excuse why he couldn’t come down yet, when I’ve taken greyhounds and planes to see him but he refuses to and always must drive) I told him after that poem I didn’t want to speak..he asked what’s the matter which I thought would just lead to another fight, and I never understood why he seemed soo okay without me. I texted him I don’t want to speak and he texted me back,”I never want to speak to you again.” And that was it…

    I thought our breakup was all my fault. After that year I took to drinking wine every night….I know that was wrong and since have stopped.

    He gets ahold of me almost a year to the day of the breakup and tells me,”You hurt me more than words can say but I’m still in love with you but, you knew that.” and my heart skipped, almost exploded and on for 3 weeks of jokes, him being cute, sending me pics of his life, I love you, I’ll always be in love with you, I miss you on Christmas until New Years I sent him pics of a special place we went to holding hands at night where you could see all the city. He wrote back,”Love the pics ;-)”….then silence for 2 weeks. Also may I add I was talking with a friend who is once removed from him. An old best friend that has taken his side in things. She told me two weeks after the final text that he’s move on and has a gf. I freaked out and texted him,”I’m sick of your lies and lies by omission.” THAT is when he finally replied saying,”FUCK YOU for using semantics!! All I meant is in happy you’ve moved on because I have! And yes I’m dating a friend she’s quite nice. That I carpet bombed him with messages and that it’s NEVER going to happen!!!!”

    I went into a deep deep depression after that and was sent by my psychologist a month later to a crisis center. I decided to try calling him one more time because the cognitive dissonance in my head was really messing with me. He answered and hung up then started video chatting me. I asked him why he was video chatting me now and he said because he was worried about me….
    Things advanced and he told me he was no longer dating the girl because,”she used me, she was younger.” Which I think was a dig but he also told me how he always thought we’d end up like two of his friends that dated once and found eachother 10 years later.
    He told me he was paranoid I might be using him a few weeks later.

    I asked him later about saying he was still in love with me and he told me,”I must have meant it then.”…….

    He told me how I have cycles, which I took to heart and admitted I did…and then told me,”you can only keep promises others let you keep.” This he told me right after I got into the crisis center….

    Later told me,”he knows he did some stuff wrong but he’s not the kind of person to punch walls.”

    After years of long distance I did admit making out with a few friends when drunk but walking away from it. I felt terrible about it and this was when he said everyone was telling him I fucked around on him. I felt terrible about it but has written it off as me walking away and nothing close to sex. That was for me and him…. and this probably is justification but I was angry. Never knowing when he’d call me back, when I’d see him next…..ect….for years of him promising it would be him and I, sleeping with my phone hoping he’d call and it being dead in the morning. He got really upset and yelled,”I could never do that to you! How would you feel?” and at that point I got upset. Years waiting, 10 year relationship, the longest he dissapeared no notice was 3 months, after lying to me and this after he said he was coming back for me. After 3 months and he popped back up I went right back to him….because of what he’d been through but we never talked indepth.

    He ended up at the end of us talking after that year, yelling at me saying he was a beaten dog, I brainwashed him, the entire 10 years was shit!!!

    During the last time we spoke all he talked about was his new life, his new friends, and would often cut out my opinion by trumping mine with the thoughts of one of his new friends. When I finally asked him why he didn’t tell me about the gf he said to me,”You can’t even ask me how my day is going, and you don’t let me speak!!!” Which I told him if he had anything he wanted to talk about I would always set the time aside for him the other times he interrupted me trying to actually get to our issues and I’d never get to my point which when I protested he would tell me I didn’t let HIM talk when he had no interest in what I had to say, woukd jump to conclusions before I could conclude. So this time asking why he didn’t tell me about the gf and just disappeared and replied how he did I said,”Okay, maybe what I’m feeling is from you, it’s all about you now then. I’m here to listen.” An entire month goes by and he gets weirder and weirder….after him saying he was coming down to see me, not once but twice, once before a wedding he was conducting and once after near my birthday. Of course right before that was supposed to happen he texts me,” This was an exceptionally bad idea, I’m done!! I’m off to marry Ben and Alesha!!” Ruined my birthday…and on my birthday when I finally texted him he just texted “Merry Birthday ;-).” And starts telling me how he got texts all day because it was actually his other friends birthday too….

