Many people compare dealing with a narcissist to dealing with a 3 year old and in many ways that is a totally accurate description.
Like a 3 year old the narcissist will stomp his feet and yell that he hates you for not giving him his way and an hour or so later he is back like nothing happened. He will kick and scream to get what he wants only to not want it once he gets it. Or he will totally ignore a toy and toss it off to the side until someone else shows an interest in it and it immediately becomes his favorite toy or like a 3 year old he wants what everyone else has and will steal it if he has to and then act like he doesn’t understand why he is in trouble.
I found the 3’s to be way worse than the two’s! Give me a 2 year old anyday!!
The problem with a narcissist is; he is a three year old in an adult body and he will never turn 4. You are dealing with a full grown 200 lb adult with a 3 year old mentality, social skills of a child and the temper of a misbehaving toddler yet the strength of a full grown man. It’s hard enough to control a 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum but when it is a full grown man, you could wind up dead. And most victims end up explaining over and over again why something the narcissist does is hurtful and expecting he will eventually understand and stop. Even a 3 year old will learn something if they are told enough times. The victim keeps thinking, “If I could only find a way of explaining it in a way he would understand, he would stop hurting me.” A person gets hooked on the notion that eventually he is going to “get” it and they want to be with him when he does, they certainly don’t want some other woman to reap the benefits of their hard work and pain.
Living with a narcissist is much like playing a virtual reality game where you have to find clues and solve the puzzle, every time you do, you go up another level. Only with a narcissist even if you do solve the puzzle you end up going down a level every time until you are in a hole so deep you can’t see your way out. But like any game they can be addicting, like a gambler can’t walk away from the one arm bandit, or the teenager says, “Just let me do this one more level and I promise I will clean my room.” The victim of a narcissist keeps thinking either; if I can prove he is cheating on me, then I will leave. But they get the evidence and the narcissist denies it, they have the proof they wanted yet they still do’t leave because they want the narcissist to admit it and he never will. The narcissist professes his innocence with such conviction the victim doubts their own eyes and ears.
Even after leaving the narcissist victims will stay in touch because they are hooked on solving the puzzle, figuring out what he is doing now and with who. I know of one woman who knows what her husband is, knows he is cheating and yet she doesn’t leave and actually seems to enjoy the game of “catch me if you can”. I have explained to her she is feeding right into his plan and giving him supply so he can keep being his sweet self to the new woman and she keeps proving to him how much she still cares. She thinks she is catching him and being so tricky and smart when he is just playing her like a fiddle. One of my ex’s, ex’s was hooked on catching him 15 years after they split and he loved the attention. Her bizarre behavior validated his story that she was nuts and he fed her just enough information to keep her hooked. She called me and said, “He thinks I am so stupid, that I don’t know what he does but I always figured him out.” and I thought “you poor soul, you have spent 10 years with him, another 15 years catching him at whatever and wasted your life. It hadn’t slowed him down, it actually fed his ego but she had obsessed about him almost 1/2 her life and died a lonely alcoholic and when he told me she had died, he laughed. I vowed to never be like her. It was hard to break the addiction to figuring him out, I was solving puzzles to do with him for a good year after we split. Where did it get me, it gave me blog post material, but it didn’t change anything, and many times when I did solve the puzzle it was far more hurtful than I ever imagined.
The narcissist loves the game of clue, you may think he is lazy or careless to leave something out that makes you suspicious but you can bet he is leaving clues for you to find to create drama and to hurt you. He loves your pain, he loves rubbing your nose in his affairs, he especially loves two women fighting over him.
The victim can think of a million reason why they have to stay in contact with the N, all of them valid in their minds; (I know, I did it too) but if you are really honest with yourself deep down at the root of it is, even though you don’t want to take him back and know he is a narcissist you are not ready to give up one or all of these things;
- Solving the puzzle
- you don’t want another woman to reap the rewards of your efforts
- as long as he is in your life in some form or another, he is still in your life and you are comfortable in the position of victim
- you are not prepared to face reality and are clinging to the fantasy of who you thought he was or in other words Cognitive Dissonance
Below are some related older posts you might find helpful.
As hard as it is; there is only one option, only one way to ever find happiness and peace in your life, only one way to come back from the insanity and confusion you are feeling right now.