The Narcissist’s First Impressions & Typical Grandiosity

The narcissist knows how to make a great first impression. That is how they begin their grand deception. They will put on the charm, ooze intelligence and seem so considerate that you just can’t help but feel like the luckiest girl in the world. You ask yourself how you could have landed the “last good man” to have walked this earth. However, if he seems to good to be true, then he most likely is.

I remember this such feeling. I was so excited and proud to have my narcissist over at my parents for the first time. It happened to be Christmas Eve, and he showed up at the door bearing personalized gifts for each of my parents, my grandmother, my brother and his girlfriend. At the time, I thought that it was so considerate and showed amazing generosity. I believed that he really must have liked me to want to win over my family with these thoughtful gifts. Waterford crystal wine goblets for my parents, and a leather men’s grooming dap kit for my brother and honey scented organic lotion gift basket for my grandmother. However, looking back, it was overkill. It was suspicious.

Before the night of the dinner, he told me he was going shopping to buy my family presents and I had told him that it was not necessary, especially since he had not even met any of them yet! But he insisted, he said that he did not want to appear at a Christmas party empty handed. I feel that the need to bring presents for people he had never even met was more about how he felt he appeared, rather than him wanting to be thoughtful and kind. Narcissists are very concerned with appearances and how they are perceived. This is a good example of that. This is also an example of “love bombing.” He was going above and beyond to shower me with oodles of attention with the intention of lulling me into a state of ease so that I would blindly trust him. All this effort was to make it easy for him to manipulate and control me.

I met my narcissist on a popular online dating site, first mistake. We agreed to meet at a Japanese steak house for dinner for our first date. I remember not knowing what to wear on a cold November evening.  I did not want to be overdressed, as I had done once before on a different date in the past and was a bit embarrassed, so I thought I better go more casual. I wore a beautiful knit designer sweater and a pair of great fitting jeans and high heeled leather boots, topping the look off with a fabulous, embroidered swing coat.  The narcissist was wearing a collared shirt and khaki’s (his strict wardrobe). The date went well and I felt safe dressing up a bit more for our second date, showing up wearing a more fancy little black dress and knee high boots, which he loved. He made a point of telling me at that time how he was not so sure of me the first date because of my choice to wear jeans. He laughed out loud and said that he was thrilled that I dressed the part on our second date. I found it odd that he could be so judgmental over something so inconsequential. But I just brushed it off. Next mistake.

Later in our relationship, I discovered that one of his many hatreds was of people who wore jeans. (Which for me was very difficult, because I love mine!) Well, I looked great on our first date despite the jeans, but on that second date he made sure to set the standard for me. After that moment, I knew better than to ever wear jeans when I was out with him on a date in the future. Whenever anyone asked about how we met, my narcissist always made a point to tell them that I was lucky to have gotten a second date with him on the account of me having the audacity to wear jeans on our first date. He was a snob, despite the fact that I come from a much better family background than he. But I strongly believe no one should act as if they are better than anyone. I have friends from all walks of life and am legitimately happy for others when something good goes their way. On the other hand, he does not and is not. It goes to prove another facet of narcissism, being “grandiose.” I always felt belittled for my choices, I simply could not be me. He chipped away pieces of me slowly and steadily for the next 7 years.

He always took longer getting ready to go out than I ever did, but then he acted like I took longer. I would even time myself, to prove it to myself that I was believing correctly. He would fuss over what clothes to wear and I would just throw something on. However, he had no problem letting me know what clothing I should or should not wear. I was not even “aloud” to wear my super comfortable Juicy Couture jogging pants outside the house. And if we had plumbers or other construction workers over for any reason, I was certainly not permitted to wear my juicy’s around them because he felt that those pants were “too revealing.” I thought that this was ludicrous because my regular pants were tighter fitting than those baggy sweat pants. I once tried to argue with him on that and he said that if I wanted to wear those pants (around my own house) when workers were present, it must be because I am wanting to be flirtatious with them. His reasoning was insane!

