Advice If You Are With A Narcissist But Don’t Want To Leave

I got a comment on the “30 Red Flags” post the other day and thought it was a topic worth talking about again.

broke own heart

I mean really, there must be some other advice when you discover you are with a narcissist, other than “RUN”. I remember how frustrated I’d become when searching for answers years ago; every single site I came to (there weren’t that many 10-12 years ago) said to leave. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted advice on how to stay, I loved this man, there must be a way of coping with his issues, some secret to having a doable relationship. I didn’t need a knight in shining armor, I was willing to compromise, communicate differently, feed his ego more. If I needed to give him space, or love him more, or express myself differently, I was willing to do whatever it took, just tell me so I can go about saving him and our relationship, but I was not going to jump ship and desert him. I loved this man with all my heart!

I have always thought that nothing is impossible if you are willing to do the work, that there is a solution to every problem if you don’t give up, and that true love will prevail. All relationships go through rough times but if you weather the storms you will be rewarded with true love and devotion, at 80 you will be sitting side by side in your rocking chairs with the love of your life laughing about the stupid fights you used to have. You will look knowingly at each other, because the storms will have brought you closer together.

Ah, yes, true enduring love! I do believe it exists, and I do believe that these days of instant gratification and “out with the old and in with the new” mentality are making “happily ever after” a lot harder to find, but it can be found; just not with a narcissist.

Sticking with the person you love is an admirable thing, it shows good character and that you are a person of your word, responsible, and have a heart, all the things of a narcissist does not have. *Hint number #1 – Both people must have these qualities in order for it to work.

 

Anyway, here is the comment:

I am newly married.. Im 23. I feel like everything you posted reminds me of my new husband. I have recently felt so uncomfortable in our home. No he isn’t cheating. He is just really mad. And under ” a lot of stress” when there is nothing to stress about. He never says he loves me or kisses me for no reason anymore. He used to be so loving and so caring about my wants and needs. Now nothing.. We have been together over 4 years now. I thought we were best friends, we enjoyed everything together.. Now everything is opposite and fights. I don’t know what to do.. Any advice other than run away?

psychopath

My reply:

Keisha, I know it is not so easy to walk away from a marriage, a new marriage. I am sure you don’t want to give up on your marriage, are afraid of what friends and family would think and say, plus you thought you had met your soulmate, your partner for life! You don’t want to think it was all a scam. You want the fairytale, happily ever after relationship you signed up for. You vowed, “For better or worse” and you sure don’t want to run at the first sign of “worse”.
By asking for advice, “other than run” you are in essence asking for tips on how to be married to a narcissist; and there are none. If you want to know how to be reasonably happy with a narcissist, how to manipulate a narcissist to do what you want, how to argue with a narcissist, how to reason with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist happy, how to avoid conflict with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist love you, how to make a narcissist be faithful, – there are no tips or advice to be given because all of the above are impossible.

So then we come to how you can change yourself so you can be happy and yet stay in the relationship; there are lots of things you can try but you have to remember, the narcissist doesn’t like you to be happy so you will constantly have to lie and sneak to be happy, in other words hide your happiness from him which is an oxymoron right there.

Even if you give up all expectations of the narc, don’t expect gifts for any occasions, don’t expect to ever go out, never expect the narc to show up, keep his promises, be faithful, or care one iota about you or the kids you will have, even if you give up your family and friends and live only for the narcissist and be at his beck and call 24/7, smile happily when he saunters through the door after being MIA for 3 days; He will still find fault, push your buttons until you break, to the point of you finding him in bed with your best friend and then him being angry with you for being upset. “But he should have known, you always have been a selfish bitch and he can not deal with your warped view of reality.”
Take it from a woman who tried everything, sacrificed everything, far more than material possessions, I sacrificed my self esteem, values, morals, boundaries, friendships and family and he still cheated and later even taunted me to kill myself. That is the one thing I refused to give him; my life and he has been pissed about it ever since.
But if you are determined to not run, this is my advice to you.
First of all, know this; they do not ever change.
What not to do:
– Don’t tell him that you think he is a narcissist in hopes he will want to change. They can’t change, they are born this way, their brains are wired totally different than a normal brain, he can not feel empathy, guilt, remorse and he really just can not care nor does he want to. Telling him he is a narcissist could put you in danger.
– Don’t believe a word he says, if his lips are moving, he is lying, get used to it.
– Don’t have any expectations
– Don’t rely on him for your self worth, keep your friends and family
– Don’t try couples counseling, he will just manipulate the counselor into thinking it is all your fault and he is the victim or if you get a counselor who knows anything about narcissists he will decide the counselor is a quack and refuse to attend.
– Don’t bother trying to explain why the things he does hurt you in hopes that some day you will be able to explain it in such a way that he will finally understand and stop doing what he is doing.

