Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation
One of the tragedies of narcissistic abuse is that victims never get the validation so desperately wanted from their abuser(s), to help them recover from narcissistic abuse.
When a Healthy Person Hurts Someone
When healthy-minded people hurt someone, whether deliberate or not, or whether they agree with an alternate account of what happened or not, it is their validation of the other person’s perspective that allows the other person to recover. And it is that validation that allows the relationship to repair.
When a Narcissist Abuses Others
That never happens with narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), by nature, blinds the abusers to their responsibility for the devastation they cause. When confronted with the casualties of their behavior, they always believe that they are the ones being victimized.
Victims of NPD abuse are met with rejection, judgment, dismissal and disproportionate rage at any mention of wrongdoing by the perpetrator. NPD abusers infamously tell their victims to “stop living in the past” or to “get over it already,” even though they remember everything their victims ever did or said and will use these things to hurt them over and over again.
It is very difficult for any of us, abused or otherwise, to move forward from any type of assault or tragedy when our feelings and emotions are so adamantly discounted. It is especially trying for NPD abuse victims who have suffered constant devaluation and “gas lighting” (invalidation) of their perception of reality.
How to Recover from Narcissistic Abuse without Validation
Healing and moving on from pathological narcissistic abuse requires immense inner strength, the very strength that narcissists systematically try to strip from their victims. Survivors must rebuild what they’ve lost, or create what was never created in the first place. That is not an easy feat, but it is an attainable goal; something that must be done for personal sanity and peace of mind.
It doesn’t seem fair. Survivors must do all the work; they need extensive counseling, must stay dignified under the pressure of unfair judgment, must take actions that feel contrary to their natural behavior or inclinations, and must accept the reality that they will never make sense out of the irrational behavior exhibited by their narcissistic abuser.
Survivors have the right to live their lives unencumbered by the abuse of their past. They have the right to live happy lives, despite the malevolent intent of narcissistic abusers that wish them otherwise. And they have the right to do whatever is needed to protect themselves from abusive relationships. Saying “yes” to happiness means saying “no” to toxic relationships.
If you are suffering from narcissistic personality disorder abuse, do not waste another day in pain and feeling powerless. Seek professional help with someone who has lived and fully understands this confusing disorder. Decide to take your power back today.
This article was written by:
Randi Fine is a narcissistic personality disorder abuse expert, radio show host of A Fine Time for Healing, author, and life issues counselor practicing by telephone worldwide. She resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Find Randi on Facebook and on her website.
To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.
Author, G. (2015, October 15). Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, October 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2015/10/recovering-from-narcissistic-abuse-without-validation
Author: Guest Author
This is a wonderful article. Unfortunately as empaths we have to understand there is no closure when dealing with narcissistic abuse. This is what we seek and we seek some sort of explanation and justification of what was done to us but it doesn't exist when dealing with narcissists. We have to close the door, walk away, and be grateful every minute for our freedom. Being free of abuse is our gift.
The phrase that keeps circling my brain is “I can’t believe this happened to me.”
I thought I had strong boundaries, a keen sense of self, and a promising life. But my mystical thinking, my belief that this person was potentially “my person”, led to a complete breakdown of my well-being. I never lost my identity, per se, being incredibly strong-willed and practiced in self-centering, but I did begin to doubt my worth, values, and sanity as well as doubt other people and relationships in my life. Being in a relationship with a narcissist caused me to behave in ways I never imagined I could (breaking objects because I was just so angry I couldn’t contain it), to feel things I never thought I would (severely depressed and suicidal). I am still spinning, trying to make sense of it all.
I also feel the shame of being a man in this relationship, often feeling like no one will really believe me or will think that I couldn’t possibly be abused because men have more systemic power. She also told me she was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and used that diagnoses to explain her behavior. Was that a lie? Or a misdiagnosis? Whatever the case I ended up becoming so disoriented from the gaslighting that she suggested I might be bi-polar, and actually I was convinced for a little bit until I went to therapy and he was like, ummm no I think not.
It’s so so so sooooo hard to swallow that they manipulated me and hurt me intentionally. It almost seemed like a compulsion for them. Like they knew they were hurting me (sometimes) but didn’t mean to but couldn’t stop.
Does anyone else have experience with the Vulnerable Narcissist as opposed to the Malignant version? This is what I think I was dealing with and I just cannot wrap my head around it. It was so subtle and insidious and yet I was protective of them and dismissed anyone’s concern who expressed that it might be a toxic relationship because they were struggling with mental illness and I wanted to make sure they knew I loved and supported them unconditionally. Why would they take advantage of that and tear me down over and over...The confusion is unbearable.
I'm with you, brother. My ex took off in February. She spent 2 months convincing me we would reconcile. We went to counseling and we would talk on the phone for hours. But then she would disappear for days. Finally in May, a week after the most recent "let's tart with a clean slate" and "I miss you" she tells me she doesn't love me anymore, yells incoherently at me and hangs up. She then disappeared for lost of May and again in June.
I completely understand the head spinning mind f**k. She swept me off my feet 7 years ago. I thought we had a connection that was deeper than anything I've ever known. She walked away like it was nothing to her.
I just came across this site today. I also saw that your post is fairly recent. This is something I am going through also and have been almost nonstop for the last 2 years. I don’t know who to turn to but I am at a breaking point and don’t know who to turn to with help to make it through this somehow and someday.
