When we “settle” for less than we deserve, whether we realize it or not; our self-worth suffers.
When we met the narcissist we thought he was a high quality person, someone with principles and high standards, someone in line with our high standards and morals. As we got to know him better we started to witness things that hinted he was not as moral as he pretends to be. A questionable business deal, a friendship destroyed by some disloyalty of his, accusations of wrong doing. You might not be able to identify anything specific but your gut is telling you something is off.
You don’t want to falsely accuse him so you don’t confront him at first or if you do, you are careful to not sound accusatory.
With my ex it was when a neighbor offered to let him buy a motorcycle really cheap because it wasn’t running. My ex didn’t have the $400 so the guy said he could pay over time but the bike would stay with him until it was paid for.
My ex immediately started checking Craigslist for Swap/Trade Ads and found one where a guy wanted to trade a BWM for a motorcycle.
He called the guy and was talking like he had just been out for a ride on the bike and had owned it for a couple of years. He told the guy he would bring the bike down and come look at the car.
He went to the owner of the bike and begged to take the bike home so he could work on it so it would be running when he had it paid for. The owner said OK but he was keeping the registration.
My ex had the bike in his shop less than an hour and had it running. He loaded it on his flat deck and drove out of the park we lived in.
When the owner of the bike got home from work all the neighbors told him my ex had left the park with his bike on the truck. He was furious and I didn’t blame him, I was furious. He couldn’t trade something he hadn’t paid for.
My ex came home with the BMW but the owner of the car wouldn’t give him the registration until he got the registration for the bike.
I was pissed! Now what was he going to do? I knew it!! A person should never lie, it always bites you in the ass. But he was not the least bit concerned. He told me to mind my own business, this is how people do business all the time. I had to let it go but it drove me crazy with worry. What were the neighbors thinking? I was such an honest person.
After a week of the two guys calling him constantly wanting the reggie or money he took the wheels off the BMW and sold them for $400, paid for the bike, got the registration and took it to the owner of the BMW.
He bought the bike owner a bottle of wine and everyone was happy.
I thought maybe I was wrong.
There were other questionable deals and he always told me to shut up and mind my own business, I didn’t know anything about wheeling and dealing. People were always getting upset with him, he was accused of stealing but somehow he always avoided being charged with anything.
I thought perhaps I was being too black and white and maybe there were grey areas of the law. I knew I had always been inflexible when it came to breaking the law, drugs, fidelity.
The more I compromised the more he pushed the boundaries. Life with him was a constant contradiction, praising the Lord one day and stealing the next. Being charitable and kind to others and selfish and mean with me.
He would be so sweet butter would melt in his mouth in front of the neighbors but then every time I walked out of the house by myself the neighbors would come running to complain about how inconsiderate he was. I told them to speak to him directly because I had no control over what he did. I had tried to explain why the neighbors were upset about him working in his shop at 2 am, but it seemed the more I tried to explain the more he did it. He enjoyed pissing people off, yet would try to smooth things over and it always worked.
It was as if he was trying to force me down to his level. At times he used my good reputation to his advantage. People would tend to believe he must be telling the truth because an honest person like me wouldn’t be with someone who wasn’t honest and I always staunchly defended him. I truly thought he was honest just naive. How naive of ME!! I still wonder about some things being the truth or bullshit.
My God, there were so many questionable incidents and for years I gave him the benefit of doubt explaining over and over again that; if you take something that doesn’t belong to you people think you are stealing. I know it sounds crazy to be explaining that to a 40 year old man but he always has some excuse. It was in the garbage so he took it, someone who doesn’t work there any more gave it to him, the boss said he could take it but forgot he said it or changed his mind.
In the 10 years I was with him I had 3 vehicles stolen and he had 3 stolen and totalled one for the insurance money. (I can’t prove it but I know) Six vehicles stolen in 10 years. But I finally did get smart and would keep my registration hidden from him. Now that is a healthy relationship! You hide the registration from the man you love, your soul mate, what does that tell you?
He got fired from every job he ever had. When he had a job he would work 7 days a week. I think because then he would be alone at work and able to steal shit plus he wanted to make sure no one figured out what he was doing. I have never known anyone who went to work one morning and his key no longer fit the lock on the door and he was fired. They were holding his final pay cheque and his tools box was either confiscated or outside the gate.
It happened to him 3 times! And for half of our relationship he was self employed!
I used to insure his truck because I got a 43% discount on my insurance and he had a 43% surcharge added to his. I signed a transfer and tax form in case something happened to me he could sign it over to his name. He told me he had lost it and gave me another one to sign. I was going to fill out the details like the VIN # and he said not to bother, he would fill it in. He kept losing them and I had signed half a dozen of them until one day I ran into a friend. He was on the way to the bank to get money out because he was buying a truck from my ex. I offered to drive him to the bank and I asked which truck he was buying. The blue one parked out front? No the yellow one parked out back.