But then again, he is a narcissist, there is no sense to what they think. All they care about is their image and how their extensions of self (you and any children) help perpetuate that image. They are controlling, manipulative and do not care about your feelings because they have no empathy and are not capable of remorse. The narcissist is a shell of a human being, hollow, void of feeling, an empty vessel.  They truly believe that they are God’s greatest gift to us, but it is simply a belief of a dreadfully deluded mind.

Do I Stay or Do I Go?

This was a difficult decision to be made. Not as easy as it may seem to most. After years of emotional cruelty, you may feel depleted of confidence in yourself, and you may be afraid of the unknown. I was.  At least there is some familiarity with this devil you know, verses the devil you do not. However, if you stay, you are doomed to more inevitable abuse. If you leave, you will have challenges to face, but you will be free to breathe again, to just be…again.

It all changed for me when I discovered what Narcissistic Personality Disorder was and learned that it was incurable.  I had no choice but to leave.  I knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I had faith that it would be worth it. It has been four months since I left my narcissist, and I am so glad that I did. I still am waiting for my divorce to be final. In the meantime, I am living at my parents house with my two children trying to save up enough money to build a house of my own. I am struggling to both homeschool my little ones while making money to help sustain us.

When I was with him, I felt like I was drowning, I could never catch my breath when he was around. Thinking back to how I felt when we were together, it was as if he and I were stuck in a boat out in the ocean, all alone. Then he would push me off the boat into the shark infested water and I would struggle to keep afloat, and plead with him to throw me a life preserver. When he had enough listening to me beg for help, he would rescue me begrudgingly and then tell me how lucky I was that he was around to come to my aid. That is what narcissists do. They drive you to the point of desperation and then when you crack, they use it against you later. It is mind boggling really. If I had never gone through this daily misery myself, I could not really understand it if someone would have tried to explain it to me.

When you are in the thick of it, it is difficult to see through it. Looking back, it is crystal clear what he did to me. But at time, I was so immersed in the emotional torment that I began to think that everything must be my fault. That was before I knew about the narcissist’s weapon of projection. That is when the narcissist accuses you of doing what, in fact, THEY are doing.  The narcissist will control every decision and every action in the relationship. They may make you feel like you have a say, but in reality, you have been conditioned by them to know what to do or say as to not provoke a negative response.  So, really you have no actual say in anything.

He also enjoyed making me feel like I was ungrateful if I ever suggested doing anything by myself. I could not visit my family by myself, but then he did not want to go with me. So, he cut my family and old friends out of my life. Then he accused me of not being a good wife if I ever suggested getting together with a mommy friend without the children. He would say that we are married and why be married if we wanted to do things without each other? He would also famously claim that “he was not a babysitter” and that if I wanted to do things with my mommy friends, it can be when he is at work and I can take the kids too. Because when he was home, it was “family time” despite the fact that it meant we do whatever HE wanted to do. Or if he was around me and the children, he was tuned out sitting in the corner on his IPAD instead of doing one on one things with our children. Ugg!

I must say that I am doing better every day and I am so thankful for my parents and friends that have taken me back into their world with open arms. I feel so embarrassed that I let that monster take me away from them in the first place, but the sheer fact that they see past it and are glad to be here for me and my children makes my heart explode with gratitude. To think that if I would have stayed with my narcissist, my children would have grown up not ever experiencing the nourishing, loving grandparent relationship that they get every day now.  Also, my brother is an awesome influence on my children too.  They adore him because he actually takes time to do things with them.  Something that their own father rarely did.  My children are able to be themselves, to be silly without being micromanaged, to be able to pursue what they want without judgement.  They are free to be children now.

So, the moment that I voluntarily jumped off that boat, which held me and my narcissist, was a pivotal point that has moved my life in a positive direction. I had faith that I could swim to safety on my own, never again looking to my captor to appear the savior. Now, instead of fear of the future, I am excited to see what it feels like to find myself again.