Accept that this is the way your relationship is going to go. It will eventually get so bad that you feel you have no choice but to leave because he will act like he can’t stand the fact that you are breathing his air. BUT if you do leave he will do everything within his power to get you back, even apologize for everything he ever did wrong.
If you go back, the abuse will be worse than ever and the cycle will continue. The honeymoon period will be shorter and the abuse worse.

Keep reading up on narcissists, keep coming here for support, keep a journal so you can see the pattern and that you are repeating history over and over again and nothing ever gets better.

  • Journaling is the number one best thing you can do for many reasons; it will help you keep your sanity for when he gaslights you and says things didn’t happen, twists your words, rewrites history, when you find out 6 months later he was lying, to be used in court to prove abuse, when he eventually kills you it will give the police and your family answers to what happened. (Please visit Myinnerchick.com it is written by the sister of a woman murdered by her soon to be ex husband)
  • Don’t stay 10 years like I did, or God forbid 30 years like some women
  • Please read the Safety Plan download at the top of the blog and other posts I have done on staying safe while in or leaving a narcissist.
  • Please do not have children with this man, do not bring an innocent life into this mess.

You say he isn’t cheating; I never thought my ex cheated on me either, I didn’t think he was capable of that kind of dishonesty, I really truly thought he loved me deeply and even when he had personal ads I didn’t think he would actually do anything about it.
I read somewhere that if you think your narcissist isn’t cheating you just haven’t caught him yet or he doesn’t feel he has you mentally beaten down far enough yet to take that step, but eventually he will cheat, 90% of them do, multiple times and with multiple women.

You are 23, with your whole life ahead of you, 30 years can fly by amazingly fast when you are dodging bullets, putting out fires, playing detective, and dancing as fast as you can while jumping through impossible hoops; all the while playing an endless game of “If only” in your head.

Look around at the married people you know, how many of them are recently married and always angry with their partner; I bet none.

We are here to help, encourage and support, but there is only one way to deal with a narcissist and that is to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and never have contact again.

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15 thoughts on “Advice If You Are With A Narcissist But Don’t Want To Leave

