‘Hoover Maneuver’: The Dirty Secret of Emotional Abuse

Vacuum Cleaner with Red Carpet top viewPeople encounter those with narcissism in love, work, and family relationships. When I provide psychotherapy for survivors of narcissistic abuse, one of the first steps in the healing process is psychoeducation about narcissism and emotional abuse. Survivors are often beset with myriad complex posttraumatic stress symptoms, including panic attacks, intrusive thoughts, depression, and the shellshock of cognitive dissonance.

By understanding the tactics employed upon the target of abuse, survivors empower themselves to reduce the impact of the emotional abuse aftermath. Given the delicate and subtle nuances involved in the psychology of healing, working with a trained clinician skilled in trauma recovery specific to narcissistic abuse is essential.

The literature on the subject of narcissistic abuse recovery is replete with pseudonyms for various circumstances involving a person with narcissism. One such concept is “hoovering” by the emotionally abusive person. When the cycle of “idealize, devalue, discard” is complete, a person with narcissistic qualities will often return to prior sources of narcissistic supply to see if he or she can tap such individuals for more ego-fueling attention, emotional reaction, sex, money, business advantages, a place to live, or other affirmations of his or her existence. “Hoover maneuver” was coined after the name of a popular vacuum cleaner, alluding to the fact abusers often attempt to suction up narcissistic supply from prior sources (people).

Individuals who have narcissistic tendencies typically lack solid, healthy self-concepts and must extract narcissistic supply from lovers, friends, colleagues, and/or family members to feel affirmed, adored, admired, attended to, nurtured, feared, or despised. Positive or negative, the reaction doesn’t matter, as long as the abusive person can excise a response from a target’s reservoir of emotional sustenance, thus rendering the abusive person “alive” by virtue of having his or her false self acknowledged.

When a survivor has gone no-contact—in other words, the survivor has chosen to disengage completely from the abusive person—often the person with narcissism will attempt to see if the door is still open for more narcissistic supply. He or she may “hoover” prior survivors by emailing, texting, phoning, or showing up at a survivor’s workplace or residence under the pretext of apologizing for transgressions, delivering flowers, hitting the reset button, or feigning illness or a need for assistance (money, return of belongings, etc.).

This cycle is akin to the Power and Control Wheel often referred to in the domestic violence recovery community. The hoover maneuver is an attempt to see if a prior target of abuse can be conned into another cycle of abuse, resulting in the abusive person reclaiming a sense of power and control by causing pain (emotional and sometimes physical) to a target.

Survivors of narcissistic abuse should not be fooled by the hoover maneuver. Such an action is not a sign that the abusive person loves the survivor or that he/she can change and suddenly develop reciprocity, authentically own responsibility for mistakes, and consistently show emotional maturity. The analogy of a vampire sinking fangs into the jugular vein works here. The abusive person may home in on the target’s vulnerabilities (wanting to be accepted, loved, attractive, etc.) and try to hook that person back into another abuse cycle, solely for the benefit of soothing the abusive person’s ego—no more, no less.

It’s advisable for a survivor to continue with no contact and block the abusive person from email, text, phone, and any other form of communication. In most circumstances, assuming the survivor does not reengage, eventually the “hoovering” will stop. However, if the abusive person harasses or stalks the target, the survivor may want to consider seeking legal action and/or getting the police involved, including but not limited to filing a restraining/protective order.

Awareness of the emotional abuse tactics deployed by a person with narcissism, and going no-contact, is the beginning of empowerment and healing for survivors of narcissistic abuse.

© Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Andrea Schneider, LCSW, therapist in San Dimas, California

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Keith

    February 19th, 2015 at 10:31 AM

    Someone like this is always looking for yet another way to latch onto an easy target.

    You sort of have to resolve within yourself to not be that easy target any longer

  • Joan

    September 9th, 2016 at 5:17 AM

    They never go, it seems impossible to believe when they have quickly moved into a fresh relationship & raged at you.
    It is sadly a fact that they keep coming back to the ex’s with all sorts of strange creepy methods to communicate.
    The favourite Hoover of mine is “I miss you” by text, once blocked he moved to FB once blocked it was post, email and then visits to my home.
    I created an email just for him to stop the visits and post.
    One day he will give up I keep my reactions minimal and my responses are brief and delayed to contain the situation.
    I’m expecting a ramped up communication when he ruins his current relationship.

  • gretchen r

    October 10th, 2016 at 3:40 AM

    Mine has been doing the same..keeps finding new ways to contact me!

  • lorraine

    February 19th, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    Im unsure as to whether my boyfriend is a narcisist….there is always drama in his life and he takes no personal responsibility for his poor choices. At the beginning of our rship he pursued me mostly and showered me with gifts and compliments, almost putting me on a pedestal. However as time went on, he has displayed quite controlling and.negative behaviour, such as putting me down, shouting and making fun out of me. He has a temper but has said he would never hit me!!! But emotional blackmail is used and i can see through his lies and manipulation. We have broken up several times, mostly from me putting my foot down and demanding he treats me better but he always manages to win me back with sob stories and promises of changing. Im just so confused as hes so sweet and loving in some ways but very hurtful and selfish in others. Im no angel either but I try to deal with things maturely. Does he sound like a narcisit and can he change? Would love some advice on this.

  • Gustina

    February 19th, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    YES he is a narcissist and he will never change. It’s a hard truth to accept,the harsh reality that they will never change. Narcissists are very good actors who trick you into believing that they can connect with you emotionally. The truth us that they are incapable of making an emotional connection with anyone. I am a recovering daughter of a narcissistic mother. I was fooled for a long time thinking I could change her, and thinking that she actually cared about me. The moment you make this realization, you will feel like a fool at first because it took so long to figure it out, but it is easy to fall into the narcissistic trap and no one should feel foolish for falling for it. The best thing you can do for yourself is to CUT IT OFF.I wish the very best for you!!!

  • Aileen

    February 20th, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Yes, he sounds like a narc. Be vigilant and go no contact immediately. It will be easier if you end it before he can. It will drive him insane but empower you and eliminate the drama surrounding the new supply

  • Greg

    September 16th, 2016 at 8:18 AM

    It is important to understand that is does not matter if someone is a narc or not. You will go crazy trying to figure that out what is important is no one needs to be treated badly and decide how much you are willing to put up with. Make boundary’s and be to true to yourself and let no one cross them!!!!!!

  • Helen

    April 20th, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    They are absolutely a narc. Best book on the market becoming the narcissists nightmare. It will tell you all my friend. I am a survivor

  • Rosie

    February 19th, 2015 at 1:11 PM

    This describes my mom to a T. I haven’t been able to understand why she treats me this way. It’s very confusing and hurtful. I’m in no contact with her right now and life is more peaceful without her. She is attempting to hoover again. I am a very deeply caring person and now I know she likes to feed off that. She has admitted she is incapable of connecting emotionally. Whenever I am around her she is critical, disrepects me, crosses all of my boundaries, refuses to acknowledge her mistakes or the past abuse that she gave me. Her latest tactics are to use her religious views against me sadly.
    31 years of her emotionally abuse and manipulation has manifested in all of the symptoms this article lists. Thankfully after years of counseling and group therapy I am on the mend. Not cured but I am seeing progress! I am encouraged to realize no contact is the best with the narcissist.

  • Johanna

    October 23rd, 2016 at 4:42 AM

    I have the same experience. It is schoking to see what is really going on, to understand that your mom never loved you. I have a daughter who is now 24 years old and she is suffering, too! Actually my daughter opened my eyes. Now my parents are hoovering, her, too. And it happens always exactly in the moment when I or my daughter are working for our lives to go on, maybe having some obstacles on the way: then my parents decide to put their fingers on our lives and decide to “help”. Even no help is asked. The point is to keep me and my daughter under the controll, nothing else. My daughter said to my father that she takes contact when she is ready. Did my parents respected that? No, they all the time try to press her to take contact. And when it is not working with her (she does not answer) , they contact me, sending some “innocent” messages that I do not believe any moore. The aim is to get us hooked again!

  • Hank

    February 19th, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    This is not someone that any of us need in our lives and yet is feels at times like they are pervasive, that they are like leeches and they get embedded and it is hard to get rid of them even after you can see them for who they really are.

  • denise

    February 19th, 2015 at 6:18 PM

    I went through this for nearly seven years, however, I think my ex to be more of a narcissistic sociopath.

  • Kell

    February 20th, 2015 at 4:08 AM

    I think that this could be hard for someone who has not experienced it first hand to understand because there are no wounds that are visible. Everything that you experience hurts on the inside so it is hard for others to even recognize when something bad is happening in the relationship. I also think that it is hard to understand on a personal level because again, there are no visible wounds so you think that no one will believe that you are actually being abused.

  • Gustina

    February 20th, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    I agree totally. People who have not experienced this firsthand have no idea what it’s like. People judge you for being cruel if you decide to go “no contact” or very limited contact, which leaves you feeling guilty and then you go back to trying to make it work. Which just prolongs your pain.

  • creed

    February 20th, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Why is it always the people who are getting hurt who are the ones who wind up knowing that they need to be in therapy but the ones who are doing all of the hurting? They never see themselves being at fault in any way.

  • Christie

    February 20th, 2015 at 1:30 PM

    The victim is usually genuine, whereas the abuser is hiding from their authentic self.

  • Alice, Sophomore at 68

    February 20th, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    I wish “we” would stop calling it “domestic” violence….I don’t think we need to quantify where it takes place. Violence is violence. I got a divorce after 31 years of verbal abuse. The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans saved my life; I think it should be required reading for everyone on the planet.

    Abusers are emotional vampires; their secret….to get you to constantly explain yourself

    I wrote (and presented) my paper, Society’s Hidden Pandemic, Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a FOrm of Biochemical Assault at the Michigan Counseling Association (no degree, but a lifetime of experience and research)……Did you know that with verbal abuse alone, that the brain can physically change?!

    I wrote about my life of overcoming (and thriving) and won a scholarship at age 60 and am a Sophomore at 68 (counseling).

    My goal is to speak on National Television about this “shredding of souls.” “When you blame me, you shame me, and keep me silent.”

    Kind Regards, Alice
    Overcomer, wounded healer, dancer, singer, author, poet, Vietnam era Veteran

  • bj

    February 21st, 2015 at 10:11 AM

    Thank you. At 59 I needed your inspiring words.

  • Patty

    July 14th, 2016 at 9:34 PM

    Good for you Alice. Your comments, like many others on this page, are very helpful, thank you! I will be sure to buy a copy of “The Verbally Abusive Relationship,” by Patricia Evans.

  • Kate

    July 15th, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    Thank you, Patty: As a moderator in an abused survivors’ group, I mention this book at least once a day!

  • ZODA P.