Everything is your fault. Even if the Narcissist forgets something, it is your fault…

Narcissists are incapable of taking responsibility for their actions, unless it is advantageous to them. They will ALWAYS take the credit when something good occurs, however, if it is something undesirable, they shirk their responsibility and shift the blame to everyone else. It is a mind numbing experience to witness. Every time this occurred during my marriage I felt like I wanted to bang my head against the wall, somehow I was always the one to blame.

Well, I am separated now and going through the divorce process and I still undergo the same treatment, however less frequent. The latest head banging occurrence has to do with my narcissist’s daily phone call to our two beautiful children. He has difficulty remembering to call our children on time, and when he is late, he always asks me why I did not call him to remind him to call. He blames me!

I have repeatedly explained to him that it was not my responsibility to make the call and remind him that is was his time to speak to our children. However, he sees it quite differently. He said that I am “mean” for not having the children call him if HE forgets. One night, he forget to make his call and the kids were already in bed. He actually wanted me to wake them up after I had tucked them into bed 30 minutes before his text. After I refused, he went on a texting diatribe blaming me for not reminding him to call his own children. He vilifies me for not being responsible for him.

In the early days of the separation, I would call him at his appointed time if he was late and he chastised me for “not being patient” and said that I was “pressuring him.” At the time, I thought I was doing him a favor. So, I stopped. I realized that it was HIS responsibility to remember to call our children, not mine. Then later he got mad at me for NOT calling to remind him to call. So, I gently explained to him that I had tried to help remind him before, but instead got yelled at by him for “not being patient.” He denied ever reacting that way.

So, this is just another prime example of how you cannot ever win with a narcissist, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Narcissists Rationalize Their Mistreatment of You and Belittle Your Concerns

I have come to the conclusion that a narcissist has the emotional equivalent of a 4 year old. It is as if they are a child trapped inside an adult’s body because everything is all about them. They are the sun and the whole planetary system revolves around them. They walk all over you as if you were no more than a blade of grass under their foot. If I ever had a legitimate concern about my health, (for example, I would experience strange pins and needles in my extremities) my narcissist husband would dismiss it as nothing, however, his plantar fasciitis (annoying heel pain) seemed to be the end of the world!

Even issues I had about our relationship were played down by him. One time, I expressed concern to my husband by saying that I can’t help but feel like I am “walking on eggshells around him.” He looked indignant at me and callus. He scoffed at me without any concern for my feelings and said, “that sounds like something your Mother would say.” Then he asked, “Has she been filling your head with this kind of psychological jargon?” This is just another example of a narcissist showing his lack of empathy. He never asked me any deep questions about WHY I felt the way that I did. He was just offended that I had anything to say that made it apparent that our relationship had issues that he was ignoring.

The vasectomy talk went much worse. When we were first married, he told me that he would have a vasectomy after we decided we were done having children. Well, when that time came after our second child, he refused to get the surgery. He put it off and said maybe in a year. Then after that year came and went, I brought the topic up and he said that he still was not ready and that he didn’t appreciate me pushing him!  I was sick of being on birth control pills and they were making my hair fall out in clumps. So, I expressed my sincere concern about the serious side effects of pills, like cancer as well as stroke and deep vein thrombosis for women over age 30, but he did not care. He is even a doctor and knows the risks but still downplayed them. He made me feel like I was making a big deal over nothing. He insisted that I just stay on the pills anyway. He was really upset that night, so I just bit my lip and let it go. I waited yet another year, then all hell broke loose.

The night I dared to bring it up for the third time in a 2 ½ year time span, I was in tears because I already knew how he would respond to me pleading for him to get the surgery. He reacted with no emotion except irritation and anger. He was offended, indignant and upset that I brought the topic up on a “weeknight when he just wanted to relax and watch TV with his wife.” I was having medical problems at the time and serious anxiety symptoms that I contributed to the pills, as well as the continued hair loss. I was really meek and tried to convey my depth of concern for my health by continually taking the pill. I humbly asked him to reconsider and have the surgery. He responded with no concern for me, no hugs, no understanding, no empathy. Obviously. Instead, all he thought about was himself and how this conversation was “ruining his night.” He even went as far as to say, “we have discussed this before, you are pushing me again and now I may never be ready to have the surgery. But if you want to go ahead and have your tubes tied, then be my guest.” I was horrified, not because of the $10,000 price difference between a tubal ligation vs. a vasectomy, but that he would suggest that I was the one being unreasonable.

