The Narcissist in Old Age

“Do not go gentle into that good night, / Old age should burn and rave at close of day; / Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” 

~Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”

“Everything is possible for you, because you have the only two things worth having…beauty and youth”                                      ~ Oscar Wilde,”The Picture of Dorian Gray”

The narcissist ages without compassion or grace; he is shallow and does not accept aging well. His withered body and his overworked mind betray him at the same time. He stares in disbelief and rage at cruel mirrors. Subjected to childhood abuse, the narcissist ages prematurely and finds himself in a time warp; he is in a constant struggle with midlife crisis. When he was a child prodigy, a sex symbol, an actor or idol, a stud, or an outstanding intellectual-the narcissist was at the center of attention. He has become disillusioned in old age as his old charms have worn thin.

Growing old requires grace and courage.  Aging is a series of physical and mental insults that you have to take in stride or you become an unpleasant burden to yourself and those around you.  Grace and courage are not traits the narcissist possesses at any age, so the lack of these virtues becomes all the more apparent as he or she grows old. Old age points out and highlights what you’ve been all your life; narcissists are seen as odious inside and out.

Having been exposed for what he is-a deceitful, treacherous, spiteful egotist-the narcissist’s old tricks now fail him. People are on their guard and less gullible than before. The narcissist, with his rigid personality, can’t change. He reverts to old forms and old habits, surrendering to former temptations. He is made a mockery by his obstinate denial of the reality of aging, by his stubborn refusal to grow up, an eternal child in the sagging body of an old man.

Narcissists do not age well.  Whether they depended on their beauty or their intellect, they can no longer summon the charm or sophistication which previously enabled them to lure in their sources of supply. Withered and shrunken, their minds and bodies now betray them.  They are confronted daily with the huge gap between what they fantasize themselves to be and what the mirror reflects back to them.  This “grandiosity gap” i.e. the distance between reality and the narcissist’s grandiose vision of himself is now a gaping chasm. The narcissist is a curmudgeon, invariably angry and depressive, that most people have abandoned.

The narcissist is singularly maladapted to life’s trials and tribulations. Time tends to make child prodigies lose their magic, lovers exhaust their potency, and philanderers wear out their appeal.  The longer the narcissist lives, the more average he becomes. The wider the gap between his pretensions and his actual accomplishments, the more he is the object of derision and contempt by others who have learned to see through his facade.

Few narcissists bother to study a trade, get a degree, maintain a business, keep their jobs, raise functioning families or nurture their friendships. They are perennially ill-prepared. Those who do succeed in their vocation, end up bitterly alone having squandered the love of spouse, offspring and friends.  The more gregarious and family oriented often fail at work, leap from one job to another, and relocate erratically, forever wandering.  The contrast between the prime of his youth and his dilapidated present constitutes a permanent narcissistic injury. The narcissist retreats deeper into himself to find comfort and consolation, withdrawing deeper into his grandiose fantasies. They are bereft of any qualities that would make them content at this time of their lives.  The decrepitude of their character is reflected in the decrepitude of their bodies.

A rare minority of narcissists are able to accept their fate with good humor. These few are surprisingly healed of their megalomania by old age. They lose their narcissistic traits and respond to the world with the composure that they lacked when they were younger. Such changed narcissists develop more realistic expectations and hopes that are commensurate with their talents, accomplishments and education. Ironically, it is always too late. They are avoided and ignored, as they have been rendered transparent by their past behavior. They are passed over for promotions, never invited to professional or social gatherings, and cold shouldered by the media. They are being constantly and consistently punished for who they were. It is poetic justice that they are now being treated narcissistically by their previous victims.

For aging narcissists, it is too late. They initiated the demise of business partners, spouses, and former friends– who are now enemies. The narcissist has burned many human bridges. He has betrayed, abused, demeaned, and humiliated countless human beings. Some narcissists have even destroyed their own children as a result of repetitive abandonments, degrading criticisms and malicious agendas.


The narcissist cannot be distinguished from his image. He (or she) has created and protected a perfected facade over an entire lifetime.  Being attractive, mentally superior, socially adept, well connected and physically vigorous are essential to his identity.   Aging is an appalling prospect for the narcissist. He or she will go to great lengths to remain young looking with plastic surgery and a variety of other aesthetic enhancements. A common path to preserving his own youthful image is marriage to a partner who is many years younger and highly attractive.

Beneath his image of perfection, the aging narcissist feels helpless. This is expressed through frequent bouts of narcissistic rage. If you have lived with a narcissist for decades and plan to stay with him or her, don’t count on any psychological mellowing. If anything, the aging narcissist increases his tantrums, raising both their frequency and volume. As he loses his physical vigor and mental powers, narcissistic rages become more outstanding; tirades come faster in succession and develop more explosively. Narcissistic rage no longer has a beginning, middle or end. It is a continuous storm that appears to ebb for a while only to return with fury. The aging narcissist is not going to lighten up on his rage; it is as much a part of him as his grandiose sense of self, his arrogance and his delusions of superiority.


  • Old narcissists become a shadow of their former selves once they retire and no longer have their job as a distraction and source of attention. Once they lose the identity they had through their job, they immediately turn inward to family, identifying themselves through their childrens meager accomplishments and living vicariously through them. Its absolutely sad and pathetic and their children suck it up like a sponge thinking their life long desperate need for daddys approval has finally been met. The old narcissist takes great pride in being viewed as the favorite parent/grandparent and the attention it brings and will do whatever it takes to keep that attention, bribing, guilt tripping and buying his childrens love. He insinuates himself into extended family members lives too, taking any and all the attention he can get. Family are the only ones who will put up with him at this point in his life as they are used to the extreme dysfuction.

