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  1. #1
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    I Think I Was In Love With A Narcissist... I Feel Trapped

    At the beginning of our relationship, he was prince charming. We became a couple a week after meeting. He told me he loved me after 2 months. Things moved so fast, too fast, but he seemed so in love with me & I was so in love with him. We literally spent every waking moment together. We met in college, and essentially lived together beginning around the 1st month. He'd ask me to stay over at his apartment, I would, and then it became an every day/night thing, to the point I would just take a bag over to his place. He was so kind, took me out all the time, was thoughtful and remembered the little things in life. Very soon, he was telling me, "I want to spend every minute with you," "I want to spend the rest of my life with you." We were talking marriage, making plans. A future without each other was not an option.

    Around 3 months in, however, I started noticing strange behavior. He would twist my words around, leaving me baffled and apologizing for something I didn't even say or do, then I would get the silent treatment.

    Our first big argument centered around me wanting to know plans for Christmas break. We were both going home & lived 3 hours away. He said, "I don't know, see you in January." Someone who is seemingly head over heels in love and wants to spend every minute with you, tells you they're not making plans and will see you in 1.5 months? I got mad, left, bombed a final exam, and came out to the parking lot to find an apology card under my windshield wiper. We left for break, only for him to come get me three days later, bearing a diamond shared hearts necklace he was so excited to give me. I went home with him, and he came back to my house for a few days. On the 2nd day, out of the blue, he said "your family doesn't want me here, I should leave." When they had done absolutely nothing but be kind & welcoming. Nothing had happened! I talked him into staying to go to the movie he had promised, but he ignored me the whole way there & back, wouldn't talk to me or hold my hand at the movie. Pouted the entire night at my house (note that I didn't beg him to stay, I wanted him to leave, he said he was leaving, but never did). The next day, I wanted him to leave, but he was still at my house around lunch and asked if I wanted to go see a movie! I'm thinking, what the heck? I told him to leave. That night, he gets back home and texts me "I already miss you a whole whole lot & have to spend new years eve with the love of my life."

    So fastforward to New Years Eve. He pouted the entire night because his parents questioned him about a party he was taking me to. Simply asking questions, he took it offensively, and said "no no no, we won't go." He ignored me from about 3 pm to 11 pm. My night was ruined. While he was in the shower, his dad sat me down and said, "this is who he is. He is a baby and he pouts. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with someone like that?" But by 11 pm, the charm was back on. He told me, "I would spend every minute with you if I could. I would marry you right now if you'd let me."

    Over the next 2 months or so (around the 3-6 month mark in our relationship), I kept feeling like something wasn't exactly right. I would try to break up with him, and he would chase after me trying to profess his love, and he would reel me back in. He had me.

    In the beginning, he was VERY affectionate and physical. He started going through spells that I would LITERALLY beg him for affection. I found text messages on his phone with an ex girlfriend with whom he was not 'affectionate' in this way, talking about his new experiences with me and how he was 'bored' of them. This was a control tactic. Because we got out of this spell & he loved it as much as he ever had.

    The first summer we were apart, he began withholding his time. We lived 3 hours apart, and we went a period of 5 weeks not seeing each other. Why? Because he is obssessed with softball and "couldn't come see me on the weekends because he played softball every Friday night." I went to visit him twice at the beginning of the summer and looked at it as though he should make the next move, but he never did. Softball was more important. He would wait until late at night to contact me, responding with only "oh ok" "ha" or "idk" which he knew drove me crazy, but claimed he's "just not a conversationalist." He would have every excuse as to why we could not talk on the phone, we would do so maybe once a week. He knew I was taking the distance hard, and he deliberately made it even harder on me.