    April 3rd, 2017 at 6:39 AM

    Thank you Alice, i have been abused as a child, only to marry a bully and raise children that bully me, now after years of trying to escape, I am back living in USA, hundreds of reason why I should be punished for what I did they say, I never can do enough to please them, or spend enough, I get cornor by wanting to see my grandchildren, I put up with their bullying me, after Dec.22 and a stroke, and aneurysm that can’t be fixed, i came out one last time to see my granddaughter, but with all the yelling at me for not being loving enough , I see it has infected my granddaughter. Not sure what to do, but will have to make a choice to live away from all of them. Thank you for dedicating your life to what needs to be address so dearly
    Z

  • Ruby

    February 20th, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    To Lorraine, yes, I would say you are describing narcissistic behavior. I too dated and lived with a man who was emotionally abusive. He made me feel very special at the beginning, but after sometime he isolated me from family and friends and blamed me for the things going wrong in his life. After two years, I moved out. Shortly after, he attempted to apologize and made excuses for his behavior. I did not take him back and I felt a great relief after several months. The analogy of the abuser being like a vacuum is accurate. Looking back at the relationship I was constantly drained of energy and life.

  • Rose

    April 3rd, 2017 at 9:34 AM

    I feel like Ruby. Had a narcissitic boyfriend. He drained me of alot of my savings. He always blamed me for all his life problems. However, now that I have broken up with him, I feel this sense of loss, like I’m disconnected to the world. I have no children, and few friends as I am an introvert. My life is calm and peaceful, but a part of me misses him, but he is bad for me. If I got back with him, my life would be a wreck again, my money would float down the drain, and my energy would be sucked out of me. Just don’t know how to get over this disconnected feeling I have. Anybody experience this? I’d appreciate your input.

  • Andrea

    April 3rd, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    Hello Rose, had needy friends I used 2 think needed 2 be around them until I noticed how narcissistic they are, and then I decided 2 slowly back away from them. Had male friends but it became at times arguments between 1 guy and another guy striving 2 get my attention. It was exhausting. I used 2 think I’m not the referee here, they lacked self-confidence, self-esteem, and I felt burdened by having 2 reassure each of them for their contributions in the friendship. I gave them my friendship they brought drama and gossip which is dysfunctional. It was a huge burden. I want 2 be around secure folks, not folks that have issues, and want to use me for whatever they need. 1 of my friends wanted me to give her some of my son’s child support because she was short. The answer was no. All the excuses will overcome you if you let it when they can’t use you for what they need and what age does a person need 2 be when they are a fully functioning adult that is responsible for their own life? I used 2 wonder why don’t they just go do what they need themselves? Not in a current relationship and I love it. Don’t have male friends anymore either. People want 2 hang out if they can use you 2 get something, otherwise how many out of the blue folks call you regularly because they value you as a woman and a friend? In order 4 me 2 go out and hang with anyone they have 2 be completely 100% fully functioning adult that wants friendship from me only, no loans 4 $, no wanting 2 borrow my car 2 drive because their car is conveniently in the garage and they can’t afford 2 get it out. Getting in a relationship with a man that has kids and wants me 2 raise his kids, not happening. I wonder isn’t anyone responsible for their life themselves? I’m happy being single. I have no regrets I don’t date.

  • Mari

    April 22nd, 2017 at 5:29 PM

    Hi, Rose

    I recently broke up from a draining relationship with a narcissist and I’ve been there for almost two years. Lost 22 pounds and I was already thin before… It is not the first time I attempted do leave him and I was partially conscious of what was happening when we got back together last time. I have strong feelings for him and I wanted to make sure I was doing all I could to make things work. In the process, I almost lost my mind and the weigh loss on the last five months was the red line for me. I always told him that if I was obliged to choose between my love for him and my love for myself, I would not hesitate in choosing me and the time came when I had to quit the journey. I wish him the best and I think he needs love like any other human been but I have no more energy for it, though I love him. That makes things hard do overcome since he doesn’t leave space to breath but my mind is made up. Being conscious of what could happen when I got back to him last time, helped me to not dissolve myself in the process. It is very important (for anything in life) that you don’t doubt yourself (besides healthy self doubt which helps to evolve) and always trust your guts. Though people can change, it is imperative to recognize what needs change and that seems impossible to a narcissist. Even so, I feel sorry for him because I believe he suffers and I see no way for him to conquer happiness in life. Everybody fears him or dislikes him because of his agressive behavior (which he doesn’t recognize) and he can’t feel real connected, even when he’s loved he acts under his insecurity. It’s sad. Right now he is texting me how much he misses me and loves me and so on. Instinctively I cut his access to me, since the moment I had to call the police once he came drunk to my door and as I didn’t open he started calling me names loudly so all the street could hear. It was very sad thing to do but necessary. And though I love him, I will and I won’t ever love anyone above myself. Though I have strong love and dedication for the people in my life, I allow no one to treat me less than I deserve. I was depressed all my live and felt lonely many times but once I recovered my self love I never gave it away. I’m able to sacrifice in the name of love or any other thing i decide worthy but is me who decides, I say how I want to be treated. I told him there ware boundaries but he didn’t listen and I kept my promise. I lost weigh, money, my job and almost lost my mind but here I am, recovering.
    Believing in myself and in my intuition helps a lot. Loving myself is crucial. In the difficult moments I try to listen to chakra cleansing sounds or binaural beat waves or some guided meditations, depending on the state of mind. There are lots of options, to every taste and need. I also have been reading about human behavior since I remember so I use the ability do observe myself and everyone else from a neutral point of view, what grants me some lucidity. I also have a very supportive family (relieved since I left the relationship) and helping me go trough this moment. Search for specialized help if you don’t feel strong enough to overcome this by yourself. It is very important to be around “normal” human beings to remind you that you are worthy and that you can do it. It is important to keep the journey of self discovery, healthy habits and a clear mind. The hoover maneuver will appear when you less expect and you have to remain lucid and alert and you need a supportive net of relationships to wake you up if necessary. Don’t be ashamed or afraid. It is a strong experience and you can avail to know yourself better, know your weakness and your strength. Above all, learn to distinct between fear (which is a very useful instinct – so taught me Gavin de Beker in The Gift of Fear) and anxiety (which serves nothing) so you are aligned with yourself and use your guts to guide you. Accepting yourself entirely is the main step to self love growth. Nurturing and supporting yourself like you once did your ex will help a lot. Spiritual search also helps, avoid close ideals and restrictive thinking. Open your mind and your heart and believe: if you are still alive, you must be stronger and wiser (aren’t you?) If not yet, you will. Believe me. And believe yourself. We may be deceived to enter a toxic relationship because we don’t know the person on the beginning but is our accountability to acknowledge the alert signs and respect them. Staying or leaving must be a conscious decision, guided by your hopes and not your fears (read anxiety) of being lonely or feel unloved. You will feel unloved untill you love yourself. Work on that. Though you ware victimized, you don’t have to feel a victim; that will take your power away. There are no magical solutions but there will be progresses, just keep focused. If you analyse the initial interactions with your ex, you will recognize your guts telling you NO! ;) Learn from that. Observe yourself and what you feel and you will learn how to make healthier decisions in relationships (and everything else). I’m learning too and even after this, I’m evolving. I believe that we need to learn vulnerability and that does not mean to be a prey. I’m wishing you the best. Stay strong.

  • Lynn

    February 20th, 2015 at 2:25 PM

    Gustina, I don’t think you should feel like a fool. Doesn’t everyone expect their mom to love them? I have this same situation with my sister and I just figured out this year at age 51 that it’s a dead end. I have detached. Creed: I think the reason that the Narcissist doesn’t get help is it’s part of the sickness. How do they get help for perfection? Their ego is a mess.

  • rhonda

    February 20th, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    My workplace supports the narcissists resulting in multiple and continual victims. the Hoover maneuver concept fits perfectly.Knowing and naming it does not stop them. Death by a thousand cuts.

  • Lisa

    February 20th, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    @Alice
    Bravo! I’m getting out of 24 years to a Covert Narc. The discovery in this divorce is PARALYZING at best. I just woke up from a 10 year fog, each time I rose above the fog, I battled oppression that was so thick, it smothered me.
    I have 4 children, I did the sacrifice of staying to give them continuity, I was so WRONG, because they all got screwed into his manipulation. Thus, them blame me and its severed some bridges.
    Ive been seeking out books, and therapy, alt med treatments, etc.
    I FOUND EMDR THERAPY to be excellent at finding triggers in one session!!! It is truly amazing how fast you come to where it all started. My first one took me back to the age of 5 in 10 mins! Ive been through acupuncture, Chiropractors, hypnosis, and biofeedback….
    Ive been 9 months without a sleep cycle (3hours) in 2011, but this time around I accumulated CPTSD with Fibromyalgia – OH SO PAINFUL, everyday now for 16 months :( no good days without pain, because everyday a piece to the puzzle being his supply pops into view. 24 years to put together…. I cant see my mom after heart surgery, because I feel so wrong to moanin pain and all I want to do is take her pain from her and bare it with my daily agony. I just look forward to moving away up to my family, far away from him.

    BTW my mom went back to university for her second bachelors (geriatrics) at 65 :) You go girl!

    Lisa

  • Sweetnlucky

    February 20th, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    For those that are recovering from living with a parent who is a narcissist – what would you have told your 14 or 15 year old self about how to deal with it knowing what you do now? I’m looking to help my daughter dealing with her father’s narcissism. They don’t live together (fortunately) but he is a part of her life (which causes more harm than not).

  • Gustina

    February 20th, 2015 at 8:47 PM

    To Sweetnlucky: this is a very hard situation for a teenager to deal with emotionally. I feel for her!!! As a child, you can’t even imagine the thought that a parent can actually behave so selfishly. But,my advice to your daughter would be to do some mental imagery with her. (I HAVE 3 TEENAGERS AND, I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO HAVE SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF DO THIS WITH HER UNLESS SHE STILL RESPECTS YOU AND ASKS FOR YOUR ADVICE) Ok, when she is preparing to spend time with her father (even if it’s just a 15 min visit) have her sit in a chair with her eyes closed. Have her pretend that she has a zipper directly over her heart. Now, have her unzip that zipper and reach in and grab her tender heart, which holds all of her feelings and her self esteem. Then have her place this heart in a safe and lock it up. Only she knows the combination to get her heart out of the safe. Then explain to her that although her body is going to be with her father, all of her feelings and self esteem are locked tightly in that safe. She can’t get her feelings hurt if they are safe and securely locked away. She can retrieve her self esteem and feelungs when she is home and in a safe place. THIS IS POWERFUL. I hope it will help you ;)

  • Gustina

    February 20th, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    I meant “feelings” not feelungs. Sorry

  • Lisa

    January 28th, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Hopefully you have established an open, trusting relpationship with your daughter.
    Teach her how to distinguish ballanced, genuine friendships, ie; walk the talk, straight answers, gives honest feedback, is loyal and backs you up, never holds anything over your head, never burdens you or one ups you. Is always there for you, and comforts you in times of need. Encourages you to do your best, and sympathizes with you in your short comings.

    When the opportunites arise, let her know how special she is, let her know where you see her strengths, and how she could build on her strengths, and that you will love her and accept her through anything.
    The most important thing here is her self image, and have her not fall into co-dependency.
    My 20 yr. old son moved in with his covert narcissistic dad, and in one week came back stating everyone in that house are liars. In the last year he has consulted with me about his relationships. My son is much like me, a nurturer. I’ve explained to him my discoveries in my recovery. I’m still in the discovery part of my divorce which was 3 years last October ( now married 27 years this April). I’ve found a non disclosed house and investments. My kids are seeing how much time and money he took from us. My family tells me to quit investigating and finish the divorce. I’m at that point, my goal was to have my kids understand they can’t hide things from their spouses, and now I’ve hit that goal, as they all see this now.
    For me, it’s been the biggest awakening, struggle and shock of my lifetime. I’m still in CPTSD and Fibromayalsia, but I’m certain these will resolve once the family home is sold and I’m in my own home near my family, several counties away.

