An Aha Moment About Covert Narcissism

I don’t have many epiphany’s or aha moments about narcissists any more. I have visited so many blogs, listened to so many stories and watched so many videos that I rarely come across something that makes me think, “OMG That was my ex!”: In the beginning everything I came across brought up that reaction.

I watched a video this morning from the Spartan Life Coach, who I love by the way because he says it like it is and even has a sense of humor; I often feel while watching his videos that I am just sitting with him in his living room talking and not like he is reciting from a script. Anyway, about this video; it is about the Covert Narcissist and the difference between a Covert and a Classic Narcissist. I haven’t delved too deeply into Covert, Overt, or any of the other “types” of narcissism because to me the traits are all so similar and really, if you are being abused; that is all that should matter and not what type of narcissist is abusing you.

But I have noticed that there are subtle differences between narcissists from the stories of victims who share on the blog and I can see where someone might think, “My narcissist never did that, so maybe he isn’t a true narcissist and so maybe the relationship has hope.” Put that thought right out of your mind!! just because a person doesn’t seem to have ALL the traits doesn’t mean they aren’t a narcissist, and besides that, it doesn’t matter what you call it, abuse is abuse. Like the Spartan Coach says in the beginning of the video, If you are on the net looking for answers about your partner because you know something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it, there is a very good chance you are with a narcissist, because in a normal relationship, a person does not go looking for answers to their partner’s behavior.

Here is the link to the video Spartan Coach ,it is 45 minutes long, I wasn’t going to watch it to the end but I found myself wanting to hear everything he had to say. My ex didn’t fit every single trait to a T but there were some things that stood out to me that my ex did and not all victims can relate to, probably because my ex is covert and the other victim’s were with a more classic narcissist. Like I said, it really doesn’t matter, covert or whatever, narcissist is a narcissist is a narcissist, it’s like trying to classify the devil, evil is evil.

do gooder

The things that stood out for me that were different about my ex to many of the narcissists I have heard about was his wanting to “rescue” people. It is one of the things that made it so hard for me to accept he was a narcissist. Selfish people, self-centered people don’t go around rescuing people, nice people do that, not abusive people. (that is what I used to think) He presented such a  benevolent image to the outside world, it was very hard to not doubt myself when he did such horrible things to me, it was such a contradiction. I loved the charitable part of my ex that I saw and it just didn’t add up that the man who would spend all night helping a stranded motorist could come home and hit me.

I can’t count how many times we would be driving in his flat deck (he had a truck that could carry a vehicle and he always had tools on his truck and he was amazing at fixing vehicles and “McGyvering” something) we would see a car broken down on the side of the road and we would stop to help. He never drove past a broken down vehicle, ever and I never minded, I was always proud of his skills and thought it was wonderful that he was willing to help people. I loved watching him, I would fill with pride and he was always so humble and helpful, I loved when we helped someone. He was at his very best at those times and usually he would be in a good mood for a while afterwards too. I thought he was getting that feeling we all get when we help someone, it feels good to do something nice for someone but he was not feeling good for the same reason I was feeling good, it was more of an ego thing for him, it made him look good, he was powerful and the savior, the hero.  There were times we loaded the person’s car on our deck, drove them home to our place, I made something for the people to eat while my ex fixed their car and then they would be on their way without him charging them a dime. Or the time we helped an old lady with a flat tire and he told me to get out and tell her we would help her (because it was dark and he didn’t want to scare her), the look of relief on her face when I said we were there to help was unreal. She hugged me and said her prayers had been answered, we were her angels. We ended up putting her car on the deck of the truck, driving her and her car home and then the next day my ex took her a tire for her car. She had come from her father’s apartment that she was packing up because he had died during a home invasion, she was scared to death and a bundle of nerves, poor thing.

To be honest I think that is how he met his present victim, I think he rescued her when she was broken down in a parking lot one day, what better way to find victims?