    This and soo many other things….hitting in me continually and I hate to say this here but he would say,”stuff only your vagina knows…” Other stuff….and when phone sex actually happened after a few days of hitting on me he starts giving me a lecture on empathy!!!

    And like I said, my heart broke even more…screaming at me at the end I’m the reason he felt so badly about himself, all that time and only now is he getting over it!! The 10 years was shiit!!!!

    It’s hard to reconcile this person with the person I was in love with and to think he orchestrated all of this…..Did he know??!! This is what he believes….after soo much time invested.

    When I first met him he was there for everything and I was my best friend. He seemed to understand me, taught me to ride a motorcycle, we had such a connection I thought. But I noticed it was never equal. He ran home to his parents for anything serious…would tell me he was okay and then later say how I wasn’t there for him when that’s all I wanted.

    One last thing he said to me after videochat ring me for 6 months until he bailed again,”You’re the only one I can really talk to…who understands me but..I finally realized I’m smarter than most people.”

    Someone please tell me if this is narcissism. He’s always doing things for people, even after our relationship was over but we were trying or I was….I feel like he just came back to rub his new life in my face and tell me how horrible I am. Even after he told me he’d do anything for me….he dropped me again with no deep conversation ever happening. I said how I was scared to get my heart broken again…and he screamed at me,”your heart!! You broke my fucking heart!!” Nothing I said was listened to, no questions answered….and I gave him a full month without him having to answer the question about why he didn’t tell me about the gf…..because he said I don’t let him talk…No depth, mixed messages, more than I can type here. Everything he promised we’d do together he’s doing with his new group. I waited years for him and this “us” to happen and feel horribly cheated..but I thought maybe he was just from a different world. I looked up to him, loved him and well, feel like I lost a lot of time.

    He told me he bullied a girl who came into a cafe him and his friends were at. She was trying to barter jewlery she made. He got up and told her that he would barter if she could do something useful!! Can you do dry wall, plumbing? Anything useful?!! After teeming her out he got his friends to laugh at her.

    He also told me quite aggresively how he had a dream of a girl running towards him and other friends that were armed like they where on the front lines and she had a six shooter at her side. He said quite aggressively,”I didn’t even hesitate to shoot her in the fucking heart!!!! And as she fell he caught her and said “I love you..” While all her blood went into his circulatory system. So I said to him after a lengthy psycho-analysis, told him he has a really good part to him but he has a side that’s quite vengeful. He admitted and said,”yes..” I then admitted that sometimes I felt like that girl and he curtly replied,”The girl wasn’t you.” And then proceeded to tell me how his other new friend had a better interpretation of “new beginnings..”

    When we lived together for a short while I came to him because he was acting very off and distant. I was worried about him. We were in bed and I got up for some water from the kitchen. When I came back he was lying down and I started to say out of concern,”Where’s your passion in life? You’ve seemed so distant. What’s wrong?” But instead I got to the word passion and before I knew it I was on the floor in front of the fridge and he was saying,”I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!! I thought you were talking about sex!!!” The next day he revised it and said,”No you got in my way!” To cover up that he had shoved me. I let it pass because he was going through psych issues then….

