How To Play The Narcissist’s Game

*I’m adding a disclaimer of sorts to this post due to a few people who seem to think that I’m claiming to be an expert. When I use the word – expert – to refer to myself, I’m being sardonic towards myself. I use humour to deal with my pain. I am not an expert, I simply grew up with parents who are narcissists, who made my life a confusing hellish nightmare.

I’m sorry if I did not make it clear enough in my words, I thought I had.

This is a personal blog (by a real person and human being) where I share some of my experiences and thoughts. This is one of the ways I have chosen to sort through my own issues.

When I wrote this post I did not expect anyone to read it, posting it publicly was a challenge to myself to break through the silence and censorship of my self-expression which was imposed on me by the narcissists in my life.

I realise that any discussion about NPD triggers our own experiences of it, and we may react to the ghosts which haunt us.

Please take care of yourselves.

Please be considerate of others who, like you, have suffered. We all know how hard it is to heal the pain of our personal wounds.

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

The title of this post comes from a search criteria in my stats which led someone to my blog. It caught my eye. The first thought which popped into my head was…

Why exactly do you want to play games with a Narcissist?

I can guess why based on my own reasons for wanting to outwit a Narcissist. Frustration, and the urge to be acknowledged by them just once. Just once you want them to admit that you are an individual separate from them, and right about them. But they never will, not genuinely, although they might do it as a ploy, to placate you, a manipulative device to get you to stop being who you are and become who they’ve decided you are. However I don’t know anything about the person who was doing that search or the Narcissist they are dealing with.

The very first thing you have to ask yourself before you engage in game playing battle with a Narcissists is – Are they a Narcissist or a Sociopath/Psychopath? There are similarities, they are often confused, but the differences will make all the difference to your survival and win rate. If they are a Narcissist, are they a regular one or a Malignant one? There is a subtle difference, not always obvious to those caught in a relationship with a Narcissist.

Once you’ve determined that…

Every Narcissist you meet is different. Sure there are similarities of behaviour in all Narcissists, but they are people just like you and me. And ‘Yes’, to the person who searched for whether Narcissists have a soul, they do have one just like you do. Narcissists are human. They are just stuck in an early phase of development. We all pass through that phase too, but we passed through it onto the next phase and the next and so on.

So, you want to outwit a Narcissist? To win at a game they’ve been playing before they even knew they were playing it? They sometimes still don’t know they’re playing it, which is why they are so good at it.

I won’t go into the difference between subconscious and conscious awareness, because I’ll probably end up confusing both you and myself. However it does have bearing on how to deal with a Narcissist. Simply put, at least I hope this is simple, take any question which you might ask yourself about your life such as – Why do I attract Narcissists?

Your conscious mind will try to answer this question as best as it can with the information consciously available to it. The stuff of which you are aware, about yourself and others, on a day to day basis.

Your subconscious knows exactly why, and it would probably say – you attract Narcissists because you are attracted to them. They have something you need. A gift for you. And the only way to get that gift is to go through a relationship with one or two or three.

You access the subconscious through dreams, sometimes through therapy if you have a good therapist, and through pausing to listen to yourself, really listen. The subconscious communicates with you all the time – that song, memory, image, scene from a film or TV show, that uncomfortable feeling, sudden ache in your body, which popped into your head, made itself conscious, for no apparent reason, the subconscious has a reason. The subconscious uses everything to communicate unlike the conscious mind which mainly uses words and verbal thoughts.

For more about how we communicate with ourselves, read this: Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin.

Much of what a Narcissist does and is, is subconscious. They will never admit to being a Narcissist, not consciously they won’t, because consciously they are not. A very rare few will figure it out, there are one or two who blog and have written books about their experience of being a Narcissist and how they are slowly curing themselves because most therapists don’t know how to cure NPD as very few who have NPD go into therapy and those who do don’t do it to cure Narcissism and usually mess with the therapist and then leave. The Narcissists who openly admit to having NPD are rare and brave. Brave because would you want to admit you were a Narcissist to yourself and others with all the Narcissist hate on the internet and elsewhere?

Both my parents are/were Narcissists. I am in some ways an expert on the subject, but I don’t consider myself to be. I didn’t study it academically, I lived it and then tried to make sense of what I’ve lived. I’m still working on making sense of it. It took me a while to figure out that they were Narcissists and then figure out what that meant. It has only been in recent years that the subject has been explored in a detailed way.

Best book I’ve ever read on the subject is – Going Mad to Stay Sane by Andy White. I found that book in a secondhand bookshop, I wasn’t looking for it, it found me. It’s one of those books which glued itself to my hand and forced me to buy it. It changed my life. It’s not an easy book to get a hold of. Why!?!

Anyway, back to playing games with Narcissists.

I’ve played Narcissistic games with Narcissists. Not just with my parents, but with others who have NPD. Usually I don’t know I’m playing the game until something strikes me as odd about the interaction, such as the fact that they are not being who they said they are – we all do that a bit, but Narcissists do it all the time and the gulf between who they say they are and who they are is gaping – and it dawns on me that yet again I’m dealing with a Narcissist.

I have also played actual games with Narcissists.

Want to find out a whole bunch of subconscious stuff about a person, play a board or video game with them. Some people undergo a complete character change when playing a game.

That very polite and nice person you know so well, suddenly becomes a control freak with a vengeance. That laid back, peace-loving dippy hippie turns into a scorched earth policy activist. That aggressive bully turns into a screaming scaredy-cat who yells help and eek a lot and wants all violent games banned.

I’ve never played a video game with my parents, but I did play one once with a Narcissist. It was a boxing game. He usually only played it with his kids, because they always let him win without letting him know they were doing that. He made the mistake of playing it with me. I did not let him win, but thrashed him and then laughed out loud about it. I can be so socially awkward at times. He stormed out of the room and created a drama in another room.

To be honest I did it deliberately. We’d played a board game earlier in the day and I didn’t like how he’d treated his son. He’d intimidated and bullied him. But you can’t tell a parent how to treat their children, especially if you don’t have children. So… I thought I’d give him a taste of his own medicine and see how he liked it. I didn’t solve anything by doing this, I didn’t change him or make him see any light of any sort about his behaviour, I may have even made things worse by doing what I did. Although I did catch the son’s eye when I thrashed his father and there was a glint in it. It was the same glint I had when someone did that sort of thing with my parents when I was his age. A dawning of seeing that the person who has convinced you they are perfect and you are flawed beyond repair is actually just as flawed, maybe more flawed, than you are. It’s a moment of freedom for the prisoner of a Narcissist.

I did however play board games with my parents. They had different styles, but both were very Narcissistic.

Narcissist tend to play games exactly like they live life. So there is not much of a character change. One rule for you, the rules of the game plus a few invented ones they’ve just added so you can’t win. And no rules for them.

My father taught me how to play Chess. I later learned how to play Chess properly from someone who wasn’t a Narcissist. It was very boring compared to the Narcissistic version.

Taking on a Narcissist at any kind of game is a bad idea. But is it a bad idea worth having and acting on?

Those who think I’m wise… clears throat while looking confused and embarrassed… thank you but I’m not really. My wisdom, if I have any, lies in allowing myself to make mistakes and learn from them, then make some more, learn from those, and so on. An evolving path of mistakes. I used to be terrified of making mistakes. Why? Because my Narcissistic mother was perfect and punished me for being imperfect all the time. To her, I was a mistake. Being afraid of making mistakes became my personal hellish prison. Allowing myself to make them and enjoy the results was my key to freedom. That’s it really.

Narcissists don’t have rules. Not for them. For you… they have so many that it suffocates the life out of you. They hand out censorship like after dinner mints. Less freedom for you means they have more freedom for them. They are the classic free spirit who doesn’t allow anyone else to be a free spirit.

So, if you play games with them you’d better be prepared for games which have rules that keep changing throughout the games.

But as prepared as you try to be, you will hit a wall at some point, a boundary of your own making. You have values and principles, and a line you won’t cross no matter what. The Narcissist knows that, consciously, subconsciously, both. At some point you’re going to hit one of your boundaries. They don’t have boundaries, well they do, but they move. Their rules are designed to change when they are losing and basically even if they lose they will turn it into a victory.