  • T.Rose.S

    February 20th, 2015 at 5:00 PM

    After reading some of these comments I wish I could talk to some of the commenters, I have recognized the pattern used for almost ten years and through 4 or 5 seperations. Every time I fell for it. This time i have found a healthy relationship in which he is willing to stand up for me and reaffirm that i am not in the wrong. recently this good influence had to work out of state for three weeks and my ex has been contacting me, I suppose he saw an opportunity to try and work his con. I will not buckle!

  • Sue

    February 20th, 2015 at 7:10 PM

    I think it is extremely difficult for children of a narcissist parent. The healthy partner will eventually cut off all contact, but the children will have some sort of a relationship with their mother or father for the duration. There are many reasons for the children to disengage from the parent, but circumstances surface that will require decisions from time to time. It puts tremendous emotional strain on them and with much support, they are able to wrestle with this serious mental illness their parent experiences. I lived this life and it was a constant challenge that was met with many emotionally charged situations.

  • Elizabeth

    May 5th, 2015 at 3:01 AM

    My daughter (16y) has been trying to have no contact with her N father but the courts/police have been negligent in protecting her. Through the divorce process we have both been abused further by ignorance/hostility and outdated protocol in the legal system.

  • C_RN

    February 21st, 2015 at 3:49 AM

    First I want to thank you all for sharing this topic. I never realized there was a term for experiencing this kind of abuse. I am a survivor as well. I did experience boughts of panic and anxiety, depression, and the episodes anxiety are now few and far between. My anxous reactions occur now only when he attempts to contact me. He actually called me out of the blue (from another number) to tell me that his phone was being serviced and not to attempt to contact him! (I had been in no contact for months!) reading this article helped to validate my feelings and reactions to having experienced this relationship. Now that I know what it was, I can recognize the pattern, commit to and be consistent with “no contact”, and continue to heal. I will also now Be able to help identify these patients suffering from this and help refer them to therapists specializing in this treatment.

  • Carson

    February 21st, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    As soon as you recognize this then you need to get this person out of your life. Nothing good is ever going to come from them being a part of you… they are the only ones who will ever get anything out of it

  • Rose

    February 22nd, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    I’ve been involved with a narc I think for 2 yrs now. I love him so much and I think he cares for me as much as he can, but i always feel manipulated and used. I let him move in w me bc I felt sorry for him, but I keep payin his bills. If I complain, he says he’s going to leave or kill himself, so I always let him back into my heart. He does bring me some joy, but at a great price- feeling miserable, lonely, guilty and hurt 1/2 the time. I don’t know how to break away.

  • Laura M

    March 25th, 2015 at 8:52 AM

    Rose, although it’s counter-intuitive, take heart from the fact that, because it’s never been about you, you are not going to be able to save him. You, and your True Self, are not really ‘present’ for him, so you are not responsible either. What you need to do is to take care of your own happiness, peace of mind and health. Taking responsibility for your own life is the best and only way for you to to live, and for him to learn to respect you. Falling into a Caretaker role will only change you in ways that will do you no good. Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life, by Margalis Fjelstad, is a fantastic book that will empower you and all others dealing with Narcissists.

  • rhonda

    February 22nd, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    Such informed and heartfelt comments representing so much pain. Roll on Royal Commission and hope the commissioners are as fantastic as the RC into institutional abuse currently extended to deal with the depth and bredth of such a societal scourge. Acknowledgment and recognition of all types of abuse by those in power and weild power over others wil assist healing and the possibility of retrieving personal power once again. Next Royal Commission needs to be focused on naming and shaming Narcs and their organisations who harbour and hire the Narcs to do a job on employees. All power to you who recognise and exit the personal power drain of pathological Narcs.

  • Rhonda R.

    February 23rd, 2015 at 2:47 AM

    What’s the best thing I can or say for someone I know who is caught in this and finds it difficult to break out. this person feels that they are ‘locked in” because of a financial situation.

  • Neal

    February 23rd, 2015 at 3:40 AM

    what is a person missing in their own life that they would need to suck another dry like this?

  • Charles

    January 26th, 2017 at 11:40 PM

    Neal, imagine a wall with a tapestry on it. Behind that wall is a big hole being covered up by that tapestry. That is the nature of a narcissist psyche, especially one with narcissistic personality disorder. They have a beautiful false face….a facade, but behind that tapestry you see is an empty hole…devoid of self worth-and full of self-loathing. They hate themselves so much their subconscious creates a false self and that is the one everyone sees except those closest to them.

    Narcissists are hyper-vigilant and look for any hole someone might poke into that tapestry to expose the empty hole. This is called narcissistic injury . Any criticism or any their motives, methods or character are usually anger them to the point of Rage . This is called narcissistic rage .

    That is when they start devaluing their partner, when their partner gets too close to the truth and threatens to pull back the tapestry and expose the empty hole.

    If the victim of a narcissist manages to pull back the tapestry and expose that empty hole, he must be discarded as promptly as possible by the narcissists. Much like the mob, narcissists have to get rid of the potential snitch who knows their secret. That they are not special and are, in fact, irreparably damaged and incapable of having relationship that a normal, well-adjusted person might have.

    This is a very remedial description of someone with narcissistic personality disorder but there’s plenty of information on the internet for you to discovery the nature of their personality disorder. It is actually good to learn this as it will help you understand people you meet through the years and allow you to better navigate the different personalities you will come into contact with.

    I can’t impress upon you enough how badly these people can emotionally damage you. Some of them are virtually evil. They don’t wear their disease on their sleeve and it is difficult to spot it first, but learning the signs is a wonderful skill that might save you an unbelievable amount of Heartache someday.

    Please read about Custer B personalities orders, particularly narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder. You might be glad you did some day.

  • Milly

    January 27th, 2017 at 7:42 AM

    I couldn’t agree more. The sooner you learn about these types of people the better. I had to wait until middle age before I had any idea they existed – I just thought some people weren’t very nice but hadn’t personally come across the kind of vindictive nastiness that is their hallmark until the past decade of my life. It astonishes me that these people can go about their daily business undetected (except by their unlucky victims) and that their disorder is neither more publicly known nor written about/ discussed in the media.

  • Kris

    February 23rd, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    Not much of a comment, more of a question. What is a person to do when the narcissistic abuser is my mother. I have limited my contact with her over the years, but I have two disabled brothers that live with her. If I cut off total contact,I am cutting myself off from them as well.

    I was so relieved to find out about this topic because I finally have a beginning answer to all the craziness I was raised in.

  • Alice

    February 23rd, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    Narcissists (look up Sam Vaknin….he has written extensively on Narcissim…….he is….a narcissist).

    Narcissists are miserable people; they don’t see/hear others; they are too busy focusing on themselves….only; they don’t have the ability for empathy and usually stop maturing at about age 13….that is why they are usually so childish in their behavior.

  • Richard G.

    December 31st, 2016 at 8:36 AM

    Alice: I had never come across the idea that failing to mature much beyond 13 years old emotionally. This helps me understand how I repeatedly allowed myself to take responsibility for their irresponsible behavior. The missing parts in my childhood due to narc & alcohol behavior kept me looking for someone else to rescue who can’t be rescued. Being manipulated & controlled was ever present. Most of the other symptoms I am finally aware of thanks to a lot of research. My siblings are unfortunately beyond talking on the subject. I don’t want to do them any harm rethinking our lives of conditional love that probably was the best we could expect. We were trained not to work as a team due to suspicion from parents that we might find out that we had an abnormal home life. Sad but true. I fell for that 13 year old sob story several times which adds up to about 20 years of artificial emotional involvements with women. I just needed to quit trusting my own choices for intimacy for several years now. Sometimes, when you are by yourself you are finally in good company. Thanks to all of you fellow travelers. Best of Luck.

  • Andrea

    January 2nd, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Richard’s comment jump started back to something my individual therapist said long time ago, these abusive dysfunctional people don’t mature emotionally so I wonder if this is the reason why I feel (when I’ve talked 2 my sister) that I feel as if I’m talking to a child? I cut off phone conversations with her because she failed 2 respect my boundary even after she said she would. Understand I am an educator and spend most or all of my days repeating myself to children infants thru pre-K age because they lack brain development to remember, however my sister just turned 50 and there’s no way I’m gonna spend more than twice repeating the same request 2 a person of this age. Don’t have any other issues with anyone else just her. Well, I chose no contact with her so she’s history as far as I’m concerned. Thankful for seeking out a therapist to help instead of choosing the alcohol/drugs avenue. Sadly there are more dysfunctional folks out in life than there are functional, unfortunately.

  • rhonda

    February 23rd, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    Rhonda R,
    Support her to seek financial and legal information as well as emotional and physical safety from women’s health. It is important to establish personal safety and options before you “poke the angry bear” this might be overt or covert but he will try everything to regain control. Informed decisions and exploration of feelings is paramount as your friend needs to make her own decisions…. no one else.He will manipulate her and she may “shoot the messenger” and you will have lost your friendship. Look after you as well

  • Creed

    February 24th, 2015 at 3:48 AM

    They are miserable people and it is almost as if their one goal is to make someone else miserable too.

  • tierney

    February 28th, 2015 at 9:36 AM

    I hope that I never come to a point in my life where the only thing I have to look forward to is making someone else feel bad about themselves. How low I must have sank to get to that point!

  • Kathy

    March 24th, 2015 at 9:52 AM

    What do I do when I want to stay in my granddaughters lives but their mother is emotionally abusing me. They are 13 and 14. Should I send them cards and gifts or just let them go completely. It seems when I send cards or gifts their mother try’s to engage with me again. She is very manipulative and has “poisoned” the girls against me. It hurts like hell but the only answer seems to be to disengage with her, my son and te girls

  • Andrietta

    March 24th, 2015 at 2:12 PM

    I married one and his daughters is a narc as well. At the end of the day I’m exhausted. I’m a Christian and don’t want to abandon them but they are cruel and users. It’s weird its like he knows when I’m thinking of leaving he changes for a brief time. Says he doesn’t mean it etc. I don’t know what to do!

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    March 24th, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    Thank you for your comment, Andrietta. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-domestic-violence.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Anne

    May 9th, 2015 at 11:20 AM

    Andrietta,

    I am in the same position you are in. My husband is an abuser, definitely hoovered everything from me in the 2 years of marriage we had. I filed for divorce. No contact is the ONLY way to be free of these people. I am a Christian too, and had been praying about leaving for months. Then his web of lies started coming unraveled, and found he never even meant his vows, they were all a lie from the beginning. As soon as I told him to get out of my house, he ran straight home to his mommy to suck her dry even more than he already has. He quit his job (the 8th one he’s had in 12 months), and abandoned our daughter, who is 13 months old.
    It is a challenging decision to leave, especially being a Christian who doesn’t believe that divorce is right. I offered him a healing separation, like Dobson talks about in his book on Tough Love. My spouse didn’t want that. He wanted me all or nothing. Because all we are is objects to these people. They aren’t capable of love or any other emotion. They don’t even love themselves, how could they ever love us like Christ loved the church??? They can’t. And won’t. Ever. I swear my husband is possessed by demons, with all the evil he has done and continues to do.
    Hold your head high, you aren’t in control of his behavior. You are allowed to leave and be happier. He is taking you farther away from God, and Jesus knows that and forgives us for divorcing these creatures! Personally, I would rather be forgiven for a divorce, where in my singledom I can get back to God, than trapped with someone who will make sure I never grow spiritually. Good luck hun and God bless. He sees you and knows your agony. <3

  • Marie

    March 24th, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    Very well written…this article has summed up my relationship perfectly. We have been together 15 years, married for 8, and just now do I have the insight & courage to break free. So worried about the impact he will have on our children in the future as they grow older, but by leaving the relationship, I know they will have one healthy, stable primary parent.
    One thing I don’t think was mentioned, is that narcissists are extremely charming and manipulative. I think only those in close relationships see them without their ‘masks.’