    He screams at me what I feel, like he insisted I was jealous. I never was and in fact at the beginning of our relationship he would take trips out of town with a friend. Several trips go by and I just want to know how my baby is doing. I had to stay home for mundane reasons and wanted to live the adventure second hand. I noticed a pattern and though we went over in the beginning that I have a lot of guy friends and he had a lot of girls as friends I noticed he would leave town to socialize and never really get in depth on the fun they were having and would always rattle through people they met leaving out girls names. Which was odd. This was at the beginning first year and a half or so of he relationship. I brought it up to him, why he never mentioned female names? He began to tell me he was sorry and that all of his ex’s were jealous and he just learned to cut girl names out. I assured him he didn’t have to do that with me! I just wanted to share all of life with him and the adventure!! He agreed and I was relieved. Even though he still never hung out with his female friends when we dated which I thought odd after the preliminary conversation and the follow up. Fast forward 10 years and on the phone he’s screaming I’m jealous and it took me over and over saying I wasn’t jealous!! I finally brought up that keystone moment of that conversation on the porch about not having to hide from me, I just wanted to share a life with him! And though he acted sweetly then and agreed he now tells me that,”NO you were JEALOUS and I had already given up talking to you by that point!! I just blamed it on the ex’s!!!!! Again another tirade of how jealous I am and I FINALLY got pissed!! If there is one thing I’m not, it’s that and he heard it in my voice, only hen did he back down and say,”well, maybe you just felt left out..” -BINGO-!!!! Now THAT -is- TRUTH-!! And he would continually leave me out on info, ect ect ect….
    It’s like he yells at me who I am and I have to fight against it!!! That conversation was a defining moment for me!! Or else I would have left the relationship.if I can’t have a best friend I can share all with, it’s not worth it and he acted like he absorbed it and agreed, only for me 10 years later hear accusations and that he twisted my words and withheld his motivations from me, or twisted them for his current use!!!

    He was generous towards me, gifts, trips, but always in control. A fight might happen then he’d run, buy me a kitten, whatever. I didn’t care about that though…I felt kept out and put aside. Is this narcissism??

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Shaynnac,
      Welcome! I am glad you feel comfortable asking questions and you are trying to find answers. Most definitely your ex is a narcissist if not a psychopath, but I think you know that deep down. Reread what you wrote, print it out and read it again and again. \is there anything in there that resembles a normal healthy relationship? Honestly?
      Yes, in the beginning he was wonderful, how long did that last? a year? at the most? and the rest of the 10 years has been head games, lies, infidelity and heart ache.
      You have been living on promises and wishful thinking. You have been repeating history over and over again for 10 years. I know because I did it for 10 years myself. After 10 years your head is so f$cked up you don’t know which way is up.
      There is only one way to break away and start to heal and that is no contact whatsoever! By no contact I don’t just mean you not calling him (because he will continue to contact you as long as you allow it and he will continue to blame you, twist your words and history until he drives you insane)You have to block him on all social media, emails, and text messaging. Change your phone number if that is the only way to block him. \You cant talk to mutual friends about what he is doing because they will use every avenue to get messages to you, even if they are subtle and the “friends” don’t realize they are doing it, he is feeding them information he wants to get back to you.
      They ALL, I mean 100% of them find the “love of their life” immediately after dumping you. They ALL, 100% OF THEM blame the victim and will expound on ow wonderful the new woman is and how life with you was hell.
      My ex told me to kill myself because no man would ever want a psycho, controlling, ungrateful bitch like me and I had made his life hell for 10 years.
      Keep reading the posts on here, not only the posts but the comments; you will be amazed at how similar everyone’s story is. Don’t try to make sense of what he does or did, you never will and that is where so many victims get stuck in the cycle; trying to make sense of things and assigning the N emotions he just doesn’t have. You will not get closure, you will not make sense of it other than to accept the fact that he is a narcissist and will never change. That is the only thing you need to know. Trying to put all the puzzle pieces together and make sense of it will drive you crazy, trying to get him to admit he had any fault in the relationship is pointless and will drive you insane.
      Knowledge is power when trying to deal with the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist BUT once you know what you are dealing with then you must turn the focus on yourself and healing yourself.
      There are many great articles here on the topic of healing yourself. Right now you don’t know who you are, or how to put yourself back together but it is possible, and you are the only one who can do it. We all want the N to fix us, after all he is the one who broke us, but it will never happen, because that is what he wanted, he wants to destroy you. Plain and simple. Don’t ask why, what did you do to deserve it? you fell for his lies and charm, just like hundreds, thousands of women do every day.
      I thought I was all alone in my pain and confusion until I started this blog. I thought maybe there was one or two other women out there who were going through it. Look at the stats, over 2000 followers and well over a million hits has to tell you something. And the victims are from all walks of life, all ages, from lawyers to house wives, most of them were strong independent women, good kind loving forgiving women who thought they had found their Prince Charming and were the luckiest woman in the world. You are not alone.
      We are here for you.
      Hugs