Hi , I’m susie, i have been putting up with narcissistic abuse from my daughter for years and in the last couple of months she has got so bad, she has broke me down to my lowest point and I don’t know what to do any more .My family all assure me I have been a great mum but I feel she is trying to turn everyone against me.My mum in law passed away March 2nd this year and my daughters 27th birthday was March 6th ,we were to busy organising the funeral and she was only bothered about her birthday and called me a horrible disgusting person because I wasn’t giving her attention, this was a very sad time for us but feel I haven’t been able to mourn as she is making it all about her . Her rage is like something from a horror film and the things she says are so hurtful. .My husband and the rest of the family have told me to block her from my phone so I don’t have to read the abussive texts she sends me . I have a wonderful family who are there for me but feel unless you are the one getting the abuse you don’t understand how your insides feel I’ve constantly got knots in my stomach and feel ill with it all.The hardest thing is understanding why she hates me so much, I have four kids and-she is my only daughter . I feel like I have to cut all ties with her but then that would make me a bad mum!!!
It is the most painful and empowering thing a woman can do, leave their Narc partner. I didn’t realize what I was going thru, it took a friend to tell me I was with a Narc. I walked away from my job, family and friends to go start a life with my partner in another state. As we started living together the emotional abuse started, he knew I needed to financially depend on him and he would take away at a moments notice. It left me unraveled. One minute it’s I love you so much- the next it’s your selfish and I’ve given you everything! It took all my strength but I left. Even knowing I still loved him. Women and men, fight for yourself! Find a friend, a family member anyone who you can turn to and get out of the cycle of abuse.
How were you able to leave? I am financially dependent on my narc husband and am also pregnant with his second child. We moved cross country so he can work for our fathers company (our fathers wre bhsiness partners, thats how I met him) and now we live close to his family. I have no money for a divorce and no one even believes the extent of the abuse. I really don't know where to start!
Many, many thanks to all of you strong and caring people for taking your precious time out to help all of us who read your stories to gain some perspective of what has happened or indeed still happening to some poor souls. I have found this site and all of your comments invaluable in helping me to understand and to escape from my NPD partner. It was very hard and I am still struggling as he is not due to leave until tomorrow with all his stuff for good. I am praying that he does go as promised. half his stuff(clothes etc) are already gone, so I am holed up in my room alone trying to keep safe and waiting. My nerves are shattered and although i am in bits i’m holding out(just about) thank you all once again, for caring enough to post your experiences, and I wish you all the best for your futures narcissist free xx
I have been with this man for almost 3 years. I do believe he is a narccisist but i have only been learning about it recently. When we first got together hes was the most amazing man the the world. I was the happiest i believe i had ever been. Everything would be perfect then he would disappear. He left and came back like 3 times. Being gone from 1-3 weeks. I still took him back. That was over the first 6 months. After that it was perfect again. Soon everything was about about him. He had me move from my home to another county which is something normally i would have never done. I had three kids and was close with my family. I never even considered moving away. Once we moved everuthing was about him. Even things like caring for my kids upset him he would say i was ignoring him. I drew disability and all money was in his control. He did not work and was on drugs. We soon lost our home and my kids were took by state. After that he still wanted me to evalve around him. When i would have appointments for my kids he would take off last minute or all the sudden my car wouldnt start. After it was to late to go he would leave in the car no problem. I was not to ralk to anyone but him. At first he never left my side. W
Then at the end be was gone most of the time. He would leave earl when he woke up and come home late. When he was here all i was to do was sit with him doing nothing. But yet he would not act like i was even there. He would not talk or acknowledge me unless it was for se ual favor. Yet if i would try to do something else he would tell me not cause he wanted us to talk and then would go back to ignoring me. He has kept me on a drug since late the first year. I went to a meeting about one of my kids and they gave me a drug test. I had ecstasy in my system at really high levels and i have never done or been around it. Before that point i believed i was going crazy. I was confused and he swore i was doing things i thought i knew he had done. It was after this i. Came across a website about narccisism. I had never heard of it before. He still says he loves and needs me. But its always followed by he wishes i could love him or he accuses me of cheatting. When he knows for one i never would but also that its not possible. It has been about 24 hrs since i left and currently i feel numb no emotion at all. Could this be normal. Part of me wants to miss him but then he was rarely here. I have alot of confusion and im seeking to find help. But any advice would help. Am i crazy or was he wrong or maybe both. I really dont know anymore. Nothing makes since.
I am a lesbian and just realized now that my four relationship has ended that I was dealing with a Narcissist. It feels kike my whole world is lost and I am a walking confused shell of a person. I am not working right now and just don't know what to do but I have to fight because I have a 11 year old who is in a ware and even my relationship with her I feel it's ruined. I put everything into my relationship even though I still took care of my daughter. I still feel kike a fool and like I have no where to turn. The pain is unbearable and I slowly feel like I'm emotionally dying. I am so lost and don't know how I will pick up the pieces of my life..m.??
It will be incredibly painful for several months, like kicking a drug habit. Eventually you will come out the other side, but you must stay away. Your ex will try to come back eventually, if you let her the abuse will keep getting worse. Do it for your daughter until you are stronger. I have been through this myself more than once. No contact is the only way, they only come back to hurt you even worse.