Another thing that stood out about my ex was he was so humble, he was NOT a bragger, yes he falsified certificates saying he was a licensed mechanic, welder etc and he showed off his skills but he did it in such a way that he never seemed conceited (which seems to be the general opinion of the public, that they are full of themselves). I remember being so impressed in the beginning because he almost seemed embarrassed to talk about himself and his achievements. Haha I have said before, they are great actors! When I overheard him lying to a young guy about the race car he had in storage that he was going to bring to BC and rebuild so he could get back into professional racing I later said to him that he is wonderful just the way he is and he doesn’t need to lie, lying just makes him look like a bullshitter and people will like him just for being the great guy he is. Little did I know his whole life was a lie at that time. (On a side note, one time he showed me his racing stats on the internet, the Internet user name he always used was Barefoot63 and sure enough, there they were, his stats. Many years later while search the internet (yes I was snooping) I come across this racecar driver, Barefoot63 and he is still racing, hmmmmm, in the states, the bells start ringing in my ears! I was duped again!! Shit I hate it when that happens.

He used to say his love for me was cyclable, (no I don’t believe it is a real word, but that is what he called it), in other words, he might love me today but not tomorrow. In fact he said that to me one day, “I love you today”. I asked what that means, you love me today but tomorrow you won’t? and His reply had been, “You know by now that my love for you is cyclable.” When we were split he always looked so much better, he dressed better, got his hair cut, showered!; like when I first met him. When I met him he showered twice a day (probably because he was seeing more than one woman) he dressed well, always a cotton button down shirt, clean well fitting jeans, his curly hair short and always shaved, every day. Once we moved into the house we were buying he stopped showering every day, he was a mechanic, he needed a shower everyday. he would leave black greasy finger prints all over the house, I hated to get in the vehicle because usually my hands would get black from the grease he left behind. He let his hair grow and like I said it was curly so it went really wild, he wouldn’t brush his teeth, and he started wearing jeans that were way too big and falling from him, the crack of his ass showing half the time. He was withdrawn and distant, spending hours staring into a fire every night. I would ask him what was wrong and he would say nothing but between him isolating himself, the moods and the not taking care with his appearance I assumed he was depressed. He would finally push me out the door, we would split, he would hang around acting all depressed, crashing at my place, not leaving me alone but not loving me either and when I had enough and kicked him out of my new place he would all of a sudden get a job, start dressing well, showering and well, generally turn back into the guy I met. I would take him back and within a short while he would fall back into the sullen, slob he always did.

For years I thought he changed back into the guy I met because he knew that he had to in order to win me back. it was kinda for that reason but now there was a subtle difference. He had a conquest to win over again, it brought him alive to have prey, it gave him huge NS to have the challenge of sucking me back in. After years, and I mean years I noticed a change in him. He was always a slob at home but If he started to shower and look good again he was seeing someone new or had his eyes set on someone new. He started packing a clean shirt and cologne in his vehicle with him, I guess so he could be like Superman and change into his Super Hero outfit in a phone booth when he found a damsel in distress. If he showered and made love to me one night and said he loved me and gave me a kiss goodbye when he left for work, I knew he would not be home that night. If he didn’t have the constant challenge of winning over a victim he all but shriveled up and died, he needed narcissistic supply so badly.

The theatrics!! OMG this man could put on a show like I have never witnessed before or after being involved with him, but the lines he used were too well rehearsed, (at first I thought he had practiced what he wanted to say, it meant so much to him, yeah right) the tears, it still amazes me how he could cry at will, and if he couldn’t squeeze out the tears, he would put his hand up to me and turn his head as if to say, “I don’t want you to see me crying.” He would take his glasses off and wipe at his eyes, act like he was composing himself, take a deep shaking breath, his chin quivering, and then look me right in the eye with his eyes brimming with tears and say, “I love you, I will always love you. Didn’t I tell you that? I am so sorry you don’t know that.” I swallow the hook, twice, the third time that he gave me the same line I tossed it back. But he was good! he was real good and I am positive that his new woman has heard the same lines at least once. he must have seen it in a movie at some point or had someone say it to him, and it works so he keeps using it.