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      1. immafighter4sure

        Sooooooooo very true. Carrie God bless you!!!!! Thank you for being here today. When I stumbled onto this blog and started reading I wasn’t actually thinking I’d find this. I was still pretty blind and suffering in silence. I started reading and couldn’t stop. I read and even missed an appointment plus ignored calls from both my N’s ( lucky me right?) I was that into getting all the info on this subject and it shocked me reading these stories and comments because it’s like my life was and now I’m not alone anymore!!!!! I still struggle I’d be lying if I said I don’t. I have two to get away from and one of them owns with me my house. The other thinks he has a vested part of my house because he lived with me in it 7 very weird and emotional months. I sometimes feel the two of them since the one moved back to where I lived prior to moving away and the other works in same area five days a week and they both know things they shouldn’t unless they communicate with each other..and they each have let it slip ( though I doubt it was a slip up) that they think I played them when both of them were told to get out of my life that I wasn’t interested in any romantic anything with either of them. I thought I made myself very clear. I have been a huge bitch which isn’t me really. But my point is thank you for all your courage Carrie to over come your “James” and inform the world that this isn’t our fault but we are in fact victims of fucked up people character flaws. Funny how you are right about there being a lot of them named James. Any time I meet a james now I’m like. “ahhhhh get away from me” when they flash that charming smile and try to flatter me. I know that there’s many nice guys with that name too. They should read this and change theirs to Jim!!! LOL

        I recently warned someone who’s very sweet and generous and who really doesn’t have much herself of the trickery one of my N’s uses to steal money. My heart kept telling me I needed to because I wish I would have bee earned to early in. I added my proof along with it. She hasn’t said anything back to me. And he hadn’t at all tried to contact me which is awesome. Yet I’m a little nervous because as we all know they are vindictive they are. They can’t have someone like me exposing them and their motives and behaviors. Keep fingers crossed that maybe I made it final with him and that there won’t be anything further from here on out. As for her, I guess I did what my heart told me to do and she’s a 47 yr old woman so I’m sure she filed it close to the surface for future reference

        I shattered my phone screen other day chasing my sons huge dog out of my koi pond so excuse any typos and I hope my comment here makes sense!.

        Oh and by the way. HAPPY NEW YEAR CARRIE & all my fellow sisters and brothers who have shared their painful stories here on this GREAT BLOG. You all are super⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️’S

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    2. Barbara

      Oh, Shaynnac. If ever two people should be a million miles apart and paths never cross it is you two. Are you at this very minute sitting waiting for his call?

      It is so sad that you are throwing away your life like this. Practically speaking you are there. He lives miles away, so in effect it should be easier to cut contact forever, but you don’t?

      I think there is no doubt this guy is a sadistic psycho, and I imagine you are not the only one he is stringing along like this. HOWEVER, you are playing a big part in this drama. When you next do a no contact (and don’t ring him to let him know, just do it) then use the time to examine your own motives. I think in this situation understanding yourself is key to getting your life sorted and hopefully finding peace and happiness. I think you are enabling him to behave badly. Perhaps because you don’t think you deserve better. But you know what, you do deserve better and one day I hope you find somebody who really loves you.