Can you ever win a game against a Narcissist? Yes and no. Depends on the game, but mostly it depends on what you consider to be winning. They will always leave you frustrated with your win and your loss. Can you tell the difference?

I sometimes deliberately lose to a Narcissist to ensure a win. Why? Because they are an obsessive persistent pain in the ass when they think they’ve lost, but if they think they’ve won, they will fuck off… most of the time. And to me that is a win.

The best way to make a Narcissist go away with their tail thrust firmly between their legs – Show them you’ve seen the face behind their mask, the face which hides behind every one of their masks. You become anathema to them. At first they may try to prove you wrong. You’re the inferior baddie and they are the superior goodie. Stay firm. Don’t allow your ego, your need to be seen as the goodie and to show them up as the baddie, to weaken your resolve. Can you do that?

Much of what it takes to mess with a Narcissist involves doing the opposite of what you would do with someone who is not a Narcissist and what you would normally do.

Narcissists are very good at finding really nice people. Your niceness is a weakness. They need that niceness because they don’t have it. Their favourite thing is hearing you tell them how wonderful they are, nice people do that, encourage the good in others and give compliments freely. This addiction to nice people is the Narcissist’s weakness. They tell people how wonderful they are, but they don’t believe it, not consciously or subconsciously. They are very aggressive about how wonderful they are, they will fight to the death to prove it… to themselves most of all. They use others to prove it.

There is a football chant in the UK – You’re shit and you know you are – which is a good one to use with a Narcissist if you want them to go away. At first they will try to get you to see that you are the shit one and they are the wonderful one. Keep singing it. Eventually they will run away, dump you (you’re not allowed to dump them), and find someone who will sing – You are so beautiful to me – to them.

There is always someone else, they discard relationships like we discard trash. They change identities in a similar way, but they never change their pattern of relationship, and they rarely change who they are underneath all of their masks. Still a lonely child hoping someone really special will love them, what a tempting trap, what a prison! Your love will never be enough to save them no matter how much they try to convince you it will. You will lose yourself trying to do that.

One of the most effective ways of ‘winning’ a game with a Narcissist… let them win. If you’ve been in a relationship with a Narcissist for a while, you’ll know that at some point they stop being ‘nice’ to you, it’s an effort for them, and they switch to being mean. They will tell you some awful truth about yourself for your own good, of course, they’re wonderful like that. Don’t try to prove them wrong, that’s what they want, that gives them what they need, all of your passionate attention. Tell them they are right and walk away. You agree with them, you are the bad daughter or son, the toxic friend, the negative lover, you’re bad for them and will always hurt them, they need to get away from you, move on, let go. Can you do that?

It won’t always work, you have to be consistent and persistent or they will wear you down with their infinite persistence. You just have to keep blocking their nonsense. Block the blah blah which confuses. They are nonsense blah blah experts.

I cut ties with both my parents over ten years ago. The ‘No Contact’ approach. Which worked for a while, but Narcissists never follow the rules of others. They do it as long as it suits them. Both my parents recently resurfaced. My father because he died. You’re not necessarily free from the games of a Narcissist just because they’re dead. My mother because she wants to get her hands on whatever inheritance my father left behind. Which is a frigging mess typical of a Narcissist. A poisoned chalice or Gordian Knot (got that from Going Mad to Stay Sane). My mother has tried many Narcissistic ploys to engage me in her games. I’ve been ignoring them. Her latest one was claiming that she thinks, poor her, that I may be dead. She wants me to react to that by proving I am alive. Fuck her, let her prove her nonsense blah blah, frankly I’m relived to be dead to her, not that she really believes her own nonsense.

There you have it. My view, my expert advice… !?!?! I’m still making mistakes and trying to turn the experience into some sort of learning and crazy wisdom.

Take what you need from my posts – there is not going to be a book – and do what you want. You are responsible for your own life. Live it, learn from it… try to enjoy it. A bit. A lot. Good luck!

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If you would like to know more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder please visit:

Update 2017 – I should really go through the links below and update them, but some things are better left as they were. However I have recently come across an excellent blog (which also has a Youtube channel for those who prefer the spoken word, and the author of the blog has written books for those who prefer books).

This is the blog – Knowing the Narcissist

This is his Youtube channel – Knowing the Narcissist – Youtube

The author is a Narcissist – he states this in his bio, but before you run away, pause a minute, many victims of Narcissists have claimed to have found healing and help in their recovery through reading his posts (read the comments on his posts). I find his posts to be informative. In his posts he explains the Narcissist from the perspective of a Narcissist, and the Narcissist’s victims from the perspective of a Narcissist (and he gives detailed information about the different types and levels of Narcissists) – this is often what is missing for those trying to heal themselves after Narcissistic Abuse.

He is also rather patient, compassionate, and understanding for a Narcissist. Please be respectful – do not go there to bash a Narcissist, he is not your Narcissist.

Everything below this update are old links, some are still active, and maybe one day I’ll re-check them out. Thank you for visiting. Take care of yourselves. Best wishes.

The Narcissistic Continuum. There is also a forum, for those seeking support, advice and information.

If you’ve been or are in a romantic relationship with a narcissist, please visit – Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

Narcissism and the Fruit of Suffering– the blog of my favourite author, whose book Going Mad to Stay Sane helped me to figure out and explain many aspects of my own experience with narcissistic parents, especially my tendency to be self destructive.

Narcissism – Living Without Feelings – A very long and detailed analysis of NPD, which explains how someone develops the disorder, what goes on behind the facade, how the disorder affects the individual who has it, and its effects on others, and so much more. If you want to understand NPD, this is an excellent article. Comprehensive and insightful.

Out of the Fog – Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – an excellent resource of all the ‘games’ which Narcissists ‘play’.

Games Narcissists Play by Alexander Burgemeester

How to Handle a Crazymaker by Kimberely Key, M.A.

The Vampire’s Bite: Victims of Narcissists Speak Out by  Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.

The Narcissistic Family Portrait by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.

Why Some People Will Never Learn by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D.

Selfishness and Narcissism in Family Relationships & The Drama Triangle by Dr. Lynne Namka

Don’t Play The Victim Game by Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D.

Energy theft: toxic forms of shame and guilt by Marty Cooper

How The Trauma of Narcissistic Abuse Changes Our World Views

Communicating with a Narcissist

7 Things You Need to Know About Narcissists from a Psychologist’s Perspective

5 Ways to Shut Down a Narcissist

Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head

Worth reading if you’re thinking of telling a narcissist that they have NPD:

Is There a Cure For Narcissism? by Kaleah LaRoche

Narcissists in Fiction:

Honest Science vs. False Friend: A Contrast Study of Temperance Brennan and Angela Montenegro  – This is an interesting post examining two characters on a popular TV show (the Narcissist as a TV & film trope is very common), one of which could be perceived as being a Narcissist but isn’t, the other is a Narcissist but may not be perceived as one (because Narcissists are focused on how others perceive them thus they are better able to manipulate their image and control how others view them). Like the person who wrote this, I find the character of Angela Montenegro intensely annoying and distressing (I have been known to shout at the TV when watching this show when her character appears and does her ‘thing’) because she is very narcissistic yet gets away with it, everyone makes excuses for her (including the resident psychologist who is supposed to be very clever) and thinks she’s lovely, very ’empathic’. Episode 6, season 5 was particularly explicit in showing Angela’s Narcissism and I got intensely angry about how it was handled). This episode reminded me of CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum’s post of Puppygate – Part Two Online Narcissists: A case study called PuppyGate.

Some other posts I have written while working through my issues:

When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?

Are You a Magnet for Narcissists?

Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence

An insightful guest post on NPD:

The story of a relationship with a Narcissist: I Am Not Special by Hope

459 thoughts on “How To Play The Narcissist’s Game

  1. I’ve recently done exactly what you’ve said to do to my Narcissistic ex. I made him see that he was nothing more than shit (out of character for little ole me). I could tell it was hurting him and “finally” he has left me alone. I just read your post and understand why he has climbed under a rock far away from me. Also, I haven’t spoken to my mother in over a year, and like you, I have no intentions on ever speaking to her. She plays games and has made my life hell. Just wanted to thank you for your insight.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Unfortunately sometimes we have to act out of character to get a message clearly across to others who don’t respect us. It can be difficult to do it, especially if we don’t like to hurt people and they get hurt when we do it, but they won’t listen any other way to what we’re saying. If someone isn’t listening to you, or acknowledging your boundaries, sometimes you have to be very firm and draw a very clear line which even they can’t miss.

      I haven’t spoken to my mother in almost 20 years. There’s no point and I have nothing to say, while she has a lot to say to the 5 yr old she still thinks I am. She’s still playing her old games, and hasn’t learned a thing. I did have to use go-betweens to talk to her, and considering the effect she had on them, even on the person who wanted at first to negotiate a reconciliation between us because ‘my poor mother loves me’ and obviously I’m the ‘baddie’ in the scenario – that person ended up asking me if they could not talk to my mother ever again.

      Take good care of yourself, you deserve to be respected, and keep on being you!

      Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Yes, for the most part, it is definitely easier to let a narcissist win at board games, but you do have to lose convincingly because if the narcissist suspects that you let them win… that’s a new nightmare to give you insomnia.

      If you’re playing with a cerebral narcissist they prefer a tough opponent to beat as choosing a tough opponent is part of their ego trip, they’re only playing with you because you’re good at the game if they wanted someone easy to beat they’d have chosen someone else to play with, there’s nothing they like better than snatching victory from the jaws of defeat so you have to learn to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

      You also have to watch out for the type of narcissist (covert, sensitive, vulnerable) who plays to lose or who plays to let others win – if you’re trying to let that kind of narcissist win you’re in for trouble with the one playing to lose as you’re ruining their story and cutting off the supply they get from ‘being a loser’, and the one who is letting you win, that game will be interminable and most likely end in a fight, and/or them sulking for eternity because you spoiled their generosity towards you.

      It’s worth remembering that playing a board game with a narcissist is always part of a bigger game of human chess they’re playing.

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  2. Honestly I think I just dated someone like this and I thought I was going crazy until I read this post thank you so much

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  3. Holy shit my dude… If I’m wrong (which I’m not, who isn’t wrong to themselves) my mother may be one but doesn’t know it, I didn’t know it, until I was tryna one up my narcissistic friend… And found your blog. Anyways. I’m 18, and have the same mindset as you without realizing it because you made so much sense. I know you know what I know, make sense? Trust me. I do. I think you should contact me so we can talk further on this interesting finding. Oh the reason you found that book, that was meant to be, so you could find that out and learn how to do what you do and live how you live. You posted this and I think something is happening. An awakening. You feel? Shits getting fucked up dude.. Let’s talk some real life shit.

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    1. I don’t really know the reason I had to go through all the pain, discomfort, shocks, from wow! I finally met the right person (after being on my own as lady biker for 8 years) earned the respect of all my biker friends.. Always come and go alone between hundreds on Bikeclubs dayjols and rally;s… wished for someone who could be there with me (not as a lover but a pal) – Then I met him…. and I thought = what a bonus! As people know me crazy about energetic old school rock music, he had his own Rock music band. With amazing talent playing it, fast and even better than the original songs. From right the beginning there was a uncomfortable feeling inside me, the overwhelming of the declaring his (finally) met his soulmate (me) I suppressed with the thought that I was in a comfort zone, afraid of commitment……Starting from the first week in this relationship a aggressive rage because a good friend wished me goodnight) the next two years I changed from a strong, wise, confident social person to a quiet, uncomfortable, confused, disappointed, crying for no reason pathetic human being. With no guts to send him out of my life…. Promise after promise my happiness my life changed into waiting, avoiding friends or any invatations, playing along with endless supply of patience I was born with. Hoping for …. ??
      Until, with amazing co-incidents the puzzle began to fall in place. With a lady friend mentioned the web site Narcissism. I couldn’t stop reading as it was my own experience word for word. It made perfect sense and the relieve that I’m not CRAZY was overwhelming!!! Still a long road to adjusting and surviving without a insecure coward sucking life and energy to fill the hole in the head….

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      1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        Sounds like you’ve been through one hell of a ride through bat country, and are coming out of it stronger, wiser, and knowing yourself (and others) a whole lot better.

        Life experiences don’t always make sense, don’t always seem to have a reason, sometimes we only make sense of them and find the reason why they happened later on, once it’s long gone and is in our rear view mirror. Hindsight often sees what we didn’t while we were caught up in a moment and story.

        This guy does sound like a typical narcissist – charming, dream-come-true exterior, saying and doing all the right things on the surface, but underneath a bottomless pit of insecurity, anxiety, paranoia, and rage at the world.

        Don’t get bogged down in blaming yourself for ignoring red flags, not listening to your gut, and believing the beautiful serenade he was playing for you – these are things which are easy to overlook when in the flush of love, and they only tend to be noticed when things go wrong. Don’t be hard on yourself for what happened while under the influence of the relationship – learn from it, understand it, be gentle with yourself and your heart.

        Things are coming together for you now, focus on that and on supporting the phoenix that you are rising from what came before.

        This is a good overview of a relationship with a narcissist and its effects – https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27078/what-its-really-like-to-break-up-with-a-narcissist.html

        Take good care of yourself, Best wishes!

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    2. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Aha moments and the awakening which comes with them are an awesome part of life, they can turn the day-to-day into an adventure.

      From what you shared it sounds like you’re having one of those interconnectedness types of aha awakenings where a present experience shoots out lightning bolts into the past and illuminates what came before and shows how it is a part of the now.

      Investigating the now can lead to solving personal cold cases, making everything hot again – you researched how to one-up a narcissistic friend and were transported into the land of parallels where what you read explained some aspects of your relationship with your mother to you.

      If she is a narcissist she isn’t likely to know it, narcissists don’t tend to know they’re narcissists – if they think about the subject of narcissists they usually think that others are the narcissists and they’re not.

      I wonder if you’d enjoy a site and articles like this one – http://highexistence.com/embrace-your-personal-apocalypse-if-you-want-to-evolve/

      Best wishes on your awakening adventure!

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  4. Im in the beginning stage after I decided enough is enough. I really thought Im crazy!!! And after my suspicions about him and a “friend” seems true, and how many other…. I struggled with the question: how could he love me so much and still see me going crazy, worried, stressed, from a confident woman to a confused, crying, depressed pathetic human being? And the woman lies with him as if they carefully discussed what to say.! (and dont you dare end a telephone conversation with him without saying, Love you!) No loyalty towards me! It hurt! And the lies! Goodness!

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The ‘love’ of a Narcissist is very different from the traditional notions non-narcissists have of what love should be. A Narcissist’s love is self-serving, all about them and what they need, want, and get from it, others are there to serve their needs, wants, to supply their demands. It’s all about you proving your love to the narcissist not the other way around.

      Their focus is on who they need you to be for them, the role they need you to undertake so that they can be who they’ve decided they want to be – certain types of narcissists see themselves as ‘heroic’ for loving ‘crazy’ people, the fact that they’re the ones who drove you crazy is something they may ignore unless it works with the narrative of their persona and is part of their drama. Certain narcissists need for you to be a mess so that they look good in comparison – their persona is created and maintained using comparison with others (mirroring/reflection/projection, etc). While they are often attracted to beautiful, confident, successful, and level-headed people, over time these traits will make them feel bad about themselves in comparison due to their inferiority complex and they may set about testing those traits, looking for weaknesses and then pressing those buttons until they turn the person into a shadow of their former self to make themselves feel better and superior.

      Their focus is also on whether you’re loving them how they desire to be loved, and they often fail to make the connection between giving and receiving as it may not be part of their reality structure – some narcissists are in search of a mythical and idealised unconditional love, the kind where one special other loves them no matter what they say or do, through thick and thin, and they will expect the chosen object of their affection to love them through cheating, lying, stealing, abusive behaviour, etc, to prove their love to the narcissist (which would prove to the narcissist that they are loved).