He wrote me a poem once, it was after we were together about a year. He had gotten a job, the first one since we started seeing each other and he worked 24/7. I had gotten really upset about it because he was never home, when I say  24/7 I mean 24 hours a day and I knew he was not working, he was on the internet, had personal ads and was watching copious amounts of porn.

Anyway, I hadn’t threatened to leave or anything but I think he knew I was getting close so one day I came home from work and there was a poem on the table. it was so sweet, about how sleeping with me was the best he had ever known and he was stupid to put anything in front of that and to please forgive him. He walked in just as I finished reading it, took me in his arms and walked me into the bedroom. We had wonderful sex and as he stared into my eyes, he asked, “If I asked you to marry me, would you?” (notice how he phrased that, IF he asked, he wasn’t asking) I had not wanted to get married again but I was so taken with his sensitivity and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I said, “Yes I would marry him.” From that day forward he would throw it up in my face that he would not marry someone who acted like I did, how he HAD wanted to marry me but not any more; and even though marriage had never been important to me, now that he was taking it away, it became much more important. It was a couple of years later while looking through some papers in his briefcase (yes I was snooping) what do I find? 5 photocopies of the poem he wrote me. Why on earth would he need 5 copies? it worked so well he planned on using it again? and he didn’t want to waste time writing it all out again so he would give the woman a photocopy??? THAT is lacking empathy.

OH and one other trait that stands out from most narcissists, he always talked about how wonderful his childhood was, never had a complaint about his parents, they were the greatest and he had the happiest childhood of anyone I ever met.

He also was always the victim of someone who was jealous of his talents, or took advantage of his trusting good nature, or they misunderstood his motives, he even blamed the water. He never did anything wrong, he was always wrongfully accused, misunderstood or the people were generally just fucked in the head. He was so passive I would think, “why does he have no problem raging at me for the slightest perceived infraction, and rolls over without so much as an angry word when someone rips him off for hundreds of dollars?” I only ever saw him hit three other people in 10 years, once it was my son when he ambushed my son and I, another time it was his own son (for eating his donut) and another time a guy he did business with was accusing him of something and my ex wasted him. But he was a pussy out in public, no one would have believed me if I would have told them he hit me, strangled me or sabotaged my truck. From all outward appearances he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Sure he was a thief and a liar, but he never got angry, ever, except with me. (which made it easier for me to believe him when he said he only had problems with me, no one else misunderstood him, no one else made him angry, it had to be my fault)


The Spartan Coach made reference to them acting like they are Jesus Christ. My ex even compared himself to Jesus and talked about how he was wrongly persecuted just like Jesus was and wrote, “Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do.” Serious, he did. Not kidding. And the police took that letter and never thought it was a sign he might be unstable. Go figure.

Anyway, go watch the video if you have the time, it is interesting.

Have a great day all. Love and hugs Carrie


51 thoughts on “An Aha Moment About Covert Narcissism

  1. Hi I just wanted to say thanks for what you’ve shared. I was reading your post thinking “well, it doesn’t sound much like L-” but then wham! Three in a row examples of behavior I haven’t seen expressed as clearly anywhere else that I’ve been subjected to. It really helps me to see that someone else has gone through the exact specific crazy-making behavior; it helps remind me that it’s all TACTICS and part of the abuse, not honest or truthful communicating.