I've just been discarded from a 8 yr toxic relationship with a narc,I've never felt so low in my life I'm into my 8th week free from him,it is so hard because I miss him he was a big part of my life,he ended it over txt and had already sourced his new supply,little does she know she will go through exactly the same as I did,the night before he txt he had said he loved me.the hardest part is is getting my head around the last 8yrs was a lie,I also feel very sorry for his next victim,at the moment I need to find the strength to get out this black hole and get some self love back.
I was discarded....again...the day after valentines day and a few days before my birthday. I made the mistake of going to his shop to help him as we worked together anyway. He went crazy, flagged down the police and made me leave. He told them he wants a non molestation order against me. Two days before we had all had a lovely day out together. I have since found out that he has been telling everyone that we haven't been together for ages and i don't work on his shop anymore. Funny how I was the one keeping of open when he was away telling these lies.
He has a boat in the barn at my house but he is refusing to collect it. If I do anything with it he will have me arrested for criminal damage as he has done in the past. I have children so I don't want to put myself in that situation. I just don't understand if I'm all the things he says I am and he is clearly seeing someone else.....which he denies.....why won't he just collect his boat so I don't have to keep looking at it?...it hurts....its like he won't let me move on yet has made it clear he doesn't want me. He has now joined the Jehovah witnesses. I'm a mess but I don't want to feel like this forever
I feel for you. I was in a very similar situation, where I worked with the guy for almost three years and it all ended in an instant. No arguement, nothing. He just told me to never speak to him again, goodbye. When I tried to return his equipment and paperwork for his business he accused me of stalking, and even turned my children against me. For almost a year I felt powerless, that this man was in control of my life and there was nothing I could do. I thought it must be my fault (which is what the narcissist wants you to think of course).
I do not know your exact situation, but I think you have already made a very positive step by recognising this as narcissistic abuse. It took me a long time to acknowledge that, and was the first step to recovery. Then I looked into my legal rights, from a business point of view. Not something I wanted to do to someone I was so close to, but it was necessary. It helped me a lot to discover that I had rights, that there was something I could do.
One thing I learned is that you can not save a relationship with a narcissist, or end one amicably. A narcissist never really knows who you are, because you are simply a source of fulfilment for them. Once they move on, you become irrelevant. I think this is why the narc in my life accused me of stalking. To him, I was a stranger annoying him, so he genuinely believed it. I did the worst thing I could possibly have done, and tried to defend myself. I pleaded with him to stop saying these things, which of course made it worse. When I started to realise this, I started to let go of the relationship, or hopes of an amicable parting. But I was still trapped by business issues and property, and like you I did not want the reminder. I think a part of me wanted him to collect this stuff, so we could have another chance at an amicable parting.
This is why it helped to discover my legal rights. I have not yet decided what I will do, but it did help to know that I could do something. I don’t know where you are, or the law there, but there must be some system of fair notice. If you offer him the option to recover his boat by provable means (such as an email or registered post) and give him a reasonable amount of time to collect you should be free to dispose of it after that time. Maybe worth looking into? I know that for me I will never truly be able to move on while I still have this stuff reminding me, and probably still deep down hope for that last interraction....good luck! Xx
I was married to covert narcissist for 23 years . My ather was a narcissist but I was his golden child and that was extremely difficult to navigate as my mom and kids see him as the victim martyr role he is presenting. My biggest concern is helping my adult children understand the impact he’s had on them and the parental alienation he is trying to accomplish with them. Do you have any resources or counseling referrals you could suggest. I think the sooner they understand why they struggle with addiction and
Codependency the easier it will be to seek help. ANY ADVICE you could forward along would help me and my kids immensely . Thanks so much , Lisa
I have been at the receiving end of the narcissistic discard.
I'm 22 and the relationship in actuality lasted for about 8 months. The worst time of my life.
It started with the usual love bombing phase and since it was my first relationship I even though after knowing something seemed "off" went ahead with the relationship.
He never seemed to hear any of my emotional pleas and was never ever there to have my back. The abuse started 3 months into the relationship. Everytime he would treat me like shit and never resolved the issues. I would inevitably take him back. He purposely tried to make me jealous of other females even though I'm considered an attractive and smart woman. By the time it reached the six months mark I was reduced to a former shadow of myself with constant abuse and hits on my self esteem.
He left me after final physical abuse eventually but continued to take advantage of me both physically and financially, which I did in the hopes that he would come back.
He is in the same class as me so I have to look at him everyday. He has made me chase him and then blatantly ignored me and destroyed my reputation as being the crazy ex , at times going to the length of saying to.his friends to date me so.that I'm off his back. He told me all this himself with a smirk.
He still continues to toy with me while knowing how things are affecting me and I believe he sometimes take pride in my miserable times.
I've been following no contact but some days such as these are very hard on me, especially when I have to see him everyday with his new supply.
I hope to make through this situation without losing myself.
I am in a situation where he is about to throw me In prison for three years if I don't get out and get help now. He is a man of steel with a deep and dark heart. I need help.