      The woman who is ‘lying with him as if they carefully discussed what to say’ is in the phase of the relationship with him where she is proving her love and loyalty to him (just as he expects you to prove yours by forcing you to always end your conversations with ‘Love you!’). With a narcissist it’s all about being loyal to the narcissist not the narcissist being loyal to you. It’s how the narcissistic personality disorder works.

      This is an article worth reading, this author writes a lot about Narcissists and is informative – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201110/the-narcissists-dilemma-they-can-dish-it-out

      In the stage you’re in of recovery of your self, and awareness of narcissistic behaviour you may find that everyone around you appears to be a narcissist or that their behaviour is narcissistic. This is normal and natural, it’s how the mind perceives when it becomes acutely conscious of something, is learning, and is processing a lot of data which is painful and personal. As you heal things will become more balanced, but for now you need to give yourself space, time and leeway to acknowledge your pain, feel the hurt (which will be raw and often scream inducing), and get what you’ve been repressing out of your system.

      Take care of yourself and be gentle with yourself!

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    2. Luckily for me the latest of a string of women he has on the side decided to spill the beans and reached out to me and we both tackled him. He denied, denied, denied. Even with stark evidence staring him in the face, he said he doesnt know what im talking about. Then he ran for the hills. Thats what they do when their lies are exposed. Get mad, and or run. And he has the gall to be angry at ME for confronting him with his lies. The gaslighting, the crazy making, the infidelity (all while accusing me of cheating), Ive been through it all. I feel like i was tied to a truck and dragged for 6 years. God.

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      1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

        You might find this article interesting – https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/4963/8-things-narcissist-cannot-do-for-you-or-anyone-else/ – as it echoes what you have said about your experience of your narcissist.

        “If you corner a narcissist and force them to acknowledge that they did something spectacularly shitty towards you, don’t expect them to apologize. Their first instinct will be to gaslight you – try to make you believe that you’re crazy, or remembering things wrong – so that they’re absolved of all blame. If their gaslighting doesn’t work, they’ll go on the defensive and try to redirect the conversation to something you’ve done wrong.” – excerpt from that article.

        It’s intriguing that the other women in his life reached out to you and you teamed up against him, narcissists are usually quite adept at pitting people against each other, triangulating, and keeping everyone else fighting over them. They’re also quite good at getting others to obsess over them, their inability to give anyone satisfaction, closure, and to leave people frustrated tends to keep people stuck to them and focused upon them. Whether you’re in love or in hate with them, they still get to be the centre of your attention.

        It’s good to hear that you’re free now from your 6 years in hell – I bet those 6 years seem and felt more like 80 years. Take good care of yourself!

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  5. Let them be who the are…..love them even more….a loving spirit allows that….you can leave or allow them to learn…..if they so choose….not all narcissists are beyond hearing lodgic….when logic presents it’s self

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  6. Fuck me America is phrase I always use from I dunno where. So yeah, didn’t know where to plant this. Narcs copy shit. i could elaborate but nah. Anyways, so yeah,, Hows it Gonna Be by Third Eye Blind is a song on a CD I gave her. She said she got off on it to be discreet.. Fucking crazy listening to it now. So much more of a different understanding . To me, it was an I miss you kinda thing, but nope! Its just more narc shit. I’ve also come to the realization she passed along the CDs I made for her her to other targets, Yep! Yeah, so anyways, thank you Ursula for helping through hell, I really appreciated all your insight and patience with me. Love you in non narc kinda way, Mark

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  7. I have been the victim of a narcissist, but through one victimizing me through my husband. It is quite the story and i have very specific questions i would like to ask you. Is that a possibility? My story is a crazy one, jerry springer or young and the restless have nothing on it. It is hard for me to believe, and it has been a year in march since the craziness unfolded.

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    1. Please feel free to share your story in the comments, but please be aware that this blog is open to the public and anyone can read what you share here. If what you’re asking is to email me privately with the story, I don’t do that with my blog. If you’re looking to discuss your story privately with someone who has experience of narcissists, Kim Saeed of Let Me Reach offers private sessions – http://letmereach.com/ – but she does charge for the service.

      All relationships with narcissists are of the soap opera/jerry springer variety because narcissists love drama and create a giant steaming pile of it for those who get involved with them as they feed off of the chaos which ensues. The craziness tends to escalate and sucks more and more people into it, and a narcissist can keep it going forever and ever. If it gets too much for them they might just walk away leaving wreckage in their wake like a hurricane, and leaving everyone else holding the blame and with the responsibility of tidying up after their mess.

      This is an article worth reading as it explains the effect which narcissists have on others and discusses in detail what it is like to be a victim of a narcissist – http://narcissisticbehavior.net/narcissistic-victim-syndrome-what-the-heck-is-that/ – there is also plenty of useful information on narcissists on that site which I recommend reading as the best defense against a narcissist is knowledge of the condition.

      Those who experience narcissists always find it hard to believe that anyone could be the way that narcissists are, and do what narcissists do, and most people keep hoping that the narcissist will come to their senses, see what they are doing and stop doing it, witness the pain and strife they are causing and have a crisis of conscience – they never do. They will never accept responsibility for their actions – as far as they are concerned you are the problem, and if they’re hurting you then you must deserve it. They often see themselves as the victim of a wrong which you did to them and they see what they are doing to you as justice. They tend to see themselves as being the good righteous hero battling villains.

      Since this narcissist is in your life because of your husband – your husband is the one who needs to deal with them and get them out of his life. This will be difficult and require a lot of perseverance and patience, self-mastery and mental gymnastics. Once a narcissist has sunk their teeth into someone they’re like a dog with a bone. He will need your support, and the support of anyone else who is affected by this narcissist – which can be hard to get because people tend to experience cognitive dissonance where narcissists are concerned, refusing to believe that the narcissist is truly as crazy as they are. Narcissists also tend to work quickly to convince everyone around their victim that the victim is the narcissist or crazy or the problem (in narc lingo this is known as a smear campaign).

      Please ask any questions which you may have, I will do my best to answer them. I am not a professional in this matter, and my answers will be based on my own personal experience and information I have gathered while trying to answer my own questions.

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  8. Thank you. I can’t say much right now because I am too devistated. I just want to say that I hope that you have a good life now, that you are with a week wonderful companion who is good to you, and you are happy.

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  9. Thanks for the reply, that is quite a nail you hit on the head. Through reading your article I identified the web of manipulation i was caught in and in away became more aware and cautious to being around her. i feel she picked this up as i see shes trying to be nice again. She has nothing nice to say to me, I queried her on this and she said. because she has nothing nice to say to me. I dont really care for her anymore, maybe a part of me is attached to her, but i ask myself why, you pointed out shes not my child. I think i pity her. shes self destructive, she cant hold a job, she often has altercations with people, as you also said they are full of drama in 1 way or another. I thought i could care for her and show her there is good people there, if i was consistent and handled her but yes there is no heaven after hell, she tells me her mum raised her to be negative, she lives negatively and will die negative, Ive never heard anyone be so proud to be negative. She makes me doubt my own integrity as a person and constantly suggests me in a negatitve manner, the other day she attacked me for spilling bleach on the bathmat. i raised my hand as i thought she was going to hit me and she turns around and says i wanted to hit her and that she would knock me out had i tried. I see the manipulation, i see the mind games, guilt trips. Shes currently being insubordinate to her superior at work and is compromising her job. Obviously expecting me to support her as she says pure good people will help people their care about no matter what. Your article and reply has opened my eyes, im not afraid of her. i think i still would not want to see her suffer, but me losing myself and people starting to worry about me are serious red flags. I owe her nothing. but shes truly alone. my pity for her is still my weakness as no one really wants to put up with her. Again thank you for the abundance of information, oh, my parents are also narcissists and this woman reminds me of my mum.