    L pulled the same maneuver regarding my desire to get married. He would act like the fighting was all my fault and kept him from seriously considering marriage to me. But he never could tell me how I needed to change to meet his criteria for marriage, and he refused to break up with me when I made it clear where I needed the relationship to be going. He’d say whatever he thought I wanted to hear to get back together (after verbally abusing me), then not take any action or make good on the things he’d said he’d do, and when, inevitably, I’d bring up the issues again, he’d tell me he didn’t do those things because he had no desire to marry someone like me (and proceed to list all the reasons why he’d never marry a monster like me). Dangling that “marriage” carrot In front of me when I’d had enough, then jerking it away when he was angry seemed to be another way for him to “win” and invalidate any needs or feelings I expressed.

    I’ve also noticed that he is Mr. Conflict-Avoidant in public and with friends/clients, and then has no problem coming down hard on me with extreme anger (or extreme passive/aggression) at “the slightest perceived infraction,” without a hint of the restraint, tolerance, empathy or whatever he employs with the rest of the world. I don’t get it…

    I’ve also been told the same thing about how no one, including other girlfriends, has ever made him as angry as I do. He has acted genuinely mystified as to where the cursing, stomping, threatening, violent, rage-filled person comes from. And I believed him, despite the awfulness of his behavior, I still wondered how much of it I caused each time somehow by simply being myself.

    Anyway the fact that someone else with such a different man could have experienced the same phenomena helps me to understand that this behavior is symptomatic of a personality disorder, of manipulative tactics, and not indicative of something that i really did wrong and have any power to change. Thank you.


    1. From the sounds of it he maybe low-functioning narrissits if he does not work blowing off job interviews and not meeting to his actions. Thank you for sharing your story about your narrissitic ex. My narrissitic ex dated me for 7 months and he is 23 years old who does not want marriage which I am greatful for that and he was very aggressive, bullied me a lot, kind of said time for a new girlfriend when I called him on that he said I mean time for a new change he wanted to get rid of me. He got a girl to leave me a nasty message saying: Listen to me you crazy Mormon bitch whatever the bleep your name is you need to leave my man alone stop contacting him and stop badmouthing him. He never did anything wrong to you seriously you need to leave him alone and I am not afraid to tell it right to your face that you are a crazy bitch and I knew he would get a girl to come after me and she would beat me up. I was saved big time God kept that evil girl away from me so when I was working out at the gym the girl and him called me at the sametime. which indicates they were together, that was 11 months ago so 5 months later he had the nerve to say hey, call me back sometime when you get the chance. He did not make it to the military nor to become a cop. He is a woman beater who beat up my best friend. As I said it was not easy for me to get over him at all it was hard cause honestly I wanted it to last and have him not be who he is. He would scream at me lash out at me saying we are getting back together than pulled friendcard saying I have a girlfriend demanded I have a relationship with a horrible temper lashing at me. it angered me so much that he would move so fast onto the next girl. My neiece told him off confronted him and he started name calling me. He got off the phone went into a narrissitic rage probably going to discard the girl who left me that nasty message blame shifting her saying it is your fault that you scared her off because I liked her a lot it was my mistake to jump into a relationship with you.


  2. I have to laugh about how women are always the victim and men always the narcissistic. You think men are never victim of a women manipulation? We live in a world were women are intitle to everything and always the victim. The irony is that a NARC love to play the victim and think they are entitled to everything . . . So I just cannot believe their is more men than women NARC. It is simply untrue.


    1. Former, you don’t see that there are more men than women narcs? why not educate yourself, Google it, you can find all the info you like on the internet. I will have you know that women are not always the victim, I have had plenty of men come to the blog and receive as much support and understanding as any of the women. But I write about MY experience and I wanted to help female victims of a narcissist. I figure if a man wants to support other men who are victims of a narcissist he can start his own blog.
      I do this for free, it is my blog and I choose the topic I want to write about, the internet is a big audience and I am sure there are plenty of men out there who would love a blog focussed on male victims of a narcissist. Why don’t you start one. You seem to think you are an expert on the topic and I don’t know what I am talking about. You put in the effort for over 5 years to research it, get stats, talk to 2 million victims, get over 2000 followers, and save hundreds if not thousands of lives and have testimonials to prove it and not charge for any of it and get back to me. Until then you can laugh elsewhere thank you because I see nothing funny about being the victim of a narcissist/psychopath.
      Thanks for stopping by don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
      Not in the mood for this tonight.