He had a warped way of thinking that I could not wrap my head around.  I then asked him why I should continue to risk my health by taking the pill and he responded by saying that “he risks his life every day driving to work” and he has a much higher likelihood of getting killed on the road than I do of having complications from the pill so I should just “take one for the team.” I was flabbergasted at his comments, then it got even worse. He continued to elaborate that if he got the surgery, I would be able to get remarried and have more children with someone else if I ever decided to leave him, but that he couldn’t if he wanted to. I could not believe what he was saying!  Up to that point, I never even considered that possibility as an option. He thought so little of me and did not trust me, which was the real reason he refused the surgery he once promised to have. He was a liar, a fraud. He thought only about himself and his needs and wants. It was abundantly clear to me how our marriage would be moving forward at that point on. It wouldn’t.

I then said that if he refused to get the simple procedure, I was going to go off of the pill, and we would just have to use condoms. Boy, he hit the roof!  He was horrified that I would even propose such a solution. He said that he would not even consider using condoms with his wife. So, I was held hostage, I had no choice but to stay on the pill because at that moment I realized that he did not care one ounce for me, for what I wanted and whether I felt healthy or not. It was his way or no way!  As such, I decided that as much as I love my two children, the only thing worse than staying on the pill was having another child with that man who cared nothing for me.

The whole night was an eye-opener, my narcissist had the cunning ability to rationalize his mistreatment of me in the most despicable ways. I learned that I may have no choice but to leave him at some point, but the final straw was yet to come.

So, the moral of this memory is…if you feel like your concerns go unheard by your partner, than it is time to consider the worst. He or she does not really love you or respect you, this is a common indicator of a narcissistic relationship.

 

 

 

 

Narcissists Have Unrealistic Expectations and Do Not Believe in Change

One of the biggest indicators of narcissism is a preoccupation with things staying the same. They operate the same in every relationship they enter and narcissists do not believe in change as an individual. The reason for this is because they feel that they are perfect and have no reason to change. One time, I made a comment of how “relationships change and people grow as they go through life” and he could not comprehend what I was saying.  Instead, he got irate and said “I like what we have, our relationship should always be in the honeymoon phase!” I responded with a gentle laugh and said that he cannot be serious, but sadly he was.  It is nature’s truth that nothing stays the same, even a child can figure that out by witnessing the leaves changing from green to brown, and falling down.  I went on to say that it is not natural to never alter your views on life as you grow older. The people you meet, the places you visit, the successes as well as the failures all teach us about who we are and how to better ourselves. Personal growth leads to a more fulfilling life.  But in that moment, he looked at me like I had spiders crawling out of my ears.  I knew right then, that it was going to be a bumpy ride!

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A typical trait of narcissism involves the “preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love” according to Sam Vaknin, self proclaimed and clinically diagnosed narcissist. This preoccupation manifests itself throughout everything narcissists do. Their view on life is considered by them to be the “correct” view, no matter how distorted their opinion of the world actually is. Thus, we the victims, must go along with the narcissist’s beliefs or else face punishment which may consist of silent treatments, rages, attacks, put-downs, pouting, guilt trips, etc.

Whatever your situation, the narcissist is obsessed with his or her idea of success. Whether the success be financial, supreme intelligence, gorgeous looks, or even relationship status, the ultimate control is key. In my situation, my narcissist was certainly obsessed with his retirement portfolio. He researched stocks and bonds every day. He spoke about retirement a few times a week despite the fact that he was 43. He defined success as retiring at 50. He was in a big hurry to go nowhere.  I always supported his goals, however, my family does not believe in retirement and feel that when you retire, your mind shuts down and you die sooner. Anyways, the thought of him not going to a place of work during the day and being around me even more, I admit sent shock waves throughout my system. I would push that thought as far away from my mind as possible. I desperately clung to the hope that he would change his mind as he was so prone to do.