  1. annaberg

    What would be your advice to a narcissist’s children? I’m 54 now and have only recently discovered my father is one. I went into therapy for a severe burn-out and my therapist opened my eyes. Since my breakdown I haven’t heard from him. I suppose because I no longer feed his narcissism. For me he’ s no longer a father, but what about my Kids? They only see the charming side and he remains their grandfather.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Annaberg, I will tell you exactly what I did with my father. I am not saying it is the right thing to do but it was right for me and I have no regrets over the way I handled it. I was in my 30’s when I finally accepted my dad was mentally abusive. I didn’t even know what a narcissist was until I met my ex and started this blog. Back then no one talked about narcissists, or psychopaths for that matter. My father was not near as bad as my ex and there are varying degrees of narcissism; the label we put on it really doesn’t matter.
      I have many good memories from my childhood, my dad could be a great dad, especially when we were young and idolized him, but he screwed around on my mother their whole marriage and well, I won’t be into all the details. Suffice to say my father caused a lot of grief in my life and when I was in my 30’s I got sick of the guilt trips etc and the straw that broke the camels back came when he tried to talk my then husband into leaving me and moving in with him to teach me a lesson.
      My father was remarried and every Christmas we would have to celebrate Xmas eve at my father’s. All us “kids” would go outside to smoke and end up bitching about my dad, someone always ended up in tears but there was no standing up to him. My brother hated going to any functions, the guilt trips etc but we all played our “roles”. Finally I thought, I am sick of my stomach tying in knots every time I pick up the phone and hear his voice, I am sick of being a hypocrite and walking on eggshells.
      I wrote him a letter saying I never wanted to hear from him again. Then I talked to my brother and told him what I had done. I said to him, “I am making this decision for myself. I am not asking you to take my “side” nor do I expect you to stop talking to dad because I have made this decision. I am doing this for my own mental well being. I don’t need or want you to agree with me. I am just letting you know why I won’t be at any functions at dad’s”
      My son was about 9 I think, old enough to call his grandfather on his own if he wanted to. He knew his grandpa could be miserable so that was no secret. I kept the explanation very simple. “I am choosing to not talk to grandpa any more, there are things that have happened that hurt me deeply and I just do not feel comfortable in his company but if you want to see your grandpa it is perfectly fine with me. I will drop you off at grandpa’s or he can pick you up; no problem.” So that is what happened. I would be pleasant if my son asked for a ride over to grandpa’s and drop him off, tell him to have fun and if he needed a ride home to just call me. When he came home I would ask how his time with grandpa was and listen enthusiastically.
      I remained friends with my step siblings throughout the years. My dad called once to talk to my son and when I answered the phone he said, “Kris called me.” I said, “Oh ok one moment please.” and called my son to the phone. No big deal.
      A few years went by and my brother told me that my dad needed a bone marrow transplant (it never happened my dad was always coming up with some ailment) I told my brother that I was willing to be tested to see if I was a match. He was shocked, after all I hadn’t talked to dad in years. I told him that I stopped talking to dad for my own mental health but I don’t wish him ill, if I was able to be a donor I certainly would do it. I know he was surprised.
      My step sister contacted me after she had her baby and told me that my dad was very sick and probably not going to live very long and how sad he was that I was not in his life. I agreed to write a letter (I had one written and not sent it) in the letter I had said that I had found my grandma’s (his mother) old house and the people had let me inside to see how it looked now. (my grandma and I had been very close, she had practically raised me until I was school age). I also told him that I had many fond memories from my childhood and that a lot of the things he taught me as a child was useful to me in my adult life. I also stated that I was not writing to dig up old issues or to reconnect in anyway I just wanted him to know that I didn’t hate him and had good memories. I did it for me. I didn’t want him to die thinking I hated him and didn’t have any good thoughts about my childhood but I also knew he would never admit to any wrongdoing and I could not reconnect with him and remain healthy. I could not pretend like I had my whole life and listen to his version of the past without wanting resolution so I knew I had to stay away.
      My step sister contacted me like a year later and asked again if I would send a letter and I told her I had mailed it a year ago. She was surprised. When she went over there the next time she found it on the hall table unopened. That is how much he was hurting over not hearing from me. He had been milking her for sympathy. But I had kept my word and I can only be responsible for myself and my actions. No one else’s.
      He died 2 years ago and I did not go to his death bed, I had nothing to say to him and I had vowed after leaving my ex to live true to me and no one else. I do not do anything any more unless I feel comfortable in my gut over it. I don’t do anything because I think people expect me to do it, or they guilt me into it, I live honest and true to my core self. I did not feel compelled to go in anyway shape or form and I knew I would not suffer any guilty feelings if I didn’t go. I would have felt like a hypocrite to go.
      My brother and son went and I wrote the eulogy for the newspaper because no one else was going to and I do have a talent for writing. It was a lovely eulogy and his 2nd wife was so grateful.
      Six months after he died they had a memorial and my son and I attended. I got to see people I hadn’t seen in years, I reminisced about my childhood, had some good laughs about fishing with my dad as a kid. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and reconnected with family etc.
      It was not until I was with my ex that I realized how toxic my dad had been in my life and probably why I had such a hard time leaving him etc, I had a lot of training in walking on eggshells when I was growing up.
      That is how I dealt with it. How you deal with it is a totally personal thing. What worked for me might not work for you but one thing for certain; do what your gut tells you to do, do what your core self can live with and do not do it for anyone else or expect anyone else to jump on your bandwagon. You must be at peace with your decision and then people will have to respect your decision. Don’t do it as a victim, with revenge in your heart, don’t make people choose between you and him.
      I had an older brother who stopped talking to my dad, they had not talked in 10 years when my brother was killed in a tragic plane crash. I regret that I tried to talk him out of not talking to my dad in the beginning, in later years I understood why he had to do it.
      So there you have my answer.
      Good luck and let me know what you decide to do. I care.
      Carrie

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      1. annaberg

        Thank you so much for your reply. I find a lot of recognition in what you write . Uncomfortable in his presence. That’s probably the first sign that could have rung a bell. That’s what I still feel when my sons tell me about their sporadic meetings or calls with my father.
        I wish you all the best and many years of wisdom.
        Anna – Belgium