This is an excellent account of narcissistic abuse. I lost almost everything to a man who never existed. He devalued my acheivments and all my life experiences. Cheated on me drove my family away by his tantrums, bullied me. I did everything to please him and it was like living with a spoilt child, i dreaded his moods. He cheated on me and then try to make out he was nothing. He would blow up over the smallest perceived slight.I lived on egg shells. Then he left me abruptly I was in shock, he left on a whim and went back to his ex wife after x amount of years. Since then he has contacted me and wanted to get back with me, left a flower on my car several times. I have struggled to remain contact free, but I must for my own sanity. I am able to look back and see how I ended up with this N. I was vulnerable when he met me, he loved bombed me then devalued me and discarded me over and over again. I was a shadow of my former self. He really broke me , told me what to wear eat even once how to breathe! But I'm freee I'm so glad he left me. I'm rebuilding my life and I now see the signs. I fear I have been damaged by this relationship I dont know how to get over that. UK
Not knowing these demons existed, I married one almost 10 years ago. In my opinion I married the worst kind of narc, he is a phsicatris and using his station as a doctor to get away with way more than he should. The courts and other professionals believe his ward over mine, at least that's how it feels. When I went to court to file for full custody because he was physically abusive (and I had proof of it) and a alcoholic, I walked away with shared parenting because nobody would touch him because he was a doctor and I had no degree or career because of him. Our legal system sucks and there not going to take notice until something horrible happens to my kids in his care for anyone to listen.
Even though I'm divorced from him and live clear across town, I can't seem to get away from his reach of Narc behavior. I'm trying to move on but still feel like I'm drowning in his abuse.
I finally left my covert narc husband after 11 years of marriage last weekend. I feel that I am on the edge of a cliff and leaping into the darkness without wings...... I have no job, a rented tiny cottage and little money but I have retained my sanity and I am grateful that the very things he tried to destroy in me have survived along with my will to be happy. Having a child with him I have to face the threats of annihilation he has been throwing at me for most of our marriage: the threat to destroy me financially, take custody of our child and leave me with absolutely nothing not even my good name. After our 3rd year of marriage I knew that something was abnormal in the way he acted, communicated, related to me. But to the outside world he was the most perfect, charitable kind and generous man you could meet. That is why I fell in love with him but after much reading I accidently came across narc books and realised that he held a vast number of 'covert' narc traits since I first met him 20 years ago - I must take responsibility for not walking away permanently back then. After 2 cycles of counselling throughout the last 3 years not one counsellor told me that he had narc covert traits - had this been pointed out to me I would have began to realise the numerous covert narc techniques he had used on me over the years repeatedly, most obvious being 'gaslighting'. For all of our marriage I have blamed myself for most of our 'problems' because how could such a good decent man be the problem? Of course I deserved everything he threw at me because as he said he was a good family man who worked hard for his family; so what if he became angry or gave me the cold shoulder for days, weeks or months at a time as I deserved it as I made him angry (although he wasn't 'angry' just 'frustrated' and it was my fault) I on the other hand was the lazy ungrateful unappreciative wife - that is why I deserved to have no affection, intimacy or empathy or compassion. I must also put up with his constant porn use since I had 'driven' him to it (he repeatedly has denied using it even with hard evidence produced in his face) - a therapist had after all told him he clearly had no addiction if as he said he 'could take porn or leave it' therefore his porn use was in retaliation for having a bad marriage and terrible wife (the doctor clearly was taken in by his narc strategies to fool her); He could of course do what he liked since he paid the bills and he brought in the money. If I didn't like it I could go and find some other 'sucker' who would quickly realise what a terrible person I was (a bad mother, a bad wife, a bad daughter, a bad human being) . He recently for the millionth time told me that no one would put up with me and I would one day (when it was all too late and he had found someone younger and wonderful) realise what a horrific mistake I had made but he had tried to make me see but failed as I was stubborn and always had been)... I was also good looking but that was it... 'there was nothing else to say about me other than my looks'. The full dawning of the abuse I had suffered, the full realisation to its extent only occurred on reading Malignant Self Love - Sam Vaknin. This book (hard reading) saved my life and sanity and gave me the courage to realise firstly I was the victim of abuse and secondly that no amount of couples counselling or changes in my behaviour (for example: find a highly paid job that matched his earnings) would 'mend/heal' my husband's dysfunction. After reading this book 2016 I immediately made my final counselling cycle appointment and thank god she had read Vaknin and was fully aware of the specific covert narc traits and after numerous sessions was in full agreement with my assumptions - she advised me for the sake of my health (I have been left with a 'shake' and stress hair loss), my mental health and the wellbeing of my child to escape my abuser husband at the earliest and safest opportunity. Sometimes it is extremely helpful to name a 'thing' and to know who your enemy is, what you are dealing with..... Once I knew for definite that this man that I married in the beautiful tropical islands in mid-2000s never existed, had never existed but only in my own imagination (and those of course who he wishes to hoodwink), the more I could research the Narc Covert traits and gain power from this knowledge - it has been invaluable and I advise anyone in a similar position to do the same. I must say there is a huge amount of information out there on the web and in books that focus entirely on Narc overts and this is why my husband's disorder never made sense since he didn't 'fit' into the overt Narc criteria (well only a handful of traits) therefore this really needs to change if women and men are to be educated to identify these types of people and to avoid them at all costs in the first instance. I lost my mother recently in horrific circumstances but my husband and his abuse prevented me from grieving. Even on the day of her funeral I began to make concrete mental plans to leave him and felt my mother's spirit urging me on (she suffered chronic domestic abuse during her own marriage).... And so now I am here typing this up in my own safe space with my child asleep in the next room. With my husband I lived in our beautiful big house in a beautiful village yet over the years I began to feel a deep overriding depression of hopelessness..... life, energy and spirit was draining from me from every pore. He occupied my every thought; I can see that now. My spirit was on the verge of being broken - he clearly through his abuse wanted to wipe me off the face of the earth - to obliterate me and that is what he nearly succeeded in doing and that realisation fills me with shock since when we met I was a strong, capable and fun/life loving woman filled with joy, hope and optimism. I am a shell of my former self. But I know what I have to do. I know I must heal and grow again and be a better version than I ever was before the abuse because that way I will never fall for a Narc again whether covert or overt or otherwise. I wish everyone who is reading this site because they realise they are being abused a very happy and narc-free life...... take courage, get out of the abuse and be the person you were born to be. We only have one life........ (A from UK)
This is the best comment I have read in explaining the process of being abused from beginning to end. This is ME!! I have been separated from my husband for over a year now, and I am finally starting to heal and find myself again. I have never met anyone in my life like my husband, I had no idea such demons existed.. thanks for sharing your story, it truly hit home for me and I am so glad I finally get clarity on my darkness!