  • jeannie

    March 26th, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Marie, I could have written your reply myself. Left after 20 years.and everyone thinks he’s a wonderful man. Of course he has helped that opinion along by telling everyone how I have hurt him and our children.

  • rhonda

    March 24th, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    Kathy,
    Can you seek some support to talk this through with a good therapist. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or Rational Emotive Therapy (self help books available)will assist you to verbalise your dilemas and grief over the inability to be part of your Grandchildren’s lives without the emotional abuse from Narc. You can change your thinking and feelings aroound this, make your own decisions based on what skills you can develope to deflect hurtful projections and manage to have some relationship with your Grandies….All power to you. remember what they say and do reflects what is about them and not you. you might like to imagine a mirror between her and you so whatever hurtful manipulation etc is given out bounces back at the narc, and is not integrated into your loving self. Yoga can also help that self strengthening, focusing on the inner nurturer, only responsible for one self and accepting that change comes from within and what is around us just is and not our responsibility. Hope this helps.

  • marleny

    April 20th, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    from reading this n what everyone is saying im guessing my ex/boyfriend whatever he is in my life is at narcissist. he has been in my life for 3yrs kno. and for the 1st yr everything was ok we had our ups n downs but we worked them thru. he lost his father n then his friend n then things changed. cheating, lien, i feel used. i try to leave n get out but i feel lost with out him i don’t kno what to do. i have changed my number 2 times n he txt or calls or email n i fall into it. i changed my # n its like a drug to have to talk to him. i dont kno why i even think he can change, it kills me inside. he don’t see the pain he is causing me. i need help to get out of it n not fall back but i dont know how :(

  • Maeven

    October 18th, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    There are so many resources on line! Dig in and find the ones that ring true for you! The only solution is NO CONTACT.

  • rhonda

    April 21st, 2015 at 4:45 PM

    Marleny, yes you do need support, as in a “coach/therapist” to break the cycle of dependance. HE may be grieving and depressed but you cannot change him, only yourself. Get some support or your self esteem will drown in this relationship. It only gets worse with time and if you bring children into this.Get help.

  • Carrie

    May 4th, 2015 at 10:22 PM

    Tonight at work I showed one of my friends at the vindictive little tricks the other girls are doing to me. She could not believe how petty and childish they are. My friend could not believe how they come to work to be such babies. She reminded me, “God is watching and they will get what is coming to them!!”

  • Shani

    May 4th, 2015 at 11:37 PM

    im wondering if I had the hoover manuover done on me!
    I’m sure my ex is a narcissist!
    I dumped him after another tantrum in which involved me called be police and later on him blaming me!
    For months he sent love songs, texts even flowers, never had flowers even after our kids were born, no note though with them! Offered me coffee, takeaways etc etc, then suddenly he’s got a girl friend and she’s moved in with him!! Wow not even introduced her to the kids! Then the random stuff begins, once maybe twice a month a email of nothing but a jar of sweets or something else! Then social media, the endless pics of them posing looking so happy!! Then the texts telling me he met a famous guy at the weekend! ???? Yes and ???? You’ve got a girl friend so why text me??? It’s been 5 mths since then as I ignored everything he sent me and he’s gone completely silent!
    I was wondering if he was trying to manipulate me or possibly triangulate??

  • Maeven

    October 18th, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    Bothe triangulation and hoovering!They use multiple tactics at once.

  • Kay

    May 21st, 2015 at 3:31 PM

    My Father was a narcissist – didn’t have a label at the time. I only knew he was a black cloud in our family – never knew when he’d blow – and was the most sarcastic, nasty person I’d ever known. Not until I was in my 50’s did I label it. The damage was done. Carried over into my relationships. I almost married another narcissist. Cerebral. He left me after a year with no explanation. Just got up and left. He came back 4 yrs later. Why? Out of supply. He’d killed my love for him and I told him to go. Fast forward 4 yrs.

    Met another man. Energetic. Fun. Confident.Within a month, I discovered him cheating but I stayed. I was hooked. He was a liar – an alcoholic – cheap – selfish – stingy – unreliable – and I stayed anyway. I was addicted to the bad boy.

    I married him. was tired of the roller coaster and wanted it to stop. I thought if I brought stability to his life – organization, etc. he’d thrive. 3-l/2 yrs ago. Then the real abuse started. Rather than appreciate my contributions – he took advantage of me and escalated his demands. He threatened to smash in my face, took up with another woman when out of town and I was having surgery, was neglectful, never gave me a dime – had to beg for grocery money – and the kicker.. The last straw… Mother’s Day and he deliberately refused to acknowledge me. I told him if he disrespected me ONE MORE TIME – I was OUT the door. I left. For Good. He was sucking the life out of me. He’d taken everything from me..EVERYTHING. But the ONE thing he will NEVER take is my Soul. He was killing my spirit.. I WAs exhausted, confused, sad, lonely, isolated, and ignored. Broke up Mother’s Day. Moved back to the house I still owned that my daughter was living in.. NO CONTACT..I am going to be 66 yrs old. I don’t know why I could ever believe that someone else’s happiness/welfare was more important than my own.. I apologize to ME for abusing ME. I am valuable.I am lovable. I am a human being. THEY are hollow. Save yourselves and leave.

  • rhonda

    May 22nd, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    Kay, you strong Blessed self: Celebrate that you have a soul and spirituality, when those who need to prey on others do not: They set up organised religions and all things controlling. Well done free spirit.

  • Christy

    June 7th, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Hello- Kay, you are right, they ARE hollow; hollow empty souls. I told my oldest sister one day about 8 months ago that she was a sad empty soul. She looked angry and confused and slammed door. I believe she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I unfortunately had to move in w/her & my elderly mother for financial reasons. It’s been almost 6 yrs. I’ve developed health problems, had surgeries, that have prevented me from working and moving back on my own. I will be moving soon ( working on plan) She has bullied me and emotionally abused me and denies it. We’ve had horrible arguments. I stand up for myself and tell her how I feel so she doesn’t like that which gets her angry. I’ve been scared. Then there’s this period where we won’t talk & avoid each other. I don’t see her much anyhow. Then she will start being “nice” to me, make small talk, and pretend everything ok. Cycle repeats. Now I’ve gotten point where I don’t want to talk to her and get “Hoovered” in as the that term says. It’s hard when person is in house. She lies, does things intentionally to irritate me, make me annoyed, even sick ( I get migraines from fragrances and smells, etc) I am sick, so stressed I get migraines almost daily. She’s controlling, cold, has no empathy, self entitled, and lacks remorse. She’s very cruel. What’s best way to detach when you still have to live with someone?? Last couple days I’ve been trying to not say one word and she keeps trying to talk to me. She’s guilty cause she left for a nice fancy vacation and left my mom and I here. ( we don’t feel well enough to go anyhow, I don’t want go w/her) But she goes lots places and does what she pleases. We are stuck in house, no transportation. She doesn’t give a crap. It’s all about HER. And she complains how hard she has it. My mom and I are both disabled in lots of pain, can’t work. I’m struggling to just type this on phone. Anyhow. Wanted to share my story cause these leeches can also be family members and not just romantic partners.

  • Kay

    June 8th, 2015 at 10:18 AM

    Rhonda

    Thank you for sharing your story – I know it’s hard but do your best to distance yourself from any narcissistic person. Some we can’t avoid – but we can limit our interactions by not volunteering to be their victims. Keep a stoneface. Don’t respond. Monotone. It works. She THINKS it’s all about her.. It’s not. Set boundaries and STICK TO THEM.

    My Father was a narcissist – nasty, abusive, and a horrible role model. Ruined every relationship I ever had – men and women. I was so bitter and angry that anyone could treat me so badly for NO good reason! So I do have experience with that, too.

    Stay strong!! No amount of pleading, reasoning, negotiating, crying, anger.. will help. Just try to avoid her. I wish you well and know.. that YOU are the healthy one. She will never be.

    God Bless.

  • Christy

    June 11th, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    Kay- I think you meant to address your last post to me, Christy, not Rhonda?
    Anyhow. Thanks for your advice, insight and sharing what you’ve been through with your narcissistic father. That must’ve been a nightmare.

    These last 5 days with my sister gone on vacation have been so great! I’ve been more relaxed, peaceful, not much tension in house. It’s like our house was possessed and the ghosts/spirits left, lol. I dread her coming back. I know she’ll want attention but I’m going to ignore her as much as I can. I actually can do the stoneface pretty easily cause I just DONT like her.

    Thanks for sharing your stories everyone. It has helped me to gain more insight.

  • rhonda

    June 10th, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    I have recently completed a 4 day workshop on Resolving Vilification. It answered so many questions about the Physical, psycholigical emotional, financial, eduational and professional and social IMPACT of the Narcs who target and vilify addictively.
    I learned of the physical impact this abuse has on the human brain and hence the body, autoimmune system and so much more.
    I have finally found a way to begin to actually heal in lieu of dragging a dark debilitating cloud around in my life.

  • Patricia

    December 14th, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    Rhonda plz help me I have lost so much weight went to the Dr’s & all couldn’t find anything wrong now reading up on the Narcissist my body is going through the depression too..so so sad

  • cam

    July 23rd, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    i have had no contact with my narc going on 2 months a few weeks ago i started to get calls on my cell and they would come up as private number wich is very odd it started on a gloomy sunday i got 5 in the span of an hour and 3 the next day and they stop for a week and then i will get 2 in a row and than stop for a week and than ill get them again is this her way of hoovering or trying to mess the few people that i did talk to the first thing they said its her,,,am i being paranoid or is this a way of her hoovering or trying to stop the no cantact

  • Me

    February 1st, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    I too keep getting calls to my mobile(cell). They are coming up as a private number. I think it is him hoovering in the hope that I will call and ask if he is sending me calls. Hell will freeze over first. Mel x

  • Jodie

    August 24th, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    Happening as I’m writing this. Reading this to keep strong.