    • Alice:

      Ouch!!! Me and my N are 50 years old, he is constantly saying he’s the favorite parent, he does more than I do, he’s better than me because he always finds some reason that I don’t address the kids’ needs before mine (meaningless things like serving myself dinner before one of the kids, or getting myself something I want out of a cupboard). I have more of this to look forward to?

      Tempe (another reader of

    • Thank you Alice, this is the first message EVER I read of Narcs in relation to aging and their “hidden” agendas with family members, and what I always felt was strange, you hit it home!!!! it’s exactly what you write that is the case with my Narc and his “relationship” with his kids, he NEEDS to be idolised by them and craves confirmation from their pals, that he is rich, gorgeous and the best daddy ever to have, it’s filled with fake superficial Narc behavior, it made me reel at times watching him….needless to say, his kids do not have a clue about what is really wrong with him, they would never accept him being a Narc, how can they; they are spoiled, given everything and more than they need and their aging Narc father prefers to party with them and hang out instead of being with people his own age……probably far too threatening and boring!!!

      • Narcissists lack proper boundries with their family memebers, especially their children. There is never a healthy father/child relationship but rather they see themselves as their childrens friends or peers. And yes, they do enjoy the attention of their kids friends too. So much so, they’ll try to keep up with partying 20-30yr olds, coking, smoking and drinking it up with them at the expense of their own health. I’ve never seen anything like it and what a horrible example they set for their kids. Sadly, if the kids don’t end up like the narcissist, they end up in relationships with someone like them. Its inherited karma. I’ve watched this playing out over the last few years and all I can say is I actually pity this man and his family for the life they’ve had. 3 generations of dysfunction at the hands of narcissistic parents. Nothing about it gets better, not with age or any amount of love. Aging narcissists just become more depressed, angry and bitter as their life wears on, trying to steal the energy of and live vicariously through those closest to them.

        • Wow this describes my ex to a tee, he has a daughter, and she is in her thirties, and he was always trying to date her girl friends. He is 60 and I am 54. I dated him off and on for several years. It has been a total nightmare. Before l left him, he was running after a 26 year old who was a close neighbor, and one of his daughter’s friend. And he dropped hints in a subtle way that he was having a sex with her. It was so disgusting to me, that I decided that I wanted absolutely nothing more to do with him anymore. So I decided before I walked away for good that I would confront this asshole for his bad behavior, so I told him off a bit by text. I tried to stay in a feeling state while expressing my feelings. Never having any knowledge of NPD I said in my text to him, that he was a preditor, and so fourth, and everything I said described his awful personality, and so I had a epifiny! And I started googling some of his traits, and low and behold it matched up with NPD. I was relieved on the one hand, because at that point I knew that I was not crazy, but on the other hand I was terrified that I could be involved with someone so very evil. I started reading all the stories of the victims of NPD and I was finally relieved that I was not alone, and that I could totally identify with all the stories. And one in peticular stood out because this man had been involved with a narcissist and at the end he said something, ” I hope she gets a stroke and she struggles to talk”. And I sort of chuckled a little, and thought to myself that sounds a bit drastic! Well I remembered something I told him in my final text, I said every dog has their day, and your day is coming! Well a couple of weeks go by, and I decided in a week moment that I would see him for the last time before I leave out of state. And during this visit he started showing signs of having a stroke, but I was not totally sure. So I decided to take him to some mutual friends of ours, where I was staying temporarily, until I moved out of state. So his daughter happened to be there as well. I told our mutual friends that I thought maybe he had a stroke, and no one seemed too alarmed. So I grabbed a b/p cuff and proceeded to take his blood pressure, and it was extremely high, and I mentioned to him that I thought he should go to the hospital, and he was totally refusing, so I gave him an aspirin, and put him in a warm bath, and made sure he ate and drank plenty of fluids before putting him to bed. I kept thinking about that man and how he wished that his narcissist girl friend would wind up with a stroke, and not be able to talk. I thought to myself this can not be happening. Well he awoke in the morning and put on his clothes and said he has to go to work, and I called out to one of our mutual friends from another room to come and help me convince him to go to the hospital. He finally went by ambulance to the hospital. A long story short, I went the next day to see him in the hospital, and he was not able to speak very well. I was very sad of course, because even though all pain and misery, that he bestowed on me I did not wish this upon him.

    • I have never read a more accurate description of my narcissistic father. He was a partner at an accounting firm (a firm full of narcissists) and after he retired, he really went down hill. This site makes me feel so much better because I know there are people who’ve experienced the same hell as me.

      • Hi Jack. I read your comment and completely identify with what you wrote. I had the same relationship with my father and mother. Both are N’s, now aging, and trying to get in touch with me as I have shunned them completely. It’s sad but what are we to do? Well, I tell you this, we are not alone, thank god

  • This sums it up perfectly. And it is very pathetic and unfortunate but I have to wonder if this is not karma for the narcissist.

  • The descriptions are spot on correct. The part about it being “too late”and “Burning human bridges” yes this is true. Also the part about their children being destroyed after years of “degrading criticisms and malicious agendas”. She disagrees (of course) and thinks I am being mean and cold…. I wouldn’t say I am destroyed, I am very USED up and chewed out after 45 years of emotional neediness and parentification. I have nothing left to give. I finally want to have my own whole separate happy place in the world and she is still here sucking at it wanting to swallow it whole.