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  3. immafighter4sure

    I like the comment:advice above. It’s true. With that said I will tell you it is hard and you are not alone in your struggles. I think though once you get past the month mark you are pretty ready to hold firm if not print up his meanest text or emails and plaster them on your dressers mirror or somewhere next to your bedtime remind you of the fact that this guy is gonna keep using you, keep yanking at your heart strings only if YOU LET HIM…… By reply or checking in to see what’s going on with him. Don’t let yourself get tired and depressed. Go take a walk instead. Got dogs? They would love all the time you wasted on that loser out at a dog park with you instead! There’s your best friend……4 now because I would imagine that you have very little social contact with people having had him in your life. All your time and attention and socializing was with him am I right? Have you heard of ” meet ups”???????? Go online and check it out for your area. Go hiking with people just like you and have fun. Take your dog with you too. Don’t forget him. The dog I mean. If you don’t have a dog get one. Volunteer, help at a battered women’s shelter or Salvation Army feed homeless at a mission in your area. Be thankful he lives out of your area. Get him out of your brain. Try losing five real pounds in two weeks. Something!! Focus on something other than that guy. He owns you until you forget him and create a life if your own with only quality humans and positive activities for yourself. I say this and must listen myself to my wise words. It is hard but time is your friend in this. Other people and breathing fresh air too will help a lot. Trust me. I’ve had to do this many times. Each time just as hard but eventually I did it and thank god for the experience and cut my loses quicker since. There’s a lot of bullshit people out in the world I’m sorry to say. He won’t be your last. Take things slow and pay attention to your gut and warning signs. Your gut knows more than your heart does. Good luck

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    1. immafighter4sure

      I think people need to understand that when you first become aware that you are involved with a N and the time it takes to digest a lot of painful truths you weren’t aware of of just didn’t want to deal with and the time you actually the have them out of your life isn’t overnight. It takes sometimes months even years. I’m smarter now but I’m still with stuff from it I have to deal with. It is do able but one of the hardest things you’ll ever do if your N controls every aspect of your life right now. You need to be safe and keep it to yourself if you are planning to escape the world you live in he controls. It’s good to journalize everything about your day with times, names, events, comments, promises, everything so you can start to see the truth a lot better after a few months. But don’t let him find it!

      Also money. You need to stash away every cent you can, but if you are in a abusive relationship of physical not only mental and verbal abuse. Please go now to a women’s shelter BUT NOT IF YOU WILL CONTACT HIM BEVSUSE HE WILL MAKE YOU FEEL STUOID FOR LEAVING. Don’t leave your pets behind either. Drop them if you must at a no kill shelter please. I don’t need to tell you why I say that.

      Life is good. Please know that. You can have a beautiful life trust me I know. I have been there and I know. And I’m headed that way again

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  4. silvio

    hello everyone…I have left nowhere man (the narcissist I was with for 12 yrs and the father of my 2 girls), about a year ago. I went the whole nine yards. I was able to get a stay away order and physical custody or our girls. I do not communicate with him, unless it is thru TalkingParents (a text/email communications system that it court admisable). In the begining he was so entertained with his new supplies that it was easier than i thought for our girls to adjust. Problem is that he seems to have more time and interest in doing what he used to, to me. And now he is using our dughters for this. He has visitations 2 times a week and every other weekend.
    My daughters are 6 and 9yrs old. They are now showing signs of trouble. Nightmares, not eating well, crying, outburst of anger, fighting among each other.
    I am trying my best, but at this time i feel that proffessional help with be better for them. I am having a really hard time finding appropriate therapy for them. I read somewhere that if the therapist does not believe or know about narcissism, it is like abuse all over again.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to find or what to look for when trying to find a child therapist/counselor. Or ANY other way that i can help my daughters with what is going on?