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  2. Pingback: Advice If You Are With A Narcissist But Don’t Want To Leave — Ladywithatruck’s Blog – Parental Alienation

  3. Pugomabalach

    What if the narc is a family member? My sister has destroyed my relationship with my dad through her lies…he was once my best friend…the more I try to convince him of her evil lies the more crazy I look and feel but I’m desperate to get my truth out but none of it is working? What are your thoughts on how to cope? I have gone nc with her but ptsd and physical ailments have set in due to the stress of her lies and manipulations and at this point I’m at a loss for direction?

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Pugomabalach, the only thing you have control over is your own actions and reactions. To try to defend yourself against a narcissist who has it in for you is an act of futility. They can play the victim better than any true victim and the victim ends up looking like the unstable crazy one. You trying to defend yourself against her lies is only feeding her sick ego and putting a bigger wedge between you and your father. Plus you are getting sick over the whole thing.
      You know what isn’t going to work, trying to defend yourself, you have proof, it has never helped in the past, so learn from the past and do something different.
      A narcissist loves to create conflict and drama, then they sit back and watch the show. They love triangulation, it doesn’t have to be a romantic triangulation, she is doing it with you, her and your dad. You have to stop playing the game with her and step away from the whole sick situation.
      Yes, it is unfair that she is destroying the relationship between you and your father and he is believing her over you, BUT you obviously can not do anything to change her or change your father’s mind; so you must change how you handle it.
      It may seem like you are letting her “win” by stepping back from the whole thing but you are not, you are taking back control of your life, or maybe for the first time in your life you are taking control of your own happiness. As much as you want a good relationship with your father it is not going to happen while she is poisoning his mind and you are in a heightened emotional state and frantically trying to do damage control.
      If you refuse to get wrapped up in her drama she might just stop, no benefit to it if she isn’t causing drama and pain in your life. I would tell your father that you are removing yourself from the sickness and any contact with your sister is toxic for you and that means you do not want to hear what she is doing or saying. Tell your dad that if he persists on telling you what she is saying about you, you will have to cut him out of your life also. You refuse to defend yourself to her lies any more, if he chooses to believe her, that is his choice but you are getting off the roller coaster.
      I would say it and then carry on like nothing ever happened. Call him like you would normally but when he starts to talk about the lies she is spewing, say calmly without apology or anger; “I love you dad but I will not let you pull me into my sister’s sick games and lies. I am sure we can find lots of other things to discuss that don’t involve her. If not, then I am going to hang up.”
      and hang up if he insists on talking about her. He will learn eventually that if he wants a relationship with you he has to have it with you without your sister in the middle of it.
      If he is not willing to do that, then I am afraid you don’t have much of a relationship with him anyway. You will survive without him in your life because right now having him in your life means having your sister in your life and it is slowly killing you.
      Narcissists force us to make some tough decisions and major changes in our lives and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is time for you to discover who you are, what is truly important to you and to start to live life for YOU and no one else. You are in control of how people treat you and who you allow into your life. Just because you are born into a family does not mean you have to allow them to rule your happiness or decide your worth.
      Where is your mother?

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  4. Bonny

    I’ve been there!!! RUN RUN RUN..Please don’t waste your life. It’s been the hardest two months of my life (my second time around). I walked away, blocked all contact, ended mutual friendships and closed all doors of communication…Life is so much better, your thinking will become clear, you’ll be able to breathe and start enjoying just “being”, work on your self esteem ( I never had a self esteem issue prior to that relationship), Success and NC is healthy for you and kills the narcissist. This is easier said than done, I know but when you cross that threshold you will be running with joy into your new life….whatever you do take your time with getting into another relationship. The damage needs to be healed if not 2 things will happen, you’ll get involved with another narc or you won’t be open to the healthy relationship that is wanting for you down the road and your perception will be off.
    Be around friends and family that love you unconditionally this will help with the healing process, knowing that it’s OK TO BE YOU!!!!!
    Let them love you until you can love yourself!!!
    Sending you love and peace