  • It most definately is karma for them. I’ve seen it 1st hand. The narcissist in my life mentally, psychologically, emotionally and sexually abused his ex wife for 26yrs only to find out he has HepatitisC after they divorced. He inflicted that same abuse on me for 5yrs and recently found out he has Silicosis. Karma is reaping what you’ve sewn. And any man that is dysfunctional enough to drive his own daughter to attempt suicide deserves to be stricken with a lung AND liver disease as far as I’m concerned. Narcissists are truely monsters and will never EVER change.

  • Tempe:
    I hate to say it but it usually gets worse as they get older. Its just sad and pathetic watching a 59 year old man trying to act like he’s 25, completely unaware of what a fool he looks like to everyone else. And yes, they will use a disease or health issue to garner their childrens sympathies and attention. They’re an emotionally stunted child in an adults body.

    • Alice, it has been my experience that you are correct – they get worse as they get older. And there are more of them.

      A classic example is online dating. Here we see a guy in his 60’s crossing a finish line, dressed up like Captain America. No, he’s not joking.

      Another example is an early 50’s man with a 10-pt menu of what he wants, and (surprise) offers his success and steady job in return. A codependency magnet.

      The worst, without exception, is the senior who refers to himself as a “nice guy” and a “gentleman”. These are the ones, in my experience, most likely to focus in on sex and denigrate into insults.

      My ex, who was of the not-so-bad-Narcissist school, is now saying things on FB that are very disturbing. He’s fat, alcoholic… know the rest.

      I am glad you brought this up because I have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t Kansas anymore. I work hard to be a better person, but some men are headed in another direction.

    • Yea i was with a man for 2and half yrs and he is 67 and he blittled me constantly reminding me i was getting old and nothing would help me pretty soon and wat a slut iam and no man would ever want me for nothing but to f… He loved me like no other man had always leaving me and now i think we r over he partys with younger and the street girls hede tell me there better than me at least they got payed i was a free whorei will never have nothing and i couldnt question him but he was always acusing me i am very hurt by trying so hard and nothing ever seemed to work then it was always my fault and i mean i couldnt ever love him enuf or bend but he did .

  • I lived with a monster psychopath and didn’t realize it until I was discarded. Luckily it was for a short time and I realized what was wrong with me to not see this. I am spooked by the whole experience and would like to do anything I can to increase awareness and prevent anyone from having this painful experience. I walked in the valley of the shadow of death and live to tell my story.

    • Hi, i am in the begin of breaking my ties to a narc wife…have been going through this for three years. She does not want to divorce me but I at lease got to seperate myself from her. The only down fall is she took my 8 year old boy with her. Any advice.

      • Ian, Please get yourself a good lawyer; one who is familiar with Cluster B personality disorders. In my personal experience the best recommendations for these lawyers are from your local domestic violence shelter. These counselors are very familiar with many types of abusers and offer great guidance for free. Your son will desperately need the presence of a healthy parent in his life. Best of luck to you!!

      • I have had to stay with my abusive (not physically) Narc and am finding how to not react and to deal with it for my children’s sake..although I did raise them without said Narc in our lives..I would not leave a child with a Narc alone. Guaranteed to become one…You son needs you..go back…learn how to cope…save your son! You can do it..She will turn him against you and it will destroy his chances of a happy life…

      • You need to get your son away from her. If she is a true narcissist? Your son will have alot of attention for awhile! Then be discarded like throwing out the trash

  • True. They do not age well. My husband had diabetes which aged him. Then he fell from his horse and received a broken neck and a head injury. He never recovered. He could never do all the things that made him who he was. He was still very difficult to live with and still an angry man. I had livd with 30 years of emotional abuse and indifference. I always thought it would get better. Everything was my fault and I constantly walked on egg shells never know what he has going to do next. He thought he was a hero whe. He couldn’t be that person any more, guess what? He took his life and left us withi terrible guilt and grief. Nearly ten months on and we are healing but I am still very upset that I stayed with such a man for so,long. The damage it must have done to my kids. I will never know. He took me for a nasty ride and cheated on me for many many years. I think he got his karma. I am now free. My life is much easier and I am not worried about when I am going to be abused next. I feel very sorry for all the people out there who are like him but the joke is they don’t think there is anything wrong with themselves.

    • Thank you! this has helped me a lot! Indifference was the word I needed to hear! I am so sorry you went through that..Hope you are really happy now and living a wonderful life.

    • I remarried a 4 years ago after my husband of 34 years died. It was an unbelievable experience in my life. Your account of your husband is very similar to my marriage of 3 1/2 years. Of course I did not realize til after we married that he was a narcissist all of his life. He just passed away a few months ago and I feel sad for the last few years we had together. He was just incapable of any feelings for anyone. I will be 70 in a few months and now I am free, but it has definitely scarred me and will take time to heal.

      • I had similar experience. I married a sweet, kind romantic man who doted on me. A few years later he became jealous, possessive and domineering. I couldn’t see friends or family. He became angrier and verbally and psychologically abusive. This lead to physical abuse. It took a lot to gather physical and mental strength to leave him five years ago. He is also a narcissist and still miserable. I now feel stronger, rejuvenated and now I can say I’m finally happy. I’m also in my seventies.
        I hope you have now to overcome your feeling of guilt. His death may have deprived you from normal feelings of anger. Hopefully you have by now resolved negative feelings and can feel free and happy again. Good luck!