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    1. Don’t be hard on your perceived weakness – this is only a weakness when you’re dealing with a narcissist, a narcissist can make the human parts of us seem distorted, wrong, ugly, when they’re not that at all.

      It sounds as though through this woman you are reliving your story with your mother, perhaps hoping to earn love through self-sacrifice – this is a common theme for the child of a narcissist parent, as the parent always makes love a quest. It can take many revisits to the past through the present to realise that there actually isn’t any love to be won, that a narcissist can’t love, doesn’t know how to, never learned to love, which is why they make it an elusive reward at the end of a never-ending quest.

      Sometimes the narcissists in our lives are there in our lives to make us see ourselves more clearly, it’s a painful way to do it, but it’s worth it in the end – you’ll come out of all of this more yourself than you were before and more proud of being you. 🙂

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  10. Thanks for this interesting blog, I like where you wrote: “Still a lonely child hoping someone really special will love them, what a tempting trap, what a prison! Your love will never be enough to save them no matter how much they try to convince you it will. You will lose yourself trying to do that.” I am currently a victim of a narcissist/possible sociopath that has an obsession with woman and claims to be a lesbian. My encounter with her was when I started working for the company i am currently at, she was just a co manager at another branch, all well and said, we got involved with each other, even got intimate where she claims she cannot remember as she was to drunk, anyhow’s ever since that night she ill treated me, gave me the cold shoulder yet I did everything I possibly could for about a year till that point she had a severe altercation with our employer which lead her to leave the company, she then asked me to give up my apartment, I agreed without hesitation, to move 30 odd miles from my work, so she can be with her family, moving in with her was a living hell, I lasted 2 months before I left, but continued to pay rent as she made no attempt to find work, I don’t know if she gas lit me so bad that I moved back in which was great for a short while before it turned into hell again, she hides behind being neglected by her parents and her dad being when she was 14, she claims no one gets her, maybe I do, that’s why she is aggressive all the time towards me, her own family do not get why she is like that and is more than happy I am there for her. I kept thinking shes that little girl that needs to be saved and enough time will do the trick through persistence. I read your blog and it was an eye opener, i do not know where I am going next, But I see now, all i am doing is becoming more depressed and emotionally dependent on her. I know what I need to do as diplomacy failed with her, I just do not seem to have the energy, but I do care for her.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Relationships are complicated even when everything is going well and neither person is a narcissist, because they’re a blending of two people, a mixture of the life stories, experiences, of those two people, and each person brings all their issues, their subconscious impulses, their fears and hopes, dreams, ambitions, ideals of love and partnership into the union. All relationships can turn into a rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows, expectations and disappointments, tests, trials and tribulations.

      Add a narcissist and the relationship dynamic gets ten times more complex and difficult to figure out and work within.

      While trying to figure out ‘where to go next’ you need to first start where you are as where you are physically, mentally, emotionally, influence where’ll you’ll go next. You also need to understand the path you took to get to where you are.

      Things to consider are:

      1 – What makes you think this woman is a narcissist or possible sociopath – and how has deciding that she may be either of these or both (as in a sociopath with narcissistic tendencies) affect your relationship with her. Are you more or less afraid of her. Do you give her more or less personal power over you. Are you more or less determined to leave her. Are you more or less inclined to have her as part of your life. Do you care more or less for her now that you think she may be a narcissist/sociopath.

      2 – What was it that made you give up so much for her. Why did you leave, why did you go back. For gas-lighting, manipulation, etc, to work on us the person doing those things needs us to have a vested interest – they need us to help them manipulate, gas-light us. What is it that she offers which makes you vulnerable to her manipulations.

      3 – What made you notice her, get involved with her, care for her. Why are you emotionally dependent upon her – what does she offer you emotionally which keeps you attached, coming back even when you get away.

      4 – Are you hoping that she’ll somehow get better, that you’ll be able to love her enough, that you can prove to her she’s safe, loved and can finally recover from her past.

      5 – What does she represent for you, have you projected or transferred a part of yourself onto her, is there something about her that reminds you of someone from your past.

      Figuring out what got you into a relationship with her, what kept and keeps you in, is part of figuring how to get out of a relationship with her – if you do indeed want to get out of the relationship with her.

      Our personal story is intrinsically linked to our relationship with a narcissist – our story is the one we need to explore, but they distract us from doing that by making their story more important than ours. Everything becomes about them, we forget ourselves as they take over our lives, forget our reasons – all our reasons become about doing things for them (and that includes leaving them yet still obsessing about them afterwards).

      Depression and lack of energy could be signs that she’s sucking the life out of you – a common effect of being in a relationship with a narcissist, they’re exhausting, draining, and ultimately incredibly dreary to be around (even if they appear exciting because of all the drama – the drama is a constant energy eater and depresses partly because there is no end in sight, no reward, no heaven after going through hell). It’s not just money they want, need and take from you – money is just a visible resource, they eat away all your personal resources.

      Depression and lack of energy are usually personal warnings that we’ve lost touch with ourselves and need to go into a self-cave and get back in touch with our needs, wants, etc.

      It’s time for you to ask yourself – What do I need, what do I want, and how can I give myself what I need and want.

      It won’t be easy, you know that, because you care for her and have given up so much of yourself and your life for her. You’ve made a commitment to her, to help her and you’re a loyal and responsible person (paying the rent for her because she can’t pay it herself). You’re in some ways playing parent to her – she’s your child, the sort of child who takes, takes, takes, never appreciates anything you do, always wants and needs more, hates you because they’re dependent upon you, keeps demanding that you prove your love to them but nothing you do is ever proof or enough. Still they’re your child, and a parent must care for their child… but wait a minute, she’s not your child!?

      Be gentle with yourself, treat yourself as you would a good friend who had gotten themselves into the same situation, talk yourself through things, give yourself time to work through things, trust yourself to know ‘where to go’ and take your hand and lead yourself step by step there.

      Take care of yourself!

      You might find this article and website of interest – http://narcissisticbehavior.net/narcissistic-victim-syndrome-what-the-heck-is-that/

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  11. I’m married to a man who scored a 26 on the narcissist test; I don’t know if he’s a narcissist, malignant or otherwise, a sociopath, or a psychopath. Lately I’ve been wondering if the problem is really me because every time I try to bring up an issue, he turns it back on me and it’s always my fault. He apologizes all the time but never stops doing hurtful things. We have 4 small children, two of which he raped me to conceive, and I am financially dependent on him. I have no college degree (i dropped out of college to marry him because I was out of money and brainwashed by my narcissist parents to think student loans were evil); he promised to finish paying for my college after marriage as i only had 3 semesters left, but instead he knocked me up. I know everyone probably thinks i should just get divorced, but I know thats not the best idea right now. So if you read this and you pray to God, I would appreciate a prayer for my situation. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Your story and situation sounds very complex and I’m fairly certain that most people reading your words wouldn’t think – you should just get a divorce. They would most likely be alarmed by your statement that your husband raped you as this means that you are in an abusive relationship, and would probably advise that you find a way to safely leave – however they would also be aware that it can be extremely difficult to leave an abusive relationship, particularly when there are children involved, and you are financially dependent on your abuser. Knowing that at this time you are unable to leave, they might suggest that you join a support group where you can safely discuss your story with others who understand what you are going through and can help you to deal with issues such as ‘who the real problem is’.

      Thinking that you’re the one who is the problem is a common conclusion which victims of abuse reach. The abuser blames the abused for what the abuser does to them, and the abused eventually accepts the blame (partly due to PTSD) – if you’ve been researching narcissists, sociopaths, and other types of abusers you’ll have come across that aspect of abuse many times in the articles you have read.

      Please take care of yourself!