  • Suzanne

    September 17th, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Hi Jodie,

    Found this website after breaking up with abusive narcissist, and getting hoovered the next day.:(

    If u would like a support buddy, perhaps we could be supportive of each other.
    I know already a lot abt this stuff, but got conned anyway. I would be happy to dialogue, if u choose.
    Thank u.. and hoping ur hanging in there with NC. It is isn’t easy.
    Sincerely
    Suzanne

  • Rose

    September 17th, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    I finally had enough and kicked out my narcissist with my family’s help. I was doing great, then felt so lonely last weekend. My tire blew out on the highway, and I called him – big mistake. He wanted money for helping me, even though I had already given him $15,000 in a 2 year period, plus always paid his way for eating out, movies, gas. It was a total con game for him. I don’t know how I could be so stupid, but now he actually has rejected me, because I wouldn’t give him any more money, so, it’s hurting, but I know I will heal in time. He is a classic narcissist. Thinks only of himself and what he wants. I was to blame for all his money problems and general life problems, so therefore he required that I support him both emotionally and financially. Awful, awful relationship. Why did I stay in it so long? I don’t understand myself.

  • Rose

    September 18th, 2015 at 12:41 PM

    Thanks to all for your comments. It’s amazing how some of your comments describe my situation with my narcissist exactly to the “T”. I’m finally done with this man, survived, lost $15,000, but I am still financially OK. It has made me really mad – mad enough to have the energy to start my own business and become very, very, wealthy.

  • Ange

    September 20th, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    Hi all, I am day 8 of NC with my ex, well sort of I work in a pub so was waiting for the inevitable show of face as this has always worked in getting me back in the past, this always being after a disappearing act plus 3 or 4 days of the silent treatment to which I never try to contact him.

    After our last break up I was reluctant to get back with him after everything he had done to me the packing his stuff and the coming and goings, it was like every 6 weeks or so he’d be off on his bike again!
    But after yet another silent treatment and him knowing I was out with friends I received a text from him saying basically he wanted to end it all and he would see me in another life! Of course I responded… He has a cocaine habit which he blamed all the lying, cheating, paranoia, disappearing acts on, everything he ever done was down to his drug problem and to a point i wanted to believe it was the drugs too.. He begged me to help get him off it and his words no mine have a normal life and all our troubles would be over… Not! So guess what 6 week in to a 12 step program to get off the coke he announces he not happy, doesn’t feel the same about me packs his stuff and goes!

    I told him the last tine we got back together, the next time you leave will be the last time you come back! And this time I mean it!

    So I’m behind the bar and in he comes dead on 3pm when I start…served him had a bit of a smile a but of chit chat… I have to keep it professional unfortunately as I cant be seen to be an emotional mess behind the bar in front of the customers…
    Then my watsapp alert went off..
    Message reads:
    Sorry to come in while your working,I hope that isn’t just your pub persona your giving off lol.. I’m sorry I’m on such an emotional rollercoaster at the mo and didn’t want to make you unhappy…i just want you to know your the first thing I think of when I wake up everyday.love RP xx

    My translation of this is:

    Hi I purposely turned up on your shift today just to make sure your not over me and heartbroken..i do hope your in bits lol..
    Im actually on my very own rollercoaster of manipulation and its the perfect cover for treating you like shit on a daily basis for trying to stand by me and support me for the idiot you are.
    Anyways I’m thinking of making a reappearance in your life to cause more havoc and destruction and if I’m really lucky completely brake ya this time but this being once I’m done screwing about or my new squeeze don’t quite pan out..

    So what do you think aye, fancy another go on the merry go round
    Love RP xx

    I did not respond and deleted it.. He then sent a message saying “thanks for the f’ing reply..

    This is my new trick, read what he actually means not what he has written… This and all your comments on here are what are keeping me going..

    Be strong, be happy, be free.

    Xx

  • Rose

    September 20th, 2015 at 3:11 PM

    Ange,
    I can totally relate to his response ” thanks for your f…ing reply”. My narcissist used those tactics on me ALL the time and I fell for it over and over. That kind of response is meant to make you feel guilty and make you feel sorry for him. I believe they are naturally good at this. Like you said. Be free. Be happy. You don’t need this abusive man in your life. Missing him will fade in time. Just give it time.

  • Ange

    September 21st, 2015 at 3:02 AM

    Thank you for the reply, I’m thinking like you I became a cash cow I have money put away and he managed to get his hands on a £1000 of it… my friends are telling me to ask him for it back but I know it will be a long drawn out process plus contact with him outside of the pub so I’m just going to let it go…I think my sanity is worth more…

    He messaged again last night saying he was at his meeting and he’s still clean and that he thinks of me all the time…!! The last conversation we had was that his feelings had changed and he wasn’t happy…he’s acting like none of the above happened and he’s on some sort of business trip and he’ll be home for dinner!

    I’m learning, the patterns are the same.. but I struggle with that tiny bit of hope that he is able to change… when that comes I just read up on this whole crazy disorder again and again to reinforce that this is his life and what he likes to do!

    Very hard to understand somebody who intentionally likes to hurt and use people when I’m the complete opposite..it’s so hard to compute!

    Thanks again for your support,, I have friends but they just think I need to get over it..it’s nice to speak to someone that’s been there..

    Take care

    Xx

  • Maeven

    October 18th, 2015 at 4:08 PM

    Yes! Writing down what the narc means, translating from what it appears to mean, based on what you’ve learned fom experience, is empowering. I’ve been doing that too,and have been able to maintain NO CONTACT despite gifts arriving via FedEx,UPS, US Mail, in addition to phonecalls, texts and emails.

  • Rose

    September 21st, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    Ange,
    Let the money go – and let him go. He will never change. I always had that tiny bit of hope too, but his patterns remain the same, even though he has, I think become a little more patient and a little less angry – he’s still the same. I thought things would change when he got a better job – nope – he got a better job and he still expected me to pay his way! In fact, he wanted to show me the beautiful blinds he installed at a trendy bar, so we went there in my car, my gas, and I bought him a very expensive beer and myself one drink. The entire event cost me about $40.00. He is NEVER going to change. Read about how to get over a breakup. It’s not easy. I just spent the weekend in a deep depression, but better this temporary phase than the rest of my life with someone who uses me emotionally, financially, and physically, someone who I’m at first excited to be with, but by power, manipulation, and control, ends up draining all my energy – and doesn’t realize he’s doing it! Walk away. Let it go. And I will do the same. It’s a process. It takes time. Take the time and let him go.
    Best,
    Rose

  • Ange

    September 22nd, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Again Rose thank you for your kind words and support… your story is my story even down to everytime we stepped out the front door I came home with a much lighter purse…!

    I feel for you with regards to the depression, it’s a terrible thing to go through..I hope you get through this soon.. so sad that this is caused by the actions of sombody else… big hugs to you x

    I’m doing all the things you have suggested, some days it gives me grate strength and other days like today I’m struggling, not helped by a “good night” text last night but like you I want a happy life.. I too hated the feeling of being drained all the time and knew that it was him making me feel this way..I wasn’t like this before!

    I question myself daily, why do I miss what I know isn’t good for me! He came into my life with nothing and left the same way! My mind boggles.

    I wish you well Rose on your road to being happy..

    Xx

  • Rose

    September 22nd, 2015 at 8:31 PM

    Ange,
    It’s normal to miss him. I miss my guy immensely, but I’ve just had it. As I write this, I still want to text him, but I’m not going to. I find myself daydreaming of how good it could be if he was more normal,but he’s never going to change. I wen thru this exercise where u write down every negative thing about him and I just kept writing and writing. He has really done some cruel mean shit to me. When I start to miss him, I take out what I wrote, and remember how hurt he made me feel, then I don’t miss him for a while. He once broke a wine bottle and 2 glasses on the street, drove my car 90 mph and threatened to wrap the car around a pole, unless I gave him all the money in my wallet ALL BC I joked about how he never keeps a job in front of one of his friends. He did this after I had paid for appetizers and drinks for all of us- 54.00 AND I’m absolutely certain he had something going on with the restaurant hostess. It was so blatantly obvious! I’m sure he either knew her, had sex with her, or got her number. I think of this and wonder how could I want to see him after this, but I did. So, my advice is it will be hard, but try to do the no contact thing. You’re only prolonging the healing process. I feel better every day and so relaxed. What I just described was only one episode of many. I could write a book and I just might! Best wishes. Remember no contact is best!

  • Patricia

    December 14th, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Thank you so much Rose,I’m going through it now been no contact for 3wks wasted 5yrs of my life now the divorce..I just want this all to be over..can’t eat loosing weight just wanna scream continously..thanks again

  • Rose

    September 21st, 2015 at 1:03 PM

    And also, your friends and even family will not fully understand! But there is plenty of support here and on-line. Just google how to move on after a breakup. There is a ton of help out there and of course there is personal therapy which I used while I was IN the relationship with him. I know now, the moving on and healing is all up to me. It’s tough at first, but the more time passes, the easier it gets, until one day, you don’t think of him anymore. I’ve just started this process myself. It is almost physically debilitating. I want so badly to re-connect, because part of our relationship was happy and excited, but mostly it wasn’t happy and it was draining. We tend to only remember the good parts. I’ve started writing down all the bad parts and there were many more bad parts. Trust me, I’ going thru the exact same thing you are. Best wishes,
    Rose

  • Haley

    September 22nd, 2015 at 10:32 PM

    I wish I had read this 16 years ago…this is EXACTLY what happened to me, I now suffer the wrath of the NARC in the most horrendous way.
    2

  • Rose

    September 23rd, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Haley,
    Tell me what happened. I want to text him so bad. I wake up crying almost daily. I feel like a zombie must feel – half alive and half dead. I guess it’s depression. I’m seeing my therapist tomorrow. There must be something wrong with us, some insecurity to want to be with a person like this. He still blames me and says I treated him ugly. It was just my way I’ve trying to escape him. So, yeah I said some ugly things to him., but what about his behavior that caused me to say the ugly things? He feels he didn’t do anything wrong. Pray for me. Pray for us.

  • Rose

    September 23rd, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    Just got a shot of reality. Today, I texted him a minion holding a teddy bear that said “Miss You”. He texted back “What do you want?” I texted, “World Peace”. He texted “You need to write me a check”. Suddenly, I don’t miss him so much.

  • Allison

    November 9th, 2015 at 4:54 AM

    It was discard #3 when I finally came upon narcissistic abuse. Prior to that time I was a shell of myself, losin weight from not eating, sobbing on the floor, feeling like a total failure and that no one would ever love me but I didn’t know why. Prior to him I was a pretty confident woman, minus some insecurities due to things that happened in my childhood – that’s the one thing I wish I hadn’t shared with him. No matter the issue, no matter the requests I had for him to go back to being the man I fell in love with, he would immediately use those insecurities as the SOLE reason things weren’t working out between us. The times he would come back, which I now know is Hoovering, my confidence would be on 1000% and he would systematically keep bringing up who I used to be until he slowly brought me back into the land of anxiety and doubting myself all over again.

    This past June I ended the relationship. 4 years of this was enough. I have been no contact ever since (5 months). I have blocked him from my phone, texts, all social media and up until recently all emails go straight to the deleted folder (I was told to put them in another folder in case I needed them for legal purposes). Last week I saw that he has sent me 6 messages in 12 days…one email was blaming my “insecurities” on why things didn’t work out again, telling me I was crazy for not seeing how much he “loves” me and piling on more of the spiritual abuse he did throughout our relationship, followed by a link to what men wish women knew about them, 3 sermons on insecurity and then one telling me about a new highway opening up. I have still remained silent.

    1. When will this end?
    2. Why did I have to fight myself to not respond to the first email blaming me for the relationship not working?