  • Wow these feelings are so familiar to me as o approach 40, i left my narcissist girlfriend eighteen months ago when I realized what she was. Unfortunately I had a child from a previous relationship which made everything so much harder as the narcissist was to use them as a pawn in their sick games. I know now that my father was a narcissist who used me for his own ends and when my ex entered my life the warning signs were all present but for me they were normalised because of my father.
    I now find myself confused; I feel my self developing traits that are narcissistic; seeking social gratification, time spent frivolously in my own company. I was kind of fine before I left her but then found myself fighting for survival and when your in that position the world can be an unforgiving place. She did a good job of destroying my social network which has made a big difference to how things have panned out. Anyway I digress; yes I feel the narcissist growing inside me snarling and gnashing. I don’t like it and and it is getting difficult to keep in check.

    • Mark, you need to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t condone the person or the experience. It releases the pain and helps you to heal yourself. Once you do that, you will not only find the good from this horrible situation, but you will come away being a better person. I was in a similar situation with my ex and I carried a lot of pain and anger. I still do as I clean up the mess that he left behind. However, so much good has come out of it and I am a much better person because of it.

      Unforgiveness is the whole reason they act the way that they do. They will not forgive, hold on to the pain, and project that pain to others. Hurting people hurt people.

      Not sure if you are a religious person, but if you ever read the Bible you will see that it says that unforgiveness opens the door for the devil…and these unforgiving people sure do act like the devil. They also mention narcissist as being fools who hold anger in their hearts. It also says they set their own traps, so they aren’t getting away with it even though sometimes it seems like it. God has a way of dealing with them… by letting them destroy themselves. Unfortunately, they try to destroy us in the process.

      Sometimes they come to the light and sometimes they don’t, but in order to not become them, you have to let go of the pain and move on. The best revenge is living a happy pain-free life.

      Happy forgiving!

      • And you need to forgive yourself. We all make mistakes and a lot of them are caused by unconscious patterns that we developed as children.

        Forgive all those people who have hurt you in the past and you will find emotional healing and attract another emotionally whole person.

  • Wow. An amazing description of my mother who has no use for anyone, unless it benefits her peripherally.

    It must be lonely to be incapable of love, and have to manipulate outcomes of others. Tragic for adult children until they see beyond the mirage.

    Thanks for this informative article.

  • I hope that the outcome of the aging enabler/victim is better than that of the aging narcissistic. I am 65, he is 73 and this is perhaps the sixth time he has subjected me to the silent treatment over the course of the four/five years we have been back and forth with each other. I take responsibility for my role in this. I long ago saw his selfishness as a lack of empathy for others, detected the super fragile ego underneath all the bluster, showing off his clothes, his luxury watches, etc. I realized that his emotonal self seemed frozen in a time warp. Infantile.Immature. Getting to know him I discovered perpetually whining, hyper critical two year old — not the erudite, sophisticate that he appeared to be. I was taken aback by the tragedy of his 20 something grand daughter reaching out to meet him for the first time and then him not following up after that first meeting a couple of years ago. I could never fathom the random outbursts of rage, temper tantrums at things of small consequence. Going off on the poor guy behind the deli counter because the cost of Perrier water seemed excessively high.

    We’re in week three of the latest silent treatment and instead of pining over him, calling repeatedly to see if he is still alive, I intead discovered these wonderful online posts introducing me to behavior patterns, traits that I never knew had a name.

    I have been down this road in the past with other similar men. I believed there was something about me that drew and kept these men close to me–or at least tried to keep them close. Real closeness–not just sexual–is not something they are capable of. I want to believe that I at 65, a card crying enabler, selflessly trying to heal the mentally dysfunctional with the healing power of my love, can still grow emotionally, discover the power of self love, maintain a giving nature yet also maintain boundaries that will not let these truly toxic types manipulate my life again. I am ready to fall in love again–this time for real.

    Thank you all for being part of my recovery.

    • My goodness, you stated that so well. “Card carrying enabler”. I too, found knowledge and inspiration and the will to leave my Narc after 10 years of crazy making. My entire life I’ve been trying to rescue men who can’t be rescued. I’ve learned so much about the Cluster B’s, and so much about myself. Enjoy the peace.????

  • I also married a narcissts for one year he distroyed my life. The bastard im still so angry at him i just left him 2months ago after going back 4times not realizing what or who he was but not this time i readup on ppl like him who act and behave like him and finally im free from raymon muniz a 70 yr old narcissts

  • Thank you to all people who posted and this website. I, too, have been in a relationship with a N. I have known him for over 20 years. We were boyfriend-girlfriend back then. After a month, his true self came out in the 1990’s. He departed from me then.

    Now he is almost 50. We were very friendly to each other 9 months now. His old self came out 2 months ago. I have been running from him since. Thanks for the help and advice.

  • After all the signs were visible I finally figured out why there was always a certain distance. ..he never had a real connection with anyone, always demeaning and condescending, using negative reinforcement while raising our kids. He discarded me and never looked back. Overly sensitive to everything regarding him, had to have the best of everything, all while I was his biggest fan. The term personality disorder was never in my vocabulary, how enlightening this process has been, to say the least his manipulative words of ” I’ll never get over this” are my sole focus. He did everything in his power to brainwash me in the life I thought we had, I’m determined to make the next part of my life better, having all the facts that “I’m not crazy” after all!
    When someone is telling their wife what a great catch they are and how much they have to offer, listen to what your guthe is trying to tell you. About to celebrate one year divorced and am enjoying the peace of not being put down on a daily basis.
    If anyone is dealing with this type of person beware of the harmful effects it has on the offspring, our son is him x’s 10. Awful to have to hear him sound just like his father.
    Thank you for educating the victims, victory is around the corner!