      1. A lot of women’s romance novels indulge in the idea of the egoistical bad man who is cruel and harsh and domineering of everyone, but whom she will tame and control through the force of her emotions and the power of her love; which thereby grants her dominance over all that he dominates…


      2. Thank you Carrie for your advice I started looking up what Covert NPD is and what it is after I got the nasty message I kept on looking online about what is life like dealing with a covert NPD well mine Covert ex would keep stalking me all the time having the nerve to literally pull the friendcard first texted the girl right infront of me and said do not call her. he was angry that he was not getting power and he texted making sure I am fine with him getting into a relationship cause he feels guilty for getting grabbed but he is single now. But he has loopholes however. he created a new page on linkedin with lies and he has nobody. He is probably going to commit paradoxical suicide again. All because he lost me and everybody else haha a day will come when he is going to date a damaged covert NPD that would beat him up but that is all up to karma.


    2. I agree my narc ex loves making himself out to be the victim he would say that his ex would pressure me into having sex when in reality he is at fault. he is a low functioning narc. However, he keeps stalking me after the girl left me a nasty message. He kept playing the friendcard why is that?


    3. I know and he would get a girl to leave me a nasty message which sounds aggressive which he might have covert NPD as well. He is still stalking me by calling my skype with private number or unknown plus he called from his house phone and posted it online as well. He would call me from random peoples numbers and he would always play the victim card.


  3. I think that there are plenty of times what when one parent is an overt narcissist, the other parent will be a covert narcissist, either because they were one initially or because they picked up on the traits. For the kids, particularly for the scapegoated kid, it becomes a “good cop / bad cop” routine they must endure, with the covert narcissist throwing them under the bus, and trying to keep them there, while feigning that they must all work together in the interests of peace and in order to keep the family (dys)functioning.


  4. People commonly take out their pain and frustration on their nearest and dearest, which is why someone may quietly accept abuse from a stranger, only to take it out on a family member in the privacy of their own home. And, the abusive stranger knows that this is likely to happen, which is what gives them a sense of elation and sadistic glee. And that is why such people need to be called out and confronted immediately, without giving it much thought in advance, that is what is known as maintaining healthy boundaries. If you let someone step on your toe, then they will stomp on your foot, and before too long they will be kicking you in the stomach, while you are bent over in pain, wondering to yourself why they appear unwilling to adhere to the rules of social and civil conduct.


    1. He might have his Bio dad who is an overt NPD and his Bio mom an Overt NPD so he must have covert NPD and developed aggressive behavior cause of his past. His bio mom got remarried to the step dad which he confessed to me along time ago that my step dad hates everybody and my mom hates people and so do I. I failed most of my classes and he blew off a lot of stuff. he is a psychopathic covert NPD which is dangerous. maybe he might have been put down a lot maybe it is genetics to where the bio dads side might have overt NPD and a cousin might have covert and maybe his bio mother might be in on this.


    2. oh the covert NPD ex would constantly pick fights with his step dad and his mom which sounds weird unless maybe his mom might have been abusing him secretly who knows what the causes are and why maybe he might have it who knows. He needs to get help literally. He should not be with anybody until he is stable and steady but if this is who he is well good luck to whoever marries him because nobody wants a woman beater nor a guy who has potentials of affairs.


  5. Well Lauren maybe you could enroll in theropy and admit to your condictions. my ex covert NPD always thinks that he is never wrong and that he is the normal one. He would pull the guilty trips on me all the time he would get a girl to leave nasty messages on my cellphone. which was horrible but he got bitten and when it caught up with him, he would dump the girl who left me a nasty message blamed her calling her a controlling abuser playing mind games to her beating her up badly.


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