We must learn to recognize that narcissists have a preoccupation with things staying the same. They are stagnant, repetitive creatures. Have you ever noticed that your narcissist constantly repeats him or herself? Mine was so predictable, I knew what he was going to say before he even opened his mouth.  And if you choose to stay with yours, it is a certainty that you will never be able to change your situation or to grow as a human being. I needed to break free from the chains my narcissist clamped around me, so that I could be unrestricted to grow and thrive as an individual has a right to.

 

Can a Narcissist Sincerely Love Anyone Other Than Themselves?

Is a narcissist capable of truly loving another human being?  This is a provocative question because “love” is defined as “a strong affection, attachment or devotion for another arising out of kinship or personal ties, as well as an unselfish loyal benevolent concern for the good of another.”  Narcissists by nature are selfish creatures only concerned about themselves, so it natural to believe that this selfish state of mind cannot possibly coexist with love.

The very description of a narcissist is a person who is incapable of empathy.  Empathy is “the feeling that you understand and share another persons experiences and emotions.” Therefore, if you cannot truly understand someone and share in their emotions, you cannot really love them.  Empathy is the basis for all love.  Unfortunately, because narcissists do not have the capacity to empathize, they cannot tap into real emotions that are vital to feel love, nor are they capable of giving unconditional love.

To a narcissist, love is what YOU can do for them.  As sad and shocking as it seems, you my dear, were not loved by your narcissist, you were tolerated, you were absorbed, controlled, owned, and reprogrammed by him or her.  To a narcissist, he or she views it as a privilege for you to be in their life.  There is no true reciprocity, no give and take, no connection, no acceptance or devotion, trust or growth.  All those essential components needed to create and sustain a healthy, viable relationship are absent.

You may find yourself struggling with the memories of your narcissist showering you with attention and “love” in the beginning of your relationship. You may want to believe that this cannot have been just an act, but unfortunately it was. This love-bombing phase encourages you into a false sense of security with him or her so that you drop your defenses and trust them blindly.  This makes it easy for them to manipulate and later destroy you.  Then when you feel that you cannot take any more abuse, you begin to pull away.  At that point, the narcissist jumps back into the love-bombing phase again to lure you back to their control zone.  It is a vicious cycle that will continue until the narcissist gets bored and decides to move onto an easier target, or until you break free from it yourself.

So as the definition of love goes, does your narcissist unselfishly put you and your interests before their own?  No, because he or she has no capability to feel authentic, true love. The bottom line is that you deserve to be loved, cherished and heard, and a narcissist is simply incapable of it.

 

 

 

*Definitions of “love” and “empathy” are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

During the Relationship With a Narcissist, You Become an Expert at Lying…Mostly to Yourself

How have you allowed yourself to stay in this abusive relationship so long? The answer is really quite simple, you lie to yourself. You fool yourself into desperately believing that things will get better, that he or she will change. How could those glimmers of greatness that your partner exhibited in the early stages of your relationship have faded away forever? It is because he or she was never that person to begin with. It was all a façade to snag you in the first place.

Also, it is due to the cycle of the “pedestal and the pit” that I discussed in my post, The Ways That Narcissists Abuse. For example, he isn’t terrible all of the time right? If he was, it would surely be easier to leave him wouldn’t it? He is smart enough to realize that if he is bad for too long, you will get fed up and go. So he will throw a bit of sweetness your way, just to wet your appetite to keep you hoping that he may return to the wonderful person that you thought he was in the beginning. You lie to yourself every day. You do not trust your gut feeling that he may just be a terrible person, a narcissist with no soul.

But then that has other consequences, you start to question your own judgment. How could I have made such a bad decision in choosing this person to share my life with? I know that I sure did. I couldn’t come to grips with my awful luck with men until I faced the cold truth and realized that I had been lying to myself all along. I chose to ignore the red flags waving in the breeze when I first began to date him. The fairytale blinded me! I do not blame myself nor do I blame you for falling prey to the unobtrusive spider. However, I want to open your eyes to what I recently discovered, you need to ask yourself the hard questions. You need to figure out what your weak spots are and wipe them clean so you never get stuck in this situation again.