  • The older my narc husband gets, he’s 56 now, the more he seeks supply. Cheating increases as a desperate attempt to prove he’s still “got it”. He has trouble finding NEW sources, though, and reverts to using old supplies, that have known him for decades, yet are desperate themselves for his wonderful attention. It’s very sickening.

    • Omg that is my x Narc now I’m almost a year free from him. I was married to him 35 years gave him my 150% and he discarded me for someone younger, he has never looked back even tho we have three kids and recently has started discarding them, he sickens me he’s an old 55 year old always trying to go after 20 year old he disgusts me. They all have classic traits, liars cheaters, pigs. I’m so glad God gave me a second chance

  • Absolutely brilliantly written Alexander! Bravo indeed. You have encapsulated everything so perfectly. Your writing makes me feel liberated and empowered from these emotional vampires. Thank you x.

  • I ran into my aging narcissist last weekend after not seeing him for years. He came to the funeral of a mutual friend’s mother and seemed to think that I would cling throughout the reception. I’m not there any longer and neither were most of the people in the room who had been burned at one time or another. It did not take long for him to figure out that he wasn’t going to get any attention and he departed. I felt badly for him, but not enough to save him. For myself, this was a wonderful moment of insight into my own recovery. I love him and I need to stay clear of him. Both are true.

  • This is one of the most insightful articles I have read about this topic. My narcissistic Father lives next door to me and he has become a caricature of Dorian Grey. He is constantly angry at everyone and has once again cut off all contact with me, this time for nine months! I am envious of my siblings who he yells at! Can you believe it? I am in a difficult spot. I love my family and pray for a miracle or reconciliation but his anger will not extinguish itself. I feel so much compassion, love, grief, and betrayal at times I cannot bear it. I am leaning into my faith. Thank you. Your article has helped me exceedingly.

  • wow I can not believe some people could deal with a narcissist for so many years I was happily married for 26 years until my my husband died 47 years old after 2 years later i started dating and found out he was a narcissist I did not even know what this was before, I was over 4 years with him I am now 54 and he is 61 we went on and back in this relationship like a roller coaster always thought he change or he finally get it nothing ever was good enough for him nothing but lies and when he got mat at me he even did trow stuff about my dead husband in my face just to hurt me and all other hurtful thing he said i was a very strong and independent woman until now i feel I was in the wrong Movie how can this happen to me and how did I let him get away with it i dont know all i know he is on the dating line now lies about his age he is 51 now not 61 he hit up on 40 year old woman’s what a joke I researched a lot about the narcissist in a way i even feel sorry for them they never in there whole life experience what real love feels like I just remind myself I know he is evil but relay its not his fault he is already punishment enough to live like this never Happy and searching over and over for the rest of his life at least we have a choice we can walk away from this vi sues circle he is stalked in it yes i am hurt very much but i know there is light at the end off the tunnel for me and i will be Happy again he on the other end is doomed I just feel sorry for his next victim

  • Wizard1963
    I have wasted 36 years of my life with a man I thought could love!!!!!!!! He had his first affair when my child was 8 months old, and the other was2. we lived in England for a time and he said it was because of the strain of working hard to support a family!!!!! He is a vet so money was not the problem it was the woman.We came back as he mismanaged the practice and Rand to pound exchange left us homeless.We started again with me being the breadwinner (and a new baby girl) .I used chemicals in my job and got breast cancer and was given no chance of survival so he got a new girlfriend!!!!!!!!! This lady lasted 10years,I could not work so needed my kids educated so begged him to stay.He said he would stay as long as I had sex every day!!!!!He kept saying he had stopped seeing her but never did so hence the ten years. It did stop after I kicked him out of the house.Then we moved practice and things were Good again until rumors of him with the practice manager. I believed his story and I was imagining everything.I know know this affair was 5 years long,he never came home from work before 8 in the evening never ever came to a teachers talk ,rugby game actually anything with my kids .The practice has gone bankrupt so has left to go up country to become a wildlife vet. He is so full of himself (he is 61) thinks there is no one better in the world than him ,think he looks amazing works out hardly eats has lived there by himself and left me and the kids to just get on with it.He came home for 12 days last year. Now he has his 18 year younger practice manager going up there and being shown the wonderful person he is when his kids were not allowed to.They are going to get married(did I tell you that while they were having the affair my son was heavily involved with her daughter )He is even telling us that they are going to make a TV series of him and her going to be a millionaire in $.Living the high life. I am the one that has spent my life backing him up ever time he has bankrupted us. I have filed for divorce now but the toll this person(only realized because of my psychologist he is a malignant narcissist)has taken is unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!! He is no complying in any way with any lawyers requests!!!!!!!! I live on anti depressants as do two other of my children and the other has been diagnosed as a borderline and is hard to live with!!!! My children hate there father so much.My husband says nothing he has done has affected anyone!!!!! Oh and now he has his 18 year younger girlfriend soon to be wife and he is going behind her back now with the girl friend that he had the affair with for 10 years (karma).WHY did I not know about narcissist ‘s before,I could have saved myself so much pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • May I use the following quote from your site in my new book about my own experience with a narcissist titled TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A TRANSFORMED WOMAN? This will be with full credit to your site and author
    Narcissists do not age well. Whether they depended on their beauty or their intellect, they can no longer summon the charm or sophistication which previously enabled them to lure in their sources of supply. Withered and shrunken, their minds and bodies now betray them. They are confronted daily with the huge gap between what they fantasize themselves to be and what the mirror reflects back to them. This “grandiosity gap” i.e. the distance between reality and the narcissist’s grandiose vision of himself is now a gaping chasm. The narcissist is a curmudgeon, invariably angry and depressive, that most people have abandoned.