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    1. Barbara

      Hi Silvio
      You have done incredibly well so far, but coping with children disturbed by a N is a whole different ballgame. The N will thoroughly enjoy messing with your head through the welfare of your children and not caring a jot for how it impacts on them.
      Children, probably through a sense of loyalty to both of you, will not like tittle tattling between you and the N. Poor things will have no outlet so you are right to get them into therapy. Once they develop a good, trusting relationship with the therapist they will be able to open up.
      Can you get information on a few therapists to compare their way of working? Normally online they will outline the sorts of things they excel at. A wrong therapist is a pain in the backside and waste of money. However, these days they mostly tend to be good. Some don’t like to be told though, so lay all the evidence out, but let them come to their opinion of what is wrong with your ex.
      When your children eventually open up to the therapist it will be good to have them onside and eventually get a no contact order or whatever to keep them safe from the N. Their opinion will carry weight with the courts.
      N’s always do worry me with children because they think nothing of sexually abusing children to get back at you. My brother and I suffered years of sexual, mental and physical abuse from babyhood with an N father. I survived, he did not. It may not happen, but you do need to be vigilant.
      Start looking up those therapists. I think the situation is going to escalate and very soon. You know this and your instinct is very good, so be strong, good luck and keep us updated.

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    2. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Silvio, Barbara had very good advice. It is very important that the therapist have experience with narcissist, some don’t believe they even exist and if they do they don’t take them seriously. I am still amazed at how so many counselors still think the narcissist is basically harmless.
      I would make sure to interview any therapist thoroughly before they speak with the girls. Be very candid about what is going on without mentioning the word narcissist and see what they say it will give you a good idea of what kind of counselor they are.
      As you know, dealing with a narcissist is nothing like dealing with a normal person. If the therapist does not recognize narcissist they will get sucked in by the “only a concerned parent” act of the narcissist and be oblivious to how the narcissist twists the facts in his favor. The girls need to know they are believed.
      Good luck, they are lucky to have a mom who has their best interests at heart.
      Keep us informed as to how it goes please
      We care
      Hugs

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  5. LadyLost

    Hello. Although I live with a narc, and finally, I am 100% positive that who I live with is one, He is not my lover, he is my brother, And I moved in with him before I realized it.
    God is the reason I moved in with him. God didn’t want me to waste another 30 something years of my life being sabotaged by my big brother that I was trained to have respect for! He wanted me to come into his home, so I could learn the truth about him. Learn his ways, hear his lies, see his lies, and to watch him let his guard down, and brag even about how great of a manipulator he really is and how he can BS anyone and get what he wants.
    No matter what, no matter what he said, no matter what rumor he spread, lie he told, valuables he stole or destroyed, no matter how bad it would make me look, I was to treat him like the king my Malignant narcissist mother told me to.
    All thru out the year’s, I was convinced there must have been someone telling him these terrible lies about me, why else would my big brother think such things of me. There was never anyone, it was him himself, making it all up, just to make me look like everything he was, because his fasad of his was starting to wither away and god forbid anyone say his true colors or his true self under all of his false grand abilities and his good natured image, ugh, i’m so sick of it! He ruined my life, everything about it.
    I’m so mad at myself that I didn’t learn this about him sooner! How was I so stupid to believe anyone would have thought such terrible things about me when I have always done good in my life and treated people with kindness and respect. I was always the first one to help those who needed me, without expecting anything in return or needed to brag of my good deeds for the week!
    How on earth do I get my good name back? My name has been smeared, my reputation ruined.
    Do I call every single person individually that he brainwashed and tell them my story, my saving grace? What do I do, because until I finally let them know it was all a lie, that he is a lie, I cannot move on with this little bit of life I have for myself.
    I let him steal my soul from me, but I will not let him steal the little I have left!

    I’ll give you all an example of how cruel he is by a few things he has done so that way it will help you understand my feelings a little more.