I am a man and in similar circumstances to you. Separated from my wife in May because of Nacissistic abuse. To the world she looks perfect but at home very verbally abusive. Hang in there, please get the help and support you need. I have sought professional counseling that is very good at understanding Narcissistic abuse. I have to really hold on to the truth as it happened because mutual friends will try to downplay it. I have had to leave organizations and groups because of her influence. It does get better just takes time take care of yourself. Don't be afraid of your feelings, opinions and who you are. They tried to take this from us, I have had to rely in my faith in God and Jesus through this as they saw what really went on. Hope this helps, you are not alone.
Thank you for your kind words, it's refreshing to hear from someone who totally understands what I'm going through! I do have the professional help I need; however, it's remains a daily struggle for me. Educating myself has probably helped me the most. It's just hard for me to turn it all off (emotions & thoughts). Thanks for your reply, I wish you well!
Thank you both for your kind words. I am very pleased if only one person can find the strength to escape their personal hell or gain some form of clarity around this terrible human dysfunction through the reading of my story and make plans to leave. Others I hope will just gain comfort from knowing that someone out there understands the hell they have endured if being forced to live in similar circumstances. I really hope that someone somewhere will write some well researched evidence based books based on Covert Narcissism only as it is destroying lives and is clearly poorly identified even by those professionals working in relationship counselling/therapies. Such books would literally save the lives and sanity of thousands of people. I would be interested to know if the tactics used by Coverts in gas lighting etc for example are similar to those processes used by brain washing perpetrators. I can't help feel that I have been brain washed over the years of my marriage. May be this is a critical key in the process of recovery! Keep positive, keep plodding on forwards and never never look back.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience. You truly give me hope. I am also married and have children with a covert narc with the seemingly beautiful life, which is of course one big facade. I've been a target to my husband since I was 14 and I see these disgusting traits in a of his family members too...right now i am pregnant with his second child and am also a stay at home mom without a solid income so I definitely need to start from the ground up....thanks again for sharing your story. Much blessings to you.
I just left covert narc husband after10 years together. Now that I'm healing myself, I can see that my mom was a narcissist and I've pretty much been groomed for this bs. as a child, I wondered why am I a good person when I should/ could be a great person. Then I left for college and didn't have to suffer her as directly.
Then I met narc spouse. Some stupid things I remember was being afraid that he would hear me pee. But I thought that was just nervousness from starting dating. Then when we lived together, I'd be scared to pee in the middle of the night because he'd get mad if I flushed and woke him up.. but if I didn't flush he'd be mad about seeing what was left in the latrine. And I had so much undo stress about something as dumb as that. And THAT was just the beginning. it just kept getting worse on every facet until I started taking Prozac right after we got married. When I finally left is when I was considering taking ADHD mess because I couldn't think and had no motivation to do anything. I had a constant eye twitch. And my wrists/ hands didn't work. So I left the house to figure things out. And when I was out of his influence, I realized that I'd been abused.
I wasn't even planning to divorce then, either (baby steps). Until one day I went back into the house to pick up our young son and spouse lost his mind. He was screaming and crying and saying I was hollering at him (when in fact I was cowering on the floor in fear). So that's when i decided I would not be married any more.
I've lost a ton of friends because things have been set up as if he's the good, responsible partner and I'm the crazy, irresponsible one. But knowing that they will Never understand has made letting them go easy. Plus they were his friends. They are not ppl i would choose to befriend on my own. As an exhaust valve 2 years ago, I started doing stand up comedy. It's been therapeutic. I go to Al Anon, therapy and yoga.
Keep climbing, friends.
I first got with my gf 4years ago ,everything was fine at the start. Then slowly I noticed she was going at mad at me with things I never did like she would say I shouted at her when I didn't, I physically did things to her when I didn't. I couldn't understand what's going on I felt like am I going crazy? Am honest when it comes things i know am not perfect. I always apologize when I do wrong and try to change things to do better. She would never apologize gets angry when I confront her or ask her to apologize. She sends me texts or images that would make me think she's with some one else. when I confront her she always has a twist and say I didn't mean that or you got the wrong end of stick. Weeks days go by we don't talk n get back together as I feel sorry for her and keep thinking maybe I am in the wrong or at faults.