    Thank you for your kind assistance and a marvelous article. It gives me HOPE! Nancee Tanner

  • Hey I was with a selfish narcissistic for a year it was pure hell,its just like walking on eggshells you never know what it would be like one minute from the next,he is really a sad man,he dresses like he’s 17yrs.old and he’s 59,he has never grown up,I am free of him now,and don’t want too ever see him again.and my life.but I believe and reaping what you sow.and he Will.

  • This is some bitter, bitter stuff. I don’t believe in Narcissist’s as much as they believe in themselves. Narcissistic people have become psychologies new quintessential boogie man. (Move over BPD.)

    What I do believe is in the two wolves theory. Within us are two wolves, one good, one evil. Inevitably one is weaker or stronger than the other but it is the one that we feed that lives on and grows stronger.

    To be a Narcissistic type is to believe you must win to succeed. You must have control over how others see you. “Compete, Conpete, Compete.”

    To this individual there is no middle ground. They see the world as a battle ground of winners and losers, good and evil. They try to take on some arch-type and bully people when they disagree.

    That is the Narcissistic individual that lives within all of us. To say otherwise is to be naive or in denial. We all want to be loved, liked, accepted, and feel safe.

    All of us at one time or another have played the game of life. (Not the boardgame.)

    But it is when you stop playing that game and open your eyes to see more than these Archtypes that lifes complexity and peoples beauty really steps forward.

    Pathologizing human behavior has turned into an Us vs Them mindset, and that is what breeds the social pathogen effect. Consider cautioning against hate as we are all human and that spiteful behavior can not be the answer to social machivellianism.

    Good luck to you all

    • Your insight is quite logical and well said, but lacks empathy and compassion, has the flavor of an attorney, and hashtagged “Its not personal, the creature is just not into you”.
      Your words: compete, compete, compete, are very true. I had to laugh about the BPD move over because you are right, so right, I truly did not even understand what the term NPD meant when the court assigned therapist stated my ex was and I quote: The most narccisstic asshole she had ever meet and that he thought the whole world owed him something! Heck! I had to go home and google it!!! Now after being abused in every way he could get away with, losing everything I had ever worked for, having nearly everything I cared about destroyed, including our daughter, and my belief that love conquers all, that people are basically good, now lies in a pile of cynicalism, with a hard slap of reality that people want what they want and will do what ever it takes to get it and will justify it whatever they have to do so they can look themselves in the mirror everyday! Some must win at all costs even if it means losing the war! You may see that as Bitterness talking, but it is Pain. I sympathize with the pain of wounded souls, that their core belief system has been shakened too. There are no simple answers to conquerring the evil triad, it can not be conquered, we all have our journey while on the planet, we all have lessons we need to learn, (i.e. There are all kinds of prediators in this world, what are red flags and how to recognize them, what are toxic behaviors and personalities, how to deal and stay clear of difficult people? What traumas do I have that may have set me up for this? What are my boundaries are they healthy? And there are core questions we have to ask of ourselves, why did I believe I deserved that kind of treatment? Why do I attract or why am I attracted to fix people? what are my core values, morals, beliefs, and Most importantly loving yourself as much as you feel you love the Narc that doesn’t love you enough, so that you don’t draw those toxics in your life. Maybe someday scientists will be able to isolate the asshole gene and be able to transplant it to a decent human being gene. Or maybe they will find that a mega dose of oxytocin will turn all the character disordered into big ole loving teddy bears, but until then it’s like seeing a big pile of poop in your path, unless you want poop on your feet, you should avoid it at all costs, but if you find it’s too late you already have poop up to eyeballs, then love yourself, get you a good therapist that has experience with trauma, PTSD, find your God, meditate, nurture and lick your wounds, write your hate letters, burn them, journal, do the work to heal yourself in a positive productive manner. it would be wonderful if just getting a good atty is the answer to all your problems, unfortunately by the time you realize what you are dealing with the damage is already happening (kinda like an earthquake and all you can do is pray it to be over and hope you survive) I’ve had to realize with myself that I was being self destructive to myself by choosing this wounded damaged soulless creature into my life and heart. And Im paying the price still today, I physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally took a hit and I’ve got the scars but he is no longer in my life and he abandoned our daughter, which I’m told she is better off, and yes she flourishes. We will continue to heal and it might be years, but we are healthier and continue to grow even if it’s baby steps at times, because Healing is work and it is painful at times! We only have power over ourselves and you will began to heal when you start to forgive yourself.
      It has taken me years to stop beating myself up for not valuing and loving myself as much as I love others, and not to give myself away in the process. I send prayers and healing on your journey.

    • I see your point, we do all have these traits. I think of it as I do the effects of drinking alcohol. Most people drink some at some time in life, some occasionally drink too much. All of us are selfish and self serving at some point in life, some folks more often. The consequences are usually mild and transient. Narcissistic behavior that rules the person is like full blown alcoholism. It’s destructive, long term, and effects every area of life, every relationship. It’s tragic for all. I am disturbed by the bitterness in some of these replys. If you have been the recipient of abuse, I get it. I was raised by a N parent and an alcoholic parent. If anyone reading this enjoys returning hurt for hurt, for your own health and sanity get yourself some help. I sought out therapy at 3 different stages of life and it was worth it!