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  5. Yvonne

    Hi Carrie. Havnt commented on a while cuz I was in process of letting go of him but till there was a knock at my door at 2:30 am with sheriffs telling me that my son was struck and hit by a car while out celebrating his birthday. My N has been my rock and now I need him cuz if it wasn’t for him I’d lose my ever living mind. I live in NY my son just moved to TN to live with his best friend and that’s where I had to go to bring him home. My N understood I had to travel with my daughter and their father and he was understanding for the 2 days I was gone. This is the hardest thing I have to go through. Even though my son did not care for my N but my son always had respect. My son died 2 days before turning 24. It’s s parents worst nitemare but my N has been trying his hardest to be there for me and I am grateful for that. Makes me think if I wasn’t with my N maybe I would’ve seen my son more before he moved. He didn’t come around much because of my N. He called him “dingleberry” instead of his name… Not to his face obviously. But what do I do…. He’s been Awsome and things will never be the same. I hug a beautiful box with my sons pic and read his text msgs and listen to his voicemails that I saved but my N says I shouldn’t. I know he’s been there for me but I’m getting to the point where I don’t know if I should take my sons advice and get away from him or be grateful that I have him there to try to build me up. He still tries to control the situation and he had a hard time at services thus past sat cuz this is out of his control. I have to be out in public away from my prison cell and he’s scared he’s Gona Lise me. But I give him credit. He shook hands with everyone and did great. He still tries to make it all about him of course from time to time but I’m not falling for it. I think his mr Hyde is out for now but his dr jeckle will arise soon after the dust settles.

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    1. kim

      yvonne im so sorry for your tragic unimaginable loss narcs unfortunately use any situation to manipulate and control even through youre grief you still know him for what he is its natural to lean on the people we were close to but you are right to be wary please be careful i wish you so much luck with what you are going through we are here for you xxx

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    2. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Yvonne, I am so so so very sorry to hear about your son, it is truly a mother’s worst nightmare and I know I would be a basket case if the same thing were to happen to me, I can’t even imagine the pain you are going through and whatever gets you through right now is not for me to judge.
      You know the truth, your comment is full of doubts about your narc, you are waiting for the other shoe to drop; you know it will, I know it will, everyone who has ever been involved with a narcissist knows it will. You are at your absolute weakest and neediest point in your whole life right now and that does not go unnoticed by any narc, my God, they are known for hitting on widows and such because people who are grieving are easy prey.
      He is not afraid of losing you because he loves you, he is afraid of losing control over you. All narcissists can be the epitome of compassion and charisma when need be, when he has his mask firmly in place, but once he slithers into a place of control that mask is going to drop with the snap of the fingers and then where will you be?
      You are so grateful for any show of sympathy or support from him because you are so used to not getting it, the smallest thing, like understanding why you had to go with your daughter and your ex husband for 2 days to get your son. That is a small thing, it is not monumental, any decent man would totally understand and support you, who wouldn’t?? it is not that profound. He shook hands with people and did great; the last thing you should have to worry about right now is how he is going to behave in a social setting. You just lost your son, the very least he can do is be polite. Yet he is still trying to control things and you are still having to keep your guard up and not let him. Is this what you need at your time of grieving? Personally, the last thing I would want to be worrying about is if his feelings are going to be hurt because he is not in control of the situation because my son died and took the spotlight off him.
      A man who is being a true “rock” would not even think about himself, or losing you, for God’s sake, you just lost your son, what the hell does he think you are going to do?
      I understand you wondering if you had dumped your narc sooner if you would have had more time with your son. Your son was the one major threat to the narc’s control, he was your one ally against the narc and now he is gone, of course the narc is going to use this to his advantage. You haven’t said how your daughter feels about the narc.
      I have apologized to my son for the years my ex was in my life making it difficult to see my son and I have suffered the worst guilt over it since I left my ex. If I could turn back time I would do it differently but hindsight is 20/20 and there is nothing that can be done to change the past. My guilt was standing in the way of me enjoying the time I have with my son now. I realize you will never have the opportunity I have been given to reestablish a relationship with my son and I am sorry for that, but you do have a daughter. Are you willing to sacrifice that relationship just so you can pretend you have a loving relationship? just so you don’t have to face reality? You said you were getting ready to end it with the N, there is no way of getting ready to end it. There is no halfway. Like being pregnant, you are or you aren’t, to get rid of a narc you have to cut the ties, there is no halfway, staying friends, weaning yourself off them. To think you are is only kidding yourself.
      I know it is nothing compared to what you are going through, but when I had to put my little buddy down I was inconsolable, I wanted to phone my ex in the worst way. He knew how much I loved my little buddy and I told myself he would be the only one who would understand how much I was hurting. But I didn’t call him, I knew, even if he WAS sympathetic it wouldn’t last and I would end up paying dearly in the end. When my mom sold my trailer and I had nowhere to live my ex popped into my life and oh my God he was so sweet, made all kinds of promises, he was just like when we first started dating. He even apologized to my son and my son forgave him and they shook hands, my ex cried real tears and my son came to me and said how good it felt to get a genuine apology. The three of us had 3 months together like I had always dreamed of us all having together. My son cooked us supper, him and my ex worked on his car, I was in my glory, my every dream and wish had come true. Then my ex proposed and asked me to move away with him, and my son gave his blessing. The minute I gave up my security an was reliant on him the mask dropped. From sweetheart to devil in 30 seconds. When I asked him why he had apologized to my son and everything his reply was, “Because I did what I needed to do to get you back.” He had not meant a word of it and the abuse was worse than ever before and I was needier than ever before. He all but destroyed me in the year that followed. Out of the 10 years I was with him there was more abuse in the last year than in the whole previous 9 years.
      I am sure that your son would not be happy to know his death pushed you into the narc’s arms. We can not change the past, we only have control over our future and how we handle our lives from this moment going forward. I think you need to take some time to think about what you want in the future and what you stand to lose by keeping the narc in your life. What kind of future do you want with your daughter? What kind of future do you want for yourself. Is having a man in your life worth what you are sacrificing? Can you afford to gamble what time you have left?
      None of us know what the future holds, Lord knows I didn’t think I was going to end up with a heart condition that would prevent me from working and consequently prevent me from having enough money to visit my grand daughter or see my son, or even have a home where I could have him come or my grand baby come to stay. If I had known I wouldn’t have my health in the near future would I have done things differently, you bet I would have. Time is precious, we always think we have tomorrow, what I wouldn’t do to have some of those 10 years back now.
      But I don’t have that option, we don’t get “do overs”, not in this life, so we have to make wise choices with the time we have because there are no guarantees there is going to be a tomorrow.
      I am so terribly sorry for your loss and like I said, I don’t judge you whatever you choose to do about your narc, but knowing what I know today, if I was you I would dump his ass so fast and cut him out of my life in a heartbeat in memory of my son and I would go forward and live a life my son would be proud of and I would spend every minute I could loving the child I have left.
      That is what I would do.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  6. Peter Wells aka Countingducks