    When I was 26, my brother co signed for a dental loan for me to have my 9 molars removed and for implants to be put in their place. When the sixth month appointment came, and it was time for the dentist to place the implants, they informed me that I must contact the loan company because there was a problem. The problem was…My brother cancelled the loan.
    I cannot tell you, how much I have suffered because of him and I still am.
    Everyone wonders and badgers me, why am I so depressed, why am I not ambition nor motivated? They have no idea what I feel inside, known.
    Thank you for this group and the opportunity to speak!
    Noone deserves to feel this way. I read somewhere that if your able to be effected by traits of a narc, and have fallen victim, its because we are completely opposite of their sadist evil way’s and we ourselves are good people!

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    1. Barbara

      Ladylost,

      His promising the loan for your dental work and then not following through is typical. They like to appear the hero, but rarely have any intention of actually forking out money or true emotions to anyone else. (They don’t have any to give anyway). One lesson learned, never, ever trust any narcissist on the money front, no matter how convincing they may sound.

      With regard to your reputation, I am afraid they are so good at this. I am 66 years old and only this year have I learned of the things my mother told all of my relatives about me. Quite shocking things that are nothing like my true character. I am flabbergasted the relatives ever believed such nonsense and never questioned me personally about them. It made me finally understand their often strange attitude towards me. With most of them I cannot even get closer to them to begin to make them understand the truth. I have to accept that I can do nothing about this matter. Likewise, you are also going to have to let most of this go.

      Your only way forward now is to draw a line under the past and step into your future. Praying to God may give you some comfort, but he is unlikely to come in on a white charger and rescue you. Salvation lies with you alone and anyone you may pick up along the way as friends.

      I imagine that the reason you went to live with him was primarily lack of money rather than just for the company and feeling of family? If you do have a bank account then do as I recommended to ‘Struggling’ – secretly change all passwords. You must make sure that every action, every plan is not blurted out to him. Knowledge is power, do not give him any. Keep your guard up.

      I do not know what age you are. If you are still working age, see if you can get a live in job in another town. It may be menial but it will give you a safe place to sleep and the chance to save a little money. Also it will give you the opportunity for new friends.

      With regard to friends. Most people do not understand what it is like battling a narcissist. They probably just think, ‘well, if it is that bad why the hell does she just not go?’ This attitude will also creep in very quickly with any new friends you make. Although it may seem hard, you need to let new friends see the real you, the person you say you are without pouring your heart out about your woes. You need to build very strong foundations in new relationships for them to be able to withstand any future storms. If you are by nature a very honest, open person, this will be hard and may make you feel deceitful. Remember, you are none of these things, you are simply learning new ways to protect yourself and actually, it is the way most non victims behave anyway.

      Be careful, remember it is highly likely he is able to get access to read all your emails. Change all those passwords.

      Good luck.

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  6. Struggling

    Hi there – I am completely new to this and struggling to figure out how to handle my very recent ex boyfriend who everyone around me could see is a narcicist but somehow I managed to blind myself to and have been lied to and taken for a serious ride money wise in a matter of three months. I am now finding out about a number of other women he has been and is still doing the same thing to. I am wondering if anyone happens to know of any way to stop him from being able to continue taking advantage of people like me. The three of us that have been talking so far want to stop him from being able to continue this behavior and robbing us of our money and our self esteem. There are a number of other victims that we have not contacted yet as well. The one before me now has a protective order and they have been pushing me to get one as well, but is there anything else we can do? I have documented every bit of the things that have happened with him but have no idea what to do from here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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    1. Barbara

      Hi Struggling,

      I am sorry that all of this is happening to you.

      Firstly, have you changed all of your bank card numbers, Internet passwords etc? Also locks on your property. They are very sly, and even if you did not give them to him, the chances are he has picked up at least some of your private info.

      Secondly, can all of you who have got together, take out some joint legal action in the small courts to try and retrieve some monies? Even if you all think there is no chance of getting any money back, at least that action will make the matter public and not cost you an arm and a leg. Once public he has nowhere to hide and even more people may come forward.

      Although you all may have lost so much confidence you feel worried about going after him, there is strength in numbers, and your little group of victims already have that. Well done for that.

      Good luck with it all.

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