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      1. Thanks. It is doubly difficult because he believes he’s a Christian, that he is trying to “work on” the things i bring up, that he is “changing,” and that he already treats me well. I have been taught forgiveness and second chances from my religious upbringing so it is difficult to know how much of that applies here. But when Jesus forgave people of their sins in the Bible, he instructed them to stop sinning and live by his commandments and the tru followers did (not that they became completely sinless, but that they began living a godly life instead of continuing in sin). I have forgiven my husband many times and I know he would never sexually force me again–in fact, he has completely stopped any sexual advances now for many months. And he knows i would never allow it now as i have been getting stronger and defending myself. Still my dilemma is that I dont see any change in his life and the Bible does say to separate from wicked and evil people. I actually came across the gray rock method a couple days ago and have been trying it. I have just simply not been reacting to the drama, not giving any opinions only facts, and not shared things i normally used to like cute or funny stuff (I’m incredibly charming, witty, and smart, go figure :/ ) it seems to have dialed back the crazy a little bit altho i cant tell how the narc hubsmis reacting to it. I also do not believe in divorce except in cases of physical assault so I have been begging God to either let him divorce me or that I would die somehow. I am not suicidal because i love my children so dont worry. Just wish I could die. Thanks for the encouragement. I could not go to a support group because he would know (i homeschool and care for our kids 24/7) and do not have my own vehicle and it would make things worse. Again, thanks for the encouragement. I am really hopeful about gray rock method.

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        1. Worth considering is joining an online support group.

          Since you are able to research narcissism online and comment as you have here I’m guessing that you have a certain privacy and freedom from your husband when using the internet, and that he does not monitor your online activity (or you hide it from him well), therefore you could join a support group and he would not know about it.

          This one which might be of interest to you – http://www.christiansurvivors.com/

          You might also find this blog post of interest – https://graceformyheart.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-christian-narcissist/ – the blogger is a pastor and writes a lot about narcissists in an informative manner.

          Please be careful when using methods and tactics you’ve read about online – they may be good, they may work, but they do not factor in your personal situation, your particular abuser, or you.

          Certain methods work with some people and don’t work with others – one person recently commented on my blog that they’d tried the gray rock method and it had made things worse because the person they used it on was antagonised by it.

          If you change how you interact with your abuser it will change the dynamic and if your abuser relies on the dynamic being as it was – because they get their ‘supply’ from it, use it to relieve stress, etc – they may react badly to the change and attempt to get things ‘back to normal’. You need to understand the person you’re dealing with well, how their particular ‘disorder’ works and doesn’t work, and the ‘role’ which they’ve given you in their lives, for the benefit of their image – change your role and it changes the image they have of themselves.

          Some narcissistic people welcome the change in dynamic and will enjoy how you’ve ‘changed’ because for them you were the problem and now that you’ve changed the problem has been solved. But they’ll tend to like it only if it makes them feel better about themselves. If they’re used to seeing you as being someone who criticises them all the time and suddenly you’re not criticising them anymore, they’ll feel a burden has been lifted. But this could end up confusing them – so be prepared for them to interrogate you on ‘the change’ in your behaviour, and to test the ‘new you’ with old games.

          Certain methods may also not work well with your personality – be sure to know yourself well when deciding upon a method or a tactic as if the method or tactic requires long term use you’ll need to use something which does not require altering yourself in a way which will cause more stress and pressure for you.

          Take care of yourself!

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  12. Wish i could worn his next/present victim and save her. She’s in a very dangerous place and is clueless. My heart breaks for her emanate…

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    1. That is a common wish for those who know what others have yet to learn the hard and painful way… sometimes we can warn people, but mostly if we try we end up sounding crazy, bitter, jealous, etc…

      Those who have never had a relationship with a narcissist don’t believe the ‘bad’ said about narcissists until they’re the ones saying it and… then no one believes them except those others who have been through it.

      Sometimes you just have to let people learn what you have learned the way that you have learned it… by living it and wishing someone had warned you about it, but would you have believed their warning at the time?

      Just as you survived, so will she and maybe you can help her afterwards.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love how you are using the word nonsense (and “blah blah”). That word is the word I constantly think of in regard to my own situation. It’s truly incredible! And the farther you get away from the people who raised you, the more you see, in comparison to how other people act, how much utter nonsense it all us. I simultaneously see the utter BS of what they’ve told me about myself, and also completely believe it–it has affected me so much. One must be very strong to overcome this. Thank you for your insightful words. Great writing style.

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  13. Wow. I can’t tell you how reassuring and what a source of strength your blog has become over the past few weeks (and will be in the future) as we have just gone no-contact with the narcissist in our lives.

    9 years ago, my husband had a one night stand with a woman who fell pregnant. She did not tell him he had a child until the child was 2 years old (my husband had since become engaged to another woman and moved back to Australia). She did not contact him directly to tell him, but rather contacted his parents and told them first. My husband originally did not want to be a part of the child’s life until he was older and able to understand the situation and hope they could build a relationship later in life if the child wanted to do so (as my husband was back was living in Australia, due to be married, and the son lives in Europe he didn’t think a distance relationship would be good for him).

    Rather than respect these wishes, the mother continued to email and send photos to my husbands parents. She ‘loathed’ (her words) his (now ex) fiance as she was keeping my husband and his son apart (far from the truth, but that doesn’t matter, right?). My husband succumbed to the guilt and the pressure and decided to do what he could to build and maintain a relationship with his son. After a few years of conflict between the mother, his parents and his fiance, my husbands fiance left him as the situation was untenable and she (taking on the mother’s accusations) felt she was standing in the way of a resolution.

    My husband and I met a few years after this, became engaged (the day after our engagement he received an email from his son’s mother asking “do you ever wonder if things could have been different between us?” – somehow finding this information on social media despite the fact he had blocked her). We’ve been married for over a year now. During this time, i’ve taken a back seat – thinking it’s important he establish a solid relationship with his son before I come into the picture (we live on other sides of the world so my involvement isn’t necessary at this stage other than that he knows I exist and that i’ll be around if we/he visits and that we’re all a family). We gave her the benefit of the doubt (despite numerous behaviours that would give me reason to not trust her from attempted seductions, flirtations over email and skype, outright confessions, and sugar-and-spice interactions with his family, I don’t take it personally). I encouraged him to better his relationship with her (thinking this was beneficial for his son), and also encouraged him to go to Europe (alone) to visit his son. This was a largely positive trip – she confessed that she was in love with him and my husband was able to confront this and tell her there never has or will be anything between them. Communication remained ok after this – she asked for ‘space’ and we were respectful of this. We concluded that her difficult behaviour over all of these years was because she had feelings for him and now they had been confronted we could all move on. OH NO.

    She continued to contact my husband – we naively thought this meant she had moved on and things didn’t need to be difficult between us. My husband continued positive communication with her and his son for many months, culminating in the awesome suggestion of them coming to Australia to spend christmas with the family! Plans continued until, rather out of the blue, my husband gets a text message asking if “X will be there?” (me). When he replied that of course I would be there as I am his wife, she called the trip off and there was a lot of ‘nonsense blah blah’ that you referred to. She also sent a the first few chapters of a book she is writing to my husbands father asking for his feedback – the book is about a boy who is being bullied by someone with the name of my husbands ex-fiance! This has catalysed a repeat of the cycle of emails, conflict and drama that had ensured the previous 7 years whenever she was called out on inappropriate behaviour, or my husband disagreed with her.

    We sought help from our psychologist who immediately said that his son’s mother likely had NPD (and came back to us later to confirm this after consulting with several colleagues) – what a relief it was to us. She recommended we send a final email to her to get whatever we needed off our chest (more for our sake than the mother’s as we knew she would never accept it), and to outline our ‘boundaries’ (i.e. no-contact with her, but continued contact with his son). We received the ‘how could you say that to me?’ emails in reply and we of course now need to email her via her lawyer. We’re up to day 5 of NC now (although we received a nasty email from the mother’s mother in the mean time) – but we’ve felt so different and ‘in control’ in these few days. We have sadly received distressing emails from his son blaming us for upsetting his mum, telling us it’s our fault he can’t come to australia, and asking my husband not to email him anymore as it makes him sad and that he believes my husband doesn’t love him anymore. It is saddening as we know this is coming from the mother, but we are not taking the bait and simply respond by confirming my husbands love for him and accepting that he may be sad and upset with the situation.