    Just reading that comment you posted there about the girl and her new husband gave me a horrible chill. I find it hard to imagine such a thing, and your reply is excellent, and having your blog as a “Port of call” for women in this situation is an enormous social asset, for which you should be thanked everyday. My heart goes out to the poor woman and the sense of menace under which she lives

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Oh Peter, you are such a sweet soul, thank you, thank you for caring. I may be a “port of call” but you are a “beacon of light and goodness” in the world. Proof that there are good men in the world, people who genuinely care, in what can feel like a very harsh cold world.

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  7. Michael

    I’m a man, and I realise that the majority of narcs are men, but I’m wondering if my girlfriend is one? After a failed marriage of my own, and taking a year out alone, I met a beautiful lady around 6 months ago. We fell in love pretty hard and fast and the first 6 months were ‘heaven’. I learnt that she has been abused by her father throughout her teenage years and she had a failed marriage too where she accused her husband of being a narcissist (she described him as controlling, critical and bullying). Throughout our time together, I’ve always been fully supportive, sympathetic and done everything I can to make happy. I noticed that she has stronger opinions than me on doing certain things, but I’ve been content to compromise and do what she wants more often, as I haven’t felt strongly about any of the things. Fast forward to a month ago, we had our first disagreement. It was really something and nothing but it developed into a two day sulk, where I felt I couldn’t say anything right to her so I left her be for a couple of days for us both to calm down. Then she called a meeting and told me it was over!
    No discussion, no warning. She told me I blew it: apparently I showed here traits if her ex-bullying husband and the fact I didn’t go to her to put it right immediately, meant that I was not right for her. I have been devastated at how she can drop our relationship so coldly, so clinically.
    After a lot of pleading and apologising on my part, she’s allowed us to see eachother (as friends) and she’s explained to me that because of the traumas she’s suffered in her life that her way of dealing has been to ‘shut down’ and because I upset her that one time, she has ‘shut down’ on me. I explained to her that I’m not like the bullies in her previous life. I make mistakes but I don’t have malice, and I never want to hurt her.
    We’ve been seeing eachother for around two weeks ‘as friends’ and she’s told me that she still loves me underneath, but that she needs time and to learn to trust me again. In the meantime, she’s super busy socially with her friends and making plans for her future (without me, whereas we had planned to be together),
    Although I can appreciate what she says about healing time, I’ve seen another side to her. How can someone who showed so much love, just switch off so quickly, and now show such coldness (she can see how I’m hurting).
    It just feels that I’m doing all the investing and I’m not getting anything back. If we do get back together, it feels that I have to always do things how she wants. And if I make another mistake then will she drop me again?
    I’m even wondering now whether I am the narc, to be thinking like this?
    But I’m still smitten by her, I’m so onely and hurtng so much, and desperately want her back.
    So do I hang in there, or should I face reality that it will never be right?