But i just don't understand what it is I feel like I am not myself I feel drained dead inside. I was bubbly confident person before I met her.. I find it really hard to move on with life and she's drilled my head I will never ever find anyone like her and the grass is not always greener her exact word . I feel bit lost and stuck.
Can this be me in the fault am I just playing mr softy and probably feeling sorry for myself or is she just a wrong character. I don't know the difference or right or wrong no more.
I'm another guy who has finally left his covert narcissistic wife. I don't have much to add to the descriptions in this story and in these responses. These descriptions have been told time and time again. I just wanted to point out how much more difficult it is for a man to get help when being abused by a covert narcissist. Once you've lived this, you eventually realize that the narcissist isn't lying to you when they accuse you of abuse, no matter how ridiculous or exaggerated the accusations. They actually feel that you have hurt them. It's called narcissistic harm. They truly believe they are a victim. As NPD is a personality disorder, it is both their perception of reality and their reaction to this perception which is affected without them even knowing it. All too often, this genuine belief is enough to convince others that the actual abuser is the victim of abuse. This is especially true and devastating when a divorce with young children occurs. The female narcissist will be able to create many "flying monkeys" through her claims of abuse and these people will help her in her quest for full control and full custody of the young children (who can't much understand the problem yet). This is happening to thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of families every year and our culture has very few means of addressing it as men are never thought of as the victim and women are never thought of as being the villain.
Thank you for the post. It has been so challenging for support to through this process. No one believes you and most importantly you want to do the right thing. Especially when we have kids. I have finally moved out of my house to leave a controlling wife. The abuse was that was given was that I am not leader. I can't be trusted. I am always destroying her. I don't make her feel good. The constant skepticism and anything that I might know. I am running for my life.
Yes justbrecovering. Getting my self esteem back, re engaging in my life again. Still grieving for the charming man I met. I have also lost so many friends from this relationship,I am lonely now
I have been with my narc for 20 years. On a family vacation to visit his family he and his mother blew up in my face about speaking to his ex brother in law. I was forced to leave the house without my kids and spent three nights in a hotel with no transportation until he decided to go back home and was nice enough to allow me to ride along ? I am prepared to file once we return home but because we have children how do I prepare for the rage that is anticipated because going no contact is not an option
I am just beginning my recovery from a N spouse. My first instinct is to tell YO that no contact IS an option. As unhealthy as your mate is for you tjey are that unhealthy for your children. Educate your children well in the strain that a Narc is suffering from and go no contact with compassion. I've been reading some on interventions for Narcs too. Good for you for getting out! Best thoughts go out to you.
I have recently left my narcisstic husband after 2 years.
When we first dated he was the ideal man, kind generous and loving. As soon as we got married his behaviour changed, he became cold uncaring ...it was , secretive, just strange I could never put my finger on it. I began to think it was me and that I was argumentative and unreasonable. He admitted he had an issue with OCD so I took him to see a psychiatrist - I never got to find out the results of the sessions due to patient confidentiality. It all came to a head when I became exhausted by his behaviour never eating, sleeping, silent treatment, refusing to share money , refusing to work and rude behaviour towards my family . It escalated into a massive argument which resulted in me finding out he had been previously been married, is violent and a compulsive gambler. I had a lucky escape . For me it was comforting to find out from his ex that he had already behaved in this manner with someone else. It wasn't me and I wasn't imaging it. I've only just realised that I have married to a narcisst and suffered narcisstic abuse . It's not something I had ever heard of before. My advice to anyone in a relationship with a narcist don't think they will ever change. They won't. The only person who will change is you - you will lose who you are . You have to be strong and leave before you forget who
She sounds just like my sister..
Im a man After 13 years with my wife. I had gone so far as hiding under the bed. I with drew from life. I wanted to die I felt so trapped. I gained 115 lbs. Had 2 heart attacks worked my self crazy to maintain her needs. When I had nothing left for her she found another man to abuse. She wanted to be freinds. I'm only know understanding why this has been so hard on me. I've been in combat under fire with no problems but this was killing me. I'm still getting a grip on it all
Recovery is so hard because you already gave away all your power, then you are left with none for yourself. He has moved on to another suppy and is happy as a clam. Meanwhile, you....the "ONE" he wanted forever, is left in a puddle of your own emptiness. Answering your own questions..."How could I have let this happen?" is impossible. It's hard to remember that it was his illness, not yours. He just dragged you into his world, just because you loved him and you believed he was who he represented himself to be.
No one understands the pain of a narcissistic relationship unless you have experienced the hurt first hand. The road to recovery is a road few victims travel. The first step is to want to feel better. From there dedicate yourself to change. Meaning picking up moving forward, and letting go of what has happened. Also, it is important to realize you cannot make a narcissist change or help them realize the pain they cause. Take the lid of life and choose to live again.
I'm glad that sites like these exist and that some light is being shed on the issues of dealing with people with personality disorders. So very few know about this.
