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Letting go of narcissistic man


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It's over and I feel so relieved, although I'm sad too. We only dated six months, but I hadn't been in a relationship in a long time, and it was very difficult to extricate myself from this man. I wasn't aware of his narcissistic tendencies at first. We had known each other through mutual friends for around a year before we started dating, and he always seemed to me to be a kind, caring, sincere person. One of our mutual friends told me he was a really nice guy. It just goes to show that we can't really know someone in a relationship until we become more emotionally intimate. Has anyone else had trouble letting go of this kind of person?

 

At first he was incredibly sweet and charming. He pursued me and was very open and romantic. We had a lot of shared values and interests, great communication, and great sex. I fell for it and became intensely infatuated. But after a few months of dating and becoming more intimate, I started to notice red flags. I noticed how he got upset if I didn't pay enough attention to him. I noticed how he told white lies when they weren't necessary. I noticed how he seemed to lack empathy towards people sometimes, including me. I noticed how I felt manipulated and controlled. I noticed how he used social media to gossip indirectly about people we knew. I noticed how he got defensive and had difficulty taking any responsibility for his behavior when we had conflict. I noticed he was increasingly arrogant. I minimized a lot of these behaviors by telling myself he was immature and would grow out of it. He's younger than me - he's in his 40s and had been in several serious relationships before. Like me, he was engaged at one point. But then I realized he was too old to be exhibiting these types of behaviors, and had problems more severe than immaturity. I read up on narcissism and think he has narcissistic tendencies. I wouldn't go so far as to diagnose him with any sort of personality disorder, but he definitely has problems.

 

In any case, I broke up with him two weeks ago and feel sad to be spending Christmas without him. I know I made the right decision, but it's hard. I feel guilty. I keep thinking of the good times we shared. But every time I think about how I felt mistreated or disrespected, I know breaking up was the best thing to do. I feel emotionally strong.

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I dated someone who I thought had similar tendencies. Not taking responsibility for your actions combined with arrogance and selfishness in your 40s is a no-go for a relationship. I kept asking myself, if the sex weren't great or when it becomes less exciting (after infatuation) stage..do you actually liiiike this guy? And being honest I really didn't like his personality or how he treated people despite that there were good qualities I enjoyed. I knew he wasn't the one and why waste your time when you know it's not going anywhere??

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Narcissists can be very hard to detect at first because they can be so charming when they want to be. They are happy and pleasant as long as they are getting what they want from you, but in their heads the world SHOULD revolve around them at all times, and when they have an unpleasant moment, everyone around them pays.

 

One of my 'litmus' tests for a relationship is whether I feel relatively calm, stable, and happy with the person, as opposed to constantly being on edge and never knowing what you're going to get from the other person or them constantly trying to rain on your parade in order to get their own way. So a common motif with narcissists after a while is that you feel EXHAUSTED dealing with their issues and mood changes and manipulations, like your world is controlled by their moods and desires and there is no room for YOU or what you want and need in the relationship because you are constantly required to adapt to their every little whim of the moment or they start up with the manipulations or unpleasantness.

 

Narcissists view other people as 'narcissistic supply', where your job is to give them anything and everything they want every moment, whether that is your attention, setting up the environment to please them etc., with no real thought to taking care of you or what you might need. Your job is to supply them with what they want, not vice versa, and they can be very cold and unfeeling if you ever need anything from them because they view your needs as irrelevant. There is no YOU in the relationship because you are viewed very much as a 'function' rather than a person, and your function is to please them. They can be charming when they want because they need constant attention and feeding of their egos, but that charm is directed at you to get what they want from you and can evaporate instantly when your needs conflict with theirs.

 

So consider yourself lucky to get away from him if he's a narcissist. They are absolutely draining to be involved with because they are so demanding and self centered. Many people who stay with narcissists end up a shadow of themselves after being drained dry trying to please the narcissist and exhausted from their emotional care and feeding of them, while their own needs are neglected in the relationship because the narcissist does not caretake others, only himself. They will only 'put out' anything at all if it directly benefits themselves, and if it doesn't, they resent you and refuse to cooperate.