  • “They are being constantly and consistently punished for who they were.”

    How fair it is. Fuck you all. I’ll purposefully destroy as many of you as I can. This is fkcing unfair. Sometimes I am glad that I hurted so many people.

    Hope you fckers will taste the same cruelty as I do now.

  • Wish I had known all of this growing up. My father is an aging narcissist. But HE has always been and after years of being the dumb one. I have had years of physical disabilities which made it harder for me to ditch the old man. I unfortunately still have those issues and need the help, but now I just ignore him. I tell him flat out that I know he is a narcissist and has been pulling this shit for years. He has always claimed stupidity. Unfortunately I do not have a way out and need to ride this til the end. But I do see him for who he is. I am no longer that dumb girl with disabilities he has kept down for years. Now I piss the hell out of him every chance I get. And sometimes he recoils to a corner. I then grab a drink and toast to myself at him.

    • I don’t completely understand what you mean with ‘ride this to the end’ but if you have to keep contact it might be a good idea to focus on things you have in common and both love instead of making it a continuous battleground.

      • I believe Natasha meant she has no choice but to live with her abuser due to economic and physical disabilities. Some of us have been rendered dependent upon our narcissistic abusers and we must wait for their demise for any healing or peace. I understand this very well because my abusive step-father died a couple of weeks ago. I was unbelievably damaged by this relationship; I was unable to do anything with my own life. It’s as if I was never born, unable to have friends, family turned against me, I’m always alone. My life was literally stolen from me starting when I was four years old. I’m now 56 and I’m proud of Natasha. She’s found a way to stand up for herself. I was never able to do that; I hope others will find a way, too. I can only imagine how liberating it must feel. ♥

  • Wow good stuff. Both my inlaws are N, one far worse than the other. I drove them to all their appointments, errands, shopping, up to 35 hours a week, for four years. My health took a nose dive and I had to quit. They have two children living near them so they had their needs covered. The rage and temper tantrums, and accusations have raged unabated for a year……a Year! I have been accused of rejection, being mean, abusive, because I had my own health to attend to. Even when they were informed I was hospitalized, it was just an “excuse”. Somehow I guilty of doing it on purpose because I didn’t like them anymore ! This pathology is above my “paygrade”, the learning curve for dealing with an aging N is brutal

  • I have been married to a narcissist for 30 years, I love him for it, because he takes good care of his health, he is funny, happy, and still darn handsome at 86, I am 58. I just love being with him and taking care of him.
    and yes he has money , just the right amount. I hope he lives to be 100 +.

    • Considering how many people narcissists DESTROY during the course of their lives… yours is one the most SELFISH comments on this page (barring the comments from abusers). By standing with your monstrous narcissist, you assist him in hurting others.

      But I feel for you, Holly. I realize -you- have been supa-dupa brainwashed by your personal monster. So was my mother, so it’s easy for me to recognize. But I have to wonder, was he watching you type? How much emotional approval / validation did you get for your attack on the rest of us? Just curious.

      Also, your comment is somewhat mystifying… what kind of person goes to a webpage with INJURED people and says that they are wrong to have issues with their ABUSERS? Again, just curious.

      Of course, this is the internet, for all I know… YOU are the abuser. The average person just doesn’t say things like that.


  • I’m in my mid 20s and My father I feel has gotten a lot worse with age. Right now he’s in his mid to late 50s and over the last five years or so his narcissism has only increased. He gives me so much aniexty because you never know which dad your gonna get as my brother put it to me one time. Like sometimes he can be nice and easy to talk to and other times it’s like I’m walking on egg shells around him. When I was growing up he was a totally different person and he was a pretty good dad and back then my parents they barley ever argued. He was always an attention seeker or loved to be the center of attention at parties but I use to feel lucky when I was young because my parents for the most part always got along. But now the tinest thing can set him off and then he goes on one of his long angry rants. If you disagree about somthing and he’s in one of his moods then he will go on one of his angry rants for hours talking and yelling to himself for hours on end. Basically just repeats himself over and over again and again. It can drive you up a wall. He can be so irritating and Over the years I have learned not to take the bait. I use to try and speak up or whatever but overtime I learned it’s just best to shut up and act like you agree with what he’s saying because with a narcissist there’s no winning an argument. I feel like he drains so much of my energy and I also feel a large portion of my anxiety is because of him. Even with the way he is I still love my dad but its just hard to be around him because I always feel on edge and I feel depressed so much of the time.

  • My ex narc is 57 years old and his only dream is to move to a island over in Philippines with a young teenage girl (underage girl). In a real life, he keep me as first grade supply and he have old supply all over the world. He sleeping around with unprotected sex with all these old supply. I think he completely ignoring he is getting old. He have a huge belly and acting like a old man.