  • Marie

    November 19th, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    I have been no contact for 7 weeks. I had a few encounters with him showing up at my door telling me he missed me and how much he loved me but them immediately went to if I didn’t act the way I did, he wouldn’t say the things he says. Yes always my fault. I told him to leave which was a struggle for me. Then came by my house again a few weeks later to flaunt two very young girls in the car with him. Every day is a struggle for me. I know he won’t change , it’s been over 3 years , but every day is a struggle. Effects my entire life. Don’t know how to move past this. I just want to forget it ever happened.

  • Patricia

    December 14th, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    Lady,I’m trying myself been married for 5yrs & a waste of my time been 3wks no contact..once your on to them they get nervous..oh & wit the new supply not new though..wait til she gets it..good luck

  • Naomi

    November 19th, 2015 at 6:45 PM

    I can’t decide totally if my ex is a Narc but he has many tendicies of my ex husband who is through and through a Narc. He is selfish plays the blame game is a complete ass to me and then begs forgiveness. Now he wants another go and says we should try counciling together. Im thinking this is another ploy to get me to take him back

  • shanna

    November 19th, 2015 at 10:47 PM

    I’ve been married to a narcissist sociopath for 13 yrs. So much damage has been done but I’m rebuilding. I started the no contact but we have a child together and are not divorced or legally separated yet. The threats of taking my son and the very few things I have left have me living in fear. He fools everyone around him into thinking I’m an awful person when all I ever tried to do was help him. He is a sick and twisted man I don’t want my son to be ducked in by his disception. What do I do? I work hard but barely make ends meet. Are there any ways to make this easier, for I can’t handle anymore of his abuse?

  • shanna

    November 19th, 2015 at 11:11 PM

    I keep reading the comments on here and I didn’t mention the adultery his bizarre sex request and his drug abuse that he blames everything on. He’s fooled everyone for years saying he’s clean and getting sympathy from, I call them his chearleaders By making it look like Im not understanding of his addiction and I’m making it hard on him. I’ve stood by him through yrs of rehab when he would hook up with all these young girls there. I think to him it felt like he was in college. He would beg and cry to come come home, of course I took him but yet I don’t understand anything and I am the horrible one when now I’m living with my parents and my two boys and when he met me I owned my own home and my vehicle out righthad wonderful credit now I’m starting from zero and he still is haunting my life.

  • Giusi.

    November 20th, 2015 at 8:09 AM

    It has been 6 months and my nex won’t stop hoovering me… I’m starting to think they are delusional. I’ve been advised to go to the police several times by my friends and family. But I am really trying to do this the most peaceful and mindful way possible. Some advice?

  • Milly

    January 22nd, 2016 at 9:07 AM

    My sister is a narcissist who has caused me, and my husband, a lot of grief. For some time, without us realizing, she told lies about us to the others in the family who believed her even though I was eventually able to prove she was wrong. She also maligned us both behind our backs – we’re not sure how far this has travelled but have seen some evidence from family members not acknowledging gifts and not inviting us to events when we might have expected to be. Luckily we live a long way off so don’t have to see her, except that my mother is elderly and still needs our support. Sis is jealous because she lives near to mom so has to do more to look after her whilst I do what I can, visiting and having mom to stay when possible, as well as phoning every day and helping with her finances. But she has publicly, to my other siblings, unjustifiably accused me of not doing enough to help and is winding them up to agree with her nastiness. In the meantime, when she is is the mood, she is sweetness and light, pretending that nothing has happened and that all is well, hoovering away to keep in with me. It’s hard to comprehend that someone can be so nasty without any provocation or retaliation and then just switch on the charm the next day. One problem is getting my grown-up kids to understand that she is so nasty as they have always only seen the smarmy, charming side of her and some of them are in social media contact with her children so it’s hard for them to cut off when they have had no personal abuse themselves. We can only assume that the deep-seated reason behind all of this is jealousy going back to childhood – I wasn’t aware that she felt like this but there are obviously some serious fracture lines there. Non-contact is definitely the only way to go but total cut-off can’t happen as long as mom is around.

  • Raven

    February 29th, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    This article is very helpful. I have narcissistic, emotionally abusive parents.
    At the age of 31, I am still feeling like a scolded child just for having stood up for myself, not allowing them to cross my boundaries and undermine my parenting. These are just a small scale model of an example. To go in detail, I feel wpuld be a trigger for some.
    I finally said no more on Friday, and my weekend consisted of my mother and my father telling me I am a bully, that I am aggressive, abusive and have anger problems or that I am having mood swings as they always do when I stand my ground, try to set boundaries or even just have my own point of view. When I did not accept that they started accusing my husband of being abusive, and making me move interstate just to keep me isolated amongst other horrid accusations, When I was the one that made the call to move away! I had enough, either I am a horrible evil daughter for standing up for myself or I am under the control of an abusive husband who simply cannot be strong enough to be saying ‘enough’ without it controlled by my husband.
    Then I realized, they are projecting. They were the ones who made move away from everyone I knew, the town I grew up in to a place where I was isolated. I had noone. And when I did they accused them of the same.
    While they were essentially saying “this is all in your head” was a trigger for another trauma in my life was caused by them I learned something. It’s not me and never has been. I also realize why they have gotten under my skin for this long. I’d finally realized how wrong their behavior is. I recalled all the problems they had with my siblings, that they poisoned me to think was not my parents fault. They did the same to my siblings in different levels, and they no longer have any contact with them yet they still refuse to claim responsibility for.
    They will never change and my life will never improve while they have their claws in.
    In short, this article has been a helpful tool and my experiences have inspired me to want to study psychology so I can help others as well as myself.
    Thanks 😊

  • Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    Andrea Schneider, LCSW

    February 29th, 2016 at 8:33 PM

    @Raven — I am glad the article was helpful for you (I have written more on the subject, listed under my profile). You may also find support and validation from Karyl McBride’s book Will I Ever Be Good Enough?, addressing survivors of narcissistic abuse by parents — sending you healing wishes. Andrea Schneider, LCSW

  • Milly

    March 1st, 2016 at 5:29 AM

    Good luck, Raven – it is so much worse when it is your parents doing this sort of thing, people who should love and protect you. Now you know what they’re like, and that there is to be no change, you must operate self-preservation by permanently detaching yourself from them as they have harmed you enough. You don’t owe them anything. You will find love from your husband and others who know you as the good person you are.

  • Lisa

    March 4th, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    I’ve been with to my husband for 14 years, 8 married. We had beautiful times together but bad too. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and pharma medicated as well as self medicated with marijuana. I lost myself in his ways. I am now seeing the truth. He is narcissistic and I didn’t realize it. I’m now in my third time leaving him and before I believed his wanting to be a better person. I fell for the hovering. Oive letters love songs words of sorry and more God and prayer. Only to see again that he walks the path of attention seeking. He took a job in another state and it all happened again. I’m so tired. I have now taken the no contact approach. It is very difficult. I miss the good times. Then I remember the bad. It’s a horrible moment of confusion mentally. How does everyone cope?
    At a loss and so sad.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    March 4th, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Dear Lisa,

    Thank you for your comment. We are sorry to hear of the difficulty you are experiencing. The GoodTherapy.org Team is not a substitute for professional advice, but we encourage you to reach out. Speaking to a therapist or counselor can be helpful when moving forward after any breakup but may be especially recommended when a relationship was abusive.

    You can find a list of therapists practicing in your area through our website. Simply enter your ZIP code here:
    http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html

    Please know you are not alone. Help is available, and we wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Kind regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Shae

    April 2nd, 2016 at 8:11 PM

    Alice-sophomore at 68, can I read your paper? Is it online?

  • Laura

    May 4th, 2016 at 5:57 PM

    Every no contact I have seen y’all all tell us to go no contact and to file a restraining order no contact order. When I did that he burnt my house down with me in it it escalated the minute I found it and he called me immediately. 3 beautiful people died in Florida where I live yesterday because she found a new contact. I know a lot of people that are going to the same thing I am and the minute they found no contact or restraining order escalated so please find something else for us to do besides a restraining order.

  • Lucy

    May 21st, 2016 at 7:04 PM

    I’ve been amazed by the hoovering, it is exactly as the articles predicted.
    I miss you
    I’ve changed
    I’ve valuated my life
    Thinking about you
    Have a drink for me (birthday)
    Photographs of ‘us’ in mail
    My belongings (box of tampons) on my door step
    Accusations “you used to have a sense of humour”
    “You’re playing a game”
    You might bump into me at **** just giving you a heads up
    Are you going to ***** just wondered
    It’s been two years and despite me insisting he stop because he is compromising his current relationship it continues after brief sulks
    I’m skilled at not answering his questions, being provoked or reacting now I know about the disorder. I never respond immediately. No amount of common sense is understood so I answer with absolute rubbish. I’ve politely thrown out clues about his fake persona, said we are opposites, I’m not obedient enough for him, I’m no longer trying, I like being single and that he invested nothing in me.

    It is frightening sometimes, I feel sick if I’ve been left alone for a month or so. Nothing I do will remove him, I went no contact to begin with which allowed me recovery & he quickly began a new relationship (he thought I was returning after a rage).
    His relationship status has not deterred him. If I block him he comes to my home which is worse. I refused going to meet for drinks, I refuse contact but it keeps coming so talking rubbish is most helpful & confuses him. I’m not sinking to accusations or insults, keeping it bland. Keeping him in his current relationship at all costs.

  • anonymous

    June 7th, 2016 at 12:05 AM

    i might have been guilty of this.. How can you forgive yourself to have done what you have sworn to not do what has been done to you?

  • Mira

    July 7th, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    I was discarded three months ago by someone who exhibited almost all of the characteristics of a narcissist after he admitted to being in a relationship with someone while in a relationship with me.
    I recently heard they were no longer together.
    Two days ago I received an email from him apologising for the despicable way he treated me, that I was a wonderful loving trusting who deserved to be happy. He said he has had to take a hard look at himself and how he has treated women. He said he had now taken responsibility for the pain and upset he has caused. He wished me a happy life and said he hopes I will find a wonderful man who will take care of me and treat me me with the love and respect I deserve.
    Can this be considered a hoover if he did not want anything from me nor seem to want to get back into my life? Could he (at 65) had an epiphany and developed a conscience? I went through it all with him, the silent treatments, lying, cheating, anger if I dared say anything, been discarded suddenly without a word, ignored, blocked and unblocked on fb etc etc. So how is it possible that he wrote these wonderful sounding words. Can anyone tell me what it means?

  • Milly

    July 7th, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    I would say this is most definitely hoovering, the classic symptoms. It just sounds too good to be true that he can have had such an epiphany. As you know, narcissists need constant ‘supply’ and he clearly isn’t getting any at the moment so is putting out feelers to draw you back in, testing the waters first. He’ll be hoping for a thank you or something similar but If I were you I wouldn’t reply at all, not one word. Life’s too short. Just my opinion, for what its worth.

  • Mira

    July 7th, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    Your opinion makes sense Milly. Thank you so much for it.

  • Milly

    July 8th, 2016 at 8:16 AM

    The best of luck, Mira. I’m sure that not being sucked back into this person’s world will give you the best chance of finding ‘a wonderful man who will take care of you and treat you with the love and respect you deserve’.