    He began blowing off important occassions. On our first anniversary, I made him a big breakfast, he came in from class around lunch and said "I may just go home and play softball tonight." Took a 3 hour nap leaving me wondering if I would even have an anniversary dinner. Woke up and told me last minute we would go out to eat. Birthdays - on my 22nd birthday, he asked me where I wanted to eat, claimed it was too expensive and took me somewhere cheap, we went out with our friends to a bar later. And I pulled up a chair next to him. He instructed me to take my chair back around the table away from him because he was "talking to his friend" and ignored me the whole night. My 23rd birthday, it was on a Saturday. He called me all excited the previous Monday that he was playing in a sorority softball tournament, when? ON MY BIRTHDAY. Then couldn't understand why I was upset. Called me "unappreciative and demanding." This past Christmas, we left for Christmas break and he had made no plans with me. On Christmas night, I asked if I could Skype with him, saying it would make my day. He says "anything would make your day, you are so needy." Refused to Skype. When I got upset that he had made no plans with me, wouldn't even Skype with me, and hadn't got me a gift, he flipped. I had asked for an infinity ring, because we were on the road to marriage. He texted me a picture of the ring and said, "this is under my tree for you, you ungrateful *****."

    You get the point, literally any holiday or important day, he had to ruin it.

    He refused to make plans with me, we never spent the weekends together. He would say "I'm just not a planner," although he could plan weeks in advance for a softball tournament. He told me that I was needy for asking to have weekend plans with him, that I should "enjoy the time he did give me."

    He would belittle me. I would cook for him and clean for him. When I was in my last semester of college, very hard, he would hunt EVERY afternoon. I had things that I HAD to do, but I would still have a meal ready for him every night when he came in, despite everything I needed to do. Sometimes he would praise me, other times he would tell me the "right" way I should have cooked it. I would clean, and he would show me the "right" way to scrub the countertop, work the dryer, fold the sheets under, clean a stove, vacuum, etc.

    I am a very slim person, but he would always pinch my "belly fat" between his 2 fingers & jiggle my "arm flab" and then say "just kidding," like that made everything ok. He would remark at what I was eating and tell me I would end up like my fat aunt one day. Then say just kidding.

    Even in front of people, he would ridicule me. I have a Master of Accounting, and he would say "oh it's not that hard, all it is is punching numbers into a calculator." And that his degree was so much harder. I accidentally broke something at his house one time, and he said "way to go you *******," in front of his family.

    Every argument we had was MY fault. I knew he wasn't treating me right, and when I would confront him about it, he would shut down. He would either say whatever & leave, or lay down on the bed and close his eyes and pretend he was asleep, while I was going hysterical. At the end, he would ALWAYS say something to the effect of, "you're so clingy, needy, and unappreciative. Nothing I do is ever going to be good enough for you. Nobody is ever going to be good enough for you. Look what you've done, you've ruined our night." By the end of the argument, he would have ME apologizing to HIM!

    He was very self-absorbed. He admitted he put his own needs first. He flat out told me one time, "softball and hunting are top priority in my life, and you can just fit in wherever you can."

    I don't know how many times I was asked to take pictures of his back so he could see how "swole" he was getting. Come in from the gym and say "look at this. Look how swole. Look how tight my shirt is on my arms now." Concerning a softball game, "man the team sucked. But me, I was dropping bombs. I was killing it."

    The thing is --- everyone wondered why I was with him! I am a very pretty girl, intelligent, an all around great catch. Yet he thought he was so much better than me.

    Well, why did I stay in something like this? Because it was a cycle. He would do something really bad that wouldn't set well with me, but then he would convince me it was my fault, project the blame on me, claiming I was too needy & unappreciative. Then after an argument, he would be absolutely wonderful -- for maybe a day. But I would think, well he still spends time with me (although I am the one that has to put forth the effort), he still tells me he loves me, he is still talking future, so he must love me right? Even though his actions are totally conflicting with his words, he says he loves me. He told me he wanted forever. He was doing just enough to keep me hanging.

