Question 1: How can she be healthy again?
In early May I began to date a wonderful girl. We spent a lot of time together and began to fall in love. She had been at least 3 months out of an 3 year abusive relationship with narcissist. She told her friends it is so great to finally be appreciated and treated well by a man. Then the old boyfriend began contacting her and she slowly put her feelings aside for me and gradually moved back to him. I have been demoted to friend who she has feelings for and does not want to loose. I want to help her break out of this vicious cycle with him. She is being victimized by him and is showing symptoms of NVS. I am not sure if we will be together again but what is more important to me is to help her so she can be healthy again. Where do I start?
A: You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. When SHE is ready to leave him she will need your support. You can’t help her or force her to break out of the cycle. She has to do that herself. It might very well not be until her life has been totally devastated by the narcissist. Having someone who cares about her needs (narcissists don’t) and her health will be a constant reminder of what she is not getting from him. Hopefully, she will realize that she is a victim and will choose to leave him. Be there to support her when that happens–don’t try to re-establish your romance right away- she will need time to recover and distance herself from him. Right now all you can do is wait and keep reminding her she is a good, worthy person.
Question 2: Should I “throw away” the Narc?
I’m not sure whether my ex was a narc or not. All the red flags were there in the beginning. He called me a goddess never felt so connected when making love etc, very loving and giving throughout our four year relationship, talked marriage after four months. But I wouldn’t sell my house and move my kids to live with his – they didnt meet till we were 16 months into relationship and at first they disliked me and didn’t get on with my kids. I didn’t want to risk my independence – throughout I held back as I felt he wanted everything in his terms though he said I wouldn’t compromise. He’d take me shopping but didn’t like giving me money for groceries and wanted to pick what we should buy – got very jealous when I spoke to other men, but showed this in subtle ways. If I raised issues they were rarely discussed and if I pushed he’d go silent treatment – I blew up three times in four years and we split and got back. In the end it got less and less and then he met an old friend and now he’s telling her all the things he told me in the beginning. Not much empathy when I lost my job. He hugged me and patted me like you would a child, but never really felt supported or he got it – I’m Blaming myself for pushing him away – make friends say I shouldn’t. He finished it in a phone call after four years saying I don’t want a long conversation I just wanted a quick call. Strung me along when I contacted him and took me out whilst his new woman was playing hard to get/not interested. He finally hooked her in but still lied to me last time I saw him saying she’s just a friend. I’ve cut contact now but it’s doo hard to come to terms. I feel I’ve thrown away a loving man who’d have cared for me but a part of me feels that man wasn’t real – am I right ? Is he a narc – I sometimes think I’m the narc.
A: He certainly has a lot of the red flags for narcissism; and if he is indeed a narcissist then your instincts led you in the right direction such as keeping your independence. Consider yourself lucky- you didn’t lose a loving man, you got away from a life of hell. If he is a narcissist then he was never a loving man, just an actor putting on a show to win you over. Getting over a narcissist can be a long, difficult process. They put their hooks in deep with their charm and pseudo-love; it would be hard to give it up, perhaps even foolish, if it were real. Based on what you describe, you are much better off without him whether or not he is or is not a narcissist. Give yourself time and distance and you will get over the loss. Please stop doubting yourself- you made a healthy choice for yourself and your children.
Question 3: Is the Narc out there to get me?
A sibling who’s a Covert Narcissist, has under the guise of “sibling rivalry” had a track record of sabotaging my life from childhood right through to me forming a family. Always when they had cause to be jealous. Often when I was at a low ebb, always with significant damage to my life. Telling lies about me to my place of work or where I live. This has lead to me losing two jobs also losing out on accommodation. In one instance I took my employer to court, just to force disclosure on who had told the lies. I have gone No Contact with that sibling and even live in a different country. But clearly the worry is still there. Although I’ve not identified any such behavior for some years now, as it is always covert behavior there is always the worry they are behind unexplained bad luck. What do I do ?
A: If you are still in No Contact, have lived in a different country for years with your sibling not knowing your whereabouts, and you are STILL worried that the narcissist is out to get you, I would say it is time to see a therapist. It certainly is understandable that you have long term symptoms after being victimized so severely. In fact, I do wonder if you have NVS (Narcissistic Victim Syndrome). Read up on it and ask any therapist you are going to see if they are familiar with it. You aren’t able to live peacefully and don’t seem to have let go of the past. Please seek professional help; it sounds as if you may have symptoms of NVS (also known as Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome).
Question 4: Not sure if he is a Narcissist
I’m not sure if he’s a narcissist. I have known this person for over 20 years but about six months ago he contacted me to come visit him. I had not seen him in over 20 years but had been friends on fb for years with little to no contact. This person was one that I idolized as a kid (he’s 10 years older than I). I agreed to come meet him for a drink. It escalated quickly through daily messaging and soon I had booked a hotel room in the town he lives in (he was married at the time but separated prior to our meeting). prior to my meeting up with him the messages were constant. I met up with him, we had sex and that was the only time I have physically seen him but the messaging and texting continued. I engaged in very sexually charged texting with him, even sent pictures which I have never done. He would threaten to pull away if I didn’t. Then it started to go bad, he blatantly would tell me about other girls, call me crazy if I questioned his motives. I fully admit I went a little nutty for a while because I was so confused by his behavior. I have attempted no contact but I either feel weak and message him it he will text me and the cycle continues, nice one day then calling me something horrible the next. I have recently found out that his marriage seemed to be wonderful and lasted for years. I’m just wondering if narcissists are able to have seemingly loving relationships with some while being overtly controlling and cruel to others (me being the other)?
A: The key word in your question is “seemingly”…yes, they can have seemingly loving relationships (its all about public appearance) if their significant other caters to them, gives them unending Supply, and doesn’t require real emotion in return or expect her priorities to be considered. Some spouses/partners put up with it for years before they figure it out. I can’t say if your “friend” is a narcissist or not, but your relationship with him is unhealthy and sounds toxic. Find your inner strength (you CAN do it!) and go No Contact. You deserve better than that- don’t waste your time and self esteem on him.