I am nearly 4 years divorced from my NPD wife after 11 years of marriage. Mine was the terribly easy connection of an NPD with a Codependent - a dance that is easily started, difficult to end, and horribly devastating for one of the participants. I had never known about NPD until I sought therapy post divorce, and the "epiphany" of learning about this dynamic took so much off of my own psyche. But still, all this time later, I'm feeling the effects in many aspects of my life.
Part of the issue is that we have children together, so I am constantly exposed to my abuser and she still has ways of purposefully making my life miserable and exerting control wherever she can - and using the kids is fair game. Like many of you all have experienced, at times my NPD reaches out with kind words and false regret to draw me in. I realize it's her need for narc supply, but that does not prevent the heart strings from being pulled. We all know that this then cycles like the moon, and later she presses the buttons she knows will hurt me the most in order to inflict pain. The most terrible part is her innate knowledge on what to say to get the most pain possible. During our time together she stored all of my vulnerabilities, my fears, and my insecurities in her mind for the sole purpose of weaponizing them against me - and she is a master weapons maker.
I see her effects on my children, but courts and lawyers are just not as educated as they should be to this and my efforts to gain more custody fall on deaf ears. Thankfully, my kids naturally sense this and now that their parents apart they can feel the difference in their time with me compared to my ex. As they get older and have more control of where they stay I'm thankful they are choosing the safe environment that I am providing.
So we all know the abuse. We know the manipulation, the blame projection, the isolating, the gaslighting, and the loss of self. The trick here is where do we navigate after and try to find ourselves again? I've done therapy, medication, and read everything I could and I think I have a certain portion of the person I once was. I'm still so sad though and even a bit disappointed in myself. I seem to make certain choices still out of fear. Fear of conflict, fear of failure, fear of in any way doing something that could lead to that pain that almost killed me after my marriage broke up. I never was one to shy from a challenge or embrace a change in my life, but after this I am just so hesitant to step out of my comfort zone. It applies to work, to my finances, and even to relationships I've had. I hope that sites like these can help us rediscover our true selves. I know we won't be like we were before these abusers entered our lives, and that's OK. I just hope we all find a way to live for ourselves again and let go of these tendrils that still might have their grips on us.
I would like to talk with you about how to handle having an Ex-N with children. My email is email@example.com
I read your story and for some reason felt like you were telling mine. I'd like to talk with you if possible can you please email me? Thank you.
It has only been a little under 1 month since our fallout. This is someone who I truly loved and still love. I thought he would be the one for me. For 3 years I have endured the ups and downs. Any small argument turned into a verbal fiasco. Never in my life have I allowed a person to treat me so badly. He made (and still makes because we stil have contact) me feel everything was wrong with me. He left over something small & I haven't seen him in almost a month. If he ever truly loved me how could he stay gone for so long? We talk everyday still but he insists that I don't appreciate or support him. It's so easy for him to write me off, stay distant, not answer phone calls or texts; but when I ignore him, it's F me. I can't even hardly write because of the tears. We have a business together and he takes it away and gives it back at will. I have no income other than our business & he knows that. He has even gone so far as to go to Wells Fargo and remove me from the business bank account. I now have to start from scratch because I do not have enough money to start my own business from scratch and support my two children. He told me so many times I should be thankful that a man would except me into his life already having two children from a previous relationship. He really is Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde in the flesh. On the outside he is handsome & well put together, but behind closed doors he is a menace. I can not begin to explain the verbal, mental, & sometimes physical abuse I have suffered from this man. He has cursed me out in front of my children, his child, his own mother (who is a nutcase in her own right), & in public. He has punched holes in my walls, broken personal belongings & overall made me feel less than a woman. He never gave me a compliment or showed affection. He is extremely controlling. He tends to "punish" me with the silent treatment, no affection, witholding funds, witholding sex & by being distant. Tonight we got into it because I asked him over for dinner & he seemed repulsed by my question so I got mad and hung up the phone. He sent me a text saying I was crossing business with personal. We have been broken up for a little under 1 month and I'm supposed to magically view him as only a business partner? Go figure. When I tried to call him back he wouldn't answer or respond to the multiple text messages that I sent to him. He seems to have the magical ability to cut me off completely at any given point in time, but give him a few days & he will call back like nothing has happened. I have to get out of this toxic spiral because it is detrimental to my self esteem and overall state of mind. He never sees his wrongs. No matter what it is always my fault because I am selfish & unappreciative. As much as he hurts me I still find it difficult to let go. I want to let go but I don't want to see him happy and treating someone else good. On the outside we appeared to be perfect for eachother. We have a massive amount of things in common people tell us how good we are for eachother but have no idea what I have endured. He is all about the veneer, but on the inside he is someone totally different. I'm beyond hurt. I have so many unanswered questions but he will never answer them because I need to "stop being emotional" & "get over it." How do I get over this? I try to go no contact but it is not easy. I really send prayers and positive thoughts to everyone on this thread who has dealt or who is currently dealing with an NPD. I commend those of you who have overcome this beast & I hope to follow in your footsteps of healing. Stay strong everyone of you.