As if lying to yourself was not bad enough, you begin lying to all those people you hold so dear. You don’t lie to be malicious, you lie to keep them from worrying about you. Or you lie to make them see your partner as a good person. You would hate for your friends and family to see him as he really is, so you make excuses for him, you cover-up for him. That is what I did. I felt ashamed that I was trapped with this manipulative and uncaring human being, so I overcompensated with tales of his good deeds or nice words, and conveniently left out the bad parts, and the hurtful comments that he dished out.

This kind of editing is not all that different from what people do on social media sites, I guess. But, I could not live a false life like that anymore. I needed an escape, I needed to live an authentic life where I was comfortable living the way I wanted. The truth, no matter how much it hurts, will come out. Nothing will scare off a narcissist like the truth. So I say, let the truth rain down and clear those muddy waters!

Narcissists are hypersensitive, easily offended and have no sense of humor about themselves

The narcissist is not able to handle any kind of criticism, whether constructive or not. They are hypersensitive. They can dish it out but cannot take it. They make jabs at you or your loved ones and then pretend that they did not. For example, he may say that you look fat in that outfit, then when you react to the hurtful comment he says “I am just kidding, you are so sensitive!” Narcissists quickly turn it around and make you the one with the problem. Or they flat out deny that their statement was meant to be offensive and say that you are reading into their comment negatively.

Narcissists do not “fit in” when around a group of people, no matter how hard they appear to try.  The narcissist is like a stoic rock post standing amongst the trees.  It may try to mimic the height of the trees, but it cannot ever become a tree. It is simply not made of the same stuff.  Because narcissists are not able to feel emotion, they cannot identify with people’s feelings and needs.  When you think back to his sense of humor, you may remember him being fun and silly and able to laugh at jokes, trying to blend in.  However, he reacts differently if the jokes are made at his expense. He may lash out at the joker, or act wounded and as a victim.

The narcissist views himself as perfect and does not want to be seen by anybody as less than so. Therefore, any joke that is aimed at him will make him react in a oversensitive manner. The narcissist is easily offended because jokes at their expense puts them in a less than perfect light. My narcissist could never even be called a pet name that he viewed as undignified. Once I sweetly teased him that he could get lost coming home from the grocery store. Then he overreacted by saying “That is not nice! Why are you being so mean to me? I cannot believe you would talk to me like that!” Even though, he routinely missed his turns so often that it became comical. However, it was ok for him to make jokes at my expense, and when I spoke up, he would accuse me of “being no fun, or too sensitive.”

My narcissist was almost a prude about certain things, he would never pee when I was in the bathroom, he was terrified that I might see him in an vulnerable position. I wouldn’t have looked, but I thought that after seven years of marriage we could let the boundaries down a little bit. Who cares? But he always made a big deal out of it and kicked me out of the bathroom, even if I was busy brushing my teeth, so that he could use the toilet.

God forbid if I had stressful day and would be a little bit testy. He felt that I should have a smile on my face at all times. If I didn’t, he would make comments like “Why don’t you just be happy?” Well, nothing irks me like someone telling me how to feel. I felt that he was trying to strip away my rights to my own feelings. He never let me just be cranky without serious consequences. He would call me out and start a fight with me, instead of just giving me some much needed space, which would have made me in a much better state of mind. Then after the brawl, I would have no choice but to “put on my happy face” or else face another dispute. So in the end, he always won.

Heightened sensitivity to people’s remarks is a trait of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is a type of paranoia that is difficult to live with. My narcissist always took offense to even innocent comments by coworkers, my family, and me. It always made me unsteady when he would ask me what I thought other people meant when they talked to him about something that day. I would have to constantly bring him back down to earth by saying that people are not out to get him, or to take jabs at him, but that he reads into their ordinary conversations. He still did not believe me. He would accuse me of being too trusting and naive. I touch upon this kind of paranoia in my other article, What are the signs of NPD?