  • I am a great believer in karma, fate whatever you want to call it. Believe me these sick bastards will get what they deserve. You cannot treat people like they are nothing. Age catches up with all of us but most people adapt to aging and take it in their stride. But narcissists ugh!! want to remain childlike forever. So do yourself a favour and get rid of the narcissist in your life and let them remain in the land of Oz. You can’t change them no one can. Go and live your life and enjoy every day without the narcissist. The longer you stay with them the more entrenched in their ways you become. Do not become like them. Peace Mel xx

    • Definitely Karma what goes around comes around, life gets more peaceful when they leave, and once you work on yourself and see NPD in it’s true form u will realise you got lucky escape, Susan

  • Life gets more peaceful when they leave, and once you work on yourself and see NPD in it’s true form u will realise you got lucky escape, not saying it’s easy to get over and a lot of hard work to get back to oneself but much much better then staying in bad relationship, I wish anyone who has gone through such an ordeal especially being married to one all the best and all the LOVE in the world Susan

  • My father was a narc and pretty much destroyed his 2 daughters: one is mentally ill and lives in a state run home and the other (me) has a serious chronic physical illness. I can tell my father wants to boast about his children as his old friends do but he is unable because we are both doing so poorly. He blames us and our mother of course, for being “rotten” and then acts defeated, feeling like, once again, fate dealt him a bad hand. He was hoping for grandchildren (especially a grandson) whom he could communicate with and who would perhaps like him, not knowing of his past actions. He was also, I believe, planning on leaving his grandchildren everything in his will because his own offspring will not speak to him. However, there are no grandkids. I am ill and besides, could never have a healthy relationship with a man because of him. As much suffering as I experience, I cannot help but smile sometimes at the thought that he has nothing to be proud of and, as he often complains, “no one to leave his money to”. At least the cycle of abuse will end with us.

  • I feel bad for the children of the nark.we have to go get help, so we don’t become them, or the narc. supplier. It took me 17 years to get better. It.was so worth it. I forgive my abusers, even thow they never said i am sorry, because they are not sorry.You must forgive and walk away.Untill you are really healed from all of the experience you will continue letting narc. preditors in your space.

  • Excellent article! When I get time I may write a response of my experience with living with a wife with NPD for 49 years. I would add that she lies like a rug and at older age has attempted to turn my grown three children against me.

  • I feel like I found a goldmine when I found this article and posts. I am 61 and have been married to a needy narcissist for 41 years. Forty one years. I am so ashamed of letting him terrorize me for all those years. I am still with him as things have settled down after I told him I was divorcing him. I had found an apartment etc. I am in counseling and so is he. He also went to a psychiatric who diagnosed him with intermittent explosive disorder. I finally realized this marriage was a replay of my childhood. I am now no longer afraid of him. As soon as the devaluation starts again I am ready to go to the police if need be, get a TRO, and divorce him. I have had fibromyalgia for eight years, but in remission now. God those eight years made it so he could really abuse me psychologically and emotionally. Now it’s in remission and through counseling I realize he operates out of fear. So everytime he starts something I ask him what he’s afraid of. He tells me. He’s old, depressed and physically ill. My co-depency is lessening. Thanks for reading and being here b

  • Karma brings on what they fear the most in old age-abandonment. Projecting their abuse and programming onto others pushes them away even in their last days. Although close family can see what has happened to them and want to help, they have to protect themselves by keeping boundaries as the abusive comments never stop. Their real anger should have been directed at their own parents who didn’t protect, support, and encourage them to thrive. They were shattered and like the old nursery tale “Humpty Dumpty”, they couldn’t be fixed and made real again. It leaves their own compassionate children who just wanted a supportive, loving family with a life of heartache, and heavy chains of guilt and regret that they couldn’t have been the stronger ones to care for them at the end. Chains they will carry to their own graves. Take from them whatever gift they gave. If you’re still alive, they gave you gifts which could be many.
    A sad tale.

  • What a wonderful article with mostly helpful comments. My mother is a covert N, and as an adult, I’ve always tried to have minimal contact with her. Not knowing anything about narcissism when I was younger I tried to see if my children could develop a loving relationship with her. Not really possible, she wasn’t mean to them she just would be so self-absorbed, doing nothing but talk about herself. She refused to prepare for her senior years, like finding an assisted living home or writing down her preferences. Because of course she was exceptional and would never age or get Alz and she was too esteemed to live an assisted living home. When she was in her 70’s, she found a group of like-minded older narcissists who thought their poetry was great and would have poetry reading events, giving them new forms of supply and attention because most people in their families of origin had abandoned them. Yes, writing about wanting to commit suicide will get you attention. Finally, one of her physicians saw how mentally ill she was and referred her for counseling, so she then wanted to change doctors. By the time she was in her 80’s, there was nothing inside her, she was hollow, empty and demonic, had no soul. One of the most awful things I’ve ever seen.

    My spouse of 30 years is also aging ungracefully. He has traits of overt and covert narcissism. He was forced to retire due to health reasons, basically eating himself to death, he is his own worst enemy and will probably die within 2 years. As the article mentions he has frequent bouts of rage and then a few days of silent treatment. He has burned many human bridges, two adult children have almost no contact, one adult child who lives at home, has stopped responding to him and he basically throws tantrums trying to get her attention, if that doesn’t work he then tries to be cute and act like a toddler, but nobody can respect an aging baby. He has no identity, no soul, same as my mother, he is hated by most neighbors. I’m in my 50’s and thankfully still young enough to heal somewhat and trying to find my joy again. I can see however what a toll my mother’s and my husband’s narcissism had on my physical and mental health. Panic attacks, anxiety, very low self-esteem even though very intelligent. Mysterious aches and pains like fibromyalgia but not officially diagnosed, food intolerances and for a while losing my own identity. And of course, I was despised by my spouse when I was sick or recovering from minor surgery or improving myself taking adult education classes. Even my mother discouraged education for me but it was oh so important to her, a pseudo-intellectual. Right now I can just sit back and observe both of them self destruct, I feel nothing for them, neither hate nor sympathy. Its time for me to move on and articles like this one are so helpful with this process. Thank you.

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