    5 weeks ago, he broke up with me out of the blue when I got mad that he was blowing me off for a weekend he had promised & stood up for myself. Initially, he told me that I was too needy & stressing him too much, that he couldn't take it. That didn't add up. His story eventually changed to him admitting that he is too selfish and proud to be in a relationship. Then, it morphed into him saying "you were the one once, but something in the back of my mind is telling me you're not anymore." Yet he couldn't tell me what that was, he "couldn't put his finger on it."

    I have been on dates, he told me "if you date other people, maybe you'll appreciate ME more." Puh-lease. But Mr. I Don't Want to Be in a Relationship Period is dating someone new as well, or "just hanging out" in his words. He has completely cut off contact with me, and me with him. I feel like after 2.5 years of telling me he loved me and wanted a future with me, if he could just fall off of the face of the earth like this, something is wrong. Furthermore, he had it made in our relationship, why in the world would he end it?!? I know I'm a lot better off, but still having problems with having no closure. Wondering will he come back? Why did he leave?

    Why am I still missing & feeling attached to someone who treated me so badly? Was I dating a narcissist?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member metrogirl's Avatar
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    There was clearly something wrong with him but the good news is he is now someone else's problem. As you continue dating, you will see that normal men, many men don't behave the way he did. There are some great guys out there, just give it time.
    I shared my spare on Feb 4th. Ask me about living kidney donation.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Cynder's Avatar
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    It's easy to miss the person they pretended to be...

    I was with someone for 6 years who I think suffers from NPD. My experience was similar, every holiday was miserable, everything that went wrong was my fault, etc.

    http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/traits.html

    This article probably brought me more closure then anything else when it ended.
    Came the last night of sadness
    And it was clear that she couldn't go on
    The door was open and the wind appeared
    The candles blew and then disappeared
    The curtains flew and then he appeared...
    saying "don't be afraid..."

  4. #4
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    I do feel that something was not right in this relationship and that it would have just gotten progressively worse.

    Part of his game was telling me that EVERYTHING was my fault, that I never viewed him as good enough. In my own mind, logically, I know that this is not true. That I bent over backwards to make him feel wanted, loved, needed, and was overly-tolerant of his unacceptable and disrespectful behavior. But I hit these lows when I feel like, what if he is right? What if I do have a problem? What if this is my fault? What if I provoked him?

  5. #5
    Platinum Member metrogirl's Avatar
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    When a parent tells you something is going on with their child, listen to them. His father knows him, he probably knows that he has blatent disrespect for the women that he is in relationships with.

    You didn't provoke him, it's no way your fault as much as he would like for you to believe that. He has issues, they were his issues before you entered his life.
    I shared my spare on Feb 4th. Ask me about living kidney donation.

  6. #6
    Gold Member Cynder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123confused321 View Post
    I do feel that something was not right in this relationship and that it would have just gotten progressively worse.

    Part of his game was telling me that EVERYTHING was my fault, that I never viewed him as good enough. In my own mind, logically, I know that this is not true. That I bent over backwards to make him feel wanted, loved, needed, and was overly-tolerant of his unacceptable and disrespectful behavior. But I hit these lows when I feel like, what if he is right? What if I do have a problem? What if this is my fault? What if I provoked him?
    These people engage a lot in something called gaslighting... basically they make you feel like you're the crazy one.
    Came the last night of sadness
    And it was clear that she couldn't go on
    The door was open and the wind appeared
    The candles blew and then disappeared
    The curtains flew and then he appeared...
    saying "don't be afraid..."

  7. #7
    Platinum Member lavenderdove's Avatar
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    OK, what i see going on here is the you were running a script in your head that says, 'when i'm in a relationship here is how he should behave. he should be romantic and want to spend all kinds of time with me and commit to me.'

    Meanwhile he told you this: '"softball and hunting are top priority in my life, and you can just fit in wherever you can."