  • Shane

    July 8th, 2016 at 9:58 AM

    I sometimes wonder if the last guy I dated was narcissistic. I experienced the love bombing. Couldn’t believe my luck. He played victim, been cheated on, told me the first date he fought his ex in court to see his son.
    He spent money like it was nothing, seemed to want everyone to like him.
    He abruptly ended it with me by text with a very poor excuse. Was cold and heartless. No sorry nothing. Yet he claimed he’d fallen for me. He’s not been in touch since

  • Mira

    July 8th, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Thanks Milly. Sigh, I wish I could eradicate the feelings for him in my heart. I certainly see the wisdom in no contact. That email of his has set me back and I was doing so well.

  • Milly

    July 8th, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Be strong, Mira, and think of how well you have done since he left! x

  • Mira

    July 8th, 2016 at 4:02 PM

    Thanks again Milly for your caring and encouragement. God bless xxx

  • Milly

    July 9th, 2016 at 9:54 AM

    Hi Mira,
    In case you haven’t seen it, this article blog.melanietoniaevans.com/hoovering-how-the-narcissist-tricks-you-into-breaking-no-contact/ is a very good complement to the one above. It might help to give you more resolve, if you need it!

  • Mira

    July 9th, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Thank you Milly! I’ve read it and it’s very good. I need all the help I can get. At the same time I know inside that I’m going to be alright.

  • georgina

    November 1st, 2016 at 7:32 PM

    Milly’s link had this great point in it:
    “Why Do Narcissists Hoover?
    The answer, truly, is simply because narcissists are empty voids. They need narcissistic supply to emotionally exist. They need to know that they are affecting someone, or someone hasn’t got over them, and that this person is at their beck and call, and that they are “captured” as a future feed if necessary.
    “Narcissists are junkies. They tend to keep multiple sources of supply as backup, the same way crocodiles store pieces of meat under rocks when other food supplies fall low.”

  • Milly

    July 10th, 2016 at 3:19 AM

    That sounds like good news! If you Google ‘hoovering’ there are a lot of helpful articles out there that help to keep you on track. I often go back and re-read them just to keep myself focused, having gone no contact with a toxic family member.

  • Mira

    July 10th, 2016 at 12:49 PM

    Thanks Milly, I’ve been reading my eyes out and am still not sure of the point of his email and lovely words if he is not interested in contact. Hoovering is all about getting back into a person’s life which he is not doing. He’s blocked me, so why make the contact in the first place? I can’t get my head around it.

  • Milly

    July 11th, 2016 at 4:03 AM

    I think this all part of his game. He has to have narcissistic supply, whether that it positive or negative – he just needs to know that he is having an effect on you of some sort and he will only get that if you give a response. At the moment he is testing the waters to see if he can worm his way back into your life. Of course, he doesn’t know that he is in your head night and day and that his message has caused complete confusion for you – if he gets any idea that has happened, he will get his narcissistic supply from that. If you reply with something encouraging, he may well attempt to get back into your life physically as well as mentally. You may have seen this article but it describes quite well the cycle. thenarcissisticpersonality.com/hoover-manuver/ The only thing you can do is to completely ignore this man’s approaches and try to move your life in a direction where you can just forget him, very hard, I know.
    Perhaps there is someone else on this forum with similar experiences to Mira who can advise her that this will work?

  • Mira

    July 11th, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Hi Milly,
    There’s no question that no contact is the answer to avoiding any kind of confusion they love to provide. Zari Ballard who has written the most wonderful articles on narcissists explains that the reasons they hoover is to preserve supply in case of need and also to ensure the victim never moves on from the pain they caused. This could well be the answer to my particular case. I’m so sad for all the pain and suffering good innocent people are being caused. I can only reiterate what the experts say to go no or minimal contact – the latter for when children are concerned. I think I’m able to do this myself now, finally. Strength and resovle to us all to cut contact with the nightmare in order that healing be possible.

  • Milly

    July 11th, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Zari’s explanation sounds very valid. If only the manipulations of these people were more widely known and condemned. Good luck, Mira.

  • Mira

    July 11th, 2016 at 12:36 PM

    Many thanks to you Milly

  • Goldiiee

    September 1st, 2016 at 3:22 AM

    Hi
    I’m 21 years old. I just came out of a relationship with a 35 year old NARCISSITIC man. It was horrible. At first I felt like a queen. As time flew by things became bad. Although I blame myself because I should have left a long time ago. I’m very young I’ve been thru a lot he saw a chance to take advantage . He has lied about his whole life, later finding out he has a girlfriend of 8years. He also blamed me for that, for his girl finding out. Even thought she called me. I never knew of her. I went all summer without talking to this man. I was depressed all summer. Spent weeks in my room. I lost my job. I recently got a new job on Sunday. He came in yesterday and started some issues. I’m now fired again and looking for another job. Somehow I hate this man but wanna run to him for help. I feel hopeless

  • Milly

    September 1st, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    Hi Goldiiee,
    This man sounds awful. He has lied to you and sucked you in – you can never trust him again. He needs you because it makes him feel powerful. Now you must take back that power and look after yourself. Break all contact with him, even if he begs to see you again. Find someone who is kind, empathetic and genuine, perhaps someone nearer your own age who does not have so much personal history (but try not to unload all your woes onto a new man or you will seem needy and put him off!). You don’t need this narcissist to help you as he will just continue to suck you dry. Read some of the articles mentioned in the comments above – they will give you strength. Look after yourself. x

  • Andrea

    December 19th, 2016 at 11:13 PM

    Hoover Maneuver just got done reading about it. I feel vindicated because I knew my siblings were fake and phony but didn’t have the correct words to describe them. Now I do. Recently cut ties with siblings and I suspect they aren’t going away quietly. I’d like opinions from anyone that wants to give some, because siblings hung around our parents most of their lives up to their deaths, and now they are seeking me out because I’m the only immediate family member left and they want 2 hang out. Haven’t seen my sister in 30 years, my brother on and off and I feel it is a little crazy why they can’t just live their lives on their own. I did & I loved not being close 2 them. I had my space. My own space. Least I have a backup if they show up at my doorstep unannounced. My sister expects me not 2 smoke, drink or swear around her daughter and you can bet I will do all three. Maybe even run around my home nude just to embarrass the heck out of her prudish ways.

  • Tammy

    February 1st, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    It is very hard to understand while you are going through the motions with these kinds of people, especially when you know nothing of the personality disorder. A few things I learned from my experience is…
    Research, research, research- the more you know the better and stronger you get. (Even if it takes a long time keep working at it) you will have that Aw Hah moment when you know without a doubt she/he was a Narc… All situations are not 100% alike but still you find a lot of commons to verify what you dealt with and what you will be up for if you return to them.
    Get back to being yourself. – The whole time I was with my ex Narc I was just trying to make him happy and forgot to make myself happy.
    (They are molding us the whole time- you don’t realize it at the time but you are changing..You are not the person you once were. You most likely will never be that person again but you can get pretty darn close.
    Never give up & Never give in to these people stick to the no contact.
    Remember- Time does heal a lot of things…give it time.
    It has been 2 years for me now and just 2 days ago I received a follow request from him on Instagram , he instantly unfollowed me but, he I believe was just letting me know he’s still near and or wanted a reaction from me.

  • Me

    February 1st, 2017 at 11:07 AM

    These sharks will suck the very life from you. What is it about leave me alone do they not understand? I told my ex that I was done with the lying oh, that was prolific, the cheating, the gas lighting, are they stupid as well as devoid of any human traits? Understand this I do not want you in my life. Go away and stay away. Mel x

  • Tammy

    February 2nd, 2017 at 2:03 PM

    Yes they truly are sharks. I bet if they knew they were even being discussed in forums like this it would ignite them and make them feel like they still have a grasp on us. when in all reality it’s us healing and showing others the way.

  • Ness

    February 6th, 2017 at 7:40 AM

    I have been researching my situation for months as I have never encountered something like this in my life. We were together for 5 years prior to our Marriage of 1 year. I knew our relationship wasn’t right, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I felt anxious all the time to make him happy & he still felt very distant to me. He hardly gave any affection. I went to bed alone at nights and begged him for just 1 night/ week to go to sleep with me. Never happened. He started bringing his exes into the picture, locked his phone regularly, and would even take it to the bathroom with him. In the middle of the nights, his phone would light up repeatedly. He told me it’s updating more than usual. I believed all this, to a point. After work one day, he told me about a beautiful home he found in another town. I wasn’t too happy about it at first BC I have 2 daughter’s in high school and didn’t want them leaving all their friends they grew up with. Well.. we decided to get it. Signed paperwork for a 30 year contract… 5 days later he went to work & never returned. He did contact me and asked if I could bring him his clothes. I did & he looked at me with venomous eyes and said.. ” I hate you. I don’t want you and you are nothing but scum. ” We didn’t even have an argument the night before all this before he left. We are now 6 months out, he has moved to an unknown location, won’t give me a divorce. I have to get an attorney which I can’t afford right now. 2 days after he left me, he was walking the fair with his high school sweetheart ( who is also married), he paid for dating sites during our relationship, had multiple women’s numbers in an old phone that he left behind,got cash advances that I knew nothing about, constantly told my daughter’s that I was crazy and needed meds. There is so much more pain I endured, but this is a few. I will never understand how someone could hurt another human being in this matter. The past 6 years I have been living a lie. My one and only marriage I ever wanted in my life is now a nightmare. I will continue to pray for healing for everyone that comes in contact with these types. It’s not fair & we did not deserve this pain.

  • Tammy

    February 8th, 2017 at 6:45 AM

    I’ll never forget the message I received from my Ex Narc’s Ex wife which was ” Enjoy the roller coaster ride” I later found out what she was talking about.

  • Ness

    February 10th, 2017 at 6:14 AM

    Interesting… I got the same message from his first ex wife. She also told me that the only reason he married me is BC of the multiple sclerosis that I fight every day , he was waiting for me to die, and so he could draw social security off my daughter’s. I can’t believe all this has happened. I was so blind. I’m still married to the POS. He put a restraining order on me for texting and calling. I guess I was interrupting his affairs. I was trying to figure out what went wrong. Like I said in my post before,we just signed a brand new home, all the bills in his name,and I was lost. He never talked to me about any of it. The judge granted him the restraining order for a year. The judge had the nerve to say to me… ” The minute he walked out, I had nothing else more to say to him!!’ I was like.. really? You have got to be kidding me! Guess I was chopped liver. I was going through so much depression and the judge made it worse. He is now living at an unknown location so I have no clue how to get divorced from him without a lawyer.

  • Mel

    February 22nd, 2017 at 12:43 PM

    Like you my ex had hundreds of women’s phone numbers on his mobile. Numerous e-mail accounts and profiles on dating sites. One minute he would tell me he loved me, the next I was the who’re of Babylon. He preferred to masturbate than have sex with me. That was finish for me.