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I am going through the same thing, and having an extremely hard time moving on. I am one of those people Lavenderdove spoke of that stayed with one way too long, 5 years. He completely drained me of myself. I put so much energy into making him happy, and I was only happy when he was happy with me. Otherwise I was frantically trying to make him happy. Now that we have been NC for 2 months I still struggle with depression everyday. I know I am better off without him, yet I still miss him so much and hate that he is now with another girl. He is doing the exact same thing to her, charming up a storm, and I can't help but wonder if he will be different with her, and actually learned from our relationship that didn't work. Wondering if I wasn't good enough, and she is. I know that is crazy talk, but that's what he has done to me. Just trying to take it day by day.

 

So yes, I know what you're going through. A great website for dealing with narcissists is link removed. I live on that site Good luck!!

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Well done for being so strong and for having enough self esteem to let this man go. The amount of people on these forums who stay due to insecurity, fear of being alone etc is unbelievable.

 

to all you women out there who do not know what a narcissist is-read the book fifty shades of grey to get an idea. He will be so sweet and charming, shower you with gifts and all sorts of romantic gestures, promise marriage and babies in the first few weeks or propose within a few months, try to buy you with his money, be vain and be obsessed with power, money, status.. but you will notice how rude or arrogant he is to anyone he sees as beneath him such as a waitress.. he will try to hook you with his charm but will then turn v nasty as soon as your "his"

 

these men are capable of killing their wife and kids one random day out of the blue.

 

They are also capable of living a double life-pretending to be mr perfect when he is with you but then cheating on you constantly when your not around

 

run a mile from any man who says and does all the "right" things and seems like mr romantic. Hes a demon in disguise

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  • 1 month later...

Oh my lord I know how you feel. I'm currently cutting off a narcissist I've only dated for a month- and he already managed to get under my skin enough that it's difficult despite MASSIVE red flags (lack of empathy, extreme arrogance, refusal to take responsibility for actions, etc). Good job getting out of that. You deserve, and will bring someone so much more worth your time into your life. It's much better to be with yourself than with someone who will drain you.

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  • 7 months later...

I wanted to bump this to the top so that other people might benefit. I've been in NC with the narcissistic man since this post and am still recovering. I've realized how I've repeatedly been attracted to narcissistic men, because it felt familiar (my father is a narcissist). So I'm consciously trying to break this pattern. Since there's a rise in narcissism in society, I think it's even harder now to avoid people with these tendencies. Be aware that a true narcissist with narcissistic personality disorder is dangerous, and will devalue you in order to feel more powerful and in control. Other people have narcissistic tendencies on a continuum and aren't dangerous.

 

One thing that has helped me, which may help others, is that as soon as I see the signs of narcissistic tendencies, I back off. I then take time and space to re-evaluate things, and am able to walk away to protect myself if needed. In a couple of cases, I realized the narcissistic tendencies were due to the manic phase of bi-polar disorder, and the men weren't dangerous (still something to be on the lookout for, though).

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Good on you for getting away from this man. I just got out of a 3 year relationship with a guy who I believe is a narcissist. I was sucked in so, so bad. It is SO draining being in a relationship with someone like this. I've had extreme anxiety the last couple of months. I always knew something was off with my partner; I wish I listened to my guy instinct earlier. I broke up with him a week ago and since then I have been feeling calmer, sleeping better, and no anxiety. Took me awhile to realize how much stress he was causing me. Of course it's sad to look back on the good times. If I'm feeling nostalgic I think of how horrible he could be to me and what it would be like in say 10 years time if we lived together. That would not be a happy life.

 

I'm also feeling really empowered at the moment

 

Stella74- Do you know how to get out of the pattern of attracting NPD type men? My dad was diagnosed as a sociopath and I believe he has NPD too. Looking at my past relationships, they have all been quite similar.

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I'm not Stella74, lol, but I am asking the same question and just starting to discover some answers. My last 2 relationships were with men like this. Why am I attracting and being attracted to men like this?

 

As with all pop psychology, naturally it's my mother's fault. I say that tongue in cheek. Seriously though, for me I believe it's a combination of childhood and personality.