    It is terrifying to think that the child is stuck in the middle here and we don’t know the best way to respond, but are doing our best. It is better for the son to think my husband is a bad father rather than continue this confusion and conflict. We hope we’re doing the right thing. Every time I doubt myself and think we are being over the top, or being too harsh on her, or start to think that perhaps we haven’t tried hard enough – I come back to your blog and other information from professionals and remind myself that we will never ‘get through to her’ and need to stay no-contact.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, it has been SO helpful for me.

    🙂

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      What a complicated and difficult situation for you to be in. From the sounds of it both you and your husband have done your best to accommodate the complexity of this scenario and do the right thing for all those involved – which is not an easy thing to do considering the high levels of pressure and stress which this kind of situation brings with it.

      I’m not surprised that your husband’s fiance gave up. That would not have been an easy decision for her to make. And equally it can’t have been an easy decision for you to make to stick by him, marry him and marry into this problem, considering that he has the mother of all stalkers attached to him. You have an amazing level of strength, love, and an awesome ability to maintain a level head.

      Have you read – The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker – it’s an interesting, if sometimes harrowing, insight into stalkers and other people of a similar mindset. It relates extreme cases and offers some tips on how best to deal with those who have become obsessed with you/or those close to you.

      If this woman does have NPD – your best will never be good enough. Your effort to do the best will often be used against you and portrayed as anything but the right thing to do. You trying to do your best will be seen as a weakness on your part – she would not be (being altruistic) doing what you’re doing if she were in your shoes (and since she wouldn’t do what you’re doing if she were in your place she can’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing because she can’t see beyond her own perspective, and what you’re doing is confusing her and making her paranoid). Your best efforts may even become a stimulus for her to do her worst as the more you try to do the right thing the more your right thing will become a thorn in her side because your right thing means she’s not getting what she wants from your husband.

      She definitely sounds very unhinged and I wonder if perhaps she has more than NPD. Narcissistic tendencies, traits and behaviours often accompany other disorders. Her levels of obsession, and the lengths she is willing to go to seem to border on the psychopathic. I’ll defer to your psychologist on the matter, but I would recommend that you research other disorders too for added information. Your narcissist is not the typical type of narcissist – she’s on the extreme end of the spectrum.

      Since she’s obsessed with your husband, she will use her son to keep her connected to him and to put pressure on him – as her son is the only reason your husband maintains any contact with her and maintaining contact with your husband is imperative to her. Her son is a ‘means to an end’ and part of her ‘mission’. Now that you’ve gone NC, her son will be used even more to control your husband – expect intense ’emotional blackmail’ bombardment from all possible avenues (as per what you have already experienced, maybe more frenetic) because you’re now trying to disengage where once you engaged. No Contact can cause a narcissist to go into overdrive.

      Unfortunately, unless you can get custody of the son, there’s nothing you can do for him other than what you are already doing – a narcissist can twist all the good you’re doing into something bad which hurts. She’ll use your fear for his well-being against you to control you – she’ll also use it to control him. He’s under her thumb and forced to abide by her rules for his own survival and safety as he lives with her, relies on her, and she is his dictator and creator of reality. He’ll have coping mechanisms to deal with her – one of which may be to side with her against your husband (he’ll need to do this for his own sanity or he’ll get torn apart).

      This is an informative site about what it is like to be a child of a narcissistic mother – http://www.narcissisticmother.com/

      The son can’t do anything on his own now as he’s too young, but when he hits adolescence he might become too much for her to handle and he may request to live with your husband (worth checking out the legalities of such matters with your lawyers in advance – and maybe giving him a lifeline for later). An interesting story is that of Madonna’s son with Guy Ritchie.

      Just out of curiosity – is your husband certain about his paternity? I realise that at this point in the proceedings it doesn’t matter if he is or isn’t – he’s in deep. It’s just that since you’re dealing with a narcissist – it’s necessary to question everything they have claimed as being ‘real’.

      Why did it take her so long to inform him that she had had a child from their one night stand – considering how relentless she has been since then, the hiatus seems odd. Why was there a delay of 2 years between their one night stand and her obsession with your husband? What was the reason for the delay – why wasn’t she pursuing him during those 2 years if she’s so certain that he’s the love of her life. Why did she suddenly decide to pursue him and latch onto him? It sounds like something happened and triggered her obsession with your husband after 2 years no contact on her part – or was he just really difficult to find and it took her all that time to track him down (or track down his parents’ whereabouts)? Something isn’t right with the picture – that’s always an important thing to investigate when dealing with a narcissist or someone who is very narcissistic. The more you know, the more you have power.

      You’re absolutely right about never being able to get through to her – she is devoid of any interest or reason to listen to you and take what you have to say on board. She only has one focus (an idee fixe) and that is whatever her story is, what she wants and needs. Her identity is now built upon this drama and so is her reality – any attempts to take it away from her, resolve the drama and you will encounter her defense/offense mechanisms, fears and terror that she has nothing if she doesn’t have this.

      She wants your husband – chances are if she got him, if he gave up and just handed himself over to her like ransom, she wouldn’t want him anymore because reality isn’t something that narcissistic people actually want, but as long as he’s part of some dream ideal of hers…. – and that’s what keeps her going and going. In some ways she’s safe with this obsession because she knows your husband isn’t going to ever give her what she wants ans thus she can keep wanting it (him) and imagining how ideal it would be to have him (he can’t ruin her ideal).

      Expect to doubt yourself, consider self-doubt as a sign of being a healthy human being. Self-doubt is a healthy thing even when it can cause all sorts of concerns. You naturally want to resolve matters, that’s what healthy humans usually feel the urge to do, and you wonder if there isn’t something you can do, perhaps do differently, change, alter… to resolve a problem. You review decisions, wonder if perhaps your decisions need revising… and all sorts of other healthy human things. All of this tends to seem like a pile of bad when dealing with someone who is unhealthy. Unhealthy people, those who are disordered, actually enjoy keeping things unresolved – the more confusing, dramatic and messed up, the better. They do not get why people want to get along rather than fight. They see fighting as a sign that they’re somehow in the right and everyone else is in the wrong.

      This experience will test your mettle to its very core, as it already has – keep doing what you’re doing, researching, questioning, seeking information. You’ll find your answers from all the sources you explore – but ultimately it’s about you. Don’t forget yourself in all of this. Take care of yourself and let yourself take breaks when you need them – you will need them! You will have moments of breaking down – let it happen and give yourself time to restore.

      Best wishes and dong’t give up on yourself and what matters to you!

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      1. Thank you for the detailed reply, insights and recommendations – your compassion and selflessness in connecting to the strangers who contact you is inspiring! It must be exhausting for you also given what you have been through. I feel a little silly and ‘desperate’ in a way – seeking validation for my thoughts and feelings but it is helps ease the feelings of self-doubt. I read on a blog that after dealing with a narcissist you feel compelled to talk to at least 3 other people for reassurance that YOU aren’t the crazy one (and then i question myself thinking am I the narcissist and I’ve convinced my own flying monkeys!?) 🙂

        You are SO right in that we don’t think she is actually ‘in love’ with my husband – you took the words right out of the psychologist’s mouth! Our psychologist recommended we read a book called “I hate you, don’t leave me” regarding borderline personalities. Like you said, if my husband gave up and said ‘ok i’ll move to Europe and be the father you want me to be’ we’d likely get a furious response telling him how this just shows how unstable HE is and how he isn’t a good influence on HER son (she uses MY son, OUR son, and YOUR son interchangeably depending on the agenda). We believe she is more obsessed with this idea of the perfect family – perhaps some childhood trauma of her own contributes to this. We know she supports various children’s charities via her business (a confusing anomaly given her behaviour to us seems devoid of compassion and empathy), including a fund with the name of her son.