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  8. Carrie Reimer Post author

    Michael, I doubt you are a narcissist, for one thing they never doubt that they are right and would never admit to any fault or blame.
    As for your ex girlfriend; I am not qualified to diagnose anyone but especially over the internet with so few details but I will give you my opinion on healthy and unhealthy relationships.
    I am going to point out some things for you to think about before you make any decisions about what to do.
    – I don’t know how long your g/f has been apart from her ex but I always advise victims of a narc to take 2 or more years to heal and find themselves and know their worth, set healthy boundaries and love themselves before ever even thinking about getting involved with anyone else.
    – She needs to heal herself, you can not do that for her.
    – You say you have compromised on things because she felt stronger than you and it was not that big a deal to you. Compromise is a wonderful thing in a relationship but one person can not be the only one compromising, it has to be a give and take thing so the scales stay balanced. By always bending to her wishes you are setting a standard where you will always do the compromising and that will eventually get old and cause problems.
    – it sounds to me like you are so smitten with this woman you are not being yourself and trying to be what she wants. That never works. How is your self confidence?
    – People argue differently, I prefer to take time to calm down and think the situation over because in the heat of the moment things can be said that you later regret or the argument is going around in circles an nothing productive is coming of it. BUT that said it has to be done in such a way as to not hurt the other person. If you just went missing in action for a couple of days with no explanation you were not just giving it time to calm down, you were playing games, you were angry and going to “teach her a lesson”, passive aggressive, not necessarily being a narcissist, just immature.
    In a healthy argument one person may need to take time out to calm down, they need to explain in a calm way that they still love the other person but they need some time with their thoughts and to calm down. You give the person a time that you will be ready to discuss it again, like “I will call you at noon tomorrow so we can have lunch and talk about this again.” If the other person INSiSTS they have it out right now and badgers the person to continue on a pointless fight going no where then the person who needs space has to realize that this is more than likely going to be an ongoing issue between the two of you.
    If you stormed out of the room and gave her the silent treatment for days, refusing to answer her calls, no explanation, I can totally understand why she shut down, that is what a narc does to punish you for disagreeing with him. Like I said it is immature and non-productive.
    – The fact that she is being social and making plans with friends is healthy. No one should make someone else the centre of their life. The two people in a relationship are two separate individuals, two different personalities, they have things in common but they don’t have to have everything in common, they shouldn’t drop their friendships just because they met a guy and the guy or girl should not expect it.
    – 6 months dating is a little soon to be making plans for the future past next month. I don’t know what kind of plans she is making for the future with her friends that is making you feel so left out and rejected. Plans change all the time, people talk about doing things with a friend and then shit happens and they never do it, but it is fun to plan it and think about it. Where are your friends? why aren’t you going out with your friends and making plans. NOT to play tit for tat but because you have a life whether she is in it or not.
    I fear that she agreed to remain friends with you simply because you were bugging her and begging and she felt guilty. You don’t want her to date you out of guilt do you?
    My suggestion is to put on your big boy pants and get a life; if it is meant to be it will be but you moping around looking all hurt and calling her and bugging her is NOT winning you any points with her.
    Guys don’t like needy women and women certainly don’t like needy guys.
    Sorry, that is my opinion.
    No one is a narcissist, just because a couple breaks up doesn’t mean one of them has to be labelled a narcissist.

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