 

I was taught to be grateful for what I have and to demonstrate that gratitude by helping others less fortunate.

What I learned was to feel guilty for what I have while others lack, and to constantly try to make up for that.

 

I was taught to put my feelings aside in order to attend to my parents' emotions, and I learned to be so silent that I can barely hear myself.

 

On top of that, I'm highly empathetic. I can jump into your emotional shoes and then jump back out again...but since it's my "job" to help people and I have "so much more" than others, I feel forced to give and give until there's nothing left.

 

Yeah. It's all nonsense. And I end up miserable.

 

I'm not responsible for the universe. I don't have to feel guilty for things I can't control - like my husband's death years ago and how my children have struggled with that, or other people's problems.

 

I'm trying to create a guilt-free zone inside myself. I'm allowing myself to say no when I'm being asked for too much. And so far, no one has died from me saying no...which honestly shocks me! I'm half-laughing while I type this but it's true

 

I'm always going to be empathetic. I'm always going to want to make a positive impact on those around me. But I can do that through community service and volunteering instead of through draining, painful relationships. I can use my energy to help advance people who are actually working on advancing themselves.

 

And !gasp! I can allow people to give back to me with no guilt or sense of owing them. This is a mind blower for me.

 

I can be grateful for what I have, and leave it at that, or I can give back if I choose to. Thanks to genetics and my parents, I'm smart. I can volunteer for literacy programs or mentoring kids. I don't have to be in one-sided relationships where my intelligence is used as a crutch for them to act dumb, or incapable.

 

I think bottom line, I have a need to be valued, as all people do. Emotional leeches, such as narcissists, give overwhelmingly - for about 5 minutes. After that, they take, and the taking never stops. Old sayings come to mind: we give an inch and they take a mile.

 

We need to hold ourselves higher, and/or harder to get.

We need to take lots and lots of time so that we can see if the relationship becomes one-sided.

We need to find other avenues to fulfill our need to be valued.

We need to stand firm, or else we'll fall back into the same old routines that we hate.

We need to be cautious.

 

Just my thoughts so far ~

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Thank you so so much for your response Hell_on_heels.

 

I was also taught to be grateful for what I have. I still hear my mum say it from time to time. Which is great... but not so great when it's taught me to put up with crappy partners.

 

Sounds like these guys always attract the same 'type'. I'm over caring. I'm a teacher, always trying to look after people and going out of my way. Always feeling bad about things that aren't my fault or out of my control. Coming out of this relationship one of my goals is to to be more assertive. It's something I really need to work on. The relationship with my ex was so one-sided, me always going to his house. Offering to do this and that. Won't be making that mistake again.

 

I really like your point about volunteering... I'm going to consider this. Now that I have so much time on my hands being single again

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Stella, i remember when you first made this post. Glad to hear you're still working towards recovering and haven't gone back. It took me some time to let go of the narcissistic man in my life. 2 1/2-3 years of on/off again and me being left exhausted, no self-esteem etc etc....just broken down.

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Stella, i remember when you first made this post. Glad to hear you're still working towards recovering and haven't gone back. It took me some time to let go of the narcissistic man in my life. 2 1/2-3 years of on/off again and me being left exhausted, no self-esteem etc etc....just broken down.

 

We are the only ones with the Power to cut them off ! they will always come back to ex's , just for a quickie supply ! They know we had feelings for them and the use that power to trap us back into there lives. Nothing ever comes good from dating a Narc ! They are not Human.

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We are the only ones with the Power to cut them off ! they will always come back to ex's , just for a quickie supply ! They know we had feelings for them and the use that power to trap us back into there lives. Nothing ever comes good from dating a Narc ! They are not Human.

 

oh its scary how they come back. One time we were fighting and i told him if he wanted nothing to do me then just tell me...but he couldnt. He just said i was being ridiculous. He needs to have one foot in the door. He needs to know that he could still have me whenever he wanted.

 

And he will STILL come back.