        You are also right in that me trying to do the right thing (i.e. giving her what she wants – taking a back seat, letting my husband visit on his own, not participating in emails/skypes etc) has embolden her to do even more outlandish things (confess her love, flirt, attempt seduction, write disturbing books and send them to my husbands father). It’s a no win situation. If we let that continue, god knows what she might do. If we call her out on it and set boundaries, she takes that as confirmation my husband isn’t putting his son first and sacrificing for him. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Yes, he is definitely the father – he had a paternity test when she first made contact. We are not sure why she waited so long to make contact. Her explanation was that she was messed up after a previous break-up, and the passing of her father around the time she fell pregnant – there was some allusion to her son -> her father/rising from the ashes. In a way I am the perfect bait for her having lost my own father when I was very young and growing up with a single mother (i don’t think she knows this however as she has rebuked the idea that I could possibly have any empathy for her or her situation). She said that when her son started getting older she wanted to give him a father figure. With the benefit of hindsight, this delay almost gives her more control. If she had of given my husband an option before the birth (and he’d said he did not want to be involved in raising him), she would have had less ammunition (a cute baby to manipulate him and the family with). I’m not sure she was thinking this at the time, but it certainly worked in her favour since. Further – contacting the parents first and triangulating by manipulating their good nature has been a powerful force in the break-down of his previous engagement, and furthering his involvement with her (they met at a bar where he was a bartender so she could have easily found him via the workplace if she had wanted to – she denies this however and also denies that she told his parents first – the oblivion to the outright lie is unbelievable). Whatever her original reasons, her power has certainly grown which has made her stronger and fed her vision.

        You’re right in that it’s likely there is co-morbidity with other disorders. We’re not sure if she’s every sought help before – she claims to have trust issues and other experiences which make her act in irrational ways – but this is only ever admitted after a big blow-up & a period of NC, and I now see it as a hoovering technique to get us back in again (and it’s worked – we’ve responded with thank you’s for her honesty and platitudes about how well she is doing as a single mother and how difficult this must be for her.. which has fed her no doubt). Then the same cycle repeats when she pushes too far and we reach our limit once more.

        Given the distance between them (and cycle of conflict with the mother over the years), my husband still has a rather superficial relationship with his son (from his side anyway). He has tried to maintain an element of distance, believing this is the best thing for him (more like a ‘step-dad’ in a way) and wanting to leave space for him to have a connection with a real father figure that will be there for him day-to-day (a future partner of his mother’s), but still know that he loves him and is here for him. He has always signed off and referred to himself as ‘your father’ but the mother has consistently referred to him as ‘daddy’ and likely built up the perfect ‘daddy’ ideal in his mind. The son is now 9, and my husband has only seen him 3 times (skyping and emailing every few weeks though) – we are conflicted as to whether he should visit more often – cautious of inflating the ‘daddy’ ideal he believes in. After the 3rd visit where my husband went alone to Europe and spent a week with him, the mother suggested we save the child support payments to go towards flights to visit more often (this has since been revoked given the angry exchanges in the past few weeks). We thought this was a great idea (more confusing glimpses of nice, rational behaviour!) – but it was always on her terms and almost felt like another level of control and blackmail. We offered to pay for their flights to australia which, as you say, could have confused her and made her more volatile also.

        It is unlikely we would get custody, they have a very strong connection (and he spends a lot of time with her extended family which we think is a positive influence for him). He is a very immature 9 year old and we think she infantilises him as it gives her more control of him and delays his independence (which must be a real fear of hers – when he starts asking questions).

        In a way, we are lucky for the distance (both physical and emotional) as, reading other peoples stories, our experience could be far more harrowing. What we are going through pales in comparison. It makes me worried and feel sick that there is someone out there with what feels like a vendetta against us, but I’m thankful she’s in another country.

        Being the child of narcissistic parents, what are a few things you would have loved to have heard from an outsider? We fear the son may stop replying to our emails for some years until he is independent of his mother. We don’t want to mention his mother at all or try to counter the things she says as that will, as you say, tear him apart, but we want to continue reassuring him – that he is a good person, his father loves him even if the son is mad at him, and that my we’re always here for him. Any further suggestions?

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        1. TY 🙂

          Outsiders helped me a lot, far more than I realised until much later on in life when I reviewed things… because frankly as a child you keep hoping for ‘magical’ solutions and it takes awhile to realise that those magical solutions aren’t going to happen. Outsiders also made things much harder, but that’s another story entirely – narcissists always drag others into their dramas and they use those others to keep their children in line.

          Those outsiders who helped me did it simply by being themselves and sharing themselves as they were. In truth, random human stuff was the most impacting. Someone allowing you to be angry and totally getting it. Someone giving you a stupid gift. Someone just saying hi, I see you behind the loud and large presence of your parents. What’s up? How are you? Oh, you like sharks (my big obsession as a child), harks are cool, what do you like about them, tell me about your passion, oh, btw, I was in a bookstore and I bought you a book about sharks. See what I mean? Just be interested in this boy and what he’s interested in, encourage him in his own things.

          One of the things which struck me about your story is that your husband is sort of ‘holding back’ when it comes to being a father to his son because he doesn’t want to hamper his son from bonding with any man and ‘father figure’ who may become a partner to his mother. Does it seem likely that she’ll ever settle down with a man considering her obsession with your husband? So your husband is holding back for the sake of another father figure who may never turn up or be allowed to exist in the mother’s world.

          I’m guessing some of this holding back may be advised by your psychologist. In theory it makes sense but in practice the theories which humans come up with tend to fall short when they are practiced. What we think will be beneficial may not be beneficial, and what we think may be harmful may not be harmful. It’s a crap shoot. One child ends up screwed up because its parents were too clingy while another child is screwed up because its parents weren’t clingy enough. Each child is different because they’re an unique human being… and they’ll be the ones to decide what screwed them up and what didn’t, and they’ll probably always think their parents did the worst at some point, while at another point they’ll think they had it okay as far as their parents were concerned.

          If your husband is holding back because he’s afraid of the impact he’ll have on his son, then I’d suggest that he not hold back – better to make a mistake because he loved his son too much than because he held his love back for fear of loving his son too much.

          Children want to know that they matter to you, especially the children of narcissists – children of narcissists need to know that they don’t only matter to you when it suits you, for your own purpose, reasons, benefit. Children of narcissists only matter to the narcissist when the narcissists needs them to fulfill some purpose like smile and look happy because people are watching and mummy needs everyone to think she’s a great mummy much loved by her child. This gets old fast for the children of narcissist – basically being the child of a narcissist is like a job which you get lousy pay for doing. So if your husband fights a little to make his son a part of his life… this will make a difference to his son. If his son stops replying to emails, then just keep emailing him regardless. He needs to know it’s okay to not reply and that he won’t lose your husband’s love because of it – because he won’t get this kind of healthy thing from his mother.

          One of the things I’d suggest is that your husband share stories about his own childhood with his son. Don’t worry if ‘mother’ is listening, she’s not a part of the conversation. Your husband should just chat with his son, be himself with his son, go for it, say stuff, anything – and let his son chat back. It’s okay to go OTT a bit – this is a child who is still a child, OTT is normal for kids. They get crazy excited about stuff one minute then totally bored by it the next minute.

          It’s worth being aware of his mother always being there, hovering like a black cloud waiting to rain upon any fun anyone is having, and use anything and everything against everyone, but don’t let it ruin the relationship between a child and his father, even if they’re miles apart and may rarely ever be together physically. Snapchat, Instagram, FB, Skype, text, email… it can be silly, a photo of something random sent to say hi, saw this, thought of you!

          When in doubt – what would make your husband feel loved by his dad when he was a child? Do that. Share that! Share yourselves with him (yes, you too! Because that child needs to know you too!).

          From one human to another – what makes your heart zing and sing? Do that!

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          1. Ps. If you haven’t already you should mention the death of her father and the timing of it coinciding with her subsequent obsession with your husband to your psychologist as the two things are connected and explain quite a bit about how things have played out. Narcissists often meld different people together – your husband and her father may have become enmeshed in her mind.

            My mother often saw me as her mother who died when she was a teenager. She also often confused me with her father who was cold and distant and with whom she was always trying to connect. Later on I sort of became a surrogate husband for my mother when my father became cold and distant like her father. Narcs don’t have boundaries and people become other people to them.

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