  • Tammy

    February 13th, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    DONT GIVE UP!! Show him your not weak.
    Maybe play him at his own game like, try be nice to get what you want a divorce then when it’s over and done you can start to heal. It hurts like hell and hard for many to truly understand it. Oh my goodness… I’m not one to get in a yelling fighting match with people and I feel that frustrated him. I recall my own teenage daughter asking how old is he? He pouts like a baby when he’s upset. He would treated to leave me for nothing. He had the balls to say to my daughter about my late husband her daddy.. ” stop using your dad for a crutch he’s gone! What a POS

  • Minni

    March 7th, 2017 at 12:52 PM

    I don’t know what I can do anymore, my life getting really messed up after married to a man I suspect as an altruistic narcissist. He’s so good making himself appear empathetic, believable, patient, nice and loving yet I got traumatized only 6 months after marrying him. I’m trying to divorce him for one and half year already, but he refused my divorce attempt. He already taken all the paper I need to get divorce, and I can’t do anything because I have nothing financially to even walked myself to the court. Right now I’m locking myself in my parents house, after finally telling my parents I’m considering suicide if I can’t get away from him. But they are already falling in love with him, in the end he successfully cutting off my source of support. The most problematic things is now I’m pregnant. I’m trying not getting flashback of the nights I spend with him during my pregnancy because it traumatized me. Yet he is keep trying to contact me, every time I do it is exhausting. It is like I’m the one who need to nurture him and comfort him even though I’m the one with depression. At first my parents always scold me for not wanting to reply his message and trying to contact him, because I’m under obligation to do that as a wife. Then finally my sexual abused experiences come out to light after all the time he begged me not to tell anyone, I told one of my far relatives who provided temporary safe place for me to hide. My mom still think that I’m mentally weak for having traumatized ‘just’ because of that but now they are not scolding me anymore for refusing his attempt to hoovering and told him to be patient with my refusal because my fragile state of mind. But now lately they pressed me again asking when will I get over my trauma of him. This relating to my pregnancy as I am in my last term and I need to prepare myself welcome him in my life again. They said he need to be present when I’m in labor, because he is the father. I’m really afraid because that moment I will be at my most vulnerable state. I can’t say anything to against this, because I’m already hateful and selfish enough in their eyes. I’m having hard time to regain my parents trust and love so I have nothing to defend myself. I can’t move out, I have zero money and I’m heavily pregnant. There’s no one who can help me because they are afraid to get on bad terms with my family and mostly they are already been brainwashed by my husband. I just need to mentally prepared my self for the storm that will be back again to my life.

  • mjdsqt

    March 20th, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    My wife initiated the no contact with a restraining order. She’s the narcissist and this was her discard move. Since then we’ve only had custody exchange interactions, including a couple of court appearances. Finally after four months the hoovering is starting. She just started answering the phone now when I have my scheduled calls to my kids. Not sure what it’s about exactly/ I just politely ask to speak to my children by their names, and don’t acknowledge who she is. She is also emotionally reaching out to my mother, via phone calls and letters. I am asking my mother not to give me details. She is obviously wanting communication with me for some purpose or other, but apparantly does not want to drop the order, or even have it modified. She is too proud to do that. I’m wondering what might come next as her frustration grows. I’m being very guarded and careful.

  • Andrea

    March 21st, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    This is for mjdsqt: Honesty. If she isn’t interested 2 become crystal clear without surprises she’s not worth your time. My son wants me 2 have a relationship with my sister and brother but neither of them are interested to see a therapist, only excuses suffice. My son wasn’t abused by me so he’s at times at a loss to understand, however we saw the movie spotlight about the sexual abuse from the Catholic Church. While the movie was good I was interested in the victims’ stories and found a documentary from adult males talking about their ordeal as kids. Even though I was never sexually abused I shared some of how they felt in my own childhood and my son is seeing the huge impact from these narcissistic child-like priests’ abusers. Without honesty and realizing how you feel it’s best to keep as much space from your ex-wife. If she keeps pursuing you please consider hiring an attorney for stalking. The clout of a lawyer can and will know what actions to take to stop this pursuit especially if you don’t want it. I had to x my family out of my life because their niceness was so phony and not welcomed by me. They want something from you and no matter what don’t give it or give in. See a therapist, I do and I look forward to becoming less dysfunctional and more functional. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to do.

  • lynn

    June 11th, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    I have no idea if my bf is a narc..however he has alot of traits. HE discart me after i made a comment on his behaviour. He sort of snapped but not in front of me. After he left he texed ..its all your fault …you are theblame..i was like huh? what did i mis…then got the silent treatment..for about 3 weeks. He accused me of cheating..said that must have a few men. Ignored him back with the silent treatment. Then he asked his laptop back..he gave it to me with love..My daughter gave it to him..i wasnt home ON PURPOSE. a week later still NC.. I still had clothes at his home..i texted him..LIKE in a sec he texted back that he found my clothes. He wanna talk to me tommorow..he will bring my clothes..all of a sudden he said that he missed me..while he was the one leaving the relationship..is he a narc or not? should i continue the NC…eventhough i have done so much research…..Help

    Lynn

  • Milly

    June 12th, 2017 at 3:02 AM

    You know the answer, Lynn, having done all the research. Don’t waste another minute on him – life’s too short. Since he has given no sensible reason for his behavior, if you go back to him he will just carry on in this vein, up and down, until you’re driven mad. Get your belongings back from him with as little contact as you can then find someone genuine who really cares about you and does not swing from loving to abusive. All the best.

  • Andrea

    June 13th, 2017 at 2:02 PM

    Lynn, sounds more like this bf of your has bipolar disorder. I have it and believe it’s been here since my childhood for it makes relationships difficult because of the highs and lows of the extremes. Similar to Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde there’s always changes and since you are on the receiving end of this man I suggest contacting a bipolar support group so you can do your own research. It’s not gonna get easier you have to decide if he’s worth it to stay in and around this person. He needs to go in and get tested but if he chooses not to because he thinks he doesn’t have any issues, then do an assessment of pros and cons to see where you are. It’s never just one person’s fault in any relationship, you’ve got 2 stand up to his badgering, his silent treatment of ignoring you which is so childish and childlike, and become proactive to what you want in the relationship because your needs are important to. Last but not the least, do you want to date a child or an adult? What’s the difference?

  • Milly

    June 17th, 2017 at 3:49 AM

    So, my narc sister, with whom I have had very low contact for two years, has finally decided, after two years, to issue an apology to my husband. Up till now, she has been trying to act as if nothing happened, sending the odd email, saying she thought of me often etc. (which I ignored) plus greetings cards. The email apology arrived late at night, probably after a few drinks, as has often happened. It sounds very convincing in its wording, in as much as she says that she apologizes for something untrue she said to me about my husband ‘in the heat of the moment’ and how very sorry she is for the hurt she caused us both and that she is so sad this has gone on for so long. As her excuse, she says that it was a difficult time caring for mom (since deceased, though actually she wasn’t having that hard a time as mom was largely looking after herself at that point). Anyway, this apology completely ignores the fact that she continued to justify her ‘heat of the moment’ remark in subsequent emails and, when challenged, became more and more offensive to both of us, twisting the facts and copying these emails going to other members of the family who were left thinking that we must be in the wrong. Some months later, she rose again in an attempt to hurt me again when mom was ill in hospital, making wholly unjustifiable derogatory remarks about the amount of time I spent with mom. My husband hates her toxic behavior so much that he never wishes to have to see her socially again. He will make his own decision on whether/how to respond but I wonder how others would respond to this cleverly designed fulsome apology? Incidentally, I haven’t received one (yet) despite her nastiness towards me – or am I supposed to read an apology to me in her words to him about hurting us both?

  • Andrea R

    June 17th, 2017 at 7:09 PM

    Waiting 4 an apology from childish folks like this you’ll be waiting forever. Even if they do apologize it’s not genuine. I decided 2 distance myself from my whole family and have enjoyed a much happier life. By allowing yourself to interact with them and trying 2 get along you are setting yourself up 4 failure because they don’t treat you as you’ve like 2 be treated. They are selfless, narcissistic, empathy lacking people. They don’t care about you or what you think or how you’d like to be treated. They only see the world from their point of view. Here’s some examples of my family: was in a severe car accident 2010 no one came 2 see me except my son, their excuse we don’t know what to do so we kept away. My mother and brother showed up a year later and said they wanted me 2 be able 2 do things on my own. Had a broken collarbone. My parents are both dead thank goodness and shortly after my siblings came a calling and wanted 2 hang out, my question is why haven’t seen my sister in 30 years & my brother because he’s verbally abusive on the phone however when I did research I found the answer my siblings want something from me and guess what not gonna give it. I do see a therapist and recommend anyone that’s been thru some form of abuse 2 seek 1 out. My son agreed 2 join family therapy and it has helped us so much. My son was 18 when I went thru the car accident and nobody this young should be left 2 take care of an ill parent on their own without support from other family members. If you can imagine my son doing his best is equivalent 2 climbing Mount Everest. Without therapy don’t know where my son and I could be today. Here’s last advice 4 this post: No matter what your dealing with don’t quit, don’t give up, and seek outside help when nothing else matters or makes sense. My son almost took his life because of the overwhelming situation taking care of his mom. Almost, thank goodness he decided 2 call 911 and is here today as a result. Thanks 4 listening.

  • Cindy

    June 20th, 2017 at 8:10 PM

    My sister was a narc like yours. However she knew my husband was having multiple affairs and said nothing. I am now realizing both my husband and my sis are narcs.

  • Andrea R.

    June 21st, 2017 at 3:46 AM

    Cindy, thanks for your opinion, it is appreciated and welcomed. Ever hear the saying blood is thicker than water? It’s true. Your right both the cheater and your sister are narcs, only interest they care about is themselves, selfish. I don’t know how I’d react in this situation. It’s got to be tough. If you’d like to share I’d really be interested in how you handled situation. Here’s some advice from me if you don’t mind: What I learned when I got divorced after I chose this option and in marriage therapy is there isn’t anything anyone can do 2 stop cheating from happening in any relationships we have. I was pretty upset at the time I was finding out all the dirty secrets, and the therapist told me I have 2 learn how I am going to deal with it and move on eventually. The person that cheats is the one with the problem even though sometimes the cheater will blame the other person If it wasn’t for marriage counseling and a good friend that suggested I pray and ask for answers and they were answered I don’t know what would have happened 2 me. I was so angry and everyone saw it couldn’t hide it, angry. Finding out my mother-in-law knew about it and sided with her son against me and her grandson was sickening to me. We had just moved months earlier to a new state, didn’t know anyone, had a really nice place that evicted us after it was proven our money for rent he was paying his lover’s rent getting money orders for $50 bucks adding two zeros on the end (forging) so the money orders looked like $500, landlord didn’t want 2 prosecute but garnished his wages until. I met Christina she worked at same company ex did and made a choice to tell me what he was doing even though many others advised against it saying I could blame her for interfering, instead gave her a hug and we’ve been friends over twenty years now.
    I hope and pray you are doing well with whatever decisions you are choosing to make. I chose divorce, a teacher friend of mine chose not to divorce her husband continued 2 stay in the marriage, her kids support her and she has put everything in her name waiting for her husband’s health 2 deteriorate then he’ll have nothing but to die alone. At the time I found this out I thought this idea was underhanded, sneaky and sly, it is but it’s also a good revenge story. Consider sending any opinions you may have of anything I write, I’m always interested to learn new things from other folks points-of-view.
    Hope you have many friends, Cindy because friends are family and can treat you better than your own blood related ones. I keep little to no contact with mine and am happier in my life. When I’m asked how I am I say simple words, fine, great, awesome without giving to much detail. Keep them guessing. Rarely see them but if I do and they want to see me, I tell them I’m reclusive.

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