This oversensitivity does not get better, the narcissist never “loosens up.” They are always getting their “feelings hurt,” even though they don’t have feelings like you and me, they are empty inside.

 

Top 13 Signs that you are in an Abusive Relationship with a Narcissist

1-You find yourself constantly making excuses to friends and family for him and his behavior. That is what I did. When my parents or friends would question me about my narcissist’s statements or actions, I would find myself always trying to explain away the reason behind it. He could never interact in a normal way with my dearest loved ones. He seemed distant, but would be overbearing and dominate the conversations if it was on a topic that he liked. My mom would try to be nice and ask him questions and his eyes would glaze over and he would act if he didn’t hear her and walk away. (If I was not present that is, otherwise he was on good behavior) I found myself saying things like, “Oh he is just sensitive about that topic.” or “He just loves me and wants to spend a lot of time with me.” or even “He works hard and he is worn out, he is stressed.”

2-You don’t see friends and family much anymore because it is easier not to, since he will ruin your time with them anyway. So you stop going to avoid his guilt trips, or he sucks the fun out of it if you do go. My narcissist would make if feel like he was sacrificing so much by going to visit my parents, a few times a year if that. He would give me glaring faces if he felt annoyed there. He would give me the silent treatment when we were alone in a room together when there, or he would accuse me or my family of making statements to “upset him.” He would ask me things like “Why did you mom say so many nice things about your cousin‘s husband? I think she likes him more than me, maybe your parents would rather you be with him instead.” Crazy talk!!! Then I would have to spend the rest of the trip there trying to reassure him that my parents did like him, and that he was reading into their statements too much. They were nothing but wonderful to him, my mom would even spend hours cooking fancy meals just because my narcissist liked particular dishes. But he still saw them as an enemy. They just wanted to spend some time with me, and he resented that. He wanted me all to himself.

3-You find that you are becoming a super sleuth. You are hungry for information on why your partner is behaving so erratically. You research online, go to the library for books on personality disorders, reading people’s blogs for clues that could help you understand what you are dealing with. In my case, I could not put my finger on it until one phone conversation with my mom. She said she thought my partner was a narcissist. I did not even know that that meant, besides loving oneself too much. Boy, the next thing I did was Google Narcissist Personality Disorder, and my life was changed forever. I finally discovered what it was that was so vile in my relationship. It saved my life.

4-You find yourself constantly questioning yourself “What did I do that offended him so badly? Am I really such a bad person?”

5-You are shocked and rendered tongue tied during arguments with your partner because he turns it around on you and he always ends up the victim and you apologizing to him. Narcissists are so good at this manipulation because they remember every little thing you tell them and store it in a mental tally and use it when they need to get one over you. It is not a way to play fair, but it is what they excel at.

6-Your “gut” doesn’t feel right. Something about him doesn’t set right with you but you cannot put your finger on it because he has too many other good traits that you weigh more heavily in his favor. This is because you are an “empath” a person with highly empathetic tendencies, you give people second chances or figure that he will “get better” the longer you are together. However, it never gets better, it just gets worse. Mistrust is embedded in the narcissists code. I swear, my narcissist also had the markers of Paranoid Personality Disorder.

7-You feel like maybe you are too “negative” or not “grateful” or that maybe the problem in your relationship is actually you! This is a hallmark of how narcissists make their victim feel. Because the narcissist honestly believes he is the superior, perfect mate, how could anything be his fault? Therefore, it must be yours. Don’t fall for it.

8-You keep thinking to yourself that things will get better if… you just move to a different house, state, job. These are all just distractions.

9-You hide (or lose) parts of yourself that they don’t approve of. Over time you find that you have lost so much of yourself that you don’t even recognize yourself and feel empty inside. You lose confidence to make even the smallest decision without their input.

10-You walk on eggshells (more like shards of glass) that are littered with landmines. No matter how carefully you tiptoe, you are bound to trigger an explosion sooner or later, usually when you least expect it.