Please please please don't contact him again, cut him dead!!! This is how a narc works. He is feeding off of your need for him. Every txt phone call and tear you give him he is feeding off of it. He's provoking you and you are giving him exactly what he wants. Then hell disappear and not give you a second thought until he needs a fix again. Don't give him what he wants. Only deal with him in business like manner and you will see him change in his attitude towards you. Being nice and trying to win you over then when he does he'll do it over again. Its all just a game. I know its hard believe me im still having to deal with mine because of our daughter but i will never give that man anymore of me. The man i thought he was doesn't exist never did and i have to accept it so do you before he destroys you .
No contact only email about the business and please don't think hell change because he wont.
A message for Caroline........your post touched every part of my feelings at the moment. This is exactly where I am right now. Thank you. Mandy
This article was very helpful, the parts I struggle with are that whilst I am recently out of the relationship, and can see the red flags the frustrations I felt drew me to anger, and was accused of control. My N was an alcoholic and i was accused regularly that she walked on eggshells? Was it really me that's the N? Or was my actions an effect of the toxic relationship, and constant lies and cheating? She has a new fella, and flaunts him at me and blames me for her drinking too!
is there a certain degree of narcissism ? Can someone be having mild degree of this behaviour ?
Please help me. I live with a narc and just started to figure it out in June. He denies everything, it's like he has a second life... I don't even KNOW this man.
It's scary. I still live with him. If I contact his ex To find out then tRuth, I would be in danger so I ant.
I try to tell myself I don't need her words to confirm, I know the truth already.
I have to get out of this but how can I afford to live in my own.. I'm working on it but will take a few months during which time ihave t keep my sanity.
I believe I am a victim of narcissistic abuse and I don't know what to think. I am extremely concerned that i may have picked up on the abusers behavior as I was and still am very young. I was 15 at the time and now 17. I was lucky enough to be discarded after only two years. The most prominent warning sign that the abuser was in fact abusive is gas-lighting. He got so angry that i didn't believe his lie (or anything that he said for that matter) that he accused me of false accusations and left. I was devastated. I had no understanding whatsoever of what had happened to me and believed that perhaps it really was my fault. I have gotten a small amount of validation from the abuser himself since then and have cut contact, but only a few things that had been bothering me had been addressed as he denied most things that i was concerned about. There is a part of me that is still terrified that I may have been the abuser. Is this normal? Am I the abuser? How do i learn to trust my self again?
Completely dead inside. Feel so trapped. Been involved in a relationship with a narcissistic man for 14 years. Feel trapped and so weak. No job, no income, no car, no family and only one friend who I have only known a couple of years. I have 2 cats that I can't bare the thought of leaving behind. I recently caught him cheating again, and know I need to leave. BUT HOW!? I said before, my cats are all I have left... I just can't leave them... They are the only things left I love. I am suicidal every moment of every day now. I would have a hard enough time finding a place to go for myself, let alone me and 2 cats. So what now!? He has blamed me for everything wrong in his life and it's just too much... My heart, soul, and spirit are shattered, and I am starting to feel like I won't make it through this ordeal alive.
@Lynn...my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain because I've been there. Narcs are not capable of loving others for who they are; there is usually some shallow reason behind it.
I've dated men in the past who were initially drawn to me because of my looks, but they were also very critical of me. "You need to straighten your hair, you need to wear different clothes" etc.
Over a period of time, they would become more insulting and abusive, sometimes even allowing their families and friends to disrespect me. I stayed with an abusive partner much longer than I should have.
If a person only "loves" you for WHAT you have instead of WHO you are, it isn't love. A man who can't accept the flaws that make you human is not worthy of you.
It sounds like he defined your relationship based on shallow things like your money, your home, your appearance. But what about YOU? Did he truly care about you?
Maybe this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for you. This guy left because you gained weight but it is his loss. Think about it...what if you got sick and the illness changed your appearance?
If a person leaves you because you gained weight or your hair falls out or you show any hint of being human, it is THEIR problem, not yours.
You are no less beautiful or worthy because this guy walked out on your life.
I am on a long and painful journey to healing from the damage that was done. I agree with Sara's comment..."a narc will never be sorry, therefore you are not obliged to forgive them".
I've forgiven only one of my abusers and this is because he died a few months ago. I made the choice to forgive him despite his lack of remorse for hurting me. The way I see it is that he can't hurt me anymore. I am still alive and I am determined to rebuild my life no matter what happens.
What we need to do is set boundaries and protect ourselves from toxic, harmful people. I have distanced myself from a lot of people who have hurt me in the past.
Life is too short to spend it with abusive people who only aim to tear you down. Now I focus on being with people who appreciate me, uplift me, and infuse happiness into my environment.
Both positive AND negative energy are contagious. When I was constantly surrounded by narcs and couldn't escape, the negativity affected my mental/emotional state to the point where I felt suicidal.
When I am in a positive environment with positive people, I feel renewed, like a whole new person who can do anything. Narcs are vampires that drain us of positive energy.
This is why I've learned to spot these kinds of people and avoid them or limit contact in cases where I still have to interact with them.
I once had somebody try to tell me that I'm a bad person for not wanting narcs around me. "You have no compassion" this person said, "you need to understand that they act that way because they're in pain".
Well, maybe that is true for some of them, but that is still not my problem. It's sad if a narcissist became that way due to being abused themselves, but at some point they have to learn that hurting others is not OK.
As survivors, we should never apologize for wanting to protect ourselves from anyone who tries to hurt us.