    You were constantly running a script in your head for how a relationship should be, and he's already declared openly that he doesn't intend to act the way you want him to because you are not a priority. Then you keep running that script, and he keeps doing thing counter to that based on his OWN script which is '"softball and hunting are top priority in my life, and you can just fit in wherever you can." So you are both constantly frustrated by this because basically you want an apple and he keeps offering an orange, and he wants an orange and you keep offering an apple. So you're not on the same page AT ALL for how this relationship should go and what it's supposed to be about.

    You want romance and a BF who makes you a top priority, and he's already told you he's not interested in that and if you want to be with him, you'll have to take a back seat to baseball and hunting. You were constantly experiencing a disjunct between what you wanted from him and what he was willing to offer, and you were not really 'hearing' that he had no intention of having a romantic relationship where you lived in each other's pockets all day and didn't want you to expect that of him.

    I'm not saying he was RIGHT to be that way, just that you weren't really paying attention to what he was saying and accepting it and making decisions accordinginly. You kept trying to shove a square peg into a round hole and then you'd get mad when it wouldn't go.

    So i think he finally recognized that you were never going to be content with what he was willing to offer. And frankly if a guy ever said to me that hunting and softball were higher priorities then me and i'd just have to live with that, i'd just dump him on the spot. So your problem here is you kept expecting him to change and he was just not interested.

    He was selfish and made that clear. So you are wasting your time with a guy like this and rather than trying to turn an apple to an orange, if someone makes it known you will not be a priority in his life, you just dump him and move on to find someone who does want the same kind of relationship you want rather than constantly fighting over it.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member lavenderdove's Avatar
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    btw, you were obviously very attached to the fantasy of how you wanted him to be, not who he really was. You need to in future recognize if that you have to constantly fight to get someone to give you what you want, then you are just not a match and shouldn't waste too much time on him. And if you have a lot of internal conversations with yourself that go, 'IF ONLY he'd do x, y, or z then i'd be happy,' then most likely he is falling short of what you need in him and your fantasy is not matching the reality of who he really is. Don't EVER look for Prince Charming or expect him because that means you're living in fantasy and trying to make your partner match up to fantasy which is really as waste of time. He is who he is, and if that isn't working for you and he won't negotiate with you, then just let him go.

  9. #9
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    What you are still attracted to is the guy you loved in the first three months of the relationship. He was perfect, attentive, loved you, prioritized you and was great to be around. That guy wasn't real. He disappeared. And you are left with the disrespectful shell of a man who can occasionally whip out the charm, but doesn't bother to do it much any more. And somehow they manage to convince you that you made that perfect charmer disappear. But you didn't. It wasn't your fault.

    It seems that people with certain disorders can only maintain a perfect front for about 3 to 6 months and then they have to be themselves which usually is nothing like the charmer you fell for. Whether he is a full blown narcissist or just a dude with serious issues, he is what he is showing you now - and that is somebody who isn't worth it.

  10. #10
    Gold Member Limiya's Avatar
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    It's all classic problematic behaviours.
    He certainly has emotional issues that you should not be responsible for or feel blamed for.
    It's hard because you thought you new him and the more settled and relaxed you felt with him, the more he knew he could manipulate.

    Closure will come from within yourself and not from him.
    My NPD ex left me for another woman after 6 years together. Out of the blue. I knew his behaviour traits by then, and i had my own way of handling them, but i wasn't happy. It was not how i wanted my relationship to be.
    All the examples you gave of your exes behaviour, mine did too.

    It's hard, but you need to concentrate on you now and only you. It will take time. You're used to your mental energy being wasted on a man who doesn't appreciate you or respect you. The worse his behaviour, the more attention you give him, and so on.
    You'll feel lost and alone for a while, but you have to get busy, and start treating yourself, working on your self esteem and confidence.
    He's a jerk, and he won't be able to experience true love while he behaves this way.
    You WILL experience true love one day when you meet a man who respects you and treats you the way a young lady deserves to be treated.

    Limiya

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