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Rosa, Allipie, and Hell On Heels - I'm so glad you were able to leave your relationships. The hardest part is not getting manipulated into having contact...as mg22 says, "just for a quickie supply." Narcissists need never-ending "supply," meaning they constantly need affirmation and attention due to their own wounds (often very early in life, due to loss or abuse) or mental illness. The important thing is to focus on your own behavior and needs, not on theirs.

 

To break the pattern in attracting men with narcissistic tendencies is a complex process - if it's related to a narcissistic parent, I would recommend counseling. You can also do work on your own to change the way you respond to narcissistic people in general, men or women. The best thing is to have compassion for them and to see them as needy children, and to distance yourself as soon as you see the red flags of narcissistic behavior. Think of narcissism as similar to alcoholism - it's something the person has little control over and often times is a disease due to brain chemistry. Just as you wouldn't want to enable an alcoholic, don't enable the narcissist. It only makes things worse, and can be dangerous to you.

 

You can also try to identify exact red flags in the patterns. For example, when I really looked at my own patterns with men, I saw the following:

1. Narcissistic men flatter me, charm me, seduce me, and manipulate me, and I eat it right up (that’s my narcissistic vulnerability)

2. Narcissistic men play push/pull games to see how I’ll react, and I minimize/deny their behavior

3. Narcissistic men manipulate me into pursuing, and I let myself be manipulated

4. Narcissistic men test my boundaries, so I need to be less co-dependent

5. Narcissistic men can see I'm empathetic and feel guilty when trying to let go, so I need to go No Contact in order not to stay hooked

 

Mg22 is absolutely correct when she says, "We are the only ones with the Power to cut them off."

 

If you need help understanding narcissism, this is a great article from the child of two narcissists titled "Are You a Magnet for Narcissists?":

link removed

 

Here's another great article, titled "Narcissistic Relationships: The Perils of Loving a Narcissist":

link removed

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Adding myself to the list of those who got caught in someone else's narcissistic web. The points listed in the prior post are right on. To get past it, I had to peel layers down to the core motivations -- fear of abandonment and confusion of security with acceptance by a man.

 

The concept that helped cure me was the reality that Noone is coming. Nobody will fix it.

 

I have only myself to "fix" whatever it is in my life needs fixing. Ever.

 

After taking a few body blows in recent years, I had become utterly depleted and was looking to others to buttress me. Realizing I had only myself was scary and empowering.

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Great posts everyone. I am wondering--did your Ns accuse YOU of being the one with all of those traits? Selfishness... Not taking responsibility etc etc? Twisting everything they did into somehow an entirely different thing that they were now going to punish you for with a rash of push me pull you behaviour? Did you start to doubt your ability to perceive reality? It makes it hard to walk away when you are being told you are completely over reacting -and being unreasonable and these incidents either didn't happen or were entirely less dramatic then they felt. Crazy making stuff that can leave one immobilized...

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Great posts everyone. I am wondering--did your Ns accuse YOU of being the one with all of those traits? Selfishness... Not taking responsibility etc etc? Twisting everything they did into somehow an entirely different thing that they were now going to punish you for with a rash of push me pull you behaviour? Did you start to doubt your ability to perceive reality? It makes it hard to walk away when you are being told you are completely over reacting -and being unreasonable and these incidents either didn't happen or were entirely less dramatic then they felt. Crazy making stuff that can leave one immobilized...

 

YES to twisting everything and dismissing/minimizing my emotions.

 

His behavior was okay, but anyone else's behavior was not. It was okay for him to be upset about being cheated on but not okay for me to be upset about what he did to me.

 

ugh.

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This year, mine said something accusatory to me about me doubting his character back then, to which i replied, "You weren't exactly a fountain of truth". His answer? "Touché. Well played." Uh, ok.

 

Generally, he did not comment on my behavior. Everyone else, though, was sub par in some fashion. It was as if he was emperor, and others did not meet his standard.

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The best way to get over a relationship with a narc is to watch the YOUTUBE videos by Sam Vatkin. He is a self-proclaimed narc and he speaks from that perspective. He stated that you cannot have a relationship with a narc. It is an encounter." So....you could be married to one with children from one, but to the narc it is just an enounter. Once you get this....it is easy to end your encounter with one.