I argued “No, you can’t be, that’s my truck.”
He insisted that was the truck he was buying, he even had a transfer and tax form with my signature on it!!!
Alarm bells, sirens were ringing, lights were flashing, my own foot came up and kicked me in the ass.
Needless to say, he never bought my truck BUT my truck never ran again either.
* Narcissists do not like to be thwarted.
There were distinct stages of denial I went through until I was in full blown cognitive dissonance before I came full circle to reality again. See if you can relate to any of these.
– At first I truly believed with all my heart he was totally honest and could never break the law or lie. How did I know this-he told me. That’s how. And he said it with such conviction. He had this innocent, country boy, charm going on and I defended him ferociously!
– After he had been accused several times of stealing I still told myself he was stupid. He didn’t mean to steal, it was a misunderstanding. How did I know this? Well, because he told me they misunderstood his motives.
– I eventually got to the stage of telling myself I was not responsible for his actions. I would just turn a blind eye to what he was doing in business, his “deals” and lead my life honestly. I stopped trying to “fix” the messes he created.
– There was one problem with not cleaning up his messes. His messes almost definitely automatically became my messes and I would have to deal with them. If he lost his job, we couldn’t pay the rent, we got evicted, I would have to clean up the mess. Guys he has pissed off run us off the road while I’m driving becomes my problem also. Guys he stole from call me and threaten to come over and stay with me until he shows up and they are drunk and yelling about blood flowing and I end up driving around with my dog afraid to go home; it is now MY problem.
– I started to want to warn new friends he made. Like, how do you casually tell someone “don’t do any business deals with him and you might want to start locking your shop. He tends to have a lot of misunderstandings that will cost you money.”
– I started to not tell people he was my boyfriend, especially customers. The voices in my head kept saying, “How can you love someone you are ashamed to admit is your boyfriend?
– I would make deals with myself. If he gets arrested: I am out of here. When I had dumped him one time he came to me saying he had volunteered to go on a missionary trip to Sudan Africa. I thought, “If he actually goes and does this, I will give him another chance.” It took me years to get the truth about what happened in Sudan and it was anything but charitable.
– Finally I could not deny it any longer and could not rationalize it any more. There were no more excuses, I could not turn a blind eye, could not teach him right from wrong, was ashamed to be seen with him, couldn’t trust him to not destroy my truck (in fact I knew without a doubt he WAS sabotaging my truck). I refused to haul anything for him because I was afraid it was stolen. I broke up with him but I made a crucial mistake; I didn’t go no contact.
Any access a narcissist has to you is a bad thing for you!
Miraculously I had managed to retain my good reputation; a person has nothing without their reputation. I was proud of that.
I did not realize how a narcissist operates, well to be honest I didn’t know what I was dealing with at that time. But I have since found out that a narcissist will totally turn the tables on the victim. What he did to you he will say you did to him. The only reason he stole stuff was cuz I drove him to it with my demands for more. I sat my lazy ass on the couch all day drinking, eating bon bons and cracking the whip. He just could not make me happy.
The only reason he screwed around was because I was a suspicious psycho bitch.
He purposely sabotaged my work truck so I couldn’t pay my debts. And he called all my customers with anonymous complaints and then spread the “fake news” so it became fact that I could not be trusted. He called employers as a “concerned citizen”. I figured out what he was doing when I found his blog where he was talking about how a concerned citizen had called my boss. Funny thing is I had purposely not told a soul so if he knew he had to be the one who made the call.
But, having to defend yourself, constantly doing damage control, and wondering who he has talked to, all wears you down. Your self esteem, already low due to his gas lighting and abuse; melts through the cracks.
It makes it so much harder to recover. You either get sick like me and just give up or you move away.
The very best thing you can do? Avoid the whole shit show in the first place! What a novel idea!!
– Don’t trust someone just because they say they are honest – wait and see how they operate over time.
– When you see that their values don’t align with yours. Walk!! Immediately! It is not your job to teach anyone else how to be a good person. If they are over the age of 6 and are lying and stealing it’s too late to change them.
Remember- who you hang out with IS a reflection on you. Are you proud of who you are with? Do you feel perfectly comfortable telling anyone what goes on behind closed doors? Would you want your best friend or daughter dating this guy?
My ex used to say I made him look like an asshole when I talked to people about our relationship. My reply was, “If telling the truth makes you look like an asshole, maybe you should stop acting like an asshole.”
You should never have to lie or cover for your partner. Sure there are things you don’t talk about, like your sex life but you should never have to lie or make excuses for the person you love.