11-You have been absorbed by your partner. Your partner wants you to be his family, his friend, his lover his everything, but does not want to share you with anyone. You have become so isolated from friends and family and hobbies and yourself that you cannot function happily. Even when we visited my family, if I did not sit next to him on the couch he became indignant and furious with me when we went to bed that night. He was so upset by it and couldn’t understand why my parents would want to sit next to me instead of him. I told him that he was crazy. I only see my parents a few times a year because my husband moved me so far away from them. He expects unreasonable closeness in all circumstances. It is suffocating.

12-You become anxious and nervous in the presence of others while around him. You don’t want other people to see him for what a vile person he is, so you overcompensate with attention towards him in the presence of others to keep him under control. Because if he feels like he is not the center of your attention, he will either act out, whether people are around or not. Or he will make your life a living hell with silent treatment or rages when you are finally alone together.

13-You can’t do anything right. You never win an argument. You are always the loser in the blame game. When he loses something, it is your fault, when anything does not go his way, it is your fault. Need I elaborate?

So, if you are experiencing any of these feelings, please open you eyes and trust your gut and leave your narcissist relationship. It is not healthy. It does kill you slowly, body and soul. Gather strength, knowledge and courage and save yourself. I am so thankful that I did. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I am still in the process of a divorce with children, but I have faith and hope that I will make it… one day at a time.

Victim has false sense of control in a narcissistic relationship

It’s beyond my control…I realize that now.
You cannot control someone else’s behavior, you can only control your own.

Being in a relationship with a narcissist makes you feel that if you behave differently, it will stall or stop their maltreatment of you. You feel that your actions can help to control their cruel behavior. This is a false sense of control. You are stuck inside a cage.  The narcissist is the one holding all of the cards, they are the puppet masters. You are merely a pawn in their game. Even if you do everything exactly the way they want, they will still find something wrong, something is your fault, or you could have done something better.

Nothing will ever be good enough for a narcissist. Therefore, you walk on eggshells because you never really know what will set them off. However, along the way, you have learned some of their triggers. Because when a narcissist feels offended, slighted, or not in control, they will struggle to regain that control by using a multitude of tactics like belittling, challenging, denying, raging, gaslighting, lecturing, pouting, threatening or giving the silent treatment.

As a result of this schooling, you are determined to avoid making these “mistakes” in the future and subconsciously go to great lengths to avoid stepping on these land mines again. This is how narcissists use abuse as a way to gain control over you. They may do it obviously or they may do it subtly, for example by saying “You look so much prettier with your hair down.” A seemingly innocuous statement, however, it lets you know that they want you to wear your hair a certain way. If you don’t conform to their expectations, then they keep mentioning it and eventually may even say that you don’t care if they find you attractive because you refuse to wear your hair the way that they like it. You are basically a dog to them. A dog that they don’t particularly like. They want you to be subservient to them. The narcissist is omnipotent, a god (in his own eyes). They expect ADMIRATION, RESPECT and COMPLIANCE at all times.

No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to get it right. You are desperate to please, you find yourself constantly going to the narcissist for their opinion or help because you become afraid to make even the simplest decisions for yourself. This inability stems from the constant struggle you have with the narcissist not approving of your past decisions or opinions. So, to avoid any future issues, you just go to the source, so you “don’t have to hear it” if they disapprove of your choice, because they are going to be the final say on the matter anyway. For example, he would question my clothing choices for going to see his family or out to a restaurant. He wanted me to wear a dress every time. Even if it was a casual restaurant. He hated when I wore jeans, even though I always looked fashionable with high heels and a fancy top. He also hated anything that looked “like a hippie.” Well, that killed me because I am bohemian at heart and love that style. He tried to make me into something I am not. Narcissists strip away the strongest parts of you that they used to admire because it threatens their control over you.

It was exhausting to be involved in a narcissistic abusive relationship. Talking to a friend about my decision to divorce him, I compared my relationship to that of a horse with a broken leg. I believe that as difficult as it was, and how I hated to, there was no other option but to kill it and walk away. My hand was forced, it was beyond my control. For if I had stayed, I would have surely died inside. It was me or him. As much as I loved him, (the illusion of what he was and our future) I love myself more.