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The best way to get over a relationship with a narc is to watch the YOUTUBE videos by Sam Vatkin. He is a self-proclaimed narc and he speaks from that perspective. He stated that you cannot have a relationship with a narc. It is an encounter." So....you could be married to one with children from one, but to the narc it is just an enounter. Once you get this....it is easy to end your encounter with one.

 

This is so true. My ex N is married now, to a woman who fiercely fought to claim him while he wandered. I do not feel bad for her, she chose to accept his mixed bag of tricks.

 

While married, he reignited his correspondence with me. It was wholesome, intimate, about his goals, his fears. Them it became quite sexual. I told him that would have to stop, and that I couldn't figure out how or why he does it. I was genuinely concerned for his marriage, because he was ambivalent about it in the first place. "She can't keep up with me," he says. In his mind, that's all the justification he needs. Fantasizing about me etc; his N view gives him impunity. Nobody could possibly manage the level of drive he has, so he gets a free pass.

 

When we were involved, he made a point of explaining how he needs an emotional connection to feel the sexual connection. This is true. So he creates an emotional connection. He doesn't actually FEEL the emotional connection the way we do; he creates it, he experiences it, he supports it with his behavior. It all is in service to heightening the pleasure of the encounter.

 

Knowing him was a life-changing experience. Oddly, for the better, but not without significant damage. Better because of what I learned. Not sure anything else would have pushed me so far to force me to learn it.

 

(Yes, I know I am culpable for even permitting a correspondence of any kind with an N. After nearly a year of NC, it is odd that I welcomed it; he started it by sending a memory inspired by visiting somewhere we visited. It raises no emotional response in me at all, except the pleasure in some way of the connection itself. Inexplicable to me.)

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Great posts everyone. I am wondering--did your Ns accuse YOU of being the one with all of those traits? Selfishness... Not taking responsibility etc etc? Twisting everything they did into somehow an entirely different thing that they were now going to punish you for with a rash of push me pull you behaviour? Did you start to doubt your ability to perceive reality? It makes it hard to walk away when you are being told you are completely over reacting -and being unreasonable and these incidents either didn't happen or were entirely less dramatic then they felt. Crazy making stuff that can leave one immobilized...

 

My ex-husband attacked my sanity. That was his defense, to say I was crazy, bipolar, menopausal, etc. I started to believe the menopausal thing, in my early 40s, because my emotions were stronger half of the month than the other half of the month. Looking back now, I realize my work schedule is rougher half of the month, longer hours, less patience or control....under those conditions, pretty much everyone feels more deeply. I wasn't riding my usual neutral ground.

 

In my soon-to-be-over relationship, he just blames me for "making him" do things. As in :

I don't pay you rent because you nag me for it.

I don't pay you rent because you never ask me for it.

I don't pay you rent because you asked once, I got busy, and forgot.

 

Noooooo. He doesn't pay rent because he doesn't think he has to stoop to such common behavior. When called on it, it's never his behavior or his choices - it's totally my fault. At the same time, he says he can't make me happy, it's not his responsibility to even try.

 

Ultimately he wants to do as he pleases, and keep me as his parent. When criticized, even gently, he lashes out with blame, attacks on me, and even changing the whole topic. We could be arguing about rent, and suddenly he wants to argue about how awful I was when I hated my last job. I'd tell him we were arguing about two separate things, and so we needed two separate fights about it. But there is no distinction in his mind.

 

He became a master at deflecting the argument, stalling it, and then hiding from it all. We never reached solutions, although he'd talk me to death. He'd talk at me day and night for weeks on end....but never do anything he said he would. Once I caved from sheer exhaustion, he'd pretend nothing ever happened.

 

My walls eventually went up. I'd ignore him while he was talking at me. I'd bury myself in something else, and not even realize he was talking...and he quit doing that. But it took me 4 years to get to that point.

 

Not sure if this helped, but yeah...in my last 2 relationships, everything bad was my fault for just not being how they wanted me. They do not respond well when you finally tell them, "This is who I am. Deal, or leave."

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